Maddox, Robert. “The Biggest Decision: Why We Had to Drop the Atomic Bomb.” Taking Sides: Clashing View in United States History. Ed. Larry Madaras & James SoRelle. 15th ed. New York, NY. 2012. 280-288.
Historians have questioned the decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan in 1945. Evidence shows that President Truman weighed not only military information in his decision to use the bomb, but also considered postwar politics and foreign policy when he considered dropping the atomic bomb on Japan. An analysis of his personal papers offers a different reasoning for using the bomb than what was commonly known at the time. The discrepancy between Truman’s public and private reasoning will be discussed.
The Manhattan Project was one of the largest scientific collaborations ever to have taken place, tapping the minds of the world’s greatest chemists, theoretical physicists, nuclear scientists, and at it’s peak utilized the resources of as many as 125,000 people. The product of the $2 billion project was the implementation of nuclear fission in a weaponized form, producing what is known today as the ‘Atomic Bomb’. On July 16th, 1945, the US Army Corps of Engineers, accompanied by many of the project’s scientists and members of the press, executed ‘The Trinity Project’, detonating the first Nuclear Weapon at the White Sands Missile Testing site near San Antonio, New Mexico. Shortly thereafter while attending the Potsdam Conference, President Truman was informed of the successful test. When Japan refused to surrender under the terms set forth at said conference, The President authorized the use of the atomic bomb against Japan. The first of two detonations occurred over the city of Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945. When Japan still refused to surrender, the second bomb was dropped over Nagasaki on August 9th the same year. After a final conventional air raid on the 13th of August, Japan agreed to surrender the following day. Despite the effect of ending the war, and hypothetically saving hundreds of thousands of lives, a much bigger question was raised surrounding the moral implications of using a device capable of such destruction and extermination. This commentary on the aforementioned implications will show how the use of nuclear weapons against Japan, despite claims to the contrary, was unjustified both on the basis of the implications in and of themselves and of prior knowledge of the effects o...
Perhaps the most controversial and heavily scrutinized issue of the twentieth century was President Harry Truman’s decision to unleash atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the summer of 1945. While the sequence of events preceding that fateful summer morning of August 6,1945 are fully understood, the motives behind Truman’s actions are shrouded in controversy. Top military officials publicly denounced the use of such a horrendous weapon, while the obvious advantages to the bomb, traditionalists argue, was a shortened Pacific War. Parallactic views between traditional beliefs and revisionist theories suggest that the issue is still very much unresolved. Why is the issue so hotly debated? Partially because of the overwhelming evidence supporting both sides, and partially from the unorthodox sources producing such evidence. But the question remains: Why did Truman drop the atomic bomb? Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb was not a military necessity because land invasion casualties were much lower than perceived, the Japanese were on the verge of collapsing, and America had avoided diplomacy despite knowing Japanese intentions.
The former Vice President and the new President, Harry S. Truman, made the crucial decision to drop the first ever atomic bomb. The bomb was named “Little Boy,” and it was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on the sixth of August in 1945. Just three days later on August ninth, President Harry Truman made another vital, yet difficult, decision to drop a second atomic bomb. This one was called “Fat Man” and was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan when they failed to surrender (Operation Downfall, 2014). Thomas Ferebee pressed the button that dropped “Little Boy” on Hiroshima. Jacob Beser served on both the Hiroshima crew and the Nagasaki crew and was quoted that he would drop them again (Nuclear Quotes, 2014). Franklin Delano Roosevelt formed the Manhattan Project, which was a code word for construction of bombs. The creator of this deadly weapon was mister Albert Einstein. He was one of the greatest scientists of his time and is still the greatest scientist the world has ever seen. His partner, and the one that oversaw the construction and testing of the atomic bomb, was Dr. Robert Oppenheimer a scientist from Germany. These two bombs were the two essential things that final put an end to the gruesome World War II. Over the past seventy years, the decision to drop atomic bombs or other forms of nuclear weapons has been frowned upon and seen as a form of mass destruction that should not be used as a type of warfare. It causes an overwhelming amount of pain, suffering, death, destruction, and devastation. Harry Truman’s decision to drop, not only one, but two atomic bombs on Japan has been questioned over the past seventy years. All of these men are responsible for the dropping of the two atomic bombs and the lives that wer...
Alperovitz, Gar. The Use of the Atomic Bomb. Chicago : D.C. Heath and Company, 1974.
Technology has allowed for the furtherance of warfare, from the invention of gun powder to the splitting of the atom. These findings have propelled the leap of numerous nations’ in the ability to wage war against each other. Of these discoveries, the splitting atom spawned an invention that would hurl the world from conventional warfare into the nuclear age. These ideals were the brainstorming of some of the greatest minds in America and abroad. These scientists began to formulate the creation of the atomic bomb, a device that would change the world in ways that had never been imagined before.
C.S.C., W. D. (2011). The Most Controversial Decision Truman the atomic Bombs, and the defeat of Japan. University of Notre Dame: Cambridge University Press.
However, the actions of the United States on the days of August 6, and August 9, 1945 were a necessity for the end of World War II. It was also a victory for the United States in many ways. The Japanese surrendered, and the United States suffered far fewer casualties than could ever be expected. The victory would propel the country to unparalleled levels of power and prominence. Truman was acutely aware that the country—in its fourth year of total war—also wanted victory as quickly as possible. an assessment of the possibilities to construct scenarios in which the use of the atomic bomb might have been avoided, but to most of the actors the events of 1945 had a grim logic that yielded no easy alternatives. No one will ever know whether the war would have ended quickly without the atomic bomb or whether its use really saved more lives than it destroyed. What does seem certain is that using it seemed the natural thing to do and that Truman’s overriding motive was to end the war as quickly as possible
Walker, J. Samuel. Prompt and Utter Destruction Truman and the Use of Atomic Bombs against Japan, Revised Edition. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 2005. Print.
The United States entered WW II immediately following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The U.S. entry was a major turning point in the war because it brought the strongest industrial strength to the Allied side. The Americans helped the Allies to win the war in Europe with the surrender of Germany on May 7, 1945. However, the war in the Pacific continued. The war with Japan at this point consisted primarily of strategic bombings. America had recently completed an atomic bomb and was considering using this weapon of mass destruction for the first time. The goal was to force the “unconditional surrender” of the Japanese. Roosevelt had used the term “unconditional surrender” in a press conference in 1943 and it had since become a central war aim. Truman and his staff (still feeling bound by FDR’s words) demanded unconditional surrender from the Japanese. Consequently on July 26, 1945 Truman issued an ultimatum to Japan. This ultimatum stated that Japan must accept “unconditional surrender” or suffer “utter devastation of the Japanese Homeland”. This surrender included abdication of the throne by their emperor. Japan was not willing to surrender their dynasty and ignored the ultimatum. On August 6th and August 9th, atomic bombs were dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively.
Donohue, Nathan. "Understanding the Decision to Drop the Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki." CSIS.org. CSIS Center for Strategic and International Studies, 10 Aug. 2012. Web. 07 Jan. 2014.
One of the most argued topics today, the end of World War II and the dropping of the atomic bombs still rings in the American ear. Recent studies by historians have argued that point that the United States really did not make the right choice when they chose to drop the atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Also with the release of once classified documents, we can see that the United States ...
The initial terms of surrender were laid out in the Potsdam Declaration of July 26, 1945, in which the United States, Great Britain, and China all participated. But unlike post World War II Germany, which was split into four quadrants among the Allies, the occupation of Japan was solely and American endeavor. This document was by no means tame. Military occupation would see to it that its measure would be properly carried out. Justice would be served to those "who deceived and misled the people of Japan into embarking on world conquest," Disarmament of the military, reparations as the Allies saw fit, and the "remove all obstacles to the revival and strengthening of democratic tendencies among the Japanese people" were also to be enacted. At the head of this revolution, as spelled out in Potsdam, was Douglas MacArthur.