Nagasaki and Hiroshima

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Nagasaki and Hiroshima

Nagasaki and Hiroshima are cities in Japan with rich history and significant play when discussing World War II. The choice by the American military to bomb the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima and whether or not the military would have used a different approach to end the war have both been hotly contested topics (McKinney, Sagan, & Weiner, 2020). When the bombing occurred, America was waging a fierce struggle against communism. The United States would go to war with any country that supported communism, including Japan, and back any government that resisted it. Although the fight with the communists cost a lot of lives, Japan refused to give up. President Truman decided to deploy the atomic bomb as the situation deteriorated to terminate the war and completely silence Japan.

It is necessary to examine the course of the war’s events to understand how the decision to use the atomic bomb on the Japanese cities came about. Germany’s loss at the end of the European Campaign led to the Potsdam Conference when Japan was handed terms for surrender. Japan had been forewarned that refusing to submit would have profound implications. At the Conference, Japan rejected the proclamation. Using chemical or nuclear weapons was unnecessary for the Allies to destroy Germany. It’s also important to remember that the United States was initially neutral during the war, but that changed after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, which resulted in 2400 American deaths and many injuries (Doyle, 2015). Japan also destroyed battleships, ship vessels, and aircraft carriers. Japan had told the U.S. that their relationship was over before the strike. Thus, the U.S. had no justification for keeping its soldiers and was forced to invade Japan.

Initially, Truman had considered using traditional military tactics and attacking the Pacific Island. Estimates of fatalities, however, indicated that millions would be lost. Using atomic weapons would have resulted in fewer losses than a land invasion. One of the most difficult moral decisions the President had to make must have been selecting the approach. Utilizing nuclear weapons was the wiser course of action. The sole obstacle in this situation was the international philosophies of war’s ban against attacking undefended territories. Attacking defenseless civilians will not end a conflict (Selden & Selden, 2015). However, the President discovered a gap and classified Hiroshima as a military base. It appears that the use of the bombs was political and intended to compel Japan to submit. The USSR was prepared to join the Pacific War against Japan after Victory in Europe Day; thus, America likewise wanted to end the conflict before Russia entered and spread its communist philosophy.

Thus, deploying the bomb prevented Russia from becoming involved in the war and confined communism. In terms of cause and effect, using the atomic bomb was acceptable. It was necessary to employ a potent weapon that would compel Japan to submit. Millions of people would have perished if the war had lasted if the U.S. had chosen the invasion route, but this choice to use the bomb spared their lives. The explosion was the best way to put an end to the agony of the Japanese prisoners. Therefore, using the atomic bomb was justifiable since it forced Japan to submit, saved lives, and freed those who were being kept as prisoners.


Doyle, T. E. (2015). Hiroshima and two paradoxes of Japanese nuclear perplexity. Critical Military Studies1(2), 160-173.

McKinney, K. E., Sagan, S. D., & Weiner, A. S. (2020). Why the atomic bombing of Hiroshima would be illegal today? Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists76(4), 157-165.

Selden, K. I., & Selden, M. (2015). The Atomic Bomb: Voices from Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Voices from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Routledge.

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