"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought
with sticks and stones."
"The atom bomb was no 'great decision.' . . . It was merely another powerful weapon in the arsenal of righteousness." President Harry Truman
At 8:15 on the morning of August 6, 1945, the Enola Gay, a U.S. B-29 bomber, dropped the first atomic weapon ever used in warfare, a uranium bomb codenamed Little Boy, on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Descending by parachute, it exploded several hundred feet above the ground in a silent, blinding flash. Within minutes the massive blast and the firestorm it produced haddestroyed the majority of the city and killed almost 100,000 people, a third of Hiroshima's population. By the end of 1945, another 35,000 people had died from deadly radiation burns suffered in the attack.
Several hours after the destruction of Hiroshima, U.S. President Harry S. Truman, returning from the Potsdam Conference aboard the U.S. cruiser Augusta, announced the use of the top secret weaponagainst Japan. Truman explained that the atomic bomb had been used to save the lives of Americans that would be lost in an invasion of Japan, and would continue to be used until Japan accepted the Allies' terms of surrender. On August 9, Truman spoke publicly about the Hiroshima bombing again: "We have used it in order to shorten the agony of war, in order to save the lives of thousands andthousands of young Americans. We shall continue to use it until we completely destroy Japan's power to make war.".
Later that day, a second U.S. atomic bomb, this one plutonium-based and codenamed Fat Man, was dropped on the Japanese coastal city of Nagasaki. A third of the city was destroyed, and by the end of the year, some 70,000 of its citizens were dead. On August 15, Emperor Hirohitoannounced the Japanese surrender on national radio, urging the Japanese people to "endure the unendurable," and the most destructive war in human history had come to an end.
In the present Paper we will describe the events leading to the bombardment of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the underlying causes that pave the way to an unexpected and tragic end.
"You ask, what is our aim? I can answerin one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terrors. Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival."
Prime Minister Winston Churchill
II – PREVIOUS EVENTS
After Germany's surrender in May,1945, the UnitedStates embarked upon a huge logistical effort to redeploy more than a million troops from Europe, the United States, and other inactive theaters to the Pacific. The aim was to complete the redeployment in time to launch an invasion of Japan on November I, and the task had to be undertaken in the face of competing shipping demands for demobilization of long-service troops, British redeployment, andcivil relief in Europe. By the time the war ended, some 150,000 men had moved directly from Europe to the Pacific, but a larger transfer from the United States across the Pacific had scarcely begun. In the Pacific, MacArthur and Nimitz had been sparing no effort to expand ports and ready bases to receive the expected influx and to mount invasion forces. The two commanders were also completing plansfor the invasion of Japan. In the last stage of the war, as all forces converged on Japan, the area unified commands were replaced by an arrangement that made MacArthur commander of all Army forces in the Pacific and Nimitz commander of all Navy forces.
During the summer of 1945, Allied forces in the Pacific had stepped up the pace of their air and naval attacks against Japan. In June and...
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