6 Advantages and Disadvantages of Dropping the Atomic Bomb

When I began the process of revising this essay in July 2014, I knew that this section would be one of the more painful to revisit. Not only was it painful, I spent more time revising this section than any other. Similar to orthodox historians who argue that the , the orthodox position, soon after the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, has been that those atoms bombs saved lives, as they quickly ended the war. A few years later, "War is Peace" in Orwell's , and orthodox American historians have defended the atom bombs ever since 1945 as life-saving weapons, without a trace of irony.

Dropping the Atomic Bombs on Japan was a Necessary Evil

government support for a program to build an atomic bomb, lest the Nazis build one first.

Dropping of the Atomic Bomb - Social Studies help

One incensed reader of the article was , who was the USA's ambassador to Japan from 1932 until the day after the Pearl Harbor attack. Grew was in intimate contact with Truman and Stimson and was behind the effort to put language into the Potsdam Declaration that Japan could retain its imperial family. Grew strongly believed that if Japan had been given assurances regarding their emperor's status, it would have surrendered months before the USA dropped the atom bombs. Grew confronted Stimson regarding that glaring omission in the article. While defending himself, Stimson wrote to Grew in the wake of the article that those who decided to bomb Hiroshima were "very fine men," but they "should have known better."

Dropping the Bomb: A Historiographical Review of the …

The Manhattan Project was history's biggest science project to that time (exceeded only by the ), and used about 600,000 Americans in various aspects of it, and it was top-secret. Virtually no Americans knew anything about the Manhattan Project until those bombs were dropped on Japan. Richard Rhodes's is the defining history of the Manhattan Project. The entire Manhattan Project was classified for many years. Not until 1960 were the informal names of the bombs, Fat Man and Little Boy, declassified. To the day that I wrote this in 2014, the used to refine the uranium for the bombs remains classified. Also, what been declassified often . Japanese officials destroyed most of their records at World War II's end, to prevent them from being used in war crimes trials. Consequently, any historian who tries creating a picture of what really happened is assembling a jigsaw puzzle with many critical and incriminating pieces missing. With those caveats, I will briefly explore the decision to drop the atom bombs.

Einstein did not speak publicly on the atomic bombing of Japan until a year afterward.
It recommended a demonstration of the atomic bomb for Japan in an unpopulated area.

Obama's Hiroshima Visit Is a Reminder that Atomic …

Szilard recommended, instead, coming to an international agreement on the control of atomic weapons before shocking other nations by their use:"I thought that it would be a mistake to disclose the existence of the bomb to the world before the government had made up its mind about how to handle the situation after the war.

One thousand six hundred and sixty-seven tons of bombs were dropped on Tokyo in the first attack.

Why Truman Dropped the Bomb | The Weekly Standard

Bombing Nagasaki was not the last act of the war. The Japanese were not engaging in attacks at that time. They were a defeated people, reduced to huddling under the American bombardment. Hiroshima was bombed on August 6, 1945, and Nagasaki on August 9th. On August 14th, as Hirohito was making his surrender speech, Hap Arnold, who ran the Army Air Force (the Air Force as such did not yet exist) staged what is called the Grand Finale. It was something like our Fourth of July fireworks that celebrate what a great nation we are. The Grand Finale was this: Arnold wanted to get more than 1,000 planes in the air at one time, for one last glorious bombing of Japan. On August 14th, Arnold accomplished his enormous task. He got 1,014 planes aloft for one last bombing run on the main Japanese island of Honshu. Those planes dropped 12 million pounds of bombs on Japan that day, half as much explosive power as was dropped on Hiroshima. It is history's greatest bombing run.

Conventional Weapons - Atomic Rockets

After two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan in the span of a few days, Japan surrendered. It was no surprise that the Japanese surrendered after two cities were incinerated. The USA's government fully expected it. In one of the many ironies of Japan’s surrender, although the Americans stonewalled the Japanese surrender with their "unconditional" mantra, after the Japanese surrendered the Allies did exactly what the Japanese wanted: spare Hirohito from prosecution and humiliation. Hirohito remained an untainted emperor until his death in 1989. It appears that retaining Hirohito was a useful strategy for the USA, as a way of controlling post-war Japan, which helped prevent them from going communist or some other unfavorable (from the USA's perspective) path. The last several months of fighting, particularly the kind that participated in, never needed to happen, as if any of it ever "needed" to happen. That must be a devastating realization, if ever achieved, for those who survived the Pacific Theater battles in 1945, and the families that lost sons in those battles, both American and Japanese.