In August of 1945 the United States dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki just three days apart. Five days after the second bomb was dropped Japan would formally surrender marking the end of World War II. Whether or not the United States should have used the atomic bombs on Japan is an argument that has been debated for decades now.
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Those who say using the bombs was a good idea claim that it brought a quicker end to the war and may have saved the lives of thousands of American soldiers. However, the droppings of the bombs were war crimes that killed over two-hundred thousand people, the majority of which were civilians. It is also believed by many that the bombs may have been dropped as a way to intimidate the Soviets and were an unnecessary measure taken to achieve victory (Foner, 884).
The level of damage and destruction caused by the atomic bombs had never been seen before in history. It is estimated that around 140,000 of the 350,000 people living in Hiroshima and 70,000 of the 250,000 people living in Nagasaki were killed either from the immediate impact of the bomb or from the effects of radiation by the end of 1945 (Smith). Akihiro Takahashi was fourteen years old and was attending his school in Hiroshima when the bomb was dropped. According to Takahashi, when the blast came all he could see initially was darkness. When the darkness faded, he realized that the blast had blown him about ten meters from where he was originally standing and when he looked at himself, he noticed that his clothes were basically turned into rags and his skin was peeling and hanging from his body. After leaving the school to walk back to his house he saw several victims that had been burned badly as well including a woman and her baby who both had their skin completely peeled off. Takahashi had to receive medical treatment for a year before he finally recovered. Only ten out of the sixty classmates at his junior high school survived. Takahashi’s testimony really illustrates the total carnage caused by the droppings of the atomic bombs (Testimony of Akihiro Takahashi).
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