Was the dropping of the atomic bombs justified?
On December 8th, 1941 the United states of America, “Land of the free and home to the brave” declared war upon the Empire of Japan in response to Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbour the prior day. On December 7th, 1941, Pearl harbour was attacked and bombed by Japanese pilots without warning, destroying and crippling everything in their path. In one swift stroke Japan had silenced yet enraged the whole of the United States. To avenge all those American lives lost, the United States launched the Manhattan project, developing the greatest weapon created at that time, the Atomic Bomb.
On August 6th, 1945, The Atomic Bomb was first unlatched from a bomber above the city of Hiroshima, reducing the city to rubble. Three days later, the next bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, marking the quick yet gruesome end of WWII. There has been a big debate and a lot of controversy towards the dropping of these two bombs; ‘Little Boy’ and ‘Fat man’. Was it really necessary? Some think it was necessary as the country had no other choice, but some people think differently and believe that the Atomic Bomb was an unnecessary sinister and shameful act. There are both valid and compelling arguments on both sides of this Ethical Dilemma.
Many believe that the Atomic bomb was the lesser and a necessary evil. This is because in 1941, the Japanese launched a surprise attack at Pearl Harbour in Hawaii. The Americans believed that they had not done much against the Japanese but cut trading to try and stop them from invading more of southern Asia. But this enraged the Japanese more, causing them to attack the states. This attack was uncalled for, as behind the Japanese planes left utter chaos, 2,403 dead, 188 planes destroyed and the remains of the Pacific Fleet that included 8 damaged or destroyed battleships.
The U. S wanted revenge for killing all those innocent people in one swipe, so they designed the Atomic bomb, a weapon that would cause mass destruction in a matter of seconds. It was so show Japanese that is was a bad idea to start was on America, and it was a taste of their own medicine, to show them what would happen if they tried to attack again. In addition, this was nearing the end of WWII. Hitler and Germany were already out of the picture, but Japan was still strong, holding several hundred islands in the Indian Ocean.
They were the nightmare of the Americans, an extremely powerful force equipped everything from the latest technology to the toughest soldiers. The 5,000,000 soldiers in the Japanese army were trained to the extent of rather dying than surrender, trained to know and face that they could die any moment for their country. America moved to take out Japan by defeating the Japanese on several islands, but because of their kamikazes, they took heavy casualties, and the Japanese lost far less men than they did. A full-scale invasion of Japan would have cost thousands upon thousands of American lives, and that was simply unacceptable!
America would have been weakened in the sense that their military could have been reduced drastically. It was estimated by the army that 500,000 to 2,000,000 American lives would be lost in a successful invasion, as the Japanese would not surrender and would rather die fighting. Dropping the atomic bombs saved American lives and killed over 50,000 Japanese in total, instead of the large number that would have died in an invasion. The bomb crippled the Japanese and stopped them from attacking the states, thus effectively ending WWII in the Pacific Ocean.
People also believed that President Harry Truman was justified in not one but both atomic bombs on Japan. Ending the war was the main reason why President Truman launched the atomic bombs in the first place. He wanted the unconditional and quick surrender of Japan, but even after the first bomb of destruction, he failed to gain this, leaving him no choice but to drop the second bomb. But with the second launch came the surrender of Japan, and World War II would come to a halt. Americans would have to no longer keep fighting in this brutal war and return troops home back to their families. The last argument proposed from the U.S. Stated that the Director of the Manhattan Project wanted to see the price of his labours before the war ended. The equipment used to arm the Americans and to develop the atomic bomb was approximately $20 billion, and they wanted to make sure they did not waste any money. They felt like they needed to see the aftermath of the bomb, and felt like the whole world needed to see the aftermath, so after the war, there would be no more major attacks on the U. S. A. On the other hand, some argue that the dropping of the atomic Bomb was necessary, some believe that it was immoral and unjustifiable in every way.
It was simply an act of cruelty, torture, pure evil. The bombing killed over 50,000 people in Hiroshima was immoral and shameful. People who survived the blast of the bomb had their skin melted off, eyes burned out, disintegrated by a bomb with an explosion equal to over 20,000 tons of TNT. And for the Americans so stand there and watch it happen is inhumane and unacceptable. This has to be considered a war crime, the United States were too uneducated at the time. This was nothing other than a brutal murder. If the bomb wasn’t dropped, it would have saved thousands and thousands of lives.
The effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with ordinary weapons had already done enough damage for the Japanese to surrender. Furthermore, the bomb was not needed as said by the allied commander Eisenhower, as he said Japan was already largely defeated and the bomb was no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. Yet Truman ignored this advice and still decided to bomb Japan. If the bombs hadn’t been dropped, Japan possibly would have surrendered shortly as they were defeated to an extent of losing most of their navy and air force.
The dropping of the American Bomb showed that they did not care what happened to Japan, as long as they won the war. The people most affected by the Atomic Bomb would not be military men who killed Americans, but innocent civilians Women and Children, I repeat, innocent children, were butchered. Many of these children died slow, horrible deaths. I can only imagine the outrage that would come from the citizens of the United States if New York had been bombed, and instead you were the ones who had to watch the skin melt off of your children’s faces.
“They had adopted the moral standards of the Barbarians of the Dark Ages. ” Said Admiral Leahy. Also, during the war, most of the Americans, if not all, were Christians. In 1946, a report by the Federal Council of Churches entitled Atomic Warfare and the Christian Faith, includes the following passage: “As American Christians, we are deeply penitent for the irresponsible use already made of the atomic bomb. We are agreed that, whatever be ones judgement of the war in principle, the surprise bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are morally indefensible.
” This was against the ten commandments of Christianity and the words of God, the Bible, which states clearly that ‘Thou Shalt not Kill. ’ In conclusion, I believe that both sides of the argument, as said previously, have very strong and justifiable reasons. The Americans Certainly did a bad evil that killed thousands of innocent children and civilians, but in my opinion it was necessary, as they were putting their own country first, being independent to save as many American lives as possible.
In a war like this, it is survival of the fittest. They were trying to lessen the impact and damage whilst also ending the war, as quickly as possible as they wanted no more violence. Although the Americans were unaware of the long term effects of the bomb, they did this in retaliation to the lives lost by a surprise attack that was not suspected. The Americans played fair and gave Japan 5 days to surrender.
I respect President Truman’s decision and I would have agreed to give them a chance, but if America gave them another chance, it would make them look weak and Japan may attack with full force, and this will lead to more American casualties and Japanese casualties. I believe that the atomic bomb is was the lesser and necessary evil, and although many died from the bomb, it would not add up to the lives lost if the war didn’t end immediately. Statistics say that If the bomb wasn’t dropped, over ten times the casualties of the bomb would die from a full scale invasion. If the bomb wasn’t dropped, many of us wouldn’t be here today.