The debate over the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki concerns the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which took place on August 6, 1945 and three days later on August 9, precipitating the end of World War II. The role of the bombings in Japan's surrender and the United States' ethical justification for them has been the subject of scholarly and popular debate for decades. J. Samuel Walker wrote in an April 2005 overview of recent historiography on the issue, "the controversy over the use of the bomb seems certain to continue." Walker noted that "The fundamental issue that has divided scholars over a period of nearly four decades is whether the use of the bomb was necessary to achieve victory in the war in the Pacific on terms satisfactory to the United States." Preferable to invasion
A map outlining the Japanese and U.S. (but not other Allied) ground forces scheduled to take part in the battle for Japan. Two landings were planned:
(1) Olympic — the invasion of the southern island, Kyūshū,
(2) Coronet — the invasion of the main island, Honshū.Those who argue in favor of the decision to drop the atom bombs argue that massive casualties on both sides would have occurred in Operation Downfall, the planned invasion of Japan.
The American side anticipated losing many soldiers in the planned invasion of Japan, although the actual number of expected fatalities and wounded is subject to some debate. U.S. President Truman stated after the war that he had been advised that American casualties could range from 250,000 to one million men. Other sources put the highest estimates at 30,000 to 50,000. Millions of Japanese military and civilian casualties were expected. An Air Force Association history says, "Millions of women, old men, and boys and girls had been trained to resist by such means as attacking with bamboo spears and strapping explosives to their bodies and throwing themselves under advancing tanks," and also that...