For each document answer the following 1) Does the document go against or support the dropping of the atomuc bomb. You must write on to two well written paragraphs! (minimum 4-5 sentences- use oea) Document #1

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United States History

Atomic Bomb DBQ

For each document answer the following 1) Does the document go against or support the dropping of the atomuc bomb. YOU MUST WRITE ON TO TWO WELL WRITTEN PARAGRAPHS! (minimum 4-5 sentences- USE OEA)

Document  #1

Source: Memoirs of Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson (1947):

 The principal political. social, and military objective of the United States in the summer of 1945 was the prompt and complete surrender of Japan.  Only the complete destruction of her military power could open the way to lasting peace. . . . In the middle of July, 1945. the intelligence section of the War Department General Staff estimated Japanese military strength as follows: in the home islands, slightly under 2,000,000; in Korea, Manchuria, China proper, and Formosa. slightly over 2,000,000. in French Indo-China, Thailand. and Burma, over 200,000; in the East Indies area, including the Philippines, over 500,000. in the bypassed Pacific islands, over 100,000.  The total strength of the Japanese Army was estimated at about 5,000,000 men.  These estimates later proved to be in very close agreement with official Japanese figures. . . .

As we understood it in July, there was a very strong possibility that the Japanese government might determine upon resistance to the end, in all the areas of the Far East under its control.  In such an event the Allies would be faced with the enormous task of destroying an armed force of five million men and five thousand suicide aircraft, belonging to a race which had already amply demonstrated its ability to fight literally to the death.

We estimated that if we should be forced to carry this plan to its conclusion, the major fighting would not end until the latter part of 1946, at the earliest.  I was informed that such operations might be expected to cost over a million casualties to American forces alone.

                                                                       Document #2

Source: Memoirs of General H. H. Arnold, Commander of the American Army Air Force in the Second World War (1949):

The surrender of Japan was not entirely the result of the two atomic bombs.  We had hit some 60 Japanese cities with our regular H. E. (High Explosive) and incendiary bombs and, as a result of our raids, about 241,000 people had been killed, 313,000 wounded, and about 2,333,000 homes destroyed.  Our B-29's had destroyed most of the Japanese industries and, with the laying of mines, which prevented the arrival of incoming cargoes of critical items, had made it impossible for Japan to carry on a large-scale war.... Accordingly, it always appeared to us that, atomic bomb or no atomic bomb, the Japanese were already on the verge of collapse.

                                                                            Document #3

 Source: Nuclear physicist Leo Szilard I s recollection of a 1945 meeting between James Byrnes and a group of concerned atomic scientists (1949):

  The question of whether the bomb should be used in the war against Japan came up for discussion.  Mr. Byrnes did not argue that it was necessary to use the bomb against the cities of Japan in order to win the war.  He knew at that time, as the rest of the Government knew, that Japan was essentially defeated and that we could win the war in another six months.  At that time Mr. Byrnes was much concerned about the spreading of Russian influence in Europe.... Mr. Byrnes' concern about Russia I fully shared. but his view that our possessing and demonstrating the bomb would make Russia more manageable in Europe I was not able to share.  Indeed I could hardly imagine any premise more false and disastrous upon which to base our policy, and I was dismayed when a few weeks later I learned that he was to be our Secretary of State.

Document #4

Source: Harry S Truman, radio address (August 1945) 1 realize the tragic significance of the atomic bomb.

Its production and its use were not lightly undertaken by this Government.  But we knew that our enemies were on the search for it.  We know now how close they were to Finding it.  And we know the disaster which would come to this nation, and to all peaceful nations, to all civilizations, if they had found it first.

That is why we felt compelled to undertake the long and uncertain and costly labor of discovery and production.  We won the race of discovery against the Germans. Having found the bomb, we have used it.  We have used it against those who attacked us without warning at Pearl Harbor. against those who have starved and beaten and executed American prisoners of war, against those who have abandoned the pretense of obeying international laws of warfare.  We have used it in order to shorten the agony of war, in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans.

We shall continue to use it until we completely destroy Japan's power to make war.  Only a Japanese surrender will stop us.                                                                                                        

                                                            Document #5:

Source: Japanese slogan in the summer of 1945 broadcast throughout the islands:

The sooner [the Americans] come, the better ... One hundred million die proudly.



Source: August 11, 1945, diary entry of Admiral Matome Ugaki, commander of the Fifth Air Fleet on Kyushu, which carried out kamikaze and conventional attacks on the American fleet off Okinawa. [These kamikaze attacks sank and damaged scores of U.S. ships -- at a cost of 4,907 Navy dead and 4824 injured.]:

The atomic bomb attacks and the Soviet entry into the war, thus deteriorating our position, have shocked us.  But we can take some countermeasures against them.  We still have enough fighting strength remaining.  Furthermore, don't we have large army forces still intact on the China continent and in our homeland? It might be the view of some clever fellows to surrender with some strength left instead of being completely destroyed.  But those fellows advocating that idea are nothing but selfish weaklings who don't think seriously about the future of the nation and only seek immediate benefits.



Source: Thomas Hannaher, a veteran:

I lived through Okinawa somehow but the great battle of the mainland lay ahead.  How

long could my luck hold? Then the dropping of the A-bomb put a brand -new light in my life.  I'd be going home, after all.  And I did!                                                          



Source: General Anami, Japanese War Minister quoted in Minutes of Imperial War

Council following Hiroshima:

  "Would it not be wondrous for this whole nation to be destroyed like a beautiful flower?



Source: Winston Churchill's diary during the Potsdam Conference in July, 1945 after being told by Harry Truman of the successful testing of the first atomic bomb in New Mexico on July 16, 1945:

Now I know what happened to Truman yesterday.  I couldn't understand it.  When he got to the meeting after having read this report [of the atomic test[ he was a changed man.  He told the Russians just where they got on and off and generally bossed the whole meeting."



                                                            Document #10

Robert P. Newman, Enola Gay and the Court of History (New York, 2004), pp. 138-139, and **Richard B. Frank, Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire (New York, 1999), P.  350

If we take the twenty-five million estimate for deaths in the Japanese-controlled areas for 1937-1945, and assume a constant rate, there were 400,000-plus deaths each month. . . .  Literature on the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaya, Indochina, and the hundreds of islands all points to accelerating casualties towards the end. 'The last year of the war was a time of unprecedented deprivation . . .  Many . . . were simply unable to obtain food and were seen waiting for death along the road. [**In Korea, Japanese authorities confiscated one million tons of rice, 20 to 25% of Korean production, thereby placing the Korean populace in grave danger of starvation.] Let us suppose that Soviet entry [without the U.S. dropping the atomic bombs] did jar the Japanese into surrender by October 1. This would have been six weeks, and a minimum of 600,000 more Asian deaths later than the atomic-bomb-caused capitulation.

Document #11

Walter Trohan, “JAPS ASKED PEACE IN JAN. ENVOYS ON WAY – TOKYOChicago Tribune, August 19, 1945.

Release of all censorship restrictions in the United States makes it possible to report that the first Japanese peace bid was relayed to the White House seven months ago.

Two days before the late President Roosevelt left the last week in January for the Yalta conference with Prime Minister Churchill and Marshal Stalin he received a Japanese offer identical with the terms subsequently concluded by his successor, Harry S. Truman.

MacArthur Relayed Message to F.D.

The Jap offer, based on five separate overtures, was relayed to the White House by Gen. MacArthur in a 40-page communication. The American commander, who had just returned triumphantly to Bataan, urged negotiations on the basis of the Jap overtures.

The offer, as relayed by MacArthur, contemplated abject surrender of everything but the person of the Emperor. The suggestion was advanced from the Japanese quarters making the offer that the Emperor become a puppet in the hands of American forces.

Two of the five Jap overtures were made through American channels and three through British channels. All came from responsible Japanese, acting for Emperor Hirohito.

General's Communication Dismissed

The MacArthur report was not even taken to Yalta. However, it was carefully preserved in the files of the high command and subsequently became the basis of the Truman-Attlee Potsdam declaration calling for surrender of Japan.

This Jap peace bid was known to the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Times-Herald shortly after the MacArthur comunication reached here. It was not published under the paper’s established policy of complete co-operation with the voluntary censorship code.

Must Explain Delay

Now that peace has been concluded on the basis of the terms MacArthur reported, high administration officials prepared to meet expected congressional demands for explanation of the delay. It was considered certain that from various quarters of Congress charges would be hurled that the delay cost thousands of American lives and casualties, particularly in such costly offensives as Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

It was explained in high official circles that the bid relayed by MacArthur did not constitute an official offer in the same sense as the final offer which was presented through Japanese diplomatic channels at Bern and Stockholm last week for relay to the four major Allied powers.

No negotiations were begun on the basis of the bid, it was said, because it was feared that if any were undertaken the Jap war lords, who were presumed to be ignorant of the feelers, would visit swift punishment on those making the offer.

It was held possible that the war lords might even assassinate the Emperor and announce the son of heaven had fled the earth in a fury of indignation over the peace bid.

Document #12:

Source: ( 24 January 2007

Atomic Bomb Damage of Hiroshima

Distance from
Ground Zero (km)




0 -1.0




1.0 - 2.5




2.5 - 5.0








Document #13

Source: Hiroshima Picture Gallery ( 25 January 2007

Document #14

Laws of War :
Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague IV); October 18, 1907


Art. 25.

The bombing of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended is prohibited (illegal).

Art. 26.

The leader of an army must, before the bombing, warn the leaders from the other countries.

Art. 27.

During bombings, buildings dedicated to religion, art, science, or charity, hospitals, and places where the sick and wounded are living, should not be targeted as long as provided they are not being used by the military.

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