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Dropping Of The Atomic Bomb History Essay

The issues surrounding whether the United States decision to drop a bomb on Hiroshima was beneficial in 1945 are very complex and varied. There can be arguments made in favor or against the Hiroshima bombing. The negative points for the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima are the loss of many innocent Japanese lives and two Japanese cities, the ushering in of the atomic age and the United States not knowing the damage or power the bomb was going to create. Some of the positive points include bringing an end to World War 2, gave peace back to the world, forced the Japanese to surrender and ultimately saved many more lives from both sides.

One of the many negative arguments against the bombing is the loss of thousands of innocent Japanese and the immense destruction that was caused. The bomb exploded 2000 feet above the centre of the city. In an instant flash of heat and radiation the bomb killed around 80 000 – 90 000 Japanese. During the next 10 years 40 000 people died as a result of injuries from the bomb or from effects of radiation poisoning. The bomb flattened everything in its path. Buildings were destroyed crushing the people inside. A giant mushroom cloud was created over the city. A massive fire filled the city which made escape not possible. About 98% of Hiroshima was destroyed from the bomb. Cars and buildings were reduced to ashes. Pilot Tibbets who was flying on the aircraft said, “We had seen the city when we went in, and there was nothing when we came back.” [1] The dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima was an act of murder and cruelty to the Japanese Society; their lives are just like ours. Since the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima human extinction was not only possible, it could happen at any time.

The Bombing in Hiroshima took weapons of mass destruction to a level that had never been seen before. The bombing began the nuclear war. Since the bombing on the 6th of August 1945 the world has never been the same again. The single airplane that dropped the one bomb destroyed Hiroshima. After the bombing other countries wanted a bomb like the American Bomb. It is clear that the bombing had an effect on civilization, throwing mankind into the Atomic Age and the Cold War. For the first time ever in history, human extinction was not only possible, it could happen anytime. It is clear that these atomic weapons should be prohibited of their use in all countries around the world. The atomic bomb was “the beginning of a horrific change in human history because the world would soon have to live with the fact that nuclear weapons could destroy civilization itself.” [2] 

The United States ought to have demonstrated its power to Japan by bombing an unpopulated area rather than a high populated city. This would be a more efficient way and would get the message across to the Japanese. This would have scared the Japanese. It was pointless dropping it on Hiroshima, the loss of Japanese lives was worthless which lead to further power games between the USA and USSR. The United States of America had no idea how much destruction the bomb was going to create, and the effect radiation would have on the citizens. The United States should have not dropped the bomb on Hiroshima until the full knowledge of the bombs power and the damage it was going to produce was fully known. When Robert Oppenheimer ( American Scientist) saw the result of the atomic bomb, he was reminded of a Hindu myth. “If the power of a thousand suns were to burst at once in the sky, I would be death, the destroyer of worlds.” [3] 

Despite the justifications provided by people who believe the bombing should never had happened there are an equal number of reasons why the bombing should have occurred. One of the many most important positive points of the Hiroshima bombing includes putting an end to the Second World War and all its bloody battles. The atomic bomb bought peace back to the world. It is evident that the Hiroshima bombing had happened because the United States had been through 4 years of bloody, terrible wars. Japan had tried to take over the pacific and bombed United States interest in Hawaii. Three years of heavy fighting in the Pacific resulted in the loss of many Allied soldiers. On the 26th July 1945, USA President Truman demanded immediate surrender to the Japanese, warning them of the terrible consequences if the demand was rejected. The Japanese Premier Suzuki announced that the country would be ignoring the threat from the Allies. So at 8:15am on the 6th of August an American aircraft piloted by Colonel Paul Tibbets dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. This put a lot of further pressure on the Japanese authorities to surrender; however, they fought on until the 9th of August when another atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Japan then finally surrended and world war two was over. More than fifty million people had lost their lives during this great conflict. On the 2nd September 1945 after the Japanese had signed the formal surrender General MacArthur broadcast to the world a statement saying, “Today the guns are silent. A great tragedy has ended. A great victory has been won. The entire world is entirely at peace.” [4] 

The bomb forced the Japanese to surrender. The allies had demanded unconditional surrender of the axis. However, the Japanese pride would not allow them to surrender. They refused to accept and ignored warnings to surrender, and they had in fact become more aggressive. They thought they could force a better outcome for their country by holding on for as long as they possibly could. They thought surrender would be worse than death. The Japanese government had convinced every citizen to fight to death using pitch forks, rocks, and even vegetables. There was a loss of thousands of Japanese, however, they were the enemy and they had started the war. The use of the atomic bombs was needed to shorten the war and save American lives. President Truman found that an atomic bomb was the only way to force the Japanese to surrender. President Truman said after the attack “If they do not now accept our terms, they may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth.” [5] 

A prime positive point to the argument is that the Hiroshima bombing saved more lives overall. If the bombing had not occurred, the war would have continued and more innocent lives would have been lost. The bombing was the only way to end the terrible war quickly with the fewest American casualties. A military invasion was the only other choice which was said to cost a million American and Japanese casualties. The United States was facing the prospect of invading Japan to control the country. The Japanese had no regard for its citizens and intended to turn the four main islands into fortresses. Estimates showed that one and a half million allied troops would be needed to with this size invasion. Again this would have costed more lives. The firebombing in Tokyo was just as horrible and deadly killing more citizens than the bombing In Hiroshima and Nagasaki all together. Many Historians’ argue their reasons of why it would have been more efficient to attack the Japanese home islands, killing a numerous number more on both sides with guns than the Americans did with both bombs. Why would killing man with rifle’s be moral and with a bomb immoral? A land invasion of Japan would have resulted in many more deaths on both sides with guns, than what were killed by the two bombs together. President Truman said, “Having found the bomb we have used it. We have used it against those who attacked us without warning at Pearl Harbour, against those who have starved and beaten and executed American prisoners of war, against those who have abandoned all pretence of obeying international laws of warfare. We have used it in order to shorten the agony of war, in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans. We will continue to use it until we completely destroy Japan’s power to make war. Only a Japanese surrender will stop us. When you have to deal with a beast, you have to treat him as a beast. It is most regrettable but nevertheless true.” [6] 

On the whole, there can be arguments made in favor or against the Hiroshima bombing that occurred in 1945. The negative arguments always consist of the loss of Japanese citizens, the bombing starting the Nuclei war, and the United States not knowing the power of the bombs. However, the prime incentive for dropping the bombs was to put a finish to the horrifying, deadly, bloody war. Other positive points include: forcing the Japanese surrender and saving more Japanese and American lives overall.

Word Count: 1,569

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