The Atomic Bombings: Were They Justified?

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Atomic bombs have only been used twice in war. Both occurrences took place in Japan and were dropped by the United States. Being that the United States is the only country to employ atomic warfare and it has only occurred twice in history, it is often asked if these attacks were necessary and/or justified.

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Some may have found it difficult to view our leaders and the atomic bomb as a promoter for world peace and instead an uncontrollable weapon of war because of how harsh and cruel the bombings appeared (Stoff 159). Others strongly believed that Japan would have surrendered even if the bombs had not been dropped. Nonetheless, these atomic bombs were created and dropped for a purpose. There was no other weapon or type of attack that would have been more effective. The atomic bombs were absolutely necessary for America as they represented a step towards world peace and they saved plenty of American lives.

On August 6 of 1945, during WWII, the United States dropped a bomb on Hiroshima as an effort to end the war. This bomb, Little Boy, wiped out 90 percent of the city of Hiroshima killing around 80,000 people. Three days later, the United States dropped a second bomb, Fat Boy, on the city of Nagasaki. This bomb ended up killing about 40,000 people on August 9. Tens of thousands also died later in both cities in result of the effects of the nuclear bombs. Days later on August 15, 1945, Japan announced their surrounded, ultimately ending WWII (cbsnews.com).

In the building of the atomic bomb, they did not know exactly what they were creating. They began to see how rough, difficult, challenging, and unpredictable the job might turn out to be (Stoff 30). Nonetheless, going forward with bomb, they knew it was a delicate treasure that was sometimes referred as their master card. They did not take this weapon lightly and were unwilling to gamble with such big stakes in diplomacy (Stoff 91). Once the atomic bomb was built, they knew it was the only way to go end WWII. The initial intended use of the bomb was that it should be used against Japan as soon as possible; that it be used on a war plant surrounded by workers’ homes; and that it be used without prior warning.

As time went by and people were studying the atomic bomb, it became clearer to them that dropping it was the way to go. The atomic bomb was strongly viewed as an act of world peace. Almost everyone knew that if the bomb attacks were performed quickly and successfully, it could determine the outcome of war. They knew that it must be controlled in order to assure future peace rather than be a menace to civilization (Stoff 106). The atomic bomb was not regarded as a new weapon but as a revolutionary change in the relations of man to the universe because they knew it would either doom or perfect the civilization (Stoff 121). The men knew that their weapon possessed a lot of power and their intent and obligation was to use that power with the best wisdom. The only objective with the bomb was military damage, not civilian lives. In result, the Nagasaki bomb was the trigger to the developments that led to peace.

No other weapon could potentially end the war. The military, at first, proposed to perform an open test in hopes of scared Japan and making them surrender. However, no one could suggest a way that was convincing enough that it would stop the war. If the demonstration was not to work the chance would be gone to do a surprise attack. Plus, experience with Japanese fighting men made it known that the war would not be stopped with just a demonstration. Lead scientists that studied the atomic bombs said that there was no way to end the war without direct usage.

Before dropping the atomic bombs, the men suggested an ultimatum to Japan. If Japan responded a surrender within two or three days, the bombs would not be dropped. The United States wanted to play completely fair as its position as a great humanitarian nation (Stoff 162). Leaflets were also dropped two days before bombing, warning Japanese civilians of what is to come, and few still responded. The United States sent out plenty of warnings before the atomic bomb dropped and they knew that it could cost half a million American lives to force the enemy’s surrender on his home grounds (Stoff 223).

The main intent and purpose of the atomic bombs was to save American lives. Like mentioned, the bombs were made to damage military not civilians. Many emphasize that saving American lives by immediate military use will improve the international prospects (Stoff 150). The atomic bomb protects military lives by providing more and stronger protection. Some military men state, we’ve got to give these men the best weapons we can produce (Stoff 124). Without the use of atomic bombs, it can often lead to longer wars and the cost of human lives. The longer that war progresses, the smaller will our surpluses become, and the more our over-all resource will be strained (Stoff 185).

The atomic bomb was justified. It had strong intent and purpose that had a great outcome. When building the bomb, they knew the United States would be dominant if it worked. They treated the bomb not like a weapon but a like a diplomatic tool because they knew it can be used to assert U.S. dominance in political realm. They dropped this bomb because, if it worked, it would result in the shortening of war and the saving of American lives; it would bring us toward future peace by settling international disputes and this was all the ultimate goal. There was a reason we used the atomic bomb against Japan and many agree as a Gallup poll revealed that 85 percent of Americans approved of ?using the new atomic bomb on Japanese cities’ (Stoff 253). When introducing the idea of the atomic bomb, there was plenty of doubt, but we carried on because we believed that its use will save the lives of American soldiers and bring more quickly to an end the horror of this war which the Japanese leaders deliberately started (Stoff 239). The actions of the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were justified and I believe our military today should perform the same action when necessary.

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