Atomic Decision Dbq

1362 Words6 Pages

Yash Patel
Mr. Waters
World History
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.

Show More
Open Document