Why did the U.S. drop the second bomb so close to the first?

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

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The dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 was meant to show the powerful new weapon to the entire world. The United States wanted to be recognized as the most powerful nation, and winning the atomic race was a big step in that direction. More than 80,000 civilians died when the first atomic bomb hit Hiroshima, leaving four square miles completely demolished. Until recently, many people had trouble understanding why Hiroshima and Nagasaki were selected as targets and why they were bombed only three days apart, giving the Japanese barely any time to respond.

On July 16, 1945 the United States successfully tested the first atomic bomb. The war in Europe was over, and the United States' only concern was Japan to the west. The American and British fleets were doing an excellent job against the Japanese forces and Japan had virtually no resources left to use in combat.

American ships were anchored close to Japan's coast and struck industrial sites that had already been heavily bombed by American pilots. Despite all of this Japan refused to surrender. Their loyalty to their emperor and the United States demand for an unconditional surrender left Japan and the United States in a deadlock. It was looking more and more like American forces would have to enter Japan on the ground, which would cost many lives, both American and Japanese.

To avoid this Truman ordered the use of the atomic bomb. His orders were sent to naval leaders in the Pacific. These leaders were then presented with the task of deciding which cities should be targeted. General Leslie Groves, in charge of construction and operation of the Manhattan Project, appointed a Target Committee. The Target Committee was responsible for deciding which cities should be bombed. They decided...