Dropping the Atomic Bomb
On August 6, 1945 the atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The Enola Gay, piloted by Colonel Tibbetts, was chosen to make the mission. The mission was recorded as successful by Capt. William S. Parson at 9:20 A.M. This was an extremely controversial military strategy in the United States. Was the United States justified in the dropping of the atomic bomb? Yes, they were justified for many reasons. The primary reason was, that it would stop the war. Why is it that this war needed to be stopped so badly? Even though in some ways it was helping our economy, it was very costly in both money and lives. Also, the United States soldiers were undergoing harsh treatment by the unmerciful Japanese. Another reason the war needed to be stopped was to defend ourselves from another attack on U.S. soil, which in turn would kill many of our U.S. citizens. This is why the war needed to be stopped; thus, justifying the use of the atomic bomb. World War II was the costliest war in history, in terms of lives lost. No exact figures exist, but approximately between 15 and 20 million military personnel were killed. Of these, 292,000 were Americans and 6,000 innocent United States citizens were murdered by our enemies. It has been estimated that if the United States had not dropped the bomb and had invaded Japan instead, the United States would have lost about a million soldiers. The Japanese suicidal fighting strategies greatly effected this number. The Japanese would rather die than surrender. This is demonstrated by the battle of Saipan. At this battle over half of the population of Saipan walked off a cliff instead of surrendering to the United States. This was often very effective. Many times when a Japanese soldier decided to blow himself up instead of surrendering he would kill many Americans with the same blast. Also the kamikaze techniques of the Japanese fighters killed many soldiers. If this war would have continued we could have lost thousands more. Also up to this point we spent 300 billion dollars on war efforts. Many materials and other objects were damaged. Any estimate on how much money was lost in damages would be futile. This number would have continued to rise if it had not been for the use of the atomic bomb. The horrendous atrocities that occurred during World War II were unmerciful as well as unnecessary. During one invasion of China, the rape of Nanking, the Japanese killed 100,000 Chinese civilians. They were burned, butchered, and raped. Sometimes the Japanese would tie a big group of them together and use them for bayonet and sword practice. After the fall of Bataan the soldiers were forced to go on a death march. During this march many unheard of things happened to the soldiers. A soldier was often killed for trying to get a drink of water. If a soldier fell down the Japanese would either bayonet them or knock them unconscious. Once they were knocked unconscious, the Japanese then forced another American soldier to bury the unconscious soldier alive. One soldier once commented, "The worst time was once when a burial victim with about six inches of earth over him suddenly regained consciousness and clawed his way out until he was almost sitting upright. Then I learned to what length a man will go to hang onto his life. The bayonets began to prod me in the side and I was forced to bash the soldier over the head with the shovel and then finish burying him."(Kappler, Pg. 168) This harsh treatment to innocent civilians and our soldiers needed to stop. The atomic bomb was a way to stop it. On December 7, 1941," A day that will live in infamy," Pearl Harbor was deliberately attacked by the Japanese. Reports indicate that 2400 people were killed and 1300 were wounded. The reason Japan bombed Pearl Harbor was because that was where all of our Navy ships were positioned. They were hoping to take out the Navy and were almost successful. The aircraft carriers were expected to be in the harbor, but luckily were not. Although the attack may have been a military success in the minds of the Japanese it became a huge mistake in the final analysis. One reason it was a mistake was it caused the U.S. to enter the war. We were the ultimate cause to Japan losing the war. Secondly it made the Americans angry and determined to destroy the Japanese. Many congressmen volunteered for active duty, asking for a one day respite to cast their vote for war. Also recruiting offices were flooded with young patriots who wanted to help there country out. This attack was just an example of what could have happened if the war had continued. If the war had continued another attack on U.S. soil could have taken place. This could have turned the 6,000 dead American civilians into 9,000 dead civilians. That number could have kept rising until the war was over. That is another reason the bomb needed to be dropped to stop the war. The war was a horrible thing. It killed millions and destroyed the lives of millions more. It lasted six years and could have lasted longer; with death and destruction increasing every year. Ending such a horrible thing should be reason enough to drop the atomic bomb. The cruelty of the Japanese at such places as Bataan and Nanking was horrible and needed to be stopped. Although the atomic bomb caused much death devastation it indirectly saved lives. America made their power known by frightening other European powers. This bombing has serviced to prohibit future attacks on American soil. The atomic bomb was the best solution. The atomic bomb may have killed thousands, but it saved millions.