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To bomb or not to bomb?. Investigating America’s decision to drop the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The War in Asia . The 3 countries most affected by the dropping of the atomic bomb were: Russia, (USSR) America Japan.

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to bomb or not to bomb

To bomb or not to bomb?

Investigating America’s decision to drop the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

the war in asia
The War in Asia

The 3 countries most affected by the dropping of the atomic bomb were:

  • Russia, (USSR)
  • America
  • Japan.

To understand why America decided to drop the bomb, you need to know a little about each of these countries.

Had been fighting across Asia since the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941.

The effective naval blockade of Japan was preventing the import of oil and other supplies, without which Japan’s capacity to continue fighting would soon run out.

In June 1945 the Japanese government secretly asked the USSR to mediate in order to bring an end to the war.

Japan was not prepared to surrender unconditionally as they feared for the position of their Emperor who was regarded as a God.

Japan was suffering terribly under traditional “firebombing”. Industrial production had collapsed and they were very short of food.

Japanese civilians, (including children) were being trained to fight to the death in case of invasion.

Had been supporting the war in Europe and Asia since 1941. Germany had been defeated in Europe.

The Americans had suffered heavy losses fighting the Japanese in Asia, and had experience of their policy of “no surrender”.

President Roosevelt died in the summer of 1945 and Truman had to take over immediately. Until that point he had had no knowledge of the atomic bomb

In total war, civilians are regarded as legitimate targets.

The Japanese had been operating outside international law. They had launched an unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbour and were mistreating prisoners of war.

The American economy had benefited from the war, as the war effort provided full employment and they were loaning money/equipment to other countries who would have to repay their debts.

america during world war ii
America during World War II
  • President Truman meets with Stalin and Churchill at Potsdam.
  • American factory production in World War II.
The Communists had taken control of Russia in 1917. The country was now led by Joseph Stalin who believed in having total control of his people and country.

Russia wanted to be as strong as America. Communists also had the aim of spreading their ideas all around the world: “workers of the world unite”.

It had suffered heavy losses of life and property during the war against Germany and expected to be rewarded.

Truman and Stalin did not trust each other.

Russia was refusing to withdrawal from many areas they had occupied in Europe following the collapse of Germany.

August 1945 Stalin attacks the Japanese in Manchuria hoping to share victory with the USA. America wanted to prevent Soviet influence spreading to the Far East.