• Pauline Kok


Continued from: Was it necessary for the United States to end World War II by dropping the second bomb on Nagasaki?

The entire historical political background of the United States (President Truman), Japan (The Japanese Army), and The Soviet Union (Stalin), was complicated; plans and actions were carefully hidden and unrevealed.

Around the same time Emperor Hirohito surrendered, Russia declared war to Japan and invaded Manchuria, which was occupied by Japan. Russia had also started to build its own atom bomb.

President Truman was afraid that if Japan did not surrender soon, the United States would have to deal with Russia in the after-war future. The only way to prevent that would be to force the Japanese Army to surrender.

The Japanese Army would have never surrendered – it was Emperor Hirohito’s decision to surrender Japan. His address to the Japanese population declared: “We have to go through the unbearable. Japan has to surrender because the enemy used a new and cruel weapon”.

The Japanese Minister of War, General Anami, wanted to continue fighting, even after the second bomb fell on Nagasaki. He longed for a final disastrous struggle on Japanese soil, if only to pay homage to the Japanese soldiers killed in battle.

President Truman always declared never to regret the use of the second bomb. His reasoning was simple, making the horror of the atom bomb less relevant. “Imagine I had not given the order for the second bomb. More than ten thousand American soldiers would have died. How could I later justify I had the weapon to end the war early in my hands, and I decided not to use it”.

Was president Truman’s reasoning correct? Was the second bomb less relevant? Maybe not so simple after-all. I suppose that answer changes depending on who provides the answer.



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