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The Bomb Essay

1692 words - 7 pages

It is the morning of August 6, 1945. On the runway sits the Enola Gay, an American B-29 bomber, powering up her engines to leave for a mission that would change the world forever. Meanwhile, in Hiroshima, Japan, 2 B-29 bombers were sighted passing over the city by local military watchers. They are passed off as reconnaissance planes, and nothing more. The people continue about their daily lives. Enola Gay approached her target. She climbed to about 31,000 feet and finished the settings on "Little Boy", the atomic bomb sitting in the bomb bay. At 8:11 a.m. "The Bomb" was dropped on Hiroshima.Much controversy has swelled in the decades that have followed the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Many people understand that the bombing of Hiroshima was seen as a possible necessity at the time to end the war. But why was Nagasaki bombed? There are opinions that say Japan got the message after Hiroshima that they were going to surrender. This is far from true. Some weeks before, there were meetings held at Potsdam, Germany. American President Harry S. Truman and the heads of the United Nations had come up with a package that would allow the Japanese to surrender to the United Nations unconditionally. They would be able to return to their way of life without worry of outside policing by the nations involved in the war. It is believed that the Cold War between the United States and the USSR began here. Truman had a strategy of a "Delayed Showdown" in an effort to delay the Potsdam meeting until after the nuclear test. He was advised that the A-Bomb would intimidate the Russians for political leverage (Alperovitz, Gar. The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb, Alfred A. Knoph, inc. New York. 1995, p.41).The basic essence of the Potsdam Declaration was that there would be a regime of control over Japan, preventing it from starting another great war. If the Japanese surrendered their arms, they would be able to go about their lives like they had before the war. They would also be allowed to rebuild their factories, railroads, and homes while leaving the past to the past.Japan had no desire to agree with the West's demand for "unconditional surrender". Japanese Prime Minister Suzuki Kantaro, unwilling to abandon the emperor, which he believed would be required under unconditional surrender, decided to "slightly ignore" the declaration (Brummett, Palmira [et al.]. Civilizations Past & Present-11th ed. Pearson Education Inc. p.933).In hindsight it appears as if there existed alternatives to the dropping of the atomic bombs: a non-combat demonstration, a modification of the demand for unconditional surrender, a pursuit of Japanese peace seekers, awaiting Soviet entry into the war and lastly continuing conventional warfare: aerial bombing of cities and naval blockades. Japan was clearly not for the type of surrender that was being demanded by the United Nations.The military pressures stemmed from discussion and meetings Truman had with Secretary of War...

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