The Atomic Bomb made a very serious statement at a time when the world was in disarray (“Manhattan”). World War II was one of the most destructive times in history causing over 50 million deaths and leaving behind mental and physical casualties of war. (“World War II”) It started in September, 1939 when Germany invaded Poland and continued on a destructive path through Europe. Britain and France declared war on Germany.
Two years prior in 1937, the Sino Japanese War was in full swing. Japan wanted to dominate China from a political and military standpoint and benefit from China’s many assets (“Sino”).United States, Britain and France aided China with financial aid through war supply contracts, which aggravated Japan to no end. In addition, the United States stood as a firm roadblock to Japan’s grander plans by stopping shipment of aircraft gasoline airplanes and airplane parts. Since the war there have been numerous debates whether the use of the Atomic Bombs was justified.
Well, it certainly was justified. The United States and Japan were at war for several years, along with many other countries. The Pearl Harbor bombing was unforgivable, sneaky, and claimed too many lives.It clearly conveyed that Japan would go to any extreme in an effort to gain power and control. Making the decision to move forward and bomb Japan is extremely hard to imagine, but it was the best solution and quickest answer to ending the war quickly, thus, saving further loss of lives.
Was it the right thing to do? If Japan’s invasion continued, Winston Churchill predicted that over one million Americans and British would have died. “We estimated that if we should be forced to carry this plan to its conclusion, the major fighting would not end until the latter part of 1946, at the earliest.I was informed that such operations might be expected to cost over a million casualties to American forces alone” (“Carroll, Doc. 11”).
On December 7, 1941, The Japanese military launched a surprise military strike on America’s naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii (“NavSource”). It was a brutal onslaught that came in waves of attack from 353 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo airplanes. Japan’s attack was to prevent the United States from interfering with their invasion of Southeast Asia by destroying important American fleet units. Furthermore, (“? ”) it would provide Japan time to build and strengthen their naval presence.Japan’s failure to declare war before the bombing was both deceiving and dishonorable.
“The leader of an army must, before the bombing, warn the leaders from the other countries” (“Carroll: Doc 1, Art. 26”). From 1944 to the early part of 1945, the struggle to go on fighting through the Pacific carried on (“Pacific War”). Other major battles were involved in Okinawa and Iwo Jima.
In the late spring of 1945, Japan’s defeat was released while allied forces sealed in on the home islands of Japan. Massive bombing campaigns initiated against the general cities of Japan such as, Tokyo.These bombing campaigns endured on until August of 1945 (“Strategic bombing”). As early as 1939 the United States pioneered a research and development program with participation from Britain and Canada to build the first Atomic Bomb. The project’s code name was The Manhattan Project. The “Top Secret” project was a huge undertaking employing some of the greatest minds and over 130,000 people.
The estimated costs were over 2 billion dollars. Most of the budget was allocated to building factories and producing materials. The Manhattan Project housed operation sites and factories from Washington D.C.
on the East coast to Berkeley on the West coast and from Richland up North to Los Alamos down South (“Dowling”). The mastermind who managed the project from beginning to end was Dr. Robert Oppenheimer. He was born on April 22nd in New York. Dr. Robert Oppenheimer excelled during his studies at Harvard, particularly in Chemistry.
As the director of The Manhattan Project, Dr. Robert Oppenheimer put together an impressive team of brilliant Physicists. His hiring, leadership, management skills and analytic capabilities were paramount in the success and development of the two Atomic Bombs.America, along with their allies, Britain and the Republic of China called for Japan’s surrender.
They said failure to comply would result in utter destruction. Japan chose to ignore the request and proceeded with business as usual. Dr. Robert Oppenheimer and staff came together to discuss the plan of attack, but the final decision fell squarely on the shoulders of Harry Truman, President of The United States who had taken office only a few months before (“J. Robert”).
The United States followed through on their threat.One of the first two Atomic Bombs created by the Manhattan Project, “Little Boy,” was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945; it developed an explosion corresponding to a 15 kiloton TNT explosive. The bomb generated such a mighty heat of 7,000 degrees. “Little Boy” weighed 9,700 pounds and was ten feet long and had a diameter of twenty eight inches. “Little Boy” was responsible for killing about 200,000 people.
People perished and the uranium contained in this bomb immediately penetrated people’s bodies closing down bodily functions, the kidneys being one of the first things to fail.Toxic damage to the blood stream gave people very little chance of recovery (“Little Boy”). On August 9, 1945, just three days after the bombing of Hiroshima, a second atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki in Japan. Originally, the bomb’s desired target was the city of Kokura, but because of the clouds blinding the way, it hit Nagasaki, which was about 1.
5 miles off course. This bomb was named, “Fat Man,” It weighed 10,800 pounds and had a length of ten feet, eight inches, and sixty inches in diameter.The bomb’s explosion killed thousands of people and injured twenty five thousand citizens (“Fat Man”). Plutonium from the bomb emits harmful chemicals that can penetrate to your bones and has a potential shelf life of 100 years once it is exposed (“The Atomic”).
The damage of an Atomic Bomb not only wipes out the masses when it explodes, the lingering effects continue kill innocent civilian’s months, years and decades down the road. Rain fall that follows any detonation, results in radioactive exposure, which leads to radioactive poisoning.Leukemia is another ailment that can and is passed on through families. The Atomic Bombs not only brought an abrupt end to war, it clearly showcased America’s power and military strength during a crucial and pivotal time all over the world. These actions deterred other countries, especially Russia from planning attacks against The United States as they could suffer the same fate.
“It was my personal opinion that no power on earth could keep the Red Army out of that war unless victory came before they could get in” (“Carroll, Doc. 12”).At the same time, it strengthened relationships with current allies and helped establish a few new ones. One must note that Japan was in the process of building their own Atomic Bomb whilst trying to derail the United States Atomic Bomb plans “(Japanese Nuclear”).
fortunately for other countries, Japan was behind in the production. But had Japan developed the Atomic Bomb first, would they have detonated it? The magnitude of the decision to drop the Atomic Bomb was not lost on the United States. “Its production and its use were not lightly undertaken by this Government.But we knew that our enemies were Japan would stop at nothing.
We know now how close they were to finding it. And we know the disaster which would come to this nation, and to all peaceful nations, to all civilizations, if they had found it first” (“Carroll, Doc. 5”). The use of the Atomic Bomb educated citizens worldwide how deadly and powerful it truly was. In fact, since the Atomic Bombs were dropped only a few countries today have nuclear weapons, and fortunately, detonation has been for testing purposes only.In conclusion, Japan’s refusal to surrender, the Soviet Union’s imminent entry into the war, and the United States seeking justice for the attack on Pearl Harbor all led to the decision to drop the two Atomic Bombs.
The use of the Atomic Bombs was justified because in the end it saved countless lives, stopped Russia from entering the war, and prevented the use of future Atomic Bombs. Furthermore, it revealed America’s military strength and power to the world which led to stronger ally ties and kept enemies at bay.