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Dropping the Atomic Bomb: A Necessary Evil?. History. Japanese put up fierce fights to keep Iwo Jima (March 1945) and Okinawa (June 1945) Thousands of Americans died Japan’s air force and navy destroyed American B-29 bombers pounded cities Killed thousands of civilians and hurt economy

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Dropping the Atomic Bomb:A Necessary Evil?


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History

  • Japanese put up fierce fights to keep Iwo Jima (March 1945) and Okinawa (June 1945)

    • Thousands of Americans died

  • Japan’s air force and navy destroyed

  • American B-29 bombers pounded cities

    • Killed thousands of civilians and hurt economy

  • Japanese used Kamikazes

    • Sank several ships


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Atomic scientists:

“If the U.S. were to be the first to release this new means of…destruction, we would sacrifice public support throughout the world, [begin] a nuclear arms race, and [hurt] the possibility of reaching international agreement on the future control of such weapons.”

-June 1945

President Truman defends his decision:

“Having found the bomb we have used it…We have used it in order to shorten the agony of war, in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans.

-August 1945

The Arguments


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Hiroshima

350,000 people directly exposed to the Atomic Bomb

140,000 died by the end of 1945

Only 20,000 of those deaths were military service men

Nagasaki

Decades later huge increases in cancer were seen

Effects of the Bombs on:


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War on Civilians?

  • Not only were civilians killed, but thousands were injured and experienced long term severe health problems and eventual death


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The Bomb was Justified

It saved thousands of US soldiers

Japan showed near maniacal resistance – would NOT give up

Invading Japan would cause MORE deaths on BOTH sides

The 2 targeted cities would have been bombed anyway

Immediate use of the bomb would convince the world of its horror and prevent its use in the future

The Bomb was UNjustified

Japan was ready to quit (more than 60 cities destroyed, US was blockading ports, and the USSR began attacking troops in Manchuria

US would NOT accept anything but Unconditional surrender

Detonation over a non-populated area would have been proof of the bomb

Civilians outnumbered troops in Hiroshima 6 to 1

There was no need to use 2 bombs


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