August 6th, 1945, 70,0000 lives were ended in a matter of seconds. The United States had dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima. Today many argue whether or not the U.S. should have taken such a drastic measure.
Was it entirely necessary that we drop such a devastating weapon? To answer that first we must look at was going on in the world at the time of the conflict. The U.S. had been fighting a massive war since 1941. Moral was most likely low, and resources were at the same level as moral. Still both sides continued to fight and both were determined to win.
Obviously the best thing that could have possibly happened would have been to bring the war to a quick end with a minimum of allied casualties. Harry Trumans decision to drop the atomic bomb was entirely warranted and was in the best interest of Americans and the world. Three factors should be considered to fully realize this. First, what would have happened should we have not dropped the bomb? Would WWII have ended shortly afterwards without nuclear arms-not likely. Secondly we must consider the Japanese peoples extreme dedication to their country and emperor, willing to give up their own lives without thinking to stop the enemy. Lastly the morality of nuclear bombing must be explored.
While many may argue against the use of such a seemingly cruel form of attack was unnecessary, it is obvious that the atomic bomb was the only means to an end of WWII.
What would have happened had the A-bomb not been used? The most obvious answer is that he war would have continued. U.S. forces therefore would have had to invade the home island of Japan. It is hard to imagine the number of additional casualties we would have incurred had a Japanese land war been necessary.
Also, our forces would not only have to fend off the Japanese military, but they would also be defending themselves against the civilian peoples of Japan as well. Like the Vietnamese that would come years later, the Japanese government was equipping citizens with any kind of weapon available from guns and knives to spears. Also public support was strongly behind Truman and the allied forces. In the following quote taken from a radio address of the time Harry S. Truman explains what has happened and his motives behind the decision
The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. We have won the race of discovery against the Germans.
We have used it in order to shorten the agony of war in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans. We shall continue to use it until we completely destroy Japans power to make war.
This quote embodies the spirit of the American people of the time. The public was eager for a quick end to the war and American casualties. Also Truman threatens to utilize the A-bombs power again until we are victorious. In hindsight it is clear the correct decision was made.
How can anyone be certain that Japan would have continued to fight? It is possible that they were preparing for surrender, no one can say for certain exactly what would have happened but by examining evidence of Japanese culture and warfare it is obvious that would not have been the case. At the time of WWII systematic and organized education made efficient “brainwashing” possible. In public schools, students were taught to die for the emperor. By late 1944, a slogan of Jusshi Reisho meaning, “Sacrifice life,” was taught. In addition to civilians dedication to their country, there was a group of military pilots called the Kamikaze. Kamikaze were suicide pilots.
They would load up an airplane and try to nose dive it into an enemy target. Think about what must be on that pilots mind. Imagine the undying love for his country. He would fight to the bitter end for his emperor. The most frightening part of this is that the entire Japanese military thought this way. The fact that the enemy is willing to die so long as you die with him is not something .