The Atomic Bomb

Although looking back on the use of the atomic bomb is very dark, we must go back to 1945 and step in the shoes of then President, Harry Truman, to think why he chose to use it.

Bikini Atoll Test, Post WWII [3] (Used this picture because it looks good)
Japan had plenty of chances to avoid the bomb. “On 26 July 1945 U.S. President Truman and the other allies outlined in the Potsdam Declaration the terms of surrender for Japan. Two days later it was rejected by Japanese Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki”. [1] The Japanese had a pride that was like no other, and would be very hard to defeat. 

The main article I found was on the Harry Truman National Historic Site, entitled: Harry S. Truman’s decision to use the Atomic Bomb. It outlines 4 options that the commander in chief had at this time during the war [2]:

  1. Conventional Bombing of the Japanese Home Islands
  2. Ground Invasion
  3. Use of the Atomic Bomb on an Unpopulated island
  4. Use of the Atomic Bomb on a heavily populated island

B-29 Superfortress “Enola Gay” Crew [2]
Each idea had its pros and cons. Although the conventional bombing of mainland Japan had been producing casualties, the Japanese government didn’t seem like it phased them very much. [2] The US did more damage doing this, than both atomic bombs combined. The ground invasion would be another option, but would cause mass casualties that would make the 13,000 dead in Okinawa seem like a small loss. [2] The use of a bomb on an unpopulated island was thrown out due to the small supply (only 2) of bombs that the US had. They did not want to waste them on a show. This left the 4th and final option to be the best. It ended up working, making the Japanese surrender one week from the first drop. 

 

References:

  1. http://www.globalo.com/us-planned-use-9-atomic-bombs-japan/
  2. https://www.nps.gov/articles/trumanatomicbomb.htm
  3. https://www.scubadoctor.com.au/article-diving-the-nuclear-fleet-at-bikini-atoll.htm

  1 comment for “The Atomic Bomb

  1. hryan
    September 8, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Given last weeks topic on objectivity it’s very interesting that you chose an article from the Harry Truman National Historic site. Do you think that its authors can be objective? Is there anything that might influence them in coming to their conclusion? (Please remember to include your word count next time!)
    -HR

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