• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Truman had several reasons for dropping the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Kate Hunter 11W History Specification B Modern World History Coursework Assignment 1 Model A On August 6 and 9, 1945, the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed by the first atomic bombs used in warfare, killing over 150,000 Japanese and inflicting radiation poisoning on more still. Five days later on August 14, Japan surrendered. The need to defeat Japan and to end the Second World War is the most commonly held view about dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some argue however that this was not the main reason for dropping these two bombs in 1945. On April 12, 1945, President Franklin D. Roosevelt died and so as Vice President, Harry S. Truman became the thirty-third American President. Roosevelt had failed to inform his vice president of the atomic project, called the Manhattan Project. Now the war was over with Germany, it was time for the "big Three" leaders, Churchill, Stalin and Truman to decide what action needed to be taken against Japan, who although on the brink of defeat, refused to end the war in the Pacific. Truman was the least prepared to decide about where to go from here. By July 25, Truman had come to the conclusion that the Japanese would be given the option to surrender unconditionally (knowing that they would not), if they did not surrender immediately, they would face "prompt and utter destruction". ...read more.

Middle

Some military camps were located nearby such as the headquarters of the Fifth division and Field Marshall Hala's 2nd General Army Headquarters, which commanded the defence of all southern Japan. The city was a communications centre, a storage point and an assembly area for troops. Hiroshima had not suffered damage from previous bombing raids, allowing an ideal environment to measure the damage caused by the atomic bomb. The city of Nagasaki had been one of the largest sea ports in southern Japan and was of great wartime importance because of it's wide-ranging industrial activity, including production of ships, military equipment and other war materials. Like Hiroshima, it had not suffered too much damage from previous bombings however due to some bombs being dropped on the city on August 1, some school children were evacuated therefore reducing the population in the city at the time of the nuclear attack. The bombs were not dropped on the city of Tokyo due to it previously being destroyed by fire bombings giving us the impression that it was a test, the US would not have been able to see what damage the bombs could do as the city was already completely destroyed. The president also had to justify spending so much money on the project to the taxpayers of America. The total estimated cost of the Atomic project was $20 billion. This included the research, materials, plants and people. ...read more.

Conclusion

I should have known better than to underrate the dictator. Years later, Marshal Georgi K. Zhukov, in his memoirs, disclosed that that night Stalin ordered a telegram sent to those working on the atomic bomb in Russia to hurry with the job." In conclusion, Truman had several reasons for dropping the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The president was under a lot of pressure from the U.S. government and the people of America, he feared that if he didn't drop the bombs, he would jeopardise him winning the election so he had to justify spending so much on the atomic project and giving America its revenge for Pearl Harbor. Also, there was a political motive in dropping the bombs because of the power of the Russians, Truman wanted to prevent any spreading of communism from Stalin and stop him from expanding into Asia. However I think that the main reason was to save the lives of Americans. With the only other alternative, a land invasion, Truman would be risking the lives of around two million soldiers and sailors and also worsening the conditions for the prisoners of war held by Japan. Truman told students at Columbia University in 1959 that, " dropping the atomic bomb was no "great decision". For your information there were more people killed by the firebombs in Tokyo than by these bombs. It was merely another powerful weapon in the arsenal of righteousness." "It was just the same as getting a bigger gun than the other side to win the war." ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. was the dropping of the atomic bombs justified?

    United States warships, aircrafts and military installations were destroyed. Although the Japanese lost about 100 men, America suffered higher casualties with about 2,400 men lost at Pearl Harbour and then another 1,187 American citizens injured. The attack of Pearl Harbour on was the major reason why President Truman would have

  2. To what extent did the United States force Japan to attack Pearl Harbor and ...

    a large concentration of aircrafts, but the officer had ordered the navy men not to worry. We did not know whether this was an order of Roosevelt or not nor we did not know whether it was true or not because there was no enough supportive evidence.

  1. Was The Dropping Of The Atomic Bombs On Hiroshima And Nagasaki Justified?

    In order to gain the understanding of these peoples, Japan must properly take responsibility for its own actions. Japan had caused suffering and chaos in other countries so America had thought it dropping of the atomic bombs was a payback.

  2. An evaluation of the United States decision to use atomic bombs against Hiroshima and ...

    course of action because of uncertainties about American motives in the use of atomic weapons against Japan. "In his memoirs Truman claimed that using atomic bombs prevented an invasion that would have cost 500,000 American lives. Other officials mentioned the same or even higher figures."

  1. The Prelude to the 1975 War and the Cairo Agreement.

    By November the Syrians had occupied most Muslim held areas of Lebanon, including West Beirut and Tripoli. Most leftist forces capitulated without firing a shot, overwhelmed by the Syrian show of force. In Sidon, however, Palestinian and leftist forces fought off the Syrians for nearly six months before relinquishing their stronghold.

  2. The research paper that I am going to present is about the "Atomic Bomb ...

    On the other hand, reading the article about the "The Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki Told by Flight Member" the point of view is different from the first article, which is "Hiroshima". That article mostly is dealing with the strategy for dropping the atomic bomb, how the atomic bomb is different

  1. American History.

    virtuous, artists, educators, and politicians began trying to inculcate values into people. For instance... - In art they had a tough time b/c to many Americans art was an example of corruption and luxury. Nevertheless, artists tried to show virtue and nat'lism in their work.

  2. Was the dropping of the A bombs justified? The year is 1945 in the ...

    The first ever atomic bomb was being let off. The Americans had made the most powerful weapon the world had ever seen. President Harry Truman, who had only been president for three months, had to make the decision whether to use the bomb in an act of war or not.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work