Was the Atomic Bomb Dropped on Hiroshima Justified

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Were the Americans justified in dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945?

The dropping of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima in 1945 by the Americans is a very controversial issue with no definite answer. Both sides of the issue have very justifiable arguments. Reasons for dropping the bomb include the fact that Truman’s options were limited at this point in the war, that the bomb did have the desired outcome of Japans surrender and that the majority of reasons America had for dropping the bomb are justifiable. On the other hand, the atomic bomb was complete new technology and there is no way that Japan could have possibly been ready for it and for that reason the dropping of the atomic bomb is very much morally and ethically wrong. It is also important to consider that two bombs were dropped, both with different motivations and it is quite possible that while one is justifiable, the other is not.

There were many reasons why America would have chosen to drop the bomb and the majority can be justified. Before the atomic bomb was dropped, America was nearing the end of the war. They had made the Potsdam declaration requesting Japans surrender and at this point had the Japanese at a very weak position. At a similar time, the Americans had completed the development of the Atomic bomb or Project Manhattan that, after Germany surrendered, had no other competition. A lot money had been put into the development of the bomb and at this point, Truman’s options were limited. Invasion was out of the question due to the Japanese’s strong military and patriotic values: The continuation of conventional bombings and a naval blockade were also considered but deemed unsuitable. The negation of surrender had been tried with the ‘Potsdam Declaration’ and had failed. It is important to point out that by ignoring the declaration; the Japanese in effect gave their acceptance of the Americans threats of ‘prompt and utter destruction.’[1] America and Britain were both aware that the development of the bomb meant they no longer relied on the allied troops from Russia, and with the fear of communism, this was a motivation for the dropping of the bomb: ‘It is quite clear that the US do not at the present time desire Russian participation in the war against Japan’ [2]. There was also the question of time. The atomic bomb was by far the quickest way that America could see for the ending of the war, and they were eager to end the war as before long, Russia would become involved making a heavier casualty rate inevitable. America were also a very powerful country now they had the development of the Atomic Bomb, it would have been a waste to not be able to show their true power and the true destruction they could use through the bomb. There is also the point that the Americans were looking for revenge against the Japanese, as they had injured and killed many American soldiers, and even more to come, had the Americans not taken quick action.

Looking back at the dropping of the bomb, it is possible to say that it was a method of prevention in many different circumstances. Firstly, the dropping of the bomb meant that the war would be over: ‘The atomic bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended World War II. There can be no doubt of that.’ [3] It is possible that leaving the war longer could have resulted in a much worse fatality rate for both Japan and America. Also, the dropping of the atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima effectively decided the use of atomic technology for weapons for the future. Before the dropping of the bomb, people had no idea of the severity and power of atomic weaponry and therefore, the argument can be made that the dropping of the atomic bomb prevented a lot more serious cases that could have happened say the power of atomic bombs was not explored at this time.

The dropping of the atomic bomb caused great loss of life, and there are many arguments suggesting the dropping of the bomb was...
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