.. have continued well into July, unlessthe American and Soviet governments together had let it be known that unless Japan laid down its arms at once, the Soviet Union was going to enter the war(A Guide To Gar Alperovitz’s The Decision To Use The Atomic Bomb Part III 1). That, along with the promise to spare the Emperor, might have been enough for a Japanese surrender. In comparison to the Soviet Entry, the atomic bomb had little or no impact. The Japanese would have surrendered if the terms of the Potsdam Proclamation had been clarified.
The Japanese mentality required them to fight to the death if their Emperor was threatened in any way. When the United States issued the conditions for surrender, it was called an unconditional surrender. The Japanese could not accept this because they thought they would have to give up the Emperor. President Trumans diary clearly shows that he knew the Japanese could not accept the Potsdam Proclamation. Many lives would have been saved if the U.S.
had told the Japanese just what they meant by unconditional surrender. President Truman was asked more than a dozen times to clarify the terms for surrender by the entire top echelon of the U.S. and British governments. Truman was told that the Japanese would not surrender unless they knew they could keep their Emperor. Truman was personally asked to clarify terms for surrender fourteen different times before he issued the Potsdam Proclamation. Three of the most important people he was asked by were Herbert Hoover; Mr. Stimson, the Secretary of War; and Winston Churchill.
Henry R. Luce, publisher of Time and Life said, if instead of our doctrine of unconditional surrender, we had all along made our conditions clear, I have little doubt that the war with Japan would have ended soon without the bomb explosion which so jarred the Christian conscience (A Guide To Gar Alperovitz’s The Decision To Use The Atomic Bomb Part IV 7). The Japanese would have surrendered if the U.S. had sent the Japanese a simple message saying their Emperor would be in no way threatened if they surrendered. The dropping of the bombs was also unnecessary because of the number of civilian casualties the bombs caused.
Some people say that the bombs saved millions of American lives, but certain studies show that that is incorrect. A study done in 1985 shows that the most deaths that could possibly have occurred would have been no higher than 20,000, and it was likely for there to be no American deaths at all. At the same time Barton Bernstein, a member of the International Intelligence Committee, concluded that, It is fact that there would have been no casualties had the war ended before the November landing which was likely around July 1945(A Guide To Gar Alperovitz’s The Decision To Use The Atomic Bomb Part IV 3). About 68 percent of Hiroshima was completely destroyed by the bombing, and another 24 percent was damaged. The Supreme Allied Headquarters reported that 129,558 people were killed, injured, or missing, and 176,987 were made homeless.
Hiroshima before the bomb Hiroshima after the bomb About 280,000 civilians and 40,000 soldiers were living in Hiroshima when Little Boy struck the city with a force of 20,000 tons of TNT. Approximately 100,000 people died immediately in the blast or in the fire. Many others died weeks, month, or years later. Hiroshima had about 80,000 buildings at the time. 48,000 were completely destroyed and another 22,000 seriously damaged.
The chart shows the number of casualties with respect to the distance from the hypocenter. In a radius of about one mile nobody survived the explosion. 50% blast, destroying the buildings and killing people 35% heat, starting fires burning people 15% radiation, causing the long term effects The pictures above illustrate the devastation caused by the atomic bombs. Extremely high temperatures released by the explosion melted the glass bottles and burned the skin of the little boy. The picture of the boy above is just one person, but there were thousands of other civilians that had the same hideous fate. There were other ways in which the United States could have used the bombs.
Lewis L. Strauss said, The weapon [should have been] used in Japan over either an uninhabited area, or after a warning, over a sparsely inhabited area. I thought this would demonstrate the power of the bomb fully as well as the destruction of a city without leaving the aftermath of resentment and grief that the employment of so dreadful a weapon would entail(U.S. News Education Program 17). A better and more logical idea was to demonstrate the bomb by a harmless explosion over Tokyo at too high an altitude to do any damage, so everyone could see what could have been done.
The idea of exploding the bomb over Tokyo was more logical. If it were exploded in an unpopulated area, no one would have really realized how devastating the bomb could be. If it were exploded over Tokyo, then everyone in the city, including all their major leaders, would have seen the bombs power and its effectiveness. Therefore everyone who saw the bomb would have been more inclined to surrender. In conclusion, the United States should never have dropped the bombs on Japan because the strategic bombing was doing a good job in cutting off the Japanese supply lines, the Russians would have eventually caused the Japanese to surrender after they entered the war, the Japanese would have surrendered if the U.S. had told them specifically that they could keep their Emperor and Imperial System if they surrendered, and the bombs caused destruction that no nation deserves no matter what their previous actions were. In an interview with Governor James F.
Byrnes by the U.S. News Education Program Governor Byrnes said, looking back and knowing what we do now about Japans military condition in August, 1945, we can see that we would have been victorious in the war with Japan without the great losses that the military had anticipated, and today the world would be a safer place in which to live. The bomb was also a catalyst for the nuclear warfare of today. Its possible that we would have never had a nuclear arms race or a cold war if the bombs had not been dropped. All these points clearly show that the decision to drop the bombs on Japan was the wrong one.
Bibliography Works Cited Alperovitz, Gar. The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb. New York: Harper Collins, 1982. Stone, Scott C. S.
Hell Came to Earth One Summer Day. Cox 10 April. 1983 18. Was A-Bomb On Japan a Mistake? U.S. News Education Program.
1975: 16-18. A Guide To Gar Alperovitz’s The Decision To Use The Atomic Bomb, Part I. 9pp. Online. Integrity Online. 31 Jan.
2000. http://www.he.net/~douglong/guide1.htm. A Guide To Gar Alperovitz’s The Decision To Use The Atomic Bomb, Part III. 8pp. Online. Integrity Online.
31 Jan 2000. Http://www.he.net/~douglong/guide3.htm. A Guide To Gar Alperovitz’s The Decision To Use The Atomic Bomb, Part IV. 8pp. Online. Integrity Online.
31 Jan 2000. http://www.he.net/~douglong/guide4.htm. History Reports.