Were The Dropping Of The Atomic Bombs Justified?

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Was the Dropping of the Atomic Bombs Justified?

At the beginning of August 1945, two cities disappeared. The Imperial land surrendered. The world shook. The dropping of the bombs “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” by the plane Enola Gay wiped out Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan on the 6th and 9th of August. This was a plan to hasten the surrender of Japan and end the war by the Americans but was it really just? Was the cost of so many innocent Japanese civilians worth it? Was there a hidden agenda? In this essay, I shall attempt to reason through gathered evidence and answer the controversial question on whether Truman should have pushed the button.

        America had many reasons for dropping the bombs; the surrender of Japan, it would cost more lives to carry on normal warfare, a silent threat to the USSR, such an investment had to be tested. These were raised by many government officials to stop the media hassling them about whether they felt guilty. Surely if there was such opposition to them, something was horribly wrong. America divided itself with their own opinions on whether the decision was made without thoughts of the consequences or Japan had it coming to them.

“The atom bomb was no great decision. It was merely another powerful weapon in the arsenal of righteousness. The dropping of the bombs stopped the war and saved millions of lives.”  This was a comment made by President Truman in a press conference on 6th August 1945 after the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. One of the reasons America saw the bombs fit to use was because if there was to be a great loss of life, they’d rather it was not their own. The USA had been using a military strategy known as island hopping which involved pushing the Japanese army back by reclaiming islands until the Japanese only held their mainland for months. Such warfare took great sacrifice in the form of American lives and the thought of losing any more to end the war was an unsavoury option. Truman claimed that he had been told that continuation of normal warfare would cost hundreds upon thousands of American lives. Imagine that spread across the front page. Even if normal warfare was carried out on Japanese mainland, they were not expected to surrender as they were trained with their honour in mind. To fight to the death was honourable, to defend the Imperial land and the Empire was honourable, to become a kamikaze pilot and fly out with an aim to kill yourself in the hope that someone else would share your fate was honourable. Before the bomb was dropped, Emperor Suzuki made a speech to his people solidifying that assumption: “I expect 100 million people of this glorious Empire to join themselves in a shield to protect the Emperor and the Imperial land from the invader.”

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Yet we are not talking about the people who die for honour, but for simple civilians whom the bombs were to meaningfully target. The bomb dropped at a temperature which vaporized any human at ground zero, turning their bodies into charred, horrific statues.  It was not only the initial blast which killed people. Though US denied the knowledge of radiation sickness inflicted by the bomb, people still died from it. The radiation sickness included swelling, vomiting, peeling of the skin, cancer and ultimately death. The sickness was so horrifying that one British reporter who arrived a month after the first ...

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