- Published: January 26, 2022
- Updated: January 26, 2022
- University / College: University of Maryland, College Park
- Level: Undergraduate
- Language: English
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THE DECISION TO DROP THE ATOMIC BOMB ON HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI History, Essay March 6, The only example of nuclear weapons usage in the history of mankind is bombing of Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II. It is an extremely tragic event which resounds in the hearts of the Japanese with painful memories and horror experienced by their compatriots on 6th and 9th of August 1945. The death toll counts more than 200 thousands of civilian, and even an approximately unknown number of mutilated bodies and destinies. It can be referred to the fact that a great number of people dies every month in war time, still considering the loss is the result of the use of mass destruction nuclear means for just two days, then the question of the expediency and necessity of such a step of the US military operation rises. Taking into account the USA command’s belief of the Japanese capitulation being fostered by the threat of possible continuing of atomic bombing, can the fact of mass civilians’ killing be justified or not?
The question of the appropriateness of the atomic bombings of Japan and their role for the end of World War II as well as their ethical validity is still the subject of scientific and public debates. There are numerous for and against arguments in this respect, and the followers of every version have particular data for support their ideas.
First of all, let’s see what facts may prove the justification of dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The main reason for such a decision is the desire to stop the bloody war by Japanese capitulation as quickly as possible, for preventing the massive casualties on both sides during the invasion on the territory of the belligerent powers. It was assumed that there would be great losses among the armed forces and civilian population in any case, reasoning in the military offensive or the continuation of the food blockade of Japan by overlapping not only sea routes of import but land ones as well. Feeling the whole responsibility for the consequences of his words lay on his shoulders the American President Truman says:
“ The final decision of where and when to use the atomic bomb was up to me. I…never
doubted it should be used.” 1
The opponents of dropping of atomic bombs see no military necessity in their usage for Japan was suffering from bombing every day and was almost ready to capitulate. Another reason not to justify the decision of the US command, soul touching one, is the immoral nature of such a way of killing people which is perceived as a war crime against humanity and the genocide. According to the words of admiral William D. Leahy, President Truman’s Chief of Staff, the nuclear means like atomic bombs are not appropriate way of fighting with enemy in a civilized world:
” In being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians
of the Dark Ages.” 2
As for the people being in Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the bombing, ordinary people even can’t imagine the whole horrible picture of death in those cities that very moment and after it.
“ Hiroshima was no longer a city but a burned-over prairie. To the east and to the west
everything was flattened.” 3
That is the reality of Japanese who have sacrificed their lives to restore world peace.
In close, we are not an expert to justify or not the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The discussion and heated debates around the theme will continue. Unfortunately, this can’t return the lives of countless innocent victims.
Hachiya, Michihiko. Hiroshima Diary: The Journal of a Japanese Physician. August 6 –
September 30, 1945. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1955.
Leahy, William D. I Was There: The Personal Story of the Chief of Staff to Presidents
Roosevelt and Truman Based on His Notes and Diaries Made at the Time. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1950.
Truman, Harry S. Trumans Diary on the Atomic Bomb. New York: Harper and Row, 1980.
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