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Was America justified in dropping the atomic bomb on Japan?

The dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan ended world war two. The decision to do so was solely that of the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Harry S. Truman. As President Truman had to ask himself whether or not it was justifiable to use a weapon of untold destructive force. The answer would change the world.

I. The Dropping of the Atomic Bomb

A. How was the atomic bomb created?

1. The atomic bomb was created in the south western desert of the United States under top secret conditions. The Manhattan Project was run by Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, a German Jew who had fled the Nazi's.

2. The Germans and Americans had been racing to complete the bomb first but with Germany's destruction and the persecution of many of her top scientists who were Jewish the German effort was severely hampered.

3. The first atomic bomb was detonated in a test in the New Mexico desert on July 16th 1945. It was considered a spectacular success.

B. Why did Truman decide to drop the atomic bomb?

1. The army estimated that it would have cost between 500,000 to 1,000,000 soldiers lives to mount a successful full scale invasion of Japan.

2. Truman wanted an unconditional surrender of Japan.

For more information on the decision to drop the bomb see hate following web site:

http://www.peak.org/~danneng/decision/decision.htm

C. When was the bomb dropped?

1. President Truman issued his executive order to drop the bomb on July 26th 1945.

2. The Army created a list of 5 military targets and the bomb would be dropped depending on weather conditions. The first available target was the industrial city of Hiroshima.

3. The bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th 1945. The bombs nickname was "Little Boy."

4. The second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki after the Japanese government failed to offer their unconditional surrender. The bomb, nicknamed "Fat Man" was dropped on August 9th 1945.

D. What was the effect of the dropping of the atomic bomb?

1. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were utterly destroyed. Over thirty thousand people were killed at Hiroshima when the bomb was exploded. Over twenty thousand were killed at Nagasaki.

2. Over the span of four months tens of thousands more died of various illnesses that can be attributed to radiation exposure.

3. The day after Nagasaki Japan signaled its unconditional surrender to the United States.

4. America sent a strong message to Josef Stalin that we had a weapon that he could not counter. It was a strong signal that we were the worlds only nuclear superpower.

The following is a survivors account:

I COULD NOT FORGIVE

by Kiyoko Tanimoto

 

An eye witness account of the Hiroshima atomic bomb

I lay there buried alive under our house when the bomb hit our city. The bomb started great fires. The fires came nearer and nearer to us as workers tried to reach us. "Hurry!" they cried to one another as the flames came nearer. At last the workers reached us and pulled me and my mother out from under everything, before the flames reached us.

 

Now later, as I thought of the pilot of the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on our city, I cried, "I hate him. I hate him." The people with marked faces from the effects of the bomb made me cry, "I hate him." I saw people suffering a terrible, slow death. Again and again I cried, as I saw these people, "I hate that pilot, I hate him!"

I HATED HIM

Now some time later I was in USA and that pilot appeared in a meeting I attended. As I looked at him, I hated him with a bitter hatred.

But then I listened to what he told us of his experience the day when he dropped the bomb on our city. I heard him say, "When I flew over the city after we dropped the bomb, I cried, 'O God, what have I done'." I realised he found it difficult to speak of that day. He could hardly speak for tears.

As this happened I suddenly realised my hatred of him was wrong. It only made me unhappy also. As I did this, it was as if a heavy load fell off my shoulders. I cried, "God, help me to forgive him. Please God, forgive my wrong feelings towards him. Please give me Your Spirit to control my thoughts."

I also told God, "I am sorry for all my wrong thoughts." I believe Jesus Christ died for my sin. As I did this my life was changed.

I now help people that suffer from hating other people. I seek to help them to love everyone, as I am now able to do.

"We saw Hiroshima...

or what little is left of it."

-- LIFE photographer Bernard Hoffman, September 3, 1945.


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