Movie Review: Letters from Iwo Jima

We saw Letters from Iwo Jima tonight and learned that prior to the battle in February and March of 1945, Japan had lost its fleet in the battle of the Marianas. The Japanese soldiers were told that Iwo Jima guarded the homeland and must not fall.

Moreover, aircraft losses throughout 1944 had been so heavy that, even if war production was not affected by American air attacks, combined Japanese air strength was not expected to increase to 3,000 aircraft until March or April of 1945. Even then, these planes could not be used from bases in the home islands against Iwo Jima because their range did not exceed 550 miles (890 km); besides, all available aircraft had to be hoarded for possible use on Taiwan and adjacent islands near land bases.

So my question: why did we bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945?

The mushroom cloud over Hiroshima after the dropping of Little Boy.

The Fat Man mushroom cloud resulting from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rises 18 km (11 mi, 60,000 ft) into the air from the hypocenter.

Letters from Iwo Jima was a powerful movie that made a good case against war.

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