Atomic Bomb Decisions Essay

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In 1945 during World War II President Truman made one of the most important decisions of his presidency, dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After much careful thinking, he reached the conclusion to deploy the two bombs known as “Little Boy” and “Fat Man.” Truman knew that due to the Japanese honor tradition of Bushido, or way of the warrior, there would be no end until one side surrendered. Because of the circumstances Truman was in at the time, he made what he thought was the correct decision. There did not seem to be a better solution, and a land invasion would have caused the loss of many more American as well as Japanese lives. President Truman was justified in dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki because …show more content…
While neither of these cities was an actual military base, both places were vital to the Japanese war effort because Hiroshima was an important trade port and regional army headquarters, and Nagasaki, with its many war plants, contained legitimate military targets (Messer 50). These islands were viewed as better alternatives to the mainland area of Japan where many more civilians lived. At the time, the choice to deploy the bombs instead of land invasion seemed to be the best option. Truman maintained that the decision to bomb was necessary to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans by preventing the invasion of the home islands (Henry 52). Warning was provided to all living in these regions with the dropping of three million leaflets telling citizens to vacate the areas immediately or face imminent destruction because Japan was refusing to surrender (Ham 303). Not many people are believed to have left because they were afraid to disobey their government that was urging them to stay strong and remain in place. The immediate death toll was estimated to be 110,000 Japanese, injuring about 130,000 others, and destroying large parts of both cities (Bernstein 1-2). The estimated Allied casualties resulting from a land invasion of Japan is approximately 250,000 with the Japanese deaths ranging anywhere from 500,000 to 5 million …show more content…
The tension was building between the Russians and the US. Neither side agreed with the other’s politics. Secret intelligence existed that Russia was also working on creating nuclear weapons of mass destruction. Truman saw the deployment of the bombs as a way to influence Stalin and the rest of the world by showing the United States capacity for immense power. Not only did America have the strongest army, navy, and air force, but also the atomic bomb, a secret weapon capable of such vast destruction that no one had a defense against it (Capio 65). Dropping the bombs ended the war quickly before the Russians could become involved. Truman and his advisors did not want Russia to enter the fighting, and have a chance to demonstrate their power. Diary entries by Secretary of State Henry Stinson detailed these thoughts at the time. Stinson referred to the bombs as the “master card” in dealing, not just with Japan, but with the Soviet Union as well (Messer 50). President Truman, as the leader of the United States, was justified in making the decisions he felt would best serve the country he represented. It is his job as President to use the information available at the time to choose a course of action that best serves the American

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