Andrew Masters Proposal

[youtube][/youtube]On May 2, 1945, Germany surrendered to the Allied forces after a long, bloody conflict and the death of Hitler. This ended the war in Europe. However, there was still one conflict that was left to be resolved: the war in the Pacific against Japan. Initially, the plan was to issue warnings on the island before bombing and storming it in spring 1946. This all changed with the completion and successful test of the most destructive weapon ever created, a weapon that would change the world. On August 6, and August 9, 1945 The United States dropped two atomic bombs, Little Boy and Fat Man, on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, two cities on two of the islands of Japan. These weapons wrought unprecedented death and destruction on the cities and brought upon the immediate unconditional surrender of Japan. However, the bombs did much more than that. These weapons were a notice to the world, especially the Soviet Union, of the strength of the United States. These weapons also signaled the coming of a new age and the dawn of the Cold War.

The weapons caused a great deal of misery and destruction. They also were not part of the original plan to take Japan. There is an abundance or research on the previous plan to defeat Japan as well as the additional options available to the Allied Forces to take the Japanese islands. Another element for research is just how costly would the other options available to the Allies have been? This question helps weigh the possible outcome against the outcome of dropping the bomb as seen through a retrospective scope. During the war the Americans had a certain amount of bias and hatred towards the Japanese after Pearl Harbor and a long, gruesome war in the Pacific. These negative feelings most likely had at least a minor influence on President Truman and his war council. The items listed above are an outline to build up an argument that will most likely support the following thesis: President Truman was justified in dropping the atomic bombs on Japan due to the overly costly process of taking the island by other means, and it also ensured a much swifter end to World War II.

There is an abundance of sources available for researching this topic, for it is something that has been highly contested for over 50 years. So far the most valuable primary source found is an article written by former Secretary of War Henry Lewis Stimson called “The Decision to Use the Bomb.” This source clearly outlines the information given to Presidents Roosevelt and Truman about creating the bomb, other strategies in motion to take Japan, and the sudden shift in policy to unleashing these weapons. Stimson does a good job keeping his personal biases out of the article, or at least disguising them. There are also personal accounts of U.S. soldiers in the Pacific who were being prepared to directly attack Japan and the elation is clear in their writing when they hear that other alternatives were successfully being employed. The other useful primary sources found at this point are a documentary history of Truman’s presidency that specifically focuses on his decision to use the bomb and a critique on the direct rhetoric used in the decision drop the bomb. There is also an abundance of secondary sources, most of which have primary sources within them, to call upon for additional information, theses, and analysis.

There are many perspectives on this subject. This is something that has been highly debated for decades. Using sources from the U.S. as well as Japan, and some of the Allied forces, I hope to gain a full scope of the arguments for and against dropping the bomb before deciding whether to defend or oppose my thesis. It is also noted that there were peace talks between Japan and the U.S. before the decision was even made. This opens up a whole new area of inspection and would damage many of the arguments for dropping the Bombs. However through all this the thesis will most likely be supported, showing that President Truman was justified in dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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