Near 9th, 1945, the United States dropped two

Near the end of World War II on
August 6th, 1945 and August 9th, 1945, the United States dropped two
atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, known as “Little Boy” and “Fat Boy”. These
bombs were dropped from the orders of Harry Truman, President of the United States
at the time. Truman was in fear that during the war, Nazi Germany would use a
nuclear weapon. Knowingly, in 1942, the Manhattan Project was introduced to
produce the first nuclear weapon for the U.S. He believed the Manhattan Project
would put an end to WWII, as well as force Japan to surrender. The atomic bomb dropped
over Hiroshima killed approximately 90,000-146,000 people, in addition to clearing
out 90% of the Japanese city. The bomb dropped over Nagasaki killed
approximately 39,000-80,000 people. Hiroshima was a target as it was a
significant military base, and Nagasaki was a major military port. Japan surrendered
to the U.S on August 15th, 1945. Japan’s navy was nearly destroyed,
they had no allies, they were facing concentrated air attacks, their death toll
was extremely high, and the war was beginning to be costly for the Japanese
government. It was also very inhumane, and there were other alternatives
instead of dropping the atomic bombs against the Japanese, but Truman was very
unprepared. Due to these factors, the Japanese would have surrendered without
the need of the two atomic bombs as Japan was already facing a number of disastrous


To begin with, the bombing of Tokyo
and other conventional bombings in Japan, resulted in Japans navy to be nearly destroyed
before the atomic bombs were dropped. The bombing of Tokyo on March 9th,
1945, relates to constant attacks by the U.S Army Air Force in World War II. “Operation
Meetinghouse” was ordered against the attack on Pearl Harbor, yet the U.S
dropped nearly 157,00 tons of bombs on different Japanese cities, and had more
casualties than the two atomic bombs dropped later on. “The top American military leaders who fought
World War II, much to the surprise of many who are not aware of the record,
were quite clear that the atomic bomb was unnecessary, that Japan was on the
verge of surrender, and—for many—that the destruction of large numbers of
civilians was immoral” (Alperovitz 2).  This article reveals that Japan was already
facing numerous attacks from the U.S, and many innocent women, children, and
families were being killed. Additionally, Japan had no allies as Germany and
Italy had surrendered. Therefore, the Japanese government had only one choice,
which was self-defense against the US and Britain. Germany was Japan’s only one
true ally and the surrender of the Germans meant that the Japanese would have
no military support if they were to engage in war with the U.S. “In the summer
of 1945, Japan’s war leaders knew they were not going to win World War II” (Slavin 1). Japan would have tried stopping these conventional attacks if they
had allies, but they were alone.  The article by Slavin states that the Japanese
knew that they could not win the war. Clearly, Japan was going to
surrender even if the atomic bombs were not dropped, knowing the only thing
they could do is defend themselves, and they knew that would not last long.

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Furthermore, when Japan attacked the Pearl Harbor in 1941, the
bombing killed approximately 2,300 Americans. This rate is not anywhere near the
amount of Japanese citizens killed from the atomic bomb. Innocent people who
survived the atomic bombs still faced radiation exposure. Pearl Harbor was an
attack of war, and the bombings dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were seemed
to be acts of murder. In 1946, the U.S Third Fleet’s commander named Halsey Jr,
stated that “the first atomic bomb was an unnecessary
experiment…. It was a mistake to ever drop it…. the scientists had this toy
and they wanted to try it out, so they dropped it…” (Alperovitz
3).  This article states that there were
no specific reasons for the bombs to be dropped on the two Japanese cities. They
were treated unfairly, and the head of the Twenty-First Bomber Command, Curtis
LeMay, stated “the atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war at all”
(Alperovitz 3). The people who were killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor
were mainly men in the military, who were ready to face these attacks and die
for their nation. The atomic bombs killed innocent lives, and was inhumane. Hundreds
and thousands of civilians were killed brutally. “Shadows of
people were etched onto walls and pavements, eerily marking the spot they had
been standing only moments before incineration” (Awan 1). They were
terribly burnt and buried in toxic waste. The survivors still faced radiation,
starvation, and many other deadly sicknesses. Others would commit suicide, due
to the horrible things they would have to face, such as seeing their family
dead or terribly injured. Radiation was a huge problem for the civilians who
survived. It increased cancer rates tremendously, as well as lifetime sicknesses.

A website regarding the atomic bombs states that “Japanese outside of Hiroshima
and Nagasaki, scared and ignorant about radiation sickness, treated bomb
victims as if they had a communicable disease” (Barnes 7). The atomic bombs weren’t
just a problem where they had been dropped, but also other cities in Japan.

Japanese civilians believed survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not safe
to be near. These bombs created many problems for the Japanese community. Houses
and buildings were completely crushed to the ground, and left nothing in the
two cities. The Japanese faced devastating moments not only
during the attack, but also after.


On the other hand, Truman had other alternatives instead of
dropping the bomb. It was an act of foolishness, as the Japanese would have surrendered
due to the many attacks they were facing, and the U.S could have waited.

Another alternative could’ve been to present an exhibition of the bomb. If the
Japanese government were shown the atomic bomb before it was dropped, they
might have been able to convince the U.S that it is an act of foolishness, as
they are already facing attacks and that would not push their decision since
they would surrender anyways. A website states “Although the U.S. and Japan had no diplomatic
relations after Pearl Harbor, a demonstration might have been arranged
discretely through some back channel, perhaps through the Russians” (Barnes 4).

This solution would have been rather smarter, and could have saved hundreds and
thousands of innocent Japanese lives. Truman dropped these atomic bombs as he
wanted to scare Russia, which is not a significant reason to be attacking Japan
even more. “They believed the shock-and-awe effect of using
the atomic bomb against Japan would make the Soviet Union more manageable in
post-war negotiations” (Barnes 4). This website also states the
reasoning to scare Russia. Furthermore, that is not a justified reason to be
making a very important move on Japan. In addition, Truman seemed to be
unprepared for the responsibility of being president. He never justified his
reasons for the atomic bomb, and could not understand why he decided to do this
attack himself, and force the Manhattan Project. Truman had no experience for
creating his own opinions. “Some critics question whether or not Truman
really understood the weapon, and the human consequence of his decision to use
(Barnes 6). This website argues against Truman’s terrible decisions. An article
on Truman states that “During his few weeks as Vice President, Harry
S. Truman scarcely saw President Roosevelt, and received no briefing on the
development of the atomic bomb or the unfolding difficulties with Soviet Russia” (Harry S. Truman
1).  In his first few months of being president,
Truman made a massive order, which was not justified as a result of the attacks
and other miseries the Japanese were facing. Truman was known as unprofessional
and unprepared.


The Japanese faced numerous on-going attacks in the years
leading to their surrender in 1945. The bombing of Tokyo and other conventional
attacks had a great impact on the Japanese community, even before the atomic
bombs were dropped. They also had no allies after Nazi Germany surrendered, and
the Japanese government knew they were out of the war already. Additionally,
the number of casualties that resulted due to the bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
were unnecessary and outnumbered those that resulted from the attack on Pearl
Harbor. Innocent Japanese lives were taken, and they continued to suffer from
radiation after the bombs were dropped. Furthermore, Truman was unprepared to
make decisions, which also lead to the useless atomic bombings. The Japanese
would have surrendered to the U.S knowing it was the last thing they could do,
as they faced towering casualties due to conventional bombings and misfortunate
attacks against Japan.