Did the U.S. want to surprise Japan or the Soviet Union?

Essay by katflinnHigh School, 11th gradeA+, January 2003

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Russia and the United States were allies during World War II, but that certainly did not mean that they were friends. The alliance with Russia was to fight Nazism, which at the time seemed to be the greater of the two evils. Throughout the war the United States involved Russia as little as possible in important decisions, which made the Soviet Union upset seeing as they had the most devastating loss of life of any country involved. Tension was high between Russia and America, and, as the war was drawing to a close, both wanted to have influence in the post-war agreements. The United States did not want the Soviet Union to be able to have much input in what became of the world after the war because they felt that Communist Russia was a bad influence and the opposite of democracy. If Russia got everything that it wanted it would defeat the purpose of the United States' entrance to the war.

At the point when Germany had been defeated and the United States and Britain had a firm hold on the Pacific the United States knew that it had the ability to produce the atomic bomb. They made a conscious decision to keep that information from the Russians. When the United States was able to successfully test the first atomic bomb they knew that they were the first to have this ability and Russia did not. The United States had several options, which could have prevented the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, namely, the assurance that Japan could keep their emperor. Instead, Truman took advantage of the powerful new weapon to show the world that anyone stupid enough to stand up to the United States would surely suffer the same fate as Japan.

Part of keeping the...