Since 1940, the United States of America had begun working on developing atomic weapons after hearing warnings that Nazi Germany had already begun research on atomic weapons. Nearly five years later the United States was ready to test the atomic bombs they had created. By the time the atomic bombs were ready the war had already ended with Nazi Germany. The war in the Pacific continued on and many officials believed Americans would suffer great causalities if the United States invaded Japan by land. Many believed that dropping the atomic bombs would bring the war to a quick end. On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped one atomic bomb over the city of Hiroshima killing around 80,000 people. Three days later, the United States dropped the second atomic bomb over the city of Nagasaki killing nearly 40,000 people. After a few days Japan surrendered.

Below is a timeline of the events that occurred from the beginnings of the atomic bomb to the ending of the Pacific war in 1945:


Using the atomic bombs against Japan was a very controversial issue. Because of this there were two sides: one side was for using the atomic bomb and the other against using the atomic bomb. The ultimate reason for using the atomic bomb was to save U.S. soldiers lives from invading Japan by land. Japan had a very strong military and many were concerned there would be many U.S. casualties. But there were many people who believed that the atomic bomb should not have been used. One reason why was that thousands of innocent Japanese lives would be tragically lost due to the dropping of the atomic bomb. Also many scientists were also against using the atomic bomb. One scientist in particular, Leo Szilard, believed that dropping the atomic bombs would lead to an atomic arms race with Russia.

Due to this controversy of the atomic bomb brings about this question: Should the U.S. have used the atomic bomb against Japan?

There are many photographs showing the negative effects of using the atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. All of the photographs show the unimaginable devastation the atomic bombs caused in both of the cities. The cities are nearly wiped out while nearly all Japanese in the cities are homeless and are struggling to survive. Also those people close to where the bombs hit were obliterated due to the strength of the bombs.

Survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were either interviewed or wrote their personal accounts of the infamous day of the bombing. These stories are very graphic and go into great detail about the horrific destruction the bombs caused. Much of the cities were obliterated and covered with fire. Also men, women and children were brutally maimed with severe burns. Reading these accounts allow the reader to see how horrific their situation was and how the United States caused this tragedy on innocent Japanese citizens.

Lastly, there were many publications that came out during the time of the atomic bomb. There were many publications from President Truman addressing the issue of using the atomic bomb. He believed that using the atomic bomb would save many U.S. soldier lives along with Japanese. Also he addressed that we were at peace with Japan when they attacked us at Pearl Harbor, so technically we were not at wrong for using the atomic bomb to kill innocent Japanese citizens. In contrast there were also publications that advised the president not to use the atomic bomb.

Looking over all of the sources it is obvious how controversial it was to use the atomic bomb against Japan. There were many people who thought it was the best option to end the war in the Pacific, while there were others who believed that it could start a nuclear arms race with Russia. So looking over all of the sources and other resources, should the U.S. have used the atomic bomb against Japan?

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