The Strategy of Hiroshima

  • Lawrence FreedmanEmail author
  • Jeffrey Michaels


As the Second World War concluded, Liddell Hart discussed the impact of air raids. He noted that ‘so long as the process is gradual’ human beings can accommodate to degradation of their standard of life. ‘Decisive results come sooner from sudden shocks than long-drawn-out pressure. Shocks throw the opponent off balance. Pressure allows him time to adjust to it.’ To throw the enemy off balance was precisely what was required. Before the atom bomb was employed to shock Japan into submission, Germany had tried to do the same to Britain with new weapons of its own.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of War StudiesKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Defence StudiesKing’s College LondonLondonUK

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