World War Two-America And Japan Essay, Research Paper
During the Second World War, the Americans faced a difficult time in their war against Japan. The topography of the land the well trained Japanese army and their motivation made it difficult to the Americans to decide the fate of the war. In front of that complex situation the Americans had decided to drop two nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, two major cities in Japan, killing thousands of people. The Americans hoped by doing that , they will bring the war to an end and indeed Japan surrendered a few weeks after the dropping of the bombs. This was the first time that any Nation on Earth had used a weapon of mass destruction for military objective. The American decision triggered a debate in the U.S about the justification of this act.
The case of the battle in Okinawa, brought to a change in the American strategy, caused them to fight differently and brought successful results. The overall strategy that was used by the Americans, before the Okinawa battle, was to launch a direct attack in daylight time. For the Americans it was necessary to capture the Japanese fortifications in Okinawa Kunishi and to assure by that the way to the Japanese South sore. The Americans strategy was therefor to go into a regular daylight battle with the Japanese. But soon enough they understood that this was impossible to do. Every time the Americans advanced in the daylight they were shot on constantly because they were seen very quickly. The Japanese general Ushijinua saw this weakness that the Americans had in the daylight which made them become immobile. So Ushijinua took this opportunity to move to better boarders which enabled them to have a better view and the possibility to harass the Americans. In the second week of June the American attacked Okinawa in broad daylight and in the open field. This was a mistake, the Japanese let the Americans move in and then pounded them, and the Americans had to draw back quickly. Then American Colonel Edwards Snedeker flew over the Kunishi Ridge and came to the conclusion that it was impossible to capture the Ridge by front attack in the daylight. He strongly recommended to the Headquarters to launch a night attack. This decision was a brilliant decision.
Chaos and confusion distinguished the fight of the Americans. There was no coordination between the units participation in the fight, a failure of combat inteligence was clear and Ariel supply inefficient. The battle was fought mostly by Lutenents and Sergeants (no officers) and they paid the price of leadership.
Despite the bad communication between the American units, they moved closer with two brigades after midnight so that they would not be seen, and with sunrise they attacked the Japanese that were having their breakfast, and surprised them. The success of this fight enabled the rest of the American troops to move on to the Ridge. For eight full days the Americans had to fight face to face with the Japanese well-entrenched army. The American suffered 1,150 casualties.
The fight in Okinawa, convinced the Americans that without a shock treatment to awake Japan from her denial from reality, the war will continue on and on. The intensity of the fight, and the good cave fortification of the Japanese, brought the Americans to the conclusion that the end of the war was impossible with the conventional weapons. On aug.6 1945 the Americans dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima killing close to 130,000 people and leaving 177,000 more homeless. On August 8, 1945, the soviets attacked Japan, some historians believe that the Americans should have waited to see if the Soviet attack would dissuade the Japanese with going on with the war. After the Soviets joined the war against Japan, the Japanese would not surrender. Some historians believe that Japan was signaling through diplomatic channels it willingness to surrender. But a close look to the reality shows that the Japanese cabinet was split on the issue. Some members of the cabinet wanted to surrender and the rest didn’t. this dispute between the two parties means particle that there was no tangible Japanese proposal for surrender. The Americans interpreted this as a Japanese wish to continue the war. Three days after the first atomic bomb, and one day after the Soviet attacked Japan the Americans dropped another atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki. After the second bomb the Japanese had no choice but to surrender, since Truman stated after the bombing of Hiroshima that the U.S would keep bombing Japan until they had no more power to make war. Therefor on August 14 1945, the Japanese surrendered to the U.S and the war was over.
If Japan would have not surrendered after the second atomic bomb, it was obvious that the military preparations of the Americans and their allies in the Far East will go on, and this means a very high price in human life. For instance the British were supposed to capture Malaya and the dimension of the British invasion was equal to the allied landing in Normandy in 1944. The continuation of the war would have been devastating for the civilians and would have slowed down the rehabilitation of Europe, and maybe increasing the aggressiveness of the Soviet Union. In order to prevent all these things to happen, a shock treatment was in fact necessary and to bring Japan to the reality. This shock treatment was the Atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the devastating casualties who brought the Japanese to understand that the continuation of the war would be useless.
There is no discussion about the surrender of Japan as an objective in order to bring the war into an end. The question is if the use of atomic bomb to achieve this objective, which is the surender of Japan, was ethical responsible? There is no doubt that despite the fact that the bombing shortened the war, and maybe the use of the atomic bomb was just and proper under the circumstances there is still a controversy about the ethical aspect. The fact is that the war put an end to Japan’s ability to make war, and brought fifty years of tranquility, and this was worth it.