Why was the Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb Justified? Works Cited included

Essay by SNOldak924Junior High, 9th grade March 2004

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The year was 1945. Germany had surrendered, and Japan was the only Axis power left. After the Potsdam conference, President Truman realized that he had the power to end the war. The decision was his. On August 6, Truman authorized the use of the atomic bomb, the first of its kind in existence. Truman was justified in the use of the atomic bomb, for many reasons. The dropping of the bomb would save American lives, make a quick end to the war, and keep the Soviets from joining the war.

By the end of World War II, around 300,000 American soldiers had been killed in combat, and no one wanted the death count to rise. Operation Olympia, a full-scale attack on the Japanese mainland, would only result in more casualties. The atomic bomb presented a way to remotely battle the Japanese, with no American casualties. Henry L. Stimson expected that the war could cost many lives, as he wrote in his memoir, "...I

was informed that such operations might be expected to cost over a million casualties, to American forces alone."

"When Air Force chief General Hap Arnold asked in June 1945 when the war was going to end, the commander of the B-29 raids, General Curtis LeMay, told him September or October 1945, because by then they would have run out of industrial targets to bomb." By 1945, the war had been raging for six years. Many Americans had been killed, with almost no end in sight, and many thought that the war could last many more months, only ending when the military ran out of targets. Even with frequent air attacks and a naval blockade, the Japanese refused to surrender. After the two bombs were dropped, the Japanese Cabinet met and voted, resulting in a non...