Gregg Herken’s article on the “Five myths about ‘the bomb’ ” (Aug. 3) overlooks and plays down some important points about the use of atomic bombs.
The atomic bomb program wasn’t started because of Japan; it was started because of Nazi Germany (there was evidence the Nazis were working on their own atomic bomb). If the war in Europe had lasted into August 1945, very likely Berlin would have been turned into radioactive rubble.
Herken implies that “only” 40,000 Americans would have been killed in an invasion of Japan. Given how vicious the Pacific war was and how tired Americans were of the war, anything done to shorten the war and save American lives was worth trying.
In his essay “Thank God for the Atomic Bomb,” Paul Fussell, a veteran of World War II, wrote that those who opposed the use of the bomb had not fought in the war, whereas those who supported the atomic bombing had.
For once a T-shirt slogan got it right: If there had been no Pearl Harbor, there would have been no Hiroshima.
Gary L. Bennett, Emmett