Bob Knight doesn’t understand why Harry Truman ordered nukes used against Japan
Truman didn’t order the use of nuclear bombs against Japan for the sake of using nuclear bombs
To prove how utterly ridiculous many elements of Donald Trump’s foreign policy is, Trump has had former Indiana University head basketball coach Bob Knight campaign for him in the Hoosier State and talk about nuclear weapons:
According to Bobby Knight, Harry Truman was one of the three greatest presidents because he had the “guts to drop the bomb in 1944” on Japan.
Donald Trump, he said, could join that list as one of the four greatest presidents because he “would do the same thing.”
The only historical problem with Knight’s justification: Truman authorized the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945. Franklin D. Roosevelt was still president in 1944.
Not only did Knight give incorrect information about when the U.S. used the atom bomb against Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he made it sound like Truman advocated for wide-scale use of nuclear weapons, which was not the case.
In reality, Truman ordered the use of nuclear weapons on Japan as the ultimate last resort to force Japan to surrender. Keep in mind that, in mid-1945, Japan was at war with the United States as part of World War II, and Japan had absolutely zero intention of surrendering. Truman had two choices: order a large-scale invasion of the Japanese Home Islands, or order the use of nuclear weapons on one or more Japanese targets. Truman chose to order the use of nuclear weapons, and the U.S. Armed Forces dropped Little Man, an uranium bomb, and Fat Boy, a plutonium bomb, on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively. The nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki successfully forced Japan to surrender to the Allies, ending World War II with fewer casualties than a large-scale invasion of Japan would have caused.
Bob Knight is not a foreign policy expert, and using nuclear weapons for the sake of using nuclear weapons is, to put it mildly, an absolutely asinine idea.