In of which were noncombatants. The United States were

In 1945, on August
sixth and ninth two massive nuclear bombs were dropped on Hiroshima, and
Nagasaki. The use of this nuclear bomb was the first the world had ever seen.
The bomb killed one hundred and thirty thousand people, most of which were
noncombatants. The United States were the ones responsible for dropping the
bomb. The United States was in the right for dropping the bomb. The US was in
the right because the bomb was the ending point of the war, and in the long run
more lives were saved. The use of the atomic bomb also stopped a potential nuclear
arms race around the world. The last reason the US was right to drop the bomb
was there was no alternative to ending the war quickly on reasonable terms.

The first part of
this paper will provide some basic knowledge and ideas of the bombing on
Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The next part of this paper will provide an argument on
how the US rightly dropped the bombs. Finally, this paper will provide a
counter argument as to why the US was excessive and wrong with dropping the
nuclear bombs.

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On August sixth,
and on August ninth, 1945, the United States shocked the world by dropping a
nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, and Nagasaki. The US dropped the bombs with consent
of the United Kingdom which was outlined in the Quebec Agreement. The Two
bombings killed at least 130,000 people (most of which were civilians). This
instance is the first and last time a nuclear weapon was used in warfare.1

In the Final year
of the war, the Allies prepared for what was anticipated to be a very costly
invasion on the Japanese mainland. This event was preceded by a US firebombing
campaign that destroyed sixty-seven Japanese cities. The war in Europe had
ended when Germany signed a treaty for surrender. The Japanese were facing a
similar fate but refused to accept the Allies demand for unconditional
surrender, so the war continued. The Allies called for an unconditional
surrender, but the Japanese ignored the call. The other option which the US
called for was prompt and utter destruction, which was ignored also.2

By August
1945, the Allies Manhattan Project had produced two atomic bombs. The Allies
also developed a special type of B-29 bomber plane. President Truman ordered
four cities

in Japan to be Bombed. Finally, on August sixth, 1945 “Little Boy” was
dropped on Hiroshima. Three days later “Fat Man” was dropped on Nagasaki.3  It
is important to note that the two bombs were made from Plutonium, and Uranium.
Little Boy killed over 100,000 people in Hiroshima, and Fat Man killed around
80,000 people in Nagasaki.4

The reason why these two bombs faced
criticism was the effect in which they had on people. Not only did the bomb
kills more noncombatants than combatants, but the nuclear aspect of the bombs
left people sick with radiation sickness, and desecrated the land for years.

Japan Announced their surrender to the
Allies on August fifteenth, six days after the bombing of Nagasaki. On
September second, The Japanese government signed the instrument of surrender
which ended World War II.  The Justification
for the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is still in debate to this day. SC1 

The United States had
every right to drop the two nuclear bombs on Japan for three reasons. The first
reason why the bombing was justified was the stance of the Allies. World War II
was a dark period of time for human history. The war had the single most cost
conflict in terms of human life.  The US
chose a stance that would limit the amount of future causalities of the war.
The atomic weapons were used to drastically shorten the war, which in the long
run saved lives. This was a very reasonable view for the United States, because
they had already suffered the loss of 400,000 military and civilian lives to
the war. In other words, the trade-off of 135,000 lives lost to the atomic
bombs versus the 400,000 Allied lives lost throughout the war. The US was also
planning an invasion of Japan if the bombs were not used. This invasion would
have killed many more allied and enemy soldiers.5

The Atomic bombs
achieved their desired effects by causing maximum devastation. Just six days
after the Nagasaki bombing, the Japanese Emperor surrendered the war. If the
Bomb did not cause complete devastation, the bombing would have been pointless.
The US was able to replace multiple bombing runs, which saved lives and
resources. President Truman made the decision to drop the bombs also because of
the death rate from starvation for Allied Prisoners of war and civilians which
would have dragged on well into 1946.

A good comparison
to make would be the bombing that the Japanese conducted on Pearl Harbor. The
Japanese gave no warning which goes against the ethics of war. Because Japan
gave no warning of the Pearl Harbor attack, and the killing of noncombatants,
they violated peace, and war ethics, which leads me to the next point of eye
for an eye. Japan struck the US first in Pearl Harbor. The Pearl Harbor attack
killed many civilians and harmed residential life. The bombing of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki killed tens of thousands Japanese soldiers. Plus, the two cities
housed military, and industrial instillations used for military purpose. So,
even the “innocent civilians” were working for these military factories which
were producing weapons.  The US was
targeting the production of war supplies and the people involved, not innocent
civilians.6

In conclusion of
the first point, the US dropped the bomb to save more lives in the long run by
ending the war quickly via use of the atom bombs. Second, they were not
targeting innocent civilians on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, rather they were
targeting the source of war product manufacturing. This is compared to the
negligent bombing on Pearl Harbor where the basic ethics of war were not
followed by Japan. The United States had the right to end the war in a quick
fashion, if that meant future peace.

The Next argument
in favor of dropping the atom bombs is the shared decision that was made by a
world committee. President Truman decision to use atomic weapons was not just a
personal decision, but rather was a committee’s decision. The Interim
Committee, created May

1945, was
primarily tasked with providing advice to Truman on all matters pertaining to
nuclear energy. The Committee was made up top political, military and
scientific advisors.
The Committee first recommendation to Truman was, “the Committee agreed, that
the Secretary of War should be advised that, while recognizing that the final
selection of the target was essentially a military decision, the present view
of the Committee was that the bomb should be used against Japan as soon as
possible; that it be used on a war plant surrounded by workers’ homes; and that
it be used without prior warning.” SC2 This
recommendation was given to Truman on June First. On June twenty-first, the
committee reaffirmed their recommendation by stating, “that the
weapon be used against Japan at the earliest opportunity, that it be used
without warning, and that it be used on a dual target, namely, a military
installation or war plant surrounded by or adjacent to homes or other buildings
most susceptible to damageSC3 .” The initial plan of using the bomb without prior
warning was overturned.7 SC4 

The quotes listed above are used to prove that Truman
did not make an irrational decision to bomb Japan. Truman was well informed,
and was given plenty of time to make revisions and decisions.

The Final argument that justifies the atomic bombing
of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the ample warning the Japanese were given. One
month prior to the bombings President Truman and the Allied forces issued an
ultimatum to Japan. This ultimatum is known as the Potsdam Declaration. The
Potsdam Declaration was Declared by Prime Minister Churchill and President
Roosevelt at the Casablanca Conference. This declaration said that the Allies
would accept unconditional surrender from the Axis. The declaration laid out
the terms of surrender by the Axis.8

The Japanese
government ignored the Potsdam Declaration. If the Japanese accepted the
agreement the war would have been over, and there would be no future violence
or bloodshed. Because the Japanese government ignored the declaration, the bomb
was dropped because the Allies saw no other way of ending the war efficiently.

Additionally, Japanese civilians
were warned in advance through leaflets dropped on Japan cities by US planes. Many
million leaflets were dropped on thirty-five different Japanese cities. The
Japanese people typically regarded the information on these leaflets to be
truthful, however any Japanese person caught with these leaflets were arrested
by the government. The leaflets contained information about the Potsdam
Declaration, and other leaflets warned civilians of potential air raids by the
Allies. Many Japanese lives could have been saved if the leaflets or any other
efforts by the Allies were taken seriously.9

The Dilemma of this entire
situation is simply does the US drop the bomb after all of these warnings and
peaceful attempts to end the war. All of the point above point in the direction
of yes, the bomb should be dropped. The death total of Japanese people due to
the bomb would be nowhere near the total amount of deaths caused by the war.
The bomb would save more lives in the future, and end a very dark time in
history. The Japanese government and civilians were given plenty of
opportunities to surrender peacefully or evacuate. All attempts by the Allied
powers were ignored so, the Japanese people left the US with no choice, but to
drop the bombs. Six days after the bombs were dropped, the Japanese Emperor
surrendered, and the war was over.

The counter
argument to everything listed above is, the US should not have dropped the
atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The same arguments used in the
justification for the bombing will also be used for the argument against the
bombing.

The first aspect
that requires examining is, the actual amount of lives the bomb potentially
saved in the future. The issue with saving lives in the long run is there is no
guarantee. If the bomb was never dropped, it is virtually impossible to tell
how long the war would continue going or how many violent battles would ensue.
So, arguably the bomb did not save more lives than it killed.

The bomb could
also be considered illegal. On September 29, 1938, The League of Nations issued
a law against the bombing of civilian populations. The use of chemical weapons
was also outlawed. However, the US was not a member of the League of Nation at
this time so technically they did not have to follow the new laws put in place,
and also the League of Nations had been disbanded by 1945. The principle of the
laws should have been kept in place, especially because the US prides itself on
being a model of human rights.10   

            The
next argument against the use of the bomb is the lack of care from President
Truman. Truman faced criticism over not keeping enough personal control over
this new weapon. In fact, the US military seemed to hold the most control over
the use of the bomb. The committee in charge of the bomb wanted to drop it
without any warning, which goes against ethical principle of warfare. Some
critics even argue that President Truman did not really even understand the
bomb or its capabilities. If the President, committee, military and scientists
are not all on the same page, there is a chance for miss use of the bomb.

The next argument
weighs out the cost/benefit the bomb had on the Japanese people. The Atomic
bombs were inhumane. The bombs killed people on impact, and if they did not die
immediately the people would live a miserable life.  The radiation caused terrible effects on the
people of these two cities. The bomb also had mental and moral effects due to
all of the destruction and death. The two cities were completely destroyed, and
the environment is permanently ruined. The United States wanted to end the war quickly,
and in their opinion dropping this bomb would help the Japanese people in the
long run. However, this bomb had no benefit to the Japanese people. 

Lastly, the
argument which says the Japanese people had a sufficient warning. The Japanese
people were being prosecuted if they were caught with the leaflets. The
Japanese government tried to hide what the leaflets and other propaganda was
saying about potential threats. Also, the warnings by the US did not mention
they had a nuclear weapon. The US government was not super specific about where
and when the attacks may occur. Basically, The Japanese people were
ill-prepared for the bombings.11

The US government
dropped two of the most devastating bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The
Japanese people were ill-prepared, and had an abundance of casualties (most
being civilians), and the radiation from the bombs caused future pain and
suffering as well. There is always another way to going about ending a war. The
Allied powers did not explore all options and intern they cause great pain by
dropping an illegal nuclear bomb.

The initial
argument for the bombing seems to be more reasonable. The government officials
involved looked at both arguments. Other alternatives were explored and brought
to fruition such as the Potsdam Declaration. Looking at the numbers, it is a
safe bet to believe more lives were saved in the long run. The Japanese people
and government were given reasonable warnings, which they chose to ignore. At
the end of the day the Allied forces were looking out for the greater
well-being of the world, and through careful planning they chose to use the
nuclear weapons. The bomb would not necessarily be considered illegal, and some
ethical standards of war were taken into consideration.

The topic regarding
the use of nuclear weapons is immensely important, especially in today’s day
and age. Over the last fifty years there has been a race more nuclear power
amongst nations. It is important to control the use of these weapons, and make
sure if they must be used, they are used reasonably. Technology keeps getting
better and better. Today, there are many different nations with the resources
and capabilities for nuclear weapons. We must learn from successes and
potential failures from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, because that is
the only instance we have of nuclear weapons being put to use. It is important
to look the use of nuclear weapons from an ethical standpoint, in order to
determine if the weapons are reasonable. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
was a conducted justly by the Allied Powers, however the use also brought
unspeakable amounts of destruction and death. The world powers must use
diligence when dealing with the potential threat of a nuclear attack.   

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