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How America Justified Dropping the Atomic Bomb on Japan

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The Dropping of the Bomb

The dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan was a justifiable decision made by the United States to end the war. By dropping the bomb the war was ended faster, communism was postponed being spread to Japan, and saved millions of lives. If the bomb had not been dropped, the Russians would have invaded Japan and strengthened their power, millions of Japanese and Americans would as well die, and the war could have continued on for a few more years.

The dropping of the atomic bomb can be justified through how early the war would end in comparison to when the war truly would have ended if the bombs had not been dropped. In the Memoirs of Secretary of War Henry L. Stinson a quote about how long he felt the war would have continued if the bombs had not been dropped. “We estimated that if we should be forced to carry this plan to its conclusion, the major fighting would not end until the latter part of 1946, at the earliest.” Even though another year of fighting doesn’t sound so bad, in actuality another year of fighting would kill over a million lives in this specific battle. Also he states that this would only be another year of fighting at the earliest meaning that this could have gone on for another two or three years, which only increases the casualty rate. Also while it is popularly believed that the scientists were heavily against using the bomb a Report of a Scientific Panel (composed of the nuclear physicists who created the bomb) to the Secretary of war showed that some weren’t against it. “Others Empathize the opportunity of saving American lives by immediate military use, and believe that such use will improve the international prospects in that they are more concerned with the prevention of the war than with the elimination of this special weapon” This shows that even though these scientists knew of the great destruction that this bomb would cause some were still for it because they knew that this war needed to be ended quickly. The Japanese were not allowing the war to end quickly; they were willing to fight until every last one of them died. They were blindly following their leader whom many of them hadn’t even seen before. Their leader was like a god to them in which they would do anything that he said, which can be shown with the suicide aircrafts, where young Japanese men were willing to suicide bomb America in order to die for their country. The Americans recognized that the Japanese were going to draw this war out until there was no one left standing and because of this realization had to make the tough decision to drop the bombs. After the first bomb was dropped the Japanese still didn’t surrender, and only surrendered after the second was, as even the emperor saw that the amount of casualties were rising while the possibility of winning was decreasing.

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Another good thing that would come from the bombing and ultimately the surrender of the Japanese was that the Americans would no longer need the Russians to invade Japan. A treaty had been made between the Americans, Roosevelt, and the Russians, Stalin, called the Yalta Conference, which stated that if in two or three months the Russians attacked Japan then they could reclaim their lost Japanese land. If the Russians were able to reclaim this land then Communism would spread to Japan and then possibly other Asian countries. Communism, which was a governing system of everyone being equal but the government controlling everything from businesses to personal affairs, was the opposite system of Capitalist governing of America, which is where private owners run business’ and personal affairs. The spread of communism leads to oppression of the citizens under the ruling party and if someone bad came into power they could easily become a dictator by they way communism is run. Russians were trying to spread their communistic beliefs and by doing so also spread their power to other continents. Also if the Russians attacked than the Americans and Europeans would have had to be in their debt. As it can be seen in the British Prime Minister’s recollection of news received during the Potsdam Conference Winston Churchill said “We now had no need to ask favors of them (referring to the Russians)” If the British/Americans had to ask for this favor than they wouldn’t be able to say no when the Russians asked them of favors in the future. Churchill as well said, “The array of European problems could therefore be faced on their merits and according to their broad principles of the United Nations.” Since Europe was going through so many problems between the countries, their saying that each country, specifically Russia, can deal with its own problems without the worry of great Britain having to get involved. Lastly, in Dwight D. Eisenhower’s recollections of July 1945 meeting with President Truman he said “I foresaw certain difficulties arising out of such participation (talking about Russia fighting in Japan) and suggested that, at the very least, we ought not to put ourselves in the position of requesting or begging for Soviet Aid. It was my personal opinion that no power on earth could keep the Red Army out of the war unless victory came before they could get in.” This as well strengthens the point that unless they had dropped the bomb the soviet army would have only caused more destruction to the war than any good. The soviets would have come to conquer and spread their communist beliefs, which may have caused a greater future war than the one they were already in.

Some may say that the bombing was not justifiable because of the amount of civilian lives that were lost in Japan. Other arguments may state that thousands of innocent women and children would die without warning and for many years after the children of these surviving women would have birth defects. This point is not arguable, but instead a fact that cannot be disproven. They were not given warning before the bombs attacked, thousands of innocents did lose their life, and children born today in these areas are still born with birth defects. While this point is strong it must be remembered that more lives would have been killed by not dropping the bomb than dropping both bombs in total. In the Memoirs of Secretary of War Henry L. Stinson he talks about the death rates that would have been increased if the bombs had not been dropped, and two quotes can be seen to clearly illustrate this. “The Japanese government might determine upon resistance until the end. … The Allies (the Americans and some other European countries) would be faced with the enormous task of destroying an armed forced of five million men and five thousand suicide aircraft,” and “…cost over a million casualties, to American forces alone.” These two quotes both show how brutal this war could have gotten without the bombs, and while it looks as if America only saved the lives of their own people, they as well saved a lot of Japanese lives by dropping the bombs. Stinson says that the allied forces would have had to wipe out every single one of the five million Japanese men who were apart of the Japanese army. Only about 250,000/300,000 ended up dying from the bombs, which is significantly less than the 5 million Japanese who would have had to die plus all the allied soldiers who would have died. Also seen in a quote by Harry S. Truman in his radio address in the August of 1945 he addresses the issue of all the destruction that this bomb caused. While Truman agrees that the atomic bombs dropping caused a huge tragedy and was a huge disaster he also makes the point that this needed to happen to end the war. If the bomb had not been drooped than thousands if not millions of American lives would have been lost.

While some may argue that the dropping of the two atomic bombs onto the two Japanese cities was not justified, it actually was. The dropping of the bomb would cause the war to end faster, and because of this thousands of American and Japanese lives would be saved, in addition this would allow for the Russians not to have to come to Japan, which would ultimately cause the spread of communism. America made the right decision when they started developing this gigantic weapon and although the negative aspects of the aftermath are still seen today, who knows how much worse the aftermath would be seen today if the atomic bombs had not been dropped.

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