The United States' Decision to Use Atomic Bombs Against Japan

2627 WordsAug 22, 201311 Pages
Audrey Ng Society and History: Making of the Modern World Australia World War II Research Essay 2013 Question 4: Discuss the issues surrounding the United States’ decision to use atomic bombs against Japan. What motives were behind this action, and what arguments have been made against it? “I wonder if I can ever have children in the future.” - Words written from a young girl exposed to radiation from the A-bomb – Nagasaki. Hiroki Sato and Kentaro Okada. (-). A-Bomb Radiation Sickness, 14 May 2013 <http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/05/13/national/a-bomb-survivor /#.UZIEcfBArIU.> During the final stages of World War II in 1945, the United States conducted the atomic bombings of the…show more content…
The first atomic bomb was exploded at 5.30 AM on July 16, 1945, at a site on the Alamogordo air base south of Albuquerque, New Mexico. “The explosion came as an intense light flash, a sudden wave of heat, and later, a tremendous roar as the ferocious wave passed and echoed in the valley.”A ball of fire rose rapidly, followed by a mushroom cloud extending to 40, 000 feet. The following month, two other atomic bombs produced by the project, the first uranium-235 and the second using plutonium, were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. Formed in April 1945, Groves formed the Target Committee chaired by himself and included his deputy, Brigadier General Thomas Farrell; scientists John von Neumann, William C. Penney and Robert R. Wilson from the Manhattan Project; and members of the United States Army Air Forces Colonel William P. Fisher, David M. Dennison and Joyce C. Stearns. The Committee originally elected four main targets in Japan: Kokura, the site of one of Japan’s largest military capability plants; Hiroshima, an embarkation port and industrial center that was the site of a major military headquarters; Niigata, a port with industrial facilities including steel and aluminum plants and an oil refinery; and Kyoto, a major industrial center. The target selection was subject because each city was important in a large urban area, the blast would prove to create an effective damage and because the targets were considered ‘virgin targets’ meaning that they had
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