The Atomic Bomb: The Only Way To End The War?

1655 words - 7 pages

In Richard B. Frank’s book, Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire, he discusses the options that the American military had to end the war in the spring and summer of 1945. Frank also discusses the issues and influences of the decision-making process. As well as the reason, why the American military actually chose to unleash atomic power as a war-winning weapon when America had already used means that were more “conventional” that drastically reduced the Japanese Empire. Frank’s opinion in his book has led to many controversial debates from many people.
Richard B. Frank states in his introduction of Ending the Pacific War: History and Fantasy that, “In the spring of 1945, the JCS (Joint Chiefs of Staff) forged a military strategy that merged two diametrically opposing visions into an unstable compromise.” The unstable compromise was between the United States Naval leader, Fleet Admiral Ernest King and Unites States Army leader, George C. Marshall. King’s vision of ending the war was through blockade and bombardment. This would follow by strong aerial attack from land and sea, which was King’s area of expertise throughout the war in the Pacific. The reason why King’s vision was this way was also that he believed the Japanese would continue to be able to produce enough armed forces to stop all of the United States ground forces thus resulting in a prolonged war and many unnecessary casualties. Similar to King’s tendencies, Marshall invested all of his vision into his area of expertise that was ground forces and little of his vision of attack through the air. Marshall believed that if he attacked the small chain of islands throughout Japan he would force the Japanese people to retreat and eventually surrender because of the severely crippled country. Because of these two conflicting solutions with regard to ending the war in the Pacific, the Joint Chiefs of Staff decided in May 1945, that it would be best to combine the two solutions rather than pour all of their efforts into one solution or the other. The plan was to continue the bombardment of the islands for six months and if Japan had not surrendered, at that point, the army would enter into a two-phase invasion of Japan and the codename of the overall operation was Operation Downfall. The first phase of the plan was to overtake approximately one third of the southern island of Kyushu and use the southern third of the island as air and naval bases, this phase’s name was Operation Olympic. Operation Olympic was specifically designed to support the second phase of the plan which was named Operation Coronet. Operation Coronet had one and only focus was to secure the region of Tokyo-Yokohama. This plan supported the overall goal of what the Joint Chiefs of Staff were focused on which was an unconditional surrender to insure that the Japanese government never posed a threat to peace ever again. When President Harry S. Truman reviewed this proposal, he rejected Operation Coronet but...

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