Atomic Controversy The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, two events that will always lie in infamy, because World War II was ended right after those two dates and the bombings introduced nuclear weapons to modern warfare. The bombings killed over two hundred thousand people and destroyed two Japanese cities, but in exchange for all that the Japanese were sparred a homeland invasion which could have easily surpassed the death toll that was seen in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
As horrendous as they were, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were necessary to end WWII and were justified in the sense that the United States had to do something proactive to break the will of Japan’s rulers and end the war. On August 6th, and August 9th, 1945, Japan experienced the effects of the world’s most powerful weapon at the time. “On the 6th of August, 1945, A B-29 bomber named Enola Gay, piloted by Colonel Paul Tibbets, took off from the island of Tinian and and headed north by northwest toward Japan, the bomber’s primary target was the city of Hiroshima. At approximately 8:15 a. m.
Hiroshima time, the Enola Gay released “Little Boy,” its 9,700-pound uranium bomb, over the city (U. S Depot. Of Energy). “Little Boy” had an explosive yield of around 15,000 tons of TNT. 90,000 were killed immediately and 145,000 within months” (Nadesan). At 3:47 a. m. On August 9th, 1945, a B-29 named Bock’s Car lifted off from Tinian and headed toward its primary target: Kokura Arsenal, a massive collection of war industries adjacent to the city of Kokura. The weather had been reported satisfactory earlier in the day over Kokura Arsenal, but by the time the B-29 arrived, the target was obscured by smoke and haze.
Kokura no longer appeared to be an option, and there was only enough fuel on board to return to the secondary airfield on Okinawa, so the pilot made a hurried pass over their secondary target, the city of Nagasaki. At 11:02 a. m. , at an altitude of 1,650 feet, the Bock’s Car bomb, “Fat Man”, exploded over Nagasaki (U. S Depot. Of Energy). “Fat Man” had an explosive yield of 21,000 tons of TNT (Nadesan). When the bomb exploded 45,000 were killed immediately and 75,000 more were dead by the end of 1945. After the devastation, some said the bombs should never have been used but others argued they were necessary.
President Harry Truman and many others believed that the Atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, an infamous event that was necessary to end WWII and the threat of the Japanese military. One of the few reasons that some think the bombings were necessary is the Japanese weren’t giving in. “The Japanese had demonstrated near-fanatical resistance, fighting to almost the last man on Pacific islands, committing mass suicide on Saipan and unleashing kamikaze attacks at Okinawa” (Dietrich). Japan had received what would seem to have been overwhelming shocks that would make most countries surrender and call it quits.
The Japanese government could have easily avoided all of these casualties if it had surrendered earlier in the war but since it refused to surrender, Trueman decided to use the revently developed and tested atomic bombs. Not only did the bombings end WWII but they helped prevent thousands upon thousands of war casualties. If the bombs hadn’t gone off, the U. S would have firebombed the two cities anyway since they were targets of war. Also, if the bombings hadn’t succeeded there would have been an invasion of Japan, which could have caused both sides to reach extreme casualties.
An estimate of 200,00 plus people died of the bombings, an invasion of Japan’s homeland could have easily doubled that number. Despite these reasons, many were outraged that the U. S. Had used atomic weapons saying that the bombings were immoral, wrong, and unnecessary; no country should have endure what Japan had to. Japan was getting ready to call it quits, More than 60 of its cities had been destroyed by conventional bombing, the home islands were being blockaded by American Navy, and the Soviet Union had attacked Japanese troops in Manchuria (Dietrich).
Even if Hiroshima was necessary, the U. S. Did not give enough time for the devastation to filter out before bombing Nagasaki (Dietrich). The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were also criticized because of the huge effect on civilians. The two cities were of limited military value, civilians outnumbered troops in Hiroshima five or six to one. Japanese lives were sacrificed simply for power politics between the U. S and the Soviet Union. The U. S and U. S. S. R were constantly competing to see which country would nvent the next big weapon or technologically useful item and Japan happened to be one of the countries caught in the middle of their Arms race. I honestly think that these bombings were necessary but, could have also been avoided with the help of both sides. Also the U. S knew that Japan was surrounded and losing most of its power due to the Naval blockade of Japan and the invasion of the Soviet Union, so the U. S could have simply waited out the inevitable defeat of Japan. Another big key is the fact that the U.
S wanted an “unconditional surrender” of Japan, they were trying to get rid of the emperor. Instead of trying to get rid of their ruler, the U. S should have let the Japanese keep their emperor but give him no military power so that Japan would no longer be a threat to the world. If the bombings could have been avoided, they were necessary to cripple Japan. Japan was starting to go to extremes to try and win this war, like when the Japanese literally fought to the last man in the Pacific Islands, started to commit mass suicides on saipan, and unleash kamikaze attacks on Okinawa.