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Hiroshima marks the 75th anniversary of the US atomic bombing

Hiroshima marks the 75th anniversary of the US atomic bombing

Hiroshima, Japan, is marking the 75th anniversary of the US atomic bombing on Aug. 6, 1945. The US bomber dropped the uranium bomb above the city, killing around 140,000 people. Early Thursday, Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe and the mayor of Hiroshima joined bomb survivors and descendants in the city’s Peace Park. A moment’s silence was held at 08:15, the exact time the bomb was dropped.

Real Deal O'Neil
Real Deal O'Neil 1 months

America’s secret development of the atomic bomb began in 1939 with then-President Franklin Roosevelt’s support. The project was so secret that FDR did not even inform his fourth-term vice president, Truman, that it existed. In fact, when Truman’s 1943 senatorial investigations into war-production expenditures led him to ask questions about a suspicious plant in Minneapolis, which was secretly connected with the Manhattan Project, Truman received a stern phone call from FDR’s secretary of war, Harry Stimson, warning him not to inquire further. It wasn't until after FDR died on April 12, 1945, that President Harry Truman learned the full details of the Manhattan Project. On April 24, 1945, Secretary of War Henry Stimson and Lieutenant General Leslie Groves, the army general in charge of the project brought Truman a file full of reports and details on the Manhattan Project. They told Truman that although the U.S. was the only country with the resources to develop the bomb–eliminating fears that Germany was close to developing the weapon–the Russians could possibly have atomic weapons within four years. They discussed if, and with which allies, they should share the information and how the new weapon would affect U.S. foreign-policy decisions. Truman authorized the continuation of the project and agreed to form an interim committee that would advise the president on using the weapon. Although the war in Europe ended in May 1945, Stimson advised Truman that the bomb might be useful in intimidating Soviet leader Joseph Stalin into curtailing post-war communist expansion into Eastern Europe. When Truman learned of the success of the Manhattan Project, he knew he was faced with a decision of unprecedented gravity. The capacity to end the war with Japan was in his hands, but it would involve unleashing the most terrible weapon ever known. American soldiers and civilians were weary from four years of war, yet the Japanese military was refusing to give up their fight. American forces occupied Okinawa and Iwo Jima and were intensely fire bombing Japanese cities. But Japan had an army of 2 million strong stationed in the home islands guarding against invasion. For Truman, the choice whether or not to use the atomic bomb was the most difficult decision of his life. First, an Allied demand for an immediate unconditional surrender was made to the leadership in Japan. Although the demand stated that refusal would result in total destruction. The Japanese military command rejected the request for unconditional surrender. On August 6, 1945, a plane called the Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, Japan. Instantly, 70,000 Japanese citizens were vaporized. In the months and years that followed, an additional 100,000 perished from burns and radiation sickness. Two days later, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan. On August 9, a second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, where 80,000 Japanese people perished. On August 14, 1945, the Japanese surrendered. Truman stated that his decision to drop the bomb was purely military. A Normandy-type amphibious landing would have cost an estimated million casualties. Truman believed that the bombs saved Japanese lives as well. Prolonging the war was not an option for the President. Over 3,500 Japanese kamikaze raids had already wrought great destruction and loss of American lives. Truman rejected a demonstration of the atomic bomb to the Japanese leadership. He knew there was no guarantee the Japanese would surrender if the test succeeded, and he felt that a failed demonstration would be worse than none at all. Even the scientific community of that day failed to foresee the awful effects of radiation sickness. Truman saw little difference between atomic bombing Hiroshima and firebombing Dresden or Tokyo. Although other nations have developed atomic weapons and nuclear technology since 1945, Truman remains the only world leader to have ever used an atomic bomb against a then-enemy to force an unconditional surrender from that enemy and end World War II.

porcus 1 months

I do not think there is much justification for the US to have used the atomic bomb against the Japanese. Most of the arguments justifying it are really only arguments supporting some form of bombing against the Japanese, not the use of atomic weapons specifically. I think the US used the Japanese as a test to see what would happen if they used the shiny new toy they had made. It should not have been done; some other approach should have been used instead. We need to stop trying to moralize the bombing.

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