Decision Affirmed
by Clarence “Kip” Vold
URLink Print and Media

"The choice for the United States was not between atomic bombs and peace, it was between atomic bombs and an early end to the war, or a continuing conventional war."

Vold, a former chief master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, believes the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945, were justified. Step by step, battle by battle, Vold clearly and intelligently validates his (and President Truman’s) opinion that Japan would not have surrendered during WW II without the A-bomb’s persuasion.

The Japanese Empire’s philosophy of “might makes right,” and belief in world domination (Hakko Ichiu), troubled the world decades before WW II, and was starkly evident when Japan seized Manchuria in 1931 and allied with Germany to carve up the world in 1941. The U.S. position of self-defense vs. aggression stifled military involvement. Shockingly, Japan-U.S. Pacific peace negotiations were still ongoing when the Japanese launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941, bringing America officially into WW II. Out-armed and faced with “selfless fanaticism in support of imperial expansion,” the U.S. floundered in the Pacific Theatre. Then on December 2, 1942, Enrico Fermi conducted the world’s first nuclear chain reaction test at the University of Chicago.

Like Japan’s steady encroachment, Vold relentlessly analyzes every battle, showing pitfalls, advantages, and the terrifying hypothetical outcomes of a Japanese victory. Luck, timing, weather, terrain, mindset, and more become characters in humanity’s battlefield, while Midway, Hong Kong, Burma, Singapore, Wake Island, and others are fodder for the Japanese war machine. Insights into military strategy and decisions, combined with “what if” second-guessing, make this a fascinating read. Vold employs his 30-year U.S. Air Force background and vast understanding of WW II’s Pacific Theatre to analyze the events leading up to President Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan. Well-reasoned pages suggest possible non-bomb outcomes (none very good) and address current revisionist history. The atom bomb had its “decision affirmed” moment, one Vold hopes will never recur.

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