• 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 use nuclear weapons against Japan in August 1945?

Extracts from this document...

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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE International relations 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 GCSE International relations 1945-1991 essays

  1. How Far Was Gorbachev Responsible For The End Of Soviet Union?

    However the perpetrators of the coup were the main driving force behind it, not Gorbachev. They were "all groups whose power and livelihood were linked to the older" (MG+tEoSP P52) and "top level communist hardliners" (R+FotSE P152) who were "imitating the party's style but not under its control" (MG+tEoSP P51).

  2. What were the effects of the atom bomb

    The atomic bomb had an impact on military warfare. Within 3 weeks of the dropping of the bomb WW2 ended Japan signed a surrender aboard the USS Missouri although after 6 years of conflict the war would have been coming to and end because the supplies to Japan were cut

  1. How did the Red scare and McCarthyism become such a dominant force in the ...

    Although none of these ten had been found guilty, out of the tree million that the FBI investigated, they did find some guilty. Among these was Alger Hiss. Alger Hiss was a US diplomat, and civil servant; he was a former state department official.

  2. In What Ways Did The Nazis Attempt To Eliminate All The Jews In Europe ...

    The final solution came into existence when the Nazis came to face hard economical pressure making them over think what they were to do to the Jews. The decision of not keeping them alive any longer was the final word.

  1. In February 1943, the German army surrendered at Stalingrad. Was Hitler's interference the main ...

    The reason for these extra troops, 6 extra armies, was that they were reserved for a Japanese attack that never came. The idea was for the Russians to wear the Von Paulus and his army down until they surrendered or starved; this was, in effect, a siege.

  2. Cold War Short Essays - Questions and Answers.

    This worried Brezhnev as if one country left, the rest would follow in a domino effect and then the Iron Curtain would collapse and the USSR would have no form of security or protection. A further key feature was that Brezhnev moved 400,000 Warsaw Pact troops into Czechoslovakia to stop the reforms from taking place.

  1. Cold War Summary, quotes and revision notes.

    develop undue influence Peaceful Coexistence in Practice * 1950's & 1960's --> superpowers did learn to coexist --> cold war relations considered a long period of "thaw" which culminated in D�tente in the 1970s * Was never a smooth path * Competition in 3rd world, space, arms race, propoganda forums

  2. How important was the nuclear arms race in the development of tensions during the ...

    The conferences themselves increased tensions as the powers disagreed over what should happen to Europe and Germany. The Soviets wanted to move Poland?s borders to the West so that the USSR?s borders could move into Poland. Stalin wanted to create a buffer zone so that Russia would be a satellite state and they could also react if ever attacked.

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