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Hiroshima And Nagasaki Essay

2923 words - 12 pages

With the approval of American President Harry S. Truman, the fates of two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were sealed. This decision came with heavy hearts, as the United States attempted to end their involvement in World War II by using nuclear power against the nation of Japan. Truman’s primary goal in this form of attack was to discontinue the war as quickly as possible, while also sending a message to the enemy and establish the United States as the leader in atomic energy. Beginning as a secret operation labeled the Manhattan Project, atomic bombs became the new weapons of mass destruction. The evident frontrunner in nuclear technology, the United States was the first country to release atomic bombs on another nation for war purposes (not including testing), eventually creating a window for today’s modern combat.

Even though it was common knowledge between scientists since 1939 that nuclear warfare was a possibility, no specialists understood the process of inventing the explosive devices. The United States, along with the United Kingdom, underhandedly worked on the Manhattan project, doling out and collaborating information until the atom bomb was completed. It was a necessity for this international government project to remain a secret, in order to make sure that Germany did not make any atomic discoveries before the Allied powers, and to surprise the Japanese with the bombings. With this goal in mind, it was essential that information would not Due to this cloak-and-dagger secrecy, the attacks were unexpected to the inhabitants of Japan, especially the residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

With specific objectives, the United States’ decision to drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima required extensive research leading to its production. In fact, with encouragement from Albert Einstein, Truman began the project. On the record, as documented in his August 2, 1939, letter to FDR, Albert Einstein believed that “In the course of the last four months it has been made probable- through the work of Joliot in France as well as Fermi and Szilard in America- that it may become possible to set up a nuclear chain reaction in a large mass of uranium, by which vast amounts of power and large quantities of new radium-like elements would be generated. Now it appears almost certain that this could be achieved in the immediate future” (Einstein 1, par. 2). Based on this information, he thought it was essential for the United States to be involved, and so on his advice, production began.

If the bombings accomplished one goal of the United States, it was the level of destruction rampant throughout the cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. A constant variable present in both incidents was the harm inflicted upon the people, buildings, and government forces, which were all in the center of the cities. While the United States caused irreplaceable damage, it failed to aid other goals that were needed to crippling the enemy’s power. Although industries...

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