Nuclear Bomb on Japan Essay

There are a lot of terrible events in the world history and most of them are related to wars. One of the examples of such event is atomic bombing of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The dropping of this bomb was a remarkable event for ending of World War II, some of the historians also state that this event played a decisive role for the Cold War as well. Historically there were two major reasons for the decision of bombing of Hiroshima: first of all America was to end the war as quickly as possible, in order to save more lives of the American citizens and secondly this was seen as a way to prevent spreading of the communist impact of the USSR towards Japan.

On August 6 and 9 1945 the United States President Harry S. Truman gave the order to use nuclear weapons for bombing of the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. These events were taking place during the closing stage of World War II. The bombs were dropped by America upon consent from the side of the United Kingdom in accordance to the Quebec Agreement. These two cases of nuclear bombing caused the death of around 146.000 people and till the moment remain the unique cases of nuclear weapon utilization in the whole history. During the last year of the war, the Allies were to get ready for the invasions of the mainland of Japan. By that moment 67 Japanese cities were already destroyed by conventional and firebombing campaign, led by America. Germany signed the instrument of surrender on May 8, 945 and this was last stage of the war in Europe. Although Japan was also in terrible conditions and could hardly expect any other fate, the Japanese did not agree to the demand of the Allies to sign the unconditional surrender in order to end the Pacific War. The unconditional surrender was demanded by the Allies in the frames of the Potsdam Declaration of July 26, 1945, offering the only alternative of “prompt and utter destruction”. Japan responded with ignorance towards this ultimatum.

“By August 1945, the Allies’ Manhattan Project had produced two types of atomic bombs, and the 509th Composite Group of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) was equipped with the specialized Silverplate version of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress that could deliver them from Tinian in the Mariana Islands.” (Hogan 1996). On the 25th of July the order to apply atomic bombing in four cities in Japan was issued. Uranium gun-type (Little Boy) bomb was dropped by the United States on Hiroshima on August 6. The American President Harry S. Truman demanded Japan’s surrender, stating that otherwise they should expect “a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth.” (Hogan 1996). On August 9, plutonium implosion-type (Fat Man) bomb was dropped upon Nagasaki. During the first months of the bombings up to 146.000 people were reported to be killed. Around one half of all deaths happened during the first day. Later a lot of people died because of radiation sickness, effects of burns, other illnesses, caused by malnutrition. The greater part of the killed people consisted of civilians, however in Hiroshima there was a big military garrison. Finally Japan was forced to declare the surrender to the Allies on August 15, which was six days after the second bombing and the declaration of war by the Soviet Union. The end of World War II came with the signing by the Japanese government of the instrument of surrender on September 2.

There are a lot of debates and discussions till nowadays, related to the justification for the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The United States started to work over the atomic weapon development upon receipt of the warning about the corresponding research, done by Nazi Germany. The first successful test of an atomic bomb in the desert of New Mexico took place in July 1945, by that moment of time Germany was already defeated. But the Pacific war was not over yet. The advisors of President Harry S. Truman informed him about the consequences of possible invasion of Japan for American troops. This forced him to give the order to use the new weapon against the Japanese in order to make the war end as quickly as possible. “On August 6, 1945, the American bomber Enola Gay dropped a five-ton bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. A blast equivalent to the power of 15,000 tons of TNT reduced four square miles of the city to ruins and immediately killed 80,000 people. Tens of thousands more died in the following weeks from wounds and radiation poisoning. Three days later, another bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki, killing nearly 40,000 more people.” (Hogan 1996). Only a few days passed before Japan was to declare its surrender. Most of historians agreed that speedy ending of World War II was the first reason for using atomic weapon by the United States. The second key reason was related to confrontation with the Soviet Union and the need to demonstrate the usage of the new weapon to the USSR. There was an evident and strong tension in the relations between the Unites States and the Soviet Union by August 1945. At the same time Russian armies had already occupied a great part of Eastern Europe. Under such circumstances American atomic monopoly was seen as the best option to manage the relations with the Soviet Union. In reality Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing launched the Cold War and later led to the nuclear arms race beginning.

Works cited:

Hiroshima: Why the Bomb Was Dropped. Dir. McGeorge Bundy. Perf. Peter Jennings. ABC    News, 1995. Film

Hogan, Michael J. Hiroshima in History and Memory. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996

Ward, Wilson. “The Winning Weapon? Rethinking Nuclear Weapons in Light of Hiroshima”. International Security. 31 (4), 2007

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"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 1, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 1, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 1, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 1, 2020]