Moral Dilemma in History: The Atom Bomb

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On August 6, 1945, the B-27 superfortress, the Enola Gay, dropped the first atomic weapon on Hiroshima. Two days later, the B-29 bomber, the Bockscar, dropped the second and final atomic bomb on Nagasaki. Japan surrendered days later on September 2nd, 1945. Since the days of the bombings, there has been much debate about whether use of the the atomic bombs was even necessary to end the war. Even President Truman and Secretary of War Henry Stimson grappled with its necessity even after they authorized its use on Hiroshima and Nagasaki! There are also claims that Truman had other viable alternatives to the bomb that may have prevented the unprecedented destruction wrought by the bomb. Despite the other alternatives, which included continual conventional bombing of Japan and a land invasion, the bomb was the least bloody alternative to end World War II. The atom bomb was the least immoral option Truman had because it was also the least bloody. His only other alternatives were as follows: the land invasion of Japan and continual conventional bombing of Japan. According to Michael Barnes’s Arguments Supporting the Bomb, Allied forces had put a blockade on Japan, which caused food shortages and fuel shortages all over the country. The military also encouraged citizens to kill themselves much like how the people on Iwo Jima and Okinawa did. Japanese professor stated “I couldn't have survived another month. If the military had its way, we would have fought until all 80 million

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