Atomic Diplomacy Essay

2189 Words 9 Pages
INTRODUCTION
The practice of shock-and-awe is an important part of the United States military practices. To display such spectacular force and power that it will make the opponents want to drop their guns and flee is exactly what was intended from the use of atomic bombs. While the Japanese were the literal militant targets of the bombs, one may argue that the real reason for these attacks was the growing influence of the Soviet Union. The saving of potential lives is just a positive aspect of this show of American power and consequence of the use of atomic diplomacy. Declassified military documents in the 1960s by both the U.S. and British government led to debate by historical revisionists who claimed the government had ulterior motives
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An estimated 60,000 to 70,000 deaths with 140,000 casualties were the result of bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This is compared to the estimated deaths of just American lives that would be killed in the planned Operation Downfall, an Allied invasion into Japan. This totals about 500,000 American deaths, and would likely have killed millions of British, Soviet, and Japanese soldiers as well. (Coffey) As well as deaths of soldiers, morale would be hurt by an invasion which would be prolonged for a significant amount of time. Harry Truman recounts this in his statement following the bombing of Nagasaki saying in a radio address to American …show more content…
From a US perspective on the war, it would be beneficial to wait for the Soviet Union to declare war on the Japanese. The USSR is very geographically close to Japan, and their powerful army would be enormously helpful in the potential Allied mainland invasion. The declaration of war was imminent by the USSR, and the U.S. knew this fact but yet did not wait for it. The Soviet declaration of war would have surely frightened Japan, breaking the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact, and would have been very important in influencing the decision for peace, as a shock like what the Soviets declaring war like they had agreed to do would definitely have been a strong push for the Japanese heads of state to accept a conditional or possibly unconditional surrender to the Allied forces. However, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima occurred before the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, stopping the Japanese from surrendering before being overwhelmed militarily by the U.S. and the USSR along with the other Allied

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