Atomic Bomb Controversy Essay, Research Paper
The Atomic Bomb Controversy
August 6, 1945- the atomic bomb was first used in combat as it was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. The raw explosive power of the weapon was displayed. Within a few days, another bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan. The atomic bomb was one of the most destructive weapons of war ever used in combat. The bomb was the weapon that ended the second World War. However, the bomb s use was a source of debate. President Harry Truman decided to put many years of nuclear warfare research to use when he chose to use the new weapon. The use of the atomic bomb was very beneficial to the American cause in World War II and allowed the Allied Forces to defeat Japan with far fewer lives lost than if the bomb had not been used.
The use of the atomic bomb ended a horrific war quickly and without the loss of many American lives. The atomic bomb was built as a weapon of war. Henry L. Stimson wrote, “The entire purpose was the production of a military weapon.” America was at war and Congress had allowed spending of two billion dollars on the project. If the United States was not to have used this weapon, an asset, as well as a lot of money, would have been wasted. By using the bomb, President Truman showed the Japanese that the United States and its allies were not going to allow them to run around the Pacific Rim and take over islands. The atomic bomb was obviously the deciding factor in World War II. The second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on August 8, 1945. Japan announced its surrender six days later and ended the war. Both targets of atomic bombs were strategic military centers and by destroying these cities the Allies crippled the Japanese military.
The fact is that many people died as a result of the atomic bomb, but the amount of people saved is far greater. An estimated 130,000 people died in the Hiroshima bombing and 66,000 in Nagasaki. These people, however, were victims of war. If a government chooses to have war, then that government realizes that some of its people will die. Had the United States chosen to initiate a traditional war with Japan the amount of American lives at risk would have been tremendous. Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, wrote, “The total U.S. military and naval force involved in this grand design was of the order of 5,000,000 men; if all those indirectly concerned are included, it was larger still.” President Truman decided that he would spare the lives of many Americans by using the atomic bomb at the cost of some of the enemy s civilians. The Potsdam conference produced an ultimatum that gave Japan the choice to surrender or suffer from “the full application of military power, backed by our resolve, will mean the inevitable and complete destruction of the… Japanese homeland.” Several experts had said that Japan was not equipped to fight against the Allied Forces and would be forced to surrender if an ultimatum like this was given. So when the Japanese Premier rejected the ultimatum, he not only re-declared war on The United States, he chose to put the lives of hundreds of thousands of his own people at risk. President Truman was not in a position to do anything but allow the dropping of the atomic bomb to prevent the deaths of millions of American Soldiers.
President Truman s decision to drop the atomic bomb was a good one if all things are considered. The amount of American lives that he saved is immeasurable. The atomic bomb proved to be an extremely valuable weapon for the United States as it ended World War II.