Essay On The Atomic Bomb Decision

1359 Words 5 Pages
The United State’s decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan during World War ll is one of the most arguable controversies in American history due to the questionable reasoning behind its use, and the horrific effects it had on Japanese citizens. At the time of the bombing it was actually supported by a vast majority of the American public. During 1945, the decision to use the bomb was not only supported but encouraged. In August of 1945 opinion polls given to the American public showed 85% of Americans supported bombing Japan (Hadley, 21). On the contrary, historians such as Gar Alperovitz have argued Truman used the bomb merely to gain political status and power over the Soviets. Those who helped Truman make the decision to drop the bomb …show more content…
Truman believed by dropping the bomb the war would end promptly. He was right in that after the second bomb was dropped Japan requested a break and then surrendered from the war shortly thereafter. Robert Newman wrote statistical charts containing data about the amount of lives lost in the Major Problems in the History of World War ll essays. The total amount lost across the world between 1931 and 1945 attributed to the Japanese was around 17 million (Newman, 419). To look at this number it is astonishing to believe that one ethnic group can cause so many casualties across the world. Truman saw that by ending this war, it would not only save American lives, but also Europeans, Indians, Koreans, Vietnamese, and Chinese lives. In fact, according to Newman’s essay Dropping the Bomb was Necessary and Justifiable “ Harry Truman ordered the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki primarily to end the war as soon as possible and save lives”(Newman,414). However, I believe it is important to understand that it was not just Truman’s decision to drop the bomb. In fact the Interim Committee was put together for the purpose of supporting Truman with making decisions regarding the atomic bomb. In a primary document of recommendation the Interim Committee suggests the combat use of the bomb against Japan. They discuss that “others emphasize the opportunity of saving American lives by immediate …show more content…
First, I investigated the sources that were against the use of the bomb before the bomb was dropped including the intentions behind the bomb, and concerns from the Interim Committee . Then I looked at the evidence against the bomb after the bomb was dropped, including Henry Stimson’s concerns, and the horrific loss of Japanese life due to the bomb. It is interesting to see the difference between the worries before the bomb and after the bomb. The first document I looked at was Dropping the Atomic Bomb was Neither Necessary Nor Justifiable by Gar Alperovitz. In his essay he argues one of the reasonings for the use of the bomb was to scare the Soviets and to prevent an invasion of the Red Army in Manchuria. He also uses diary entries from Stimson and Byrnes to prove his argument. “And at the end of May, according to Szilard, Byrnes saw the bomb as a way to make Russia more manageable in Europe”(Alperovitz, 411). Then using the primary sources such as Stimson’s journal entries it is clear to see his second thoughts over the use of the bomb. He states “In many quarters it [America’s development of the atomic bomb] has been interpreted as a substantial offset to the growth of Russian influence on the continent”(Stimson, 1945). It is clear the intention behind the bomb was not only to end the war but to gain a hold on Russia. On the other hand once the bomb was dropped one of the unjustifiable arguments against the bomb was the

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