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 nuclear bombs is perhaps one of the most debated decisions in history. There are many arguments as to whether it should or should not have happened but we will never really know the truth as we can not go into the heads of Truman and his advisors or Suzuki the Japanese Prime Minister. Truman said to an aid, "I am going to have to make a decision which no man in history has ever had to make... it is terrifying to think about what I will have to decide."Truman's decision was a hard one to make as there were many reasons for and against the bombs. We assume that his decision was altruistic, trying to make the best possible decision based on the information that he had at the time. The main reason given for dropping the bomb was that it was going to shorten the war and save American lives. Truman said he had acted "In order to shorten the agony of war, in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans."A plan for the invasion of Japan had been drawn up, Operation Olympic was scheduled for November 1945. Truman was of course reluctant to launch another land invasion as he had just suffered from the battle of Okinawa. The Japanese had defended their home islands with huge ferocity sending out one hundred and ninety three kamikaze planes. Out of these attacks launched against the American fleet, 169 were destroyed. Those planes that managed to get through did cause a great deal of damage, especially to America's carrier fleet which unlike the British carriers did not have armoured flight decks. However, the destruction of so many kamikaze flights did a great deal to undermine the potential for damage that the kamikazes could have inflicted.The battle of Okinawa which lasted from the 1st of April 1945 until the 21st of June 1945 was the bloodiest part of the Pacific War, with U.S forces losing 12,613 soldiers and 40.000 were wounded. Also more than 110,000 Japanese soldiers were killed. After this Truman's military advisors estimated an invasion of Japan could cost the lives of one million Americans. The Operation Olympic plan, was scheduled for November 1945. Truman horrified by these figures searched for an alternative way to end the war, as American emotion was high after sustaining heavy losses in Okinawa.Japan had a very proud and honorable psyche. The Japanese would rather commit suicide than be beaten. They still followed the tradition of the Bushido, an ancient tradition of self disembowelment. In more extreme forms, dying honorably would consist of, the training of young children to be...

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