The First Atomic Bomb Of President Harry S. Truman

1834 WordsMar 13, 20178 Pages
Walker Response Paper On August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb that the world had ever seen was dropped onto Hiroshima on orders of President Harry S. Truman. Three days later, a second bomb fell onto Nagasaki. While not all may find the bombs necessary to end the war with Japan, Truman had his own reasons for causing such devastation. He wanted the fastest possible end to the war to save soldiers’ lives, many Americans, as well as his key advisor, Byrnes, wanted the “unconditional surrender” (Walker 46) of Japan, and there was hatred still harbored against the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. As Truman addressed Congress, he “reaffirmed his support for the unconditional surrender policy” (Walker 46), and was cheered for it. As the war…show more content…
Truman was warned that, “to dethrone, or hang, the Emperor would cause a tremendous and violent reaction from all Japanese. Hanging of the Emperor to them would be comparable to the crucifixion of Christ to us” (Walker 43). Truman was stuck with this decision. There was a possibility to hasten the Japanese surrender with the promise of keeping the Emperor on the throne, but the American people wanted the “unconditional” kept in surrendering. As he debated his options, soldiers continued to die, on both sides of the war. Ultimately, Truman wanted to end this war quickly as to spare both combatant and noncombatant lives. He “not only sympathized with Roosevelt’s strategy of winning the war at the lowest possible cost in American casualties on a policy level, he empathized with it on a personal level” (Walker 10), being a former soldier himself in World War I. The American people’s desire for unconditional surrender of Japanese leaders were distinctly clear. In polls of 1945, people polled in a nine-to-one margin that the United States should do what was necessary for the enemy to be “completely beaten” (Walker 46), and they also strongly supported the idea of the Emperor being punished. This weighed on Truman, as negotiating with the enemy, with the brutish Japanese to the American’s eyes, could undermine the morale of his people. The American peoples’ animosity towards the Japanese
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