Decision to drop the bomb.American troops in the Pacific faced a difficult fight as the war moved closer to the Japanese islands. The battle of Iwo Jima (February–March 1945) cost U.S. Marines more 20,000 casualties. During the three-month battle for Okinawa (April–June 1945), only 350 miles from Japan, 12,000 Americans were killed and 36 wounded. Attacks by Japanese suicide planes, the kamikaze (or “divine wind”) caused the heaviest damage ever to the U.S. Navy. The invasion of Japan itself, which was being planned for late 1945, would mean even greater losses, perhaps as many as a million men, according to some estimates. These circumstances were the context in which the decision to use the atomic bomb was made. The result of a scientific, technical, and industrial program known as the Manhattan Project, the first atomic bomb was successfully tested in Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 16, 1945. President
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