This investigation will explore the question: What are the purely military reasons that influenced Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb? World War II will be the focus of this investigation, to allow for analysis on Truman’s decision to save American lives. The first source which will be evaluated in depth is “Arguments Supporting The Bomb”by Michael Barnes. The purpose of this source is evaluate all the possible reasons that support Truman’s decision to drop the bomb The second source which will be evaluated in depth isThe purpose of this source is Section 2: Investigation Military reasons The United States had given Japan a substantial warning of the bombs existence and the likelihood of its use.
President Truman alongside other allied powers including the Prime Minister of Great Britain and the Government of China gave Japan an ultimatum, known as the “Potsdam Declaration,” where they were given an opportunity to end the war. Japan had a choice to follow the leaders who had led them up to this point of destruction or choose the voice of reason and surrender. “We call upon the government of Japan to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all Japanese armed forces, and to provide proper and adequate assurances of their good faith in such action. The alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction.”(Potsdam Declaration) Upon hearing these conditions Japan choose to reject through the use of “Mokusatsu” which means to kill with silence. At this point it was clear to the rest of the world that Japan would fight this war for as long as possible which wasn’t a good thing for both sides. It was imperative that they shorten the war because with the use of the bomb the war ended quicker than expected.
“On August 14, Emperor Hirohito announced to the Japanese people that they would surrender.” (Barnes, Arguments Supporting The Bomb). It was only the bomb that convinced the Emperor to intervene, although they almost didn’t surrender. People often think that Truman single handedly made the decision to drop the atomic bomb but he had help from the Interim CommitteeAmericans believed the Japanese would fight to the death. The Japanese saw suicide as an honorable alternative to surrender. The term they used was gyokusai. Due to this many believed that Japan would never have surrendered and the war would have went on to kill many more.
Non Military Reasons The US wanted to show the world as well as the USSR how powerful they were. Economic pressureThe US had already spent millions of dollars trying to build the bomb, so they had to test their destructive device to show for the money spent. The bomb was developed by the Manhattan Project Section 3: Reflection Truman was faced with the decision to end the war with Japan, but it evolved unleashing a weapon of catastrophic measures. After 4 years of fighting neither side would give up.
Before Truman made his final decision Japan was asked to surrender under the conditions that if they were to deny, they would face great destruction and they declined. On August 6th the Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima. Many were killed instantly along with thousands more to come from radiation sickness and burns.
The Soviet Union declared war on Japan 2 days after the bomb was dropped and on August 9, a second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. The Japanese finally surrendered on August 14, 1945. Many viewed Truman’s decision as inhuman, racist and unnecessary because the Japanese would have eventually given up, but Truman claimed his decision was purely military. This brought about an era of the arms race. Truman wrote, “My object is to save as many American lives as possible but I also have a human feeling for the women and children of Japan.” He choose the cities based on where military production was most prevalent and as to not destroy sacred Japanese sites.