Atomic Bomb Dbq

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APUSH DBQ As World War II was coming to an end during 1945, the creation of one of the most destructive weapons known to humanity occurred within the United States. This weapon, known as “the atomic bomb,” was used on the two Japanese cities: Hiroshima and Nagasaki, resulting in a death toll unprecedented by any military weapon used before and an immediate, unconditional surrender. Some historians believe President Truman decided to drop the atomic bomb in order to intimidate the Soviet Union whereas others believe it was a strictly military measure designed to force Japan’s unconditional surrender. In the Report of a Scientific Panel of nuclear physicists, some scientific colleagues believed the atomic bomb was a “purely technical…show more content…
(Doc C). Next, Winston Churchill’s recollection of the Potsdam Conference also emphasized the need to end the war before Soviet intervention. It seemed to be a mutual agreement between the U.S. and Britain that the two powers should not need the Red Army to end the war with Japan (Doc E). Finally, nuclear physicist Leo Szilard’s recollection of a 1945 meeting between James Byrnes and a group of concerned atomic scientists supports the idea that America dropped the atomic bomb to intimidate the U.S.S.R. The scientists were very concerned about the rapid spreading of Russian influence in Europe, which probably contributed to the U.S. policy of containment. Due to this fear, James Byrnes and the atomic scientists believed that demonstrating the bomb would make the Soviet Union more manageable in Europe. One can also argue that this approach can be related the John Foster Dulles theory of massive retaliation, which is the belief that the threat of “massive of retaliation” with nuclear weapons would stop Soviet aggression. Therefore, one can argue that the dropping of the atomic bomb was a diplomatic measure calculated to intimidate the Soviet Union and one can argue that this idea was backed by the theories of containment and massive retaliation. Essentially, the theory behind the dropping atomic bomb on Hiroshima was dichotomous; some argue that it was to induce prompt and unconditional surrender by Japan, while others argue that it was to threaten the Soviet Union.
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