Friday, May 4, 2012

Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Cause and Effect - James Caudle

       After the devastating bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, shock, anger, and hunger for payback spread throughout America like a plague. Roosevelt, quick to respond, declared war on Japan with the approval of congress only a day later, and after two years of conflict the US had finally entered WWII ready to show who was boss. Fighting went on between countries for years and when Japanese had lost all control of any place besides their homeland, president Truman offered the country an ultimatum called the Potsdam Declaration that offered US terms of peace and Japan's unconditional surrender. Japan understood the US threat of using nuclear weapons, however declined the proposal still.  
     Cautious thinking was used in debate whether to use the bomb or not, because as many as 500,000 American soldiers lives were at stake according to Truman's military advisors. However it was decided that the atomic bombs would be most effective in quickening the end to the war and so the plan was made. The Japanese cities called Hiroshima, and Nagasaki were chosen as the bomb targets by strategic military experts. The first bomb, dropped August 6, 1945 at 9:15 AM from a B-29 plane named the "Enola Gay" after the pilot's mother, was colossally devastating for Japan. 
Nagasaki after bomb
      Completely flattening the city of Hiroshima, the world's first deployed atomic bomb nick named "Little Boy" threw as much power as 15 kilotons of TNT80,000 to 140,000 people were killed or missing, and 100,000 or more were seriously injured. "The blast wave shattered windows for a distance of ten miles and was felt as far away as 37 miles. " 
     The second bomb, nicknamed "Fat Man" was dropped over Nagasaki and caused even more damage delivering the equivalent of 20 kilatons of TNT. This bomb killed an estimated 40,000 people. Extremely harmful radiation that resonated for years even after the bombing caused a lot of sickness and many deaths throughout Japan.
Hiroshima "Little Boy"
       The impact of the two bombs, allthough devastating, was successful. Japan surrendered unconditionally, and Winston Churchill estimated that" the lives of a million Americans and two hundred and fifty thousand British soldiers and sailors had been saved by this sudden shortening of the war.

   This site was useful, because it provided details on the causes of the US entry to war and resorting to atomic bombs as well as providing information about radiation poisoning. 
This site was useful, because it gave me information about Roosevelt's proposal f a peace treaty as well as war casualty statistics. This site was useful, because of the information it provided about the physical impact of the bomb itself on the people and what they could feel, and also details about the damage caused by the bombs. This site helped me understand the impact of the bombs by providing equivolency statistics on the explosions, and the numbers of deaths.