Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

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August 6, 1945, was full of defeat, death, and tragedy for one part of the world. For another, it was full of victory, relief, but at the same time, guilt. It was the end of a long and tragic war that cost the lives of thousands of soldiers.

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United States’ officials decided that they needed to put an end to the war. With the recent scientific discovery of the atomic bomb, they made the decision to release one bomb over Hiroshima and one bomb over Nagasaki. The United States’ motive behind dropping the bombs was to put pressure on the Japanese to surrender. If the Japanese surrendered, the war would be over. Hundreds of thousands died when the bombs fell on the cities. After the bombs devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan surrendered. The war came to an end at last. So many lives were saved when the war ended; however, they were saved at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives lost in Japan. Many people believe the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not justified, but they were necessary for the American victory of World War II.

The United States did not immediately come to the conclusion that the bombs needed to be dropped directly over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Two alternatives to dropping the bombs directly over the Japanese cities were suggested but declined. The first option was rejected by U.S. officials because many felt that a warning would give Japan the opportunity to shoot down the plane carrying the bomb (Bodden 25). The issue with this alternative was that it put the United States soldiers that were aboard the plane, at risk. If Japan received the warning, they would have easily been able to do something to the plane. It could have also interfered with the plan to make a statement to Japan that it was time to surrender. The second option was also rejected, as some feared that if a demonstration bomb failed to explode, the Japanese would be encouraged to continue fighting (Bodden 25). It is obvious that the goal of the bombs was to end the war, not to continue it on. With the second option, there was too much risk in a greater issue arising. The only option left was to drop the bombs.

There are many questions about the political correctness of America’s dropping of the atomic bombs. It has become such a controversial topic, that people are being surveyed on whether they believe this act was justified or not. A pew poll was taken last year that found 56% of Americans believed the bombings were justified, with only 34% believing they were unjustified (Robinson). Most people find that the bombings were correctly used and necessary for the victory, but less find it to have been the incorrect way to take the victory. Those percentages are the current statistics but times have changed since the war. That number does reflect changes immediately after the war, 85% believed the bombings were justified (Robinson). This statistic proves that people who were alive during and immediately after the war understood what would have happened if the United States would not have dropped the bombs. They also understood the severity and urgency of the situation regarding the Japanese. As time goes on, new generations are born and raised they are not going to understand the significance because they were not there to experience the effects of the war. Majority believed and still believe it was the right thing to do for our country.

Some of the most unlikely people understood why the United States dropped the atomic bombs. They also understood America’s position regarding the war and other countries would have done the same thing if they had possession of the nuclear material. … from a Hiroshima newspaperman, who added: ‘But mind you, don’t think for a minute that we wouldn’t have dropped it on you if we had it first’ (Trumbull 141). People in Japan realized how powerful the atomic bombs were. These civilians survived the bombs and even saw their loved ones die along with their everyday lives in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and still would not have an issue with their country releasing an atomic bomb over another country. There are some people in Hiroshima who were glad it was used when it was, so the world may possibly be spared the threat of an all-atomic war in the future (Trumbull 139). Because people saw the destruction and tragedy it left in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the atomic bombs may have been a one time event because of the time it was dropped, and no human would want to relive that or put others through it unless absolutely necessary. Due to the circumstances of the United States at the time of the war, they found it to be needed to put an end to it.

After the bombs were released, and Japan surrendered, Japanese and American officials released statements about their opinions on the bombs. Hisatune Sakomizu, secretary to the Japanese cabinet in 1945, confirmed this: ‘If the A-bomb had not been dropped we would have had great difficulty to find a good reason to end the war’ (Grant 46). Japan was going to fight until the last man standing, and according to Hisatune Sakomizu, the cabinet was glad the bombs were dropped so they could, at last, end the war (Grant 46). There is so much controversy as to whether the United States dropping the bombs was unusually cruel and unfair to the Japanese. Many believe that the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were inhuman, but then again war itself is inhuman, and the bombs ended the war (Mesika).War is not any better than the atomic bombs. In fact, there were more casualties caused by different events of the war than the number of casualties caused by the atomic bombs (Robinson). The loss of all of those lives in Japan ended the war and in fact saved and spared thousands and thousands of lives.

The nuclear bombs not only affected the outcome of World War II, but future wars and disputes as well. … many nuclear disarmament movements and international councils came into being with the purpose of banning these weapons of mass destruction (Mesika). Because of these movements and councils, nuclear possession will be more regulated and could prevent other countries from using them unless that kind of action absolutely necessary. The United States used the bombs for the right reasons and at the right time. These councils were most likely created to prevent the atomic bombs from getting into the wrong hands and being used against countries without a worthy cause. This was the first time nuclear weapons were put to use in actual combat. It was also the last time since it showed how devastating they are (Mesika). The nuclear weapons were only used once and no country wanted to experience the same devastation that Japan did. The United States used the weapons with the right intentions and for the right reason, which justified the use of the bombs.

It is obvious that several people believe the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not justified and inhumane; however, it was in fact justified and was needed to end the war. After a great deal of consideration, the United States found that the best and most efficient way to end the war was to drop the atomic bombs. With the dropping of these bombs over the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan surrendered, and the U.S. won the war. Countless lives in America and even Japan were saved because of the bombs. The United States did what they had to do to save as many lives as possible in their own country as well as their enemies’ citizens’ lives.

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