was the dropping of the atomic bombs justified?

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Nabilah Hamid 11ct                Candidate number: 2388

History coursework                Jerudong International School

Was the use of the atomic bombs on Japan in august 1945 justified?

In the sixty years since World War 2, President Truman's decision to drop the atomic bombs on Japan has been questioned by many people. The bombing caused many deaths but also clearly marked the end of the long drawn-out war. The justifications for the bombing are still however a widely discussed debate. Arguments supporting the justification of the bombing involve the President's stern belief that the Japanese had brought it on themselves, and that the bombing would end the war and save many American lives. The counter-arguments were that the Japanese were already defeated and so ‘why was it necessary to drop the bomb?”. Especially the second type, as evidence suggests that the Japanese were already defeated. Bombing and killing the innocent people shouldn’t ever be justified, however, it was a war and the American government did warn the Japanese about the consequences of continuing the fight.

        On August 6, 1945, the atomic bomb enriched with uranium, coded “Little boy”, was dropped over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The project was coded ‘Trinity’ when the first and only testing of ‘Little boy’ was on July 16th, 1945, near Alamogordo, New Mexico. This was considered to be spectacularly successful, however the bomb that was actually dropped on Hiroshima on august 6th resulted into a much more deadly and stronger bomb. On August 9th, 1945, “Fat Man”, coded for the bomb enriched with Plutonium, was dropped on another Japanese city, Nagasaki. The bombs had horribly destroyed both cities. Many thousands of casualties and approximately 120,000 deaths resulted out of the bombing. However, on August 10th, 1945, the long war in Asia and the Pacific region was finally over for the Japanese had surrendered.

        Many theories exist as why the Japanese hadn’t surrendered after the first attack on Hiroshima. The reason for this was that the Japanese government knew that the Americans would make the emperor of Japan resign. The emperor towards the Japanese was almost like their god, seen as a semi-divine figure, the descendant of Amararatsu. This lead to what seemed like their last option of defense, which was to fight till the last man, woman and child. This was the reason why men, women and even children were taught to prepare for battle, for they did not want to surrender.

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The Potsdam conference, July 26th 1945, was supposed to be the Conference where the countries would discuss and negotiate the terms of surrender. However, no real negotiation was discussed, because of the negative response from Japan, “Makusatsu”, which was also believed to be misinterpreted. The Japanese assumed the emperor, Hirohito and the Japanese officials would be eliminated. Many have strongly believed and argued that Japan would have surrendered if they just negotiated. Kantaro Suzuki, who replaced Kuniaki Koiso on April 1945 as Prime Minister, rejected the Potsdam declaration as a more vague version of the earlier declined proposition. Suzuki mainly wanted ...

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