Truman, Hirohito deserve our gratitude

To the Editor:

That the United States didn’t need to invade Japan under any circumstances and I believe had we invaded the country, the human cost would have been over two times the estimated one million casualties had be gone ahead with one.

Those are my conclusions after reading history writer Bill Sloan’s work “The Ultimate Battle,” his story concerning World War II’s last great conflict, the battle for Okinawa. In it he writes how American soldiers, Marines and sailors wrestled a deeply entrenched Japanese military for control of Okinawa. at a cost of over 32,000 American, more than 100,000 Japanese and 140,000 plus civilian lives.

I reached these deductions by realizing after Okinawa was taken, only the Japanese islands were what were left of the Empire. Finishing the war could have been done by the oldest military strategy in existence. A tactic that had been used by the Romans, before the Romans, in the middle-ages and, at times, since — namely siege.

By a massive bombing siege, explosive and napalm, Japan could have been forced to its knees with minimal American losses. Plus, I feel it would have required less time.

In a late chapter, Sloan reveals that on the day the Japanese surrendered, 1,000 B-29’s, loaded with conventional bombs on their way to Japan, were recalled.

Fortunately, President Truman, who gained his battle wisdom as a WWI artillery captain in the trenches, decided to use the atomic bomb. For this, he deserved our gratitude.

Gratitude also goes to Japanese Emperor Hirohito who broke protocol by requesting his government leaders, to prevent genocide, seek peace. The only condition being that he remained as Emperor.

“The Ultimate Conflict” is available at the Kendall Young Library.

Leo Lanctot

Webster City

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