I think that President Truman’s decision to drop the Atomic Bomb was wrong for many reasons. These reasons including that Japan was almost ready to surrender due to decreasing army and earlier bombings. Also, the two cities, Nagasaki and Hiroshima, weren’t of any great military use to the Japanese military. A demonstration of this bomb to the Japanese would have had just as much as an impact to the surrender of Japan as it would have dropping the bomb, just not killing so many people, and no warning was given to any of the innocent Japanese citizens. The second bombing onto Nagasaki was even more unjustified because citizens hardly had time to react to the first bombing and weren’t given enough warning. I believe that Truman had a hard decision on whether to drop this bomb to save many American lives when deciding this but I think that his decision was wrong also for many reasons. If Truman had decided to find more political or alternative ways to bring Japan to its surrender the casualties would have been lower. In addition, the aftermath of the atomic bomb was deathly, many people died in the following days and even many years following the bomb.
I feel that the creation of the atomic bomb was justifiable but the use against Japan was not for many reasons. Had we not created the atomic bomb, Germany would have most likely been the first country to use the bomb. A crucial person who helped to get the Manhattan Project started was Albert Einstein. Albert Einstein had written to President Roosevelt telling him about the importance of creating and atomic bomb, so that Germany would not have been the first country to create it, thus endangering many more lives around the world. In the book The Ultimate Weapon: The Race to Create The Atomic Bomb it states “Einstein, whose participation in the Manhattan Project was limited but extremely influential, deeply regretted his actions for the rest of his life.” This is one thing that I don’t understand because had Einstein not written the letter to President Roosevelt Germany would have been the first country to create an atomic weapon. I feel that Truman could have chosen a different way around using the atomic bomb such as creating a demonstration and showing Japan what it could do to their country had they wish not to surrender, or President Truman should have gave a little more time before dropping the bomb, since Japan was on the verge of surrendering any way.
By the time the atomic bomb was dropped on Japan, Japan was close to surrendering, due to more than 60 of its cities having already been destroyed in previous bombings and the Japanese military being so desperate as to use kamikaze attacks, killing their own military, thus weakening them further. With the use of these kamikaze attacks, more than 3,000 Japanese pilots had died by the end of the war. Many scientists who had been helping with the creation of the bomb began to become skeptical about the use of the bomb, as said in the book The Ultimate Weapon: The Race to Create the Atomic Bomb “Witnessing the awesome destructive power they helped create, many scientists paused to consider the moral consequences of their actions. Why were they continuing to work on the bomb when Germany was defeated? That, after all, had been the reason for the existence of the Manhattan Project – to build an atomic weapon before the Nazis did. Was it morally right to use the bomb against Japan, a virtually defeated enemy with no nuclear capability? How would this terrible thing they created change the world?” These scientists even went so far as to address President Truman of their worries.
The two cities which had been attacked by an atomic bomb were of no militaristic use to the Japanese military and consisted mostly of innocent women and children. In Hiroshima, civilians would outnumber the Japanese troops from about 5 or 6 to 1. I feel that Japan would have been just as willing to surrender had there been a demonstration of the bomb, where the Japanese leaders could see what this very powerful bomb would do to their cities and civilians. Also, Japan never had any real warning for what was to come to their cities. The closest thing to a warning they had was that if they didn’t surrender great destruction would come to them. Though, this cannot be considered a warning because they had already had destruction coming to them when over 60 of their cities were bombed prior to the first atomic bomb.
There was absolutely no justification for the second bomb onto Nagasaki for many reasons. First, Japan was only given 3 days to respond to what had happened and in that time most citizens would have only cared about finding their family that was missing and mourning the ones in which they had lost. After the first bomb, the closest warning that America gave to Japan was the three leaflets in which they had dropped onto Japan, warning them what was to come had they not to surrender. The first leaflets declared that Japans army was deceiving them and that they should be rid of their war leaders to save their country. The second leaflets states that Nazi, Germany was destroyed and if Japans governments officials and military leaders continued their war efforts, then America would continue its attack on Japan and drop more atomic bombs on Japan. The third leaflet said that unless the Emperor agreed to unconditional surrender, another atomic bomb would be dropped and that all cities should be evacuated immediately. These leaflets were created and dropped on Japan for the sole purpose of encouraging Japanese citizens to rise against the army and their emperor to save their country. Before any action was taken to these leaflets America dropped the second atomic bomb onto Nagasaki, and whatever affect that the leaflets would have held would never be known. The main reason for dropping the second atomic bomb onto Nagasaki was that the Soviet Union joined the war with Japan and America didn’t want the Soviet Union to gain any more land than they had already. So in America’s stupidity, America dropped the bomb.
The casualties of the two atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were great. It was on August 6, 1945 at 9:14 a.m. when the atomic bomb ‘fat man’ exploded onto Hiroshima, and within just two minutes more than 60,000 civilians were either dead or missing. Just three days later, a second atomic bomb would be dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, which would kill approximately 35,000 people in the city. As a result of these two bombs, about 275,000 people would die within the next five years as of direct relation of the atomic bombs and the radiation that was caused by them. In addition to these casualties, there was a lot of discussion as to whether the atomic bomb was needed to get Japan to surrender. As General Dwight Eisenhower said in the book The Ultimate Weapon: The Race to Create the Atomic Bomb “I voiced to Secretary of War Stimson my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of the weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at this very moment, seeking a way to surrender with minimum loss of ‘face’ [honor]. Also Admiral Leahy who was the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during World War II said this “The use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not of material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender…”
In conclusion, I think that President Truman’s decision to drop the Atomic Bomb was wrong for many different reasons. These reasons included that Japan was almost ready to surrender due to decreasing army and earlier bombings, also, the two cities, Nagasaki and Hiroshima, weren’t of any great military use to the Japanese military. A demonstration of this bomb to the Japanese would have had just as much as an impact to the surrender of Japan as it would have dropping the bomb, and no warning was given to any of the innocent Japanese citizens. The second bombing onto Nagasaki was even more unjustified because citizens barely had time to react to the first bombing and weren’t given enough warning to evacuate. I believe that Truman did have a hard decision on whether to drop this bomb to save many American lives when deciding this but I don’t think that he thought all the different points out thoroughly. If Truman had decided to find more political or alternative ways to bring Japan to its surrender the casualties would have been lower. In addition, the aftermath of the atomic bomb was deathly, and many people died in the following days and even many years following the bombings.