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

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Cameron Sinclair Why did the USA drop the A-Bomb on Japan in 1945? When examining the USA's reasons for its use of nuclear weapons to effectively end World War 2, it is important that one also examines the USA's reasons for being involved with the war. The USA was effectively forced into the second world war on December 7, 1941 when Japanese carrier based aircraft launched a surprise attack upon Pearl Harbour, America's largest naval base in the South Pacific. During America's Pacific campaign, they came up against an extremely formidable enemy, whose greatest weapon was their soldier's determination and loyalty. After the attack on Pearl Harbour, Japanese forces began an invasion of South East Asia. By 1942, Japan had conquered much of the region, and showed no signs of holding back. The battle of Midway on the 4-7 June 1942 brought a turn to the Pacific war, when the US Navy won a lucky battle over the tiny mid-Pacific island of Midway. Prior to this action, Japan possessed general naval superiority over the United States and could usually choose where and when to attack. After Midway, the two opposing fleets were essentially equals, and the United States soon took the offensive. ...read more.

Middle

he believed that unless he used the atomic bomb, an invasion of Japan would be necessary and that the casualties would be enormous. On July the 24th, 1945, President Truman informed the Soviet dictator Stalin that the U.S. "had a new weapon of unusual destructive force." Eye witnesses at the Potsdam conference, where Truman told Stalin this news stated that they didn't think he truly understood the importance of the American's breakthrough. The US leaders realized that it was important to end the World War as soon as possible, due to the fact that if it went on for too much longer, the USSR would be allowed to take a great deal of land in the far east. This would be a problem, because once the war finally did finish, the Soviet Empire would be a massive super power which could be a serious threat to the West in the future. Stalin was an untrustworthy character to the Western leaders, and they felt it in their best interests to limit the amount of power he could gain. In fact, it was stated by the chief of the Manhattan Project that "The real purpose of building the bomb was to subdue the Soviets." ...read more.

Conclusion

The Soviet Union, seeing an opportunity for easy pickings with limited risk, declared war on Japan, August 8 and invaded Manchuria on that same day. The next day, at 11:02am on the 9th of August, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, killing 40,000. On August 14, President Truman announced that hostilities between the Allies and Japan had ended, after Japan agreed to submit to the Joint Declaration of the Powers, made at the Potsdam conference. On September 2nd MacArthur accepted Japan's formal surrender, aboard the battleship USS Missouri, in Tokyo Bay. Truman's decision to drop the A-bombs on Japan was probably the best decision made by any of the world leaders in 1945. If he had decided to launch a land invasion of Japan, starve the Japanese, or demonstrate America's nuclear capabilities, it is generally agreed that the war against Japan would have been far longer and more costly than it turned out to be. The atomic bomb did not win the war, however. Japan had already been defeated by the land, sea and air campaign that went before. It can also be argued that the use of atomic weapons against Japan may have averted a third world war between the super powers USA and the USSR. The ensuing tension of the cold war allowed the overwhelming threat of nuclear war to precent this from ever happening. Word Count: 1578 ...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)

    -- Why did the Meiji Restoration occur? When Tokugawa rule was defeated, it was the start of the Meiji Period named by Emperor Mutsuhito, meaning "Enlightened Government". A small ruling group of people containing members of aristocrats and samurais, called oligarchs were given the power to dominate Japan.

  2. Why did America drop the atomic bomb on Japan

    that would stop the spreading of communism. They felt threatened and wanted to feel safe. Russia was invading Manchuria with the intentions of gaining access to China and doing the opposite of what America was doing. There were also economical reasons for dropping the dropping of the bomb.

  1. Why did President Truman Decide to Drop the Two Atomic Bombs On Hiroshima and ...

    and it was only a matter of time before they would accept the terms of surrender. All of Truman advisers were agreed that no invasion was necessary, the relentless saturation bombing and Naval blockade was having its effects, General Marshall believed that it would only need a Russian declaration of war to make the Japanese surrender.

  2. The Bay of Pigs Invasion

    Thus, Castro's regime was considered a threat to the United States economically, politically and socially (Hunt 138). In 1959, a rebel force led by Fidel Castro overthrew the American-backed dictator, Fulgencio Batista. Here the Democrat-Republican agreement to prevent or overthrow revolutionary governments whenever possible, became very evident.

  1. For what reason did Japan bomb Pearl Harbour?

    Obviously the Japanese were the ones to 'pull the short straw'. As years went by, there were several more treaties signed and enforced, which furthermore restricted Japan and its naval fleet. The same treaties also had an impact on the United States and Great Britain, but it had a deeper impact on Japan, rather than on the western super powers.

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

    This summed up the Japanese way of thinking; they were prepared to die (kill themselves) for their country. This showed the Americans that the Japanese were very devoted to their country and if they didn't end it quickly, many more Kamikazes would be striking.

  1. In 1945, atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Why did the Americans ...

    However, this seems unlikely, because Truman saw the bomb as a help in standing up to Stalin. Truman, and most of the world, were desperate for a war that had claimed approximately 55 million lives to end as soon as possible, and for there to be complete victory.

  2. History of the United States

    These commitments were internationally formalized in 1947 in the GENERAL AGREEMENT ON TARIFFS AND TRADE, when 23 nations participated in an extensive mutual lowering of trade barriers. In 1948, at American initiative, the ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES was established to provide a regional multilateral consultative body in the Western Hemisphere.

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