Pres, Truman Atomic Bomb Decision Essay

Words: 1406
Pages: 6

President Truman's Decision to drop the
Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
During World War II the war in Europe ended after the unconditional German surrender at General Eisenhower's Headquarters in Reims, France, May 7, 1945. "After the unconditional German surrender in Europe the war shifted to Asia and the Pacific. As the war continued against Japan the Allied forces captured islands such as Iwo Jima and Okinaawa close to Japan brought the Japanese homeland within range of naval and air attacks." (Dannen) On August 6, 1945, the city of Hiroshima was the target of the first atomic bomb used against civil population in history. On August 9, 1945, the United States dropped a second atomic bomb over the city of Nagasaki. In total,
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The cities themselves were the targets. In Truman's diary he states, "This weapon is to be used against Japan between now and August 10th. I have told the Sec. of War, Mr. Stimson, to use it so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women and children. Even if the Japs are savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic, we as the leader of the world for the common welfare cannot drop that terrible bomb on the old capital or the new."(Dannen) President Truman also states in his diary, "He and I are in accord. The target will be a purely military one and we will issue a warning statement asking the Japs to surrender and save lives. I'm sure they will not do that, but we will have given them the chance. It is certainly a good thing for the world that Hitler's crowd or Stalin's did not discover this atomic bomb. It seems to be the most terrible thing ever discovered, but it can be made the most useful..." These quotes from his diary are important because he truly wanted the bombs to be dropped on military targets, with no civilian casualties. His decision may have been misinterpreted by Gen. Spaatz, resulting in the bombing of the cities. Here is a public statement giving reasons on why to use the atomic bomb "The Japanese began the war from the air at Pearl Harbor. They have been repaid many fold. If they do not now accept our terms they may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth."