At the time, many Americans were unhappy with the atomic bomb. American scientists asked Truman to let the Japanese see it and surrender first. Admiral William Leahy (1945) thought it reduced Americans to the level of 'barbarians'.
After the war, however, the atomic bomb was portrayed as a war-winning weapon, which had saved many American soldiers' lives. This is the traditional interpretation of Hiroshima, which many historians still believe.
Much of the reasoning given for dropping the atomic bomb came down to Truman’s own beliefs and claims about the threat posed. Is this evidence reliable?
The Japanese began the war from the air at Pearl Harbor. They have been repaid many fold.Harry Truman, US President
He also said:
Having found the bomb we have used it. We have used it against those who attacked us without warning at Pearl Harbor, against those who have starved and beaten and executed American prisoners of war, against those who have abandoned all pretense of obeying international laws of warfare. We have used it in order to shorten the agony of war, in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans.Harry Truman, US President
In 1965, American historian Gar Alperovitz suggested that the atomic bomb had been unnecessary. The revisionists claimed that:
This stimulated a furious debate that still goes on.
You may wish to compare the atomic bomb's impact to other military developments in Conflict and cooperation through time: