Richard Robinson’s letter, recommending that the United States apologize for dropping an atomic bomb on Nagasaki (“Apology is in order for second atomic bomb dropped on Japan,” May 23), reminds me of the historical revisionists who like to say that the Civil War was not necessary. Back in 1861 it was necessary, just as the bombing of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki was necessary.
My late brother-in-law was an infantryman in the Pacific theater in August of 1945, and the 82,000 U.S. casualties resulting from the recent battle for Okinawa was on everybody’s mind. As was the plan for invading Japan. When the first bomb went off, he and his fellow soldiers were elated, but there was still no sign of surrender from Japan. The second bomb was dropped, and six days later Japan surrendered unconditionally. One can argue endlessly about the broader intent of our using both bombs, but insofar as Japan was concerned, it worked.
Clement Salvadori, Atascadero