A New Weapon Of Devastation Essay

1053 words - 5 pages

“Suddenly, there was an enormous flash of light, the brightest light I have ever seen or that I think anyone has ever seen. It blasted; it pounced; it bored its way into you. It was a sight which was seen with more than the eye. It was seen to last forever. You would wish it would stop; altogether it lasted about two seconds.” (Isaac)

The decision to employ atomic weapons against Japan remains a controversial chapter in American history. Even before the new President Harry S. Truman finalized his decision to use the bombs, members of the President’s inner circle grappled with the specifics of the decision to drop the new weapon, including those who were the backbones of the Manhattan project, the very scientists that gave birth to this devastating weapon. President Truman should have listened well to the creators, their well-founded concerns revolved around a cluster of related issues: whether the use of the technology was necessary to defeat an already crippled Japan; whether a similar outcome could be effected without using the bomb against civilian targets; and what effect the demonstration of the bomb’s devastating power would have on postwar diplomacy. (Hamner)

The devastating strikes of the atomic bomb on two of Japan’s cities should be phrased as “kicking a country while it’s down.” President Harry Truman was torn at the decision to mark Hiroshima as their new target. Historians speculate that the president’s advisors on the matter were exceedingly different, including the opinion of the military, the scientists in the Manhattan Project, all of the Allies, and of course the president himself. Japan had already suffered approximately 9,702,000 deaths, and with the first strike, added 672,000 lives to the list. In 1995, anticipating the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum planned a display around the fuselage of the Enola Gay, the aircraft that dropped the first bomb, for its museum on the National Mall. That exhibit would place the invention of atomic weapons and the decision to use them on civilian targets the focus of the media’s attention.

Scientists now would rightly argue that the implementation of atomic weapon was not necessary to achieve a similar outcome. In WWII, many more weapons of mass destruction were invented for warfare, why didn’t they use those? Aircraft and artillery were mass produced at the time. Why was Japan just carpet bombed? Apparently, President Truman was influenced by his military advisor, who said, “We must use the most powerful force last to prove our superiority and finish them off”(MAAG). This seems brutal at first, but imagine yourself in President Truman’s shoes. At the end of complaints of a country to do something. Your little island was just bombed, why not kill their’s? Truman took these words to heart, and made a decision that would tear a city apart.

Long before the invention of the atomic bomb, power was in numbers. Hitler controlled...

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