Atomic Bombs - Hiroshima & Nagasaki

Genevieve Drascic 4A

Before the Bombing

In 1940, the US government began funding for its own atomic bomb development program. A few years later, the war in Europe was over but the war in the pacific was not. Japan vowed to fight till the bitter end even though they had a very little chance of winning. The US president at the time, Harry S. Truman, needed to make a decision that resulted in as little American deaths as possible.

Was Using Atomic Bombs Justified?

The war needed to come to an end. The United States wasn't interested in totally obliterating Japan, they just wanted to end the war in a way that would cause little to no American deaths. The atomic bombs were a bold decision, but the most effective. They scared Japan into surrendering, a country who was willing to kill millions of their own people to win. One could argue that dropping the atomic bombs was the quickest, easiest, and most threatening way to end the war without causing American deaths.

The Effects of the Atomic Bombs

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The graph above shows the types of cancer that people effected by the atomic bomb suffered from. Many people acquired multiple types of cancer years and years after the bombs were set off.

Alternative Choices

The United States did not have to drop the atomic bombs. The United States could have used an economic blockade, depleting Japan's resources and other goods until they surrendered. This option would've resulted in few deaths on both sides of the war, not just the United States. Another option was conventional bombing, which also would've have been as destructive and catastrophic as atomic bombing. Truman didn't take these routes because he wanted the war to end as soon as possible, he didn't care or know how many Japanese deaths would occur as long as the United States was safe.

If I Was President in 1945...

If I was the President in 1945, I wouldn't have dropped the atomic bombs. The pictures above show the long-lasting effects of the atomic bombs. The people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will never be the same. The grief and pain caused by the bombs is something that no one should have to encounter. I think the idea of an economic blockade on Japan would've worked well and resulted in less deaths as well. If the blockade made it impossible for Japan to receive enough war supplies, they would've lost the war pretty quickly. Conventional bombing was the other option, but that still would've caused a lot of deaths. I also think conventional bombing would take time to plan out and execute, prolonging the war. Overall, the best decision to ending the war with minimal deaths would've been imposing an economic blockade.
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" - Destructive Effects." - Destructive Effects. Atomic Bomb Museum, 2006. Web. 01 May 2015.

"Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki." A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 01 May 2015.