The Manhattan Project (Decision to Drop Bomb)
The Manhattan Project changed the nature of world warfare forever. Although stopping the war remained possible if the US considered diplomatic conflict resolution mechanisms. Consequently, it was inevitable for several reasons. First, the loss of American lives rendered the US primary victims of every war. The US was desperate to end the war, and it established its goals to avert further bloodshed (Decision to Drop Bomb).
As a result, the US exhibited high expectations of the atomic bomb in its revenge mission. Moreover, given that Japan could not surrender unconditionally; thus, there was imminent considerable destruction and loss of lives. Therefore, this article provides an understanding of whether the US was justified in dropping the atomic bomb. Although most people detest the use of atomic bombs, the strategy was justifiable. Hence, it prevented further loss of lives of American and Japanese citizens.
For a long time, the US experienced major losses in the war that resulted in many deaths. President Harry Truman believed that investments in the Manhattan Project presented an ideal weapon to fight enemy attacks. According to the US military, an average of 418,000 civilian and military succumbed to death during different wars (Tomonaga, 2019). The circumstances most people found themselves in remained preventable upon initiation of adequate preventive measures (Decision to Drop Bomb).
President Truman noted that invading Japan conventionally would compromise thousands of American troops’ lives, thus examining alternative weapons. The Manhattan Project was the best option at their disposal. The program utilized billions of dollars and many hours of research and development for its production and testing. Although using the atomic bomb would elicit an ethics-related discussion on its impact on humanity, it would eventually contribute to saving lives and restoring peace.
President Truman introduced the atomic bombs because of one major reason: the US was desperate to end World War II. To end the war quickly, unveiling the Manhattan Project remained significant for testing and later launched in Japan. The desperation to end the war presented four options for President Truman: test the bombs on an unpopulated island, invade Japan, continue the conventional bombing of Japanese cities, and drop the atomic bombs on an inhabited Japanese city (Tomonaga, 2019).
The Second World War had devastating effects on global systems. The atomic bombs ended the war within a short time, and its success attributed to the government’s support through financial and material resources. The American government was justified in using the bombs as it successfully ended the war(Decision to Drop Bomb).
Although the US stated that launching the atomic bombs was based on military reasons, the mission contradicted its ultimate goals. Records by the military showed that over 135,000 lives succumbed to death amid a war with Japan (Tomonaga, 2019). In some way, the attacks founded on revenge for the lost American lives and were a means to get back at the Japanese, who were persistent in fighting to the end. President Truman noted Japanese population was hostile to Western countries, particularly the US but focused on minimizing fatalities resulting from the war (Hein, 2019).
Instead of pursuing a ground invasion of Japan, atomic bombs would result in fewer American casualties and more Japanese casualties. Japan did not consider surrendering as an option but resorted to fighting till the end; thus, civilians would have to suffer more deaths before surrendering. This approach justified the US’s decision to drop the bombs at the center of its cities: Hiroshima and Nagasaki(Decision to Drop Bomb).
Despite Japan’s stance not to surrender, the US persisted with its mission to achieve the expected effects by realizing Japan’s maximum devastation. The first atomic bomb dropped in Hiroshima, resulted to more than 140,000 deaths and casualties from injuries and radiation poisoning. Likewise, the second bombing on the city of Nagasaki resulted in about 80,000 deaths.
These figures surpassed the number of Japanese civilians killed in 1945 through conventional bombs during air raids averaging 120,000 lives (Tomonaga, 2019). After the Nagasaki bombing, the Gyokuon-host Emperor provided details of Japan’s unconditional surrender six days later. Finally, the US achieved its goals to end the war and expectations for maximum devastation.
Research and development of the atomic bombs were critical to ending the Second World War. In previous attacks, the US military used conventional bombs during air raids on Japanese islands. Although the impact of such bombings was target-specific, it exhibited less contribution to ending the war. As a result, President Truman’s advisory replaced other US bombing missions with the two atomic bombs.
This move was well calculated and was supposed to demonstrate severe and dangerous consequences to the Japanese people. More resources were allocated to the various research and development facilities across the US to facilitate the mission. The aftermath of the bombing caused Japan to experience severe and devastating effects, thus, dropping the atomic bombs was justifiable (Decision to Drop Bomb).
Before the Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks, the Japanese government was considering ways to end the war. Nevertheless, it had several conditions for surrender, which included the Japanese home Islands remaining unoccupied by foreign forces (Hein, 2019). Leaders within the government were reluctant to deliberate on critical issues involving “negotiated peace.” Another condition set was for Japan to be allowed to retain some of its wartime conquests in East Asia.
Despite these conditions, maintaining the emperor’s status stood out as a possible exception. This constituted the emperor as a ceremonial head of state and exempted him from war trials. However, the US provided unconditional terms for Japan, knowing that it contradicted the Japanese and the emperor institute’s ethics of honor. Some military analysts contend that Japan had already lost the war, and the bombings were uncalled for. Still, nevertheless, the US fulfilled its mission to prove its status as a superpower nation.
Many people believe that the atomic bombs were used to avenge the lives of American soldiers and civilians. The bombings also kept the Soviet Union silent and distanced from American affairs in ending the war. Although President Truman wrote that his main objective was to save as many American lives as possible and that he had a humane feeling towards Japan’s women and children, the US’s strategy did not factor in Japanese casualties.
Before the war began, the US failed to put plans to prevent the war; it was inevitable, given that the Soviet Union was about to research the bomb. Consequently, the US could not abandon significant investments in the Manhattan Project and the revenge mission; hence, the atomic bombs were eventually dropped (Decision to Drop Bomb).
Japan had many chances to surrender but did not take advantage of them. The US would have dropped the Manhattan Project if Japan agreed to surrender unconditionally. According to Premier Suzuki, Japan could produce numerous aircraft for its military (Hein, 2019). This signified that Japan would prepare for an intensified struggle and bloodshed using available resources.
The US could tap into Japan’s communication systems and act upon gathered information. In response to Japan’s stance not to surrender unconditionally, the US sought to prevent more bloodshed and decided to drop the atomic bombs. This became a historical moment in American and Japanese history, with Japan agreeing to Potsdam’s terms. Some people may dispute the use of atomic bombs against certain countries, but President Truman justified its use because it was unanimously agreed upon after a complete survey.
Consequently, the bombs served to warn Japan to stop its persistence with the war and instead surrender to the terms set therein. Likewise, the bombs served to maintain peace between the Soviet Union and the US. After a long struggle, the US emerged victorious, putting an end to the Second World War.
The US played a significant role in ending the Second World War. It facilitated research and development activities and provided financial resources to programs creating the atomic bombs. After a long time of being victims of wars, the US was desperate to end the war as it established goals and expectations based on predetermined impacts of the war with Japan. Despite Japan’s persistence in the war, the atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki’s city changed their stance, surrendering unconditionally to the US government (Decision to Drop Bomb).
Before the bombings, Japan had many chances to surrender but chose to fight to the end. This resulted in numerous Japanese deaths and casualties and ultimately the end of the war. The US was able to achieve its goals and realize expectations while maintaining peace with the Soviet Union. As a result, the United States of America became a dominant superpower worldwide but could not prevent the Soviet Union from developing its weapons. Therefore, the US was justified in dropping the atomic bombs as it ended World War II.
Hein, C. (2019). Scales and Perspectives of Resilience: The Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Tange’s Peace Memorial. Architectural Histories, 7(1). doi.org/10.5334/ah.304
Tomonaga, M. (2019). The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: A Summary of the Human Consequences, 1945-2018, and Lessons for Homo sapiens to End the Nuclear Weapon Age. Journal for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament, 2(2), 491-517. doi.org/10.1080/25751654.2019.1681226