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The Decision to Use the Atom Bomb

Support of the Decision to use Atomic Weaponry to End

On August 6 and 9 of 1945, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. Decades later, the decision to use atomic weaponry to end the war is still questioned. This paper however, is intended to support the decision to the United States to use the atomic bomb.

It is important to note as a basis for this argument, that it is believed that on August 6, when he made the decision that would take the lives of tens of thousands of people, Truman did not know that Hiroshima was actually a civilian city. In fact, in an August 9 speech, he stated:

The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians. But that attack is only a warning of things to come. If Japan does not surrender, bombs will have to be dropped on her war industries and, unfortunately, thousands of civilian lives will be lost. I urge Japanese civilians to leave industrial cities immediately, and save themselves from destruction (Public Papers, 212).

By the time he made this speech to the American public, the second atomic bomb was already in the process of being dropped on another city├╣Nagasaki, in a sincere effort to end the war and bring peace to the world once again.

It is certainly not likely that he is lying about his own knowledge to the American public here. As can be seen in his diary, he is truly of the belief that Hiroshima is in fact a military target:

This weapon is to be used against Japan between now and August 10th. I have told the Sec. of War, Mr. Stimson, to use it so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women and children. Even if the Japs are savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic, we as the leader of the world for the common welfare cannot drop that terrible


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The Decision to Use the Atom Bomb. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 01:38, March 22, 2019, from