Since the end of World War II, there has been an ongoing argument concerning whether the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were truly necessary. This argument is greatly influenced by the horrific results produced by these bombings. The photos and memories of thousands of victims who survived the nuclear blast serve as reminders of these devastating acts of war. There are two main viewpoints concerning the decision to drop these bombs. One is the military point of view and the other is the moral point of view.
The fact that more than 100,000 civilians, including innocent men, women, and children, were burned and blasted to pieces is difficult to comprehend. There are many positive and negative aspects of the attack on Japan. The significant positive reason is that it ended World War II, but this came at a great cost. Though some would say the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were unnecessary acts of war crime, these actions were a military necessity. In the year of 1942, the United States of America established a top-secret military assignment called “The Manhattan Project. ” The purpose of this project was to develop the first nuclear weapon.
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The United States had been given information that the Nazi Germans were attempting to create a nuclear weapon as well. Thus, President Franklin Roosevelt decided that this project had extreme critical importance and needed to be accomplished before the Nazis. The United States had assigned a number of brilliant scientists to work together in the making of the nuclear bomb. Some of those scientists were Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, Richard Feynman, J. Robert Openheimer, and Harold Urey. In 1945, the United States had officially constructed the first atomic bomb. They code-named it “The Trinity”.
It was tested in a desert located in New Mexico and the results were successful. Because the outcome was greater than they had expected, they produced two more nuclear warheads. They were code-named “Little Boy” and “Fat Man”. The atomic bomb works in three stages. The first stage is the thermal heat wave, which is estimated to be ten times hotter than the surface of the sun. The heat from the explosion causes fires and severe burns. There were many survivors of the bombing of Hiroshima who suffered from these agonizing skin burns. The blast is the second stage of a nuclear bomb. The blast radius of a nuclear weapon can be up to 13 square ilometers wide. With power equivalent to 15,000 tons of TNT, this blast forcefully destroys buildings and levels entire cities. The first two stages happen within a few seconds and are clearly visible. Radiation is the final stage and it causes severe long-term effects. It can be extremely harmful to the human body, depending on the amount that your body absorbs. Hiroshima is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture, which is located in Japan. At 8:15 A. M. , on August 6, 1945, Hiroshima caught the attention of the world when President Harry S. Truman gave the order that a U. S. plane would drop the first atomic omb on it. Captain Robert Lewis of the American military said: “As the bomb fell over Hiroshima and exploded, we saw the entire city disappear. I wrote in my log the words: My God, what have we done? ” The atomic blast destroyed two-thirds of the city within seconds and instantly killed more than 60,000 people. “When you arrive in Hiroshima you can look around and for 25 and perhaps 30 square miles you can see hardly a building. It gives you an empty feeling in the stomach to see such man-made devastation,” said Wilfred Burchett, the first journalist to enter Hiroshima after the bombing.
It was like nothing that had ever been used in warfare before; it was unexpected and shocking to the Japanese Empire. President Harry S. Truman had considerately warned the Japanese of this attack, but they thought nothing of it. Although the aftermath of the atomic bomb shook up the Japanese Empire, they wouldn’t surrender. Three days after Truman’s order had been given, at 10:58 A. M. , on August 9, 1945, the city of Nagasaki was hit with a nuclear bomb. Nagasaki is the capital of Nagasaki Prefecture, which is located in Japan. There was an estimated 87,000 casualties and 25,000 injured. The city was basically annihilated.
More than sixty percent of the buildings were destroyed and disintegrated. President Harry S. Truman said, “If they do not now accept our terms, they may expect a rain of ruin from the air the like of which has never been seen on this earth. ” The Japanese Empire couldn’t suffer the consequences of a third atomic bomb. On September 2, 1945, Emperor Hirohito accepted the terms of surrender that were set down at the Potsdam Declaration. This was the end of World War II. On December 7, 1941, an unexpected air attack, lead by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, attacked the United States of America’s naval base at Pearl Harbor. After just two hours of bombing, more than 2,400 Americans were dead, 21 ships had been sunk or damaged, and more than 188 U. S. aircraft destroyed. The attack at Pearl Harbor had outraged Americans that the U. S. abandoned its policy of isolationism and declared war on Japan the following day — officially bringing the United States into World War II. ” This was one of the major reasons that led to the bombing of Hiroshima. The Americans were devastated by the Japanese and were determined to retaliate, with severe consequences. “After we’re through with them, the Japanese language will be spoken only in Hell,” said Admiral William F.
Halsey after he had seen the damage that was done to Pearl Harbor. Perhaps the Americans overreacted with bombing the Japanese with a nuclear warhead. On a military perspective, America saved thousands of young men’s lives by dropping the atomic bomb instead. If the United States had sent in its own troops, there would have been large quantities of pointless casualties. The atomic bomb was fast and effective, and it accomplished the task for which it was created. It struck fear into the eyes of the Japanese and it ended World War II. The Japanese believed it was a great honor to die for their country. Although some Japanese were taken prisoner, most fought until they were killed or committed suicide. In the last desperate months of the war, this image was also applied to Japanese civilians. To the horror of American troops advancing on Saipan, they saw mothers clutching their babies hurling themselves over the cliffs rather than be taken prisoner. The other enduring image of total sacrifice is that of the kamikaze pilot, crashing his plane packed with high explosives into an enemy warship. Even today, the word ‘kamikaze’ evokes among Japan’s former enemies visions of crazed, mindless destruction. ” The choices that President Harry S.
Truman had to make on August 6, 1945, were extremely difficult and have affected history ever since. His choices have not only scarred the Japanese, but also American citizens. The fact that more than 200,000 Japanese were casualties of the bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki has puzzled Americans. One question asked by many American citizens is, “Was it even necessary? ” If America hadn’t bombed the Japanese, World War II would have continued for many more years, and thousands of young men and women would have needlessly died. The Japanese were not going to give up; they would have fought to the last man standing.
That’s why the nuclear bomb was a necessary act. The extensive damage brought upon the Japanese Empire brought them to the point of surrender. No, this wasn’t an easy choice to decide. Yes, many innocent men, women, and children were killed because of this decision. However, it was the act needed to end World War II and bring world peace. These are the consequences of war, and man has brought this upon himself. – Jeremy Graham Work Cited: – Websites used in essay: 1. Gilbert, Carol Bengle. “Famous Pearl Harbor Quotes”. November 15, 2011. <http://old. news. yahoo. com/s/ac/20101203/pl_ac/7326838_famous_quotes_about_pearl_harbor> 2.
Kelly, Marten. “Manhattan”. November 15, 2011. <http://americanhistory. about. com/od/franklinroosevelt/a/ff_fdr. htm> 3. Miller, Jamie. “The Forgotten History War: Wilfred Burchett”. November 15, 2011. <http://japanfocus. org/-Jamie-Miller/2912> 4. No Author. “Hiroshima”. November 18, 2011. <http://maps. google. ca/> 5. No Author. “Nagasaki”. November 18, 2011. <http://maps. google. ca/> 6. Powers, David. “Total Sacrifice”. November 19, 2011. <http://www. bbc. co. uk/history/worldwars/wwtwo/japan_no_surrender_01. shtml> 7. Rosenberg, Jennifer. “Attack on Pearl Harbor”. November 15, 2011. lt;http://history1900s. about. com/od/worldwarii/a/Attack-Pearl-Harbor. htm> 8. Unknown Author. “1945: The U. S. drops the atomic bomb on Hiroshima”. November 10, 2011. <http://news. bbc. co. uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/august/6/newsid_3602000/3602189. stm >. 9. Unknown Author. “Hiroshima Bombing”. November 15, 2011. <http://laromkarnvapen. slmk. org/ENG/Dokument/Science/Hiroshima_nagasaki%20ADVANCED. pdf> 10. Unknown Author. “Quotes on Hiroshima”. November 15, 2011. <http://www. quotesea. com/quotes/with/hiroshima> 11. Unknown Author. “The Bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima”. November 20, 2011. lt;http://www. historylearningsite. co. uk/bombing_of_nagasaki. htm> 12. Unknown Author. “The Manhattan Project”. November 13, 2011. <http://gk12. rice. edu/trs/science/Atom/man. htm> 13. Unknown Author. “The Manhattan Project”. November 16, 2011. <http://www. nuclearfiles. org/menu/key-issues/nuclear-weapons/history/pre-cold-war/manhattan-project/> 14. Unknown Author. “Wilfred Burchett Quotes”. November 15, 2011. <http://www. brainyquote. com/quotes/quotes/w/wilfredbur268771. html> – Books used in essay: 1. Brinkley Douglas. “World War Two – The Allied Counteroffensive, 1942 – 1945”. (Books 2004).
Pg. 362 2. Dowswell, Paul. “The Usborne Intro to WWII”. (Usborne Publishing Ltd 2005). Pg. 114 3. Jr. , Earle Rice. “The Bombing of Pearl Harbor”. (Thomson Gale 2000). Pg. 21 4. Mitchner, E. Alyn and Tuffs, R. Joanne. “Global Forces of the Twentieth Century”. (Burford Gary 2003). Pg. 149, 150 5. Takaki, Ronald. “Hiroshima: Why America dropped the atomic bomb”. (Back Bay Books 1996). Pg. 23 Full Bibliography: http://americanhistory. about. com/cs/harrystruman/a/quotetruman. htm http://americanhistory. about. com/od/franklinroosevelt/a/ff_fdr. htm http://gk12. rice. edu/trs/science/Atom/man. htm http://history1900s. about. om/od/worldwarii/a/Attack-Pearl-Harbor. htm http://history1900s. about. com/od/worldwarii/a/hiroshima. htm http://library. thinkquest. org/15511/data/encyclopedia/hiroshimajapan. htm http://news. bbc. co. uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/august/6/newsid_3602000/3602189. stm http://nuclearweaponarchive. org/Usa/Med/Med. html http://terrorism. about. com/od/groupsleader1/g/Kamikaze. htm http://theoatmeal. com/comics/semicolon http://thewe. cc/weplanet/news/asia/japan/hiroshima_cover_up. htm http://wiki. answers. com/Q/How_did_pearl_harbor_help_america http://wiki. answers. com/Q/How_many_people_died_after_the_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nag saki http://wiki. answers. com/Q/Why_did_the_US_become_involved_in_World_War_2 http://www. 2worldwar2. com/kamikaze-pilots. htm http://www. atomcentral. com/hironaga. html http://www. atomicarchive. com/Bios/Feynman. shtml http://www. atomicarchive. com/Bios/Oppenheimer. shtml http://www. atomicarchive. com/Docs/MED/med_chp10. shtml http://www. atomicarchive. com/Effects/effects3. shtml http://www. bbc. co. uk/history/worldwars/wwtwo/japan_no_surrender_01. shtml http://www. brainyquote. com/quotes/authors/h/harry_s_truman_2. html http://www. brainyquote. com/quotes/authors/h/harry_s_truman. tml http://www. britannica. com/EBchecked/topic/619727/Harold-C-Urey http://www. cancer-aware. com/radiation-side-effects. html http://www. examiner. com/human-rights-in-national/hiroshima-nagasaki-fukushima-human-rights-victims-say-end-2-headed-dragon http://www. eyewitnesstohistory. com/pearl. htm http://www. fas. org/nuke/intro/nuke/design. htm http://www. firstworldwar. com/weaponry/grenades. htm http://www. gap-system. org/~history/Biographies/Feynman. html http://www. labnol. org/internet/damage-caused-by-nuclear-bomb/6176/ http://www. liveleak. com/view? i=638_1241155049 http://www. nuclearfiles. rg/menu/key-issues/nuclear-weapons/history/pre-cold- war/manhattan-project/ http://www. radiowaves. co. uk/story/16674/title/TheJapaneseinWorldWar2themindset http://www. spartacus. schoolnet. co. uk/2WWatom. htm http://www. spartacus. schoolnet. co. uk/FWWchlorine. htm http://www. time. com/time/photogallery/0,29307,2012653,00. html http://www. warbirdforum. com/hirodead. htm ——————————————– [ 1 ]. Unknown Author. “1945: The U. S. drops the atomic bomb on Hiroshima”. November 10, 2011. . [ 2 ]. Takaki, Ronald. “Hiroshima: Why America dropped the atomic bomb”. (Back Bay Books, 1996). Pg. 23 [ 3 ]. Unknown Author. The Manhattan Project”. November 16, 2011. [ 4 ]. Ibid. [ 5 ]. Kelly, Marten. “Manhattan”. November 15, 2011. [ 6 ]. Unknown Author. “The Manhattan Project”. November 13, 2011. [ 7 ]. Ibid. [ 8 ]. Ibid. [ 9 ]. Ibid. [ 10 ]. Mitchner, E. Alyn and Tuffs, R. Joanne. “Global Forces of the Twentieth Century”. (Burford Gary, 2003). Pg. 149, 150 [ 11 ]. Unknown Author. “1945: The U. S. drops the atomic bomb on Hiroshima”. November 16,2011. [ 12 ]. Ibid. [ 13 ]. No Author. “Hiroshima”. November 18, 2011. [ 14 ]. Unknown Author. “Hiroshima Bombing”. November 15, 2011. [ 15 ]. Unknown Author. “Quotes on Hiroshima”. November 15, 2011. [ 16 ].
Dowswell, Paul. “The Usborne Intro to WWII”. (Usborne Publishing Ltd, 2005). Pg. 114 [ 17 ]. Unknown Author. “Wilfred Burchett Quotes”. November 15, 2011. [ 18 ]. Miller, Jamie. “The Forgotten History War: Wilfred Burchett”. November 15, 2011. [ 19 ]. Unknown Author. “Hiroshima”. November 19, 2011. [ 20 ]. Ibid. [ 21 ]. No Author. “Nagasaki”. November 18, 2011. [ 22 ]. Unknown Author. “The Bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima”. November 20, 2011. [ 23 ]. Brinkley Douglas. “World War Two – The Allied Counteroffensive, 1942 – 1945”. (Times Books, 2004). Pg. 362 [ 24 ]. Dowswell, Paul. “The Usborne Intro to WWII”. (Usborne Publishing Ltd, 2005).