World War Two was a period of destruction worldwide. But it was also a time of experiments and development. There were new needs to be filled as the evolution of weaponry progressed. Perhaps the deadliest of all the weapons are the atomic and nuclear bombs, used only twice in war, both of which being against Japan by the United States. The first atomic bomb was created by a nuclear physicist named J. Robert Oppenheimer in Berlin, Germany when nuclear fission was discovered.

Atomic bombs are weapons of mass destruction that explode from a process of fission reactions. Thermonuclear weapons, or hydrogen bombs, require combinations of nuclear fission and fusion. Nuclear fusion is another type of reaction in which two lighter atoms combine to release energy. Scientists at Los Alamos, New Mexico, developed two types of atomic bombs by 1945. “The Little Boy”was a uranium-based design and “The Fat Man” was a plutonium-based design.

The Japanese force and the United States troops were still fighting in the Pacific so in late July, President Truman called for Japan’s surrender with the Potsdam Declaration.

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The declaration promised “prompt and utter destruction” if Japan did not agree to submit. Well, it’s clear they did not surrender. On August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb was dropped from a B-29 bomber plane on Hiroshima, Japan. This was “the Little Boy” and it exploded with about 15 kilotons of force, leveling five square miles of the city and killing 80,000 people instantly. The most deaths happened within less than one second of the detonation.

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Tens of thousands more died from radiation exposure. The bomb dropped on Nagasaki came after Hiroshima and resulted in the surrendering of Japan to the United States. This bomb brought on the force of 21,000 tons of TNT. The immediate impact would have been much larger had the city not been surrounded by hills, however the damage was still devastating, resulting somewhere between 60,000 and 80,000 casualties. The blast completely obliterated bodies and disintegrating everything that could point to an approximate population record. The devastation between both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were finally enough to convince Japan to surrender, putting an end to the plans of the US to drop a third only days after the first two.

President Truman wanted to end the war with Japan as quickly and efficiently as possible. It was clear to all sides that Japan would not win the war but they still would not surrender. Japan was already internally weak, the government was divided. However, despite the domestic turmoil, Japan wouldn’t surrender yet, despite the inevitable loss of thousands of Japanese lives. Meanwhile, Washington was trying to make the final decision on how to force a Japanese surrender. They could either strongly demand surrender, remain hands off and wait for the Soviet Union to attack Manchuria that Japan was currently occupying, continue the naval blockade on Japan, or just mass-bomb the cities with conventional bombs to kill citizens then punish the survivors.

All of these options were put aside because they would take too long to complete, and termination of the war was desired sooner rather than later, “Those methods were burdened by the potential drawbacks of prolonging the war, undermining domestic support for a complete victory, encouraging the Japanese militants, or expanding Soviet power in East Asia.”. A traditional invasion was next in preference, but the cost would have been thousands of American lives and that wasn’t a risk the US was willing to take. However, the atomic bomb was an option only a few high ranked officials were aware of. The use of the bombs did result in Japanese surrender, however the impacts of the bombs were greater than anyone could have imagined.

Updated: Aug 17, 2022
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Nuclear Bomb America vs Japan. (2022, Jan 28). Retrieved from

Nuclear Bomb America vs Japan essay
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