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

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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.

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