Hiroshima1 Essay

This essay has a total of 1149 words and 5 pages.


On August 6, 1945, a B-29 bomber named Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb, "little boy" on
Hiroshima, Japan. Hiroshima had been almost eradicated with an estimated 70-80,000 people
killed. Three days later, a second, more powerful bomb was dropped on the Japanese city
of Nagasaki, killing over 100,000 people. Since Japan was economically and militarily
devastated by the late summer of 1945, the use of the atomic bombs on an already overcome
Japan was unnecessary and unwarranted in bringing about a conclusion to the war in the

By the end of the war, the U.S. forces had pushed the Japanese far back into their
country, leaving them no access to any resources from the Indies. Japanese cities and
factories were being endlessly bombarded by American bombers. Louis Morton, an author on
the situation felt that since ". . . The Pacific Fleet had driven the Imperial Navy from
the ocean and planes of the fast carrier forces were striking Japanese naval bases in the
Inland Sea. . . Clearly Japan was a defeated nation."1

The decision to use the atomic bomb was validated by the U.S., who said that the force was
necessary to end the war, which, in turn, would save lives of both American and Japanese
soldiers. However, many believe that since Japan was already of the verge of surrender
when the bombs were dropped, this argument cannot be morally validated. If Japan was
almost beaten by August 1945, many say that the reason the U.S. dropped the bomb was
simply to test it on living humans. Aside from the ground test in the New Mexico desert,
no one knew what destruction atomic weapons were capable of. Throughout the war, the city
of Hiroshima had been left virtually untouched by U.S. attacks. It is inferable, then,
that the United States government hoped to see the full effect of nuclear power by
detonating the atomic bomb on this locality, as they could be sure that any damage was
from the atomic bomb alone. A similar reasoning could be applied to the usage of the
second bomb, "fat man," which was dropped on Nagasaki three days later. One could wonder
if the motive behind this second attack was similar to the first; the only difference
being that the bomb to be "tested" this time was considerably more powerful.

The final say on whether or not to drop the bomb came from President Harry Truman, who had
help from a special committee known as the Interim Committee. This organization was made
up of Secretary Stimson as chairman; President Truman's personal representative, James F.
Byrnes; the Under Secretary of the Navy, William L. Clayton; and the Assistant Secretary
of State as well as many others. The work of the Interim Committee was to discuss the uses
of the bomb and whether or not it would be wise to use nuclear force against Japan in
combat. On July 1, 1945, the committee submitted a report to President Truman stating

1. The bomb should be used against Japan as soon as possible.
2. It should be used against a military target surrounded by other buildings.
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