Nagasaki – why did the US drop the second bomb? | DW Documentary

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The first atom bomb destroyed Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. Just three days later, a second atom bomb flattened the city of Nagasaki, even though Japan had long been ready to capitulate.

Conventional wisdom holds that these two atomic explosions – the only use of nuclear bombs in the history of war – brought the Second World War to an end. Yet an increasing number of historians are critical of this interpretation. International experts say it is a myth and say it glorifies an war crime that killed more than 100 thousand civilians. Historian Tsuyoshi Hasegawa argues that the Soviet Union’s unexpected declaration of war on Japan is what really pushed Tokyo to surrender. He says that Japan had been hoping that Moscow would step in to broker a diplomatic end to the conflict. Research in Russian archives has discovered that the United States knew that, so why did it drop the bombs at all? Especially the second one?

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41 thoughts on “Nagasaki – why did the US drop the second bomb? | DW Documentary

  1. US Intel reported it "likely" Japan would surrender under more favorable terms, something they were futilely communicating to the Soviet Union — not us. The leadership itself was divided over the specifications of these conditions and some wanted terms that hardly resembled surrender at all, not just maintaining the emperor's status. However, they were in no position to make demands and wasted valuable time that could have saved many lives. Once they did surrender, their fears of our conditions were unfounded and we helped rebuild their nation. Now we're friends.

    The Japanese should consider themselves lucky Russia didn't get a hold of them first, as they were planning to with Hokkaido and Honshu. Conquest on his mind, Stalin would not have accepted surrender without occupation. We saved Japan the suffering Stalin's forces would inflicted for decades and it's very like he wouldn't have backed down without the deployment of those weapons to stave his iron fist. Indeed, he STILL regretted not dismissing Truman and invading Hokkaido, likely to the day he died.

    Imagine his revised actions in an alternate timeline where we did not deploy those bombs. I doubt he'd have been as merciful as we in victory… just as he wasn't with a defeated Germany, Deutsche Welle.

  2. As an American, I learned a lot from this video. Thank you so much for creating this video. I hope it gets tens of millions of views.

  3. Extremely poor, misleading documentary by DW. They do not indicate that one of their primary sources, Martin Sherwin, is not a mainstream historian but a radical who works for and is on the board of the extremist “Nation” magazine and it’s associated foundation. Nor do they have anyone on to counter his minority held, extremist take on the history. Peter Kuznick, a communist sympathizer who collaborated with Stone on a revisionist history propaganda piece, is hardly a counterpoint. Neither provide any, much less convincing evidence that there would be no costly invasion absent the bombs.

  4. 2nd bomb….but Obama and the anniversary reports(3) all stated the"First and only nuke" shinzo Abby (not sure the spelling) then at the end of the 3rd report stated "Hiroshima AND NAGASAKI" before being cut off.
    And people still wonder why we call them fake news…..with a narrative

  5. He said in the end neither bomb was necessary. If it will take 2 atom bombs for Japan to surrender, I don't know what will make them surrender other than those 2 bombs.

  6. 34:40 Amazing the language they use "The second bomb fell" – yea it just fell out of the sky on a civilian city, it shot at that city or anything right?

  7. Japan started a very cruel expansionist war against China, killing and raping many Chinese and other East Asian people, against the whole Pacific area, and against the USA. Prisoners of war were treated horribly by Japan, including one of my great-uncles, many dying because of their ill-treatment. A calculation was made by the USA that many fewer lives would be lost, especially of Americans, if they used this new bomb. Tragically, many people died or were maimed by the two atomic bombs, but many many more would have been if the war had dragged on without it. Plus the USSR was expanding eastwards and Japan., or at least part of it, might have ended up Communist instead as well. War is always horrific, and it is particularly hard on children, mothers and ordinary people simply trying to get on with their lives. The fact is though that Japan actually started the war in the Pacific. And sadly what you sow is ultimately what rebounds on you when it is time to reap.

  8. The more I find out about America the more I will never visit it. I always dreamed of visiting it. Growing up all I heard was American dream, the greatest country on the planet, they care for everyone, omg how untrue these all are. They are a fucked up country that have no morals and are full of contradictions and hypocrisy.

  9. God bless the dead, What America did was clearly a cowardly act. killing hundred – thousands of children and women and still got away with it.

  10. The Japanese committed many atrocities during the War. However, is that a justification for using the atomic bomb and destroying two cities? Did the leaders, who chose to do so, even fully comprehend the consequences of radiation on nature and humans? Watching Chieko Ryu cry for her mother broke my heart as did the sorrow of all the survivors.

  11. None Outsider will come & conquer us. Because, We Humans kill ourselves … Even , now failed to understand … They getting ready for another form … Never ends… Goes on …

  12. I wonder how many wars and or bombs that never came because of these two bombs and the 100,000 s of thousand lives it took .. maybe humanity has lost its way idk

  13. Blame on your military and your Emperor. And after being nuked for a second time you took a week to surrender, you could've been nuked for a third time if the US military wasn't planning to stockpile atomic bombs to invade Japan.

  14. They dropped the second one because they waited three days and Japan still refused to surrender. There was a group of leaders who still refused after the second bomb until the Emperor broke the tie with his vote.

  15. The first bomb is for the people who died in pearl harbor, the 2nd bomb is for the innocent lives that japan takes during the world war.

  16. America: the only one to have ever used atomic bombs, the ultimate weapons of mass destruction, wages war against Iraq for having weapons of mass destruction. Then they "discovered" there were no such weapons there. This is a chronic criminal state.

  17. The USA dropped the first Bomb to force Japan out of the war and the second Bomb to intimidate Russia(U.S.S.R) ..The Cold War started since then. .today there are about 13410 nuclear Weapons in the world. ..91% of all Nuclear warheads are owned by Russia and USA, the other Nations are France, China Germany, UK, Israel, Pakistan, India and North Korea.

  18. Whilst I am sorry for the suffering that was caused and yes I agree they probably didn't need to be dropped. The simple fact is they were given chance after chance to surrender and they didn't listen I don't care about them wanting to keep their empiror they didn't surrender and that's all there is to it. And I'll say as well if the roles were reversed we wouldn't be talking about it and thats the simple truth. That day would be a day of celebration if the rolls were reversed.

  19. theres no such thing as nukes or atomic weapons. that city was carpet bombed. back when people were still defenseless and without a video camera. which is why to this day no one uses the magical booby man. that war was started because the jesuits were angry japan kicked them out. so they had a few of their jesuit agents pose as kamakazis to give the westerners an excuse to dis proportionally slaughter countless millions of innocent civilians. same went for germany who was the biggest thorn in the vatican paw.

  20. why???thanks to USA thanks to atom bomb.milion of asian people free from japan.HITELER & HIROHITO the bigest war criminal in the world history.GERMANY & JAPAN are bigest agresor in modern world history..never forget that!!!!.

  21. The defeat of the Axis powers was obtained by justified military force, through the bravery of Allied soldiers. Thank you for asking. You’re welcome. The civilian plight within Axis countries is somewhat interesting, but in the wider context, it is not as important as the plight of the Poles, the Chinese, the French, the Jewish people. The German and Japanese civilians should have done more to avoid the justified defensive force that met them.

  22. Japan's attempts to surrender started in 1943, Hiroshima and Nagasaki must rate as the biggest War Crimes ever committed on our Planet. Thanks to DW for challenging the narratives revised history.

  23. That country called the US is the oldest war criminal on this planet masquerading as an arbiter of justice,peace and freedom. hypocrisy much.Imagine that, they were only testing their bombs. So selfish

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