(All contents are extracted from Curriculum Planning & Development Division Ministry of Education, Singapore; Singapore, Colony to Nation; Federal Publications; 1999.)
Dropping of the atomic bombs
The atomic bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities in 1945.
Little Boy and Fat Man
Harry Truman, the American President, had warned the japanese not to continue with the war and to surrender. But the Japanese refused. President Truman then decided to drop the atomic bombs on Japan.
At 8.15 am on 6 august 1945, an American bomber B-29 nicknamed Enola Gay dropped a 20-kilotonne nicknamed atomic bomb called "Little Boy" over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Less than a minute later, the explosion sent a flash of blinding white light across the Hiroshima sky. It flattened most of the seaport, killing at least 80,000 civilians and injuring more than 100, 000.
The tragedy in Japan continued when another atomic bomb "Fat Man" was dropped over Nagasaki on 9 August. This took about 40, 000 lives and finally brought the Japanese to the surrender table, resulting in a quick end to the war in the Pacific region.
What is your Stand?
Do you agree with President Truman's decision to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Below are two top secret documents that show different views and recommendations that were put forward to President Truman regarding he dropping of atomic bombs on Japan.
TOP SECRET DOCUMENTS
1: The following recommendations were taken from a report submitted to
President Truman in 1945.
Japan has been heavily bombed. Air raids are being made by our bombers all the time. Nine-tenths of the Japanese navy has been sunk. It is now certain that Japan will be defeated but her army is fanatically loyal to Japan and the Emperor. They will fight to the last man. General Arnold thinks that the bombing and the destroying of the Japanese navy will defeat Japan. However, most of your generals believe that we will have to invade Japan.
We must warn you, Mr President, that we expect enormous casualties. The Japanese will know when and where our ships are coming because we have to come such a long way across the sea. These are roughly the numbers likely to die: 1, 000, 00 American soldiers; 250, 000 British, Australian, new Zealand and Canadian soldiers and 1, 000, 000 ordinary Japanese people who will be killed in bombing raids.
We therefore recommend that you use the new atomic bombs. This will force Japan to surrender. the thousands killed by the atomic bombs would be few compared with the few compared with the millions who will die otherwise. To use these bombs would shorten the war and save lives.
2: The following recommendations were submitted by the makers of the bomb
to President Truman in 1945.
We have made an atomic bomb which is very successful. We now have two of them. One is called Little boy. It is 10 feet (3 meters) long. The other is called Fat Man It is 10 feet 8 inches (3 1/4 meters) long.
Each of these bombs will do more damage than hundreds of ordinary bombs. We remind you of the report made to the late President Roosevelt in June 1940. It spoke of the danger of radiation. This will kill men, women and children and several miles around the explosion. They will go on dying after the bomb has fallen. This is because radioactive material will gradually fall to the ground. this will be a completely new horror in war.
We began making this bomb because we feared Hitler. Now Hitler is defeated. You want t use this terrible bomb against Japan. We believe this is wrong. America should not be the first to use this atomic bomb. The saving of American lives by dropping the bomb would not make up for the horror and disgust against America for using it.
We recommend that one atomic bomb be dropped on an island where no one lives. This would give Japan a chance to see the power of the bomb and surrender before it kill thousands.
(Adapted from War in the Far East by Fiona Reynoldson)
Were the use of the atomic bombs necessary on Japan in WW2?
Guide to answering debate topic
Links to articles that discussed the necessity of using A-Bombs
|Link to Article: By Doug Long : "Was It Necessary?"|
|Link to The Atomic Bomb Decision : Leo Szilard's Hompepage: an expanding collection of documents on the decision to use the Atomic Bomb|
|Link to Article: By William Blum: "Hiroshima: Needless Slaughter, Useful Terror"|
Link to Article: By Kiyoko Tanimoto : "I COULD NOT FORGIVE"
|Link to Nagasaki Nightmare||Link to Photos of Damages by A-Bomb|