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Truman's Decision About Dropping Atomic Bomb

By muditapatel Nov 11, 2008 1100 Words
Pearl Harbor was deliberately attacked by the Japanese on December 7, 1941. Reports indicate that 2400 people were killed and 1300 were wounded. [1-ap] The reason Japan bombed Pearl Harbor was because that was where all of the U.S. Navy ships were positioned. The Americans went on the offensive against the Japanese in the Pacific in mid-1942. The United States dropped the first atomic bomb on, a medium-sized Japanese city, Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. The second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. President Truman’s decision of dropping the atomic bombs was absolutely necessary since it saved lives of millions of the Americans and the Japanese as well. This attack on Pearl Harbor was just an example of what could have happened if the war had continued. If the war had continued, another attack on U.S. soil could have taken place. This could have turned the 6,000 dead American civilians into 9,000 dead civilians.[2-cyber] That number could have kept rising until the war was over. The bomb needed to be dropped to stop the war. Truman was also suggested an option of invading Japan. Military planners figured the invasion of Kyushu alone would take between 31,000 and 50,000 US casualties in the first thirty days and that the combined US losses from Operations Coronet and Olympic would exceed 500,000. [3-enola] President Truman believed that, unless he used the atomic bomb, an invasion was necessary and that the casualties would be enormous. [4-enola] The numbers of casualties were far more compared to those after dropping the atomic bombs. Truman could not choose scarifying the Americans’ lives over the lives of the enemies who attacked Pearl Harbor. The Japanese were determined to make the invading Allied forces pay a terrible price even though Japan was almost dead after being bombarded from the sky and the naval blockade. The Japanese Cabinet extended the draft to cover most civilians, men and women. [5-enola] The defending force would have more than 10,000 kamikaze. [6-enola] The Japanese refusal to surrender led to 48,000 American casualties between April and June. [6-enola] Kamikaze attacks sank twenty-eight US ships and did severe damage to hundreds more. [7-enola] The U.S. successfully tested the first atomic bomb at Alamogordo, New Mexico on July 16, 1945. The Potsdam Proclamation asked Japan to surrender unconditionally to end the war. Unconditional surrender simply meant the demilitarization of Japan and the end of the emperor Hirohito. The U.S. warned Japan of “utter devastation” if it did not accept the unconditional surrender. The emperor was beyond the politics and the god for the Japanese. Prime Minister Suzuki declared the Potsdam Proclamation a "thing of no great value" and said "We will simply mokusatsu it." statement as rejection of the Potsdam Proclamation. Mokusatsu means "kill with silence" literally. [8-enola] The Japanese were not ready to surrender. The British Prime Minister Winston Churchill also supported Truman’s decision to use the bomb at Potsdam. Truman gave the complete power to use the atomic bomb in the hands of the military. He informed the military to pick the Japanese city with less number of women and children. The primary target was Hiroshima which was the seventh largest city in Japan and an industrial and military shipping center. [9-enola] The Enola Gay dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima at precisely 8:16 a.m. on August 6, 1945. [10-enola] More than half of the city was destroyed in a flash, and about 80,000 people were killed in this attack. [11-enola] The Japanese emperor Hirohito wanted the war to end. He instructed the Foreign Minister Togo to tell Prime Minister Suzuki that Japan must accept the inevitable and terminate the war with the least possible delay and the tragedy of Hiroshima must not be repeated. [12-enola] The U.S. did not receive any answer about the unconditional surrender from Japan after the attack. Casualties were increasing on both sides with every day that Japan refused to surrender. On the other side, the Soviets entered the war on August 8, 1945. The Japanese were not ready to surrender despite of a war becoming suddenly active on two fronts- the USSR and the U.S. President Truman wanted to quickly force the Japanese to accept an American unconditional surrender before the Russians could get involved in the war and demand a role in the post-war peace in Asia. The second atomic bomb exploded on Nagasaki at 11:02 a.m. on August 9, 1945. [13-enola] Nagasaki was a medium-sized city and was heavily industrialized with a shipyard, electric equipment production facilities, steel factories, and an arm plant. [14-enola] This attack killed 40,000 people. [15-enola] President Truman, in his radio address August 9, said the United States had used the atomic bomb "against those who attacked us without warning at Pearl Harbor, against those who have starved and beaten and executed American prisoners of war, against those who have abandoned all pretense of obeying international laws of warfare. We have used it to shorten the agony of war, in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans. We shall continue to use it until we completely destroy Japan's power to make war. Only a Japanese surrender will stop us." [15-enola] The Japanese adopted a message for radio transmission at 4:00 a.m., on August 10, 1945, saying: “The Japanese Government [is] ready to accept the terms enumerated in the joint declaration which was issued at Potsdam on July 26th, 1945, by the heads of the Governments of the United States, Great Britain, and China, and later subscribed to by the Soviet Government, with the understanding that the said declaration does not comprise any demand which prejudices the prerogatives of His Majesty as a Sovereign Ruler.” [16-enola] The U.S. accepted the surrender. The USSR was also impressed by the U.S. since the U.S. was the first to use the atomic bomb. The land invasion would have killed far more people than the atomic bombs did on both sides. The lives of millions of the American soldiers were saved and thousands of Japanese civilians were saved. The USSR was also impressed by the U.S. since the U.S. was the first to use the atomic bomb. Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb was absolutely right on the side of the U.S.

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