The only reason, "they" say nukes were used in Japan was to speed up the inevitable.
Well, if the US had not used nukes in Japan, you would not have to put up with my posts.
My father was on a troop ship enroute from Marseilles, France to Okinawa when the nukes were dropped and the war ended.
During my US Navy tours in Japan, I met many Japanese citizens who would not be alive if nukes had not been used.
My next door neighbor was 5 years old and being trained to run up to US soldiers to ask for candy. When she got close to them, she was to pull a cord attached to the backpack she would wear. She was told that paper flowers would spill out of the backpack.
Several of the Japanese men who were 8-12 years old were being trained to operate speed boats to crash into landing craft, to hide in buried trenches and detonate explosives.
IEDs and suicide bombers were not new when I faced them in Lebanon in 1983. They have been used since the invention of gunpowder.
Estimates of the total number of casualties from the two atomic attacks are between 200,000 and 300,000 deaths - with less than 10% of those being military.
Conservative estimates of the number of Japanese civilians who would have been killed in an invasion of Honshu, Japan are between 1.2 and 1.5 MILLION.
There was no 'peace movement' in Japan. There was not way those opposed to the military national suicide plan would have been able to stop those deaths.
The nuclear attacks were horrible. But in the context of the times, they were the most humane way to paralyze the military leadership and allow the end of the war to happen.
When I was young, John Hershey's book "Hiroshima" was required reading in most US high schools. For those who have not read the book, it is a very stark, no punches pulled, description of the impact of a nuclear weapon on the people in the blast zone. It shows the real consequences of an atomic bomb on innocent people.
I'm not discounting the impact of the widespread firebombing of civilian populations, or other impact of other weapons.
But I would strongly urge everyone to read "Hiroshima" before they start discussing nuclear war.
Another aspect is to read some of the civil defense information from the 50's and early 60's. On the real impact on US citizens from nuclear weapons detonations.