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Ending World War II helped prevent many further deaths


Your preview of “Oppenheimer” addresses the “estimated 200,000 real humans who died” but ignores the much greater cost in human lives had the project not produced the weapons which brought the war to a rapid conclusion. Operation Downfall was the plan for the invasion of Japan by U.S. and allied forces, cancellation of which was possible thanks to the efforts of Mr. Oppenheimer and associates. Estimates for the U.S. killed in action ranged to one million, independent of Allied losses. Huge numbers of Japanese military and civilian deaths also would have occurred had Downfall been necessary.  The battle for Okinawa alone cost U.S., Allied, and Japanese lives in staggering numbers. Projecting those numbers to a battle on the major Japanese islands is a scenario thankfully negated. It is impossible to say with any degree of certainty how many total Allied and Japanese lives would have been lost had the physicists not been successful, but without doubt, it would have far exceeded the resultant deaths in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.