Did The U.S. Need to Attack Japan With Nuclear Bombs To End World War II?

In my years as a peace activist, I get two challenges from people with whom I speak. One, “nonviolence didn’t work against Hitler.” (To which I have two responses: Denmark and the Huguenots of Le Chambon.) Two, “Dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan saved tens of thousands of American lives.”

Below is an important document addressing the second question. Gen. Douglas MacArthur is commonly understood to be one of the most important military leaders in U.S. history. This is Gen. MacArthur’s response to the question about whether it was militarily necessary for the United States to attack Japan with nuclear bombs by targeting Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the only use of nuclear weapons in human history.