Friday, 1 May 2015

Was the dropping of the Atomic bombs justfied?

On the month of August 1945, the US army dropped two atomic bombs on Japan. The first bomb was code-named ‘Little Boy’ and the second with the code-name ‘Fat Boy’. ‘Little Boy’ was dropped on the city of Hiroshima and ‘Fat Boy’ on the city of Nagasaki. Opinion are divided as to whether the dropping of the bombs were justified or not. The US government and military argue that the dropping of the bombs was justified because it ended war very quickly as Japan surrendered soon after. They also added that the bomb-dropping act was used to test the power of their newly invented atomic bomb. However, many people in Japan and around the world say that the bomb caused so many deaths and destruction that the bombs should never have been dropped. While both sides of the argument are considered, the dropping of both bombs were necessary.

One of the reasons to prove that the bomb was justified was because the Japanese were unwilling to surrender. The US government altered their surrender agreement terms so that Japan could keep their emperor even after they surrender, but the offer was backfired. The Japanese did not take the offer and became even more determined that the US army were weak and that they would fight to their death for their country. At the same time, the Japanese were training kamikaze pilots that would be suicide bombers who were willing to die for their emperor and fight to their death. The Japanese Prime Minister, Suzuki, reported that around 100 million people were prepared to shield their emperor and protect him. School children and young girls were taught to kill with gardening tools and bamboo sticks. There was no weakening in Japan’s determination to fight; this supports the idea the Japanese would never surrender without the use of an extreme US weapon.

To further backup the point that the Japanese would only surrender if an extreme weapon was used, Japan surrendered on the 14 August, 1945, which was only 5 days from the 2nd bombing of Japan. This is clearly linked to the fact that the atomic bomb forced and led to Japan’s surrender.

Not Justified
Meanwhile, many were arguing that the Japanese were actually very close to surrendering and different options could have been taken as an alternative. If the option of blockade was taken to stop Japan from new trades, bereave them from food sources, and then wait for them to surrender, the Japanese could soon run out of weapons and food very quickly and the Americans would have won without the use of the bomb. Moreover, the demonstration of the bombing impact could have been made on a desert for the Japanese to witness. Japan could then be asked to surrender once they have recognized the impact of the weapon. Besides, Japan had no allies, and its navy was almost destroyed. This shows that US could have made Japan surrender successful without the use of the bombs and created so much destruction to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The bombing of Hiroshima was also used to end World War 2 quickly without losing thousands of American lives through the invasion of Japan. The bomb could also save American resources as they would not need to spend anymore money on purchasing new weapons for their soldiers to fight with. To prove this, on the 15 August 1945, Japan surrendered and on the 2 September , World War 2 officially ended. Japan’s surrender was the way to the end of war.

The atomic bomb was originally tested in New Mexico in a desert with no town or people there. Thus, the Americans stated that they could not see the true impact of the bomb. They chose Hiroshima for the place of bombing because Hiroshima had never been bombed before and thus, would allow the Americans to see the full impact of the atomic bomb. The Americans had already spent a huge amount of money and years on inventing this new weapon, which was around USD$2000 and 2 years of innovation, and they might as well test it out. The bomb would not cause any US deaths and use further resources. Additionally, General Groves, engineer director of the Manhatten Project, was desperate to see the fruits of his labours before the end of the War. This meant that the bombing of Hiroshima was done with a clear purpose of testing this new weapon.

Furthermore, the Americans believed that other options of making Japan surrender were severely flawed and had a lot more downsides than the effect that they could induce. These options include invading Japan, where the Americans would be on Japan’s land but would cost a lot of money, take a lot of time and an estimate of 5 thousand to 1 million US deaths. A blockade would deprive the Japanese of food and trades and there would be fewer US deaths, as well as take years to accomplish. Bombing Japan was not a good option because the US had already used this tactic for many months and the Japanese still had not surrendered. These options all take years to and cost lots of deaths. America could potentially lose Japan to the USSR as well. Fighting would be fierce and losses are heavy. Whereas the atomic bombs would involve no extra costs as they already have the bomb and no US deaths. The dropping of atomic bombs would be quick and easy and the Americans believed that this would be their only option.

Above all, US believed that the use of A-bombs was considered revenge towards the Japanese. This was because during war, the Japanese were particularly cruel to the prisoners of war and some Americans believed that the Japanese deserved to be ‘taught-a-lesson’. To add to this, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a result of Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbour on 7th December 1941 and that the atomic bomb would not have been dropped if not for the attack on Pearl Harbour. The Americans were convinced that the Japanese deserved to be bombed because of their first attack on US.

The high civilian death toll that resulted from the bombing of Hiroshima was horrifying. The amount of energy ‘Little Boy’ generated was equivalent to 15 kilotons of TNT explosion. This wiped out every industrial target, as well as destroying huge areas in the city. The wind speed on the ground when the explosion occurred was believed to have been 980 mph; this speed generated pressure that was equivalent to 8,600 lbs per square feet. The hypocentre of the explosion (directly beneath the centre of the explosion) rose to about 7,000°F. The heat caught people’s clothes on fire and left them with burnt, raw skin. People suffered greatly from injuries and make-shift hospitals were packed with patients. More than 50,000 people were killed and corpses discarded before diseases could spread.

‘Fat Boy’ had an explosive equivalent to 2,000 tons of high explosion which was about the same as ‘Little Boy’. Radiation sickness later claimed ten thousands who weren’t killed by the blast of the bomb. 40 years later, people were still dying from the effects of the bomb. The impact of the bomb was massive and it should never have been dropped to cause such destruction and so many deaths.

To conclude, I believe that the both bombings were justified. ‘Little Boy’ was used to test the Americans’ new atomic bomb and used as a tactic to end World War 2 quickly. The dropping of the two bombs was a good idea because a Japanese invasion would have caused 2 million allied deaths and 3 million Japanese deaths. Also, the Japanese attacked Pearl Habour first when the US had done nothing to provoke them- the bombs were simply a payback towards the Japanese for what they have done. Besides, the Japanese’s belief of having to fight to their deaths forced the Americans to decide on the idea of dropping the atomic bomb. The choice was either to drop the bomb, kill a few thousands of lives or to not drop the bomb, have the war linger on and even more lives killed. Even though the bomb did actually kill many lives, but if it didn’t happen then more deaths would occur. Last but not least, the US military had dropped leaflets through air on the two cities a few days prior to the atomic-bombings, warning them of what was to happen and advising them to leave the city immediately. The Japanese chose not to listen and put their family and friends in danger of the bomb.


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