The Atomic Bomb

Reasons To Use the Atomic Bomb
The invasion of Japan would cost thousands of American lives. Japan might not surrender until it was invaded and conquered. The atomic bomb would end the war and save lives.
Reasons To Use the Atomic Bomb
It was like other weapons in the war, only more powerful. Firebombing of Tokyo and other cities also caused huge casualties. The United States
didn’t want its investment in developing the bomb to be seen as a waste of time and money.
Reasons To Use the Atomic Bomb
It would show the USSR how
powerful the United States was and give
the United States more bargaining power
after the war.
Reasons Not To Use the Atomic Bomb
The Japanese were close to defeat and would have surrendered soon without an all-out invasion. It might have been possible to demonstrate the bomb to the Japanese before dropping it on cities.
Reasons Not To Use the Atomic Bomb
Some thought Japan would surrender once it saw a demonstration of the bomb’s power. Its power was greater than needed to defeat the Japanese. It was a troubling precedent for the United States to be the first in the world to use
such a deadly weapon.
The Decision
• Japan was warned that it would face “prompt and utter destruction” if it did not surrender immediately.
• President Truman chose to drop two bombs. He wrote, “The final decision . . . was up to me. . . . I regarded the bomb as a military weapon and never had any doubt that it should be used.”
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The Immediate Results
• Atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima (August 6, 1945) and Nagasaki (August 9).
• About two-thirds of Hiroshima was destroyed immediately; about 66,000 people were killed and 69,000 injured.
• About half of Nagasaki was destroyed immediately; about 39,000 people were killed and 25,000 injured.
The Immediate Results
• By the end of 1945 about 100,000 more had died from injuries and radiation poisoning.
• Japan agreed to surrender unconditionally about a week after the bombs were dropped.