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

The Decision Of A Lifetime: Dropping The Atomic Bomb On Japan

2429 words - 10 pages

The dropping of the atomic bomb may be one of the most controversial topics in American history. Could there have been another way to end the war without obliterating two Japanese cities? Several historians have taken a side and stated their interpretation of the situation. There are numerous factors that can sway the argument either way depending upon how influential you determine those factors to be. Some main historians that debated this topic are Robert Maddox, Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, and Gar Alperovitz. Each of these historians provides us with different insight, and a different answer to the question, was it necessary to drop the atomic bomb to end World War II?
Historian Robert James Maddox starts the debate by siding with Truman and states that he made the right decision in dropping the bomb. Maddox uses several influential meetings, speculations and the presidents’ personal opinions on the situation to defend his statement. Some examples he uses include, Japanese military power and mentality, saving American lives, and unconditional surrender. In short, because the use of the atomic bomb occurred, the Japanese military lost their lust to fight to the end, countless lives were saved, and Japan surrendered. Therefore, although many Japanese lives were lost in the conflict the right decision was made by Harry Truman to authorize the usage of the bombs.
One of, if not the most influential part, of allowing the bombs to drop is because of the mentality of the Japanese military and the pull they had in politics. As Maddox stated, “[t]he army, not the Foreign Office controlled the situation” (Maddox, pg. 286). Although Japan had an influential leader in regards to their emperor, the military wanted to and would have engaged in war until every defender had died. Generals realized this mentality after the fight at Okinawa where the soldiers fought to the end even though they knew they weren’t going to win. This was a deadly combination because there wasn’t much the U.S could do to stop that idealism except drop the bombs. If America could display the power it had then the army would understand they did not have a chance and fall back. Therefore, through this example it can be understood why Truman had used the bomb.
Another facet of Maddox’s argument is that by dropping the bomb hundreds of thousands of American lives were saved. As stated previously, the Japanese army had no intentions of giving up. Therefore, if this were true then an invasion of Japan would have led to even more casualties due to war, which no one wanted of course. Maddox stated that “[i]n his memoirs Truman claimed that using atomic bombs prevented n invasion that would have cost 500,000 American lives” (Maddox 282). Although this number is heavily debated, just in Kyushu alone there were 900,000 troops deployed. This battle alone could have cost the U.S around 400,000 troops. Truman needed to look out for his own country and his own army. Imagine if the...

Find Another Essay On The Decision of a Lifetime: Dropping the Atomic Bomb on Japan

America's Dropping of the Atomic Bomb

1471 words - 6 pages America's Dropping of the Atomic Bomb The bomb was dropped for a number of reasons. I believe that revenge for Pearl harbour coinciding with pressure put on by President Truman to drop the bomb was significant. However many other factors were involved. These included political, military, economic, scientific factors along with Truman wanted to gain retribution for Pearl harbour. These factors along with others gave a

Dropping the Bomb: The Atomic Bomb

2143 words - 9 pages Chinua Achebe’s problem when he faces a mother and a child and the mother keeps clinging on to her child and does not give up hope. The tone in “ A Mother” is created through the use of the strong vocabulary in turn creating a tragic atmosphere. Chinua Achebe uses strong vocabulary such as “dried up lips” to demonstrate the struggle and the extent to which the child is suffering from starvation. The author also mentions “Other mothers there had

was the atomic bomb on japan necessary

1570 words - 6 pages bombs has created a mass uproar of controversy, regarding the justification of the use of nuclear weapons and/or the primary necessity of it. The dropping of the atomic bomb may be referred to as the incident. When justifying the pointless and irrational decision to drop the atomic bomb, the following situations have to be analyzed: the surrendering of the Japanese, what condition Japan (the country as a whole) was in at the time, and the views of

The dropping of the atomic bombs on japan, right or wrong?

3083 words - 12 pages In August 1945 the world changed. Two American atomic bombs were dropped on Japan with devastating effects. On the 6th of August 1945, the Enola Gay, a B- 29 Superfortress plane, dropped the atomic bomb "Little Boy" on Hiroshima. This single bomb killed 80,000 people immediately and about 60,000 more within six months. On August 9, a second atomic bomb that ultimately killed about 70,000 people was dropped on Nagasaki.The dropping of these

Deciding to Drop the Atomic Bomb on Japan

979 words - 4 pages Truman decided to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigata, and Nagasaki because Japan attacked Pearl Harbor without warning. This occurrence happened at the end of WWII. America, China, and the United Kingdom joined forces to gain surrender from the Japan armed forces. The alliance, also called the “Manhattan Project,” tested an atomic device, and were able to make weapons based on two alternate designs. One was a uranium gun-type

Saving Lives Buy Using the Atomic Bomb on Japan

2465 words - 10 pages Britain to discuss the war effort in Japan. He proposed the idea of dropping a weapon of great power on Japan to force them to surrender. The world leaders concurred that for the common welfare cannot drop this terrible bomb on the old capital or the new. They decided that the targets would be strategic or military in nature. As World War II dwindled down, the majority of Americans supported President Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb

Was Truman right to drop the atomic bomb on Japan?

1307 words - 5 pages The Second World War started in 1939's. In the beginning it was a war only in Europe, but as the time passed on, all world was getting involved in it. Some countries weren't happy about their situation and one of them was Japan. In this essay I am going to discuss why Japanese attack the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Japan getting stronger, about atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, was Truman right to drop it.War in Pacific began

President Truman: The Reasoning for Dropping the Atomic Bomb

1658 words - 7 pages Bellis, Mary. "History of the Atomic Bomb and The Manhattan Project." Inventors., 5 Mar. 2014. Web. 6 Apr. 2014. . "Counting the Dead." - Destructive Effects. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Apr. 2014. . Donohue, Nathan. "Understanding the Decision to Drop the Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki." Center for

Examing the Factors That Led To Dropping the Atomic Bomb on Nagasaki

1322 words - 5 pages hesitation or ambivalence over the decision to use atomic weapons (Walker, 51), it is important to examine what factors contributed to these swift actions. It was believed that dropping an atomic bomb on Nagasaki would resolve a number of problems in a simpler fashion than prolonging the conventional warfare until Japan finally ceded defeat. The primary goal of this extreme force was to bring a swift end to the war in the Pacific,(Walker

The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb

2000 words - 8 pages The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb On December 7, 1941, Japan bombed the United States naval facility known as Pearl Harbor. This attack brought the United States into World War Two. Within the four years that followed, the United States--under the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt-- researched and developed an atomic bomb. This was known as the Manhattan Project. Such a bomb was more powerful and destructive than any

The decision to drop the atomic bomb

1428 words - 6 pages hand.Many of the scientists who worked on or knew about the ManhattanProject did not approve the use of the weapon without a demonstration or warning theenemy about its power. Dr. Leo Szilard, who once advised Roosevelt on the possibility ofan atomic bomb, now advised Roosevelt against dropping the bomb. Szilard wantedRoosevelt to use an alternative method, or at least give Japan a warning of destructiveweapon before it was used. Dr. Szilard wrote

Similar Essays

Dropping The Atomic Bomb On Japan

830 words - 4 pages In May of 1945, with Germany’s surrender, the Allied forces achieved victory in Europe. However, World War II was not over, and fighting continued against the Japanese in the Pacific. To finally end the war, United States president at the time, Harry Truman, made the decision to drop the newly invented Atomic Bomb on two navel bases in Japan: Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Although this did lead to the end of the Second World War, President Truman’s

Dropping Of The Atomic Bomb Essay

2208 words - 9 pages determined that as many as 500,000 to one million allied soldiers would die if an invasion took place ("Decision to Drop" 2). The Allies needed the unconditional surrender of Japan to win the war, and the atomic bomb was the way to achieve this. To plan for the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan, a meeting took place at the Pentagon, the United States military headquarters, on May 31, 1945 (Hoare 51). The meeting, called the 'Interim Committee

Dropping The Atomic Bomb Essay

899 words - 4 pages On August 6, 1945 the atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanesecity of Hiroshima. The Enola Gay, piloted by Colonel Tibbetts, waschosen to make the mission. The mission was recorded as successful byCapt. William S. Parson at 9:20 A.M. This was an extremelycontroversial military strategy in the United States. Was the UnitedStates justified in the dropping of the atomic bomb? Yes, they werejustified for many reasons. The primary reason was, that it

The Use Of Atomic Bomb On Japan

1122 words - 4 pages 1939, the Nazis were rumored to be developing an atomic bomb. The United States initiated its own program under the Army Corps of Engineers in June 1942. America needed to build an atomic weapon before Germany or Japan did.Hence Roosevelt put together a group of scientists to work on nuclear technology in Los Alamos, New Mexico ? code named: The Manhattan Project.In 1945, though Germans were defeated, Japanese were still fighting on their