Atomic Bombs Essay

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Atomic Bombs

Even to this day there is great debate that goes on among historians about whether dropping the atomic bomb was the right thing to do or not. Japan had a unique view about fighting dying for there country in battle, they would have literally fought to the last man. Japan also cruelly mistreated prisoners in the Philippines. And lastly Japanese civilians would have died anyway. Japan had a guiding principle during the battle that the most honorable death was to die in battle for your country. When the United States began to fight the Japanese on Islands in the pacific they experienced some of the most intense battles of the war. The Japanese refused to withdraw, and would fight to the last man standing (Puller, 2010).

Truman and his advisers had no idea how many American casualties would result from a land invasion, and it is perhaps understandable that they erred on the side of pessimism. In addition, even the revised estimates presented in recent studies suggest that the human costs of an invasion would have been large. It has been suggested that even on his estimates of over 150,000 U.S. casualties including the 35,000 that were already dead, plus the massive Japanese losses, the atomic bombs would have represented the lesser of two evils and been the more attractive solution for Truman in ending the war. Using this line of thinking the traditional interpretation is closer to the truth, even though it exaggerates the likely casualty rate (Bastian, n.d.).

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There were many meetings that played a huge role in the historical discussions of the alternatives to nuclear weapons use in the summer of 1945. According to accounts based on post-war recollections and interviews, the question was raised about the possibility of winding up the war by guaranteeing the preservation of the emperor albeit as a constitutional monarch. If that failed to persuade Tokyo, it was proposed that the United States disclose the secret of the atomic bomb to secure Japan's unconditional surrender. While Truman had expressed interest in this idea, it was quashed because of the opposition to any deals with Japan (Burr, 2007).

Essay on Atomic Bombs Assignment

The value of destroying the enemy and its operatives seems to be the number one goal in any war. Responsibility for ci-vilian deaths falls often falls solely on that country themselves. It is a vital principle of just war theory that the self-defense of a people or a country cannot be made morally impossible. The more that civilians are used as shields, the greater the danger to which they are exposed, and responsibility for that exposure falls on the people who are using them. It is now recognize that this is a common strategy utilized by non-state fighters. It does not really matter, from a moral standpoint, whether the civilians agree to be used by these fighters or resent the position into which they are forced (Walzer, 2009).

The U.S. government had always looked upon the atomic bomb, from the beginning of its development, as a legitimate weapon of war. It was fundamentally just a more terrifying type of super bomb to be dropped in the same way as any of the conventional bombs of the war. Truman's choice to drop the atomic bombs on Japan in order to quickly finish the war fitted in with these American military strategies that had little to do, ultimately, with racial attitudes irrespective of the personal beliefs of the President or for that matter Americans in general (Bastian, n.d.).

Truman and his advisors understood the Japanese intentions with the same clarity as historians have been able to achieve decades after the event. Regardless, the Japanese showed no serious signs of being willing to surrender in July and early August 1945, and the U.S. government was faced with a possible conventional invasion of Japan which would have involved substantial casualties, if not quite the rates earlier figures had suggested. The bomb had been developed in agreement with U.S. military strategies to win both the European and Pacific war as quickly and cheaply as possible and had the bonus of heading off Soviet influences in Asia (Bastian, n.d.).

When looking at the issue of simply using the bombs in order to head off the Russians in Asia and intimidate them in Europe, the findings suggest that the traditionalists are generally closer to the mark. Truman and his generals primarily pursued the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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