The atomic bomb is the subject of much controversy. Since its first detonation in 1945, the entire
fear of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). The effects of the atomic bomb might not have
Hiroshima and Nagasaki were detonated with the intention of bringing an end to the war with
Japan, but instead to intimidate the Soviet Union. The fact of Japan’s imminent defeat, the
Europe prove this without question.
Admittedly, dropping the atomic bomb was a major factor in Japan’s decision to accept the terms
pointed out, however, that Japan had already been virtually defeated. (McInnis, 1945) Though
the public did not know this, the allies, in fact, did. Through spies, they had learned that both
Japan’s foreign minister, Shigenori Togo and Emperor Hirohito both supported an end to the war
United States also knew Japan’s situation to be hopeless. Their casualties in defending the
doomed island of Okinawa were a staggering 110,000 and the naval blockade which the allies
destruction. (Grant, 1998). Of course, the Allies ignored this for the reason that dropping the
atomic bomb on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would intimidate Russia. Had
they truly been considering saving more lives and bringing a quick end to the war in Japan, they
to terms that some historians feel helped create more tension between the two countries because
was not confident that the United States could win the war easily without Russian support. He
simply assumed that Japan would have to be invaded (Claypool, 1984). After Roosevelt’s death
situations developed and progress on the atomic bomb continued to increase, Truman felt that a
Russian invasion of Japanese territory might not be necessary. “If the atomic bomb was effective,
that a Russian invasion might mean communist rule after the war.” (Claypool, 1984, Pg. 78) It
was quite apparent, in fact, to many world leaders that the United States did not want Russian
Churchill has been quoted writing: “‘It is quite clear that the United States do not at the present
time desire Russian participation in the war against Japan.’” (Claypool, 1984, Pg. 78) As World
War II came to a closure, two new superpowers emerged: the United States and the Soviet
Union. The United States obviously felt that if they could prove to the world that they had
superior weaponry, that it would be held in the highest regard by all nations of the world.
troubled relations with Russia, and the confidence that the United States had in the atomic bomb,
that they did, in fact, use it to intimidate Russia and not to force a closure to the war with Japan.
that had dominated Europe during the war and in pre-war times had been dismantled and the two
influencing their government in one particular way. By 1945, Poland was under a communist
regime and the chances were high of the rest of Europe becoming communist. (Legvold, 1999)
Communism with an extreme passion. The United States obviously hoped that, through the use of
the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, the Russians would be intimidated and thus be more agreeable in
negotiations for the division of Europe. Without such a weapon, the Russians would have been
were as cool and calm as ever. The United States, however, did not know this, and thus had the
right to be as confident as they were at Potsdam. (Claypool, 1984) With such motivation to back
them, the United States felt justified in dropping the atomic bomb in order to prevent the spread
of communism in Europe by intimidating Russia.
It is quite apparent that the United States did, in fact, drop the two atomic bombs, Little Boy and
Fat Man on Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively for the primary reason of intimidating Russia.
Japan had suffered severe losses of life and were close to surrender even when they were
unaware of the existence of atomic weaponry. The allies knew this and still ignored that fact.
Relations with the Russians were becoming increasingly tense at that point and the United States
wanted to prove to the world that they, and not the Russians, were the most superior country in
the world. By intimidating Russia, all these goals could be realized. It’s quite apparent that
and Nagasaki simply to intimidate Russia. For, instead of the desired effect that the United States
had wished for, the Russians responded more hostilely and thus the Cold War began. Perhaps if
the atomic bomb was never dropped, the threat of nuclear war might not have been upon us.