The Atomic Bomb Essay ended a war of massive death and destruction, but began what is now known as the Atomic Age. At the time of the disasters in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the bomb appeared as a promise of peace to the entire world. It had ended a costly and gruesome war, beginning a time of peace. Compared to the technology of 1945, the atomic bomb looked too powerful and unethical ever to be used again. It was seen as the weapon that would put an end to war.
In Keith Eubank’s “The Bomb,” he shows the development of power and the increasing threat to the United States from other nations that might be building a weapon of mass destruction; moreover, he shows the responsibility of dropping such a bomb.
The development of the atomic bomb, although slow at first, quickly sped up as more research proved it a significant weapon. At the beginning, the U.S. didn’t think developing a weapon could contribute to defense. Consequently, after quick research from scientists and the realization that the war would be a technical one in which the U.
S. was unprepared, Americans came to the conclusion that “better relations had to be created between science, technology and the American government” (p. 8). The government soon realized that the bomb was likely to have a decisive result in the war. Roosevelt immediately gave orders to determine if a bomb was possible. When he found out the news, the national defense demanded urgent development and more research.
The United States undertook the development of the atomic bomb not only because it may prove useful, but also because it thought other scientists were doing the same.
After testing the bomb, the U.S. realized the significant role the weapon would play in the war. In addition, President Truman learned that “the bomb might well put (the U.S.
) in a position to dictate our own terms at the end of the war” (p. 49). Truman, to the opposition of some, decided that the Japanese would receive no warning about the bomb. Many would argue Japan was largely responsible for their own destruction. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the war in the Pacific was fully underway. An aggressive expansion policy forced the United States invasion.
However, this invasion would mean severe casualties of tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers alone. After American casualties reached into the thousands in Japan, the U.S. could not afford to lose more lives.
It seemed as if the only solution to save American lives and stop further Japanese expansion was to drop an atomic bomb. After the Big Three conference at Potsdam on July 16, 1945, a warning was issued to Japan in the form of the Potsdam Declaration: to surrender unconditionally or face prompt and utter destruction. An unconditional surrender, to Japan, meant humiliation to the ancient warrior tradition and the Emperor. Therefore, on July 29, 1945, the Japanese rejected the Potsdam Declaration and every man, woman, and child prepared to fight to death – if that is what it would take – and it did. They saw the declaration as propaganda, which would play on the public opinion of Americans. They soon learned that action would be taken.
They wanted to wait until the Soviet Union mediated in the conflict, so Japan told its people to ignore the declaration. However, when the Soviet Union joined the Allies, Japan knew it was in trouble. Only a change in the weather could save the lives of Japanese now. On August 6, 1945, the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, and a few days later one was dropped on Nagasaki. “Nevertheless, the time has come when we must bear the unbearable” (p. 87): A quote that sums up not only Japan’s feelings but Americans’ feelings as well.
It was the only way the United States knew how to end a war that had killed many of its own men.
Indeed, Eubanks exemplifies that Germany had already begun research on atomic energy. The Manhattan Project, which built plants for production of the atomic bomb, helped to set up a centralized lab to get everyone working on the bomb together. This step was vital for the U.S. in constructing .