• 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. The Bay of Pigs Invasion

    Dean Rusk was the Secretary of State during the Bay of Pigs Invasion and had much influence in the foreign policy decision. In his autobiography, Rusk explains the events that lead up to the Invasion, and he reveals his opposition to it.

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

    The world would not be plunged into a new era of warfare yet they would wrap up the war in the Pacific a concise time frame. Three obvious alternatives existed to the use of atomic bombs against Japan and none of them were engaged to end the war.

  1. Why did the USA drop the bomb?

    The first reason was revenge undoubtedly which I think was a big issue this is when the Japanese attack pearl harbour in December 1941,the attack left 2,403 people dead, and sunk 168 air crafts and further more sunk 18 battles ships.

  2. Why did America drop the bomb.

    These are just some of the arguments. President Truman played a part in the decision to drop the atomic bomb, but he was also urged and advised by military officials. President Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945, and Vice President Harry Truman took office completely unaware of the entire project.

  1. For what reason did Japan bomb Pearl Harbour?

    The 'struggle' was centered on Japan's ambitions for an unchallenged hegemony in the Far East. During the early 1920's the Americans held a conference in Washington. This was in direct result of Japan ceasing Manchuria. The reason America had condemned and refused to recognize the state of Manchukuo (which was set up to replace Manchuria)

  2. Free essay

    Did America drop the bomb in revenge, to prevent the USSR spreading, so Truman ...

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), this is also not surprising. The NRC is a US government agency, meaning that Walker works indirectly for the government, and could therefore be biased as he is an employee of the US government, which is the very body in question.

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