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The Atomic Bombings of Japan q.5

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Introduction

The Atomic Bombings of Japan Question 5: Source E is a speech made by President Truman on the 7th of August 1945. The president is very much in favour of the bomb and has an overall positive interpretation. He supports the use of the bomb because he felt that he was under pressure to defeat Japan in the war, he wanted revenge over the attack at Pearl Harbour and because he wanted to be remembered as the President who achieved victory for America and defeated Japan. However, this did not justify the 84,000 deaths that the Atom Bomb caused or the radiation sickness that followed. Alternatively, we can argue that the bomb could have been dropped on a remote island as a warning to the Japanese to surrender. However, we can understand why Truman felt that it was necessary to drop the bomb on Hiroshima. The war had been going on for 4 years, and the end was not in sight, the American people were getting frustrated and the many deaths of Americans made Truman want to drop the bomb without questioning it. In source E, he states, "We have used it in order to shorten the agony of the war, in orders to save thousands of Americans". Truman delivers his speech in a very authorative tone and this persuades the American public that the use of the bomb on Japan was the right decision. In the source, we can see that he takes full responsibility for the bomb and supports it completely. He was keen to use the bomb for the revenge of Pearl Harbour, and the thousands of Americans that had been killed horribly as he says, "We have used it against those who attacked us without warning at Pearl Harbour" Americans were island hopping in order to capture the islands of Japan, but there was a huge cost of life as American soldiers suffered huge losses on the two islands of Okinawa and Iwo Jima. ...read more.

Middle

of Americans" and the bomb did "shorten the agony of the war" The Atom Bomb saved more lives than the tens of thousands that it killed. Source G is written by a man who was a prisoner of war. He was captured by the Japanese whilst island hopping, and has encountered the Japanese everyday, for 4 years. This means that he has good insight into their minds and has a lot of experience with them because of his interactions. This man fully backs up what Truman says, and he states "if the Emperor and his cabinet had decided to fight on, the Japanese would literally, have fought to the last man". Like Source D, this is what would have happened if Truman had decided not to drop the bomb. This man understands the way the Japanese think and fully agrees with Truman's views. Source F is a visual source, showing the positive view that the American soldiers had on the Atom Bomb. The source is very clear, and shows ten men smiling and celebrating their victory over Japan. As American soldiers, they were the ones who faced the prospect of fighting Japan, having their lives put at risk. The source is very emotional and shows all the men gathered around a newspaper with the headline "Atom Bomb destroys entire city says Japs". Truman's decision to drop the bomb on Japan filled these men with hope. The bomb for them, meant victory and revenge. As Truman says "We have used it against those who attacked us without warning at Pearl Harbour" "We have used it in order to...save thousands of Americans". The men in this photograph represent the thousands that were saved by the bomb; they represent the survivors of the thousands who were island hopping in Okinawa and Iwo Jima. The Americans in this photograph are full of glory, happiness and revenge. They are joyful and fully in agreement with Truman's decision to drop the Atom Bomb on Japan. ...read more.

Conclusion

"Bluish spots appeared on their bodies...bleeding began from ears, nose and mouth". Source L is published by a British reporter who is appalled by what he's seen. However, they didn't acknowledge that the bomb ended the war early because of all the unseen, hidden effects that the bomb caused. They did not think that the bomb did "shorten the agony of the war". For the Japanese, it was like the war had gone on for years. The "strange and horrible disease" killed thousands of people, and doctors did not even know how to cure it. These two sources disagree with Truman's view of the Atom Bomb as the Japanese suffered for years after the bomb had dropped. Sources A, B, C, D, F, G and N agree with President Truman's decision to drop the Atom Bomb in 1945. Source A has some limitations but partly agrees. Source B agrees with Truman's views but has some regrets about his actions, Source C is a secondary source that helped us understand why Truman dropped the bomb. Source D is an ironic source that gives us insight into the Japanese's mentality; we can argue that Kasai's words could be used to back up Truman's view. Source F is a visual source that completely agrees with Truman's view. Source G is from a British prisoner of war who understood the Japanese and was fully backing up Truman's view and Source N agrees with Truman, and sees the bomb as a source of nuclear power. Sources H, I, J, L and M disagree with President Truman's decision to drop the Atom Bomb in 1945. Source H&I are British but there experiences in Nagasaki turn them against it. Source J is by a Hiroshima survivor who experienced the bomb and its effects and Sources L & M experience the horrible effects of radiation sickness. I have analysed all 13 sources and I have come across a whole variety of different attitudes towards the Atom Bomb. I can determine that some of these sources agree with Truman's views and some disagree. ...read more.

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