The Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Why Did the U.S. Decide to Drop the Bomb on Japan?
In May 1943, the U.S. was planning to use the bomb not on Germany but Japan. The following September, the U.S. and British leaders agreed to use the bomb against Japan. After spring 1945, with Japan in an extremely weak position, the United States was considering the following ways of bringing the long war to an end: invade the Japanese mainland in November 1945, ask the Soviet Union to join the war against Japan, assure continuation of the emperor system, or use the atomic bomb. The U.S. believed that if the atomic bomb could end the war, Soviet influence after the war would be restricted and domestically the tremendous cost of development would be justified. (1)
After Germany's surrender, tension mounted between the U.S. and the Soviet Union regarding the disposition of postwar Europe. The U.S. began worrying about the increased influence the Soviets would obtain if they joined the war against Japan in mid-August as planned. The U.S. believed that if the atomic bomb ended the war, the U.S. would establish postwar supremacy over the Soviets. In addition, the atomic bomb had cost 2 billion dollars and mobilized, at its peak, over 120,000 people. Linking this weapon to the end of the war would help justify that expenditure. In addition to the desire to force Japan's surrender, these considerations led the U.S. to proceed with the atomic bombings. (2)
Why did it happen?
The atomic bombings of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan were conducted by the United States during the final stages of World War II in 1945. The two events are the only use of nuclear weapons in war to date. Following a firebombing campaign that destroyed many Japanese cities, the Allies prepared for a costly invasion of Japan. The war in Europe ended when Nazi Germany signed its instrument of surrender on May 8, 1945, but the Pacific War continued. Together with the United Kingdom and...