Even Churchill thought Hiroshima was unnecessary


The arguments today about Hiroshima and Nagasaki miss the most important facts about Allied decision-making in mid-1945. Britain's wartime leader, Winston Churchill, believed - in mid-1945 - that the Second World War could be ended without the use of the atomic bomb.

At the urging of US and British military commanders, Churchill lobbied the US president, Harry Truman, to try other methods which he thought could end the Pacific War. The nuclear terror attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not a last resort, and they were not needed to avoid a costly land invasion of Japan – that was the opinion of Churchill, British and US military leaders, and almost all senior US government officials.

Truman rejected their advice in order to have the opportunity to demonstrate the power of the ultimate weapon, in US hands.

Recording of online event with Peace News editor Milan Rai on 1 August 2023.

Milan Rai is the editor of Peace News and the author of Chomsky's Politics (Verso, 1995)

Related article: Even Churchill Thought Hiroshima Was Unnecessary