On hearing of this terrible new weapon emperor

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On hearing of this terrible new weapon, Emperor Hirohito said, "We must put an end to the war as speedily as possible so that this tragedy will not be repeated." Suzuki said, plainly, that Japan's "war aim had been lost by the enemy's use of the new-type bomb." Finally, the central role of the bomb was made graphically clear in the Imperial Rescript of August 14, in which the emperor explained to his people the reasons for the surrender. At its heart was the following statement: The enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is indeed incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives. Should we continue to fight, it would not only result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but it would also lead to the total extinction of human civilization. Such being the case, how are We to save the millions of Our subjects...? This is the reason why We have ordered the acceptance of the provisions of the joint Declaration of the Powers. There can be, in short, no doubt that the actual use of atomic weapons was critical in bringing a swift end to the war, and that mere warnings would not have sufficed.
Finally, whether or not they condemn American policy on instrumental grounds, some critics assail it on purely humanitarian ones. In particular they have asked whether it was necessary to drop the bomb on a city. Should it not have been used for the first time on a desert island, or some uninhabited place, as a demonstration? This suggestion was put forward even before the bomb was dropped, but it failed to win support. A demonstration outside japan, it was felt, would not be effective in persuading the Japanese themselves; and if it were announced for some location within Japan, the Japanese might place Allied prisoners on the site, and make extraordinary efforts to shoot down the carrying plane. Also, in August 1945 the Americans had but two bombs, and using one for a demonstration would leave only the other. There was the danger that one or both of the devices might fizzle, or that, even if the first one worked, those Japanese who wished to continue the war might deny, as in the event some did, that the blast came from a new weapon, or might argue, as others did, that the Americans had no more in their arsenal. J. Robert Oppenheimer, who, as director of the research project at Los Alamos, was on the committee that selected the target cities, averred that to his mind no mere display would be sufficiently impressive to shock the Japanese into surrender. Even the Franck Report, signed by scientists urging a demonstration, doubted that this would break the will or ability of Japan to resist, and reluctantly approved use against Japan if all else failed. Leo Szilard, the scientist most vigorous in his opposition to the early use of the bomb, also conceded that "the war has to be brought to a successful conclusion and attacks by atomic bombs may very well be an effective method of warfare." It is

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