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Why we dropped the Atomic Bomb

analytical Essay
2559 words
2559 words
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Why we dropped the Atomic Bomb

The dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945 was a definite turning point in the Pacific War of World War II. Earlier that year, Germany had been defeated and the world then turned its attention to the Pacific war. Most history books state the argument that the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan was necessary to stop the war in order to save thousands of lives of American troops that were planning to invade Japan. "Had the bombs not been employed (so the "wisdom" goes), an enormous number of American troops would have perished in an inevitable amphibious operation against the Japanese mainland."(McManus 1) This paper will demonstrate that Japan was willing to surrender before the bombs were used, and there were other hidden reasons for using the bombs.

If you ask a high school graduate what the result of the atomic bombs on Japan was, he or she would most certainly answer the immediate surrender of all Japanese forces. That should be satisfactory enough to not question the issue any further. If you ask the same student wether the Japanese would have surrendered without the bombs, he or she will hesitate and will probably not be able to give an answer. The reason for this is that the history text books at school teach students a black and white fact: the atomic bombs were the only way to make the Japanese surrender. According to Francis E. Kazemek: "most texts focus on abstract facts and figures, offering little discussion of the reality of the bombing."(Kazemek 2)

The atomic bomb should not be considered as the only decisive factor for the Japanese surrender, but as the straw that broke the camel's back. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese empire continued to expand rapidly during the first half of 1942. Its empire extended from Manchuria and the Aleutian Islands to the north, New Guinea to the south, Burma to the west and the Marshall Islands to the east. Nevertheless, the tide turned against Japan when Germany was defeated in May 1945 and the Americans took over the Marian Islands in 1944.(Long 1)

The Americans needed the Marian Islands as an air base to be able to bomb Japan directly. Winston Churchill wrote in his personal narrative of the Second World War, "The time at last had come to strike at the enemy's homeland."(Churchill 540) Before then, J...

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...as with the war in the Pacific. The Japanese were not easy to fight and deal with. The fact that the Japanese wanted to have peace talks before the bombs were used makes it clear that there were different reasons for using the bombs. Ending the war with Japan as soon as possible was important to stop Stalin from claiming territories in the far east. The United States had seen what Stalin was doing in Europe, and did not want Stalin any stronger.

The fact that the bomb had been successfully tested, and had cost the United States billions compelled the President to use it. The racist feelings towards the Japanese the decision to drop the bombs easier. Nevertheless, many people share what Brigadier General Paul W. Tibbet, pilot of the Enola Gay, had to say:"Those of us who gained that victory have nothing to be ashamed of neither do we offer any apology. Some suffered, some died. The million or so of us remaining will die believing that we made the world a better place as a result of our efforts to secure peace that has held for almost 50 years. Many of us believe peace will prevail through the strength and resolve of the United States of America."(Airmen Memorial Museum)

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the dropping of the atomic bombs on hiroshima and nagasaki in august 1945 was a definite turning point in the pacific war of world war ii.
  • Explains that the history text books at school teach students a black and white fact: the atomic bombs were the only way to make the japanese surrender.
  • Argues that the atomic bomb was not the only decisive factor for the japanese surrender, but as the straw that broke the camel's back.
  • Explains that the americans needed the marian islands as an air base to bomb japan directly. winston churchill wrote in his personal narrative of the second world war, "the time had come to strike at the enemy's homeland."
  • Explains how the b-29 firebombings on tokyo and the effective blockade of supplies by the american submarines weakened the japanese empire.
  • Explains that the japanese were divided into two groups before the bombing of pearl harbor. the "peace party" included the emperor hirohito and officers in the navy.
  • Explains that japan was divided into two separate groups, so it was important to come to a clear agreement to not give the "war party" any motives to overthrow the government.
  • Analyzes how the united states misunderstood the importance of cultural and political aspects of the japanese.
  • Explains that the ultimatum given to the japanese in postdam did not specify what the position of the emperor would be in the case of a surrender.
  • Analyzes how the postdam ultimatum threatens to eliminate ity of those who have deceived and misled the people of japan into embarking on world conquest.
  • Explains that the japanese maintained their political and cultural structure even after the bombings.
  • Explains that the ussr's participation in the war against japan brought on serious implications and pushed the united states to use the bombs.
  • Analyzes how stalin agreed to fight against the japanese under certain conditions. roosevelt and churchill surprisingly gave stalin some rights over china without reporting this.
  • Explains that after the german army capitulated, roosevelt decided to use the bomb on japan. roosevelt invited the japanese to attend an explosion to convince them to surrender.
  • Explains that president truman had no clue the atomic bombs existed until he became president. he realized that russian participation in the war against the japanese was unnecessary.
  • Explains that when truman told stalin about the bomb, he was vague and "casually mentioned to stalin that we had a new weapon of unusual destructive force."
  • Quotes blackett, of "fear, war, and the bomb", as saying that president truman wanted the bomb dropped before stalin entered the war.
  • Analyzes how stalin took as much as he could in eastern europe after germany's defeat to gain an advantegeous position in the far east.
  • Explains that the manhattan project, the project in charge of building the bombs, had already cost the united states over 1 billion dollars.
  • Opines that the decision to use the bomb on japanese was easier than using it on germans because japan attacked an american base, which created racist feelings in the americans against the japanese.
  • Analyzes how truman made the decision to use the bomb against japan, ordered secretary of war, stimson, and said "use it so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target."
  • Explains that churchill asked truman to change the conditions of the surrender to allow the japanese "some show of saving their military honour and some assurance of their national exitence."
  • Explains that hiroshima and nagasaki were not merely military bases, and many civilians were killed. truman wrote to the federal council of churches to justify the use of bombs.
  • Opines that ending the war with japan as soon as possible was important to stop stalin from claiming territories in the far east.
  • Quotes brigadier general paul w. tibbet, pilot of the enola gay, as saying that the united states made the world a better place through its efforts to secure peace.
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