"The most influential text is Truman
's 1955 Memoirs
, which states that the atomic bomb probably saved half a million US lives— anticipated casualties in an Allied invasion of Japan planned for November. Stimson
subsequently talked of saving one million US casualties, and Churchill
of saving one million American and half that number of British lives."
Scholars have pointed out various alternatives that could have ended the war just as quickly without an invasion, but these alternatives could have resulted in the deaths of many more Japanese.
Supporters of the bombings generally assert that they caused the Japanese surrender, preventing massive casualties on both sides in the planned invasion of Japan
. One figure of speech, "One hundred million [subjects of the Japanese Empire] will die for the Emperor and Nation,"
served as a unifying slogan, although that phrase was intended as a figure of speech along the lines of the "ten thousand years
" phrase. Although some Japanese were taken prisoner,
most fought until they were killed or committed suicide
Nearly 99% of the 21,000 defenders of Iwo Jima
and the last Japanese soldiers did not surrender until November 1949.
Of the 117,000 Japanese troops defending Okinawa
in April–June 1945, 94% were killed.
Supporters also point to an order given by the Japanese War Ministry on 1 August 1944, ordering the execution of Allied prisoners of war
when the POW-camp was in the combat zone.
As War Minister, Korechika Anami
was opposed to the surrender. Immediately after Hiroshima, he commented, "I am convinced that the Americans had only one bomb, after all."
Eventually, Anami's arguments were overcome when Emperor Hirohito
directly requested an end to the war himself.