Hiroshema Essay

War is an ever changing, advancing type
of combat. From swords to guns, the weapons used are always developing
and becoming much more powerful. Nuclear bombs are one of the most
forceful weapons that exist today. On August 6, 1945, during World
War II, the United States dropped an Atomic bomb on Hiroshima, a Japanese
city and Military center. About 130,000 people were reported dead
injured, or missing. Another 177,000 were left homeless. It
was the first Atomic bomb ever used against an enemy. The effects
of this explosion were so devastating and long lasting that they are still
felt today. Was the United States justified in the dropping
of the atomic bomb?
On December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor was deliberately
attacked by the Japanese. Reports show that 2,400 people were killed and
1,300 were wounded. The reason Japan bombed, Pearl Harbor was because that
was where all of the U.S. Navy ships were kept. They were hoping to take
out the Navy and were almost successful. They expected the aircraft carriers
to be in the harbor, but luckily were not. Although the attack may have
been a success to the Japanese, it became a huge mistake in the end. One
reason it was a mistake was it caused the U.S. to enter the war. The United
States was the ultimate cause to Japan losing the war. Secondly it made
the Americans angry and determined to destroy the Japanese. Recruiting
offices were flooded with young patriots who wanted to help their country
out. This attack was just an example of what could have happened if the
war had continued. If the war had continued another attack on U.S. soil
could have taken place. This could have turned the 6,000 dead American
civilians into 9,000 dead civilians. That is one of the main reasons the
war needed to be stopped immediately.

The United States made the thought of the
Atomic bomb and the building of it possible. The power behind such
a weapon was just what the United States needed. Many scientists
manufactured and constructed the Atomic bomb, including Enrico Fermi, J.

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Robert Oppenheimer, and Harold Urey. The group was headed by a United
States Army engineer, Major General Leslie Groves.

The United States came up with a list of
cities that could be possible targets for the detonation of the bomb.

The list included Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigata, and Nagasaki. They
later decided that Hiroshima would be the first target. Then in the
early hours of August 6, 1945, the B-29 bomber Enola Gay, along with three
other B-29’s, headed out from Tinian Airbase to Hiroshima. They equipped
the Enola Gay with the A-bomb, a single 4-ton nuclear device with 12 pounds
of uranium. At 8:15 a.m. (Japanese standard time) the Enola Gay let
the Atomic bomb fall to the ground. The bomb exploded around 2000
feet above the ground. The explosion caused all wooden buildings
to collapse within a radius of 1.2 miles. The blast itself demolished
three fifths of the city within seconds. The United States scientists
estimated that only 20,000 Japanese would die, instead 75,000 people perished

Three days after the bombing of Hiroshima
it was decided that another Japanese town must be hit with am A-bomb.

Three targets remained, the city of Kokura was the chosen target.

Because visibility was so poor, due to smoke and pollution they changed
the target to the city of Nagasaki. The smoke and pollution were
just as bad over Kokura, but through a gap in the smog the bombardier spotted
the target. They then released the 4.5 ton bomb, at 11:02 a.m., killing
30,000 people instantly. A day after the Nagasaki bombing the Japanese
government offered to surrender. This ended the first ever nuclear

Yet, while the first atomic bomb was a
success, it raised many ethical and controversial issues. Most of
the people in the United States of America supported the use of the atomic
bomb, even President Truman commented on what a great invention it
was. Many people, including the scientists that developed the
bomb, opposed the bombings and felt that killing that many innocent people
just to get an influence in the war was immoral. One famous figure,
Albert Einstein was quoted saying, “I made one great mistake in my life,
when I signed the letter to President Roosevelt recommending that the atomic
bombs be made.”
The atomic bomb was considered a “quick”
and even economical way to win the war; however, it was a cruel and unusual
form of punishment for the Japanese citizens. The weapon that we refer
to as “quick” was just the opposite. On one hand, it meant a quick end
to the war for the United States, and on the other hand, a slow and
painful death to many innocent Japanese. The effects of radiation
poisoning are horrific, ranging from purple spots on the skin, hair loss,
nausea, vomiting, bleeding from the mouth, gums, and throat, weakened immune
systems, to massive internal hemorrhaging, not to mention the disfiguring
radiation burns. The effects of the radiation poisoning continued to show
up until about a month after the bombing. In fact the bomb also killed
or permanently damaged fetuses in the womb. Death and destruction come
hand in hand with war; however, a quick death is always more humane.


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