|Part of the Pacific War of World War II|
|Atomic bomb mushroom clouds over Hiroshima (left) and Nagasaki (right)|
|Location||Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan|
|Date||6 and 9 August 1945|
On 6 and 9 August 1945, the United States detonated two atomic bombs over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively. The aerial bombings together killed between 129,000 and 226,000 people, most of whom were civilians, and remain the only use of nuclear weapons in an armed conflict.
- Japan surrendered to the Allies on 15 August, six days after the bombing of Nagasaki and the Soviet Union’s declaration of war against Japan,
- The Japanese government signed the instrument of surrender on 2 September, effectively ending the war,
- In the final year of World War II, the Allies prepared for a costly invasion of the Japanese mainland,
This undertaking was preceded by a conventional bombing and firebombing campaign that devastated 64 Japanese cities. The war in the European theatre concluded when Germany surrendered on 8 May 1945, and the Allies turned their full attention to the Pacific War,
By July 1945, the Allies’ Manhattan Project had produced two types of atomic bombs: ” Fat Man “, a plutonium implosion-type nuclear weapon ; and ” Little Boy “, an enriched uranium gun-type fission weapon, The 509th Composite Group of the United States Army Air Forces was trained and equipped with the specialized Silverplate version of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, and deployed to Tinian in the Mariana Islands,
The Allies called for the unconditional surrender of the Imperial Japanese armed forces in the Potsdam Declaration on 26 July 1945, the alternative being “prompt and utter destruction”. The Japanese government ignored the ultimatum. The consent of the United Kingdom was obtained for the bombing, as was required by the Quebec Agreement, and orders were issued on 25 July by General Thomas Handy, the acting chief of staff of the United States Army, for atomic bombs to be used against Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigata, and Nagasaki.
- These targets were chosen because they were large urban areas that also held militarily significant facilities.
- On 6 August, a Little Boy was dropped on Hiroshima, to which Prime Minister Kantarō Suzuki reiterated the Japanese government’s commitment to ignore the Allies’ demands and fight on.
- Three days later, a Fat Man was dropped on Nagasaki.
Over the next two to four months, the effects of the atomic bombings killed between 90,000 and 146,000 people in Hiroshima and 60,000 and 80,000 people in Nagasaki; roughly half occurred on the first day. For months afterward, many people continued to die from the effects of burns, radiation sickness, and injuries, compounded by illness and malnutrition.
Though Hiroshima had a sizable military garrison, most of the dead were civilians. Scholars have extensively studied the effects of the bombings on the social and political character of subsequent world history and popular culture, and there is still much debate concerning the ethical and legal justification for the bombings.
Supporters claim that the atomic bombings were necessary to bring an end to the war with minimal American casualties; critics believe that the bombings were unnecessary and a war crime, and highlight the moral and ethical implications of the intentional nuclear attack on civilians.
- 0.1 What was Truman’s justification for dropping the atomic bomb?
- 1 What was Truman’s toughest decision?
- 2 What happened to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the summer of 1945 ?*?
- 3 Was Japan warned about the atomic bomb?
- 4 Did the atomic bomb save lives?
- 5 What did the Truman Doctrine want to stop?
- 6 Were the Japanese warned before Hiroshima?
- 7 Why did they choose Hiroshima?
- 8 Why did the US want to end ww2 as quickly as possible?
- 9 What options did President Truman have to help Berlin?
- 10 What strategy did the US use in fighting the Japanese in the Pacific?
What were Truman’s other options?
The Decision – Aerial view of Hiroshima depicts the terrific destructive force of the atomic bomb United States Army Air Corps; Harry S. Truman Library & Museum By August, 1945, Japan had lost World War II. Japan and the United States both knew it. How long would it be, however, before Japan surrendered? Japan was split between surrender or fighting to the end.
They chose to fight. In mid-July, President Harry S Truman was notified of the successful test of the atomic bomb, what he called “the most terrible bomb in the history of the world.” Thousands of hours of research and development as well as billions of dollars had contributed to its production. This was no theoretical research project.
It was created to destroy and kill on a massive scale. As president, it was Harry Truman’s decision if the weapon would be used with the goal to end the war. “It is an awful responsibility that has come to us,” the president wrote. President Truman had four options: 1) continue conventional bombing of Japanese cities; 2) invade Japan; 3) demonstrate the bomb on an unpopulated island; or, 4) drop the bomb on an inhabited Japanese city.
What other choices did Truman struggle with in the summer of 1945 done?
What other choices did Truman struggle with in the summer of 1945? He could authorize an invasion of Japan. He could blockade Japan and continue bombing. He could demonstrate the bomb in some remote area.
What was Truman’s justification for dropping the atomic bomb?
Winston Churchill, Harry Truman, and Josef Stalin meet at the Potsdam Conference. They discussed the post-war order and peace treaty issues. America had the bomb. Now what? When Harry Truman learned of the success of the Manhattan Project, he knew he was faced with a decision of unprecedented gravity.
The capacity to end the war with Japan was in his hands, but it would involve unleashing the most terrible weapon ever known. American soldiers and civilians were weary from four years of war, yet the Japanese military was refusing to give up their fight. American forces occupied Okinawa and Iwo Jima and were intensely fire bombing Japanese cities.
But Japan had an army of 2 million strong stationed in the home islands guarding against invasion. A “mushroom” cloud rises over the city of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, following the detonation of “Fat Man.” The second atomic weapon used against Japan, this single bomb resulted in the deaths of 80,000 Japanese citizens. For Truman, the choice whether or not to use the atomic bomb was the most difficult decision of his life.
First, an Allied demand for an immediate unconditional surrender was made to the leadership in Japan. Although the demand stated that refusal would result in total destruction, no mention of any new weapons of mass destruction was made. The Japanese military command rejected the request for unconditional surrender, but there were indications that a conditional surrender was possible.
Regardless, on August 6, 1945, a plane called the Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, Instantly, 70,000 Japanese citizens were vaporized. In the months and years that followed, an additional 100,000 perished from burns and radiation sickness. AJ Software & Multimedia This map shows the range of the destruction caused by the atomic bomb dropped over Hiroshima. Exploding directly over a city of 320,000, the bomb vaporized over 70,000 people instantly and caused fires over two miles away. Two days later, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan.
- On August 9, a second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, where 80,000 Japanese people perished.
- On August 14, 1945, the Japanese surrendered.
- Critics have charged that Truman’s decision was a barbaric act that brought negative long-term consequences to the United States.
- A new age of nuclear terror led to a dangerous arms race.
Some military analysts insist that Japan was on its knees and the bombings were simply unnecessary. The American government was accused of racism on the grounds that such a device would never have been used against white civilians. On August 6, the city of Hiroshima, Japan remembers those who lost their lives when the atomic bomb fell. Thousands attend the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony annually. Other critics argued that American diplomats had ulterior motives. The Soviet Union had entered the war against Japan, and the atomic bomb could be read as a strong message for the Soviets to tread lightly.
- In this respect, Hiroshima and Nagasaki may have been the first shots of the Cold War as well as the final shots of World War II.
- Regardless, the United States remains the only nation in the world to have used a nuclear weapon on another nation.
- Truman stated that his decision to drop the bomb was purely military.
A Normandy-type amphibious landing would have cost an estimated million casualties. Truman believed that the bombs saved Japanese lives as well. Prolonging the war was not an option for the President. Over 3,500 Japanese kamikaze raids had already wrought great destruction and loss of American lives.
- The President rejected a demonstration of the atomic bomb to the Japanese leadership.
- He knew there was no guarantee the Japanese would surrender if the test succeeded, and he felt that a failed demonstration would be worse than none at all.
- Even the scientific community failed to foresee the awful effects of radiation sickness,
Truman saw little difference between atomic bombing Hiroshima and fire bombing Dresden or Tokyo. The ethical debate over the decision to drop the atomic bomb will never be resolved. The bombs did, however, bring an end to the most destructive war in history.
What decision did Truman make at the end of WWII?
The biography for President Truman and past presidents is courtesy of the White House Historical Association. During his few weeks as Vice President, Harry Truman scarcely saw President Franklin Roosevelt, and received no briefing on the development of the atomic bomb or the unfolding difficulties with Soviet Russia.
Suddenly these and a host of other wartime problems became Truman’s to solve when, on April 12, 1945, he became America’s 33rd President. During his few weeks as Vice President, Harry S. Truman scarcely saw President Roosevelt, and received no briefing on the development of the atomic bomb or the unfolding difficulties with Soviet Russia.
Suddenly these and a host of other wartime problems became Truman’s to solve when, on April 12, 1945, he became President. He told reporters, “I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me.” Truman was born in Lamar, Missouri, in 1884.
He grew up in Independence, and for 12 years prospered as a Missouri farmer. He went to France during World War I as a captain in the Field Artillery. Returning, he married Elizabeth Virginia Wallace, and opened a haberdashery in Kansas City. Active in the Democratic Party, Truman was elected a judge of the Jackson County Court (an administrative position) in 1922.
He became a Senator in 1934. During World War II he headed the Senate war investigating committee, checking into waste and corruption and saving perhaps as much as 15 billion dollars. As President, Truman made some of the most crucial decisions in history.
- Soon after V-E Day, the war against Japan had reached its final stage.
- An urgent plea to Japan to surrender was rejected.
- Truman, after consultations with his advisers, ordered atomic bombs dropped on cities devoted to war work.
- Two were Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
- Japanese surrender quickly followed.
- In June 1945 Truman witnessed the signing of the charter of the United Nations, hopefully established to preserve peace.
Thus far, he had followed his predecessor’s policies, but he soon developed his own. He presented to Congress a 21-point program, proposing the expansion of Social Security, a full-employment program, a permanent Fair Employment Practices Act, and public housing and slum clearance.
The program, Truman wrote, “symbolizes for me my assumption of the office of President in my own right.” It became known as the Fair Deal. Dangers and crises marked the foreign scene as Truman campaigned successfully in 1948. In foreign affairs he was already providing his most effective leadership. In 1947 as the Soviet Union pressured Turkey and, through guerrillas, threatened to take over Greece, he asked Congress to aid the two countries, enunciating the program that bears his name–the Truman Doctrine.
The Marshall Plan, named for his Secretary of State, stimulated spectacular economic recovery in war-torn western Europe. When the Russians blockaded the western sectors of Berlin in 1948, Truman created a massive airlift to supply Berliners until the Russians backed down.
- Meanwhile, he was negotiating a military alliance to protect Western nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, established in 1949.
- In June 1950, when the Communist government of North Korea attacked South Korea, Truman conferred promptly with his military advisers.
- There was, he wrote, “complete, almost unspoken acceptance on the part of everyone that whatever had to be done to meet this aggression had to be done.
There was no suggestion from anyone that either the United Nations or the United States could back away from it.” A long, discouraging struggle ensued as U.N. forces held a line above the old boundary of South Korea. Truman kept the war a limited one, rather than risk a major conflict with China and perhaps Russia.
What was Truman’s toughest decision?
When asked later in his life what decision was the most difficult for him to make as president, Mr. Truman stated that it was the decision to send troops to Korea in 1950. By the time that an armistice was signed in July, 1953, nearly fifty-four thousand Americans had lost their lives in the ‘Forgotten War.’
What happened to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the summer of 1945 ?*?
Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki | Date, Significance, Timeline, Deaths, & Aftermath The first atomic bomb, named Little Boy, was dropped on from the, a B-29 bomber, at 8:15 AM on August 6, 1945. The second bomb, named Fat Man, was dropped on from the Bockscar, also a B-29 bomber, at 11:02 AM on August 9, 1945.
American physicist headed the to develop atomic bombs for the United States, and was among the first scientists recruited for the project. and built the first nuclear reactor. was program chief in charge of the development of the electromagnetic process of separating uranium-235. The person who oversaw the project, however, was not a scientist.
He was U.S. Army Brigadier General, In all, more than one hundred thousand people were employed for the Manhattan Project. The bombings themselves were carried out by the pilot of the Colonel Paul Warfield Tibbets, Jr., and pilot of the Bockscar Major Charles W.
- Sweeney and their respective crews.
- A number of factors contributed to the ‘ decision to drop atomic bombs on,
- One reason was Japan’s unwillingness to surrender unconditionally.
- Japan wanted to keep their emperor and conduct their own war trials and did not want to be occupied by U.S. forces.
- However, the United States wanted unconditional surrender, which thus meant the continuation of the war.
Japan refused to surrender after multiple firebombing campaigns such as the on March 9–10, 1945. The Bombing of Tokyo alone claimed tens of thousands of lives and is often cited as one of the most destructive acts of war in history. Although the precise death toll is unknown, conservative estimates suggest that the firestorm caused by incendiary bombs killed at least 80,000 people, likely more than 100,000, in a single night; some one million people were left homeless.
It looked increasingly likely that the United States would have to commit itself to a land invasion, which could have claimed many American lives. Instead, the atomic bomb served as a tool to bring the war in the Pacific to a close sooner. Another reason why the United States dropped the atomic bombs—and, specifically, the second one on —has to do with the,
On August 8, 1945, two days after the bombing, as agreed to by during the and conferences in 1943 and 1945, respectively, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan. It is possible that U.S. President ordered the atomic bomb to be dropped on Nagasaki not only to further force Japan to surrender but also to keep the Soviets out of Japan by displaying American military power.
- Distrust and a sense of rivalry had been built up between the two superpowers that ultimately culminated in the,
- The atomic bombings of and produced effects in and around the world that changed the course of history.
- Tens of thousands of people were killed in the initial explosions (an estimated 70,000 in Hiroshima and 40,000 in Nagasaki), and many more later succumbed to burns, injuries, and,
On August 10, 1945, one day after the bombing of Nagasaki, the Japanese government issued a statement agreeing to accept the Allied surrender terms that had been dictated in the, The gained wide-reaching influence in Japan during its occupation and as a result of its installation of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, a title held by the American general,
- The U.S. occupation of Japan had long and lasting effects on daily life in Japan as well as on Japan’s economy, military, and government.
- The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki also caused global effects such as the and the proliferation of nuclear weapons around the world.
- The Cold War was a rivalry that saw the world’s two remaining after World War II—the United States and the, as well as their respective allies—fight for political, economic, and nuclear superiority.
Today, more countries possess nuclear weapons, but such weapons have not been used in warfare since the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, during, American bombing raids on the Japanese cities of (August 6, 1945) and (August 9, 1945) that marked the first use of in war.
- Tens of thousands were killed in the initial explosions and many more would later to,
- On August 10, one day after the bombing of Nagasaki, the Japanese government issued a statement agreeing to accept the surrender terms that had been dictated in the,
- The turning point in the quest for came in January 1939, eight months before the start of World War II.
German scientists and, following a clue provided by and Pavle Savić in France (1938), proved definitely that the bombardment of with produced of,, and other elements from the middle of the, The significance of this discovery was communicated by and, two Jewish scientists who had fled Germany, to in Copenhagen.
Bohr had been preparing to journey to the, and he arrived in on January 16, 1939. He discussed the matter with,, and others before announcing to the world on January 26 the discovery of a process that Meitner and Frisch had termed, proposed to Bohr that neutrons might be released during the fission process, thus raising the possibility of a nuclear,
These revolutionary suggestions triggered a flurry of activity in the world of physics. Subsequent studies by Bohr and Wheeler indicated that fission did not occur in uranium-238, the of uranium most commonly found in nature, but that fission could take place in,
Gradually many of the riddles surrounding fission were resolved, and by June 1940 the basic facts concerning the release of atomic energy were known throughout the scientific world. While engaged in one war in Europe and, the United States would launch the largest scientific effort undertaken to that time.
It would involve 37 installations throughout the country, more than a dozen university laboratories, and 100,000 people, including the Nobel Prize-winning physicists, Enrico Fermi,,, and, The first contact between the scientific and the U.S. government regarding atomic research was made by George B.
- Pegram of,
- Pegram arranged a conference between Fermi and officers of the in March 1939.
- In July and conferred with Einstein, and the three later went to New York to meet with economist Alexander Sachs.
- Supported by a letter from Einstein, Sachs approached Pres.
- And explained the significance of to him.
Roosevelt formed the Advisory Committee on Uranium, appointing Lyman Briggs, director of the, to serve as its chair. In February 1940 a fund of $6,000 was made available to begin research; by the time of its completion, the project’s budget would $2 billion.U.S.
Officials were now well aware of ‘s atomic ambitions. In his letter to Roosevelt, Einstein explicitly called attention to uranium reserves in that had fallen under the control of the in March 1939. The British had also begun studying fission, and Urey and Pegram visited the United Kingdom to see what was being done there.
By August 1943 a combined policy committee had been established with the United Kingdom and, Later that year a number of scientists of those countries moved to the United States to join the project that by then was well underway. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content.
On December 6, 1941, one day before the Japanese, the project was placed under the direction of and the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD). Bush’s staff included Harvard University Pres., Pegram, Urey, and Lawrence, among others. Alongside this scientific body was created the “Top Policy Group,” consisting of Bush, Conant, Roosevelt, U.S.
Pres., U.S. Secretary of War, and Chief of Staff, Because there was no way of knowing in advance what technique would succeed in creating a functional bomb, it was decided to work simultaneously on several methods of isolating uranium-235 while also researching development.
- The goal was twofold: to learn more about the chain reaction for bomb design and to develop a method of producing a new element,, which was expected to be fissile and could be isolated from uranium chemically.
- Lawrence and his team developed an electromagnetic separation process at the, while Urey’s group at Columbia University experimented with the conversion of uranium into a gaseous that was then permitted to through porous barriers.
Both of these processes, particularly the method, required large complex facilities and huge amounts of to produce even small amounts of separated uranium-235. It soon became clear that an enormous physical would have to be built to support the project.
On June 18, 1942, the War Department assigned management of construction work related to the project to the ‘ Manhattan District (much early atomic research—most notably Urey’s group—was based at Manhattan’s Columbia University). On September 17, 1942, Brig. Gen. was placed in charge of all Army activities relating to the project.
“Manhattan Project” became the code name applied to this body of atomic research that would extend across the country. The first experimental reactor—a cube about 8 feet (2.4 metres) on edge and containing about seven tons of uranium oxide—had been set up at Columbia University in July 1941.
By the end of that year, reactor work had been transferred to the, where Arthur Holly Compton and his cryptically named “Metallurgical Laboratory” were considering related problems. On December 2, 1942, the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction was carried out under Fermi’s supervision in Chicago Pile No.1, a reactor that Fermi had constructed in a squash court under the bleachers of Stagg Field, the university’s football stadium.
It had now been proven that the controlled release of atomic energy was for the production of power and the manufacture of plutonium. In February 1943 construction began on a pilot uranium enrichment plant located on the in the Tennessee Valley, about 15 miles (about 24 km) west of, Tennessee.
- The Clinton Engineer Works (later known as ) occupied a 70-square-mile (180-square-km) tract of land and came to employ roughly 5,000 technicians and maintenance personnel.
- For the project’s full-sized reactors, however, a more isolated site would be necessary.
- Groves had expressed concern about the pilot reactor’s proximity to Knoxville, and the larger reactors would have significantly greater power needs than could be in the Tennessee Valley.
In January 1943 Groves had selected a 580-square-mile (1,500-square-km) tract in south-central for the project’s plutonium production facilities. The location was desirable for its relative isolation and for the availability, in large quantities, of cooling water from the and electric power from the and Bonneville Dam,
- The creation of what came to be known as the required a significant displacement of the local population.
- Residents of the towns of Hanford,, and White Bluffs were given just 90 days to vacate their homes, and the Wanapum people were forced to relocate to Priest Rapids, losing access to their traditional fishing grounds on the Columbia.
At its peak in the summer of 1944, the huge complex at Hanford employed more than 50,000 people. For the final stages of the project, it was necessary to find a location that was even more remote than Hanford for the purposes of both security and safety.
A site was chosen by the scientific director,, on an isolated mesa at,, 34 miles (55 km) north of, Beginning in April 1943, scientists and engineers began arriving at the, as it was then called. Under Oppenheimer’s direction, this team was tasked with developing methods of reducing the fissionable products of the Clinton and Hanford production plants to pure metal and fabricating that metal into the components of a deliverable weapon.
The weapon had to be small enough that it could be dropped from a plane and simple enough that it could be fused to detonate at the proper moment in the air above the target. Most of these issues had to be addressed before any significant stores of had been produced, so that the first adequate amounts could be used in a functional bomb.
- At its peak in 1945 more than 5,000 scientists, engineers, technicians, and their families lived at the Los Alamos site.
- Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945, and within 24 hours Pres.
- Had been briefed about the atomic bomb program by Stimson.
- Germany surrendered in May 1945, thus ending the war in Europe, but,
Sanguinary battles at (February–March 1945) and (April–June 1945) offered a preview of what an invasion of the Japanese home islands might look like, and there remained a strong to see the Manhattan Project through to its conclusion. By the summer of 1945, the production plants had delivered a sufficient amount of fissionable material to produce a nuclear explosion, and bomb development had advanced to a point that an actual field test of a could be conducted.
- Such a test would obviously be no simple affair.
- A vast array of complex equipment had to be assembled so that the success or failure of the test could be analyzed.
- The bomb development teams at Los Alamos had settled on two possible designs.
- One, fueled by uranium-235, would utilize a “gun assembly” that used high explosives to shoot two subcritical slugs of fissionable material together in a hollow tube.
The violent collision of the two slugs would cause the uranium-235 to reach, thus triggering a chain reaction and explosion. Engineers were confident that this comparatively simple design would work, but a sufficient quantity of uranium-235 would not be available until about August 1, 1945.
- The Hanford site would be able to deliver enough plutonium-239 for testing by early July, but Los Alamos scientists had determined that the gun assembly model would not be compatible with plutonium as a fuel source.
- An design had been proposed, one that would use concentric layers of high explosives to implode the fissionable material under enormous pressures into a denser mass that would immediately achieve criticality.
It was believed that this “implosion” design would be the most efficient way to weaponize the meagre amount of plutonium that had been produced thus far. For the test, Oppenheimer selected a location on the Alamogordo Bombing Range (now White Sands Missile Range), 120 miles (193 km) south of, New Mexico.
He called the site “Trinity” in reference to one of ‘s, The first atomic bomb—a plutonium implosion device called “Gadget”—was raised to the top of a 100-foot (30-metre) steel tower that was designated “Zero.” The area at the base of the tower was marked as “Ground Zero,” a term that would pass into common parlance to describe the centre of an (often catastrophic) event.
Military officials and scientists occupied observation posts at distances ranging from 10,000 to 17,000 yards (9 to 15.5 km). They had been instructed to lie down with their feet toward the tower and to protect their eyes from the blinding flash of the explosion.
- On the morning of the test, the skies were dark and it was raining, with occasional lightning.
- Gadget” was detonated at 5:29:45 am on July 16, 1945.
- The explosion caused a flash that the mountain peaks 10 miles (16 km) away.
- Soon there followed a tremendous sustained roar accompanied by a tornado-like burst of wind.
Where the tower had stood, there was a great surging ball of fire, followed by a mushroom cloud that rose some 40,000 feet (12,200 metres) into the sky. The heat of the explosion had completely vaporized the tower; in its place was a saucer-shaped crater about a half mile (800 metres) in diameter and 25 feet (almost 8 metres) deep.
The floor of the crater was fused into a glassy jade-coloured mineral subsequently trinitite. The bomb had generated an explosive power equivalent to approximately 21,000 tons of (TNT). The blast was visible from a distance of 50 miles (80 km), and it shattered windows 125 miles (200 km) away. Residents of, New Mexico, more than 180 miles (290 km) from Ground Zero, reported feeling the ground shake.
In an attempt to head off questions about the world-changing event that had occurred at Trinity, the army issued a brief statement to the press: “A remotely located ammunition magazine containing a considerable amount of high explosives and pyrotechnics exploded, but there was no loss of life or limb to anyone.” News of the successful test reached Truman, who was attending the final meeting of the “Big Three” at, Germany.
Truman informed Soviet leader that the United States possessed “a new weapon of unusual destructive force.” On July 26 the Big Three issued an, calling on to surrender unconditionally or face “prompt and utter destruction.” When it became clear that no surrender was, plans to use the bomb went into effect.
Some within the Manhattan Project had argued for a demonstration explosion on an uninhabited site in the Pacific. This was considered but soon discarded, largely because of concerns that the demonstration bomb might not prompt sufficient reaction from the Japanese government.
By this time, several dozen had been modified to carry the weapons, and a staging base at, in the, 1,500 miles (2,400 km) south of Japan, had been expanded into the largest airfield in the world. On July 16, just hours after the successful completion of the Trinity test, the heavy left port at San Francisco with the gun assembly mechanism, roughly half of the U.S.
supply of uranium-235, and several Los Alamos technicians. The remainder of the U.S. uranium-235 stockpile was flown to Tinian on transport planes. Upon the arrival of the Indianapolis at Tinian on July 26, assembly began on the bomb, dubbed Little Boy,
The Indianapolis departed Tinian after the delivery, but it was sunk en route to the by the Japanese submarine I-58 on July 30. Hundreds of crew members who survived the torpedo attack died in the water while awaiting a rescue. The components of a second bomb, a plutonium device nicknamed Fat Man, were transported to Tinian by air.
By August 2, 1945, both bombs had arrived at Tinian, and U.S. commanders were waiting only for a break in the weather to order the execution of Special Bombing Mission 13—an atomic attack on the Japanese home islands. had chaired the committee responsible for target selection, and by the end of May 1945 the list had been narrowed to, Hiroshima,, and, all cities that had not yet been subjected to Gen.
- ‘s, Kyōto, Japan’s ancient capital, was consistently placed at the top of the list, but Stimson appealed directly to Truman to remove it from consideration because of its cultural importance.
- Nagasaki was added in its place.
- Hiroshima became the primary target because of its military value—the city served as the headquarters of the Japanese Second Army—and because planners believed that the compactness of the urban centre would most vividly demonstrate the destructive power of the bomb.
The pilots, mechanics, and crews of the 509th Group of the Twentieth Air Force had all trained with the specially modified B-29s that would serve as delivery vehicles for the bombs. Col. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr., the commander of the 509th, would pilot the B-29 that would drop the first bomb.
His 11-man crew included Maj. Thomas Ferebee as bombardier and Manhattan Project ordnance expert Capt. William (“Deak”) Parsons as weaponeer. Tibbets personally selected plane number 82 for the mission, and, shortly before taking off at approximately 2:45 am on August 6, 1945, Tibbets asked a maintenance worker to paint his mother’s name——on the nose of the aircraft.
Two other B-29s accompanied the Enola Gay to serve as observation and camera planes. Once the Enola Gay was airborne, Parsons added the final components to Little Boy, This was because a number of the modified B-29s had crashed on takeoff, and there was some concern that a crash would cause a fully assembled bomb to detonate, wiping out the installation at Tinian.
- The skies were clear, and the Enola Gay encountered no opposition while approaching the target.
- At 7:15 am (Tinian time) Parsons armed the weapon, and the Enola Gay ascended to an attack altitude of 31,000 feet (9,450 metres).
- A trio of B-29s had flown ahead of the strike force to perform weather reconnaissance over the primary (Hiroshima) and secondary (Kokura and Nagasaki) targets.
The pilot of the Hiroshima mission radioed Tibbets that there was little cloud cover and that he should proceed to the primary target. Just after 8:00 am local time (9:00 am Tinian time), the crew of the Enola Gay sighted Hiroshima. At around 8:12 am Tibbets control of the aircraft to Ferebee, who began his bombing run.
- Ferebee’s aim point was the Aioi Bridge, a distinctive T-shaped span over the Ōta River.
- Tibbets ordered his crew to don their protective goggles, and at 8:15 am the bomb was released.
- Tibbets immediately put the Enola Gay into a sharp turn that, he hoped, would carry it beyond the bomb’s blast radius.
It took roughly 45 seconds for Little Boy to descend to an altitude of 1,900 feet (580 metres), at which point it exploded in the sky directly above Shima Hospital. Within a fraction of a second of the detonation, the temperature at ground level 7,000 °C (12,600 °F) and a powerful blast wave scoured the landscape.
Out of a population of 343,000 inhabitants, some 70,000 people were killed instantly, and by the end of the year the death toll had surpassed 100,000. Two-thirds of the city area was destroyed. “Nuclear shadows” were all that remained of people who had been subjected to the intense, A massive mushroom cloud rose to a height of more than 40,000 feet (more than 12 km).
Although less than 2 percent of the uranium-235 contained in Little Boy had achieved fission, the bomb was horrifying in its destructive power. The explosive yield was the equivalent of 15,000 tons of TNT. Sgt. Bob Caron, the Enola Gay ‘s tail gunner and the only member of the crew to directly observe the blast, described the scene as a “peep into hell.” A series of shockwaves rocked the Enola Gay as it departed the area, and at a distance of nearly 400 miles (640 km) the mushroom cloud was still visible.
- Upon returning to Tinian, after a flight of just over 12 hours, Tibbets was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
- Later that day, Truman addressed the people of the United States: Sixteen hours ago an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima, an important Japanese Army base.
- That bomb had more power than 20,000 tons of TNT.
It had more than 2,000 times the blast power of the British “Grand Slam,” which is the largest bomb ever used in the history of warfare. The Japanese began the war from the air at, They have been repaid many fold. And the end is not yet. With this bomb we have now added a new and revolutionary increase in destruction to supplement the growing power of our armed forces.
In their present form these bombs are now in production, and even more powerful forms are in development. It is an atomic bomb. It is a harnessing of the basic power of the universe. The force from which the sun draws its power has been loosed against those who brought war to the Far East. Truman further noted, “We have spent two billion dollars on the greatest scientific gamble in history—and won.” Poet and author, writing in, offered something of a counterpoint to Truman’s speech: The race had been won, the weapon had been used by those on whom civilization could best hope to depend; but the demonstration of power against living creatures instead of dead matter created a bottomless wound in the living of the race.
The rational mind had won the most Promethean of its conquests over nature, and had put into the hands of common man the fire and force of the sun itself. News of Hiroshima’s destruction was only slowly understood, and some Japanese officials argued that their own stalled atomic program had demonstrated how difficult it would be to create such a weapon.
It was possible, they argued, that the bomb dropped on Hiroshima was the only one in the American arsenal. Other members of the Japanese government had been arguing for months in favour of a negotiated settlement, perhaps mediated by the Soviets. That window was abruptly closed on August 8, 1945, two days after the Hiroshima bombing, when the declared war against Japan.
: Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki | Date, Significance, Timeline, Deaths, & Aftermath
Was Japan warned about the atomic bomb?
Leaflets Warning Japanese of Atomic Bomb – Leaflets dropped on cities in Japan warning civilians about the atomic bomb, dropped c. August 6, 1945. Aftermath of the August 6, 1945 Atomic Bomb blast in Hiroshima, 1946. Library of Congress TO THE JAPANESE PEOPLE: America asks that you take immediate heed of what we say on this leaflet. We are in possession of the most destructive explosion ever devised by man.
A single one of our newly developed atomic bombs is actually the equivalent in explosive power to what 2000 of our giant B-29s can carry on a single mission. This awful fact is one for you to ponder and we solemnly assure you it is grimly accurate. We have just begun to use this weapon against your homeland.
If you still have any doubt, make inquiry as to what happened to Hiroshima when just one atomic bomb fell on that city. Before using this bomb to destroy every resource of the military by which they are prolonging this useless war, we ask that you now petition the Emperor to end the war.
Our president has outlined for you the thirteen consequences of an honorable surrender. We urge that you accept these consequences and begin the work of building a new, better and peace-loving Japan. You should take steps now to cease military resistance. Otherwise, we shall resolutely employ this bomb and all our other superior weapons to promptly and forcefully end the war.
EVACUATE YOUR CITIES. ATTENTION JAPANESE PEOPLE. EVACUATE YOUR CITIES. Because your military leaders have rejected the thirteen part surrender declaration, two momentous events have occurred in the last few days. The Soviet Union, because of this rejection on the part of the military has notified your Ambassador Sato that it has declared war on your nation.
- Thus, all powerful countries of the world are now at war with you.
- Also, because of your leaders’ refusal to accept the surrender declaration that would enable Japan to honorably end this useless war, we have employed our atomic bomb.
- A single one of our newly developed atomic bombs is actually the equivalent in explosive power to what 2000 of our giant B-29s could have carried on a single mission.
Radio Tokyo has told you that with the first use of this weapon of total destruction, Hiroshima was virtually destroyed. Before we use this bomb again and again to destroy every resource of the military by which they are prolonging this useless war, petition the emperor now to end the war.
- Our president has outlined for you the thirteen consequences of an honorable surrender.
- We urge that you accept these consequences and begin the work of building a new, better, and peace-loving Japan.
- Act at once or we shall resolutely employ this bomb and all our other superior weapons to promptly and forcefully end the war.
EVACUATE YOUR CITIES. Source: Harry S. Truman Library, Miscellaneous historical document file, no.258.
Was the atomic bomb necessary?
Traditionalists vs. Revisionists – In the decades since World War II, historians have engaged in an often vitriolic debate over the decision to use the atomic bombs. “Traditionalists” have maintained that the bombs were necessary in order to save American lives and prevent an invasion that might have cost many more lives than the bombs took.
- They frequently argue that President Truman decided to use the bombs in order to bring the war to a speedy conclusion, and that the bombs were essential to forcing Japan to surrender.
- Revisionist” scholars generally posit that the bombs were unnecessary.
- Among other claims, they suggest that Japan was ready to surrender and that the use of the bombs could have been avoided if the United States had guaranteed that Emperor Hirohito could remain on his throne.
They also argue that the Soviet invasion of Manchuria on August 8-9, 1945, rather than the use of the atomic bombs, was decisive in precipitating Japan’s surrender. For more information on the dispute over the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, see AHF’s annotated bibliography,
Did the atomic bomb save lives?
Atomic Salvation: How the A-Bomb Saved the Lives of 32 Million People by Tom Lewis. Casemate Publishers, 2020, 351pp. Does the United States deserve to be condemned for the atomic bombing of Japan? In Atomic Salvation, Dr. Tom Lewis—an independent historian, former high school teacher, and Australian intelligence analyst who served in the Middle East—seeks to reexamine the decision, consider the military and operational factors involved, and project how the war might have proceeded if the atomic bomb had not been used.
- The question has never been merely of dispassionate academic interest.
- The common presumption of the efficacy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was offered as a final proof of how airpower—particularly against mass civilian populations—transformed the nature of war and justified the development of American strategic doctrine and the resources devoted to the construction of the nuclear stockpile and its associated delivery systems.
Of course, immediately after the events, American opinion was almost unanimous that the two atomic attacks, while horrific, were defensible by the millions of American and Japanese lives saved when the shocks of the attacks broke the will of the Japanese to continue and compelled them to surrender.
- In the years following, a wave of revisionist histories emerged condemning the use of the atomic bombs as illegal and/or unjustifiable.
- The debate between conventional, revisionist, and post-revisionist historians reflects the politics of the years when they were written as well as the changes in evidence available.
The author does an admirable job of summing up the operational conditions for the Japanese and American militaries until August 1945 and the strength of the resolve of the military and the Japanese people to fight to the bitter end. If the choices were to end the war with atomic weapons or invade the Japanese home islands, it is clear that the invasion would have cost millions of lives on both sides.
Even if the Americans had decided to maintain the blockade and continue mass aerial bombardment, there is good reason to believe that an invasion force would eventually have to be launched and that any invasion would have been opposed by the military and civilian populations at enormous cost. In the meantime, a policy of imposed starvation—of food, as well as materiel—would have weakened Japanese capabilities without reducing their resolve.
Lewis estimates that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to the extent that it induced Japanese surrender, saved the lives of roughly 30 million people. His calculations are detailed, and his argument is persuasive. If the atomic bombs were the final straw that pushed the emperor to step out of his traditional role and side with civilians willing to negotiate surrender, then his case is persuasive.
But are those the only alternatives? Were there other factors at play? For example, up until the end there was a hope among the Japanese leadership that, with the Soviet Union playing the role of a neutral intermediary, it would be possible to enter negotiations with the active allies and avoid the “unconditional surrender” required of them by the Potsdam Declaration.
In June, a month prior to Potsdam, the Supreme War Council had already decided to pursue a negotiated peace. Despite the extreme objections of the Army, by the second week of July, work had begun to develop the language of a peace proposal. The bombing of Hiroshima occurred on the morning of Monday, 6 August 1945.
- News of the destructive force of a single bomb was transmitted to Tokyo that afternoon, but details were uncertain and their implications unclear.
- On Tuesday, an Army communiqué noted the use of a “new type of bomb.” On Wednesday morning, the Japanese were officially notified that the Soviet Union would enter the war against them the next day.
The emperor told the foreign minister that the war should be ended without delay. Yet an emergency meeting of the Supreme War Council was postponed. The author is certainly right to point out the importance of the military realities as well as the probable casualties to be expected if an American invasion of the Japanese home islands were to have taken place.
- However, his error lies in assuming that all Americans and all Japanese saw those military realities in the same way and that the political realities were secondary.
- The decision to end a war, like the decision to enter one, is at its root political.
- Political realities are perceived very differently by different decision-makers.
Obvious questions are left unaddressed by Lewis, largely due to failing to consult Japanese primary documents. Although many were destroyed, some of these documents exist. For example, notes of the emperor’s meetings with his war cabinet before and after Hiroshima are instructive.
They are not what one would expect from the conventional narrative. Immediately after Hiroshima, the attack did not warrant mention in the meeting of the Supreme War Council. Its effects were swamped by the much larger destruction already inflicted, and still being inflicted, by the strategic bombing campaign as well as the changing status of the Soviet Union.
The immediate shock effect of the atomic bombing was relatively minor and only appreciated by different actors over time. Most Japanese did not learn much about the bombing until after the war. Those few in the position to influence decisions realized that the strategic bombing of Japanese cities had already reduced them to rubble.
Cities of over one million people before the war had already lost two-thirds of their population; cities of over 100,000 had lost nearly 60 percent of their populace. Civilians had already tolerated unspeakable horrors without complaint. As Lewis observes, mass civilian morale remained unaffected. Some civilian officials saw the prospect of continued atomic attack as reason to abandon the war while some Army and Navy representatives denied that anything of significance had occurred.
It was not until 10 August, after the decision had been made to surrender, that the attacks were confirmed to be atomic. Even then, some in the Army were convinced that sufficient losses could be inflicted on invaders to compel the Americans to negotiate a settlement.
- However, the Soviet Union had already demonstrated that it was willing to suffer whatever casualties were necessary to achieve its goals, and the 9 August invasion of Manchuria quickly punctured Japanese lines and pushed deep into the rear.
- Timing is everything.
- It was unprecedented for the emperor to take a role in breaking a deadlock in the Supreme War Council.
Even after he did, he faced rebellion among leaders and troops of his own military, including an attempted coup d’état on 14 August. Was it only the atomic bomb that compelled his action? It is more likely that the use of nuclear weapons was important but not sufficient.
The nuclear attack combined with the Soviets opening a new front created the catalytic crisis that compelled the emperor to act. Certainly, games of “what if” are endless. But downplaying the Soviet role, while it may have helped American strategic policy to confirm strategic bombing as the decisive factor in ending the war, is not supported by the evidence.
Lewis is correct to note that Soviet forces would have suffered enormous casualties in any operation on the Japanese home islands. He is incorrect to assume that, first, those casualties would be as hard on Stalin as they would have been for Truman and, second, that the Japanese believed the Soviets to be as casualty adverse as they hoped the Americans to be.
- In particular, the Japanese would already have had a sense of the differences between how the Western Allies and the Soviets treated occupied territories in Germany and Eastern Europe.
- They may well have concluded that it was better to lose to and suffer occupation by the Americans than to do so to the Soviets.
To this day, Japanese territory seized and held by the Soviet Union remains a point of contention with Russia. It is unfortunate that, despite extensive endnotes, this book has no index. Therefore, the attention given to some of the alternative explanations and evidence must remain subjective.
- However, some things are clear.
- First, the author limits himself to English-language sources, the vast majority of which are secondary works.
- The few primary documents cited, such as the United States Strategic Bombing Survey interrogations of Japanese officials and the postwar occupation reports of General MacArthur, lend little perspective on the process of American decision-making and next to none on the internal debates of Japanese leaders preceding and following the strikes.
More useful volumes place the military facts within the political context of the decision of the decision are Ian Toll’s Twilight of the Gods and Marc Gallicchio’s Unconditional: The Japanese Surrender in World War II, In the end, Lewis’s Atomic Salvation is useful but not entirely persuasive.
Was the US justified in bombing Japan essay?
Even though many say that the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were inhumane, the US was completely justified because the future casualties were minimized and Japan and its allies committed atrocious war crimes. The solution chosen resulted in the least possible allied casualties compared to the other solutions.
What decision did President Truman make that most significantly altered the course of war?
A Brief Timeline of WWII – President Truman was the Vice-President to FDR for less than 90 days before stepping into the role of President and Commander in Chief. This was April 12, 1945, a mere five months before the world war would come to an end. However, at the time, while the end of the war was longed for and looked by some to be imminent, there was no sure-end of the war in sight.
- It required a great deal of Presidential action and severe decisions to bring about the conclusion of World War II.
- While FDR was the President in charge at the beginning of the war, it was Truman’s actions that brought the war to an end.
- Within 15 days of taking Presidential office, both Mussolini and Adolf Hitler met their death.
A day before Hitler’s death and only two days after the death of Mussolini, German forces in Italy surrendered. This accelerated the end of the war, as German forces in Berlin surrendered to the Allies on May 2nd, marking the third week of Truman’s presidency.
- Over the next week German forces would continue to surrender, but that did not bring an end to the war.
- There was still tension with Japan and Russia, and funding for the war was growing thin.
- At this time the three heads of state from the United States, the United Kingdom and the USSR, Truman, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin, respectively, met at the Potsdam Conference.
This is where the fate of Germany and much of Europe was decided. Regarded the most difficult decision of Truman’s life, let alone his Presidency, Harry Truman made the choice to drop the atomic bomb on Japan. On August 6, 1945, the atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima.
- This caused the immediate death of more than 70,000 people, but did not bring an end to the war.
- On August 8th, The USSR declared war on Japan, which would further exacerbate the global situation.
- The very next day the United States dropped the second bomb on the city of Nagasaki.
- Japan surrendered five days later.
While his decision to drop the bomb essentially ended the war, the use of the atomic bomb ushered in decades of unrest and instability as threats of further use of the weapons echoed across the world, most resoundingly in the USSR and the United States.
- World War II was declared officially over on September 2, 1945, exactly six years and one day after it began.
- While Truman helped to usher in the end of the war, he also opened Pandora’s Box in regards to nuclear weaponry and unsettlement regarding the atomic bomb.
- This uneasiness would shape into what became known as the Cold War, and the threat of further conflict with the USSR remained Truman’s primary concern for the remainder of his Presidency.
: A Look at Truman’s Influence on the Conclusion of World War II
What did the Truman Doctrine want to stop?
In 1947, President Harry S. Truman pledged that the United States would help any nation resist communism in order to prevent its spread. His policy of containment is known as the Truman Doctrine.
What is Truman forced to deal with in 1947 in the United States?
NOTE TO READERS “Milestones in the History of U.S. Foreign Relations” has been retired and is no longer maintained. For more information, please see the full notice, With the Truman Doctrine, President Harry S. Truman established that the United States would provide political, military and economic assistance to all democratic nations under threat from external or internal authoritarian forces. President Harry Truman The Truman Doctrine arose from a speech delivered by President Truman before a joint session of Congress on March 12, 1947, The immediate cause for the speech was a recent announcement by the British Government that, as of March 31, it would no longer provide military and economic assistance to the Greek Government in its civil war against the Greek Communist Party.
Truman asked Congress to support the Greek Government against the Communists. He also asked Congress to provide assistance for Turkey, since that nation, too, had previously been dependent on British aid. At the time, the U.S. Government believed that the Soviet Union supported the Greek Communist war effort and worried that if the Communists prevailed in the Greek civil war, the Soviets would ultimately influence Greek policy.
In fact, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin had deliberately refrained from providing any support to the Greek Communists and had forced Yugoslav Prime Minister Josip Tito to follow suit, much to the detriment of Soviet-Yugoslav relations. However, a number of other foreign policy problems also influenced President Truman’s decision to actively aid Greece and Turkey.
In 1946, four setbacks, in particular, had served to effectively torpedo any chance of achieving a durable post-war rapprochement with the Soviet Union: the Soviets’ failure to withdraw their troops from northern Iran in early 1946 (as per the terms of the Tehran Declaration of 1943 ); Soviet attempts to pressure the Iranian Government into granting them oil concessions while supposedly fomenting irredentism by Azerbaijani separatists in northern Iran; Soviet efforts to force the Turkish Government into granting them base and transit rights through the Turkish Straits; and, the Soviet Government’s rejection of the Baruch plan for international control over nuclear energy and weapons in June 1946.
In light of the deteriorating relationship with the Soviet Union and the appearance of Soviet meddling in Greek and Turkish affairs, the withdrawal of British assistance to Greece provided the necessary catalyst for the Truman Administration to reorient American foreign policy.
- Accordingly, in his speech, President Truman requested that Congress provide $400,000,000 worth of aid to both the Greek and Turkish Governments and support the dispatch of American civilian and military personnel and equipment to the region.
- Truman justified his request on two grounds.
- He argued that a Communist victory in the Greek Civil War would endanger the political stability of Turkey, which would undermine the political stability of the Middle East.
This could not be allowed in light of the region’s immense strategic importance to U.S. national security. Truman also argued that the United States was compelled to assist “free peoples” in their struggles against “totalitarian regimes,” because the spread of authoritarianism would “undermine the foundations of international peace and hence the security of the United States.” In the words of the Truman Doctrine, it became “the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.” Truman argued that the United States could no longer stand by and allow the forcible expansion of Soviet totalitarianism into free, independent nations, because American national security now depended upon more than just the physical security of American territory.
What was a major conflict during the Truman administration?
The main issues of the United States foreign policy during the 1945–1953 presidency of Harry S. Truman include:
- Final stages of World War II included the problem of defeating Japan with minimal American casualties. Truman asked Moscow to invade from he north, and decided to drop two atomic bombs.
- Post-war Reconstruction: Following the end of World War II, Truman faced the task of rebuilding Europe and Japan. He implemented the Marshall Plan to provide economic aid to Europe and Washington supervised the reconstruction of Japan.
- Formation of the United Nations : Truman played a key role in the formation of the United Nations, which was established in 1945 to promote international cooperation and prevent another world war. Because of the Soviet veto, it was ineffective in most major disputes.
- Cold War : Truman led the nation into the Cold War in 1947, a period of heightened tensions and rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union. Truman helped form the NATO military alliance. He implemented the policy of containment, which aimed to stop the spread of communism and limit Soviet influence around the world.
- Korean War : In 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea, leading to a bloody conflict that lasted until 1953. Truman authorized U.S. military intervention in the conflict, which led to a protracted and costly war. He rejected the advice of General Douglas MacArthur, and fired him in 1951.
- Nuclear arms race : Truman made the decision to build the hydrogen bomb. He oversaw the development of the U.S. nuclear arsenal and the start of the nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union, which had far-reaching implications for U.S. foreign policy.
Taking office in April 1945 in the last stages of winning World War II Truman worked with the main American Allies, especially Britain, the Soviet Union and China. He distrusted the Soviets. The challenges were to achieve victory over Germany and Japan; deal with the chaos in Europe and Asia in the aftermath of World War II ; handle the beginning of the Cold War with the USSR; and launch new international organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank,
Truman’s presidency was a turning point in foreign affairs, as the United States engaged in a liberal internationalist foreign policy and renounced isolationism by engaging in a long global conflict with the Soviet Union and its allies, forming NATO, and fighting China in the Korean War to a deadlock.
Truman took office upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt during the final months of war. Until then Truman had little interest in foreign affairs and no knowledge of Roosevelt’s plans. He relied heavily on advisers like George Marshall and Dean Acheson, both of whom served as Secretary of State,
- Germany surrendered days after Truman took office, but the Japan initially refused to surrender or negotiate.
- In order to force Japan’s surrender without resorting to an invasion of the main Japanese islands, Truman approved of plans to drop atomic bombs on two Japanese cities.
- Even before Germany and Japan surrendered, the Truman administration worked with Moscow, London and other Allies to establish post-war international institutions and agreements.
Most hope was placed in the United Nations until Moscow’s veto made it ineffective. In economics there was the International Refugee Organization, and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, The Truman administration embarked on a policy of rebuilding democracy and the economy in Japan and West Germany,
- It acted practically alone in Japan, and with Moscow, London and Paris in Germany.
- Tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union escalated after 1945, and by 1947 the two countries had entered a sustained period of geopolitical tension known as the Cold War,
- Truman adopted a policy of containment, in which the U.S.
would attempt to prevent the spread of Communism but would not actively seek to regain territory already lost to Communism. He also announced the Truman Doctrine, a policy of aiding countries in danger of falling to Communism. Pursuant to this doctrine, Truman convinced Congress to provide an unprecedented aid package to Greece and Turkey, overcoming opposition from isolationists and some on the left who favored more conciliatory policies towards the Soviet Union.
The following year, Truman convinced Congress to approve the Marshall Plan, $13 billion aid package enacted to rebuild Western Europe. In 1949, the U.S., Canada, and several European countries signed the North Atlantic Treaty, establishing the NATO military alliance. Meanwhile, domestic fears of Soviet espionage led to a Red Scare and the rise of McCarthyism in the United States.
The Truman administration attempted to mediate the Chinese Civil War and failed. The Communist forces under Mao Zedong took control of Mainland China in 1949. In June 1950 Communist North Korea invaded South Korea in an attempt to reunify the country. Acting under the aegis of the United Nations, the U.S.
Why was Truman unsuccessful?
Harry S. Truman: Impact and Legacy When Harry S. Truman left the presidency in January 1953, he was one of the most unpopular politicians in the United States. The Korean War, accusations of corruption in his administration, and the anticommunist red-baiting of McCarthy and his allies had all contributed to the President’s poor standing with the public.
Truman’s reputation, though, began to revive soon after he returned to private life. In part, this was because Americans began to see Truman as a feisty everyman from “Middle America” rather than a partisan Washington, D.C., politico. But Truman’s stature also rose in subsequent years because it became easier for both scholars and the public to discern and appreciate his significant contributions.
Truman’s conduct of American foreign policy deserves special commendation. The President and his advisers recognized that the Soviet Union threatened the political and military balance of power, as well as the healthy economic intercourse, that favored the United States and its allies in the aftermath of World War II.
Truman responded to the Soviet challenge with a range of political, diplomatic, military, and economic initiatives designed to contain Soviet power and to construct an American-led bulwark against communism. In large measure, American officials followed Truman’s approach to U.S.-Soviet relations until the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s.
Several Truman foreign policy programs remain central to America’s international posture even today. Commitments to Israel and South Korea are still hallmarks of U.S. policy towards the Middle East and Asia, respectively. Likewise, the United States remains the prime member of NATO.
Truman also left his mark on domestic affairs. He oversaw the conversion of the American economy from its World War II footing to one that emphasized both consumer and military production. While not without problems, this transition occurred about as smoothly as possible. Truman protected the New Deal and—with a rise in the minimum wage in 1949 and the enlargement of Social Security in 1950—built upon its achievements.
He pushed forward the cause of African-American civil rights by desegregating the military, by banning discrimination in the civil service, and by commissioning a federal report on civil rights. Just as important, Truman spoke out publicly on the matter.
Finally, Truman engineered one of the most unexpected comeback victories in American political history. The dispiriting 1946 mid-term elections that gave the Republicans control of Congress, paired with the prospect of facing an accomplished Republican candidate like New York governor Thomas Dewey, dimmed Democratic hopes for a Truman victory in the 1948 presidential election.
Truman, though, campaigned relentlessly and effectively, making congressional Republicans the main issue in the election. He defeated Dewey convincingly in November 1948 when almost no knowledgeable observers gave him a chance. Some historians do find fault with Truman’s record.
- They argue that Truman too readily accepted Douglas MacArthur’s advice in Korea when he should have questioned his commanding general’s assessment of Chinese intentions.
- Other historians point out that Truman’s failure to keep politicians and the public more informed about U.S.
- Policy towards the Chinese Civil War, and specifically the administration’s reservations about Jiang Jieshi, led to the damaging political firestorm that exploded after Mao’s victory.
They argue that Truman responded too slowly and weakly to Senator McCarthy and that his support for African-American civil rights was underwhelming. Finally, many historians contend that Truman grievously erred in 1946 and 1949 by advocating liberal initiatives that expanded the welfare state and increased government intervention in the nation’s economy for which a conservative polity had no appetite.
While these critiques are not without merit, they underestimate the difficult political circumstances in which Truman found himself. His own party was a composite of different constituencies and was divided grievously between progressives and southern conservatives; his Republican detractors also proved a strong and determined opposition, hungry to win back the White House.
Truman therefore had to tread carefully and sometimes cautiously. Viewed in this context, Truman’s achievements in both foreign and domestic affairs, where he confronted some of the most difficult challenges any American president has faced, appear even more significant.
Were the Japanese warned before Hiroshima?
Why did they choose Hiroshima?
A. Hiroshima was a major Japanese military hub with factories, military bases and ammunition facilities. Historians say the United States picked it as a suitable target because of its size and landscape, and carefully avoided fire bombing the city ahead of time so American officials could accurately assess the impact of the atomic attack.
Why did the US want to end ww2 as quickly as possible?
REASONS IN FAVOR OF THE ATOMIC BOMBING OF JAPAN – The atomic bombing of Japan at the end of World War II by the United States is one of the most debated and controversial topics in all of history. Since the bombing in 1945, historians have debated whether or not the United States was justified in using the two atomic bombs to end the war.
- Some have argued in favor of the use of the bombs for a range of reasons, including: it ended the war, it saved the lives of millions, and it was necessary for the emerging Cold War with the Soviet Union.
- Others have argued against the use of the bombs, with evidence such as: it was not needed, it was inhumane, it was a crime against humanity, and it led to the modern atomic age and threat of nuclear war.
Still others argue that perhaps the first bomb used against Hiroshima was justified but that the second used against Nagasaki was not. Read below to learn more specific information about the main reasons for the use of the atomic bombs by the United States.
It led to a quick end to World War II. It saved the lives of American soldiers. It potentially saved the lives of Japanese soldiers and civilians. It forced Japan to surrender, which it appeared unwilling to do. It was revenge for Japan’s attack at Pearl Harbor. It matched the brutality that Japan used during the war. Japan was warned about the potential of the atomic bombs. The program to create the bombs was too expensive for them not to be used. Bombs are a natural part of war. It was necessary as a display for the emerging Cold War.
First, some historians argue that the atomic bombing of Japan was justified because it caused World War II to come to a quick end. World War II was a multi-theater war with major fighting operations occurring in both the European Theater of war and the Pacific Theater of war.
While the European Theater of the war ended in early 1945 with the defeat of Nazi Germany, the Pacific Theater of World War II continued into the summer of that year as Japan continued to fight against the United States. The fighting in the Pacific Theater of the war was brutal and made Japan a particularly difficult enemy to defeat.
Although the United States by 1945 had successfully pushed back the Japanese forces to the main islands of Japan, the war still lingered. At the time, it was argued that the war could last months, maybe even years longer, if the United States was to carry out a land invasion of the Japanese home islands.
In the end, the United States used the first atomic bomb against the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945 and the second against Nagasaki on August 9th, 1945. The quickness of these two bombings caused the leadership of Japan to announce the countries surrender shortly after with the formal surrender taking place on September 2nd, 1945.
As a result, many historians argue that the use of the atomic bombs were necessary and justified as a means of ending World War II as quickly as possible. In total, the war had lasted for over 5 years and had led to the deaths of tens of millions of people.
Ending the war as quickly as possible was seen as a positive because it ended the brutal fighting that had devastated so many. The second reason why some were in favor of the use of the atomic bombs was that it potentially saved the lives of millions of people. For example, it was estimated that it would cost the lives of nearly one million American soldiers to continue the war.
Operation Downfall was the codename for the planned but never executed American invasion plan for the Japanese mainland islands during the end stages of World War II in the Pacific Theatre. It was set to occur in October of 1945 and if it had taken place it would have been the largest amphibious attack in human history.
- The estimated American casualties for the invasion ranged wildly from one hundred thousand American casualties to over one million.
- The estimated numbers were calculated based on earlier battles in Iwo Jima and Okinawa and the heavy death tolls to American soldiers in these battles, and the expectation that the Americans would not only be fighting the Japanese Army but also a hostile civilian population who sought to protect their homeland.
Due to the large number of expected casualties and the development of the atomic bomb, United States President Harry S. Truman made the decision to American made atomic bombs to end the war in the Pacific, and prevent the deaths of millions. Further to the idea of saving the lives of American soldiers in Operation Downfall, it has also been suggested that the use of the atomic bombs against Japan was actually beneficial because it helped prevent the deaths of many Japanese soldiers and civilians.
This is a controversial point, because obviously, the bombs ended up killing and harming hundreds of thousands of people. However, some historians have argued that the refusal of Japan to consider surrender may have led to the death of millions of Japanese people, and by using the bombs the United States forced the Japanese leadership to surrender and thereby saved many more people.
This is best evidenced by the earlier battles between the United States and Japan in the Pacific Theater of World War II. For example, the battle of Iwo Jima, which took place from February to March in 1945, involved some of the deadliest and fiercest fighting in the war.
- The Unites States Armed Forces invaded the island in hopes of using it as a staging ground towards the larger invasion of the Japanese main islands.
- It was defended by determined and loyal Japanese forces.
- However, the American victory was assured due to their overwhelming control of the air and sheer number of forces.
Of the 22,060 Japanese soldiers defending the island, 18,844 died either from fighting or by ritual suicide. Only 216 were captured during the course of battle. The Japanese bushido code of honor, coupled with effective propaganda which portrayed American soldiers as ruthless animals, prevented surrender for many Japanese soldiers.
- As well, many Japanese civilians, including whole families chose to commit suicide rather than be captured by the American forces.
- This massive death rate of Japanese soldiers and civilians during the Battle of Iwo Jima proved to American leadership that the Japanese would not surrender without a brutal fight to the death.
This would obviously cost the lives of many (perhaps millions) of American soldiers, but would also cost the lives of many Japanese people who would rather commit suicide then surrender. Based on this evidence, the United States argued that a land invasion of the main islands, which had millions more Japanese people, may end up costing the lives of many more Japanese people than would die by the two atomic bomb blasts.
- As such, some historians have argued that the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was justified because it forced the Japanese leadership to surrender, which ultimately saved the lives of many Japanese people.
- Another powerful reason for the use of the atomic bombs against Japan was that it was a reasonable measure to win the war and bring retaliation against Japan for its surprise attack against the United States at Pearl Harbor.
The United States was brought into the fighting of World War II in both the European and Pacific Theaters of war due to the Imperial Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. The attack resulted in the sinking of several American ships, including the USS Arizona, which remains at the bottom of the harbor today.
In all, 2402 Americans were killed and another 1282 were wounded. The intent of the Japanese attack was to inflict a preventative and decisive blow to the American Pacific naval fleet in order to allow itself free reign over the territory it sought in the South Pacific. The attack was profoundly shocking to the American public due to the magnitude of the attack and the fact that Japan surprise attacked the United States without issuing a formal declaration of war first.
In a statement after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, United States President Truman stated that the “Japanese began the war from the air at Pearl Harbor been repaid many fold.” As such, many historians view the atomic bombing of Japan as a necessary and justified retaliation for the attack at Pearl Harbor.
Further to the idea of retaliating for Pearl Harbor, many historians argued in favor of using the bombs against Japan due to the brutality that the Japan Army used during the war. As stated previously, Japanese soldiers and civilians were known for their unwillingness to surrender even when faced with insurmountable odds.
For example, American soldiers who returned from the fighting in the Pacific spoke about how wounded Japanese soldiers would kill American medics who were trying to help them after a battle. Often, American medics would attend to the wounded on both sides and the wounded Japanese soldiers would use secretly pull the pin of a grenade and use it to kill the American medics and themselves.
- This brutality caused many in the United States to hate the Japanese way of fighting and argued that the atomic bombs were justified because they were equally brutal towards Japan.
- Similarly, Japan was also responsible for brutal treatment of other people during the time period.
- For example, Japanese forces carried out crimes against humanity against Chinese civilians during the Nanking Massacre.
As such, some people suggest that the brutality of the atomic bombs was justified because of the way in which Japan had carried out its own attacks against others. The next reason for the use of the atomic bomb was that the United States had fairly warned Japan and Japanese citizens about the potential devastation of atomic weapons.
The United States had called for the surrender of Japan several times before finally using the two atomic bombs, and gave the Japanese government multiple opportunities to avoid being bombed. As well, the United States famously dropped leaflets over several Japanese cities warning the citizens about the potential for their city to be bombed.
This shows that the United States gave Japan a fair warning about the potential for devastation, which is more than Japan gave the United States in the earlier Pearl Harbor attack. Another reason that many historians believe that the atomic bombing of Japan was justified was that the United States had spent a great deal of money on the creation of the bombs and needed to use them in order to justify the cost.
The Manhattan Project was the codename of the secret American program to create the first atomic weapon during the end of World War II, The project was overseen by Robert Oppenheimer, an American physicist who was the head of the Los Alamos Laboratory in New Mexico where the first atomic bombs were designed.
The program had its beginnings in 1939 after it was determined that Nazi German scientists had discovered nuclear fission in 1938. United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the program with the intention of creating an atomic bomb before Nazi Germany.
In total, it’s estimated that the United States spent nearly $2 billion on the Manhattan Project which made it the most expensive government program in the history of the United States at the time. Some have argued that had the United States not used the bombs to end the war, that the government would have been criticized for spending so much money on a device and then not using it.
This criticism would have been especially worse if instead of using the bombs, the United States instead carried out Operation Downfall which would have caused a large loss of life for American soldiers. Therefore, some historians contend that the United States was justified in using the atomic bombs against Japan.
- Yet another reason in favor of the use of the atomic bombs was that bombs, just like any other form of new technology are a natural part of war.
- Wars are always a productive period of time for new technological advancements and weapons.
- Atomic bombs are ultimately no different from any other form of weapon.
For example, the bombing of cities was a common strategy in World War II and was used by all sides. More specifically, the Allied nations famously fire-bombed the German city of Dresden which took place over four separate raids in 1945, between the 13th and 15th February.
- The raids involved many soldiers, with 722 British RAF bombers and 527 United States Air Force bombers.
- Combined the British and American air forces dropped an unprecedented amount of explosives, with almost 4000 tons of bombs dropped on Dresden.
- As a result of the bombings, almost 2000 acres of the city was destroyed, and approximately 25,000 people were killed.
However, the exact death toll is unknown as the German government at the time falsified the casualty figures. After the initial raids, a few other random attacks occurred, mainly in an attempt to disrupt the railroads and thus prevent travel. There were few reported deaths from these subsequent raids.
- Therefore, people who supported the use of the atomic bombs against Japan use the bombing of Dresden (and other cities) as evidence that massive bombing campaigns are a natural part of war.
- The final key reason for the use of the atomic bombs against Japan was the nature of the emerging Cold War.
- During World War II, the Allied nations of Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union faced off against the Axis nations of Nazi Germany, Italy and Japan.
As the European Theater of the war came to an end, the main Allied nations famously met in a series of conferences (Yalta and Potsdam) to decide how to best handle the end of the war and the defeat of Germany. It is at these conferences that a divide or conflict began to emerge between the Soviet Union and the United States.
- For example, the Potsdam Conference is now viewed as a major event in the Cold War, because it highlighted the divide between Stalin and the other two leaders (Winston Churchill of Britain and Harry S.
- Truman of the United States).
- Neither side trusted the other and Joseph Stalin was resentful of the other two believing that they delayed the Normandy Invasion and Allied invasion of Italy during World War II to cause the Soviet army to struggle alone against Nazi Germany,
This divide was further highlighted at the earlier Yalta Conference. As well, it is at the Potsdam Conference that Truman made Stalin aware of the American atomic weapons program ( Manhattan Project ) and that the Americans had developed the world’s first atomic bomb.
- As well, Truman was incredibly suspicious of Stalin and his intentions and Stalin felt a similar way towards Truman.
- In general terms, the seeds of the Cold War were planted at the Potsdam Conference.
- The United States would bomb Hiroshima just days after the conference ended and World War II would be over in the just a few weeks, while the Cold War was just beginning.
Today, many historians view the bombing of Japan at the end of World War II as a way of the United States signaling to the Soviet Union their capabilities. Since a divide was occurring between the two nations, some argue that the United States used the bombing of Japan as a means of warning the Soviet Union against carrying out any sort of conflict.
What options did President Truman have to help Berlin?
Background – One of the most brutal conflicts in recent history, World War II devastated 113 countries from six continents. Beginning in 1939, the Allied forces — primarily Britain, Russia and the USA — sought to stop Nazi Germany in its conquest for European domination.
- In the six years that followed, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party devastated Europe and wreaked violence against many social minority groups.
- By 1945, Western Europe had been ravaged, an entire race of people had come close to extinction and the dynamic of power in several affected countries had been forever changed.
Hitler committed suicide in May 1945, and the Nazi regime collapsed. Japan surrendered in August. Even after peace was declared, the world felt the political and economic repercussions for decades. Following the war, a defeated Germany was divided into four sections, each of which was to be occupied by one of the Allied Powers.
The Soviet Union took control of the eastern part of Germany, while France, Great Britain and the United States took control of the western part. The German capital of Berlin was also divided into four sections, even though Berlin itself was in the middle of the Soviet-controlled part of Germany. Although they had been allies during the war, the United States and the Soviet Union clashed philosophically on many issues.
The superpowers disagreed about how to rebuild Germany, and tensions quickly rose, resulting in what later came to be known as the Cold War. Fearing that the Soviets would try to extend their communist philosophy to other countries, the United States adopted a policy of “containment,” which involved rebuilding war-torn Europe and promoting democracies to halt the spread of communism.
- In March 1948, Britain, France and the United States decided to combine their sections of Berlin into one unified West Berlin, angering the Soviets further.
- In June 1948 the Soviet Union, whose territory fully surrounded the capital, cut off all ground traffic into and out of West Berlin in an attempt to force the Allies to abandon the city.
The blockade of Berlin had begun. President Truman suddenly faced a crisis. The citizens of West Berlin were quickly running out of food, supplies and time. Truman’s advisors suggested several options. They could evacuate the citizens of West Berlin, try to negotiate with the Soviet Union with the support of the newly-formed United Nations, figure out a way to get supplies into the city or simply abandon Berlin altogether.
- Their decision would determine exactly how involved the United States would be in Berlin – and in rebuilding post-war Europe.
- Ultimately, Truman determined that it was of utmost importance that the United States remain a presence in Berlin.
- He and the remaining Allies began the Berlin Airlift, an operation that carried food, fuel and other supplies into West Berlin by plane.
The effort required a lot of careful planning and many resources, but the Airlift allowed the United States to keep a foothold in post-war Germany.
What strategy did the US use in fighting the Japanese in the Pacific?
General MacArthur and Admiral Nimitz employed a strategy of ‘triphibious’ warfare to advance through the Pacific. This strategy involved combing air, land, and sea forces to navigate the challenging geography and distances. Overtime, this strategy came to be known as Island Hopping.
What was Truman’s solution?
In 1947, President Harry S. Truman pledged that the United States would help any nation resist communism in order to prevent its spread. His policy of containment is known as the Truman Doctrine.
What did Truman do to stop communism?
Containment and the Truman Policy – The Truman Doctrine, also known as the policy of containment, was President Harry Truman’s foreign policy that the US would provide political, military, and economic aid to democratic countries under the threat of communist influences in order to prevent the expansion of communism.
The policy marked a step away from America’s previous isolationist policies, which discouraged the US from becoming involved in foreign affairs. The policy was introduced during a speech to Congress in 1947. President Truman urged Congress to grant financial aid to Greece and Turkey. The Greek government needed suppressing a communist uprising.
The Soviet Union was threatening Turkey over shipping through the Turkish straits. President Truman successfully convinced Congress to provide $400 million in aid to support the two countries. The Marshall Plan, which provided economic assistance to democratic countries in Western Europe, was also part of Truman’s policy. In 1949, the US led the creation of NATO, which consisted of 12 North American and European nations, as a defensive military alliance against any Soviet efforts to expand communism. The Truman Doctrine was not limited to Europe. American involvement in the Korean War was the first instance of the Truman policy in Asia.
- The Korean War began in 1950 with the North Korean army crossing the 38th parallel to invade South Korea.
- The 38th parallel divided the peninsula between the Soviet-backed North Korea and the US-backed South Korea.
- The US perceived this move as an attempt to expand communism and subsequently joined the war to defend South Korea.
In 1953, the war ended in an armistice, which drew a new boundary near the 38th parallel and created a demilitarized zone (DMZ) between North Korea and South Korea. The Vietnam War was a similar instance of the Truman Doctrine in Asia. The communist government of North Vietnam was backed by the Soviet Union and China.
- The South Vietnamese government was supported by the US.
- At first, the US was only involved in a limited fashion.
- However, over 20 years American involvement grew, especially after the Gulf of Tonkin incident in August 1964.
- While the US won several major military victories, due to lack of American popular support, America pulled out of Vietnam in 1973 though hostilities between the North and South continued.
The US failed its objective of preventing a communist takeover, as Vietnam ultimately unified under communist rule in 1975. The Korean and Vietnam Wars are often referred to as proxy wars because the US and the Soviet Union did not directly fight each other.
Each backed opposing forces in conflicts in Korea and Vietnam. America’s involvement in Latin America mostly centered around Fidel Castro’s communist government of Cuba. In April 1961, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) attempted to overthrow Fidel Castro in the Bay of Pigs invasion to reinforce the American commitment to fighting communism.
The invasion failed and fanned the flames of American-Cuban-Soviet tensions, which culminated in the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.