USA Bombing of Japan

Use of Nuclear Weapons

The Whos, The Whats, and The Whys

On August 6, 1945, the future of warfare was changed forever. On this date, the United States of America dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. Why would to United States use such devastating force? The war in Europe had just ended with the surrender of Germany, so all attention was on Japan. The U.S., along with other allied nations, suffered many casualties during their time in Europe. So a bloody invasion was not greatly accepted. However, the United States had a little secret weapon hidden up their sleeve: The Atom Bomb.

Throughout the war, the U.S. had been doing secret tests and experiments (called The Manhattan Project) to develop this weapon of mass destruction. The plan was simple for the United States; issue the Japanese a last chance of surrender or face utter destruction, if Japanese did not comply, then drop the atomic bomb and see what happens.

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Media Portrayal

This event was portrayed two ways: "It was necessary to end the war" and "It was not at all needed."

Why was it necessary to use to end the war? The Japanese were not showing any signs of surrender at all throughout the war. Even when they were pushed back to there home island. The U.S. and other allied nations offered multiple times to the Japanese their unconditional surrender. Every time, the Japanese refused. The United States did not want to risk American lives with a bloody invasion of Japan. The only thing left to do, was to drop a bomb, or two, on them.

Other media claim that it wasn't at all needed to go as far as to drop a nuke on Japan. The fact that the atom bomb was equivalent to 12,500 tons of TNT, killed 70,000 people instantly, and burnt down the 4 square miles of the city of Hiroshima, seemed a little overkill. On top of the immediate devastation, the residual radiation, left by the bomb, affected many Japanese citizens years after the bomb was dropped.


Cultural criticism plays a significant role in the bombing of Japan. Emperor Hirohito (1901-1989) forced the Japanese to keep fighting until the last man standing. This is why the Japanese refused surrender. It was against their culture to admit such a defeat.

Marxist criticism could also play a role. The United States was able to create the atomic bomb because they had the money and resources to do so. They also weren't afraid of the possibility of Japan having any nukes, because they knew Japan couldn't afford it.

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My Opinion

Was the bombing necessary to end the war? Absolutely not! Did it work? Yes it did, but look at the repercussions of what happened. After World War II ended, the U.S. and the Soviet Union went straight into a Cold War, which was mostly an arms race to see who could make more nuclear weapons. After that ended, almost every powerful nation today has a nuclear stockpile. Any sort of conflict, now a days, is scary because the potential for all out destruction is extremely high. Nations that pose a greater threat are North Korea, Iraq, and Israel. These nations usually run on a short-fuse. Only this time, the fuse is powering a nuclear bomb. It's a scary time and the only thing we can do is to hope for the best. It wouldn't have been this way if we hadn't have dropped the atomic bombs on Japan.
Inside Look: Atomic Bomb Survivor


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