Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombings

Topics: Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, World War II, Nuclear weapon Pages: 7 (2373 words) Published: January 15, 2012
Since the end of World War II, there has been an ongoing argument concerning whether the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were truly necessary. This argument is greatly influenced by the horrific results produced by these bombings. The photos and memories of thousands of victims who survived the nuclear blast serve as reminders of these devastating acts of war. There are two main viewpoints concerning the decision to drop these bombs. One is the military point of view and the other is the moral point of view. The fact that more than 100,000 civilians, including innocent men, women, and children, were burned and blasted to pieces is difficult to comprehend. There are many positive and negative aspects of the attack on Japan. The significant positive reason is that it ended World War II, but this came at a great cost. Though some would say the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were unnecessary acts of war crime, these actions were a military necessity.

In the year of 1942, the United States of America established a top-secret military assignment called “The Manhattan Project.” The purpose of this project was to develop the first nuclear weapon. The United States had been given information that the Nazi Germans were attempting to create a nuclear weapon as well. Thus, President Franklin Roosevelt decided that this project had extreme critical importance and needed to be accomplished before the Nazis. The United States had assigned a number of brilliant scientists to work together in the making of the nuclear bomb.

Some of those scientists were Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, Richard Feynman, J. Robert Openheimer, and Harold Urey. In 1945, the United States had officially constructed the first atomic bomb. They code-named it “The Trinity”. It was tested in a desert located in New Mexico and the results were successful. Because the outcome was greater than they had expected, they produced two more nuclear warheads. They were code-named “Little Boy” and “Fat Man”. The atomic bomb works in three stages. The first stage is the thermal heat wave, which is estimated to be ten times hotter than the surface of the sun. The heat from the explosion causes fires and severe burns. There were many survivors of the bombing of Hiroshima who suffered from these agonizing skin burns. The blast is the second stage of a nuclear bomb. The blast radius of a nuclear weapon can be up to 13 square kilometers wide. With power equivalent to 15,000 tons of TNT, this blast forcefully destroys buildings and levels entire cities. The first two stages happen within a few seconds and are clearly visible. Radiation is the final stage and it causes severe long-term effects. It can be extremely harmful to the human body, depending on the amount that your body absorbs.

Hiroshima is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture, which is located in Japan. At 8:15 A.M., on August 6, 1945, Hiroshima caught the attention of the world when President Harry S. Truman gave the order that a U.S. plane would drop the first atomic

bomb on it. Captain Robert Lewis of the American military said: “As the bomb fell over Hiroshima and exploded, we saw the entire city disappear. I wrote in my log the words: My God, what have we done?” The atomic blast destroyed two-thirds of the city within seconds and instantly killed more than 60,000 people. “When you arrive in Hiroshima you can look around and for 25 and perhaps 30 square miles you can see hardly a building. It gives you an empty feeling in the stomach to see such man-made devastation,” said Wilfred Burchett, the first journalist to enter Hiroshima after the bombing. It was like nothing that had ever been used in warfare before; it was unexpected and shocking to the Japanese Empire. President Harry S. Truman had considerately warned the Japanese of this attack, but they thought nothing of it. Although the aftermath of the atomic bomb shook up the Japanese Empire, they wouldn’t...
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