Atomic Salvation

How the A-Bomb Saved the Lives of 32 Million People

Dr Tom Lewis OAM

A controversial new analysis of the impact of the atomic bombings on Japan and the world.
Date Published :
July 2020
Publisher :
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781612009445
Pages : 364
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
Also available digitally:
Buy From Amazon Amazon
Buy From Apple Apple
Buy From Barnes and Noble Barnes & Noble
Buy From Google Google
Buy From Kobo Kobo

Casemate will earn a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking a link here


A controversial new analysis of the impact of the atomic bombings on Japan and the world.

It has always been a difficult concept to stomach—that the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, causing such horrific suffering and destruction, brought about peace.

Since the initial grateful acknowledgment of the success of the A-bomb attacks in ending World War II, there has been a steady reversal of opinion and sentiment: from a first hearty appreciation to widespread condemnation of the United States for its actions.

Atomic Salvation investigates the full situation of the times to a previously unplumbed depth. It examines documents from both Japanese and Allied sources, but it uses in-depth analysis to extend beyond the mere recounting of statistics. It charts the full extent of the possible casualties on both sides had a conventional assault akin to D-Day gone ahead against Japan. The work is not concerned solely with the military necessity to use the bombs, it also investigates why that necessity has been increasingly challenged over the successive decades.

Controversially, the book demonstrates that the Japanese nation would have suffered far greater casualties—likely around 28 million—if the nation had been attacked in the manner by which Germany was defeated: by amphibious assault, artillery and air attacks preceding infantry insertion, and finally by subduing the last of the defenders of the enemy capital.

The book also investigates the enormous political pressure placed on America as a result of their military situation. The USA's Truman Administration had little choice but to use the new weapon given the more than a million deaths that Allied forces would undoubtedly have suffered through conventional assault.

Through investigation of reactions then and since, Atomic Salvation charts reaction to the bombings. It looks briefly at a range of reactions through the decades and shows that there has been relentless pressure on the world to condemn what at the time was seen as the best, and the only, military solution to end the war.

Never has such an exhaustive analysis been made of the necessity behind bringing World War II to a halt.

About The Author

Dr. Tom Lewis served for 20 years in the Royal Australian Navy, during which time he saw active service in Baghdad, where he led American forces, and East Timor. As a museum director he led two museums to new success; the Royal Australian Naval College Historical Collection at HMAS Creswell – for which services he received an Order of Australia; and the Darwin Military Museum, where he was Director for five years. He holds a master’s degree in Cold War Politics from University of Queensland and a Strategic Studies from Charles Darwin University.

Tom was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2003 for services to naval history. Further decorations include the Australian Active Service Medal; the Iraq Campaign Medal, and the United States Army Commendation Medal.

Tom is in popular demand from radio and television stations across the globe for his insightful comments on military history and how it intersects with modern-day life. He is a regular speaker to community groups, and appears often in TV documentaries, including lately with Neil Oliver in Coasts, and in Sir Tony Robinson’s Tour of Duty. He produced with Military Myths Defeated the documentary of The Borella Ride, the Anzac Centenary commemoration of Lieutenant Albert Borella VC, who rode 1000 kilometres in the Northern Territory Wet Season to sign up for the Great War. Tom was the Lead Historian for the Ride. Albert Borella VC, an Incredible Journey screened nationally in Australia on Channel 9. He was also Historian for the 2017 Northern Territory Government project The Territory Remembers, the commemoration of 75 years since the first enemy attacks on Australia. He lives in Darwin, Australia with his wife.


"The author does an admirable job of summing up the operational conditions for the Japanese and American militaries until August 1945 and the strength of the resolve of the military and the Japanese people to fight to the bitter end. "

- Strategic Studies Quarterly

"Lewis has written an important book focused on facts rather than ideology, politics and revisionism. The book will be of interest to students of history who wish to understand the world as it really was when the United States made the decision to drop the two atomic bombs."

- On Point: The Journal of Army History

"This book is a reminder of something we may not wish to be reminded of. But facts are inexorable, and no history of the Second World War could possibly be complete without reference to the final act."

- The Honourable Austin Asche, Queen’s Counsel, Companion of the Order of Australia

More from this publisher