Why We Had To Drop The Bomb History Essay

4301 words - 18 pages

On the morning of August 6, 1945, the American B-29 Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later another B-29, Bock’s Car , released one over Nagasaki. Both caused enormous casualties and physical destruction. These two cataclysmic events have preyed upon the American conscience ever since. The furor over the Smithsonian institution’s Enola Gay exhibit and over the mushroom-cloud postage stamp last autumn are merely the most obvious examples. Harry S. Truman and other officials claimed that the bombs caused Japan to surrender, thereby avoiding a bloody invasion. Critics have accused them of at best failing to explore alternatives, at worst of using the bombs primarily to make the Soviet Union “more manageable” rather than to defeat a Japan they knew already was on the verge of capitulation.
By any rational calculation Japan was a beaten nation by the summer of 1945. Conventional bombing had reduced many of its cities to rubble, blockade had strangled its importation of vitally needed materials, and its navy had sustained such heavy losses as to be powerless to interfere with the invasion everyone knew was coming. By late June advancing American forces had completed the conquest of Okinawa, which lay only 350 miles from the southernmost Japanese home island of Kyushu. They now stood poised for the final onslaught.
 
Okinawa provided a preview of what an invasion of the home islands would entail. Rational calculations did not determine Japan’s position.
Rational calculations did not determine Japan’s position. Although a peace faction within the government wished to end the war—provided certain conditions were met—militants were prepared to fight on regardless of consequences. They claimed to welcome an invasion of the home islands, promising to inflict such hideous casualties that the United States would retreat from its announced policy of unconditional surrender. The militarists held effective power over the government and were capable of defying the emperor, as they had in the past, on the ground that his civilian advisers were misleading him.
Okinawa provided a preview of what invasion of the home islands would entail. Since April 1 the Japanese had fought with a ferocity that mocked any notion that their will to resist was eroding. They had inflicted nearly 50,000 casualties on the invaders, many resulting from the first large-scale use of kamikazes. They also had dispatched the superbattleship Yamato on a suicide mission to Okinawa, where, after attacking American ships offshore, it was to plunge ashore to become a huge, doomed steel fortress. Yamato was sunk shortly after leaving port, but its mission symbolized Japan’s willingness to sacrifice everything in an apparently hopeless cause.
The Japanese could be expected to defend their sacred homeland with even greater fervor, and kamikazes flying at short range promised to be even more devastating than at Okinawa. The Japanese had more than...

Find Another Essay On Why we had to drop the bomb - History - Essay

The decision to drop the atomic bomb

1428 words - 6 pages unconditional surrender of the Japanese. The question thatplagued the world was, "did we have to drop the bombs?". Was Truman right in hisdecision to drop a weapon with inconceivable power on two cities inhabited mostly bycivilians?In 1938 the United States got word that the Germans were producing thetechnology for an atomic bomb. We then started our own research project on nuclearweapons, its code name was "The Manhattan District (project)." The Manhattan

The Decision To Drop The Atomic Bomb

903 words - 4 pages use of the atomic bomb by the United States has its pros and cons. However, when you look at it in perspective, it was a wise decision in diplomatic and political terms, but not so much in ethical terms. The main argument anyone can make in opposition to the use of the atomic bombs is: why did the United States have to kill so many innocent people. In a diplomatic sense, the U.S, needed to drop those bombs to end the war according to the

Truman's Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb

773 words - 3 pages , is the idea of some one else winning the war that we have been most leading warriors in. This thought brings me to my next motive of why Truman might have dropped the bomb. I do not think Truman was unaware of the lasting effects of the atom bomb, but by the time these facts were presented to him, piled upon facts about the actual bomb and the projects supporting them, it was to late to change his decision. He needed to save face for America

America's Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb

2941 words - 12 pages , try not to be bound by the decisions you have made in the past.” If Japan had offered peace terms, and were willing to negotiate, why was it necessary to drop the atomic bomb in order to bring about peace? Had Truman opted for peaceful negotiations, he may have received the same ends (saving American lives) without ever killing thousands of innocent Japanese civilians. For reasons unknown, Truman decided to defer from peace talks-a much more

Truman's Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb

509 words - 2 pages Imagine yourself making the toughest decision in your life, whether sacrificing a million of our men and thousands of war ships and plans, verses several thousand of Japanese civilian populists. This decision was on the shoulder of Harry S. Truman, the United States President, who had to make this decision by deciding whether or not to drop a newly designed weapon. The atomic bomb was tested in the sands of New Mexico, where it proved to be

Drop The Bomb?

622 words - 2 pages necessary? Was it too harsh and cruel to the Japanese? The first question was whether or not to drop a bomb. The effects of atomic warfare had not been known and studied, but it was apparent that it would be a good tool in ending the war. The first bomb did appear necessary to ending the war. It would put Japan in check to bring a quick finish to the fighting, saving many lives, as well as prevent the Russians from joining the

Understanding the Decisions to Drop The Atomic Bomb

1583 words - 6 pages Studies. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014. This article broke down some of the main reasons why the United States dropped the atomic bombs as well as explaining the other options the US would have been faced with if the bombs had not been dropped. It truly helped readers to understand ‘the Decision to Drop the Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki’ as its title states. Truman, Harry S. “Harry S. Truman, Diary, July 25, 1945." Atomic Bomb: Decision. N.p

Problems with The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb

2000 words - 8 pages greatest tragedies against civilians during wartime, something that President Roosevelt had presented to other nations not to do during wartime. In a memorandum to President Truman, Secretary of War Henry Stimson stated; “Within four months we shall in all probability have completed the most terrible weapon ever known in human history, one bomb which could destroy a whole city.” President Truman knew that many civilians would be killed, but this

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

Deciding to Drop the Atomic Bomb on Japan

979 words - 4 pages practice in an isolated desert field for over a year before the actual bombing. They had practiced to drop only one bomb. I feel that it was very tragic what happened in Japan. I don’t think that dropping a bomb was a good solution to the dispute with Japan. In my opinion a problem can never be solved with violence, and all violence has only been countered with more violence in our nation. I feel that the least our nation could have done

Was is necessary to drop the A bomb on Hiroshima?

565 words - 2 pages it was necessary to drop the devastating blast in World War II. Although it is hard to predict what would have happened if it wasn't, it is almost certain that the casualties that would result in continuing battles would have been greater. Thus I strongly believe that the Atomic bomb was necessary. USA had been fighting a fierce war with Japan since 1941 and the morale as well as the resources of the military was extremely low. It was an

Similar Essays

Why Did America Drop The Atomic Bomb?

927 words - 4 pages but for several other reasons.The Atomic bomb was to be developed before the Germans could develop it and before the war finished. America had spent a lot of money on the bomb and thus had to justify the cost, the war gave a chance for the Americans to drop the bomb and see if the bomb could do what it was actually made for, destroy whole cities. This may be of course a more coarse and cynical explanation but certainly it would give the US an

"The Shift In Atomic Bomb Attitude" Assignment: Why Did Attitudes Change After The Atomic Bomb Had Been Dropped?

2410 words - 10 pages United States was being portrayed as having a stern offensive stance. Right from the beginning Truman stated, "The bomb had more power than 20,000 tons of T.N.T. ...which is the largest bomb ever used in the history of warfare" (Truman 64). President Truman was sure to include that it is the biggest bomb ever to be produced by any country, and that even more powerful, more potent versions of the bomb were in development (Truman 65). To prove the

The Decision To Drop The Atomic Bomb Dublin/ History Essay

1308 words - 6 pages Victor? ?Mwamba? ?Period? ?7 Why? ?Dropping? ?the? ?Atomic? ?Bomb? ?was? ?Justifiable In? ?1945? ?during? ?World? ?War? ?II,? ?the? ?president? ?of? ?the? ?United? ?states? ?of? ?America? ?at? ?the time,? ?Harry? ?Truman,? ?was? ?faced? ?with? ?perhaps? ?the? ?most? ?difficult? ?decision? ?that? ?our? ?country has? ?ever? ?seen.? ?We? ?developed? ?a? ?new? ?weapon? ?that? ?had? ?a? ?capacity? ?for? ?destruction? ?that? ?no weapon? ?or? ?nation

The Decision To Drop The Atomic Bomb

2000 words - 8 pages Voices. Glenview, Illinois: Scott Foresman and Company, 1992. Bloomfield, Janet. Why it Was Unnecessary to Drop the Atomic Bomb. [Online] Available http://www.oneworld.org/news/world/bloomfield.htm. 3/4/98. Brison, P. Research Resourse Packet (Bender, David L., Publisher Opposing Viewpoints in American History, Volume II: From Reconstruction to the Present. San Diego, Green Haven Press, Inc., 1996.) Gordon, Thomas and Max M