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Why did the USA use nuclear weapons against Japan in August 1945?

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Introduction

Why did the USA use nuclear weapons against Japan in August 1945? On August 6th 1945 an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima by the USA. The bomb killed 200 000 people. A few days later on August 9th another bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki, killing an estimated 74 000 people. In July Truman had warned Japan that unless they surrendered the Americans would unleash on them a new weapon of immense power, yet Japan still refused to surrender. There were many reasons for the USA dropping these bombs, some private to the government of the USA and some open to the public. One reason was that the bombs were revenge for the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan on 7th December 1941. The attack sunk or damaged 18 American ships and 300 US planes. Japan did this because they aimed to expand their territory, and America did not want this to happen and were a big threat to Japan. Japan thought that in attacking Pearl Harbor they would damage the USA's fleets sufficiently so that by the time the USA recovered Japan would be powerful enough to resist them. ...read more.

Middle

This cost over 7 000 American lives which was extremely worrying to the American government. America's official reason for dropping the atom bombs was that the deaths caused by the bombs would be far less that the deaths caused if the Japanese were not forced to surrender. There had already been a loss of hundreds of thousands of men and America was unwilling for any more American lives to be lost. There was lowering morale within the US soldiers and people were getting tired of the war. It was though that if they didn't drop the bombs the Japanese would continue to fight tirelessly meaning that defeat would probably take another 18 months and would claim another million lives. America wanted to just get the war over and done with. However, it is thought that although American lives were saved because there was no full scale invasion of Japan, this was not because of the dropping of the atom bombs. The Japanese agreed to surrender because Truman dropped the demand for unconditional surrender, and allowed the Emperor to stay on the throne. Truman could have done this before the dropping of the bomb. ...read more.

Conclusion

One bomb was uranium and the other plutonium, and America wanted to compare the affects. This might be their last chance to test the bomb on people. This reason was kept secret from the public. The USA also wanted to be the first nation to use nuclear weapons, and to win the arms race of The Second World War. This race was between Germany and America, but Germany by 1941 made the decision to abandon their research. However America did not know this and continued with their development of the bombs for fear that the Nazis would be the first to use nuclear weapons. America wanted to be the first to drop the bombs to prove their power to the rest of the world, and especially to Soviet Russia. I think that the most important reason for the USA using nuclear weapons against Japan was to end the war quickly and to prevent any more loss of American soldiers. Thus America dropped the atom bombs even though American victory was almost certain anyway. This seems to be the most plausible reason the Americans were using for dropping the bombs, although at the same time they were showing their power to the world, especially the USSR, and stopping Russia from claiming Japan. ...read more.

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