Forty-Seven Years After Hiroshima: The Debate Continues

The authors neglected entirely the Oriental concept of perceived honor of the Japanese people, and how their honor required the Japanese to meet an invasion of their homeland with total resistance.

It took a lot of persuasion 20 years later to convince Japanese soldiers isolated on islands that the war was over. Add in the phenomenon of kamikaze attacks on American ships, and it begins to look clear that the likelihood of the Japanese surrendering with only token resistance was virtually zero. At the same time, the American public had been subject to over three years of representation that we would accept nothing less than unconditional surrender.

I also find the author's contention that using the bomb had much to do with the origins of the cold war simply incredible. The cold war was almost entirely the result of Soviet imperialism and would have ensued with or without our use of the atomic bomb in Japan.

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Perhaps the war could have been ended without using the bomb. And perhaps not. In August 1945, the answer was far from clear. Robert B. Henn, Ambler, Pa.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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