The Atom Bomb

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The dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki remains among the most controversial events in modern history. Historians have actively debated whether the bombings were necessary. What effect they had on bringing the war in the Pacific to an end and what other options were available to the United States. As American policymakers struggled with how to use a powerful new technology and what the long-term impact of atomic weaponry might be, not just on the Japanese but on domestic politics and America’s international relations and the building of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. It is clear that the reasons for dropping the atomic bombs on Japan, with a variety of issues that went far beyond the simple goal of bringing World War II to an end. The atomic weapon was considered to be a new terrifying powerful explosive, as devastating as any other of the deadly explosive weapons of modern war. Had the war continued until the projected invasion on November 1, additional fire raids of B‑20’s would have been more destructive of life and property than the very limited number of atomic raids which we could have done in the same period. But the atomic bomb was more than a weapon of terrible destruction; it was a psychological weapon as well. The bomb served exactly the purpose we intended. The peace party was able to take the path of surrender and the whole weight of the Emperor’s prestige was in favor of peace. When the Emperor ordered surrender and the small but dangerous group of people who opposed him were brought under control, the Japanese became so controlled that the great undertaking and occupation and disarmament was completed with ease.
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