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What was the short term significance of the successful testing of the atomic bomb - Coursework Example

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The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a decisive manoeuvre on part of the United States that brought a much-needed end to a long, bloody and costly war…
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What was the short term significance of the successful testing of the atomic bomb
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Download file to see previous pages Ever since the World War I, the world had been on the brink of a similar conflict and these fears manifested themselves in the form of the second Great War. The United States were involved in both conflicts indirectly, but the Pearl Harbour incident instantly brought them to forefront of the war. OVERVIEW The successful testing of nuclear bomb in the desert of New Mexico later culminated with the US finally dropping the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Before the bombing, Truman described his predicament as he could not decide whether to ‘invade Japan proper or shall we Bomb and blockade’ (Truman, 1945). The stance on Japan had been very precarious from the start as they continued with their ruthless land grabbing behaviour; Truman was already in the process of considering all the options at hand to tackling with them. In his memoirs, Truman recalls that he had discussed the possibility of a full-scale invasion with his associates, but the United States wished to make a heavy blow to Japanese, which would completely rule out the possibility of a fierce counterattack from them. Hence, it was decided that atomic bomb would be dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which were considered to be the main military equipment manufacturing centre for the Japanese forces. CONSEQUENCES The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ‘incinerated’ nearly 20,000 Japanese people. The casualties largely consisted of unarmed civilians, but the bombing was more strategic because most the arms factories were located in this district. Within a couple of hours, the cities were turned into ‘smelting hot furnace’ as described by a survivor of the atomic bomb, Hiroshi Morishita; a high school student at the time the bomb was dropped. The repercussions of the bomb were unspeakable as the people walked with their skin hanging and burnt; people died after vomiting blood or a black foam (Morishita, 2006). Therefore, the United States had achieved its goal of making a heavy blow on the Japanese as both cities were literally razed to the ground. The scale of disaster inflicted upon by the atomic was truly unprecedented that left thousands dead and millions injured. Survivors and Red Cross officials saw the break out of an epidemic as a result of the radiation; many of the illnesses and symptoms exhibited by the people seemed like the effects of X-ray overdose. The repercussions affected the following generations along with the reproductive cycle as men suffered from impotency and women began to have miscarriages (Hersey, 1994). However, on the United States’ part it was just a blatant ‘display of power’. Sherwin (1973) believed that the United States simply wanted to have a more intimidating facade on an international level and the destruction caused by the nuclear weapon was sufficient to underscore their point. The general masses feared the use of such weapons on a larger scale and other countries began a fierce nuclear arms race in order to match up to the United States. It was the biggest gamble taken by the United States, for the experiment posed a major threat to the lives of the scientists. The country had invested nearly $2 Billion on this project and required manpower of 130,000 people; the success in the project Manhattan proved to be a milestone for the country (CBTO, 2010). The bombings marked the first time in history that a weapon of mass destruction was used that shook everyone and caused them to fear future conflicts that would involve the use of such weapons. It made everyone realize the need to regulate modern warfare; opening up new method of war that was not only restricted to the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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