Why did America drop the Atomic bomb?

Essay by SaifulA-, October 2004

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On 6th August 1945, 8.15am America dropped the first Atomic bomb on Hiroshima in Japan because Japan would not surrender. 130,000 people were killed by the initial blow, mostly women and children and the Atomic bomb caused many more deaths afterwards due to radiation. 3 days later, 9th August America dropped another bomb, which was much more powerful than and just as devastating as the first, on Nagasaki in Japan killing 70,000 people. Since 1940 scientists in the U.S.A had been working on a new bomb which could destroy whole cities, the secret code name for the project was 'The Manhattan project'. $2 billion dollars was spent on making the bomb making it the most expensive bomb ever. The Atomic bomb had more power than 20,000 tonnes of TNT and the first of its kind. The Atomic bomb was tested in New Mexico to check if it was ready. America dropped the Atomic bomb for not just revenge but for several other reasons.

The Atomic bomb was to be developed before the Germans could develop it and before the war finished. America had spent a lot of money on the bomb and thus had to justify the cost, the war gave a chance for the Americans to drop the bomb and see if the bomb could do what it was actually made for, destroy whole cities. This may be of course a more coarse and cynical explanation but certainly it would give the US an opportunity for scientific and military experience. America dropped the Atomic bomb to show world domination and to scare the USSR who was their rivals for power, we see later on after the war finished America and Russia on each other-the cold war.

The US and the Soviet Union were secretly plotting against each other; the Americans disliked the Soviet Union because they were communist and feared that communism would spread and debase their successful capitalist system. America wanted to be the power fullest country in the world and wanted it to be portrayed to every other country. Thus the dropping of the bomb would show the USSR their supremacy and hopefully intimidate them by rendering them to feel they were not powerful enough to fight the US. Globally the US's image and prestige as the major super power would be enhanced. President Truman wanted to show the USSR who was powerful and he did so by the dropping of the Atomic bomb.

Natural instincts for the American would be revenge against Japan, to pay back for

the attack on Pearl Harbour. 2,000 people were killed in the Pearl Harbour attack instigated by the Japanese. The majority of the American public wanted to see Japan punished. America retaliated to Japans attack on Pearl Harbour by going to war with them. America caused huge amount of damage to Japan. Approximately 60,000 American marines were killed during the war. The American Government wanted to end the war and stop more Americans people losing their lives. The Americans thought the bomb would end the war whilst saving more American lives, which it did.

The dropping of the bomb would furthermore help America to negotiate their own terms to gain power. Japan was willing to negotiate through the USSR but America wanted Japan to surrender unconditionally. America dropped the second bomb nicknamed Fat Man on Nagasaki because they claimed that the first bomb had not changed the minds of the Japanese. News of poor treatment of POWs (Prisoners of war) spread. Japan displayed atrocious actions towards the POWs such as torturing them and cutting them up. Propaganda in America was used to portray the Japanese in a negative light resulting in the public to consider them as sub-human. The American public were stunned and disbelieving of the Japanese's cruelty in which made America more determined to put an end to it and punish Japan. Grayford Payne an American POW, agreed with the use of the Atomic bomb.

Japan was willing to negotiate through the USSR with America but America wasn't willing to negotiate. America wanted unconditional surrender from Japan. The American public did not know that Japan wanted to negotiate. However President Truman knew without doubt that Japan was ready to negotiate and end the war and he kept this a secret from the American public. If the American public had known then they would have tried to stop the dropping of the bomb, also the public would have been horrified of the effects of the bomb.

America changed the world after dropping the Atomic, whether for bad or good. The dropping of the bomb caused an arms race making the world unsafe. Did America need to drop the Atomic bomb? Personally I think that America shouldn't have dropped the bomb because they already were on the verge of winning the war. The Japanese's air force had been completely destroyed and they had lost all their Islands. America would of won in due time. The bomb was supposed to save more lives but instead it killed more. Altogether 200,000 were killed with another further 100,000 from the effects of the bomb. In the world people are still suffering from the effects of the Atomic bomb. People are born deformed and have disease caused by radiation. I think America did not know what the after effects would be and what they were playing with. However America dropped the bomb for several reasons including the most important ones, revenge on Japan for the damage they inflicted on Pearl Harbour and to end the war quickly.