Imagine living in a period in which the realities of war encased the world, and the lethal potential to end all suffering was up to a single being. During World War II, tensions between Japan and the United States increased. Despite pleas from US President, Harry Truman, for Japan to surrender, the Japanese were intent on continuing the fight. As a result, Truman ordered the atomic bomb, a deadly revolution in nuclear science, to be dropped on the towns of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. President Harry Truman, in his speech, “Announcement of the Dropping of the Atomic Bomb,” supports his claim that the dropping of the A-bomb shortened the war, saved lives, and got revenge by appealing to American anger by mentioning traumatic historical events and
Foreign Policy: FDR vs. Truman Since the ending of the Second World War, much controversy has floated around through conversations in history as to whether or not the atomic bombs should have been dropped on Japan. The global war lasted from the years 1939 to 1945, with many years of carried conflict and grudges held before and afterwards. The two Presidents most involved in this war were 32nd President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and 33rd President Harry S. Truman. Each of these leaders initiated and finished with significant actions during this war. However, each may have had different perspectives over the foreign policies regarding the atomic bomb during the war.
The first priest was finally to end the war with Japan and save as many American lives as possible. (Primary sources) The second objective they wanted was to demonstrate their new weapon to make a massive mass destruction towards the Soviet Union. (D-day) In August 1945, the relations between the Soviet Union and the United States deteriorated very seriously. Potsdam conference between US President Harry S. Truman and Russian leader Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill before he could be replaced by Clement Attlee barely ended four days before the Hiroshima bombing. (History in Hiroshima) The meeting between them is very marked by the recriminations and the great suspicions between the Americans and the Soviets.
The article Hitler’s Gamble by Adam Tooze provides information on the different scholarly views regarding Hitler’s intent to start the Second World War. Tooze does this by examining the views of the leading historians on the topic. He looks at where the historians agree and where they disagree and concludes with his own analysis of the topic. Tooze explains that the main disagreement on the topic is regarding Hitler’s purpose for escalating international tension through the invasion of Poland. There are those historians, specifically Richard Overy and Ian Kershaw, who argued that Hitler did not intend to provoke a war over Poland.
Harry S. Truman and His Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb Harry S. Truman once said, “Carry the battle to them. Don’t let them bring it to you.” In World War II, that is exactly what he did. While Japan was breaking treaties and fighting with allied countries, the United States was developing a powerful weapon that would cripple Japan and end World War II. This weapon was called the atomic bomb. After it was fully developed and tested, Harry S. Truman made the decision to drop this deadly weapon on two cities in Japan, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The counter-arguments were that the Japanese were already defeated and so ‘why was it necessary to drop the bomb?”. Especially the second type, as evidence suggests that the Japanese were already defeated. Bombing and killing the innocent people shouldn’t ever be justified, however, it was a war and the American government did warn the Japanese about the consequences of continuing the fight. On August 6, 1945, the atomic bomb enriched with uranium, coded “Little boy”, was dropped over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The project was coded ‘Trinity’ when the first and only testing of ‘Little boy’ was on July 16th, 1945, near Alamogordo, New Mexico.
Their lives were spared by President Harry Truman’s decision to deploy the most powerful weapon the world had every seen, and has ever seen since then. Though the decision to drop the Atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki has brought about a great ethical dilemma, many feel that the military use of the bombs was the correct conclusion in the end. While some disagree, many argue that the A-bombs caused Japan to agree to an unconditional surrender, sent a warning signal to the Soviet Union on the brink of another war, and prevented an invasion of the home islands and conflict with a Japanese army that was prepared to sacrifice at all costs. Using the Atomic bombs caused Japan to comply with an unconditional surrender, as well as prevented a bloody invasion. According to Henry Stimson, the Secretary of State serving at the time the bombs were dropped, had America invaded Japan, the fire raids that would have been a major part of the US strategy
The alternative for President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his advisors was doing nothing and letting Nazi Germany develop atomic power and going on to use it to conquer the world. The United States of America wanted to end World War II on both the Atlantic and Pacific fronts and needed the quickest possible method to do so. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s advisors concluded that hundreds of thousands of American lives would be lost on an assault on the island of Japan. The U.S. Armed Forces was over 16,000,000 strong and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s main motive for dropping the atom bombs was to save American lives.5 The fact of the matter is World War II was started by the Axis powers which were Germany, Italy and Japan. The Axis powers alone turned Europe upside down.
As apparent in Document C, in which the quintessential “nuclear family” sits in a bunker, concerns about nuclear war stood at the front of the American ethos. This fear of nuclear war was also reflected in Document E, in which the question is posed of whether or not the “U.S. [should] take the first blow?” This question of “whether a policy of accepting the first blow may be the best one” became intertwined within the minds of the America people, heightening American fears. President Eisenhower, while addressing the issue of the Soviet Union and its subsequent tensions through nearly doubling “defense spending…of government spending” (Document H). However, the Eisenhower administration failed to successfully mollify these fears, apparent in the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy, who pledged not to “dare to tempt [challenging nations] with weakness” (Document I).
Issue 1: The deployment of the atomic bomb in World War II was an unfortunate necessity for the United States. In a total war situation, using nuclear weapons was a solution that made the best of a bad situation. American leaders recognized the opportunity cost in terms of American lives versus the consequences of dropping the bomb. As Maddox writes, the Japanese “meant to fight the war to a finish” (5). As the Japanese began to adopt more kamikaze fighting styles, towards the end of the war, the allies came to understand the lethality of their further conflicts with the Japanese.