On August 6th, 1945, an American B-29 bomber named “Enola Gay” dropped the world’s first Atomic bomb on Hiroshima in Japan. The nuclear explosion killed nearly 90 percent of the cities population, killing 75,000 people from the point of impact and thousands more dying from Radiation Poisoning later on. Three days later, on August 9th, a second B-29 bomber named “Bockscar” dropped a second Atomic bomb on the Japanese city, Nagasaki. This bomb killed 40,000 people on impact with over 60,000 more people dying after from Radiation Poisoning.
The Atomic bomb was a new technology to everyone worldwide and its raw destructive power was enough for the Japanese Emperor Hirohito to agree to the Americans unconditional surrender terms. The terms were to release all prisoners of war, end the fighting and to agree with the Potsdam declaration. Perspective 1: Michihiko Hachiya – Japanese Michihiko Hachiya was Medical Practitioner who survived the Hiroshima bombing in 1945 and kept a diary of his experience. Hachiya’s diary covers the period from August 6 1945 to September 30 August.
Hachiya describes the effects of the Atomic bomb blast from its first flash early in the morning as he rested from his night shift at the hospital. The force of the blast stripped all the clothes from his body, but his wife and him survived. They both received serious burns to their bodies from the Nuclear Radiation. Hachiya said when he was in the hospital everything was quiet, he adds to that by saying linguistic silence sometimes is necessary for victims. Mainly because it’s a psychological reaction to an extreme situation with which humans cannot cope.
He explains it, “Kind of like a psychic numbing, in which victims cannot find an adequate emotional response to the apocalyptic imagery they receive. ” Hachiya emphasizes the horrific nature of the event behind the general atmosphere of inarticulacy. Hachiya said himself and many people thought that when the Atomic bomb went off that the apocalypse had started, they genuinely thought it was the end of the world. Hachiya spent many hours after the bomb had went off in the hospital helping the injured and wounded.
Many people didn’t know what had happened, but as information surfaced about a bomb, many people started to realise what had really happened. Hachiya was disgusted at what the Americans had done. He later mentions in his diary that him and the people around him felt like they were rats in a lab experiment, and to make it worse the Americans didn’t even know what the radiation would do. Hachiya was a Medicinae Doctor and had a basic understanding of what radiation was, but not to the level that was delivered by the bomb.
Hachiya was disgusted that the Americans would use such an Avant Garde technology and the fact they didn’t know the capability of its damage, infuriated him further. Hachiya believes that the Americans didn’t need to drop the bomb to stop the war, they just needed to give it time. He believes everything would have sorted itself out, with not many more lives lost. “It is as in a bad dream, I see shadows come, species ghosts walking with outstretched arms, I wonder why, why did they need to do this to my people. ” Hachiya compares the bombing to a bad dream, therefore reinforcing his disliking of what occurred.
Hachiya said in his diary that he had so many questions. He wanted to know why the Americans thought it was justified to do what they did. Why were they willing to kill so many people just to save their own, and Why did they use a Nuclear bomb when they didn’t know what the repercussions would be. When Hachiya found out that the Americans thought that killing thousands of Japanese would save up to a million American soldiers and that was a justifiable reason to drop the bomb, he was absolutely outraged. He couldn’t wrap his head around the fact that the Americans were willing to kill civilians just to save their own. I had this numb feeling, nothing would come out of my mouth, there was complete silence, nothing could describe how I felt. ”
Hachiya has a biased perspective towards the Japanese, as he is Japanese and was in Hiroshima, Japan when the bomb was dropped. Hachiya holds this perspective because he is Japanese and the bomb directly affected his life and the people around him. Hachiya was punished by the bomb and all its after effects because of something that he had no control over. Hachiya did understand what the Japanese were doing in World War 2, but he doesn’t believe the Americans retaliation was justified or necessary.
As Hachiya was a doctor he was concerned for all his patients and all the work he would have to do caused by the aftermath. He was very busy for the following weeks attending to the injured and sick. This is when he gained further knowledge that it was a radiation bomb. As he was the senior doctor at the hospital, he was also in charge of all the other doctors, which was a burden on him. Perspective 2: Henry L. Stimson – American Henry L. Stimson was an American Statesman, Lawyer and a Republican Party Politician.
Stimson served under Democrats Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman. During World War II he took charge of raising and training 13 million soldiers and airmen, supervised the spending of a third of the nation’s GDP on the Army and the Air Forces, helped formulate military strategy, and oversaw the building and use of the atomic bombs. In the early stages of World War 2 Stimson added a note in his diary saying, “Roosevelt brought up the event that we are likely to be attacked perhaps next Monday, for the Japanese are notorious for making an attack without warning, and the question was what we should do.
The question was how we should maneuver them into the position of firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves. ” From this entry Stimson confirms that roosevelt has a feeling that the Japanese were going to attack. In the days leading upto the bombs being dropped it is believed that Truman never signed anything official to allow the bombs to be dropped, they were just dropped with no signed confirmation. In the part of the war Stimson was Truman’s right hand man, his go to guy with hard situations like this.
When talking to Stimson about whether it is ethical to drop the bomb Truman was reportedly very keen to test out his country’s new technology, even without knowing the repercussions. Stimson was also keen to use the bomb, so with having his right hand man on his side Truman was set on using them. Stimson’s quote aimed at Truman; “The President so far has struck me as a man who is trying hard to keep his balance. He certainly has been very receptive to all my efforts in these directions. ”
As Stimson was Secretary of War, he was directed as the leader of the Manhattan Project by Harry Truman. The Manhattan Project was a research and development project that produced the first nuclear weapons during World War II. It was led by the United States with the support of the United Kingdom and Canada. The Americans got their best scientists to try and develop a new destructive technology to give them the upper hand in wars. There scientists succeeded and developed the world’s first Nuclear bombs. They had two varients, a Uranium bomb and a Plutonium.
The Uranium bomb was used on Hiroshima and the Plutonium dropped on Nagasaki. Stimson got a lot of appraisal as the bombs were ready for use in early 1945 and they were needed only a couple months later. Everyone saw Stimson as a hero as he was able to get the bombs developed in time for use. Henry was happy to have been apart of the development of the bombs that urged the Japanese to surrender. Stimson saw the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki as payback for the Japanese attack on Pearl harbour earlier in the war, As said in the Harper’s Magazine article.
But I think the bomb instead constitutes merely a first step in a new control by man over the forces of nature too revolutionary and dangerous to fit into old concepts. ” But it wasn’t only Stimson that saw it as backpack, Harry Truman also viewed it is partial payback for what the Japanese did at Pearl Harbour. Stimson said this is one of the main reasons that the bombs being dropped was justified and worth it. In the Harper’s Magazine, Stimson stated that by using the new Atomic Bombs, would save up to one million lives if used. The Americans estimated that if they used the bombs it would save one million Americans, this is just soldiers.
It would save future soldiers that would be enlisted to fight. Stimson said saving one million lives is worth killing over 100,000 people, especially because they would have been American. And with them saving over one million lives means that it was 100 percent justified to drop the bombs. Stimson was American, so he had a bias towards the Americans in the war. Stimson was Truman’s right hand man and had a direct say in whether the bombs should’ve been dropped or not. He wants to use the bombs to see how effective the new technology was and if they had succeeded in their making of the atomic bomb.
He also estimated that the bomb would save over one million lives in the future if the bomb was dropped, that was enough justification for him to give the go ahead for the bombs to be used. Perspective 3: My Perspective I believe that the Americans choice to drop the atomic bomb was not justified. They said that it would save up to a million lives if dropped, and that was their main motive to use it. But they had no way of proving that it would save upto one million people. I believe that was a copout to use the bomb.
I also honestly believe that Harry Truman was also desperate to test out the Atomic bomb, therefore pushing for the bombs to be tested on Japan. Truman had been pushing his officials to agree with him that dropping the atomic bombs was good, and would help the Americans and their allies win the war. “I realize the tragic significance of the atomic bomb... having found the bomb, we have used it. We have used it against those who attacked us without warning at Pearl Harbor, against those who have starved and beaten and executed American prisoners of war, against those who have abandoned all pretense of obeying international laws of warfare.
We have used it in order to shorten the agony of young Americans. We shall continue to use it until we completely destroy Japan’s power to make war. Only a Japanese surrender will stop us. ” I believe that in this quote, Truman is trying to play the sympathy card, trying to get people to genuinely think that he didn’t want to use the bomb, but in the end of the day the compiled evidence showing that he was wanting to drop the bomb points towards everything saying he did. As mentioned in the quote above, Truman sees the dropping of the two bombs as payback for Pearl Harbour.
So with motives to get payback they used the new atomic technology. He wanted to get revenge for the attack on Pearl harbour by the Japanese earlier in World War 2. He also wants to get revenge for all the American people who starved, got beaten and executed as prisoners of war. From what I can see from this, is that Truman wasn’t worried about making sure he would save future American soldiers lives, but it was an attempt at getting stone cold revenge. But if you think about it an American president should not be seeking revenge.
I find that distasteful. So in the big picture, Truman wants revenge and Stimson wants to save future civilians. But in this case obviously Truman got the final choice as he was the President at the time and Stimson was only the Secretary of War. But if you think about it, that was the perspectives they wanted the public to know about. I think that they were both eager to try out the new atomic bomb. By them using the bomb it also gave them an upperhand in wars as people would find out that they have this new deadly technology and were willing to use it.
It was an intimidation tactic, and they executed it considering the bombs pretty much ended the war. To sum everything up, I believe the it was not reasonable or justified for the Americans to use the new founded Atomic technology on the Japanese. Mainly because they didn’t know enough about it to understand the damage it could and would do. From the evidence I’ve seen, it is pretty obvious that the Americans were keen on testing out the bombs and therefore went through with the act. It was inhumane and not necessary to use such a avant garde technology. I believe the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should never have happened.