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The First Nuclear Attack: America's Dirty Secret

Updated on March 5, 2015

At 8:15 AM on August 6, 1945 the Enola Gay arrived in Hiroshima, Japan from America. When the B-29 bomber got there it brought mass destruction. Hiroshima was a city of 318,000 people, about 80,000 people of which were killed. Some dropped dead immediately, while others suffered until they died days later. Three days later, on August 9 the same destruction hit Nagasaki, Japan. 60,000 people in Nagasaki were killed. 95% of the people that were killed in these incidences were civilians. The devastation was incredible. All of this came from the atomic bomb.

Hiroshima, Japan

The biggest question that comes to people who understand the terrible impacts that come from nuclear warfare is, was it really necessary? President Truman told people that the two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan to end the war in the Pacific. It is my theory that the Truman administration did not drop the bombs to end the war in the Pacific. America dropped the bombs to carry out ulterior motives against the USSR.

America was engulfed in World War II and had just seen the demise of Germany. The Soviet Union basically won that part of the war, which showed what a powerful threat the USSR really was. Once the war against Fascist Germany was completed, the war of the Pacific began. America had already been fighting against the Japanese and the Soviet Union was set to invade on August 8.

During World War II The Manhattan Project began. The Manhattan Project started in 1939 with Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Once Roosevelt died, the project was passed along to President Truman (1945-1953). The Manhattan Project began in defense against Germany, who was working on the creation of a nuclear weapon. By 1941 the research was being done in America under the Office of Scientific Research and Development.

American, Canadian, And British scientists all worked together to figure out the mysteries of the atom and discover ways they could use its' power. Dr. Vannevar Bush was the head of this and by 1942 most of the project was handed over to the War Department. In 1942 three large-scale plants were in construction. Two were in Tennessee and one was in Hanford, Washington.

In 1943 Truman formed a policy committee for the use of the bomb. Secretary Stimson, Dr. Bush, and Dr. Conant were to represent the United States, Sir John Dill and Colonel Liewellin were to represent the United Kingdom, and C. D. Howe was to represent Canada.

$2,000,000,000 was invested in the Manhattan Project and what came out of it was the very first nuclear weapon. Up until the atomic bomb was created and used, the British bomb The Grand Slam was the most powerful bomb ever used in warfare. The atomic bomb had about 2,000 times more blast power than The Grand Slam and had more power than 20,000 tons of TNT.

At the time, America’s foreign policy with Russia was “containment”. The idea behind this was the Domino Theory. The Domino Theory basically emphasized that if one nation were communist then the nations around it would fall to communism.

By the time World War II came around the USA was already technically starting a Cold War with the Soviet Union. The Cold War really dates back to 1917 when Woodrow Wilson refused to recognize them as a nation. There has always been serious hostility between America and the USSR. This intense hostility comes from the great difference in (perceived) morals and values between the USA and the USSR.

The USSR’s communism was definitely more polar from Fascism; however; it greatly differed from America’s democracy as well. The United States always viewed itself as being freedom fighters and on the crusade to keep the world safe for democracy. To the people with these ideals, the idea of communism is appalling, almost sickening. On the other end of the spectrum, the types of governments holding up communism found democracy and America’s view of “freedom” equally as disturbing. The USSR also viewed America as capitalists and most of America’s laws and policies as capitalist encirclement.

USSR

USSR definitely was part of the Grand Alliance that consisted of Churchill, Truman, Stalin, and Jaing Jieshi. However, America was sure to always kept the Soviet Union at an arms length and never trust them. All in all, the basic morals and values that made up the foundations of the USA and the USSR just could not coincide.

This bomb held so much devastating power that it should only be used if it absolutely has to be. Atomic bombs are so serious, not only because of the number of people they kill, but also because of the way in which they kill people. They make people’s lips and eyes swell up until they bleed. Then, the people’s flesh rots from the inside until it peels off and the bone can be seen. People finally end up vomiting and bleeding out until they are dead. Atomic bombs do terrible things. If people do not die this way they are immediately killed. They are killed on the spot by being burned alive. Atomic bombs catch entire cities and villages on fire. Measures must be drastic and reasons sound, in order for one to be used.

There were so many other things America was doing to end the war of the Pacific at the time. The fact that the USA used the bomb showed that there were secret reasons behind it. Although the reasons America had for using the bomb may have been important, they had very little to do with Japan. Before America dropped the atomic bomb on the Japanese they were using all kind of “conventional” warfare; this included the use of incendiary bombs. Incendiary bombs cause villages to catch on fire and suffocate all the people around. The US’ firebombs killed over 100,000 people in Tokyo, alone. Throughout the war between fifty and seventy-five of Japan’s cities were firebombed and fifty-nine of Japan’s sixty-six largest cities were completely destroyed. Overall, over 1,000,000 Japanese people were killed in the war from America’s use of incendiary bombs. 20,000,000 Japanese people were left homeless. Since America was killing over 1,000,000 people with incendiary bombs then why switch to an atomic bomb that only killed 140,000 people? Why not continue with incendiary bombs to end the war?

The reason the US switched to the atomic bomb was to make a statement. America wanted to show the USSR that they were a dominant player in the world and they had better never mess with America. America wanted to demonstrate their capabilities of causing mass destruction. The USSR is used to firebombs; those are old news. However, nuclear weapons are new and powerful. Also, America’s willing to use them.

Simultaneously, the US was working on Operation Starvation. If this would have continued, the war would have been clean-cut over. The United States Navy had a complete naval blockade preventing the delivery of any raw materials. America also blocked off the Japanese’s railroads to cut them off from their imports. We completely isolated them from getting food. This mostly would have affected the cities of Southern Honshu. An approximation of 10,000,000 people would have died from starvation and famine from this.

Operation Starvation was an absolutely solid plan because it isolated them and their government would have had to watch as their own innocent people slowly died off. If America’s only goal was to end the war then this would have taken care of it. The 140,000 people killed off by the atomic bomb didn’t make nearly as big of an impact as Operation Starvation would have had on Japan.

However, the bomb made a huge impact on the Soviet Union. What does the Soviet Union care if people in Japan starve off? The Soviet Union would sure take notice of the first ever atomic bomb being dropped. They especially would take notice if it was being dropped by one of the most powerful up-and-coming nations.

If it really was truly about Japan then why did America keep the bomb in such a state of surprise to them? The US could have made an extreme impact on them by demonstrating the bomb’s power to them before it was used. Perhaps the US would not have had to use it at if that had been done. America could have given the Japanese a glimpse of what lied in the future for them if they didn’t surrender. Physicist Edward Teller even attempted to explain to President Truman that the bomb needed to be demonstrated, rather than take so many innocent lives.

However, it wasn’t their future America was concerned about. It was the American future with Russia the Truman administration was concerned about. While America merely demonstrating Japan the powers of the bomb could have ended the war, it would have no impact on Russia. By doing a simple demonstration the Russians would not be impressed upon.

Edward Teller

Not only did America completely bypass the much less morbid idea of giving them a demonstration, America gave them absolutely no heads-up at all. This becomes even shadier considering that leaflets of warning were only dropped down on the effected areas of Japan after the atomic bombs were dropped. The Interim Committee (put in place by Truman) that was put in charge of the project even suggested to Truman that no warning can be given to the Japanese people, whatsoever. Then why drop the warning papers afterward? After the drop of the bombs the warning papers were completely and utterly useless.

It’s a slap in the face to the Japanese people because the warning papers being dropped afterward only too clearly illustrated to them how they had been used as a pawn. The only reason the warning leaflets were dropped on the cities afterwards is because the Truman administration wanted absolutely nothing to interfere with those bombs being dropped. They didn’t want the Japanese people to do anything crazy like surrender, because then there would be no big boom to instill fear in the Soviet Union.

The meetings of Potsdam were held in Germany with Truman, Stalin, and Churchill. Potsdam was meant to discuss war aims and discuss ways the war could be ended. At Potsdam Truman gave no word to Stalin of having an atom bomb, even though he is an ally to the United States. Truman also gave no clue that he would even consider using it and offered the Japanese no terms. By the USA not saying anything about it there was no way Japan could get a clue about it and try to react with surrender.

America didn’t even wait long enough in between the nuclear attacks to get a reaction from the Japanese people. There was only a three day gap between the bombing of Hiroshima and the bombing of Nagasaki. If it was about ending the war of the Pacific then why wouldn’t America wait to get some type of a reaction? The Japanese people didn’t even surrender until August 15. That’s six days after the last nuclear attack Truman ambushed them with. How could the American government really expect to get a full unconditional surrender in less than three days? How could it be about Japan? What would impress the Soviet Union more than one atomic bomb being dropped? How about two atomic bombs being dropped. That way the Russians can see the ruthlessness the Americans would have with them if they ever dared to take a foul step.

The biggest clues that the bomb had nothing to do with ending the war were the Potsdam meetings. The bomb was not dropped until August of 1945 but the Japanese had been trying to negotiate the end of the war and come to some kind of peace as early as September 1994. The Potsdam meetings began on July 17, 1945 about a month after the US had intercepted Japanese cables to the Soviet Union pleading them to aid them in negotiation the end of the war with the allies. Brigadier General Carter Clarke was in charge of intercepting Japanese cables for the US and even strongly advised Truman and the entire Truman administration against the use of the bomb.

The Japanese’s biggest problem was that they wanted to keep their emperor. Emperor Hirohito was the emperor of the time. The emperor to the Japanese people is sacred and they would lose him if they accepted unconditional surrender. They let it be entirely known that they would give conditional surrender if they were given the allowance to keep their emperor. The US could not accept that. America wanted unconditional surrender and made it clear that’s all they would accept. Even the day before the Potsdam meetings began the Japanese were pleading with the ambassador to Moscow.

The Potsdam meetings were so important because they really show some of the underhanded sneaky actions the Truman administration took. The Potsdam meetings were actually supposed to occur before July 17 but Truman delayed them for undisclosed reasons. Truman finally allowed the Potsdam meetings to occur once he got word that the nuclear bomb was successfully tested on July 16 at Alamogordo, New Mexico. This shows how pertinent the information on the bomb was to Truman. He needed to know if the bomb was ready to use so he could curb the Potsdam meetings in his bomb-favorable direction.

The Soviet Union had previously agreed to attack Japan on August 8 but Truman convinced Stalin to delay his entry until August 15. Truman made sure that the bomb was ready and that he would have enough time to drop the bomb before the USSR could enter the war. There is absolutely no doubt that Russian entry would have forced Japan to give an unconditional surrender. With America’s Navy having the Japanese’s imports completely blocked off and bombing them constantly (with conventional bombs), the invasion by the USSR would have sealed the war.

Potsdam Meetings

Instead of receiving that unconditional surrender that Truman had been fighting so hard for, he took a conditional surrender. Truman accepted their terms of keeping their emperor. The whole reason Truman nuked them and refused to end the war was because he refused a conditional surrender. The war could have been over back in September of 1944 when they first started trying to negotiate a conditional surrender with the US. Instead America carry on the war for another year, used nuclear weapons, and murder hundreds of thousands of people. After all that, the Truman Administration decide that a conditional surrender was okay after all.

The words “unconditional surrender” were stressed by Truman so much and made so important but somehow overnight it just becomes okay? On August 6 when the first atomic bomb was dropped, conditional surrender was unacceptable. On August 9 conditional surrender was unacceptable. However on August 15 it somehow becomes acceptable. How could Truman and his entire administration change their whole ideology and goals for the war so drastically in about six days?

They didn’t change their goal or ideas at all. They got exactly what they wanted. Their goals were unequivocally met. America wanted the war to be clearly won by America, and America alone. Truman wanted to keep Stalin and the Soviet Union out of the war as much as he could.

The main reason Truman wanted Russia kept out of the war was because he wanted Russian kept out of the post-war agreements. Truman so badly did not want to have the USSR invade Japan to end the war because he wanted America to be the clear winners. This needed to happen so America could play the dominating role in the post-war settlements.

Truman Quote

The USSR really was an expansionary power. The USSR really was just doing what Russia had always done: expand. Truman and his administration did not want the USSR to expand into the Pacific or attempt at making any claims in China. This all goes back to the American’s basic fear of the Domino Theory.

Truman needed to make sure that he ended the war with one final blow out before the USSR had joint-occupation. The whole reason he accepted that unconditional surrender was because he needed something fast before Russia could really get in there. The occupation by Russia would have ended the war. If the use of the atomic bombs were to end the war why not wait to see what would have happened when the USSR invaded? After all, that was the plan at Potsdam to end the war. The bombs were never even mentioned at Potsdam or to Stalin at all. The plan born from the Potsdam meetings was for the War of the Pacific to be ended with the USSR‘s invasion of Japan.

The use of the nuclear devices really was to intimidate the USSR by forcing them to accept the post-war settlements that America would be in charge of making. Once the atomic bombs were dropped, Walter Brown (assistant of Secretary of State Byrnes) insisted that Truman and Byrnes only dropped the bomb to keep USSR out of the post-World War II world and China.

All in all, with just a small look into the future, you can see that the USSR caught onto Truman’s message. Barely any time passed whatsoever once WWII ended and America began the Cold War with Russia. They went from being allies to complete enemies who refused to communicate with each other. There was always an enormous difference between the two countries and the use of the atomic bomb made everything come to the surface.

It is so incredibly clear that the use of the atomic bomb in ending the war was entirely unnecessary. America had so many other projects going on that would have ended the war. Very effective incendiary bombs were being used that killed many more people than the atomic bomb killed. Operation Starvation was another plan the Truman Administration had to end the war because it completely isolated Japanese cities (and the people) from everything that was keeping them alive. America’s Navy had them completely blocked off. This plan threatened the deaths of approximately 10, 000,000 people. Would the government of Japan not be more likely to take that seriously than the 140,000 people killed off from the atomic bombs? Eisenhower even advised Truman that the atomic bombs were completely unnecessary to end the war and unnecessary to save American lives.

Eisenhower Quote

The secrecy of the whole thing also shows that the bombs were for more of a statement, rather than to an end of a war. The Japanese were never given any notice that they had better give an unconditional surrender or they would be nuked. They were only warned after the fact. The reason things played out that way was to assure that the Japanese would not be able to surrender so America could intimidate the Soviet Union with the nuclear devices.

The Potsdam meeting also fit in with this conspiracy. Stalin ended up changing the date he was supposed to invade to a few weeks later because Truman convinced him to do so. Truman did this because he wanted to make sure that the atomic bomb was successfully tested before he went to the Potsdam meetings so he could sway them in his direction. He wanted the war to have a blunt end before the USSR could gain joint-occupation.

If the USSR was allowed to enter the war, it would have ended. The biggest argument by people who believe that the nuclear weapons were necessities was that the bombs were dropped to save American lives. Would all that many more American lives be taken? The Soviet Union was about to occupy, so it would have been Soviet lives that were taken for the cause.

The bomb was not dropped on Japan because the war had no end in sight. The end was very near. Japan had been trying to come to some kind of peace as early as September 1994. About a month before the Potsdam meetings occurred, the US had intercepted Japanese cables to the Soviet Union asking them to represent them at Potsdam to attempt to find some common ground.

Truman even accepted conditional surrender from the Japanese, which he had been so adamantly against before. America needed to be the clear-cut victor so they could decide what was to be done once the war was over.

America thought if absolutely pertinent to continue their containment policy with the USSR. The bombs were dropped to further contain the Soviet Union and prevent them from expanding. The biggest fear of the Truman administration was that the USSR might attempt to make claims in the Pacific (including China) then the Domino Theory would take on full-force.

It’s not necessarily untrue that the nuclear bombs served a purpose. The part that is entirely untrue is that the bombs had anything to do with the Japanese. The bombs had nothing to do with the Japanese or the War of the Pacific. Perhaps if the Soviets had been able to intervene they would have made some exotic post-war claims that could have turned out “negatively”. Who knows? The point is that the nuclear bombs were dropped resulting in the deaths of about 140,000 people who probably had nothing to do with the devices true purposes.

Manhattan Project- Oak Ridge

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