What were the reasons for using atomic bombs on japan?

7 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    A. For scientific research and to justify the $2 billion spent on the project

    (1) The USA wanted to test the atomic bomb on cities and people to examine its effects. The war against Japan gave the US this opportunity. This is proven by the fact Truman selected Hiroshima and Nagasaki to drop the atomic bombs - these two cities were largely untouched and therefore allowed the US to measure the complete damage on whole cities.

    (2) The USA were interested to find out how radiation from atomic bombs affected people's health. This is proven by the fact Truman set up the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC) after the war to examine the victims' bodies. The ABCC was purely for scientific research and it didn't provide any sort of medical care for the victims.

    (3) The USA had two types of atomic bombs - a uranium type and a plutonium type. The US wanted to compare the uranium type with the plutonium type to see which one was more powerful. This is proven by the fact that a uranium type bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, while a plutonium type bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.


    The atomic bomb was found to be a serious weapon of mass destruction which prompted further developments of nuclear weapons such as the hydrogen bomb. Research into the effects of nuclear weaponry on people and further studies into radiation, skin cancer and leukemia showed how lethal nuclear weapons were.

    B. It served as an American propaganda tool for the impending Cold War

    (1) The USA did not want the USSR to occupy Japan like they did with Germany. The atomic bombs were a warning from President Truman to the USSR to show how powerful the USA had become. Using the atomic bombs can therefore be seen as not the end of World War II, but the start of the Cold War where the Americans wanted to get the upper hand over the Soviets. Truman's tactic worked - the USSR was so surprised by the atomic bombs that they didn't demand joint occupation of Japan, and left it all to the US.

    (2) The USA didn't want to see communism spread in Asia. A planned US invasion of Japan was to ensure that if the USSR invaded Japan, the US could stop the entire country from falling to a communist revolution. If the US and USSR both invaded Japan, the country would've been divided like North and South Korea. Truman was hoping that using the atomic bombs would end the war before the Soviets could launch an invasion of Japan. (Ironically, it was not the atomic bombs, but the threat of a Soviet invasion of the home islands that persuaded Japan to surrender)

    (3) It was an American propaganda tool to make all Americans look at the atomic bombings as a source of national pride and security. The fact that the USA was the only country in the world in possession of this new powerful, destructive weapon made Americans feel more proud, safe and secure. (Think back to when the Soviets launched the Sputnik into space, and when Apollo 11 landed on the Moon - in both cases it was all Soviet and American propaganda. The atomic bombs were no exception)


    The use of the atomic bombs encouraged the USSR to develop their own. As a result, hundreds of German scientists were recruited into Soviet nuclear and space programs. This prompted the USA to recruit German scientists too (the most famous being Wernher von Braun). When the USSR detonated their first nuclear bomb other countries such as China, France and the UK quickly developed and tested their own nuclear bombs. Ultimately, as more countries wanted nuclear weapons for their own security it became a global problem which lasts to this day with North Korea and Iran being the next countries to join the nuclear club.

    C. There was strong anti-Japanese sentiment in the USA

    (1) The Americans viewed the Japanese as a sub-human race almost the same way Germans viewed Jews and Slavs. This is proven by the fact that while German and Italian Americans were not mistreated, all Japanese Americans were sent to concentration camps. In a poll conducted in 1944, almost 13% of the US public voted for "the complete extermination of the Japanese race". Such emotional anti-Japanese sentiment made many Americans view the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as justified.

    (2) Some Americans felt the need to "dehumanize" Japan. After the war, many Americans saw a connection between the way Japanese Americans were mistreated, the fact that US soldiers often mutilated the dead bodies of Japanese soldiers to collect "war trophies", and the US decision to drop the atomic bombs on Japan. In all three cases they saw an intense hatred being directed specifically toward the Japanese race - something not seen being directed toward the Germans or Italians.

  • 8 years ago

    10,000 Japanese soldiers had made suicide attacks upon American forces on the island of Iwo Jima, the estimates for an invasion of the Japanese mainland was a million dead.

    Russia hadn't declared war on Japan but were planning on doing so, if they West had waited the Japanese nation would have been divided up like Europe was during the Cold War.

    The U.S. had captured a German sub, U234 on it's way to Japan. On board were nuclear material and German scientists. The plan was to build a dirty radioactive bomb and explode it over San Francisco possibly killing 150,00 with radiation poisoning. The captain told the American authorities he was the second sub sent and the first one's position was unknown. The U.S. had to end the war before the Japanese developed their own atomic bomb.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Well there are multiple reasons. One of the biggest one was the Japanese willingness to fight to the very last man. So without this great(great as in gigantic) display of power then the war in the pacific would have continued. I base this argument on the fact that in the 1960's people were still finding the Japanese in outposts with the willingness to fight in their 40's and 50's.

    Source(s): Just my opinion but do some research that's only one reason.
  • 8 years ago

    To manage an unconditional surrender without having to invade the Japanese Islands. Lessen the length of the war by a year and save the lives of millions of Americans and Japanese.

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    To see if they worked.

  • 8 years ago

    The reason was to ''END W.W.II''!!!! This was done so ''MILITARY'', ''SHIPBUILDING'', ''CIVILIAN'', ''MORAL'' and all other factors of ''KEEPING THE JAPANESE HOME FIRES BURNING''; would be brought to a ''SURRENDER''!!! The ''IMPERIAL JAPANESE ARMED FORCES'', were still strong, including their ''IMPERIAL JAPANESE NAVY'' and its ''PORTS''/''NAGASAKI'' and ''HIROSHIMA''; were producing very ''POSITIVE'' and ''STRONG SHIPBUILDING''!!!!! Even though, in many ''HUMAN BEINGS EYES'', the two ''ATOMIC BOMBS ATTACKS'' were ''CRUEL and ''HARMFUL''; they were a ''NECESSITY''!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Source(s): W.W.II Naval Researcher/Author with ''PUBLISHED MATERIALS'' concerning ''THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC''/''1939-1945''!!!!!!
  • 8 years ago

    We were at war with them.

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