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Truman's Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb: Analytical Essay

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As the last World War society has ever experienced, instead of causing another war in the future, it created a notorious debate for the historical event. America’s controversial decision to drop two bombs on Japan caused one of the most discussed topics amongst people passionate about WW2 History. Whether the two bombings were justified or not has made others change their minds or keep their original decision. With all the evidence I have gathered, I believe that The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not justified because they could have stopped Japan in other ways, the bombings were used to scare The Soviet Union more than defeat Japan and the bomb was simply inhumane.

After decades of research, historians believe that Japan was going to surrender which made the bombings unnecessary. Since Japan was almost defeated, they could have forced them to give up on many other strategies. When the war in the Pacific Theater started, Japan surprised Pearl Harbour with a surprise attack on Pearl Harbour. This was around the time when Japan was very powerful and had control of many areas in the South Pacific Ocean. Four years later, America successfully fought back using a creative idea. They began a tactic called “island hopping”. With this strategy, The United States Of America would move from different Japanese islands in the South Pacific Ocean. This gave Japan a tougher time because they had to try and defend many lands at once. They were also restricted from going to their other lands which gave The United States a huge advantage. Japan could not properly fight back and this would have led Japan to eventually give up. Another option was for Japan to keep its emperor. Of course, he would have to be demoted to a powerless figurehead (much like the Royal Family in Great Britain), but it was possible that this one condition alone might have been enough to satisfy the American War Department’s conclusion that it was necessary to convince the Japanese that they would not be “annihilated” if they surrendered. The United States knew that if they killed the emperor, Japan would never surrender. This plan, however, was already considered by the American government. Their plan was to get Japan to understand their message and eventually surrender. On June 13, former American ambassador to Japan Stimson and Byrnes, Truman’s personal advisor debated their plans with Japan’s emperor. Byrnes won and Truman created excuses that left Japan confused about their intentions. Even though this did not give Japan a clear answer, it was a proper attempt to figure out their decision. Instead of continuing, they dropped the bombs, the Japanese surrendered, and The US allowed the emperor to live. Stimson later revealed that prolonging their decision was a major regret. He also added that because of this, prolonged the war and caused what we know to be Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The last alternative was to wait for the Russians to attack Japan.

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Military analysts in 1945 believed that Japan would have to inevitably be forced to surrender and a clarification from the Americans that “unconditional surrender” did not mean they would kill their emperor. In the early weeks of April, they believed that The Soviet Union would satisfy their necessities in many ways. By September, they believe that the majority of Japan will realize the inevitability of absolute defeat regardless of whether the Soviets have actually entered the war against Japan. If The Soviet Union enters the war, Japan will realize that its defeat is unavoidable. A Strategy and Policy Group within the War Department had the same opinion. Americans also had an idea of Japan’s opinion on this topic. While breaking the Japanese diplomatic code, The United States eavesdropped on conversations between the Japanese Foreign Minister in Tokyo, and the Japanese ambassador to the Soviet Union in Moscow. The Foreign Minister said that they should not only prevent Russia from entering but also get them to perceive Japan as a favorable country and to talk to any Soviet leaders if they had the chance.

The ambassador said back that there wasn’t much reason to hope, and that he received reports of substantial Soviet troop and supply movements heading the east. The Foreign Minister also added that if Russia decided to take advantage of their weakness and intervene against them they would be completely homeless. In a secret meeting between Roosevelt and Stalin, he promised that three months after the end of the European campaign, he would declare war on Japan and move against Japan in China. By July, when President Truman traveled to Germany to meet his Allied leaders for the first time, he met with Truman and Stalin on the 17th. He confirmed they would declare war on Japan on August 15. To sum it up, the President and at least some Japanese all had the decision that if The Soviet Union invaded Japan, they would have most likely surrendered. The date was set and the invasion was scheduled to happen. The Americans had many other options but chose to land two atomic bombs. This argument is why many people, including me, believe that my next reason is their true intentions in releasing the two atomic bombs.

Throughout the war, America’s intention seemed to be clear, however, this was questioned after details of an important event were overlooked. During the war, the United States and the Soviet Union fought against Germany, Italy, and Japan. As the war came to an end, the US and the Soviet Union met and discussed how to handle the end of the war and the defeat of Germany. These conferences caused a rift in the relationship between the Soviet Union and the United States. The reason that this conference is important is that it shows the conflict that Stalin, Churchill, and Truman had at the time. Each side would not trust either and this would affect their decision-making in the future. Stalin was also irritated because the other allies believed that they delayed the Normandy Invasion and Allied invasion of Italy during the current war to cause the Soviet Army to struggle against Nazi Germany. Throughout these conferences, Truman told Stalin about the American atomic weapons program also known as The Manhattan Project. Truman also notified him about the US’s development of the world's first atomic bomb. Truman also became suspicious of Stalin’s intentions, however, Stalin felt the same way about Truman as well. Days after, the US bombed Hiroshima and WW2 ended a few weeks later. These events are what debaters believe to be what affected America’s true intentions with the bomb. With all this conflict, The United States used this to frighten The Soviet Union and show their potential power towards them if they decided to attack or threaten The US. With all the events that lead up to the bomb, the conflicts during The Conference may have been the reason that many innocent people died.

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