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

Was it justified for the U.S.A. to drop the atom bomb on Japan?

Extracts from this document...


Was it justified for the U.S.A. to drop the atom bomb on Japan? In august 1945 an American plane dropped an atom bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima killing 78,000 people and injuring 40,000. Three days later the same happened in Nagasaki killing 40,000. The U.S.A. was both justified and not justified in doing this. These two bombs were dropped, ending a war that had all started by Japan wanting an empire to provide it's own raw materials, especially oil (which would be vital for war). Japan launched a full-scale war with China in 1937. As Japan was invading parts of Asia, President Roosevelt stopped the supply of important materials to Japan - from 1940. On 7th December 1941 the Japanese attacked the Americans at their Pearl Harbour navel base in Hawaii. Luckily the American aircraft carriers were out on a training exercise at the time, and were not damaged, but many other navy ships were. Japan had awoken a sleeping giant and a state of war was declared. America was justified to drop the atom bomb on Japan for the following reasons: - First and foremost, Pearl Harbour. Although most of the US fleet was on a training exercise, this Japanese attack has devastating consequences. Many other ships were destroyed, and thousands of men were killed. ...read more.


By dropping the atom bomb, Stalin would realise how powerful and advanced the Americans were, and that they weren't afraid to use that power (the U.S.S.R. didn't get the atom bomb until 1953). But after the atom bombs were dropped Stalin still refused to leave Eastern Europe, and Soviet forces were their until 1989. Truman's idea of scaring the Russians into leaving didn't work, so I am not sure whether this is or is not justified - it could fit into both categories. Near to end of the war, the Japanese wanted to hold out and surrender to better terms. Truman was totally different from Roosevelt; he was a very strict man and much more anti-communist. He was also very suspicious of Stalin. He wanted unconditional surrender, and wanted to end the war quickly. This was as he didn't want the U.S.S.R. to claim a slice of Japan, if they entered the war in the Pacific and Japan was defeated. The Japanese fought with courage, and to the death. They were very brutal and therefore the Americans were very brutal to them. By this I mean they (the Japanese) fought fanatically, using anything they could (including their hands) and taking no prisoners. When Japan attacked the Americans at Pearl Harbour on 7th December, there was no declaration of war. ...read more.


When the second was dropped 40,000 people died. This all could have been avoided, but American casualties would have been high. They had also lost the Battle of Midway, a decisive naval engagement of World War II, which gave the United States sea power over the Japanese. Japanese and US aircraft carriers fought it in June 1942 near the Midway Islands. The victory at Midway terminated a major Japanese attempt to capture the islands as a possible way to invade Hawaii. The success of the operation effectively tipped the balance of sea power in the Pacific Ocean in favor of America. The Americans dropped two bombs on Japan, one on Hiroshima and the other on Nagasaki. They easily could have forced the Japanese into defeat by just dropping the one bomb. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not even military targets, President Roosevelt definitely wouldn't have, where as Truman would have happily done it. In my own opinion, I feel that the Americans probably were justified to drop the atomic bombs on Japan considering the fact that many thousands of American soldiers were being killed due to the slow island-hopping tactic. If they had carried on with this, there would have been many un-necessary deaths and the dropping of the bombs ended it quickly and efficiently. I can understand why America felt it was okay to drop the bombs and I agree, but I think they could have gained the same outcome by only dropping one bomb and not killing 40,000 people for no reason. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    How effectively had Japan modernized itself by 1914?

    4 star(s)

    As Japan had secluded itself for more than 200 years, it was clearly evident in the negotiation with the Western countries, that Japan was technologically and military behind. This was because, for two centuries, Japan mostly were only in contact with the Chinese and Dutch, and shared their culture, where western countries were further developed than the Asian countries.

  2. was the dropping of the atomic bombs justified?

    There were no real researches on any long-term effects. Further debates have been had on whether President Truman had made his own decision or did her just carry on the decision that President Roosevelt wanted to put into action? As the Manhattan project was created before Harry Truman became president.

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

    This included the research, materials, plants and people. They estimated that each bomb that was detonated cost $5 billion. Truman felt that not dropping the bombs would jeopardise him winning the election, he had to show that he could make decisions. Capture or surrender was considered to be dishonourable to the Japanese.

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

    They had to drink from a straw. A girl as young as five saw these shocking things 'the skin was burned of some of them and was hanging form there hands and there chins' for a young girl to see such dreadful things at such an early age.

  1. Argue either for or against this statement, "President Truman's decision to drop the bombs ...

    Considering all this, why is it in then in this case that it is so controversial to take the lives of the Japanese population? Japan violated American territories, killed Americans, and caused a number of other problems for the United States; America suffered losses and to prevent further loss, President

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

    (Hambay 8) It is most likely given that the modification of terms for unconditional surrender to include maintenance of the emperor's position was the compromise by which the Japanese eventually did surrender, that their earlier surrender according to these modifications could have been obtained before the use of the atomic bombs.

  1. Why did the USA drop the A-Bomb on Japan in 1945?

    The battle for Okinawa eventually cost 49,000 American lives, and 110,000 Japanese casualties. Having lost most forward air bases and aircraft carriers, the Japanese high command planned to emphasize kamikaze, suicide-piloted aircraft attacks on Allied ships. It was now time for the United States to make their decision regarded the final defeat of Japan.

  2. Why did the USA drop the bomb?

    Japan did not play the game properly and refused the Geneva Convention. This was that if you have hostages from war you have to threat them well but what the Japanese they didn't they publicly beheaded the Americans soldiers in front of the other soldiers, the Japanese loved to kill

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