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Hiroshima Essay

1168 words - 5 pages

Before the Japanese city Hiroshima was bombed, as early as July 1945, the city was targeted for something else. While the atomic bomb is highly criticized for its destruction, the United States’ government believed it was a necessary measure for the time. Faced with a lack of other options, the use of nuclear warfare was viewed as the most efficient way to end American involvement in the war. Looking back at the tragedy, alternative solutions could have improved the situation, creating benefits for both sides. Hiroshima was a devastating military blow to Japan with high physical damage, but its impact did not help the United States achieve its desired political goals of ending the war quickly, with minimal loss of life.

With specific objectives, the United States’ decision to drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima required extensive research leading to its production. The main goal of the American side was to damage the enemy’s confidence, while choosing a target with the highest military output in order to conclude the war (Avalon Project- Chapter 5, par. 5). The group in charge of developing the technology was known as the Manhattan Project, and was kept top-secret. Selection began in the spring of 1945, with assistance from the Commanding General, Army Air Forces, his Headquarters (Avalon Project- Chapter 5, par. 2) .There was a variety of experts working on the project, including mathematicians, theoretical physicists, and specialists trained in weather and blast effects Headquarters (Avalon Project- Chapter 5, par. 4) . In order to monitor all of the results, the city had to be untouched, meaning the target had to have no signs of previous bombings. Based on these requirements, the designation of Hiroshima for the bombing was not a simple determination. After a target was selected and the weapon was developed, testing was set to begin. On July 16, 1945, the first test in Alamogordo, New Mexico, proved that the bomb was prepared for release onto the Japanese population (Seibert 1).The calculations revealed the bomb’s maximum blast effect was intended for a target over one mile in radius, meaning the population had to be crowded, making it perfect for urban Hiroshima. (Avalon Project- Selection par.5).Now that a strategy was in place, it was time to prepare for the attack and the outcomes that would follow.

Besides the physical aspects of the atomic bomb, the political reasons must also be taken into consideration. When justifying the actions taken against Hiroshima, President Harry Truman viewed the bomb as a horrifying and necessary WMD (Weapon of Mass Destruction) that would help protect the American country from unwanted harm (Walker 146). Truman’s Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, even called the bomb “a Frankenstein monster that could devour mankind” (Walker 44).A certain level of premeditation was involved with this nuclear warfare, and as of July 1945, the city had been reserved for the bombing, meaning no American bombers were allowed...

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