10 March 2023
The Atomic Decision
For the first time, the world had to hold its breath as a portion of humanity was annihilated instantly. On August 6 and 9, 1945, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively, causing unprecedented destruction and loss of life. The bombings ended World War II, but they also marked the beginning of the nuclear age and the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. Prior to the atomic bombings, the United States had been engaged in a bitter and protracted conflict with Japan, with casualties on both sides mounting steadily. A committee made up of then-President Truman and other advisors sought to end the …show more content…
As stated by Admiral William Leahy, Chief of Staff to President Truman, "The use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender…" (Document #2). The Japanese forces were surrounded, suffering significant losses, and the United States troops were already at the border of the mainland. Therefore, the use of the atomic bomb was an unjustified flex by the United States, disregarding the human lives in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan was destined to fall, nevertheless, the US saw it necessary to drop an A-bomb. Moreover, the bomb was dropped unexpectedly and quickly: “It was [the committee’s] recommendation that the bomb be used against the enemy as soon as it could be done. They recommended further that it should be used without specific warning... “ (Document 1). The advisors' recommendation that the bomb be used against the enemy without specific warning provides evidence that the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan was not solely based on the military necessity to force the Japanese to surrender. The recommendation to use the bomb without specific warning indicates that the United States was seeking to use the atomic bomb as a strategic and political tool to quickly end the war and demonstrate its technological …show more content…
Nuclear Weapons and the Escalation of the Cold War, 1945-1962. Edited by Melvyn P Leffler and Odd Arne Westad, Cambridge University Press, 2010, pp. 376–397, history.stanford.edu/publications/nuclear-weapons-and-escalation-cold-war-1945-1962.
Listwa, Dan. “Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The Long Term Health Effects.” K=1 Project, 9 Aug. 2012, https://k1project.columbia.edu/news/hiroshima-and-nagasaki.
“Manhattan Project: The Cold War, 1945-1990.” Www.osti.gov, www.osti.gov/opennet/manhattan-project-history/Events/1945-present/cold_war.htm#:~:text=Not%20only%20did%20the%20atomic. Accessed 10 Mar.
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With roughly two weeks of formal experience as the leader of the nation during a very tumultuous time, President Truman had to devise a way to end the war in Japan. When it comes down to the justification for a decision as grand as this, one has to look at the facts and understand that Truman’s decision was definitely something he had to mull over in his mind for quite some time. The understanding truly comes from the fact that Truman was made aware of the Manhattan Project only two weeks after he became President, and told by his advisors that he must make a decision. World War II, at the time, had already began to show signs of ending; however, this was because of most of the Axis Powers had been dealt with, save Japan. Despite the United States’ plea for Japan to accept an unconditional surrender, the pure brutality and honor that they possessed never ceased to exist, even though many were aware of their ineluctable downfall.
The United States decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima was barely motivated by the idea that it would intimidate the Soviet Union. Dropping the atomic bomb was designed to demoralize the Japanese and demonstrate to them that if they did not surrender, th . In Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson’s memoirs in document A, he writes, “The total strength of the Japanese army was estimated at about 5,000,000... I was informed that such operation (the invasion of Japan) might be expected to cost over a million casualties, to American forces alone” (Doc A). Stimson’s memoirs were written with the intention of being published and he knew he had to defend the government’s decision to drop the bomb and is writing from the point of view of someone
The doubts about the U.S. decision in 1945 have been discussed, analyzed, and there are still many controversies. In August 1945, the U.S. decided to use both of its two atomic bombs on Japan to end the war between them during WWII. The atomic bomb has killed about 200,000 people in the Japanese community and brought destruction to the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Even though the bomb had terminated the war by Japan surrendering, there were many who were against the action of using the bomb. The reason behind that perspective is that many innocent people have died, and Japan was near surrendering, so there was no need for a major event.
ATOMIC BOMB: HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI The end of world war II brought the extensive discussion to the world. On August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb was dropped by an American B29 bomber over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later a second B-29 dropped the second atomic bomb over Nagasaki. On August 15, Japan's emperor announced Japan's unconditional surrender, which led to the end of the war. After several years, doubt about the use of these atomic bombs has appeared, and the debate about if the dropping of the atomic bomb was the right and necessary decision.
The US decision to drop atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 has generated much controversy over the years. Some argue that the bombing was necessary to end World War II, while others believed that more than 200,000 civilians died in vain. The use of this disastrous weapon caused a split in society which came down to the usage being necessary for the victory of the Allied Powers as well as stopping more Japanese crimes or a merciless crime that greatly injured an already kneeling, surrendering nation and caused mass innocent deaths. Due to previous Japanese actions, the dropping of the atomic bomb was justified and needed to be done to protect Americans and other countries oppressed by the Japanese.
“A world without nuclear war would be less stable and more dangerous for all of us”. These words were spoken by Margaret Thatcher who supported the thought of using atomic warfare, and she wasn’t alone in this idea. President Harry S. Tuman also believed that during WWII, the use of the newly constructed atomic bombs were a crucial move that the U.S. military needed to make. The events that occured on April 6, 1945 changed the course of the war, and the invention of “Fat Man” and “Little Boy” made nuclear warfare possible for future conflicts. The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a military necessity during World War II.
Truman was the president of the United States at the time, so its obvious why he choose to drop the bomb. It would save more American lives this way. “It would have been morally wrong if we’d have had that weapon and did not use it and let a million more people die” (Doc L). If he didn’t drop it, about 400,000 to 800,000 American lives would have been lost (OI). If Japan couldn’t make war, there wouldn’t be war.
Along with the 100,000 people who were killed, “60 percent of the built-up areas of Hiroshima vanished” (William).The beliefs of the American people should not be to use weapons of this caliber. Originally the United States believed that “ Hitler was well ahead of us”( Morrison) but “by December ‘44, we learned the unmistakably… that the Germans were not a threat” (Morrison). Because the United States was the first country use an atomic weapon, it created an arms race between every country in the world. Countries were nervous that the United States had more bombs and wanted to prepare for a nuclear war if the time
In 1945 World War 2 was coming to an end, President Truman was faced with a very tough decision on whether or not to drop the atomic bombs on Japan. On August 6 1945 an American B-29 bomber dropped the worlds first atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, three days later another B-29 bomber dropped a second bomb on the city of Nagasaki in total the bombs killed well over a hundred thousand people. The use of the atomic bombs were necessary to end the war on Japan, although the bombs killed many people the use of the bombs saved hundreds of thousands of American lives, and eneded Japan’s reign of terror on the world. People believed that with only two atomic bombs ready that it was too risky to use one on a demonstration showing off the power of the bomb.
The war could easily end if the atomic bomb was dropped yet many innocent people would be killed. Truman had 2 other options to consider, he could send American troops to Japan but was at risk of many casualties. Truman's last option was to drop the bomb and give Japan a warning prior to using the bomb which is exactly what the president decided on. Although using the bomb brought the war to a quick end, not only did the U.S. not give a proper warning to Japan, but many innocent people died.
The idea of using a nuclear weapon for war has been judged from the effects that comes with the use of enormous threat. Consequently, the politics, socio-economic, and culture within Japan altered, due to the United States strategic plan to end the war. Moreover, the bombing of Hiroshima served as an catalyst to launch the Cold War in 1947.
Although the two atomic bombs killed thousands of innocent civilians the decision to drop the atomic bombs was a military necessity because it saved American troops, it helped shorten the war, and the Japanese were given fair warning and could have surrendered. The bombs “the Little Boy” and “the Fat Man” saved thousands of American troops. Japanese troops were known for fighting till the death which would have caused the war to go on longer and America would have suffered more casualties. “U.S. Army Chief of staff George Marshall thought the Americans would suffer 31,000 casualties in the first 30 days, while Admiral Ernest King, Chief of Naval Operations, put them between 31,000 and 41,000” (Atomic Bomb, 2023).
President Truman and his associates believed that if they dropped the bomb they would receive surrender from Japan. Thus, saving millions of American lives, and ending the war. Nevertheless, by saving American lives they would sacrifice thousands of Japanese civilians. They had other idea to have Japan to surrender, but were willing to take the one that would have the most consequences. They were thinking too much about the US instead of creating actually peace within the nations.
During the year of 1945, The United States possessed a lethal weapon with uncontrollable power over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Due to this unpredictable atomic bomb, World War II came to an end. Although the Atomic Bomb killed many lives, a countless amount of American lives were saved. Harry Truman was encouraged to drop the bomb because Japan didn’t follow through on the Potsdam Conference. Truman had many options to surrender Japan, which out of all the options he decided to drop the Atomic Bomb on Japan.
The use of nuclear weapons on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the Japanese Empire by the United States put a final end to World War II and made the planned invasion of the Japanese Empires homeland code named “Operation Downfall”. The decision to drop the bombs came from the United States President Truman. Truman made his decision based of the information he had at hand and the situation of the American people at home. He also had help making the decision from his advisers. Dropping the nukes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved lives on both sides of the war.