The United States bombed Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Before the Japanese could surrender, they bombed Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. The two bombs killed over 200,000 people, most of them civilians.
Some argue they were necessary to prevent further bloodshed. According to them, the Japanese wouldn't surrender otherwise. Thus, the bombings actually saved lives.
An alternative explanation is that the United States wanted to show they had nuclear bombs (to the Soviet Union). By then Germany and Italy had already surrendered, and the Japanese was pushed back to their islands. Possibly a simple naval blockade would have starved them off and forced their surrender.
Which one is the "correct" explanation? ie: were the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki necessary to end the war?