The United States’ decision to bomb two cities of Japan, which we’re Nagasaki and Hiroshima, was not at all justified. Many people know that Japan deliberately attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, in order to strategically weaken the American Naval Base. However, the United States’ decision to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was to push Japan to surrender the war.
The bombing was unjustified because the U. S. ilitary: targeted heavily populated civilian cities, deliberately planned their attack to kill, did not give Japan enough time to respond to the first bombing, (4) did not xperience as many casualties than Japan. Many people say that the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima was unjustified because the U. S. targeted cities that were populated by civilians. According to the notes taken on the meeting of the Target Committee, “Consideration is to be given to large areas of not less than 3 miles in diameter existing in the larger populated areas” (Notes on Initial Meeting of Target Committee, May 2, 1945).
The fact that only cities that were heavily populated and had a radius of no less than 3 miles were targets, gives some historians an understanding of the United States’ intentions to ndiscreetly kill thousands of Japanese civilians. Moreover, the Target Committee also said, “The target and/or aiming point should have a high strategic value” (Notes on Initial Meeting of Target Committee, May 2, 1945). This group of individuals disregarded the amount of casualties that the bombs would cause in exchange for strategic advantage.
By causing hundreds of thousands of casualties the U. S. military gained an advantage during the war, which eventually led to Japan’s surrender on September 2, 1945. Another piece of evidence that supports the idea that the U. S’ decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki was njustified can be found in the statement given by President Truman to the Republic. In his statement he announced the first bombing of Hiroshima and added: We are now prepared to obliterate more rapidly and completely every productive enterprise the Japanese have above ground in any city.
We shall destroy their docks, their factories, and their communications. Let there be no mistake; we shall completely destroy Japan’s power to make war. (Harry S. Truman Library, “Army press notes”) Even the former President of the United States of America, who gave the order to bomb Japan, disregarded the consequences in exchange for winning the war. It did not matter whether the target was military or civilian areas as long as the site where the bombs were dropped was exactly or more than 3 miles in diameter or gave America a strategic advantage.
Another reason why the attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was unjustified is because of the U. S. ‘ plan that deliberately killed thousands of innocent people. Prior to the attack, Colonel Fisher commented,”[The] Ultimate range of the B-29s is 1500 miles at 30,000 feet altitude” (Notes on Initial Meeting of Target Committee, May 2, 1945). The group of individuals that planned the attack calculated the ideal altitude for the bombs to be ropped to achieve maximum destruction. Furthermore, not everyone involved in the attack agreed to the plan.
One example is, “Admiral William Leahy, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, oppose[ed] using the bomb because it killed civilians indiscriminately” (American History Textbook, American Vision, pg. 615). The attack led to the unnecessary death of thousands upon thousands of Japanese civilian. President Truman later wrote that he “regarded the bomb as a military weapon and never had any doubts that it should be used. ” His advisers had warned him to expect massive casualties if the United States invaded Japan.
Truman believed it was his duty as president to use every weapon available to save American lives (American History Textbook, American Vision, pg. 615). President Truman, the Commander in Chief, was well aware of the consequences of using the atomic bombs, however, he still initiated the attack which inevitably caused the deaths of nearly 200,000 Japanese civilians (Stanford History Education Group. Reading Like a Historian “6. Atomic Bomb. “). This statement brings the attention back to the idea that the bombings to both cities of Japan were unjustified.
On August 6, 1945, Hiroshima was bombed with Little Boy and three days after was another ombing on Nagasaki with the use of Fat Man. These atomic bombs are responsible for the end of the World War along with the threats of invasion from the Allied forces. According to Eisenhower, the president prior Truman and a supreme commander of the Allied Forces in Western Europe during WWII, “Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary,. I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion” (The White House Years: Mandate for Change: 1953-1956: A Personal Account).
It was no doubt that Japan had already been defeated way before their surrender, however, the U. S. ropped not one but two atomic bombs in a matter of three days. This was a response to Japan’s refusal to accept the Potsdam Declaration. On the contrary, the bombing remains inevitably unjustified. According to Eisenhower, “It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of face” (The White House Years: Mandate for Change: 1953-1956: A Personal Account).
Due to the Japanese code of honor, it took some time before Japan fully surrendered from the war. The date of their surrender was September 2, 1945. Ultimately, time should have been provided to the Japanese overnment to respond to the first bombing. Many people would say that three days was insufficient for them to respond because of their code of honor clouding their judgment. While fighting a war with other countries, the Japanese had to decide whether to protect their pride or their people.
Consequently, their failure to respond led to the demise of hundreds of thousands of people. However, the United States lack of consideration to the Japanese’s code of honor shows many people the ignorance of the U. S. government and the persistent attempt to finish the war no matter the consequences. The U. S. id not suffer as many casualties compared to Japan. Politically, Japan targeted the army that was based on Pearl Harbor to weaken the United States and gain strategic advantage. However, in a similar standpoint, the U. S. overnment attempted to justify their decision to drop the atomic because of their intentions to weaken the Japanese as well as to gain strategic advantage. Nearly 200,000 were killed out of the 450,000 people that populated Nagasaki and Hiroshima. That is about 44-45% of people dead from the initial population prior to the bombings. Burns from the bombs accounted for the majority of casualties from both cities. Sixty percent of Hiroshima residents and ninety five percent of Nagasaki died from fatal burns due to the bomb’s extreme radiation (Stanford History Education Group.
Reading Like a Historian “6. Atomic Bomb. “) The remaining casualties, were a result of falling debris and other accidents. Comparatively, during the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Americans suffered 2400 casualties and over 1000 injured. Statistically, the country which suffered more casualties was Japan. The amount of deaths from both parties was uneven and raised some speculations regarding whether or not the bombing were justified or just some means to kill innocent eople indiscriminately. In history, there are multiple sides of a story.
There are also many different perspectives that can be looked through to understand each side of the story. A great example of a tragic incident that encouraged different opinions is the bombing of Japan cities during World War 2. However, many believe that the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima was unjustified was because the U. S. government targeted heavily populated civilian cities, deliberately planned their attack to kill, did not give Japan enough time to respond, did not experience as many casualties than Japan.