The Atomic Bombings Were Necessary

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Dakota Guthrie
Michael A. Joyner
English 112
25 0ctober 2014
The Atomic Bombings Were Necessary
To the dismay of many people on August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb was used in the history of mankind as a part of warfare. Many people died as a result of these bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and because of the bombings, Japan knew it had been defeated, so it soon afterwards surrendered to America. I believe that the bombings were necessary in order to make Japan surrender because Harry Truman, the President of the United States of America, knew that the Japanese military was not going to slow down on its war effort unless the Commander in Chief reacted in an extreme manner to cripple the Japanese war effort enough so that Japan had no choice but to surrender.

The purpose behind the bombing of Hiroshima, Japan was to try and force the Japanese to surrender the war effort against the Americans. However, the Japanese military would still not come to terms with surrender, so American airmen responded by dropping another atomic bomb a few days later on Nagasaki, Japan. The atomic bombs that were dropped started a very controversial issue on whether or not America’s dropping the bomb was the right thing to do to end the war with Japan. Some people are under the belief that Harry Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was because of the nature of the war against Japan. During this time of conflict, Americans believed that the war, itself, was a racial war and the war was also a campaign for revenge because of the attack on Pearl Harbor. In the article “Hiroshima: Why America Dropped the Bomb,” the author Marc Rothenberg explains that historian Ronald Tataki believed that “some of this hatred was rooted in the long history of racial discrimination against Asians and Asian Americans in the United States” (1). I would disagree with Takaki because he believes that the decision to drop the atomic bomb was because of Americans’ hatred towards the Japanese. I believe that the hatred played a role in the decision to drop the atomic bomb by Harry Truman but that it was definitely not a main reason for using the atomic bomb to end the war effort against Japan. Several things need to be brought to the forefront of this argument that has more influence than racism to explain why Harry Truman decided ultimately to drop the atomic bombs. One reason was the simple fact that there were three nuclear bombs in the world, and America had possession of all three of the atomic bombs during the war. One atomic bomb had been tested in the desert of Alamogordo and as a result only two atomic bombs left. The article entitled “Why Truman Dropped the Bomb”, Joseph Harsch states that “when Truman made his decision, only two were left. He wanted the earliest possible end to the Pacific War, and he wanted it without the need for an American ground invasion of the Japanese islands” (1). Another reason to believe why the dropping the atomic bomb was the proper thing to do was the fact that Japanese were not willing to quit fighting and Truman was not willing to sacrifice more soldiers in combat fighting more battles. Japan’s belief was that surrender was considered dishonorable to its way of life. The third reason why dropping the atomic bombs was justified was the notion that dropping the bombs would gain respect from Russia’s leader Joseph Stalin and greater bargaining power with the Soviets for the betterment of the United States. Truman knew that this leverage was important at the time being. Others have the opinion that the Japanese had already been defeated and the atomic bombings were unnecessary because Japan’s navy and army were unable to prevent attacks on many Japanese cities and industrial centers. The fact that Japan was close to being defeated was undeniable. However, the reason why the atomic bombings were necessary is because Truman and Americans believed that many more American soldiers would be...
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