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To Bomb Or Not To Bomb? Investigating America’s decision to drop the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. To question the justification of the dropping of the bomb

Connection • Photo Link •,29307,2012653_2 180562,00.html • Look at each photo. What can we learn from each photo about the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima?

Useful Links • •

The War in Asia The 3 countries most affected by the dropping of the atomic bomb were: • Russia, (USSR) • America • Japan. To understand why America decided to drop the bomb, you need to know a little about each of these countries.

Japan • Had been fighting across Asia • Japan was not prepared to since the attack on Pearl Harbour surrender unconditionally as they in 1941. feared for the position of their Emperor who was regarded as a • The effective naval blockade of God. Japan was preventing the import of oil and other supplies, without • Japan was suffering terribly under which Japan’s capacity to traditional “firebombing”. continue fighting would soon run Industrial production had out. collapsed and they were very short of food. • In June 1945 the Japanese government secretly asked the • Japanese civilians, (including USSR to mediate in order to bring children) were being trained to an end to the war. fight to the death in case of invasion.

America • Had been supporting the war in Europe and Asia since 1941. Germany had been defeated in Europe. • The Americans had suffered heavy losses fighting the Japanese in Asia, and had experience of their policy of “no surrender”. • President Roosevelt died in the summer of 1945 and Truman had to take over immediately. Until that point he had had no knowledge of the atomic bomb

• In total war, civilians are regarded as legitimate targets. • The Japanese had been operating outside international law. They had launched an unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbour and were mistreating prisoners of war. • The American economy had benefited from the war, as the war effort provided full employment and they were loaning money/equipment to other countries who would have to repay their debts.

America during World War II • President Truman meets with Stalin and Churchill at Potsdam.

• American factory production in World War II.

USSR • The Communists had taken control of Russia in 1917. The country was now led by Joseph Stalin who believed in having total control of his people and country. • Russia wanted to be as strong as America. Communists also had the aim of spreading their ideas all around the world: “workers of the world unite”. • It had suffered heavy losses of life and property during the war against Germany and expected to be rewarded.

• Truman and Stalin did not trust each other. • Russia was refusing to withdrawal from many areas they had occupied in Europe following the collapse of Germany. • August 1945 Stalin attacks the Japanese in Manchuria hoping to share victory with the USA. America wanted to prevent Soviet influence spreading to the Far East.

The Effect of the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima

Summary of Effects The atomic bomb, called Little Boy, was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945. More than half of the buildings were destroyed in the city. It is estimated that about 70,000 people were killed instantly. Also, by 1946, 90,000-140,000 had died due to injuries and radiation.

Destruction caused by the atomic bomb

Summary of Effects The atomic bombs that were dropped were the first kind of nuclear weapons that the world had seen. All nuclear weapons get their destructive power from nuclear reactions of fusion, or fission. Nuclear reactions of fusion happen when two nuclear particles collide with each other to create products that are different from the orignal particles. Fission occurs when the nucleus of an atom is split. When this happens, gamma rays are emitted. If fission occurs, high amounts of energy in the form of radiation are released.

Pictures of Events/Effects Below: Picture showing how fusion works

Above: Picture showing how fission works

Pictures from Event/Effects

This picture shows the damage and injuries that were suffered by many as a result of the atomic bombs. The energy that was released from the bomb caused severe burns and scarring.

Pictures from Event/Effects

Little Boy, the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima

Mushroom cloud that appeared after the atomic bomb was dropped

Quotation From an Expert We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multiarmed form and says, "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." I suppose we all thought that, one way or another. -J. Robert Oppenheimer

A response from Oppenheimer, mastermind behind the atomic bomb, after being interviewed about his creations.

Watch the following clips

Demonstration Was the bombing justified? • Atomic bombs were dropped……………………………….. • They had the following effects…………………………… • The dropping of these bombs marked the end of the Second World War but some have questioned their use.

• Some have defended the use of the atomic bomb. • (Use three arguments to defend the dropping of the bomb. You must use quotes) • Some have criticised the bomb. • (Use four arguments that have been used to criticise the atomic bomb. You must refer to quotes. • My view with justificaton….



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