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‘Mater Card’ by American Policymakers Essay

To what extent was the atomic bomb used as a diplomatic ‘mater card’ by American policymakers at the end of the Second World War? In 1945, the unconditional surrender of German symbolized the victory of the war against Fascism in Europe. However, the situation in Far East was still extremely intention. In the 7th July of the same year, the leaders of American, Great Britain and Soviet Union —- Truman, Churchill and Stalin held the third conference during the wartime in Potsdam. During the conference, the Potsdam Declaration was proposed in order to urge Japan to accept the requirement of unconditional surrender. Nevertheless, the leader of Japan ignored the declaration and refused to surrender. As a result, the America dropped two atomic bombs to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 6th and 9th in August 1945.

The explosion of these two atomic bombs has brought enormous calamity to Japan. The bomb killed 140,000 inhabitants out of the total of 350,000 in Hiroshima, as well as 70,000 out of 270,000 people in Nagasaki. These huge numbers of death have largely led to the serious concern in the Japan to consider the surrender. In the 10th august, the Japan hand in the document of surrender. After 5 days, in 15th, the American accept the unconditional surrender proposed by Japan.

If we looking back to the decision of dropping the atomic bomb, it is certainly an effective way in which it will promote the surrender of Japan in earlier time. However, it is not the only purpose of dropping the atomic bomb, in fact, as the lot of diplomatists have indicated, it is also a diplomatic strategy in dealing with the relationship with the Soviet Union. By using the atomic bomb, American will deter the Soviet Union and ensure American stand in a superior stage in deciding the world pattern in post-war period. To large extent, the atomic bomb is a ‘master card’ to contain Soviet Union rather than a tool to end the Second World War.

It was certain that the Americans were willing to end the war as soon as possible by using atomic bombs. Both of America and Japan had paid high expense in the Pacific battlefield. Undoubtedly, to end the war would save a vast number of lives. Herbert Feis supplied evidence that one of the cogent reasons to use the atomic bomb was for military force, to push the war to end as soon as possible. It was until 15th August 1945, several days after the atomic booming event taken place, the empire of Japan declared surrender.

It was clear that the atomic bomb made influence on Japan’s surrender progress. However, as a matter of fact, the military power of Japan was disintegrated rapidly in 1945, meanwhile, allied nations had kept applying pressure to Japan. The defeat of Japan was for certain even without the bomb threatening. Thus, in other words, to large extent, the atomic bomb was not an instrument to end the Second World War.

As the war against Fascism close to end in Europe, the Allies had concentrated their forces on Japan. Especially, in December1941, the attack on Pearl Harbor had significant blow on American people. In the speech after the big event, President Roosevelt asserted that ‘I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.’ Along with American’s entering the war, the trajectory of Japan began to decline. In the Midway Battle in 1942, it had cost Japan heavily by losing a mass of air and navy power. In addition, since 1944, the American navy had tightened the stranglehold towards Japan’s ships. In the late summer of the same year, the fail of Marianas Islands, including Saipan had pushed Japan to a severer condition.

For the Marianas had been an important district as a defending perimeter, Japan was under the risk of within the range of B-29 bombings. The situation was moved rapidly, thus, the defense perimeter was broken and American forces had destroyed the navy and air force. By 1945, Japan was not able to declare large scaled air and sea battles. George, the commander of the Air Forces stated that Japan could do nothing without the support of sea and air power. Indeed, with America’s enormous industrial capacity, Japan was no longer a menace to America. This was why Henry, who was commanding Army Air forces said that the position of Japan was hopeless before the bomb fell for they had lose their air control. However, the worse was that a naval blockade strangled the key approach for Japan to import oil and other raw material. Japan could hardly to produce war materials, even the food. Without these essential supplements, Japan was indeed collapsed.

Truman had written in his diary that ‘I have to decide Japanese strategy, shall we invade Japan proper or shall we bomb and blockade.’ In the eyes of American, the Japanese had to be obedient to American’s order. On the other hand, the invasion of Soviet Union had make a key influence on Japan’s capitulate. With the victory of Stalingrad, the attitude of Soviet Union began to transfer. Even in the Yalta conference, Stalin promised that Soviet Union would attack Japan after the defeat of German. Ignoring the neutrality pact, the Operation August Storm was launched in the summer of 1945. The Soviet Union started an attack on Japanese position in the area of Korea and Manchuria.

During the two weeks’ wartime, Japan has lost 84,000 lives. The Soviet Union’s invasion made it hopeless for Japan to search help from Stalin to end the war peaceful. The Navy Chief Toyoda argued that, ‘I believe that the Russian participation in the war against Japan rather than the atom bombs did more to hasten the surrender.’ With the enormous of lose of military force; there was no ability for Japan to procrastinate surrender. In sum, the shortage of military force and the pressure from all the alliance nations made Japan a country around by various crises. Many experts are convinced that the bombs are almost unnecessary to end the war, for the surrender of Japan would be probably occur in any of events. In other words, the atomic bomb was not a conclusive factor to end the war.

The atomic bomb, which was the most appalling weapon created in the 20 century, had played an important role for certain. Instead of ending the war, many experts had asserted that to large extent, the atomic bomb policy was used to contain the Soviet Union. As a matter of fact, American had paid most attention to concern Soviet Union as a factor in the early progress of the bomb. Some scholars had the argument that there was never any illusion but Russia was the enemy of American. The president Roosevelt had also share the similar argument that the development of atomic strategy was a part of general diplomacy, which link the wartime situation and postwar affairs. Roosevelt also agreed with Churchill the opinion of using atomic bomb as an approach to bargain with the Soviet Union. Nevertheless, the compromising policy of Roosevelt would not promote the atomic diplomacy insufficiently.

In Einstein’s opinion, he argued that if President Roosevelt were still alive, he would forbid the act of atomic bombings.In the April of 1945, after the death of President Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman became a new American leader with swearing an oath. As a result of Roosevelt’s sudden death, Truman was relatively uninformed the policy towards the Soviet Union and atomic bombs. Truman had stated that he would continue the foreign and domestic policy before, however, that he would be a president of his own belief. Without an integrated foreign policy, Truman was heavily influenced by the advisors. The lack of information about Soviet Union made the advisors easy to persuade Truman to adopt their suggestion of confronting the Soviet Union.

It indicated the fundamental transition of diplomacy of America.In the other hand, after his rising to power, the Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson introduced that the existence of ‘ the most urgent matter’ —– the bomb. Thus, Truman was full of confidence to achieve the superpower of American with the monopoly of nuclear power. Under his influence, the diplomacy of American had become offensive. In Truman’s opinion, the Soviet Union’s communist was a factor to prevent American hegemony. To Truman, the initial notion on the new weapon was a tool of diplomatic confrontation with Russia.It was a trend to use the atomic bomb as an instrument to contain the Soviet Union. In July of 1945, the atomic bomb action was put forward to discussion of the role, which the nuclear weapon would play to contain the Soviet Union.

For another aspect, it was a colossal threaten to America that the invention of the Soviet Union army into the Pacific battle field. The atomic bomb was use to end the war earlier in order to avoid Soviet’s entry into the war. In the spring of 1945, the Soviet Union had achieved the victory of the Berlin Battle. The Soviet Union had been a dominant status in the European territory. Stalin also had the careerism to gain and expand the territory in East Asia. To occupy Japan was a positive tactics for Soviet Union to sally the Asian continent.Stalin stated that Russia would share the actual occupation of Japan before the explosion of the bombs. The American government had a concession of Stalin’s willing for the reason of a requirement of assistance from Russia to defeat Japan at the beginning in the Yalta Conference. However, along with the success of the testing of atomic bombs, Japan’s defeat was for certain.

America was no longer with the requirement of Russia’s assistance. Stalin still tried to participate the war with Japan and America. The American government was not satisfied with Stalin’s decision with the hope of keeping Soviet Union out of Asia. If Russia were in the war against Japan, Russia would occupy other areas in East Asia near Japan. In another word, Manchuria, Mongolia, and also Korea would gradually under Russia’s control. Stimson had provide a view of ‘If the Russians seek joint occupation after a creditable participation in the conquest of Japan, I do not see how we could refuse them at least a token occupation’ It has proved that America was under the risk of Soviet Union’ s entry into the war. The President Truman wrote in his book ‘Years of Decisions’ that he would not to allow Russians played any role to control Japan.

Consequently, the Americans had a strong will to end the war as soon as possible to avoid the Soviet Union’s invasion. Byrnes, assistant to Secretary of State, had showed the argument to support ending the war before Russian’s joining in an interview. He asserted that the President Truman had shared the same view with him that it was necessary to get Japan defeated before the Russians came in the war. Similarly, Albert Einstein announced that by any means, to push the war to end should precede the participation of the Soviet Union.These are the evidence of that American were willing to end the war and to stall the Soviet Union’s entry.

On 16th July 1945, in New Mexico, the success of testing the atomic bomb’s explosion had supplied an excellent chance to end the war. The assistant to Secretary of State, Byrnes, had suggested the President Truman that the bomb could be used as a way to reduce Soviet Union’s influence in Asia by ending the war. The atomic bomb, contain tremendous power when it occurs the nuclear fission reactions. The Americans had ability to urge Japan to surrender as soon as possible by holding such a weapon with huge lethality. If Japan was defeat by Americans before the Soviet Union’s assistance, there was no excuse for Soviet Union to invade East Asia area. From this aspect, the atomic bomb was used for contain Soviet Union’s invasion by ending the Pacific war as soon as possible.

In addition, the make use of Atomic bombs was the nuclear threaten to the Soviet Union. To some extent, the atomic bomb would likely to strength the American military force in order to against Soviet Union. After germen’s defeat in 8th may 1945,the entire European continent seemed to be ready up for grab. As a matter of fact, one of the most considerable affaire to the Allied nations was to modify the world pattern. However, the Soviet Union has made a dominant place in Europe with expending large amount of territory in the European continent. The Soviet Union has become the largest army to prevent America to achieve its hegemony monopolized in the world. The success of testing atomic bomb in new Mexico had provide a ‘master card’ for America to against the soviet union for the American has grasped the unique technological weapon with large power.

Nevertheless, the development of atomic bomb was continually a secret before it’s testing. In the Potsdam conference, the president Truman had once tried to reveal that the America had had the nuclear power. In addition, the National Security Advisor, James Byrnes suggest Truman that to make a display of atomic bomb to the Soviet Union might become a tool to menace the Soviet Union, as well as to put the American into a positive situation at the end of the second world war. Similarly the president Truman has argued that in his belief that the atomic bomb would make positive effect on the position to strive for more territory at the end of the war.

From Byrnes and Truman’s argument, it had been proved that the existence of atomic bombs itself was a huge risk to Soviet Union. To make Soviet Union realize that American had controlled the key technology of nuclear power as well as it had been in use, it was necessary to implement the atomic bomb policy with the global attention. Indeed, the atomic bomb increased the American army’s confidence dramatically. On the other hand, to Soviet Union, Stalin would not to compete against America directly as a result of such a weapon with lethality. In other words, the atomic bomb had played an important role to contain the Soviet Union.

To conclude, the atomic bomb was a diplomatic ‘master card’ of containing The Soviet Union’s action instead of ending the war. It was certain that the surrender of Japan occurred several days after the atomic bomb’s explosion. The atomic bomb had made contribution on ending the war to some extent. However, Japan’s defeat was destined if the American policy makers didn’t make any decision of atomic bomb. For one thing, Japan was failed in many battles with a high expense of navy and air force. Even worse, the American army had cut the approach for Japan to import oil and raw materials. For another thing, the Soviet Union’s invasion was also a factor to promote Japan’s surrender.

That is to say Japan’s surrender would occur in any case, the war would certainly had been end without the bomb. Instead of ending the war, the atomic bomb exerted its effectiveness to contain the Soviet Union. In 1945, the President Truman’s rise to power had laid a foundation of the offensive diplomatic policy. To avoid Soviet Union’s expansion of territory, the atomic diplomatic strategy was used for against Stalin’s action. For one thing, the atomic bomb was used to end the war as soon as possible in order to prevent Soviet Union’s entry into Pacific battlefield. For another thing, the atomic bomb itself was deterrence for Soviet Union as the Americans had grasped the nuclear technology. In sum, the atomic bomb meet the requirement of defeating Japan, nevertheless, to be more accurate, the atomic bomb was a key step to deter Soviet Union’s global monopoly.

Reference list
Alperovitz, G., 1995. The decision to use the atomic bomb. London: Frontana Press

Bird, K., Lifschultz, L., 1998 Hiroshima’s shadow. Michigan: Pamphletee”s Press P. 37

Cooper, J. W., 2006. Truman’s motivations: using the bomb in the Second World War [pdf] Available at: <http://www.johnwcooper.com> [Accessed 24 November 2012] Dower, J. W., 1986. The war in western eyes, apes and others. In: War without mercy. New York: Pantheon Books Pp. 77-93

Frank, R. F., 1999 Downfall, the end of the imperial Japanese empire. United States of America: Penguin Books.

Giovannitti, L.,Freed, F., 1965. The decision to drop the bomb. Great Britain: Methuen & Co Ltd.

Freeman, R., 2006. Was the atomic bombing of Japan necessary? [online] Available at: < http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0806-25.htm> [Accessed 23 November 2012]

Hein, L., Selden, M., 1997 Living with the bomb, American and Japanese cultural conflicts in the nuclear age. New York: M.E. Sharpe

Leffler, M. P.,Painter D. S., 1994 the atomic bomb and the origins of the cold war in: Painter the origins of the cold war: an international history New York: Rouledge P. 59. Malloy, S. L., 2008. Atomic tragedy, the decision to use the bomb against Japan. United States of America: Cornell Paperbacks

Milson, W.D., 2011. The most controversial decision. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. P. 15.

Preston, D., 2006 before the fall-out: from Marie Curie to Hiroshima: Corgi P. 493 Selden,M (1989), The atomic bomb voice from Hiroshima and Nagesaki. London: Kyoko, Mark Selden. P. 23.

Smith, J. K., 2010 fire in the sky: the story of the atomic bomb: United States of America: Author house P. 17 Walker, J.S., 1996. The decision to use the bomb: a historiographical update. In: Hogan, M. J., 1996. Hiroshima, in history and memory. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge university press. Pp. 11- 37

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