preview

Truman's Decision To Drop The Atomic Bombs

Good Essays
World War II was one of the biggest conflicts in the history of the world. It was a conflict between the Allies — Britain, American, and France — and the Axis Powers — Germany, Italy, and Japan. America entered the war in 1941 when the Japanese surprise attack our naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. At the start of the conflict, the 32nd President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, was our Chief in Command that had just let the nation through one of its most trying times, the Great Depression. In 1942, Roosevelt began a top secret project led by Robert J. Oppenheimer. The Manhattan Project was started in fears that Nazi Germany was going to create the ultimate weapon, powered by the natural forces of fission. As President and wartime Commander, Roosevelt…show more content…
The reason they say that Truman decided to drop the atomic bombs was so that they could try to get ahead of the Soviet Union. Gar Alperovitz is one of the most popular advocators for this reason. He stated that Truman dropped the bombs to demonstrate the power of America, and so that Russia could not enter the war to get new territorial acquisitions. If the Soviet Union was allowed to enter the war, then they could get some of the Japanese assets in China, which would have favored Russia greatly. Alperovitz’s conclusion was that Truman did this “to convince the Russians to accept the American plan for a stable peace”(Harry). Sure, Truman may have realized that he might be able to “put down” the Soviet Union and force the Japanese to surrender, sort of a kill two birds with one stone. However, implying that this was the impelling reason for President Truman wanting to drop the bomb is absurd. Two major pieces of evidence used in this argument are the fact that the Soviet Union’s entry into the war almost certainly pressured the Japanese into surrender, and that General Dwight D. Eisenhower asked Secretary of War Henry L Stimson personally to not drop the bomb while at Potsdam. With the Soviet Union’s entry into the war, it was only likely that Japan would surrender. If they didn’t, that would still lead to Operation Downfall, and that was not an option President Truman wanted. To counter the claims that Eisenhower objected to the bomb, Barton Bernstein, a Stanford History Professor, dug through all of the historical evidence and journals from the Potsdam conference, and concluded that “this kind of conversation with Stimson never occurred and that Eisenhower never said or even implied that the bomb should not be dropped”(Harry). The claims of Alperovits and the other scholars in agreement with him are preposterous, as the Japanese very well could have
Get Access