Felicia Wang Writing 1 Dr. Smith 12 April 2015 Introduction The Atomic Bomb: A Decade of Controversy The first atomic bomb dropped on the city of Hiroshima during World War II killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese civilians, left toxic radiation contamination, and spread a sense of hopelessness in all of Japan. Overseas, the scientists of the Manhattan Project felt guilty over the slaughter of so many human lives, and after the war had ended, the bomb encouraged a long-lasting nuclear arms race. The bomb caused obvious, immediate effects, as well as delayed but detrimental consequences. When discussing the dropping of the atomic bombs, most see only negative results, citing extermination of human lives and persisting health risks. The advantage of dropping the bombs in order to ensure the Allies’ victory against Japan is often dismissed as an immoral reason to annihilate so many civilians. However, the atomic bombs also had indirect, less obvious outcomes that benefitted the human race in the short and long term. The Japanese Peace Party stated that the bombings saved thousands of lives by preventing the Japanese military from fighting to the death even with an inevitable defeat. In addition, the Manhattan Project led to advancements in nuclear technology, paving the way for the establishment of the United States’ Department of Energy. Although the first atomic caused destructive consequences not only in the short term but also the long term,
the bomb also had positive effects in Japan and overseas, where the positive effects outweighed the negatives. In Japan, people dismiss the terms of “defeat” or “surrender”. The Japanese believe in total sacrifice, where they fight until they are killed or commit suicide. They avoid the shame as a prisoner, and would rather die and leave no ignomious crime behind you. One For example, Japanese kamikaze pilots pack their planes with high explosives and drive them into an enemy warship. Japanese fighters put their country and their honor above everything, including their own lives. On December 1, 1946, Karl Compton was part of a group that interrogated an intelligent and well-informed Japanese Army officer from Yokohama. According to the Japanese officer, if the atomic bomb had not been dropped, “[the Japanese] would have kept on fighting until all Japanese were killed, but we would not have been defeated”. This way, the army would not have been disgraced by surrender. Without the use of the atomic bomb, the war would have continued for many months. Although the atomic bomb caused over 80,000 fatal casualties at Hiroshima and
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- Fall '09