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Was the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima Justified?

The movie “Hiroshima” documented the entire process of the Atom bomb attacks on the largest island of Japan on August 6th, 1945. Although there are many scenes in this movie that show that Hiroshima is a military city with many soldiers and a huge number of military industries, Hiroshima also had thousands of civilians who were actually the major victims of that attack. Those people’s fates just changed in few seconds, and even the survivors also experienced a hell-like environment which is hard to imagine for everyone else. Therefore, this movie makes me change my opinion on this event from ‘the attack is justified’ to ‘the attack is reasonable, but not necessary’.

Based on the aspect of the interests of the US, it is reasonable and justified to drop the A-bombs in Japan. The strategic bombing campaign significantly shortened the length of World War II. This strategy saved the lives of thousands of American soldiers by not repeating the battle of Peleliu and Iwo Jima and saved a huge number of lives of the Japanese army and civilians because many of them are ready to be sacrificed if the US planned to land. However, the only question is – why the US wanted to end the war at such a hurry pace? Japan is an island country that is relatively hard to attack but is also easy to be forced to surrender by cutting off all of their supplies, which was implied by one of the Japanese survivors at the end of the movie. I think the important reason the U.S. decided to drop an atomic bomb was that they don’t want the Soviet Union (former Russia) to get involved.

The movie implied a little about the U.S. facing a direct threat from Russia since it quickly started its war against Japan after the Potsdam Declaration. Both U.S. and Russia knew that Japan was no longer a big threat, and they all wanted a better position after the war. Therefore, from the United States’ point of view, ending the war quickly in this kind of way would be very important and using the Atom bombs was obviously the best choice to achieve this goal. Whether Hiroshima is a military target or not actually is not a big issue since, at that time, entire Japan is military-oriented. Hiroshima is the largest island in Japan. Even though Hiroshima was a major army base that housed the headquarters of several Japanese armies, most of the people were still civilians, which can be seen throughout the movie. The US chose this city because of its location, size, and possible impact on Japan ‘Emperor’. Since the US headquarters knew well about the power of the Atom Bomb, they carefully chose this city as a proper target much earlier before the attack.

The movie explained that, unlike most heavy-bombed Japanese cities, along with several other candidates, Hiroshima almost received no airstrike before the Atom Bomb attack so that US military specialists could evaluate the effect of the bomb more precisely. I support that dropping the bombs was not a crime, and the US government should not be charged. It was a controversial action, but it can be largely justified. Although most Japanese civilians are innocent, their government, their emperor, and their army should also take responsibility for this tragedy. There are many scenes in this movie that emphasized that the Japanese government still held the belief to sacrifice a large proportion of their population, including women and children, to stop the invasion of the US. This was against humanity from many points of view.

What is more, at that time, Japan still had a large armed force, which is far from being out of resistance. There are quite a few reasons to use a massively destructive weapon against such a recalcitrant enemy. First, the crew of ‘Enola Gay’ should not be charged with any crimes. They are just following orders from their superiors. Second, they did not do anything brutal. One scene in the movie shows that due to the jam of the film equipment, those crews didn’t even have an impression of the power of the bomb before it finally exploded. On the contrary, I think they should be honoured by well-performing such a difficult task. Finally, their action directly led to the end of the war.

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Was the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima Justified?. (2021, Aug 17). Retrieved September 16, 2021, from