Dropping the Atomic Bomb
Although Japan had an estimated army of 5,000,000 men, they were on the verge of imminent collapse and the two atomic bombs that were dropped on them were not necessary to obtain Japan’s surrender. America’s primary reason for using the atomic bombs on Japan was to intimidate the Soviet Union so that the Soviet Union would stay out of the war with Japan and to demonstrate our world dominance, rather than dropping the bombs solely to induce Japan’s unconditional surrender.
America wanted to prevent the Soviet Union from entering the war with Japan to prevent them from getting benefits from their victory and to make American look like the heroes. Eisenhower told President Truman that only victory could keep the Red Army out of the war. Historian Alperovitz thought the bomb was used to prevent Russia from entering Manchuria, even though FDR made the Yalta deal with Russia to enter the war with Japan. (American Pageant) America thought that if Russia entered the war they would interfere with America’s plans for peace. Churchill also thought the bomb meant we had no need to ask favors from the Russians.
America wanted to have the appearance of world domination and the atomic bomb would make an explosive statement. Nuclear physicist Szilard said that future Secretary of State Byrnes felt that dropping the bomb would make Russia more “manageable” in Europe. A scientific panel of several physicists disagreed about whether and why the bomb should be used, but some felt the bomb would “improve international prospects” of America. President Truman presumably thought that the bomb could show American’s world dominance by retaliating against Japan’s war actions and by showing that American scientists dominated German scientists in the race to make the bomb. America successfully achieved world dominance but it was short-lived after we used it and made other countries follow suit.
Although some would argue using the atomic bomb on Japan...
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