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The Atomic Bomb Essay

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 when they failed to surrender (Operation Downfall, 2014). Thomas Ferebee pressed the button that dropped “Little Boy” on Hiroshima. Jacob Beser served on both the Hiroshima crew and the Nagasaki crew and was quoted that he would drop them again ...view middle of the document...

But it was not just one man’s decision that caused the mass destruction in Japan, but a group of men. Although the atomic bomb cost an incredible amount of lives, President Harry Truman, of the United States, believed that he had no other choice – he had to drop the first atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima. His decision to do this was based on the predicted amount of lives that would have been lost during the invasion of mainland Japan that would have surpassed the number of lives lost resulting from the atomic bomb (How the Atomic Bomb, 2006).
Operation Downfall was a plan, made by the Allied Powers to invade Japan during World War II (How the Atomic Bomb, 2006). Not many people knew about it back then and many still do not know about it today. The plan for Operation Downfall was finalized during the spring and summer months of 1945. The plan was to have two huge military undertakings to be carried out in succession. The location of these undertakings was aimed at the central part of the Japanese Empire (How the Atomic Bomb, 2006). Japan wasn’t completely in the dark of this idea of Operation Downfall. They also had a plan to counter attack the United States if Operation Downfall were to actually occur. The two invasions made by the United States on Japan would have significantly caused a large amount of lives to be lost. The first operation was called Operation Olympic. This operation consisted of the American troops landing on Japanese grounds and assaulting from both the land and the water. The second operation was called Operation Coronet. The goal of this operation was to get Japan to surrender (How the Atomic Bomb, 2006). Then they stepped back to think about the amount of soldiers they would have lost during these two invasions. Admiral William Leahy estimated the amount of American soldiers that would be killed or wounded in just one operation would be more that 250,000 men. They weighed the pros and cons of both the invasion and the bombings. They figured the invasions might work but they would not force Japan to surrender and they might lose more of their own troops in the invasions. President Harry Truman cleared the operations on July 24, 1945 but the first invasion didn’t start because of the Potsdam Convention. The Potsdam Convention called for Japan to surrender or be completely destroyed by American troops (How the Atomic Bomb, 2006). Japan refused to surrender and starting arming all of their citizens with weapons to prepare for the invasion by the Americans. This is when the United States realized that they would not be able to defeat the Japanese through invasion alone. They were going to have to use a different method of destruction if they wanted to defeat Japan and keep their own troops safe.
When Harry Truman had taken over after Franklin Delano Roosevelt died in office on April 12, 1945 he had no idea that atomic bombs were even being produced (Truman: HST Biography, 2014). Harry Truman and...

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