If The Atomic Bomb Analysis

Superior Essays
Since the dropping of the Atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which brought about the conclusion of the Second World War in the Pacific in August, 1945, there has been much discourse on whether the bombs should or should not have been used. In Karl T Compton’s account ‘If the Atomic Bomb Had Not Been Used’1 published in 1946, he presents an argument based around facts,figures and American patriotism to present his argument. However, in Paul Ham’s book ‘Hiroshima Nagasaki’ published in 2011, the chapter entitled ‘Why’2, discusses the decisions made by the people behind the creation and use of the bomb, whilst contrasting the opinions of the people before and after the event. Both Compton and Ham use different methods of presenting their …show more content…
Ham discusses the scientists who worked on the Atomic bomb quoting Edward Teller, who states that scientists were ‘fleeing’ from weaponry work to educational institutes14, and Oppenheimer who confided in Truman that he had ‘blood on his hands’15 when referring to ‘future nuclear wars’16. This relates to Reynolds who states that the scientists became afflicted with ‘a keen sense of guilt’17, highlighted by Mark Oliphant declaring himself a ‘war criminal’18. Ham uses this to highlight that even these men, who created the bomb, felt the use of it was indubitably wrong post WWII. Ham then talks about the political aspect of his argument, highlighting the actions of President Truman. Truman, among other politicians, kept to the argument that the bomb alone ended the war and saved hundreds of thousands of American lives19. However, Ham states there were other alternatives to the bomb, such as enlisting the help of Russia or clarifying the terms of unconditional surrender with Japan20. He questions why Truman didn’t use these options if he was desperate to save thousands of lives, suggesting that America used the bomb as a way to “manage Russian aggression”21 and to “avenge Pearl Harbour”22. Ham, like Compton, discusses …show more content…
However, his argument was flawed through his strong American bias, having been written at a time when the American media was desperately trying to convince the people the bomb was positive and also due to the fact he did not have decades of hindsight to analyse the situation. In contrast, Ham’s ‘Why’, expressed his negative opinions of the use of the bomb, assisted by the ability to look back on the event through factual eyes, unclouded by a close relation to the event, with years of study of the event at his disposal in 2011. Ham’s piece is ultimately stronger and much less flawed than Compton’s bias account and is therefore more a more factual representation of

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