The Bombing Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki, Japan: A Necessary Evil Or An Unnecessary Act?

1346 words - 6 pages

On August 6 and August 9, 1945, the cities and people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan would experience something that no other people had ever experienced before, and no other people have experienced since. Within three days in the month of August 1945 and nearing the end of World War II, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan would become the testing ground and their people the test dummies for a new kind of war weapon; the atomic bomb. Was this act necessary to bring an end to World War II as has been claimed? No, it was not.
For months, many of Japan’s cities had suffered a never-ending attack of weapons raining down on them by American military forces. In March of 1945, the city of Tokyo ...view middle of the document...

" (Weber). The end of the war looked to be just around the corner. But how much did that matter to those that wanted to see just what their new creation of the atom bomb could really do?
In April of 1945, Kantaro Suzuki had taken over as head of the Japanese government and made it his top priority to put an end to the war. He knew when Germany surrendered, the focus of American and British forces would be turned to Japan. His people were already suffering enough and enough of his country had been destroyed before his eyes, and he wanted the devastation and anguish to end.
By June of 1945, the United States had been dropping bomb after bomb on many of the cities of Japan without any real sort of retaliation from the Japanese for over six months (Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Wikipedia). Why? Because by then, Japan’s military forces had all but cease to exist. Cities had been reduced to ruins by the never-ending attacks. Bombs fell out of the sky like rain from storm clouds. Production of weapons, or anything, in what was left of buildings and factories that once stood was virtually impossible (Weber). A fourth of the population was left homeless and near death from starvation. Transportation was practically nonexistent. The country of Japan was on the verge of collapse, and they knew it. Little did they know it was only going to get worse.
By now, the American military had long ago broken the secret codes the Japanese were using to send their messages. Needless to say the Americans were aware, having intercepted transmissions about Japan’s intensions to end the war, that Japanese officials were looking to end the war in the most peaceful way and satisfy the needs and wants of all involved in doing so (Weber). Using the neutral countries of Sweden and Portugal as a go-between, Japanese leaders ask that they find out what it would take to satisfy a peaceful end to the war (Weber). According to historian Kevin O’Reilly, it is argued that the only thing holding Japan back from surrender was the one and only thing they were asking for: to keep their emperor (Chaffee). Emperor Hirohito was heir to Japan’s 2,600 year old dynasty and considered a living God and feared that he would be executed without this one stipulation to surrender (Weber). Would Japan have surrendered if they had gotten their wish? From everything presented so far, it would seem that yes, they would.
Still fuming from the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor, it would appear that many American leaders were using that as an excuse as the perfect reason to use a Japanese city as their testing site for their new weapon. Vindicating his choice, President Harry Truman claimed to the world that had the bomb not been dropped on Hiroshima, the lives of millions of more American soldiers would have been lost and the war would have gone on much longer. Adding...

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