Atomic Bomb Debate Points

Atomic Bomb Debate Points

In my opinion, the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, August 6th and 9th 1945, respectively, was an unnecessary act of aggression by the United States. Not only did the bomb kill thousands immediately, it killed more still through radiation sickness and mutations [3]. Catastrophic effects aside, many still believe that the atomic bombing was completely unjustified.

The biggest justification for the atomic bombings is that it was the only way to end the war quickly, and without even more deaths. However, in the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, and future President of the United States, "Japan was already defenceless and dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary" [1]. This statement is referring to the fact that by 1945, Japan was already preparing to surrender. A fact known to the entire Senior U.S. Officer Corps [1][2][4].

The Japanese Navy fleet had been destroyed in Leyte Gulf in 1944. As a result of this, Japan had no means of importing the resources it needed to carry on the war. This wasn't the only evidence pointing to a Japanese surrender. After the loss of their fleet, the bombings of countless Japanese cities, and the fire bombings of Tokyo and Osaka, Japan approached Russia to help them negotiate a surrender [1][2]. The US had deciphered the Japanese communication codes long before, and they knew about Japan's dialogue with Russia. In fact, Japanese envoys had already begun signing surrender agreements issued by the Allies, aboard a US battleship [2].

If the American goal was to simply have Japan surrender, dropping the atomic bomb on a military base, or better still, a sparsely populated region, would have conveyed an equally compelling message. However, Truman chose to drop the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, two densely populated port cities.

I leave you with this. Do you think that dropping an atom bomb is an act that would encourage the end of a war?


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