No, nuking Japan was neither necessary nor sufficient to end WWII in the pacific (unless you’re from the US in which case THIS IS AN ARTICLE OF FAITH).

Allow me to suggest some readings that I have compiled FOR JUST THIS OCCASION: A Thread!



1st up:

@WardHayesWilson's incisive foreign policy piece:
Wilson, Ward. “The Bomb Didn’t Beat Japan...Stalin Did.” 2013.…

I appreciate that Ward's work asks reader to consider atomic bombings in relation to a summer of city bombings/destruction.

2nd up: Kirby's Five Volume Official UK History of World War II. Pape (1993: 157) was kind enough to highlight one of the more relevant portions from Volume Five (1969) about the Japanese Surrender for us:


3rd up in "the atomic bombings were unnecessary & insufficient to end Pacific WWII":

Pape, Robert A. “Why Japan Surrendered.” International Security 18, no. 2 (1993): 154–201.

Here, I've linked to a pdf for you because I'm a nice guy:…

5th up in readings about the end of WWII in the Pacific (no it wasn't the bombs):

Why, it's the United States Strategic Bombing Survey!

United States of America. United States Strategic Bombing Survey: Summary Report (Pacific War). July 1, 1946.…

5th up in readings about end of WWII in Pacific (no it wasn't atomic bombs):

Asada, Sado. “The Shock of the Atomic Bomb and Japan’s Decision to Surrender: A Reconsideration.” Pacific Historical Review 67, no. 4 (1998): 477–512…

6th up in readings about end of WWII in Pacific (no it wasn't nukes):

H-Diplo discussion of Hasegawa's (2006) "Racing the Enemy".

I have linked all the PDFs here b/c not well organized online:…

7th in readings about end of WWII in Pacific (no it wasn't nukes):


Burr, William. The Atomic Bomb and the End of World War II: A Collection of Primary Sources.….

While we are at it, let's talk about the claim that nuking Japan (by supposedly ending WWII) SAVED 500,000 TO MILLIONS OF ALLIED SOLDIERS LIVES (I have seen both claims and others in Visitor Book entries at nuclear heritage sites):…

So, let me reiterate:

The US atomic attacks against the cities and civilians of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were neither necessary nor sufficient to end WWII in the Pacific Theatre.

It is, in the folkloric and anthropological sense, a myth that nuking Japan ended WWII.

If you want to know what role I personally think the atomic bombings played in the Japanese decision to surrender, well, in addition to providing a bibliography and links to readings, I discuss that on my Patreon for my beloved Patrons!

I cannot tell you how vexatious I find this discussion to have.

It's not about disagreement-these are things reasonable adults can disagree about based on available evidence.

It's the dogmatic, haven't done the readings #DeusExAtomica that just annoys the piss out of me.


People in 1945 and large swaths of the world that aren’t America: what the fuck is that person talking about?!?
For some real fun, let's look at Hirohito's surrender messages:

In one, to the public, Hirohito briefly mentions atomic bombings.

In order to armed forces to surrender, Hirohito only mentions USSR entry into war and ignores atomic bombings:

Let’s ask Harry Truman-on August 9th, 1945-what he thought the role of the USSR would be in compelling Japanese surrender:

(Letter is to Senator Richard Russell).

(HT @BeschlossDC, @n1vux)
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