A Separate Peace

What is the irony in the following statement: But the men a little older closed in on the enemy faster than predicted, and then there was the final holocaust of the bomb. It seemed to have saved our lives.

figurative language

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I think Gene knew he or his friends would have probably ended up dead had they gone to war. Ironically it was the final destruction of the atom bomb, and the killing of millions of people, that ended the war and saved them from going.