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Necessity Of The Atomic Bomb Essay

1232 words - 5 pages

The mid-twentieth century was a time of peril for the world, as a war was taking place-World War II. Even though the Germans surrendered in May of 1945, Japan was not ready to surrender so quickly. In the meantime, America had started to build an atomic bomb, all in complete secrecy, with no other country in the world knowing about it. Around the time of the Potsdam Conference, America issued an ultimatum to Japan, declaring that they surrender; however they responded in the negative. Therefore, the United States was forced to take the tough decision to use their newly created atomic bomb on Japan. The usage of this bomb was necessary because it prevented the loss of more American lives, and set the stage for the Cold War, by creating a temporary nuclear monopoly of the US, while also culminating in the arms race between the Soviet Union and America.
President Harry S. Truman, the president during the end of World War II, had a tough decision to make in deciding whether to invade Japan or bomb it with the country’s new nuclear weapon. President Truman took the advice of his top advisors in making this decision. According to a New York Times article from January 27, 1945, Dr. Compton, a member of the National Defense committee, stated that “the use of the atomic bomb saved hundreds of thousands of –perhaps several millions-of lives, both American and Japanese…without its use the war would have continued for many more months.” The opinion of the people after the dropping of the bomb displays how strong of a conviction the general public had in this idea, as they believed that not invading Japan actually did save America a myriad of lives. However, before this decision was made, this was the main argument used by President Truman to drop the atomic bomb instead of invading the country. According to Victoria Sherrow, author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb, President Truman wrote, in his personal journal, how “Military leaders warned that there would be tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands of U.S. military casualties during the initial phase of the invasion” Truman stated that his “object is to save as many American lives as possible.” Ultimately, the goal set for President Truman was to find a way to win the war, with the fewest American casualties, and this path ended up leading to the decision to drop the atomic bomb as it met this criteria.
The decision to drop the atomic bomb also displayed the US dominance in this building of nuclear weapons, while also creating a temporary nuclear monopoly of the US in the world. According to Martin J. Sherwin, author of an article about the origins of the Cold War, “Recognizing the monopoly of the atomic bomb gave the United States a powerful new military advantage.” This powerful nuclear weapon made the United States superior to all as it could possibly bomb any country or destroy anything that came in its way. This monopoly and diplomacy on the part of the US led to the ultimate surrender of Japan in...

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