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Atomic Bomb Primary Source
Atomic Bomb Primary Source
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Atomic Bomb Primary Source

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Wh a bomb primary souce doc may 3 2010

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  • 1. Kevin Lee’s Atomic Bomb Study Guide For: Primary Source DocumentsSCIENTISTS1) Leo Szilard (AGAINST) – July 17, 1945 sent petition to U.S. President (Truman) stating strong feelings against usage of the bomb against Japan. First, he petitioned the President not to use the bomb unless detailed terms are made public in Japan, and Japan is given an opportunity to surrender. Secondly, that the President take into heavy consideration this petition, and other moral responsibilities involved. Petition was signed by Szilard and 69 other scientists involved in the Manhattan Project.2) Edward Teller (AGAINST) – (a.k.a.- Father of the H-Bomb) Had the chance to sign the petition of Leo Szilard (#1), as it was sent to him, and was ready to sign and circulate it, but after speaking with Oppenheimer, changed his mind and did not sign it, something he regrets heavily today. At the time, Teller promotes the explosion of the bomb at a high altitude over Tokyo, demonstrating the potential of the bomb, killing no one, and getting desired effect, so the Japanese would surrender.3) Albert Einstein (AGAINST) – (Pacifist) A year after the war, in his quest to promote nuclear weapons control, he said: the war, which started with the Nazis using terrible weapons ended with the U.S. using a supreme weapon killing thousands at one blow. He says the war could have been won without usage of the bomb killing thousands of civilians. Claims once men use a weapon, they are sure to use it again.4) Joseph Rotblat: (AGAINST): Quit the Manhattan Project following the defeat of Germany. Claimedthere was no reason to develop the bomb once Germany was out of the war. The Nobel Prize winningphysicist warned of a horrible future threat to the existence of mankind if the bombs were to be used.MILITARY5) Combined Intelligence Committee (AGAINST) – British-American military intelligence expertsreported the bombing of Japan had made millions homeless, and destroyed 25-50% of Japan’s most importantcities. After the Soviet Union entered the war (90 days after VE Day), Japan would rather surrender, thancommit “national suicide,” especially if institution of the Emperor was kept.6) General Dwight Eisenhower (AGAINST) – When Eisenhower heard of the successful test of the atomicbomb, he expressed his sincere hope that the U.S. would not be the first nation leading the introduction ofsomething as horrible as the atomic bomb.7) Admiral William Leahy (AGAINST) – Says the atomic bomb is not a bomb, but a poisonous “thing” thatkills people by its radioactive reaction. Believes usage of the bomb makes the U.S. similar to the barbariansof the Dark Ages. Very morally unjust he says. Says by late 1944, the Japanese was almost alreadypractically defeated through sea and air blockades. The Russians would aid in the invasion, and the continualblockade that would make Japan surrender was supported by Roosevelt. Believes the use of the barbarousweapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not help to win the war against Japan. The Japanese were alreadydefeated, and there were other alternatives.8) Admiral Ernest King (AGAINST) – Believes that sea power in the end would have forced Japan tosurrender through a naval blockade, which would have strangled Japan of its oil, rice, medicines, and otheressential needs. An invasion was not required, only naval blockade, so the question of invasion vs. atomicbomb was not a necessary question.9) General H.H. Arnold (AGAINST) – This commander of the Army Air Force said that the surrender ofJapan was not because of the 2 bombs. 60 Japanese cities had already been raided, and over 2 million homeswere destroyed, and 241,000 people killed. Japan was already going to surrender, atomic bomb or no atomicbomb.10) Admiral Nimitz (AGAINST): The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace before the atomic agewas announced to the world with the destruction of Hiroshima and before the Russian entry into war. ... Theatomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military standpoint, in the defeat of Japan.
  • 2. Kevin Lee’s Atomic Bomb Study Guide For: Primary Source DocumentsPOLITICIANS1) Harry Truman (FOR) – Says that the planned invasion of mainland Japan would have used 2 millionAmericans, and that the military estimated very heavy casualties of this invasion. His interim committee onthe usage of the bomb, with his top officials and advisors, Sec. of the War, Stimson, recommended that thebomb be used against Japan. In the end, dropping the bomb saved American and Japanese lives and broughtan end to the war.2) Sec. of State Byrnes (FOR) – Byrnes knew that Japan was already defeated and would surrender in 6months time. Byrnes was concerned of Russian influence over Europe, and that the usage and demonstrationof the bomb would make Russia more manageable in Europe after the war. Szilard was shocked when helearned Byrnes was to be the Secretary of State.3) Henry Stimson (FOR) - (Secretary of War during WWII) writes that the Japanese had over 5 millionsoldiers, and although their navy and air force was very weak, their army was not. They showed noweakening of determination to fight, and the U.S. invasion of mainland Japan could have cost a millionAmerican lives. The two atomic bombs were dropped on cities that were a part of the Japanese war effort,and the bombs in general helped bring a quick end to the war.4) Winston Churchill (FOR) – Although he disagreed with the idea of unconditional surrender, he stronglyfavored use of the A-bombs. Dropping the bombs was a speedy end to the war. In all meetings Churchill satin with Americans, there was never a moment’s discussion as to whether the A-bomb should be used or not.MILITARY5) “Interim Committee” (FOR) – Truman appointed Stimson to lead a scientific group to advise thePresident on the implications of atomic energy. Conclusions were that a demonstration was out of thequestion since there was only one bomb available. According to Compton, the committee concluded thechance that a bomb demo would NOT work was too risky. “87% voted for military use, if after other meanswere tried this was found necessary to bring surrender…”6) General Leslie Groves (FOR) – General in charge of the Manhattan Project says that it would have beencriminal to have the materials to bring the war to a quick end, and then not use it to end the war. Says it wastrue the bombing was not required to win the war, but needed to save American lives.OTHER MILITARY (FOR): General Marshall?SCIENTISTS:7) Robert Oppenheimer (FOR) – A peace settlement without the usage of the bomb could have been made,but at the time, the authorities in Washington had the choice of invasion or bomb. Oppenheimer not sure ifJapan was even ready to surrender at the time. Also says that, he has never regretted his part in the making ofthe bomb, and that the existence of the bomb will help reduce the chance of World War III, and on top of this,regrets not making it faster, for it would have saved millions of lives.8) Luis Alvarez (FOR) – This physicist who had been involved in the making of the bomb and had actuallyflown on the Enola Gay (plane that dropped bomb on Hiroshima) said he supported the bomb and it helpedbring a quick end to the war, and that he would do it again, because at the time, it was either make it first, orface destruction from Germans who were also making it. Lastly, that the creation of the bomb has lessenedthe risk of WWIII.9) Arthur Compton (FOR) – scientist of the Manhattan Project and a member of the Interim Committee.Agreed with Counter petitions against Leo Szilard’s anti-bomb petition. Bomb should be used if it shortenedthe war and saved lives. He claimed many scientists had friends and family fighting in the Pacific. Thesescientists felt they were obligated to give soldiers the best weapons available. Thus, if one soldier died whilethe bomb was available, would be to have failed these soldiers. “I just wanted the war to end. I wanted life tobecome normal again. I hope by use of the bomb many fine young men IOther Scientist: (FOR) - Harold Agnew, Hans Bethe, Martin Deutch (For Hiroshima, Against Nagasaki), Erico Fermi
  • 3. Kevin Lee’s Atomic Bomb Study Guide For: Primary Source DocumentsMILITARY1) General George Marshall (BOTH) – Marshall favored an invasion of the mainland Japan, and that airraiding itself was not enough to make the Japanese surrender, for it had not made the Germans surrender. Theonly way to make them surrender was to make the Japanese feel utterly helpless. Marshall deferred to civilianleaders to make the decision of using the bomb. At first, he estimated 63,000 casualties of the 190,000combatants required for the invasion, but right before the decision to use the bomb was made, changed hisdecision to up to a million American lives to conform to Truman’s opinion, eventually helping the support ofthe usage of the bomb.2) General Douglas MacArthur (AGAINST) – On April 20th 1945, he strongly recommended a directattack on the Japanese mainland at Kyushu to secure airfields which would provide cover for the maininvasion of Japan. Prior to August 6, 1945, MacArthur had learned the Japanese were negotiating a peacewith the Russians. He was expecting acceptance of the Japanese surrender daily. Although not outspokenwhen the bombs were dropped, after the war, MacArthur said on several occasions the atomic bomb wascompletely unnecessary from a military point of view: "My staff was unanimous in believing that Japan wason the point of collapse and surrender." MacArthur later claimed the war might have ended weeks earlier, ifthe United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor.3) Unknown Marine in the Pacific: (FOR): “You think of the lives which would have been lost in aninvasion of Japan’s main islands — a staggering number of Americans, but millions more of Japanese — andyou thank God for the atomic bomb.”JAPANESE4) Baron Kantaro Suzuki – (HONORABLE END) In April 1945 the aged Admiral was appointed 42 ndPrime Minister of Japan. He was opposed to Japan’s war with America before and during WWII. Theemperor gave Suzuki explicit instructions to find some honorable way to end the war. Suzuki was consideredthe second of two prime ministers who were peace seeking following the downfall of Prime Minister Tojo’swar- making reign in July 1944. Suzuki ultimately led consensus leadership meetings between the peaceleaning government officials and pro-war military officials both before and after the dropping of the bombs.Suzuki called upon the Emperor to break the tie vote. Those on the Supreme Council willing to fight on neverchanged their vote before or after the dropping of the bombs. Upon Suzuki’s carrying out the Emperor’sdecision to surrender, some military leaders attempted to assassinate Suzuki, carry out a coup and continuethe war. All attempts failed and the Japanese surrendered on August 14, 1945.5) General Anami, Japanese War Minister (KEEP FIGHTING) - at a meeting of Japan’s Supreme Councilfor the Direction of the War (August 9, 1945) said, “Would it not be wondrous for this whole nation to bedestroyed like a beautiful flower.” The Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs and the Soviet Unionsdeclaration of war on Japan failed to sway Anami. He demanded that Japan "must fight to the end no matterhow great the odds against us!"6) Koichi Kido, aide of Emperor Hirohito – (HONORABLE END) Japanese leaders were split. One side,the militarist, were mainly for fighting until the end, while political leaders were set on working out a peaceagreement. While more and more of those seeking peace were winning their way, the militarist held a strongleadership position. Thus, this interesting quote: “We of the peace party were assisted by the atomic bomb inour endeavor to end the war.”7) Togo, Foreign Minister (HONORABLE END) – Togo, more than anyone else in the Japanese Cabinet,pushed Japan toward peace. His efforts were restricted by the military to only petitioning Russia to helpJapan end the war. When the Japanese Cabinet was unmoved to surrender by the Hiroshima and Nagasakiatomic bombings, Togo worked with Premier Suzuki and Privy Seal Kido to have the emperor request theCabinet to surrender. It was this that brought Japans surrender. (Togo is not to be confused with Tojo, formermilitant dictator often held responsible for taking Japan to war.)
  • 4. Kevin Lee’s Atomic Bomb Study Guide For: Primary Source DocumentsWRITER1) John Hersey – The novel Hiroshima, written by American journalist John Hersey describes the story of 6survivors of the bomb, and helps to tell the story of what happened to the city and its people. The sixindividuals who survived: the Jesuit priest; a widowed seamstress; two doctors; a minister; and a youngwoman who worked in a factory.2) Dr. Arata Osada – Japanese educator & author of Children of the Bomb - In 1951, Osada asked theyoung people of Hiroshima to write down their memories of August 6th, 1945, six years earlier, when theatomic bomb destroyed their city. A brief sampling of their vivid recollection are below:SURVIVORS RECALL:3) 5th grade girl. 4 years old in 1945 –“We were just about to ear breakfast – we were just about to put our chopsticks into our mouths… Just as wesaw a bright flash there was a loud bang I almost fainted… Mother, while she was trying to rescue a childwho lived next door, touched poison … Since Mother was in great pain day after day, we called the doctor.The doctor said, “the baby is going to be born pretty soon.” At the end of August a baby was born. But onlythe Baby’s head was born and then the baby and Mother died together. I was terribly sad…”Note: the expression “touched poison” or “breathed poison” were commonly used to explain symptoms thatwere later understood to be “radiation sickness.”4) Keiko Sasaki, 6 years old in 1945- "Why wasnt even a mamma or a daddy left for me ?"5) A seventeen-year-old boy:“The wretched scenes of that time come floating one after another like phantoms before my eyes. The flameswhich blaze up here and there from the collapsed houses… The old man, the skin of his face and bodypeeling off like a potato skin, mumbling prayers while he flees……the faces of monsters reflected from thewater dyed red with blood. They had clung to the side of the water tank and plunged their heads in to drinkand there in that position they had died. From their burned and tattered middy blouses I could tell that theywere high school girls, but there was not a hair left on their heads; the broken skin of their faces was stainedbright red with blood. I could hardly believe that these were human faces.”6) Summary of Children of the Bomb: a collection of 67 testimonies of Hiroshima survivors culled from atotal of more than two thousand, detailing the experiences of these innocent victims on August 6th, 1945:The world around you is peopled with monsters, burned over one half of their bodies, their heads swollen totwice their normal size, blood seeping from their eyeballs, entrails hanging out, skin burned away, covered inthe bright red of blood. And then you too realize that this is exactly what you look like.Looking for relatives in the devastation, many will merely salvage a few bones, probable remnants of thefamily they will never see again. The luckiest manage to find a sister or a brother, a mother or a father,unrecognizable, though these too often will not survive "the poison." Their hair will fall off, brown spots willappear all over their bodies, and they will just die, vomiting blood, vomiting yellow.

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