Essay: World War II Ww

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[. . .] Slowly the Americans invaded and liberated a number of islands until the were in a position to begin an air campaign against the Japanese homeland. With the capture of the Marianas, Iwo Jima, and finally Okinawa, the Americans came to hold the position of being able to strike at Japan with their heavy bombers and begin inflicting massive damage to their industrial base. But two years of air attacks and the destruction of several Japanese cities through firebombing still was not enough for the Japanese military to surrender.

Despite the carnage, the Japanese military wanted to fight to the death and forced the Japanese people to stand alongside them. Facing the thought of an American invasion of the Japanese home islands, and the possibility of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of American casualties, the American fell back on their plan B, the atomic bomb. Originally planned for use against the Germans, who were thought the greater threat, the Americans spent years researching and constructing an atomic bomb, which ultimately did not need to be used against Germany. Instead, American president Harry Truman decided to use the weapon against Japan in the hopes that it could entice them to surrender. On August 6th, 1945 a lone American bomber dropped the first atomic bomb used in war on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, and three days later a second was dropped on Nagasaki. This absolute destruction finally caused the Japanese Emperor to order the military to surrender, bringing about an end to years of warfare and expansion.

The end of World War II did not, in fact, bring peace to the world, but precipitated a conflict between the victors which developed into decades of "Cold War" between America and the Soviet Union. There were many reasons the Cold War originated, including the Soviet Union's leader, Josef Stalin, and his insistence in installing Soviet-friendly puppet regimes throughout Eastern Europe. His unwillingness to live up to agreements made about free and fair elections for the liberated territories of Europe led the Americans and British to view Soviet movements with great suspicion. The Soviets were seen as taking and keeping the whole of Eastern Europe and installing Communist regimes throughout the region, in direct violation of the agreements made during the war. This led the Americans to see Soviet expansion as a new threat, and to make preparations to counter any aggressive moves.

For their part, the Soviet interpreted the American development of the atomic bomb as a means of gaining preeminence in world politics; as well as a subtle threat against their existence. Stalin maintained Soviet forces in territories liberated by the Russians as a means of protecting Russia against further western aggression and as a means of deterrence against the West. Russia had been invaded twice in the last century and Stalin was intent on making certain it did not happen again.

It seems that the American's secret development of the atomic bomb did scare the Soviet leader Josef Stalin enough so that he made decisions that laid the path for more than forty years of the Cold War. He failed to live up to his obligations and installed puppet regimes in many of the Eastern European countries supposedly "liberated" by the Soviets. This in turn led the Americans and British to view the Soviets as untrustworthy and a possible threat to European peace. The former allies felt that the Soviet Union planned to take the rest of Europe and make the entire continent Communist. To counter this threat, the Americans, and their European allies, formed an alliance intent on stopping any Soviet aggression against Western Europe, while the Soviets built an "iron curtain" which cut off Eastern Europe from contact with the West and put it under the complete control of the Soviet Union. This led to a period of "Cold War" which threatened the existence of the world and lasted for the next four decades.

References

The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project. "FDR's Brain Trust." Accessed 10 Dec. 2012.

http://www.gwu.edu/~erpapers/teachinger/glossary/brains-trust.cfm

History.com. "The Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki." Accessed 10 Dec. 2012.

http://www.history.com/topics/bombing-of-hiroshima-and-nagasaki

Our Documents. "The Truman Doctrine: 1947." Accessed 11 Dec. 2012.

http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=81

Pearl Harbor.org. "Why Did Japan Attack Pearl Harbor" Accessed 11 Dec. 2012.

http://www.pearlharbor.org/

History.com. "World War 2: Atomic Bomb." Accessed 10 Dec. 2012.

http://www.history.co.uk/explore-history/ww2/atomic-bomb.html

The History Place. "World War II in Europe." Accessed 11 Dec. 2012.

http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/timeline/ww2time.htm [END OF PREVIEW]

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"World War II Ww."  Essaytown.com.  December 11, 2012.  Accessed July 19, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/world-war-ii-ww/6482608.