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To What Extent Were The Bombs Dropped On Hiroshima And Nagasaki Necessary To End World War Ii? Includes Bibliography And Footnotes (If You Care To Message Me For Them)

1677 words - 7 pages

To what extent were the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki necessary to end World War II?In the analysis on the decision to drop 'the Bomb' on Japan at the end of World War II, historians will usually either tend to one of two schools of thought. The orthodox school stress that the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were necessary to end the war. The revisionist school argues that the atomic bomb was quite unnecessary. To what extent were the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki necessary to end WWII?The orthodox theory relies heavily on the argument that Japan had no intention to surrender, and that the Japanese government by silently ignoring the Potsdam declaration ...view middle of the document...

Germany had surrendered and it was obvious that the British and Americans were planning to redeploy their military strength for a final assault on the Japanese homeland. Relations with the soviet union had grown steadily worse and there were fears that the soviets might break their nonaggression pact with Japan and join the western allies. The Americans had recently captured Okinawa making air raids on Japan easier. Haunted by the spectre of allied invasion suggestions arose that it was now time to consider negotiations. The navy had admitted in October 1944 that it no longer had enough strength to launch an offensive, in December the U.S had completed the Leyte campaigning in the Philippines - a campaign which the Japanese war minister had said would be decisive as to the outcome of the war. From a strategic standpoint, Japan had already lost the war4.... By April 1945, Japan's leaders realized that the war was lost. Their main stumbling block to surrender was the United States' insistence on unconditional surrender. They specifically needed to know whether the United States would allow Hirohito to remain on the throne. They feared that the United States would depose him, try him as a war criminal, or even execute him ... .5On April 7, acting Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu met with Swedish ambassador Widon Bagge in Tokyo, asking him to ascertain what peace terms the United States and Britain had in mind while emphasizing that unconditional surrender was unacceptable, and that the Emperor must not be held accountable6. The biggest problem with Japans attempts to end the war was the American defiance against a conditional surrender. The reason behind this 'Unconditional Surrender' can be traced back to the end of World War I with Germanys conditional surrender and the subsequent rise of the Weimar Republic7. When it came to the end of the pacific war the American were adamant that "This time there will be no doubt about who defeated whom."By mid-June, Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo had be charged with the task of approaching Soviet Russia's leaders to end the war if possible by September by the six members of Japan's Supreme War Council8. It has been alleged that on June 22 the Emperor called a meeting of the Supreme War Council, which included the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, and the leading military figures. "We have heard enough of this determination of yours to fight to the last soldiers, We wish that you, leaders of Japan, will strive now to study the ways and the means to conclude the war. In doing so, try not to be bound by the decisions you have made in the past."9 The Japanese were willing to accept nearly everything, except turning over the Emperor. With in weeks Hirohito requested again that it was necessary to terminate the war without delay, asking that peace with the Americans and British be secured through the Soviets.There was real evidence of a Japanese desire to get out of the war, there could no longer be any real...

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