RMA Wednesday Talk Topic: Was Dropping the Atomic Bomb on Japan Justified?

Arthur Gottlieb

Arthur Gottlieb

After nearly 73 years the question rages on of whether dropping the two atomic bombs on Japan in 1945 was justified.

On Wednesday, Jan 3 the RMA presents Arthur Gottlieb who will address the enduring question: Was using these weapons  a necessary step to end the war and avert even greater casualties — or a needless and disproportionate war crime, possibly amounting to genocide.

The bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed 200,000 people, mostly civilians.

Although it is clear that the scheduled invasion of Japan would have led to a staggering number of casualties, both Japanese and American,  many accounts of post-war research and analysis indicate that the Japanese might have been compelled to surrender without the actual use of atomic weapons.

Arthur Gottlieb is well qualified to address this fascinating question. He is a local historian and popular speaker on subjects of political and military history. He was formerly a professional curator of naval history and the Technical Director of Exhibits at the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City.

In these roles, Mr. Gottlieb worked regularly with veterans of all services towards the creation of exhibits accurately illustrating the history of 20th century warfare.

From 1989 through 1997, Mr. Gottlieb coordinated with all branches of the armed services and National Guard towards the preservation of historic ships, aircraft and armor from around the world, and has facilitated the recovery of scores of artifacts from warships slated for demolition from reserve fleets.

The Greenwich Retired Men’s Association offers a free program every Wednesday that is open to the public, both men and women; no reservations are required.

The RMA social break starts at 10:40am, followed promptly by their speaker at 11:00am.

Programs are at the First Presbyterian Church, 1 West Putnam in Greenwich.  For additional information see www.greenwichrma.org or contact info@greenwichrma.org