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The Reasons Behind America Dropping the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima

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The Reasons Behind America Dropping the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima


On the 6th of August 1945, an American bomber called the Enola Gay
dropped the world's first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of

The impact of the bomb was devastating to the city as anyone within a
kilometre radius of the explosion was immediately turned to smoking
black charcoal, and within minutes 70,000 people were dead. The bombs
following blast wave destroyed 70,000 of the 78,000 buildings within
the city.

Source D1. Shows the actual impact of the bomb, this is a very useful
and reliable source of information, because it is a picture and
therefore cannot be bias. It is a primary source, as it is evidence of
the actual destruction the bomb caused. However the source does not
offer an explanation as to why the bomb was dropped in the first
place, or the date the bomb was dropped.

Source D2. Is also a primary source as it is an account from the pilot
of the Enola Gay Captain Parsons as what he saw when he dropped the
bomb on Hiroshima. This is quite a reliable source as this is an
eyewitness account into the explosion.

This source could be biast as it is an American pilot and we only have
his account. This source does not tell us why the bomb was dropped on

Source D3 is a very reliable source as it secondary and cannot be
biast. It is a scientific account of devastating effects of the bomb
on the Hiroshiman civilians.

These sources do not tell us why America dropped the atomic bomb on

There are many reasons why America dropped the bomb, here are a few:-

1. America believed that Japan would never surrender.

2. Japan attacked pearl harbour America wanted revenge.

3. America had invested a lot of money in making the bomb.

4. During the war America felt that Japan had been very cruel to POW's
they felt Japan needed to be taut a lesson.

5. America also wanted to express there true power by showing this
weapon to the rest of the world.

This is only a brief outline into some of the reasons why America
dropped the bomb on Hiroshima.

I will explore some of these main reasons in more depth throughout the

The rise of Japan and the growing tension between

The USA and Japan.

The rise of Japan

In the beginning of the twentieth century Japan had won a war with
Russia which gave them control of Korea.

Japan was becoming a major trading nation, and their industries were

Though Europe were fighting this did not bother Japan in war so this
left room for exporting industry to prosper.

Although Japan had a strong industry, their country was not rich in
raw materials it needed, such as coal and oil. These raw materials
were mainly imported and 80%of there oil cam from America.

Because the country's growing industry, the general population
expanded also, and as Japan is only a group of islands, there was not
enough land to live on. Many of these Japanese people immigrated to
America although America limited the number of Japanese immigrants in
1924.The lack of land for there people and also the short supply of
raw materials were a problem that Japan needed to address.

The Wall Street crash of 1924 caused a world depression this hit Japan
the hardest as their wealth came from the exporting of goods that
nobody could now afford to buy. Japan became desperate and their
answer to these problems was to create an empire. This involved
invading neighbours surrounding Japan for their land and raw
materials. This is all shown in source A1 this is a secondary source
and cannot be biast as it is factual not opinion.

Also source A2 is a good source because it is a map to show all the
land Japan had conquered by 1941.

Democracy was a new thing in Japan , much of the power was still
controlled by old aristocratic families , who had close ties with the
army. The most powerful officers were part of these families

In 1930 these officer planed to overthrow the democratic government.

The army without informing the government attacked a country called
Manchuria, the Japanese army said that the Manchurians attacked the
south Manchurian railway this was not true. Manchuria was a part of
China and bordered Korea which Japan controlled. Manchuria was rich in
land and raw materials but this meant that Japan was at war with

Like above this shown in source a2 this is a reliable source as it is
a map and cannot be biast.

People were now supporting the Japanese army following the success of

The Japanese governments were now controlled by the army and were
forced to spend vast sums to increase the army's strength from 250,000
people in 1932 to 950,000 in 1937.

Meanwhile America was becoming worried about these events in Japan as
they had important trade links with china. America felt that japans
attempts to dominate East Asia were as important as the war in Europe.

America was also concerned about the size of japans army and began to
see them as a threat.

The Japanese army admired the strength and power of the dictators in
Europe like Hitler and Mussolini and in 1936 Japan signed an alliance
with Germany.

In 1936 went on to invade china their success was because of surprise
attacks good equipment and well trained pilots and a very large army.

The newspapers started to praise the Japanese army. all this is shown
in source a3 this is indeed a reliable source as it is secondary and
factual not opinion so it cannot be biast.

And in 1940 Japan signs a defensive treaty with Germany and Italy this
is also shown in source a3.

Japan then went on to invade indo-china in July 1941 and this was the
final straw for America so it banned trade with Japan this was bad as
before Japan relied on 80% of its oil from America.

October 1941 general Tojo becomes prime minister of Japan it is now
governed completely by the army.

In the same year America tries to negotiate a new trade agreement with
Japan if they pull out of china and indo-china they also want them to
leave the alliance with Germany.

Japan sees this as a sign either to give in or go to war with America.

Japan declines the agreement.

Next America announces that it is going to expand its navy, probably a
sign of defense against Japan.

But Japan decides to a little secret attack on the naval base of Pearl
Harbor before Americas navy can expand.

On the 8th of December 1941 japans mobilizes its aircraft carriers and
attacks pearl harbor this attack was effective because it was very
early and most of the sailors were still asleep also this was the
first time Japan used a series of kamikaze pilots this attack killed
2400 sailors and sunk 8 battleships. All this is shown in source a4
this shows the effectiveness of the attack on Pearl Harbor this is a
picture so it cannot be biast.This then caused America to declare war
on Japan the world was now at war!!

These events forced also Britain to declare war on Japan and on the 11th
of December Germany declares war on America!!

The events that occurred led up to some of the reasons why
Americadropped the bomb on Japan.

1. Japanese had been very cruel to prisoners of war America was
angered by this and felt that dropping the bomb only then will they
get justice.

This is shown in the bottom paragraph of source b1 this source is
fairly reliable as it was an eyewitness account but because the man
was a British solider it could be very biast.

2. Another reason for dropping the bomb was that America had spent so
much money on it ($2000 million) and if they did not use it would not
only be a waste of money but show that the Americans were afraid to
use it. It was called the Manhattan project.

This is shown partly In source d7 this is an account from a scientist
explaining the costs of the bombs this is a good source as it is
secondary and is not biast.

3. Another reason was that president Harry s Truman wanted to show off
this new weapon to the rest of the especially to the Russians.

This is shown in source d8 it is the director of the Manhattan project
saying that the president wanted to say something to the Russians
about this bomb it is a secondary source and cannot be biast.

4. America wanted the revenge for Pearl Harbor.

There is no source to suggest this.

5. And possibly the main reason for dropping the bomb was that japan
would never surrender and many more ally lives would be lost this is
because the Japanese fighters were probably the fiercest of the war

This is shown in the top two paragraphs in source b1 like above this
source is written by an English soldier and might be biast but there
are a number of other sources to back me up.

e.g:b4 this is a very good source as it comes from the Japanese army
manual and is not biast. Also source b6 it says that there was no
weakening the Japanese defense. and is written by the secretary for

All these led to the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima

In 1945 but the Japanese did not surrender after this first bomb only
when another was dropped on Nagasaki 3 days later did Japan finally
give up.


Nearly 5,000 nuclear weapons in the U.S. and Russia are still pointed
at each other, ready to be launched and reach their targets in
minutes. As recently as 1998 India and Pakistan were initiated into
the nuclear "club" by completing nuclear weapons tests. Today, tens of
thousands of nuclear weapons still inhabit the world.

How to Cite this Page

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"The Reasons Behind America Dropping the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima." 16 Apr 2014

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