Why Did We Drop The First Atomic

Bomb Essay, Research Paper

Why Did We Drop the First Atomic Bomb

Ever since the historical event occurred on August 6 of 1945, when the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on a city, people have asked why. There are different explanations of why the bomb was dropped from historians, from the individuals who made the decision to drop the bomb, and from general populations alike. The atomic bomb was dropped to make the rest of the world aware, especially the Soviet Union, of the United States supremacy. Also little boy and fat man, the names of the two bombs dropped, were dropped because they were there; a new bomb that was never before field tested. The unawareness that the decision makers had of the real effects and magnitude of the bomb also played a role in the fact that the bomb was dropped.

A war in Europe had just ended and the one in the Pacific was coming to its end, but who would come out as the country that would be able to practically mold the world to their own liking? Both the United States and the Soviet Union would have a great amount of power, the only question is which would have more, and the answer would be the United States and this was because of the atomic bomb. Truman was the president and had two other men standing beside him and advising him throughout the entire decision. The more influential of the two was James Byrns, Mr. Atomic Bomb; he felt that he knew what was best for the country and that he had correct ideas about the atomic bomb. Byrns was also the man to edit the Potsdam Declaration that was given to the Japanese and was to supposedly warn them of the bomb and that the Russians were to enter the war. Byrns removed both of these ideas from the document making it too vague for the Japanese to even consider surrendering under what it stated. Through many things that Byrns said he also suggested that he was for atomic diplomacy, the persuasion of countries with the indirect use of the threat of the atomic bomb. If Byrns had simply wanted the end of the war in the pacific then he could have warned the Japanese by not editing the Potsdam Declaration in the way he did. Then he could have justly hoped for their surrender, but instead he did not give them as many reasons to surrender and therefore, gave himself, more reasons to use the bomb. The dropping would show Japan, the USSR, and the rest of the world how advanced and superior the United States was with their unique new bomb and this was one of Byrns and other politicians purposes for the bomb.

The fact that this bomb was new and the most powerful in the world’s history was another reason why it was dropped. If one were to give a small child the best, brand new toy available one could not expect the child to not want to play with it; this is the same concept. The United States had a new bomb that had never previously been tested on an actual target, and of course the military would want to test the new bomb. They had a weapon that no one else had, and one that many others did not even know about and they wanted to use it, to see its capabilities. But as with every new bomb the military is not fully aware of the bomb s power until it is actually used on a target. So it was reasoned that the bomb should be used on Japan to see its capabilities, the military even set aside cities that were to be bombed so that there would be no previously made damage to the cities.

The decision makers were ignorant about the true power of the bomb, and this clouded the decision to drop the bomb itself. If they did not really know what this bomb could do then how could they be able to make the judgment on whether or not to drop the bomb? The final word to drop the bomb came from President Truman, and of course he was advised on the topic by people like Byrns, but it was still his final decision and he was in favor of dropping the bomb. Before Hiroshima or Nagasaki had even occurred he had written in his journal that he did not want any, “women or children,” to die with the use of the bomb. He obviously did not know of the complete strength of the bomb, statements like these prove that. If the top decision maker did not truthfully know of what would happen with the use of the bomb then it is also possible that the other key members, who finally came to the conclusion that dropping the bomb was the correct decision, may have not known of its power either. Being na ve about the effects of the bomb is another reason it was dropped, knowing how harmful the bomb would be and how destructive it was may have had a great effect on the usage of the atomic bomb.

The atomic bomb was dropped, not to end the war with the Japanese, but to show the world how mighty the United States, the government, the military, the technology, and the American people were. The fact that it was a new bomb, the first type of its kind ever created, also created an eagerness to use the bomb and see how it would truly work. And the people who were behind the decision of dropping the bomb were also unwitting about the actual intensity and strength the bomb had. These three key factors are the reasons behind why the United States dropped the dreaded atomic bomb on Japan, as they unknowingly and unintentionally began the Cold War and the nuclear age.

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