Was the second bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki needed for the decision of Japan to surrender? On August 6th, 1945, the world entered the atomic age: The first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima without warning. The explosion destroyed more than four square miles of the city center and killed more than 90,000 people immediately. Another 40,000 people were injured and many were killed from radiation sickness. Three days later, another atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. This bomb killed 37,000 people and injured 43,000. It is estimated that the bombs together killed over 200,000 Japanese civilians.
Before the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there had been thoughts in the Japanese government about trying to find a way to end the war. The US had been intercepting and decoding many Japanese diplomatic communications. The US learned that the Japanese would not surrender, but would try to work out a “negotiated peace” with many conditions. After twelve years of military aggression against China and over three and a half years of war with the US, begun with the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, American leaders would settle for nothing less than surrender.
Were the bombings militarily necessary? Japan had already been defeated militarily by June 1945. There was almost nothing left of their Imperial Army and Japan’s air force was nearly destroyed. US warplanes kept dropping bombs on Japan, reducing cities to rubble. What was left of Japan’s factories were struggling to create weapons and other goods from inadequate raw materials. By July, nearly a quarter of all Japanese homes were destroyed, and Japan’s transportation system was falling. Food had become so scarce that many people were living off a sub-starvation diet.
The US bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki because Japanese generals would not accept defeat and were hoping that the US would not accept a million or more casualties while invading the home islands of Japan. The nuclear bombs showed that the US did not need invade Japan. Also, the US wanted to drop the bombs because they had spent so much money building the bomb with the Manhattan Project, that it was unheard of not to use it. The US did try several times to ask the Japanese to surrender, but they never did because of the militarists that led the country. After dropping the first bomb on Hiroshima, the Japanese government met and decided to try to hold out until the ground invasion of Japan started. The Japanese thought that if they could inflict so many casualties on the allies, that they may be able to negotiate some sort of “negotiated peace”. When the bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, the military leaders met and decided that they would surrender. On August 10th, Japan offered to surrender to the Allies. If the US never dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, the Japanese government would have waited for a ground invasion by the US. On August 12th, the US announced that it would accept the Japanese surrender.
Was the bombing of Nagasaki necessary for Japan to surrender? Yes, I believe that the Japanese government would never have surrendered if the bomb on Nagasaki was not dropped. The US did not want to start a ground invasion of Japan and have many casualties. Japan wanted to try to negotiate peace after the US invaded, but the Nagasaki bomb made the Japanese emperor surrender and accept defeat. 569