Do you think President Truman was right or wrong in his decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Why?
The killing of innocent people is hardly right, but we all must remember and be realistic, an invasion of Japan or dropping two bombs because these two things were the only two options Truman had at the time. Invasions usually require long periods of foreign presence in a designated area and an invasion nobody can deny would have been much worse, extending the war and creating more deaths. The fact we had just defeated Germany successfully in May of 1945, and then couldn’t get Japan to surrender and having to start planning an invasion after defeating its stronger ally was probably where the A-Bomb truly made itself relevant in all of this. Imagine getting a major country in the war to give itself up, and then a supporting country is still not only trying to attack you, but refuses to give up unconditionally. Not only that, but we begged Japan and gave them plenty of chances to surrender. So I believe Truman’s only option to solve this problem was dropping the A-Bomb because nothing we did convinced the Japanese to surrender quicker than the dropping of the two A-Bombs. Even then, the emperor didn’t want to give up knowing an entire city was destroyed by the first bomb. It took around 8 days AFTER the first bomb was dropped for the emperor to give up. So even this should give you a bit of perspective on how the Japanese were at this time. Truman’s decision was right in the sense that if Japan is this tenacious to not give in, then a war with them would certainly be long fought and lead to the lose a lot of American and Japanese lives. America devastated 2 cities completely without ever stepping foot on Japanese soil and it still took over a week for the emperor to say “OK we’ve had enough”. Let’s look at the only two choices and decide which would be the best. We invade Japan and have our presence there for years and risk many more deaths than the bombs ever could have done or drop two bombs and end the war completely in less than 2 weeks. I would have to go with Truman’s decision to drop the bombs and save American lives.
ushistory.org. (2013). The Decision to Drop the Bomb. Retrieved November 25, 2013 from www.ushitory.org