On August 6th 1945 the United States, under President Harry S. Truman, dropped the first of two atomic bombs on Hiroshima, a fairly large city in Japan. Three days later on August 9th, a second atomic bomb was dropped on another Japanese city, Nagasaki. A big question that is still argued today is whether the droppings of the two atomic bombs, that forced the Japanese to surrender, were a necessary act. Many historians and politicians argue this point and will most likely never come to an agreement. Although there are countless numbers of important events that happened during World War II, both in Europe and the Pacific, the dropping of the two atomic bombs on Japan was the most influential event in the war.
The United States entered World War II on December 8th 1941, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared war on Japan. The United States declared war as a direct response to the bombings of Pearl Harbor. The United States fought in both Europe and in the Pacific for almost five years before the United States made the decision to drop the two atomic bombs. In response to the dropping of the atomic bomb, United States Lieutenant Commander, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, proclaimed, “"Anyone who saw Nagasaki would suddenly realize that they'd been kept in the dark by the United States government as to what atomic bombs can do." (Lawrence Ferlinghetti) 1. This quote summarizes the effect the atomic bomb had on Japan. A very big question that still lies in the minds of many people today is: was the atomic bomb necessary for the surrender of the Japanese?
There is not actually a correct answer to this question, but there are many facts that back up both sides of the argument. The bombs were so deadly and so horrifyingly damaging, that even a good amount of United States Military leaders did not agree with the dropping of the two atomic bombs, on the cities on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. General Dwight D. Eisenhower was deeply troubled by the two bombings. He disclosed his strong reservations about using the new weapon in his 1963 by stating, “The Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing ........ I hated to see our country be the first to use such a weapon,” (General Dwight D. Eisenhower)2. General Eisenhower was not the only military leader to voice his opinion about the dropping of the atomic bombs in a negative way. Many other military and political citizens of the United States spoke negatively about the decision to drop the atomic bombs, including Admiral William D. Leahy, Herbert Hoover, General Douglas MacArthur, Assistant Sec. of War, John McCloy, and many others.
All these men had very valid reasons for believing that the dropping of the atomic bombs was unnecessary, and over the top. Many people believe that the Japanese were on the brink of surrendering of that the atomic bomb was not necessary. Admiral William D. Leahy of the United States Military is quoted voicing his negative opinion toward the decision."The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children." (William D. Leahy)3
The numbers of wounded and dead after the bombings are horrific. After the first of the two atomic bombs was dropped on Hiroshima 9 out of 10 people within a half mile of the bomb were found dead. It is estimated that over 150,000 people died from the atomic bomb. Scientist believe that nine percent of the survivors from the atomic bomb died of cancer later, due to the radiation given off from the bomb. It is also estimated that another 87,000 were killed from the atomic bomb dropped in Nagasaki. It does not even have to be said that these numbers are extremely devastating. The most...