America in World War II

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Essential Question - Should America have dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ?

German bombers during the Battle of Britain

>== Summary of Research ==

The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was what the U.S. thought would put an end to the second world war. The United States had joined forces with Britain and China and became known as the Allies. The Allies had given Japan plenty of warnings for them to surrender, but the Japanese refused to listen to these warnings that were given to them, especially the one where the Allies had told the Japanese that if they didn't surrender they would face complete and utter destruction. The Potsdam Declaration was created as an agreement for the surrender of Japan and when the Japan refused the Allies gave them one last warning before the two atomic bombs also known as "Little Boy" and "Fat Man" were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 & 9,1945. After the bombs were dropped that was when the Japanese realized that the Allies were serious about them surrendering and so on August 10, 1945 Washington had received news that the Japanese were ready to surrender but on their own terms and conditions. The Allies realized that the Japanese had they're own conditions for surrendering but the Allies had agreed because they finally got the Japanese to surrender to them.

The Bombing of the Two cities

The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is the only recorded use of nuclear weapons during any kind of warfare. The bomb killed a total of 140,000 people in the city of Hiroshima and around 80,000 in Nagasaki. The rest of those that had died was due to the fact that they had been exposed to radiation and some had developed some kinds of illnesses, the majority that died were the civilians. Many want to know what was the cause of the U.S bombing Japan. The real reason was because Japan was demanding the surrender of the Allies. The United States joined forces with the British and were going to invade Japan so when Guam was taken they had a base where the could stage their invasion. The problem with invading the Japanese mainland was that it would take about 1 to 2 million Americans willing to do this and put their lives on the line. In order to solve this problem America came up with the ideas for dropping an atomic bomb, this would save plenty of lives and it would also speed up the end of the war. America had given Japan an ultimatum: they either surrender or suffer dire consequences. The Japanese was very stubborn and never heeded the warning that were given to them. The order of the nuclear attacks against the Japanese empire was given by President Harry S. Truman on the 6th and 9th of August. The fist atomic bomb known as "Little Boy" was dropped on Hiroshima on Monday, August 6, 1945 and that following Thursday August 9, 1945 the second atomic bomb known as "Fat Man" was dropped over Nagasaki. These two atomic bomb are the only ones recorded in the history of warfare. After these bombs were dropped about 140,000 people were killed in Hiroshima and about 80,000 people died in Nagasaki. The rest that had survived were either died later from severe injuries, or illnesses that were attributed from the high exposure to the radiation. On August 15,1945 approximately 6 days after the atomic bomb over Nagasaki, Japan had surrendered the "Allied Powers"

Why was Hiroshima and Nagasaki chosen?

The United States had teamed up with the U.K. and Canada in order to create the first atomic bomb which then it was known as the "Manhattan Project". The bomb known as "Little Boy" was made up of Uranium-235 which is a rare isotope of Uranium. The atomic bomb "Fat Man" was created by a synthetic material known as Plutonium-239. The target committee had recommended the cities Kyoto,
The mushroom cloud that formed of Nagasaki rises eleven miles in the air from the hypocenter
Hiroshima, Yokohama as prospective city on which to drop the bomb.
The mushroom cloud that rises over Hiroshima after the dropping of little boy
Hiroshima was chosen because it was seen as an important army depot and it was in the middle of an urban industrial area and it was a specific size to point that when the bomb was dropped a large portion of the city would have extensive damage done to it. Nagasaki and Kokura were alternative targets for the bombs.


Hiroshima was a city that was created in 1589 by Mori Terumoto after he left Aki Province. After the Battle of Sekighara Tokugawa leyasu, the winner had taken everything including Hiroshima. While under the power of Asano the city of Hiroshima had prospered and expanded without any kind of disturbances or conflicts with the military. Hiroshima had become the capital of the Hiroshima Domain and when the Han was destroyed 1871 Hiroshima became the capital of Hiroshima prefecture and went from a rural city to an urban city. The population of Hiroshima had reached a peak in it's population with a total of 381,000 but became to decrease due to an evacuation that was ordered by the Japanese Government. By the time that the bomb had actually been drop there were about 255,000 people. The Enola Gay, named after Colonel Tibbet's mother was launched from the North field airbase in to the West Pacific which was estimated to be a six hour flight once they reached Iwo Jima stayed at about 8,000 feet about ground and headed for Japan. When they reached their target, Naval Captain William Parsons had armed the bomb which had been un armed before take off to prevent it from exploding. It was about 8:15 when "Little Boy" weighing about 130 lbs. fell from the air craft. It took the bomb about 57 seconds for the bomb to fall into it destination. About 15 minutes before this the Japanese had detected some American aircrafts that were headed for the southern part of Japan an alert was put out but was soon taken away when they had realized that it was about three planes and couldn't cause that much damage. So they left the planes alone. When the Hiroshima broadcasting station had gone off air the tried to connect through a phone line but that was unsuccessful. When they finally realized what had happened all of the reports were given to the Japanese General Staff headquarters. There were plenty attempts to get in contact with the Army Control Station in Hiroshima and when that attempt didn't work the Japanese had one of their officers t fly to Hiroshima in order to figure out had happened. When the officer was about 100 miles from Hiroshima the officer had witnessed a large cloud that laid right about above the city from the atomic bomb. Him and his pilot had surveyed the area in disbelief as they watched what was left of the burn.


Many don't know that the plans for atomic bomb number two didn't run as smoothly as the "Little Boy" had. The bomb had originally been scheduled to be dropped on the 11 of August but was moved up to the 9th, this was because a typhoon was Iwo Jima which was the "rendezvous" point in the mission. Captain Sweeney and his crew members were give the orders to drop the bomb when they could see. As they neared Nagasaki the saw that a thick haze and smoke were observing the city and as the went back and forth the haze ha prevented them
The remains of a Catholic church in Nagasaki after the touchdown of "Fat Man"
from seeing the anti-aircraft fire that was zeroing in on them and so were the Japanese fighter planes. Nagasaki's picturesque Bay was the originally the primary target but because of the mountainous terrain where the city was built it had become a much more difficult target than Hiroshima was. When the "Fat Man" was dropped it exploded about 1,840 feet above the city which was in fact about 500 feet away from the Armament Works company that had and estimated about of 22,000 tons of TNT. Nagasaki had become one of the largest sea ports in S. Japan and was vital to the war. This was because Nagasaki had a wide range of industrial activities going on some of which included the production of ships, the military equipment and other things of the sort. The structure of Nagasaki was very different from the structures in Hiroshima. the buildings in Nagasaki were made out of wood or had wooden frames, this included wooden walls and the roof were made out of tile and no plaster. So when the bomb had struck the city of Nagasaki it had caused a lot less damage to the city than when "Little Boy" was dropped on to Hiroshima.

Japan's Surrender to the Allies

Bringing Japan to a surrender was a very big at the time and this was because president Franklin D. Roosevelt on April 12, 1945 and although they already knew that their atomic bomb along with other firebombs were making Japan's cities uninhabitable the Japanese still wouldn't give in and surrender. So on May 25, 1945 Washington had sent out an order for the troops to attack Kyushu, which was found on the Southern side of Japan. In order for this to succeed the U.S had expected that around 268,000 men would be killed or injured. But if America had aimed for seizing all of Japan they would've needed about 1 million men to go up against the 3 million that Japan had. On July 26 the
The mock form the atomic bomb called Fat Man
Allied leaders had come together and set forth the conditions of which Japan was to surrender in a document known as the Potsdam Declaration. This document had contained a promise from the Allies stating that they would establish democratic political order, allow the rebuilding of the Japanese Industry and end the military occupation when Japan had acquired a peacefully inclined and responsible government, But in order for Allies to stay true to these promises the Japanese had to end their militarism, the punishment of war criminals an occupation of their land, evacuate all territories except the home islands and they had to complete their disarmament. The U.S., Britain, and China had told Japan to surrender or they would have to face complete and utter destruction. Japan took their chances and rejected the offer that was given to them. After the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 & 9 and caused massive damage to the two cities and killed hundreds of thousands and injured thousands more, Japan was being to realize just how serious the Allies were and so on August 10, 1945 (a day after the bombs were dropped) Washington had received news that Japan was ready to surrender but under one condition. The Japanese would surrender if the Potsdam Declaration didn't comprise any demands which prejudices the prerogatives of his majesty as sovereign ruler. Even though the agreement contained a condition the Allies saw no reason to argue with the Japanese and their conditions and so after midnight on August 12, Tokyo had revived the news that the Allies had agreed to the terms of their surrender. On August 15,1945 the Japanese surrender became official. There are many critics that argued that diplomatic means should've been used instead but if diplomacy had failed that the continuing of bombarding and blockade of Japan would've forced a surrender.


The bombing if the two cities cam about when the Japan would surrender to the Aliies or agree to the Potsdam Declaration. This declaration was a document that stated the terms and agreement of which Japan was to surrender. When the Japanese had refused this document the Allies gave them one last warning to surrender before they would face mass destruction. August 6 and 9, 1945 was the day that the "mass destruction" had occurred and Japan had never seen it coming. After the bombing August 10, 1945 the japanese had agreed to surrender. August 15, 1945 was the day the surrender was made offical.


When it comes to saying wether or not the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was necessary its a very controversial topic. There are many that believe that the government should've taken the diplomatic way, and then there are those that thought that if diplomacy had failed all of the bombarding and blockade would've forced a surrender from Japan. My Research has shown me that there was a reson for the bombing of these to cities and that was because the US figured that it would put and end to the World War. Although Japan had been warned many times prior to this event they still didn't want to listen and surrender to the Allies and so Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed this howed the Japanese just how serious they were. When the Japanese finally realize this as well that awaited day had come, the Japanese had finally surrendered to the Allies but with their own conditions. On August 12, 1945 the Allies agreed and on August 15, 1945 the Japanese surrender to the Allies were made offical.


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