Hiroshima: Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Nuclear Weapons Program Essay

Submitted By lora16
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Hiroshima – History Essay plan
Pacific Theatre of War
 Generally considered that the Pacific War began on 7/8 December 1941
 Empire of Japan invaded Thailand and attacked British possessions in:
- Malaya
- Singapore
- Hong Kong as well as the United States military base in Pearl Harbour.

 Some historians contend that the conflict in Asia can be dated back to 7 July 1937 with the beginning of the Second Sino Japanese war between the Empire of Japan and the Republic of China
 Possibly 19 September 1931, beginning with the Japanese invasion of Manchuria
 More widely accepted that the Pacific War itself began in early December 1941, with the
Sino-Japanese War then becoming part of it as a theater of the greater World War II. The Pacific War saw the Allied powers pitted against the Empire of Japan, the latter briefly aided by Thailand and to a much lesser extent by its Axis allies, Germany and Italy. The war culminated in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and other large aerial bomb attacks by the United Stated army air forces, accompanied by the Soviet invasion of Machuria on 8 August 1945, resulting in the Japanese announcement of intent to surrender on 15 August 1945. The formal and official surrender to Japan took place aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945.

The policy of the U.S. Government ever since 1945 has been to treat Thailand not as a former enemy, but rather as a country which had been forced into certain actions by Japanese blackmail, before being occupied by Japanese troops.
Germany and Italy both had access to the Japanese naval facilities after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbour

Japanese strategic bombing efforts mostly targeted large Chinese cities such as Shanghai, Wuhan and Chongqing, with around 5,000 raids from February 1938 to August 1943 in the later case. "Japanese strategic bombing campaigns devastated Chinese cities, killing more than 260,000 non-combatants.
In an effort to discourage Japanese militarism, Western powers including Australia, the United States, Britain, and the Dutch government in exile, which controlled the petroleum-rich Dutch East Indies, stopped selling iron ore, steel and oil to Japan, denying it the raw materials needed to continue its activities in China and French Indochina.

Arguments – Was it militarily necessary / The only way to win (USA)? Argument 1: bombs were useless Evidence: Timing of events
Despite the headlines published all throughout America stating that ‘Hiroshima ended the War’, majority of the evidence suggests otherwise. The timing of the evidence proves that the Japanese had planned to surrender prior to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. o The bombing of Nagasaki occurred in the later morning of August 9th, after the Supreme Council had already begun meeting to discuss surrender, and word of the bombing only reached Japan’s leaders in the early afternoon – after the meeting of the Super Council had been adjourned in deadlock and the full cabinet had been called to take up the discussion. Based on timing alone, Nagasaki can’t have been what motivated them to surrender.

If Hiroshima really touched off a crisis that eventually forced the Japanese to surrender after fighting for 14 years, why did it take them three days to sit down to discuss it? From a US perspective, it is argued that the delay is perfectly logical. Perhaps they only came to realize the importance of the bombing slowly. Perhaps they didn't know it was a nuclear weapon and when they did realize it and understood the terrible effects such a weapon could have, they naturally concluded they had to surrender. Unfortunately, this explanation doesn't square with the evidence. o First, Hiroshima’s governor reported to Tokyo on the very day Hiroshima was bombed that about a third of the population had been killed in