The Use of the Atomic Bomb as a Military Strategy

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Military Strategy and the Use of Atomic Bombs

Military strategy has been a major concern to nations in the world to ensure military success since time immemorial. During the world wars, military strategies enabled armies to win wars as well as conquer their enemies. The use of the atomic bomb as a military strategy happened on August 6, 1945, and has not happened in the world history again due to the mass destruction that was the result. Using an inductive research approach, it is possible to come up with answers to our research questions by using historical data analysis. The question remains why Hiroshima and Nagasaki were chosen as atomic bomb targets and if this bombing was necessary to end the war or rather if there were ulterior motives behind the bombing rather than just ending the war as well as reasons for the Japanese surrender.

The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb

According to Morton (1960), the decision to use the atomic bomb for the first time against Japan was not a decision made by one individual. This was a decision that involved many individuals including the interim committee, the scientists involved in the devising of the atomic bomb, military officials as well as other individuals and organizations. This decision was to be made during the final faces of the Second World War to help stop the war as well as to showcase the military advancements of the United States’ military power. The use of the bomb was a concern due to the political as well as the diplomatic consequences of its use. At this same time, the Germans were also devising a similar weapon with which they intended to use against their enemies and therefore the USA had to act fast and show their success before a similar bomb was used against them. The major concerns raised were that there was no known defense mechanism against the atomic bomb attack (Morton, 1960). According to the Interim committee, they used the weapon to save the lives of both Japanese as well as American citizens which is questionable since they did not demand surrender through testing the weapon for the Japanese to see its impact before attacking thereby failing to save the lives of the millions of Japanese who died.

Reasons for Japanese Surrender

According to Pape (1993), the USA coerced the Japanese into surrendering unconditionally without the latter’s territory not captured by the Americans. Many reasons have been given out towards this surprising move the most prominent being to protect its vulnerable army as well as civilians from any further attacks. Japan’s military strategies were poor exposing the country to invasion threats. The Japanese army had lost several fights including the collapse of the Japanese army in Manchuria (Pape, 1993). Japan also feared future impacts of the atomic bomb, as well as the probability of the country, becoming extinct if further atomic bomb attacks occurred. This was after the Americans proved that they could do more harm just by a single bomb explosion. The decision was also because the American government had allowed the Japanese to retain their empire if they had surrendered.

The Role of the Atomic Bomb and Japanese Surrender

Although Harry Truman has a different perspective for both reasons why the Americans used the atomic bomb as well as why the Japanese surrendered, it is clear that there was no need for the atomic bomb since the Japanese were at the verge of surrender. They had lost almost all the fight due to poor military strategies, and thereby just a little demonstration of the effects of the atomic bomb would coerce them into surrender.


Morton, L. (1960). The decision to use the atomic bomb (Vol. 70, No. 7-23). Center of Military History, US Army.

Pape, R. A. (1993). Why Japan Surrendered. International Security, 18(2), 154-201.

November 13, 2023

History War World

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Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Japan

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