This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

History Atomic Bomb Essay

3466 words - 14 pages


In early August 1945 atomic bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These two bombs quickly yielded the surrender of Japan and the end of American involvement in World War II. By 1946 the two bombs caused the death of perhaps as many as 240,000 Japanese citizens1. The popular, or traditional, view that dominated the 1950s and 60s – put forth by President Harry Truman and Secretary of War Henry Stimson – was that the dropping of the bomb was a diplomatic maneuver aimed at intimating and gaining the upper hand in relations with Russia. Today, fifty-four years after the two bombings, with the advantage of historical hindsight and the advantage of new evidence, a third view, free of obscuring bias and passion, can be presented. First, the dropping of the bomb was born out of complex infinite military, domestic and diplomatic pressures and concerns. Second, many potentially viable alternatives to dropping the bombs were not explored by Truman and other men in power, as they probably should have been. Lastly, because these alternatives were never explored, we can only conjecture over whether or not Truman’s decision was a morally just one, and if indeed it was necessary to use atomic energy to win the war.
     The war in Asia had its roots in the early 1930s. Japan had expansionist aims in Eastern Asia and the Western Pacific, especially in Indochina2. In July of 1940 the United States placed an embargo on materials exported to Japan, including oil in the hope of restraining Japanese expansionism. Nevertheless, tensions remained high in Asia, and only increased in 1939 when Germany ignited World War II with an invasion of Poland. America’s determination to remain isolated changed abruptly following Japan’s “surprise attack” on Pearl Harbor on December 7th 1941. Military strategists and politicians poured the majority of American war effort into the European theater, and before the United States could fully mobilize most of South-East Asia had fallen to Japan, including the Philippines. Slowly, the United States recaptured the many small islands invaded by Japan, including Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. These “Japanese forces waged a stubborn, often suicidal battles were ferocious; although the Americans won each, resistance.” They demolished the Japanese fleet and established air bases3, for at the naval battle of Midway Island, America supporting conventional bombing.
     Under the guidance of President Roosevelt, a top-secret joint effort between America and the United Kingdom had begun to build an atomic bomb that could be used against Germany. Run by General Leslie R. Groves at locations such as Los Alamos, New Mexico, this project then called by its code name only to a handful of scientists and politicians. Truman learned of the project, then called by its code name S-1 (and later as the Manhattan Project), from Secretary of War...

Find Another Essay On History Atomic Bomb Essay

The Atomic Bomb: Necessary and Just. This essay delves into justifications for the use of Atomic Weaponry during the second World War

1533 words - 6 pages Many questions lie within the history of the United States of America. Was there a second gunman involved in the assassination of JFK? Did we really go to the moon? Who really framed Roger Rabbit? All of these questions, valid or not, can be proven by facts and logistics. One of the harder, philosophical questions we must ask, however, is the use of the Atomic Bomb during World War II. True, there are many facts to bolster each side of this

Atomic Bomb Essay

717 words - 3 pages The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb World War II was the most widespread and costly war in the history of our country. It lasted for six years bringing conquest, slaughter, misery and death. It was fought by approximately 70 million people and shifted the balance of power away from Western Europe into the hands of the United States and the Soviet Union. The cost in human lives was tremendous and loss of property was so great that we can set no

Atomic Bomb

2155 words - 9 pages Atomic Bombing Of Hiroshima On the quiet morning of August 6, 1945, the United States shocked the world by dropping an atomic bomb over the city of Hiroshima, Japan. (www.grolier.com) Hiroshima was a major industrial city with an estimated population of almost 400,000 people. A B-29 bomber was loaded with the Atomic Bomb and left the United States Pacific air base at 2:45 a.m. local time and dropped the bomb at 8:15 a.m. The bomb was

Atomic Bomb

2368 words - 9 pages the PacificOperation Downfall : Olympic and CoronetThe Invasion of Japan." Pacific War, Operation Downfall. 14 Mar. 2014 <http://www.ww2pacific.com/downfall.html>."World War II: Second Atomic Bomb That Ended the War." History Net Where History Comes Alive World US History Online World War II Second Atomic Bomb That Ended the War Comments. Weider History Group. 15 Mar. 2014 <http://www.historynet.com/world-war-ii-second-atomic-bomb-that

Atomic Bomb

741 words - 3 pages “Children died in Hiroshima, and America did it… We cannot deny the distinction between killing a soldier in the field and bombing a baby in the crib and not forfeit most of our claims for differentiating men from jungle beasts,” says Murray Kempton (Benson, 2002). The Manhattan Project, the Atomic Bomb, or whatever you may call it, was it really a success? Did Truman bomb the Japanese to save more lives, or did he do it for fame and fortune? In

Atomic bomb

1752 words - 7 pages The atomic bomb ended a war of massive death and destruction, but began an age exercising the same principles: the Atomic Age. At the time of the disasters in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the bomb appeared as a promise of peace to the entire world. It had ended a costly and gruesome war, beginning a time of pacification and repose. Compared to the technology of 1945, the atomic bomb looked too powerful and unethical ever to be used again. It was seen

Atomic bomb

2357 words - 10 pages . Truman announced to the world that the atomic bomb involved the “harnessing of the basic power of the universe.” The Japanese still did not surrender, even after the Soviet Union entered the war against Japan on August 8.” (Jefferies, John w. “Hiroshima and Nagasaki. “In Jefferies, John w., and Gary B. Nash, eds. Encyclopedia of American History: The Great Depression and World War 2, 1929 to 1945, Revised edition). Bushido is a belief in Japan

Atomic Bomb

1517 words - 6 pages On the morning of August 6, 1945, the first Atomic Bomb in history was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Soon after, on August 14, 1945, the Japanese abruptly surrendered, abandoning their ancient customs regarding honor in war. The fact that only two bombs were able to bring an entire country to its knees is a true testament to the awesome power they held. There is nothing in

The Atomic Bomb

1402 words - 6 pages that radioactivity is produced is by neutron irradiation of soils or buildings. The neutrons from the bomb make up less than 10% of the atomic bomb radiation. The gamma rays make up most of the radiation, but they do not cause ground materials to become radioactive. As proven, the radiation is so small that it cannot have any detectable effects on human health. As shown in this paper, the Atomic Bomb made its mark in history. It was not planned

The Atomic Bomb

1711 words - 7 pages The former Vice President and the new President, Harry S. Truman, made the crucial decision to drop the first ever atomic bomb. The bomb was named “Little Boy,” and it was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on the sixth of August in 1945. Just three days later on August ninth, President Harry Truman made another vital, yet difficult, decision to drop a second atomic bomb. This one was called “Fat Man” and was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan

The Atomic Bomb

2433 words - 10 pages . Asimov's Biographical Encyclopedia of Science & Technology. 2nd ed. New York: Doubleday, 1978.• Badash, Lawrence. "Manhattan Project." Dictionary of American History. Vol. 4. New York: Charles Scriber's Sons, 1976.• Beyer, Don. The Manhattan Project. New York: Franklin Watts, 1991.• Hewlett, Richard. "Atomic Bomb." Dictionary of American History. Vol. 1. New York: Charles Scriber's Sons, 1976.• Wood, Linda. "Men and Mission of the Manhattan Project." World War 2. Jul. 1995: 38-45. SIRS Researcher. CR computer network. SIRS, 1995.

Similar Essays

Atomic Bomb Essay

2418 words - 10 pages Atomic Bomb Essay In 1945, World War Two was coming to an end. Following Adolf Hitler’s suicide, and Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender on May 7, 1945, the war in Europe was finally over. The allies began began postwar planning for future, as well as establishment of post-war order and peace treaties issues. America’s war wasn’t done yet as they were still fighting Japan

Atomic Bomb Critical Research Essay World History Essay

771 words - 4 pages Sarah Webb World History II Dr. Ford 3/22/17 On December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, a military base in Hawaii. It took America almost 4 years to retaliate against the Japanese. Still to this day there are historians that are debating whether America should have dropped the atomic bombs or if the government had known certain things if we would have still dropped the bombs on innocent Japanese civilians. Many innocent lives were

The Decision To Drop The Atomic Bomb Dublin/ History Essay

1308 words - 6 pages ? ?had? ?ever? ?approached? ?up? ?to? ?that? ?point? ?and? ?time? ?in? ?history.? ?The? ?atomic bomb? ?was? ?dropped? ?on? ?Japan? ?twice,? ?and? ?ended? ?the? ?war? ?between? ?the? ?U.S? ?and? ?Japan.? ?But still? ?today,? ?people? ?are? ?still? ?questioning? ?is? ?whether? ?the? ?dropping? ?of? ?the? ?bomb? ?was justifiable.? ?To? ?end? ?the? ?long? ?disputed? ?argument,? ?I? ?will? ?tell? ?you? ?that? ?the? ?dropping? ?of? ?the bomb? ?is

Atomic Bomb Dbq Essay History Essay

977 words - 4 pages 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