Nuclear Weapons: Are They Necessary

By: Justin Scott

Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How?

In 1945 the United States of America retaliated against Japan during World War II by dropping two atomic bombs on two different locations. On August 6, 1945 the B-29 Enola Gay dropped a bomb equivalent to 12,500 tons of TNT on Hiroshima. Two days later, on August 8, 1945 the U.S. dropped another bomb on Nagasaki. The bombs initially killed nearly 100,000 people. The goal of the U.S. was to get a quick surrender from Japan. The bombings also eliminated a need for invading Japan, saving many American and Japanese lives. Hiroshima was targeted because it was an important military industrial center. Nagasaki was actually not the original target, Kokura was. Kokura was covered in smoke from the first bomb, so Nagasaki was then targeted because it was an important port.
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Media Portrayal

During the years following the 1945 bombings, the United States media presented a positive portrayal of the nation. Images and their captions were glorifying the bombings. The glorifying images were made to show the U.S. as heroic and a necessary super power. Government censored much of the media from showing true current events of the time. The censoring was issued in order to avoid domestic and international criticism for the brutality of the bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
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Many people will debate that the bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were necessary to preserve the nation and shorten the war. Every step was taken by the U.S. government to ensure that the costs and benefits of the atomic bombs were evenly dispersed. Japan was prepared for a home battle, and were willing to make necessary sacrifices. Even if the sacrifices meant continuing until they had one man left standing. It was estimated by some that if the U.S. and allied forces were to invade Japan, over 260,000 American lives would be added to the total death toll of World War II. Other estimations believed the casualties would be higher. Either way, the potential loss of lives were too great to risk, and allowed the decision to drop the bombs. Resulting in some to believe they made the correct and necessary decision.
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Historical Criticism

The events that occurred during early August 1945 potentially affected the outcome of World War II and how the rest of the world behaves now. Without the U.S. bombing Japan, the war could have lasted many more years. Because of the actions of the U.S., the war was shortened substantially. Even though many lives were lost because of the bombs, the number of lives saved from a shortened war will never be known. Along with the short term results of the bombs, there are some long terms effects as well. The magnitude of the bombs was previously unknown, now they are known. Worldwide rules have been set to prevent other globally devastating events on a nuclear level from occurring. Without the events at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, modern times and how history developed would be completely different.
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In My Opinion

With everything taken into consideration, the U.S. made the logical choice. Too many risks were going to be taken if there was an invasion of Japanese territory. The Japanese were dedicated to their homeland and would not have held back. With the bombs being deployed, the U.S., Japan, and many other ally forces saved an unknown number of lives. The actions taken were justified and necessary to end the war with as few of casualties as possible.
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