‘Fighting fire with fire, causing deaths to prevent deaths’. On the 6th of August 1945, Henry Truman made the ultimate decision to drop the world’s first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, in the hope of concluding the already costly World War Two. Truman’s justifiable action of dropping the atomic bomb was an act of preventing the imminent invasion by the Japanese. Was this though the opinion of society at the time? If the invasion by the Japanese had occurred, this could have seen millions of deaths as a result, and in turn increased the already extraordinary death count. But does it make it right? Think of the millions more who could have lost their lives in the invasion. As Truman had already offered a warning towards the Japanese, and they failed to comply, the dropping of the atomic bomb was inevitable. Truman’s judgement and ultimate decision to go ahead with dropping the bomb was vindicated. The United States, much like the rest of the world, were trying to soldier on after the single most costly conflict (deaths) in the history of mankind. At that time, USA had suffered more than 500,000 lives lost, with an extra 135,000 just from their top ranked militants. “The bomb saved many thousands of American troops that would be killed by invading Japan” – President Truman. This statement was the driving force for dropping the atom bomb, and though it was an abhorrent act, they were certainly justified in doing so. Many other world leaders such as Winston Churchill believed America was justified by dropping the bomb, as quote, “To conquer the country, might have required the deaths of a million American lives, half of that being British. The bomb vanquished that nightmarish picture”.
Furthermore, the Allied forces were fighting off Japanese militants as they attempted to invade both Australia and China. At the time, the Japanese had made progress on Australia conducting bombing runs on the Northern Territory, and gaining ground in the fight at Kokoda. Whereas the Japanese had made immense ground on the Chinese and began wide spread murdering of civilians, and many thousands more held as prisoners of war. The atomic bomb which forced Japan into surrender eliminated the Japanese’s possibility of invasion. Relations between the Soviet Union and the United States were driven by a complex interplay of ideological, political, and economic factors, which led to shifts between cautious cooperation and often bitter superpower rivalry over the years. The distinct differences in the political systems of the two countries often prevented them from reaching a mutual understanding on key policy issues, bringing the two powers to the brink of war. The United States government was initially hostile to the Soviet leaders after they took Russia out of World War I, and was opposed to the ideology of communism. Approaching World War II the United States and Soviet Union were far from ‘allies’ and the risk of war between the two superpowers was becoming ever so likely. After the United States dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, not just the Japanese nor the Germans were afraid, but so was the Soviets. This action of dropping the bombs brought together the world’s leading military superpowers, and destructed the inevitability of the two superpowers attempting to take each other out. This brought the two countries into alliance, and hence strengthened the Allied forces as they attempted to defeat Nazi Germany, and halt the Japanese’s aggression in foreign lands. All in all, the statement made by the Americans when dropping the bomb ensured that the military superpowers known as the Soviets halted their dreariness towards the Allied forces, and fully fledged against Nazi Germany. This alliance inevitably brought an end to the war with the Japanese, and eventually Nazi Germany, saving tens of millions of lives.
To conclude, what could Truman have said to hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Americans who lost a loved one in an invasion of Japan if they knew he had a weapon that could have ended the war, and not used it? In the dead of the night when sleep was the last thing on his mind, and as he stared into the souls of millions of dead Americans, what could he have said? I chose the Japanese lives over yours? Truman did what he had to do, dropping the atomic bomb, saving tens of millions of lives, ending the war with the Japanese, creating peace with the Soviets, and bringing an end to Nazi Germany.
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