During wartime, horrible atrocities against all of humanity must be dealt with. Crimes against
humanity, as never witnessed before, and hopefully to never be seen again, occurred during the course of
World War II. America has always, and most likely will always place a high value on American lives. In
order to protect these lives and to insure that the world is safe for democracy, American leaders had to
make a very tough decision, whether or not to drop the atomic bomb on Japan. This act would essentially
be trading Japanese lives for American lives.
The Japanese were responsible for hundreds of thousands of
American casualties in the Pacific, including the unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbor. With Japanese forces
showing no signs of surrender, American leaders made a decision. A decision that changed the history of
warfare forever. On the week of August 6, 1945, the first and the last atomic bombs ever used during war
were unleashed against Japan, vaporizing two of it!
s largest cities.
The act of dropping these bombs can be considered a great act against humanity, and rightfully so.
Any act of war that will slaughter hundreds of thousands of people should be considered a crime against
However, if we had not dropped the bomb on Japan, how many Americans would have been
killed attempting to invade the Japanese mainland? Some estimates are as high as half a million, some
lower but almost all of the estimates are well over one hundred thousand American lives that would have
been lost. This number did not include the number of Japanese that would have likewise been killed in the
invasion. This combined number would greatly outweigh the 200,000 who died at Hiroshima and Nagasaki
As American forces got closer and closer to the Japanese homeland, resistance from the Japanese
increased. The Japanese were a very proud people, and they were willing to fight until it was no longer
possible. The Japanese soldiers armed women and children with grenades and bamboo spears and
instructed them to kill as many Americans as possible (“WW2”).
Even if the capital of Japan was taken
and its leaders captured, Japanese forces in China would continue to fight in a war where they could not
possible win. In order to prevent the countless number of American and Japanese lives from being lost in
an invasion, America had to surprise and shock the Japanese into seeing how futile it was to persist in the
war. The only practical way to do this was by using the atomic bomb. Not that American forces had not
destroyed Japanese cities in the past. Firebombing had almost totally destroyed the Japanese capital of
Tokyo. The difference in using an atomic bomb was that a!
city could be destroyed in one swift blow, with no possible way to prevent the city from being destroyed.
After the ultimate destructive power of this weapon had been demonstrated, Japan had no choice but to
Some may argue that by using the atomic bomb in the war, we started the nuclear arms race. This is
completely untrue. Germany and Japan had begun research on the atomic bomb even before the United
States had conceived the notion. Not soon after the United States had begun research, Russia also began
research. From the beginning of time, man has sought power.
It is in our nature. That is the reason that
wars are started, to gain more power. Nuclear weapons are the ultimate power, the power to play God.
With one push of a button, an entire city can be vaporized, killing hundreds of thousands of people. As
man moved closer and closer to the dawn of a nuclear age, it became inevitable that these weapons of mass
destruction would be created. Once created, there became no way to stop the spread of them, as more and
more countries gained the ultimate power.
If the United States had decided not to perfect the atomic bomb,
or even if they had decided not to use the b!
omb against Japan, other countries may have developed it before us. Hostile nations such as Japan or
Russia could have developed .