Armed Hostilities

Harry Truman’s Ethical Dilemma in Dropping the Second Atom Bomb on Japan

Table of Contents
  1. Introduction
  2. Discussion
  3. Conclusion
  4. References


Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings had impacts on the Japanese nation because a lot of people lost their lives and property during the struggle to possess the emperor and to govern the country (Walker, 2005). However, nuclear bombing helped reduce more deaths since a lot of children; women, and men who were put in the forefront to fight for the country were saved from dying. Consequently, the Americans wanted to prove to Japan nation and the Soviet Union that they were the super nation that had the power to end the war. In addition, Japanese rule through the emperor had become a big threat to other nations for more war crimes were repeated and witnessed every single day of life. Nonetheless, Japanese women and children had been enslaved because the emperor had vowed total war against any intruder that wanted to conquer them, so Americans decided that if Japan could not surrender it would be important to drop the nuclear bombs in respect they will surrender (Sherwin, 2003).

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When the Japanese refused to surrender, Truman who was president of America by then vowed to fight them was using nuclear bombs instead of using more troops to fight the Japanese. Moreover, the dropping of the bombs was a sign of the ending of the war between the Japanese who had vowed to fight to the end. Initially, it was seen as a sign of defeat for the Japanese people because their workshop for keeping and manufacturing weapons was destroyed (Walker, 2005). Nevertheless, the second dropping of the nuclear bombs weakened the strengths of the Japanese soldiers and the emperor soughed out for surrender but it was very late by then because Truman and other American leaders had already decided that the dropping of the bomb will be the only solution for Japan to end the war. Apparently, the Soviet Union was very eager for the American country to finish Japan because it had become a bigger threat to them and to the countries surrounding them.


The dropping of the bomb at Hiroshima and Nagasaki is described as a major turning spot to the human account. This process helped end the Second World War because the imperial Japan who had dominated was defeated. Alternatively, Japan had been asked by the U.S to surrender before the dropping of the bombs but they refused to surrender and as a result, the U.S dropped the bombs. The initial dropping was because many people had died due to this war.omn the other hand the Japanese people emerged united and proud and through their unity and courage both men, women, and children had given in either to die or survive fighting for the emperor. Japan invasion became necessary since if they had shown ‘their faces’ it would mean that they had given up the fight (Sherwin, 2003).

Around August 1944, the U.S thought of either sending thousands of its soldiers to go and invade Japan, but they saw it as unsafe since most of its soldiers could have been killed. On the other hand, they thought if it was important to drop the bombs (Walker, 2005). After the arguments, they found it better to drop the bombs and ignore calls for surrender to save both the military troops and the civilians’ lives. More so, children, women, and men who were put into wars were saved since the majority of the population was going to scarce through war crimes (Sherwin, 2003).

After the decision about dropping the atomic bombs was met, over which Japanese had vowed to fight to the death. The U.S saw that more of its American soldiers would have died and the situation was emerging more horrific, the decision really saved many of its troops and civilians from dying. However, the situation changed since most of the people realized that were it not for the arrival of the bombs more casualties could have been encountered since the Japanese had already arrived at the target point of the American soldiers while on the other hand, the Americans had arrived with more weapons of war (Walker, 2005).

The dropping of the nuclear bombs helped to save many lives, property, and women who were committing suicide in fear of the situation they were to face if they surrendered ended. However, despite the Japanese sign of surrender, Washington decided of obliterating hundreds of lives of both men and women by showing the terrible of its superweapon that it was possible of ending the war between the Japanese (Ciulla, 2003). Moreover, the dropping of the bombs by the Americans was a warning to the soviet union that their cities would be reduced to ashes if they tried to undermine America global dominion (Takaki, 1995). Nevertheless, the dropping of the two bombs helped save most of the people who had been put into suffering with the respect of fighting for their county.

It is believed that, Harry Truman having been in the first world saw it important to use the atomic bombs since many of the soldiers and civilians continued to die each single day. Moreover, he saw that since Japanese had vowed to fight till death the only way to silence them was by dropping the bombs. His experience with the American expedition forces helped him come up with such decision because he understood the fears and hopes that young officers wanted to spend with their families in the future (Ciulla, 2003).

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Alternatively, Truman valued and evaluated the American lives, political authenticity, soviet ambition and the orthodox outlook and decided that if by dropping the bombs the Japanese will understand the importance of human lives and surrender. Harry vied half a million lives of American to have lost their lives and decided that if the Japanese did not have a feeling of human life and also surrender the emperor then instead of severe consequences it would be important to drop the two bombs and save the majority of the people rather than more deaths (Ciulla , 2003).

After the bombing, several reasons to why the bombs were dropped were raised and many thought that it was the bad idea but since the Japanese refused to surrender the emperor and the increase in loss of human life there was no alternative. Alternatively Truman wanted to prove that America was a powerful nation and despite the facts that Japan had vowed to surrender it was necessary for America to dictate its powers and show Japan that it should behave like Europe and Asia. In these aspect America used her potential atomic monopoly to prove to the liberals capitalists and thus relegate the Soviet Union be in a secondary status in the involvement of world affairs. Truman could have waited for the Potsdam meeting at Churchill and Stalin that was aimed at bringing peace, but on the other hand Truman saw it as a defeat of the diplomatic level (Sherwin, 2003).Also Truman could have agreed when Japan agreed of releasing all the prisoners of war that they were holding, also since Japan had agreed of surrendering the whole designated war immoral, and the complete surrender of the Japanese troops as well as Korea, Taiwan and Manchuria (Takaki, 1995).

Furthermore, it would have been important if Truman had waited for Japan to surrender on the eve of September 2nd as they had agreed to surrender every war crime they were holding (Hasegawa, 2005). Truman as the president could have sent his representative to go and engage in peaceful talks with the leaders of Japan so as to find ways of reducing more deaths and suffering, upon doing this the Japan people could have either agreed rather than the continuous loss of majority of its civilians and soldiers. More so, Truman should have sought guidance from other leaders of other countries so that Japan could be engaged in world peace treaties in the aim of reducing war (Takaki, 1995).

Future leaders should learn to follow ethical principles meant to end war. That is which is they should not directly violate the international rules with respect of destruction of population but engage in meaningful dialog aimed at bringing peace and reconciliation. In the future leaders should understand that by use of dangerous chemicals as witnessed with the Japanese people could lead to more suffering such as lose of eye sight. More so, it is important when a country realizes the effect of the war and admits surrender leaders should try and assist them through talks and discussions that will help reduce more deaths and suffering (Hasegawa, 2005).

However, nuclear bombs should not be used as a proof of the strength that the county has over the other since civilians are the one who suffers most, in this respect leaders should organize meeting that will enable end war against each other. Moreover, future leaders should associate with one another by discussing major reasons why peace should be witnessed by most countries so that such bombing like in Hiroshima and Nagasaki will never happen again. Perhaps, it will be very important for leaders to engage in a freedom free atmosphere to create peace treaties that will benefit human being (Takaki, 1995). Japan leaders on the other hand should not put grudges on the Americans, because of dropping the nuclear bombs but they should engage in peaceful discussion that will enable the two countries have peace and threats over each other (Hasegawa, 2005). On the other hand, Europe should seek peaceful agreement and negotiations from those nations who were affected and try by providing them with education of the importance of understanding the situation by then and that they should not take it personal but try and forgive one another. More so, it is important for the leaders of each country to meet and discuss ways of improving peace among the people who were affected and also try seeking better ways of ending rivalry between nations of the world so that such happenings will not be witnessed in future years.

Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombing has been witnessed as a lesson to the end of the 2nd world war, Truman as a leader has shown the importance of saving many lives rather than continuous death of many civilians and soldiers. More so, ethical lessons such the need to eradicate war against civilians through ending forced mobilization helped those who were forced to fight for the country and not surrender (Hasegawa, 2005).

Apart from the lessons learned, women and children were forced to join the military and never surrender has shown the leaders the nee of uniting together in order to eradicate such happening because by giving way to such crimes more masses of people will eventually die and lose their property. More so, leaders should abide on enforcing dialogs so that war and use of nuclear bombs as a means of ending war will not be felt at all. Alternatively it is important to adapt the use of war treaties as leaders since this help reduce war crimes among nations and thus helps in eradicating severe consequences that can affect innocent civilians (Takaki, 1995).

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Superior countries such as the U.S and the Soviet Union, should also not try and use their superior super weapons in ending wars since more consequences will be felt even though less people’s lives will be less endangered (Sherwin, 2003). It is also important for countries to learn and forgive one another for this can be of better benefit to the civilians and the rising generation, by doing so it helps increase ties between the countries thus helping them eradicate such war crimes as in Hiroshima from happening again. It is also an ethical way for countries to seek peace negotiations and dialog before thinking of releasing bombs because through negotiations more and appropriate method of solving war will be affected among nations (Hasegawa, 2005).


In conclusion, the aim of Truman dropping the second bomb to Japan was a way of showing them the need to surrender from fighting because if they did not stop they will face more deaths and suffering than they have already faced (Sherwin, 2003). Moreover, it was a sign to other nations such as the Soviet Union to learn and understand that the U.S. was a superior nation and if they don’t stop supplying weapons and fighting them will be punished just like the Japanese were punished using nuclear bombs (Takaki, 1995) On the other hand soviet republic believes that the Japanese surrendered to the U.S because they feared them, while others argue that despite the Japanese surrender their economy could have been greatly affected since there were no food, army and the industrial materials had already been destroyed. Nevertheless, Japan though insisted of putting up talks of admitting defeat they would not have resisted defeat and more lives would have continued dying (Takaki, 1995)

More constantly, Japan resistance of surrendering would not have lasted for long because the Soviet Union on the other hand continued to sicken the conditions of the Japanese people, nevertheless their existed threats of inner conflict that contributed to the weakening of the Japanese (Sherwin, 2003). More members of the Japanese as it was a personal decision to resist feared of death and through the forceful nature by the emperor to fight made many surrender to the European. The Japanese nation later learned that if they continued resisting they will weaken lives of innocent people and the country will collapse and Japan nation will end abruptly.


Ciulla, J.B. (2003). The ethics of Leadership: Belmont, CA Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.

Hasegawa, T (2005). Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan: Belknap Press.

Sherwin, M. (2003) A World Destroyed: Hiroshima and Its Legacies: Stanford.

Takaki, R. (1995) Hiroshima: Why America Dropped the Atomic Bomb, Little Brown.

Walker, J. S. (2005) Prompt and Utter Destruction: Truman and the Use of the Atomic Bombs against Japan: University of N Carolina Press.

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