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Was America Justified in Dropping the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima in 1945?

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Was America Justified in Dropping the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima in August 1945?

On the 6th of August 1945 during World War 2, America dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. It was said that at that time, the bomb was 2,000 times stronger than any bomb ever made (BBC UK, 2015). Three days later, the second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan. This is when Japan surrendered. The most recent study has shown that 88,000 people died because of the Atomic bomb on Hiroshima (, 2015). As for the Nagasaki bomb, it killed 87,000 people according to the Nagasaki Prefectural Office. (History Learning Site, 2015) My opinion of this matter is that America was justified in the decision to drop the atomic bombs in Japan.

        Firstly, if the atomic bomb was not dropped, there would have been more casualties. We do not know what the actual death toll would have been if the atomic bomb wasn’t dropped, but it was estimated by a scholar who studied the U.S. invasion plan. He said “Depending on the degree to which Japanese civilians resisted the invasion, estimates ran into the millions for Allied casualties and tens of millions for Japanese casualties(Zachary Keck, 2015). This would mean that according to the estimates, if the bomb was not dropped, the casualties would have been over 50 times more. Although this argument was based on an estimate and it may not be accurate, there is evidence to suggest that if the atomic bomb had not been dropped, the death toll would have been high as Japan wouldn’t have surrender easily. America knew that Japan wouldn’t easily surrender because of Japan’s past history and the training of its warriors. Samurais were warriors for Japan from the 17th to 19th century, and they believed in a code of honour known as “Bushido” (Japan Forum, 2015). There are many different parts that shows how a samurai should act. One of the biggest part is honour. Samurais would do anything to protect their honour towards Japan, even if it means that they had to die (RITUALS - Enjoy the moment, 2014).  Since Samurai culture is such a big part of Japan’s history, it influenced many of the soldiers and people in World War 2, causing them to have the same approach to honour. This indicates that the Japanese would not stop fighting until their death if the atomic bomb had not been dropped.

        The second reason why America was justified in dropping the atomic bomb in Japan was because it was a way to show the USSR that the Americans have the technology to be the leaders in the world. A professor from Yale named Gaddis Smith once said that “It has been demonstrated that the decision to bomb Japan was centrally connected to Truman's confrontational approach to the Soviet Union” (Donohue, 2015). It was clear that America and the USSR were really competitive with each other as each country had a different government system. America is a capitalist economy while the USSR is a communist economy (History Learning Site, 2015). Harry Truman was a very anti-communist man and he stated that “The Russians only understand one language – how many armies have you got? I’m tired of babysitting the Soviets” (, 2015). He believed that the atomic bomb would intimidate the USSR and protect America in the future.



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