Between 1941 and 1945 almost half a million Americans lost their lives in the name of their country. Even though WWii was winding down in Europe by the spring of 1945, at this time in the Pacific, there was no sign of Japanese retreat. Between the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa alone, more than 18,000 American soldiers were killed and 36,000 more were recorded wounded. By the time President Harry Truman came to office in 1945, he knew that the weight of the world had fallen on his shoulders. He was quickly informed on the Manhattan Project in which 120,000 people and two billion dollars were spent researching the upcoming detonation of the world’s first atomic bomb. The issue of using nuclear warfare has always been disputable in every situation.
To this day, many Americans still do not quite understand the reason behind the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan in August of 1945. Evaluation of evidence has shown that this particular event was more of a diplomatic and political maneuver to intimidate the Soviet Union, a rising world power consisting of communism, rather than a military strategy of saving millions of valued American lives while sacrificing the virtually anonymous citizens of Japan and to induce unconditional surrender from the Japanese.
Henry L. Stimson (Document A), Secretary of War in 1947, stated: “The principle political, social, and military objective of the United States in the summer of 1945 was the prompt and complete surrender of Japan.” The war was dragging on for an excessive amount of time and costing too many resources. The most concerning resource was the amount of American lives lost; by the end of the war this number totaled to about 400,000. To most bystanders, the drop of the Atomic bomb in Japan was clearly seen as strictly an opportunity to save American lives immediately (Document G). Also, Truman’s response (Document H) to the use of the Atomic bomb was that “we have used it in order to shorten the agony of war in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans.”
There is no doubt that without such a devastating event causing the Japanese surrender additional Americans would have lost their lives during WWII, however, many people are suspicious that there was an alternate outcome the strategists of the United States had in mind. “It always appeared to us that, atomic bomb or no atomic bomb, the Japanese were already on the verge of collapse,” (Document B). There was much speculation about exactly how close Japan truly was to surrendering by the time the bombs were dropped. This posed an issue to the publicly announced reason the U.S used for dropping the bomb in defense of future American lives at stake, especially since “at that time…Japan was essentially defeated,” (Document F). The world did not buy the excuse for the catastrophe that the United States...