Hiroshima: The Decision to Drop the Bomb

Hiroshima: The Decision to Drop the Bomb (1995) This thoughtful A&E documentary contrasts the perspective of historical hindsight with the fog of war. One focus is the immorality of nuclear attacks on populous cities. Of course, modern war is immoral. The Japanese callous killing of perhaps 10 million civilians and POWs weighs heavily on the scale of inhumanity.

The “What ifs” of history fuel endless speculation. What if: 1) the Allies had earlier softened ‘unconditional surrender’ with the acceptance of a ceremonial post-war emperor?; 2)The Japanese had anticipated a Soviet declaration of war and had urgently sought peace through another intermediary?; 3) The United States, despite the mood after Okinawa and the kamikazes, had pursued a less urgent nuclear time table? But history is not “What ifs,” but what was and what is. This is a far more balanced assessment than Hiroshima: What the Bomb Was Dropped(1996).

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