Was The Bombing Of Hiroshima Wrong? Michael Axt Mrs. Kwon/ Mrs. Crosby World Literature/ World History II May 3, 2000 Was the Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Wrong? On the morning of August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. One newspaper described the destruction as, Images of swirling fire, angry impressions of red and black, with angular figures turning to skeletons, primitive figures writhing in fury of ever-expanding death(Stone 18). Three days later, the U.S.
dropped another atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki. Together these events marked the ending of World War II, and the downfall of Japan. Many people believe the United States made the right decision in dropping the atomic bombs on Japan. Even to this day there is a seemingly never-ending debate on whether this was the right decision. The United States should not have dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki because both sides knew Japan was defeated before the bombs were dropped, the United States did not clarify the terms of the Potsdam Proclamation which would have led to Japans surrender, and the bombs also caused unnecessary civilian casualties.
The United States should not have dropped the bombs because Japan was already defeated, and both sides knew it. The air and sea blockade along with strategic bombing were two reasons that Japan was already defeated. The air and sea blockade was cutting off the Japanese supplies and important goods, while strategic bombing was devastating their many cities and populated areas. On July 8th, one month and two days before the first bomb was dropped, the Combined Intelligence Committee said that Japan was beginning to realize that they were defeated due to the air and sea blockade which was slowly cutting off their food and would eventually starve them to the point of surrender. On June 18, President Truman was informed that the air and sea power had already greatly reduced movement of Japanese shipping south of Korea, and that it should in the next few months cut it to a trickle, if not choke it off entirely(A Guide To Gar Alperovitzs The Decision To Use The Atomic Bomb Part IV 6).
The mass devastation of strategic bombing caused millions of the Japanese to lose their homes and had destroyed 25% to 50% of the densely populated areas of Japans most important cities. The U.S. strategic bombing survey concluded that, In all probability, prior to November 1st, 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated (Alperovitz 645). The war department concluded that the Japanese leaders had already decided to surrender and were only looking for a good reason with which to convince the Die Hard Army Group that Japan had lost the war. Many people thought that if the Russians entered the war, the Japanese would quickly surrender.
A meeting at the Japanese Supreme Counsel for the Direction of War, held on May 11, came to the conclusion that, It is clear that if the Soviets enter the war that Japan would be defeated, therefore Japan must do everything in their power to keep Russia out of the war(A Guide To Gar Alperovitzs The Decision To Use The Atomic Bomb Part I 4). A recent study by the Joint Intelligence Committee shows that the Japanese political leaders recognized defeat and decided to surrender long before the bomb, but they were unable to convince the Die Hard Army Group that Japan had lost the war and must surrender. Another document from the Joint Intelligence Committee said that Russias entry into the war in August would and should have convinced the Japanese military leaders that they had no other choice but to surrender. After Joseph Stalin confirmed his entry into the war, President Truman wrote in his diary, Most of the big points are settled. Hell be in the Jap war on August 15.
Fini Japs when that comes about(A Guide To Gar Alperovitz’s The Decision To Use The Atomic Bomb Part III 3). This statement shows the confidence of the Americans regarding the easy defeat of the Japanese. It also makes it clear that Russias involvement in the war made the bombs totally unnecessary. Two days after making the above statement, Truman wrote a very exuberant(A Guide To Gar Alperovitz’s The Decision To Use The Atomic Bomb Part IV 2) letter to his wife saying, Ive gotten what I came forStalin goes to war on August 15 with no strings on it. He wanted a Chinese settlementand its practically madeIn a better form than what I expectedIll say that well end the war a year sooner now, and think of the kids who wont be killed(A Guide To Gar Alperovitz’s The Decision To Use The Atomic Bomb Part I 5)! This again shows the confidence the Americans had in Japanese capitulation upon the Russian entry into the war and the lives they thought would be saved by it.
One analyst observed that the Japanese Die Hards had been saying since 1941 that Japan could not fight Russia while fighting the United States and Britain at the same time. The invasion of Manchuria showed how weak the Japanese army really was. The Soviet invasion of Manchuria on August 9 raised Japans military vulnerability to a very high level. The Soviet offensive ruptured Japanese lines immediately, and rapidly penetrated deep into the rear. Since the Kwangtung Army was thought to be Japans premiere fighting force, this had a devastating effect on the Japanese calculations of the prospects for home island defense.
If their best forces were so easily sliced into pieces, the unavoidable implication was that the less well-equipped and trained forces assembled for [the last decisive home battle] had no chance of success against American forces that were even more capable than the Soviets (Alperovitz 645-646). After the Russian armies began cutting through the Japanese lines in Manchuria, Prime Minister Susuki said, Is the Kwangtung army that weak? Then the game is up(Alperovitz 418). After the first bomb was dropped, Washington intercepted two Japanese cables. One said, As a result of Russias entrance into the war, the empire, in the 4th year of its [war] endeavor is faced with a struggle for existence of the nation. The other stated, You are well aware of the fact that as a final move toward the preservation of the national structure [for example the Emperor and the Imperial System], diplomatic negotiations have been opened.unless the aforementioned condition is fulfilled, we will continue the war to the bitter end(Alperovtiz 418-419).
The atomic bomb was not mentioned or cited as a reason for surrender negotiations. The Japanese Navy Chief of Staff said he thought the Russian entry did more to quicken the surrender than the atomic bombs. Japanese Army Chief of Staff said, Since Tokyo was not directly affected by the bombing, the full force of the shock was not felt.in comparison, the Soviet entry into the war was a great shock when it actually came(Alperovtiz 645). Herbert Feis said, I think it may be concluded thatthe fighting would …