In their book Code-Name Downfall: The Secret Plan to Invade Japan-and Why Truman Dropped the Bomb, Thomas B. Allen and Norman Polmar discuss what would have happened if the United States did not drop the atomic bombs on the two Japanese cities on August 6 and August 9, 1945. They explain the preparations that both the United States and Japan took towards an invasion, which they called Operation Downfall. To prepare for the invasion, Japan was training civilians to kill anyone that invaded. Weapons of germ warfare and poison gas were considered being used by both sides. If Operation Downfall would have occurred, World War II would have continued for another year and a half and it could have cost a significant amount of Americans and Japanese their lives. However, the invasion didn’t occur and President Truman wanted to use the atomic bomb.
When the bombs were dropped, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed. Japan then surrendered. Allen and Polmar expose how part of the Japanese military wanted to overturn the decision that the Emperor made to surrender because they wanted to continue fighting. There were also opinions on the American side that were conflicting. Some believed that an invasion wouldn’t be necessary to defeat Japan but others wanted to invade. Although Truman hoped that that dropping the bombs would end the war he didn’t consider it as an alternative to the invasion. Additional atomic bombs would have been made and used against Japan if they would have fought back. Different historians have argued about whether using the atomic bombs was immoral and unnecessary. Allen and Polmar, however, disagree. They describe their personal beliefs about those who determined how the war was going to play out. This book allows its readers to determine for themselves whether or not they think Truman’s decision to use the atomic bomb was justified. 2
Allen and Polmar believed that “anyone who closely and dispassionately examines the last weeks of the war would have to conclude that Truman was looking for ways to end the conflict honorably and at the lowest possible cost in American and Japanese lives.” Truman was worried about the lives of Americans. They then went on to explain that President Truman wanted to make sure that Joseph Stalin would enter the war against Japan, so in July he went to Potsdam. They stated, “Then Truman learned on July 16 that the atomic bomb would work, and he ordered it used. It was a