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Causes of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atom Bomb

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Published: Tue, 06 Mar 2018

The American decision to use the two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II has come in for feverish debate in the years following the incident. It is one of the best-documented events in history, and has, at the same time, provoked lasting, emotionally heated reaction.

Almost everyone with even a fleeting interest in World War II seems to have a strong opinion on this American action. (Harbour, 1999,p. 68) To state that the Americans bombed the Japanese because the latter were their rivals in the war is to speak simplistically of an issue that was a product of complex factors. The dropping of the bombs on the two cities was the climax of the great rivalry the two countries had developed against each other over some years; thus, to try to understand the motives behind America’s actions, one needs to look at how this rivalry developed between these two distant countries, whose culmination was the bombing of the two cities.

The Japanese and Americans had been pitted against each other in the Pacific many years before World War II began. Some historians fix the date of the crystallisation of US-Japanese rivalry at 1931, when the Japanese occupied Manchuria in China. The Americans considered this an audacious attack on their interests in Asia. 1931 not only marked an adir in the relations between America and Japan, this year was also extremely significant to Japan’s administration, for this was when the radical, militant elements in the Japanese administration led successfully what has been termed a coup, by which they ‘overthrew’ the moderate elements in the royal government and set the country on the long road of fascism of the kind that Europe was falling prey to.(Morris and Heath, 1963, pp. 2, 3 and 20) This Japanese act was the outcome of an ongoing rivalry, which dates back to an earlier period, when Japan embarked on an ambitious programme of industrialisation.

A strong animosity had developed in America against the Japanese from the time she started growing in strength having realised that the way to prosperity lay in industrialisation and had tried to make herself a strong industrial country. The rapid pace and force of Japanese industrialisation was started since her first contact with the western world, which, ironically, began with the US itself, (Wainstock, p.1)which had contributed more than any other country to Japan’s industrial strength, but was not able to tolerate its expansionist designs later.(Levine, 1995, p. 1) In an era of aggrandisements leading to the war, Japan, since she did not have the resources to match her rapid industrialisation, committed acts of aggression on several countries of South East Asia. Sensing that her food supplies could be cut off with ease by an enemy, Japan built a strong navy. But even so, her trade routes were unsafe. To neutralise this, she intensified her policy of annexation of several mainland countries and strategically important islands in the Pacific, some of which were equally economically or strategically important to an America that was seeking to establish its influence in the Pacific. In this climate of growing hostility, one by one, several territories started falling to the Japanese sword, the most important of which was the Chinese mainland in 1937, following, of course, the annexation of Manchuria. (Wainstock, pp.1 & 2).

The main reason for Japan’s annexation of China was to undo the Revolution, which she viewed as a possible threat to her dynastic rule. (Levine,1995, p. 1) The fall of China intensified the American perception of the rapidly expanding Japan as a threat. Another milestone in the building up of their rivalry was Japan’s decision to join the Axis Alliance, led by Europe’s most brutal fascist regimes, those of Hitler and Mussolini, in 1940. (Conroy & Wray, 1990, p. 73) The bombing of Pearl Harbour, an American base, was the last straw. It jolted America out of its self-imposed isolation brought about by a feeling that it was a secure, unassailable fortress. (Hein & Selden, 1997, p. 69) Following Pearl Harbour, America, along with Britain and the Netherlands, blockaded Japan’s oil supplies. To obtain vital fuel, Japan started annexing large parts of the Pacific in quick succession –Hong Kong, Philippines, Singapore, Burma, the Dutch East Indies, French Indochina, (Hane, 1992, pp. 316 & 426) Guam, and Wake Islands (Wainstock, p. 2) Even after the attack on Pearl Harbour, America was not able to dent the superior Japanese navy.

However, a decisive victory in the Battle of Midway, in June 1942, gave it an advantage. This campaign was crucial in halting Japanese advances, which, left unchecked would have given her access to territories as faras India, Australia and Hawaii. Holding on tenaciously, with superior intelligence, the Americans pulled off a famous victory, which boosted their morale. (United States Strategic Bombing Survey, 1946, p. 58) The field was now left open for a climactic battle; the Americans created this in the closing stages of the war and acted upon it. This was the episode relating to the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If the factors listed above constituted the background to the rivalry between the two countries, a combination of factors, mostly political, precipitated the event. Some of these are listed in this research paper.

Since the purview of this paper is to merely look at the factors that led to the bombing of the two cities, no attempt is made to look at the moral aspect of the issue, or to stand in judgment on the incident. No matter how unspeakable the suffering the bombs ended up causing to the people who bore the brunt, and the mark it made on the national psyche of the country and its civilisation, this paper avoids reference to these areas of discussion, since this clearly falls outside its scope. However, some controversies related to the issue are taken up, for these are intertwined with the incident. While this paper has made a classification of the reasons for this attack, mention needs to be made that a watertight compartmentalisation may not be possible, and some overlaps may have occurred. Mention also needs to be made that in the section pertaining to the controversies of this action, since entire arguments of historians have been taken up for discussion, very long references to individual authors appear. 

Part II:
Political factors behind the event

Surely, for an action of such great magnitude and far-reaching consequences, political factors were the most important consideration for president Truman. He saw in this situation an opportunity to strike double blow –to silence Japan’s recalcitrance, and to fire a shot at the Russian leader, Josef Stalin, with whom his country had been forced to develop an alliance because of the exigency of the hour. “The bomb was dropped primarily for its effect not on Japan but on the Soviet Union. One, to force a Japanese surrender before the USSR came into the Far Eastern war, and two, to show under war conditions the power of the bomb. Only in this way could a policy of intimidation [of the Soviet Union] be successful…[t]he United States dropped the bomb to end the war against Japan and thereby stop the Russians in Asia, and to give them sober pause in Eastern Europe.” (Kagan, 1995)

A crucial meeting, which ultimately decided the course of this action was called by Truman and held in the White House on June 18, as the Okinawa campaign was ending. The intention of this meeting was to seek from his Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) their opinion on the quickest and most effective means to ending the war in Japan. Those who attended it were the president’s chief of staff, Admiral William Lahaina Chief of Staff, Ernest King, Army Chief of Staff, General George Marshall, Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, Assistant Secretary of War, John McCloy, Secretary of Navy, James Forrestal, and Ira Eaker, representing General Arnold for the Army Air Forces. The opinion that emerged out of this meeting was that the best way forward was to invade Japan through its southernmost tip, Kyushu. The probable date of this planned invasion was set for November 1. Marshall suggested that the next phase of the invasion would be an attack, later, on Honshu, the island on which Tokyo stands. General Marshall spoke on behalf of the Joint Chiefs, reading out from a paper they had prepared: ‘The Kyushu operation is essential to a strategy of strangulation and appears to be the least costly worth-while operation following Okinawa’. Although they were silent on two important clarifications Truman had sought, namely how long the operation would last, and what would be the expected number of American casualties, all who attended this meeting were unanimous in their assessment that the invasion of Japan through this route was the best option before them.

The Chiefs arrived at a figure of 31,000 for the possible number of casualties during the first phase of the invasion, in the first 30 days of the campaign. This was arrived at by equating the casualties in this campaign with that in Luzon, in which the same figure had died, or were wounded or missing. The figure of 46,000 dead and another 174,000wounded was estimated if the invasion went into the second phase. Truman’s most important consideration was the number of American casualties, which he wanted to be kept at the minimum. There was wide agreement on the number of casualties. This figure found reinforcement when, prior to the meeting, Marshall requested the expected number of American casualties from General Douglas McArthur, commander of the American Army in the Pacific. The General projected a figure that was almost exactly like these estimates –105,000 battle and an additional 12,500 non-battle casualties. (Walker, 1997, pp. 36-39) If this meeting spoke of a land invasion, one factor hurried up the decision to specifically use the bombs: some decrypted Japanese diplomatic communications, codenamed MAGIC, which revealed that the Japanese were looking forward to negotiations, rather than to peace, and in this direction, were looking towards Soviet Union, not America, was seen by Truman. This turned out to be one of the reasons he steeled his resolve to drop the bomb on the Japanese. Under the codename Downfall, the Americans had been making heavy preparations to lay an amphibious operation at the time Truman went to Potsdam. Just after he set sail, on July 16, he gained knowledge of the successful experimentation of the atom bomb, which was carried out by American scientists.

The timing of the completion of the bomb coincided with Truman’s meeting with the Russian and British heavyweights. His main aim of going to Potsdam was to get an assurance from Stalin that the Russians would not enter the war till the time the Americans carried out their operation. So, it was clear that he had at the back of his mind two crucial elements –the operability and potential of the bomb to curtail severely American losses, and, for its successful implementation, the guarantee that Russia would not enter the war. (Allen, Polmar & Bernstein, 1995).

Depriving Russia a role in Japan was surely a paramount reason for the urgency with which the bombs were dropped; the Soviets were scheduled to enter the war on August 8. An Asia in which the Soviets would play decisive role, was a prospect the Truman administration had to prevent at all costs; nothing gave it a better chance than the timing of the development of the bomb, and Russia’s scheduled date of entry into Japan. By hurrying up the bomb, the Truman administration made sure the Japanese surrendered to the Americans alone, as argued by the British physicist, P.M.S. Blackett, who, in his book Fear, War and the Bomb, has contended that ‘the dropping of the atomic bombs was not so much the last military act of the Second World War as the first major operation of the cold diplomatic war with Russia now InProgress’(Clarfield & Wiecek, 1984, p. 58).

The Russia factor was at work all through. Policy-makers in the US were clear from the beginning that America was to be alone, and that Russia was to be excluded from the bomb project. One of the most strident critics of the use of the bomb, Leo Szilard, had feared that the use against civilians would be catastrophic. He had gone on to suggest that the Americans and Russians get into a joint effort at developing the bomb, wherein, his reasoning went, by openly sharing this knowledge with Russian scientists, the certain arms race that was set to follow could be prevented. In trying to enlighten the American political establishment about his idea, he sought a meeting with president Roosevelt; however, he was referred to Secretary of State James Byrnes, who brusquely squelched the idea, and prevented the meeting with Roosevelt. Szilard even invited Churchill’s fury for having suggested this idea. (Szasz, 1984, p. 146)

The idea of bombing Japan was taken to force a total and unconditional surrender, towards which the Truman administration wanted to make sure no effort was spared. Quoting Brower (1982), Lee (1998) states: “The JCS understood that Japan’s defeat would result from the increasing application of military, psychological and political pressures upon the island nation. Their strategy clearly reflected that understanding. The JCS gradually tightened the blockade, bombed Japan relentlessly with conventional and atomic weapons, contributed to efforts to induce an early Japanese capitulation through clarification of the unconditional surrender formula, and strongly urged two presidents to secure early Soviet entry into the war” (Lee,1998, p. 109).

Another perceptive line of reasoning is that the bombs were essentially culmination of the process of American isolationism that had been building up from the time World War I ended. If, as argued by Glynn (1992), America, whose political and economic power was way ahead of that possessed by any other country in Europe, had shown sagacity and generosity in bailing France out financially and in redressing the German expansionist designs, it would have effectively put a brake on the growth of the deep animosities these two frontline European nations developed towards each other. Having failed to do it, mainly because of its isolationist designs, America sought to maintain its position of eminence in world affairs by spearheading the revolution in physics that was catching up in Europe.

Having triggered the race for weapons development in Europe, what it did was to show it was ahead of the rest. This it could accomplish only by demonstrating its power to the rest of the world. The perfect excuse for this was provided by Japan’s defiance. It is true that the situation of war made scientists of each country work on the bomb faster than their counterparts in other countries. If the war had not taken place, it is possible that the invention itself would not have taken place. This writer extends this argument to suggest that not only should America have shown pragmatism in dealing with Europe after World War I, when the time came, it had to showcase its newly-acquired might in brute fashion. It had to vindicate the appositeness of its policy of isolationism after World War I; no other action showed that better than the decisiveness with which it dropped the bombs on targets that were convenient to it formal perspectives. (Glynn, 1992, p. 114) 

Truman had taken office at a time when the Soviet Union, with a diametrically opposite ideology, was taking shape as a potential rialto the emerging American dominance in world affairs. Roosevelt had been hoping that a conciliatory approach towards this country was the best way to an amicable post-war settlement. However, following his death, Truman had to rely on his predecessor’s advisors in international affairs, an area in which he was vastly untested; however, their opinion was different from their master’s. (Clarfield & Wiecek,1984, p. 82) Thus, opposition to Russia was a philosophy Truman imbibed from the start of this tenure.
Bruce Cumings (1999) proffers another interesting insight into the urgency with which Truman used the newly devised bomb. It has to do with the nature of the political arrangement in the US. There is ascertain irony about the position of the president –as the foremost decision maker in the country, he is yet faced with a tight situation, sitting on a seat of thorns.

On the one hand, he is handicapped by the power of the Congress alone to go to war; on the other hand, his is temporary position; all the power he commands is gone when he loses his election or has run out his term. In the final sense, he is alone responsible for the decisions he takes. It is a high-pressure office, in which he is the sole decision-making authority, into whose shoes nobody would like to step in. Nor does anyone else have the authority or power to take decisions of the gravity he does in a system in which there are liberal doses of daily infighting and squabbling among the different agencies such as the legislature and the judiciary, and within the Congress.

The possession of the control of the just-invented bomb came to symbolise the sway the president held over all others in the administration. This was the most concrete symbol of this power that he and nobody else could enjoy in the administration. Truman vested the control of the atomic bomb with the Atomic Energy Commission, which made sure it did not fall into the hands of the top military brass. Thus, possession and sole control over who controlled the bomb weighed more in Truman’s presidency than in another’s mainly because it was then that the bomb was invented. It is in this sense, that, quoting Sherwin (1975), he goes on to argue “…why the bomb, once readied, was used: not just to intimidate the Russians, button intimidate everyone from recalcitrant Republican congressmen to isolationists in the broad body politic to Hirohito to Stalin to Churchill to the “total field” in which the American president has held sway since 1941, namely, the world.” (Cumings, 1999, p. 56)

 

Part III:
The personality of Truman and his perception of the nature of the bombs as a factor:

It is possible to argue that the attitude and decision-making nature of the new president and the peculiarity of the situation in which he was inaugurated into the presidency could be classified as another reason the bombs were dropped on the two cities. Almost from the moment the uniqueness of the new weapons was made known to the president, he took an altogether authoritative role. A study of the assertiveness with which the just-inaugurated president acted lends to this conclusion. It is difficult to say with certainty if the same incidents of bombings would surely have taken place if a person other than Truman had been at the helm of affairs at that time.

President Truman won greater admiration once he had quit office than when he was in power; this was more pronounced after his death. During the years he was in the White House, he was a president who had inherited a difficult mantle from the formidable Roosevelt. There was an aura of greatness created around him, most notably because of the famous words he had painted on his desk, ‘the buck stops here’. However, recent research, carried out a good few decades after his death, has shown that underneath the image of an astute, frank and honest president were qualities that hardly got the attention they really had to: suspicion, insensitivity and narrow-mindedness. He used his dashing demeanour to guise his innate insecurity and terrible self-doubt. (Walker, 1997, p. 7) This quality of his was perhaps well-known in the White House. A humorous anecdote may not be out of place to illustrate this: it is said that when Truman rushed to the Whitehouse upon hearing the news of president Roosevelt’s sudden death, he is said to have offered his help to the family. To this, Eleanor is reported to have quipped: ‘Is there anything we can do for you? For you are the one in trouble now’! (Boller, 1996, p. 278) It was only natural that the bomb caught his attention like no other, and became the idée fixe of his presidency. When he took office from president Roosevelt, he was sure about nothing but the fact that he had to carry on his illustrious predecessor’s legacy, which centred round the victory that America, with its coalition partners in the Allied forces, had to sealing the Pacific with minimum loss of American lives. In a sense, it was a difficult legacy he inherited, because he only knew he had to continue with Roosevelt’s legacy, but was unsure about which that was. (Walker, 1997, pp. 7-9) There had been a considerable difference of opinion between the Roosevelts on the purpose of the war. If Delano had been under the impression that the aim was winning the war, Eleanor differed with him, asserting that winning the war was only half the battle won; the First Lady was of the strong view that winning the peace after the war ended was more important. This, to her, was the lasting victory, one that would place America on the pedestal to its chosen destiny. (Rozell & Pederson, 1997, p. 209) Is it any wonder that the utterly confused president made the following comments in press conference the day after taking oath: ‘Boys, if you ever pray, pray for me now. I don’t know whether you fellows ever had a load of hay fall on you, but when they told me yesterday what had happened, Infelt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me’?(Jones, 1994, p. 36) Thus, it was only natural that the invention that came into existence weeks after he took office, the bomb, turned out to be a weapon in both the literal and figurative senses –it would help him shake off the Roosevelt hangover; using it with unequivocal force would firmly establish his position. 
On July 7, 1945, a palpably tense and reluctant Truman set sail for Potsdam in Germany to attend for a meeting with ‘Generalissimo’ Josef Stalin and Winston Churchill. This unease was predictable to a novice who was barely three months into his presidency: “Truman’s anxiety about attending the conference was understandable. He was still a novice at his job and still learning the complexities of the many problems he faced. He was traveling to meet and doubtlessly disagree on important issues with two crusty and renowned leaders who must have seemed larger than life, even to the president of the United States. He was determined to protect American interests but worried about how successful he would be in jousting with his formidable, tenacious, and experienced counterparts.” (Walker, 1997, pp. 7-9 and 53) In the situation that he was in, nothing gave him greater strength than the bomb; it was a godsend to a cornered president, one arrow with which he could kill all–the butterflies in his own stomach, the Rooseveltian noose that hung over his head, and all the political issues discussed earlier.
Thus, once the awesome bomb had been unfurled, the president became unshakably firm in his conviction that it had to be used, come what may. The first significant communication he made after learning about the power of the bomb was: ‘I am going to make a decision which no man in history has ever had to make…’He was clear right from the moment he had got a grasp of the bomb’s potency that there was no alternative to using it. He had told Byrnes that ‘he had given thought to the problem and, while reluctant to use this weapon, saw no way of avoiding it’. This was also reflected in the address he gave the nation three days after Hiroshima, in which he plainly declared that ‘having found the bomb we used it’. Even in his memoirs, he expressed scant regret for having used it, stating: ‘Let there be no mistake about it. I regarded the bomb as a military weapon and never had any doubt that it should be used’ Another factor that may have influenced Truman to use the bomb against Japan was that he had to take off from where Roosevelt had left; he had to continue a majority of the projects and policies that Roosevelt had initiated, one of the which was the Manhattan Project, whose brief it was to develop the bomb. It was in line with his resolution to continue Roosevelt’s policies. Finally, the very fact of the sheer, intimidating power of the powerful bomb he knew was not just another bomb gave him control over it. This power of controlling the world’s most powerful bomb till then, making him the only man in the universe, filled with him pride and ego. This would give him unquestionable might and enhance his already powerful status. (Gaddis, Gordon, May, & Rosenberg, 1999, pp. 16, 17) Two months after the incidents in Japan, he exhibited his knowledge of the importance of the bomb, saying, ‘The discovery of the means of releasing atomic energy began a new era in the history of civilization. The scientific and industrial knowledge on which this discovery rests does not relate merely to another weapon. It may someday prove to be more revolutionary in the development of human society than the invention of the wheel, the use of metals, or the steam or internal-combustion engine. 
Never in history has society been confronted with a power so full of potential danger and at the same time so full of promise for the future of man and for the peace of the world. I think I express the faith of the American people when I say that we can use the knowledge we have won not for the devastation of war but for the future welfare of humanity.’ (Koenig, 1956, p. 122) On August 9, 1945, in response to letter from a prelate that the Americans had ‘indiscriminately’ bombed Hiroshima, Truman is said to have remarked: ‘Nobody is more disturbed over the use of the Atomic bombs than I am, but I was greatly disturbed over the unwarranted attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor and their murder of our prisoners of war. The only language they seem to understand is the one we have been using to bombard them. When you must deal with a beast you have to treat him as a beast. It is most regrettable but nevertheless true’ (Cumings, 1999, p. 58) Since the time of the capture of Pearl Harbour, the propaganda war intensified in the US, making the Japanese the ultimate villains in their eyes. Although the Americans did inflict a heavy defeat on the Japanese in the campaigns of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, the strong sentiment the Americans had against the Japanese, by which not even the president was immune from this stereotype, may have forced him to choose Japan as the target for the testing of the atomic bombs. It is not surprising, considering that in his private diaries, he referred to the Japanese as ‘savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic’. (Wainstock, p.121) The anti-Japan feeling was so strong in the US that from the time the bomb was conceived, it was decided to develop it to be used, and to be used against Japan, (Blumenson et al., 1960, p. 496) and that it should be used on a dual target comprising military installations and civilian targets such as residences close to these installations, and should be used without prior warning (Divine, 1969, p. 315), despite vehement pleas not to use it against Japan by none other than one of the chief architects of the bomb, Leo Szilard, who pleaded that the administration refrain from using the deadly bomb because, to him, ‘Japan was essentially defeated’, and ‘it would be wrong to attack its cities with atomic bombs as if atomic bombs were simply another military weapon’. Another strong motivation for Truman was that he ordered the atomic bombs to be dropped to vindicate the cost in terms of money and manpower that went into making the bombs. The bombs had been developed at a cost of $two billion. It seemed foolish to him at that point of time to not use it after having spent so much on a project into which the country’s best scientific minds had gone. He felt he was answerable to a hostile Congress about a project that had been carried out in great secrecy, and felt he was accountable to it. When the executive had fought with the Congress to get the money, Truman and his team were afraid of offending the Congress by not using the bombs. The leaders were eager to please the Congress, whose various committees had been demanding that ‘the results had better be worth the$2 billion investment.’ (Wainstock, 1996, pp. 1&2, 37 &38 and121-123) A measure of the relief the success of the bomb sent in the inner political coterie responsible for the development of the bomb could be discerned from the remark Stimson is believed to have made immediately upon receiving news of the success of the trial: ‘Well, I have been responsible for spending two billions of dollars on this atomic venture. Now that it is successful I shall not be sent to prison in Fort Leavenworth.’ The president was overjoyed at hearing the news of the success. Stimson records in his diary that on hearing the news of the successful explosion, ‘The President was tremendously pepped up by it’, and ‘and spoke to me of it again and again, when I saw him. He said it gave him an entirely new feeling of confidence….’ This became clear in the way he conducted himself at the conference the next day, something even Churchill found almost tangible, saying Truman had become more forceful the next day ‘because of this new piece of knowledge’. (Szasz, 1984, pp. 145, 146)
Further, the importance the bomb held in Truman’s heart was so great that some historians such as Alperovitz & Bird, (1994) have taken up from this point to suggest that it was this penchant for this bomb that was to not only motivate Truman to go ahead and bomb Japan, it was the turning point in the polarisation of the world’s superpowers the led to the Cold War. Their logic is based on the following reasoning: the potential for conflict between the Americans and the Russians was no doubt in the air even as they were going into the war, but what put two powers on the road to rivalry was the bomb, and Truman’s grasp of its unprecedented might. This was to serve as the catalyst for sealing the alignment of forces that shaped the world leading to the famed Cold War. Even while getting into Potsdam, Truman had been in two minds about his own ability to pull off a diplomatic coup over Russia; as he confided to his wife in his diary, he was jittery about the prospect of what his meeting with the Generalissimo would achieve. It had always been Roosevelt’s policy to contain the armament of Germany, which he believed was crucial to assure the world that a rearmed Germany would never again threaten it, and to contain the Russians with an alliance of like-minded western powers. However, at the time, and in Truman’s initial days in office, till the time the atom bomb was tested, the battle lines were only hazy. There was nuclear agreement on the shape the defeated Germany would take after it had surrendered. These researchers conclude that if there was something that gave direction and thrust to the rivalry that was to concretise as the Cold War, it was the bomb, and its primacy in the president’s mind.(Alperovitz & Bird, 1994)

 

Part IV:
Other aspects of the bombing:

A study of why America dropped the bombs on the two Japanese cities is incomplete without a reference to the controversies surrounding the issue. In a nutshell, the controversies relate to the two grave questions historians have asked in later years: was the bombing of Japan necessary at all in the first place to force a surrender on it, and, secondly, would not one bomb have sufficed? 

“Post-war historians have challenged President Harry Truman’s decision to use the atomic bomb to shorten World War II and save American lives. Some claim that the Allies could have ended the war by negotiating with the Japanese; others contend dropping the bombs was patent racism and that atomic bombs never would have been dropped on the Germans.” (Allen, Polmar & Bernstein, 1995) 
Historians accuse Truman of not taking all factors into consideration, and of not making a full understanding of the internal situation in Japan at that time. 

After Potsdam, as we have seen, his will to drop the bombs was hastened, on the thought that its use would totally save American lives, as compared to an invasion, bringing the J


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