The Manhattan Project was very secretive, only a few select people knew of what as going on, to keep the Axis powers unaware of their progress Oho Manhattan Project”). When the bomb was complete they tested it on July 1 6, 1945 and decided it would be a useful weapon in the war. On August 6, 1 945 the United States became the first in the world to use nuclear weapons against another country. They used two atomic bombs to attempt to end the war, first on Hiroshima, and three days later on Nagasaki.
The bombing of these two cities was not justified because there were other tactical options, thousands of innocent civilians were killed, and the bomb left the two cities with many deadly long-term effects. Dropping the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not the only option that the United States could have pursued in the war. There were other tactical options such as, negotiating, using a naval blockade, or continuing to fighting. Negotiations could have happened in the ceasefire that took place in 1945, but Harry Truman never pursued it.
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Douglas MacArthur who was the chief of staff of the United States Army, advised against the use of the bomb because he felt it would harm the Unites States’ reputation, and he felt that it was not necessary to end the war (“Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki”). The Japanese sent peace offers in January of 1945 stating, “1 . Full surrender of the Japanese forces, air, land, and sea at home and in all occupied countries. 2. Surrender of all arms and ammunition. 3. Agreement of the Japanese to occupation of their homeland and island possessions. . Relinquish of Manchuria, Korea and Formosa. 5. Regulation of Japanese industry. 6. Surrender of designated war criminals for trial. 7. Release of all prisoners” (“The Bomb Was Not Necessary”). Other than the control of the emperor these terms were identical to the final surrender terms and the United States id not accept it. The United States also had the option to utilize a naval blockade to Stop goods from entering Japan. In August of 1945 the United States enforced a naval blockade, and it was working.
The food and supplies slowly stopped coming in, and the people began to become uneasy about their country’s involvement in the war. The people began to demand an end to the war, but the United States did not give Japan enough time to offer terms of surrender because shortly after the blockade was in place, the United States had already decided to drop the bomb. The United States had other options besides roping the bomb to end the war, but the president and his advisors did not seem to have enough patience to allow the war to end peacefully Cite Bomb Was Not Necessary”).
During the attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the United States killed many innocent civilians who had no ties to the war. The bomb dropped on Hiroshima wiped out ninety percent of the city and immediately killed 80,000 people. Thousands more died later from radiation exposure. Three days later a bigger bomb weighing nearly 1 0,000 pounds was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. Although the bomb used on Nagasaki was a bigger, more powerful pone, it killed less people and had a smaller destruction area. This was due to the fact that Nagasaki is located in narrow valleys between mountains.
The second bomb was initially meant to be detonated over the city of Koura, but there were thick clouds covering the city not giving enough vision to drop the bomb accurately on the target, so they moved to the secondary target, Nagasaki (“The Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki”). The United States knew how deadly this weapon would be when they used it on the two cities in Japan. When they tested the atomic bomb in July of 1945 in the deserts of New Mexico, the explosion was visible for 200 miles. A mushroom cloud reached 40,000 feet, and the blast blew out windows of civilian homes up to 100 miles away.
When the cloud disappeared there was a crater in the sand that was a half of a mile in diameter. This knowledge of the weapon should have been taken into consideration by the officials to be very careful with its use in the war. When they decided to use the weapon they did not think that the two cities and their surroundings should have any type of warning of the massive explosion (“The Manhattan Project”). The bomb not only had an impact of the civilians because of the death and sickness happening around them, but also their homes and work places were completely destroyed.
In Hiroshima nearly everything up to a mile from the hypocrite was completely destroyed except for a small number of heavily reinforced concrete buildings meant to withstand earthquakes. Most of the buildings had their interiors completely gutted and all windows and doors ripped out. Homes up to either seriously damaged or completely destroyed up to 8,000 feet from the hypocrite. Nagasaki had a much more devastating blow to the buildings because of the location of the town.
Nearly every building within a half of a mile from the hypocrite was completely destroyed and nearly all homes were either severely damaged or destroyed within 10,500 feet (Sherwin 162). The atomic bombs caused many serious long-term effects for the surviving victims of the attack because of the large amounts of radiation from the bomb. Radiation exposure can cause immediate effect by killing cells and directly damaging tissue. It can also have much longer termed effects such as cancer by causing DNA mutations in living cells, which alters genes. When these mutations occur and begin to build up this is when cancer becomes an sue.
It is for these reasons that it may be many years after the exposure that the increased rate of cancer becomes noticeable (“Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The Long Term Health Effects”). The most deadly long-term effect of the radiation was a type of cancer called leukemia. Leukemia is cancer of the bones and/or other blood-forming organs. The increase of leukemia became evident about eye years after the attacks and peaked around four to six years after. “The Radiation Effects Research Foundation estimates the attributable risk of leukemia to be 46% for bomb victims” (“Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The Long Term Health Effects”).
The increase in other types of cancer did not occur until ten years after the attacks. After these increases were noted, tumor registries were started In both Hiroshima and Nagasaki to collect data on the cancer risks. There Was an effect on the fetus of the women survivors in utter during the attack. Radiation in the fetal stage is more serious than in the fully developed adult and can therefore result in developmental disorders through cellular and tissue damage. There was a study of 30 pregnant women who had been exposed within 2 kilometers of the hypocrite.
Of those 30 there ere 7 fetal deaths, 6 neonatal and infantile deaths, and 4 of the 26 cases remaining, mental retardation. This study showed an overall mortality rate of 60% (Isaiah and link 219). Among all surviving babies who were exposed to radiation in utter there were several growth disorders discovered. “In many children who had been exposed in utter, stature, weight, head circumference, girth of chest, upper arm circumference, thigh circumference, and breadth Of shoulders were smaller compared with standard measurements” (220).
Not only were there physical effects from the attack, but there were also psychological and social effects. Many survivors were likely to associate even the mildest everyday injury or sickness with the radiation effects and anything they related to radiation they would associate with death (Liftoff 17). Even when those who only had light symptoms, and were on their way to recovery, would see or hear of the many dying or with severe symptoms, they would suffer extreme anxiety over what might happen to them.
This made it difficult for many to make a quick and successful recovery (Isaiah and link 494). To explain what was going through the minds of the survivors Jay Liftoff refers o what he calls the “taint of death” which refers to the consciousness imprinted in the minds of the victims “by three aspects of their ordeal: the suddenness and totality Of their death saturation, the permanent taint Of death associated with radiation aftereffects, and their continuing group relationship to world fears of nuclear extermination” (Liftoff 21).
Overall the attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki made a huge impact on the civilians living in and around the WV cities. The many long-term effects will be haunting many of the survivors and their families for generations and no one n Japan will ever forget the tragedy that happened on those two summer days. The United States did not effectively look at other options which caused the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and all the innocent people in them, to suffer.