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Forty-Seven Years After Hiroshima: The Debate Continues

August 17, 1992



Regarding the Opinion page article "Was Hiroshima Needed to End the War?," August 6: Many thanks to the authors for their fine analysis of the Hiroshima conundrum. The atomic bomb is but one of many episodes in American history in which more light should be shed. In their postwar debriefings the Japanese leadership was almost unanimous in their opinion that submarine warfare did more than anything else to defeat the Japanese empire.

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The authors, however, left out one major consideration; the atomic-bomb project created its own dynamic, and there was a great temptation to test the bomb under actual combat, thus helping to justify the expenditure of billions of dollars and four years of effort. Jon Arnold, Chicago

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