Understanding the Decision to Drop the Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Intensifying conventional bombing and the naval blockade

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Intensifying conventional bombing and the naval blockade - General MacArthur felt that air power alone could force a Japanese surrender within six months with little risk to American lives. However, it was also argued that this may be a best case scenario where in actuality it could take substantially longer.


Allowing the Japanese to retain the Emperor - This plan was predicated on mitigating the call for unconditional surrender by Japan. Both Secretary of War Stimson and Acting Secretary of State Grew felt that this was an essential policy because of the dedication and fanaticism of the Japanese people towards the Emperor Hirohito, whom the Japanese believed to be a deity. 


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