Top-Rated Free Essay

Why the Atomic Bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki shouldn't have been dropped

Good Essays
Was America justified in dropping the horrific atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Should the bombs have been used? The answer to that is undoubtedly clear: no. The bombs did more harm than good. The US had conducted “the world’s most devastating military mission”1, effects of which are still evident today.
World War II was primarily caused by Germany, Italy and Japan, influenced by fascist revolutions. While Germany and Italy dealt with matters in Europe, Japan had plunged itself in a Pacific War with Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and China, only to name a few. After the events of Pearl Harbor (a surprise military attack by the Japanese on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii) US had involved itself in the war as an Allie (countries opposing Germany and its ideologies). This meant that the US needed to defeat Japan in order for the Allies to succeed which they did so on the 15th of August 1945, when Japan announced its surrender after the atomic bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki are two towns in southern Japan. Nagasaki, at the time, had the largest seaport in southern Japan and it had a reputation for its industrial activity. Hiroshima, however, had military significance with defense camps and army headquarters situated there. To American officials these two towns were perfect for weakening a country’s military system and morale. The ‘Little Boy’ atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on the 6th of august 1945. The second bomb, ‘Fat Man’, was released on Nagasaki on the 9th of August 1945. The attack on the city of Nagasaki was a surprise because US officials had actually wanted ‘Fat Man’ to drop on the city of Kokura. Nagasaki was the second option for the aircrew who were forced to drop the bomb on another city2.
So what is an atomic bomb and why are its effects so devastating?
An atomic bomb is a nuclear weapon which uses chain fission reactions. A nuclear fission is a chain reaction of neutrons bombarding an atom of uranium3. This releases immense amounts of energy as more and more neutrons are released. Because so much energy is released, it is vital that the chain reaction is managed carefully. In the event of the dropping of the bombs, no one knew as to what effects it will have as it was the first and only ever atomic bomb used in warfare. There are four categories of destruction that an atomic bomb can cause: the initial blast, thermal radiation, ionizing radiation and residual radiation4. The death toll of the Nagasaki bomb was 60,000-80,000+ people along with 90,000-166,000+ people dying due to the Hiroshima disaster. On the day of the explosions sixty percent of the deceased died from flash or flame burns, as a result of thermal radiation (burns causing the death of skin cells and tissue cells and charring5). Thirty percent died from falling debris, as a result of the initial blast, and 10% dies from other causes6. Out of the sixty percent that died due to burns, 15-20% died from radiation sickness7 due to the immediate and short-term effects of the atomic bomb. In the long term, the radiation ‘left-behind’ affected the river-systems and also found its way into seas and oceans causing radiation sickness leaving tissue cells damaged. Food supplies were affected too however the most serious of changes were the consequences the bombs had on human development. The delayed effects surfaced months and years after the inexcusable bombing. Those exposed to the radiation experienced problems such as life shortening, decreased fertility, genetic mutations and cataract formation8 (a disease in the eye which clouds the lens resulting in decreased vision); women who conceived after the bombing produced children with more abnormalities than average. These statistics prove why the bombings should have never taken place. They ruined and scarred many lives and further generations were affected significantly.
The bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were acts of pure evil by the American military force. Some may argue that the bombs forced Japan to surrender thus ending the war. However, bearing in mind the situation Japan was in the time of the bombings, the Emperor would still have surrendered because Russia had invaded the country from the west, catching all the troops by surprise. Japan, knowing that Germany and Italy had fallen, wouldn’t have been keen on taking all the Allies single-handedly hence surrendering. The need for two deadly atomic bombs was never needed.
America was responsible of the death of hundreds and thousands of humans which had no part at all in the war. Majority of those who died were innocent civilians including women, children and the elders. These children hadn’t even learnt the basics of life when their lives had been taken away so mercilessly. The need of an atomic bomb on everyday civilians was not necessary. The Japanese citizens did not deserve this distressing punishment. The acts of a few merciless Japanese officials and soldiers in attacking Pearl Harbor did not need to affect the lives of so many nationals. America could have easily targeted those responsible for the war but instead it chose to kill more than 250,000+ humans.
So again should the atomic bomb have been used? Obviously the answer is no. How can someone order such a destructive weapon to fall on innocent civilians?! These people were ordinary Japanese citizens who had no idea that two bombs were being dropped on them. Furthermore, what makes this act even more appalling is that the aftermath of this devilish act still remains. After all these years, the fallout from the radiation is still a major factor in the areas. The 6th and 9th of August, 1945 were two days which shook Japan forever and after sixty-seven years, people are still reminded of the effects of two unnecessary mass destructive atomic bombs.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Throughout history, the United States has found itself as the center of controversy. A most notable event that is still debated across many public forums is the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Historians and politicians alike have questioned the justification of the United States’s decision. After taking careful consideration of both sides of the argument, it can be determined that the Unites States was not justified in its actions.…

    • 755 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    On August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb dubbed “Little Boy” was dropped on Hiroshima and was followed by another, named “Fat Boy” at Nagasaki three days later in an attempt by the United States to end WWII. Germany had been defeated and the allied forces were sure to win the war. The main concern was how to defeat Japan. Japan surrendered unconditionally on August 14th, 1945. President Truman’s decision to use the bombs is often criticized given that the effects of an atomic bomb are so devastating and long lasting. Was the atomic bomb really necessary? There were four major alternatives to dropping the atomic bomb: using the atomic bomb in a non combat demonstration, altering the demand for unconditional surrender, invade Japan with Allied and Soviet assistance, and continuing conventional war techniques.…

    • 1125 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    WGBH American Experience | PBS." PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2013. .…

    • 1834 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    The atomic bomb killed many innocent people, but it was necessary to end World War II.…

    • 1583 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    On august 6th 1945, an atomic bomb named little bomb has been dropped on Hiroshima Japan, a blast which was over 6,000 degrees Celsius where over 70,000 people were killed instantly and over 20,000 killed because of the aftershocks and sickness. (Bbc.co.uk,2015) People’s eyes came out of their sockets, and peeled skin hung from their body. Their ashes left shadows on the wall and floors of Hiroshima. There were people who died in less than a second with quick and short death and other people jumped straight into dried up rivers looking for water. Humans no longer looking like humans. (Crimes of War, 2011) I strongly believe that this action was unjustified. There were even children who eye witnessed this event which have scarred their innocent childhood. In this essay I will examine a range of evidence to show my decision.…

    • 564 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    We have come a long way since we decided to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II. It is amazing that we continue debating on this subject today. The US should not have decided to drop these atomic bombs. This decision was totally unnecessary. Thousands of people died who did not need to die, and many more became sick from radiation poisoning. The bombs wiped two entire cities off the map. How can anyone even argue for this in the first place? One argument that was used to support dropping the bomb was that the Japanese forfeited their rights when they aggressively attacked Pearl Harbor and committed war crimes against prisoners and the Chinese. This argument does not work for a few reasons. First, there are two types of justice in war. There is the justice for going to war and the justice for how you fight in war. The two are separate. This argument assumes that because the US had a reason to go to war, how they fought the war was automatically justified. This is false. It is possible to fight a just war unjustly. Its between ends and means. Reasonable ends do not justify unreasonable means. Also, violations of the rules of war do not justify similar actions in response. Just because the Japanese fought unfair does not mean that we were allowed too. Saying, “Well, you did it, too!” cannot be the basis for War II was bad, we should not have just forfeited our standards and done bad things as well. Our leaders were operating under the “War is hell” doctrine, which means anything that brings the end of war more quickly is good. This is not a way to actually fight wars. If war is hell, then why do we even have rules of war? Hiding behind “War is hell” is a cop out used to try to escape any responsibility for fighting properly. As long as war is here, we should have rules for it to try to lower its impact. Such rules cause mass killings, for example, the dropping of the…

    • 685 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In August 1945, little more than three weeks after the Trinity test inaugurated the atomic age, the United States detonated “Little Boy” at precisely 8:15 a.m. over Hiroshima, killing an estimated 140,000 people, the considerable majority of whom were civilians. That single bomb completely annihilated the Japanese city. Days later, the same fate was visited on Nagasaki. Over the years, people have debated whether or not the bombings were necessary or gratuitous; justified or criminal; responsible for Japan’s surrender or largely irrelevant to it. The bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima remains the first and only deployment of the atomic bomb used in conflict. It successfully brought World War II to a conclusion. Today, with the last of the remaining…

    • 678 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    The decision to drop two atomic bombs on Japan in August of 1945 was made by a complex group of technological, political and military influences. History has it that the bombs were dropped in order to save American lives by avoiding the invasion of Japanese homelands, at least, that was what President Truman told the American public at the time. “For years, this simple view has been challenged by a seemingly more sophisticated academic perspective that the bombs were wrongfully used against innocent civilians, did not genuinely factor into the surrender of Japan, and would have better served the war effort as part of a diplomatic “carrot and stick” package.” (Beason 1). Some argue that the first bomb may have been required to achieve Japanese surrender, but the second one was a needless act of barbarism. According to Admiral William D. Leahy, the President’s Chief of Staff, “The use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war over Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender…” (Beason 1). However, I have many facts to counteract all of these criticisms and to support President Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb.…

    • 1290 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Despite its destructive consequences, the American bombing of Hiroshima was necessary to put an end to the war in the Pacific. President Truman’s choice to release a nuclear weapon on Japan was the fastest solution to ending the United States’ involvement in the Second World War, making the decision the most time efficient way out. Hiroshima’s destruction was also, very possibly, the only way for the United States to win the war, because the Japanese were very clear that they were prepared to fight until they were down to their last man. The Japanese military was the strongest in the world, so ending the war with a bang was much more appealing to Americans and the Truman Administration than fighting until there was no one left to fight. Perhaps most importantly, the dropping of the atomic bomb saved the lives of millions of American soldiers and civilians, as well as Japanese soldiers and civilians. This made it not only the quickest way to bring the soldiers home and ensure the United States’ victory, but also the best way to reduce the lives lost on both sides. The Truman Administration’s decision to drop a nuclear bomb on the Japanese was horrific, but necessary in bringing about a cost-effective, Japanese surrender that saved more lives than it took away.…

    • 1158 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Nuclear War

    • 670 Words
    • 3 Pages

    A nuclear weapon is a weapon whose explosive power is generated by the process of nuclear fission (an atomic bomb) or nuclear fusion (a hydrogen or thermonuclear bomb). There are two main types of bombs which release energy from the nuclei of atoms. The simplest kind is an atomic bomb. Like a nuclear power plant, it releases great quantities of energy through a process called nuclear fission, or 'splitting', of a large unstable (radioactive) element like uranium or…

    • 670 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Over the history of the United States, people have been debating over the issue of US using the atomic bomb on Japan. Some may feel that United States was justified and others might feel that US was not justified. The usage of atomic bomb in Japan might seem wrong today, but it was the best option during the war. The United States was justified in using the atomic bombs against Japan in World War II.…

    • 635 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Was the use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki necessary? No, it was not. Neither of the two cities were military targets. Both cities had more civilians than troops. This would also mean that we broke the rules of war. We bombed innocent civilians. This, according to multiple documents of war, is illegal. Especially since the towns had no means of defending themselves. Bombing these towns also started the Cold war arms race. Everyone wanted the atomic bomb. I believe that the dropping the 2 bombs was not necessary because we killed innocent civilians, we started an arms race, and we ended a war that was already on the verge of ending itself.…

    • 515 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    1945 began as a year of increasing tensions between countries as the war extended onto its sixth year. Military groups of the various countries involved were now beginning to seriously consider the conclusion of the war in terms of how the global ceasefire would be carried out and frankly, who would win. After the defeat of the Axis Powers in Europe, the focus had been turned towards the war in Asia and the Pacific Regions in which the Allied Forces of Great Britain, Australia and the USA were in conflict with the Axis power of Japan and her partners. Following the urge to end the war, the ‘Big Three’ made up of the three leaders of the major Allied Forces; Churchill, Stalin and Truman met for what is known as the Potsdam Conference to discuss ‘post-war world’ and as a result, the Potsdam Declaration was written giving the Japanese an opportunity to surrender or face “prompt and utter destruction”. Despite this opportunity, the Japanese chose to ignore the warning, thus, the US decided to administer the use of their newly developed nuclear weapons and drop the atomic bombs on Japan with both hope and belief that the Japanese would be forced to surrender and thus, ending the war on American terms. At the time, there was massive speculation surrounding the attack. However, the USA had entirely justifiable reasons behind the attack; therefore, they should have dropped the bombs on Japan. Firstly, Japan had been given the opportunity to surrender on peaceful terms but refused due to military being in control of the nation. Secondly, the only alternative was an invasion on Japan; however this action would not end lightly with predictions of huge casualties on the Americans’ part. Furthermore, the Japanese surrendered within a week of the dropping of the bombs proving the effectiveness of the USA’s actions.…

    • 1653 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    The nuclear bombings of Japan are a very controversial topic, and is highly discussed and researched by scholars and the general public. The nuclear bombings are not just a small part in military history, but a lesson in reality and the destruction possible of man to achieve their goals; these bombings have raised a whole host of ethical issues and concerns, which must be taken into consideration. There are many reasons why the actions taken by the United States and specifically President Truman to drop the A-Bomb on Hiroshima were absolutely unnecessary. On the other hand there is an abundant amount of weak justification as to why it was so imperative for the U.S. to distinguish the lives of sixty-six thousand civilians in the blink of an eye, and cause catastrophic destruction and disparity that would have a lasting effect for decades to come.…

    • 2280 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    On August 6, 1945 the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, killing thousands of innocent people! The United States did it to force Japan to surrender and end World War II. To this present day it still and will remain a controversy whether or not the US was in the right or wrong of bombing Hiroshima. I argue that the US shouldn’t have attacked Hiroshima the way they did.…

    • 608 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays