The dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by US, caused untold human suffering and brought about profound implications to the entire human race .This essay discusses the reasons that made America to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and various explanations that have been offered. It further justifies the US actions to the Japan bombing, giving reasons.
Reasons for Americans dropping atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
This decision was made by President Harry Truman. He had many reasons for this. To start with, Truman wanted put to use many years of nuclear warfare research. The bomb was built at a cost of two billion dollars and if it were not to be used, the money would have been wasted. He also used the bomb to quickly end the war save the loss many American lives since if he were to continue with the war with Japan the number of deaths of Americans was to be doubled hence need for ending the war very quickly. He therefore had to instill fear to the Japanese military would be at a disadvantage in supplying man power and will. (Grant R. 1998. Pg44. Pg 45)
The American soldiers underwent harsh treatment by Japanese soldiers in which around twenty million military men, women and innocent civilians were killed. There was therefore need to use the bomb. An unconditional Japanese surrender was impossible hence there was need to force Japanese surrender without extending the Fight. The Japanese soldiers did not want to surrender to the Americans but instead blow themselves rather than surrender thereby killing many Americans. The Japanese were never given a chance to surrender. They ignored an ultimatum on 27th July 1945, there was need to subdue them. They had convinced citizens to fight to death using forks, sticks and rocks. They refused to surrender in order to impose new better surrender terms (Grant R. 1998. Pg44. Pg 45)
Furthermore, Japan bombed the United States' Pearl Harbor first prompting the US to drop a bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima to end the world-war II. This sent a message to forces that were opposing the west that America had Atomic capabilities hence convincing the Japanese to surrender.
Because of robust Japanese defenses as well as the topography of the islands, the bombing would have taken a heavy toll on U.S. forces. Military officials thought that such an invasion would have incurred up to one million U.S. casualties, with corresponding Japanese military and civilian losses. Two bombing raids on Tokyo Japan had earlier in 1945 killed 140,000 citizens and injured one million more. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had spared hundreds of thousands of Japanese and American lives.
Explanation that have been offered
Truman feared Soviet's attempt to dominate the postwar, they therefore ordered the bombing to force Japan to surrender before Russia had the chance to enter the war. Truman also wanted to intimidate his potential rival Stalin with the United States' new destructive capability.
Justification of bombing
The US bombing was not justified since Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed and over thirty thousand people were killed at Hiroshima the time when the bomb was exploded. Around twenty thousand people were killed at Nagasaki. For about four months, tens of thousands more died of different illnesses that were associated to radiation exposure. Japan indicated its unconditional surrender to the United States after the bombing hence America was to wait and see whether Japan would surrender. America sent a strong message to Josef Stalin that they had a weapon that he could not counter. December 1945 Fortune poll found that 23 percent of the respondents wished the U.S. would have had the chance to use more atomic bomb before Japan had a chance to surrender .The poll results reveal the depth of the hatred of Americans felt during the war. (John D. 1986. Pg 54).
President Truman's and other American leaders' deeply prejudiced opinions and attitudes toward the Japanese people, he had written in his diary in July 1945, only a few days before the bombing of Hiroshima, that the Japanese people were "savages, ruthless, merciless, and fanatic" This negative racist views of the American leaders as well as people made it easy for them to justify the use of the America had not tried diplomatic Initiatives as it showed no inclination to negotiate an end to the war with the Japanese and initiate any diplomatic initiatives to seek an immediate, peaceful end of the war so as to minimize further casualties on both sides. In June 1945, Japanese leaders sought the Soviet Union's help to negotiate a peace with the U.S. but the American leaders refused to consider Japan's request that the surrender be conditional on the emperor remaining as the nation's head. Americans decided soon after the end of the war to retain the Japanese emperor as a symbol of continuity to maintain political stability. (Pyle and Kenneth B. 1996 Pg 212)
President Truman had difficulty in explaining to American voters why the government spent two billion dollars to develop a superior weapon if he personally decided not to employ it, especially if the war had dragged on with more American casualties.
No justification exists for the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. America had already destroyed most of the Japanese navy and air force, thus Japan could not wage war and defend itself. After steady American air bombings of Japanese cities in the first half of 1945, Japan was on the verge of collapse when the bomb hit Hiroshima. Leaders like MacArthur and Eisenhower believed the bomb was unnecessary from a military point of view .The Nagasaki bombing had no justification, since America did not give Japanese leaders adequate time to evaluate the effects of the Hiroshima bombing and reconsider their decision not to surrender. Shocking evidence of the human tragedy that resulted from the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima clearly portrays the intense discrimination experienced by atomic bomb survivors, anti-war sympathizers, Koreans, and poverty-stricken individuals (Takaki R. 1995. Pg 30-31)
To date these are to date the only attacks with nuclear weapons in the history of warfare in the world. The bombs killed approximately 140,000 people in Hiroshima and around 80,000 in Nagasaki by the end of the year 1945, roughly half on the days of the bombings. Since that time, thousands more citizens have died from injuries and illness attributed to exposure to radiation released by these bombs. In the two cities, many of the dead were civilians.