Why did Truman use the atomic bomb against Japan ?
Résumé du mémoire
This decision was actually matured behind closed doors, not only by the American President but also by his advisers, his ministers and a few scientific experts. Of the many reasons that they invoked during their secret meetings and revealed a posteriori, some of them were undeniably valid but others were more questionable. They were of all kinds : pragmatic, political, military, realistic, ideological, moral, psychological, tactic and diplomatic. Nevertheless, after examining them one by one, it will appear that the military one was the most important in the eyes of Truman, because it reflected the most immediate priority in American foreign policy.
Sommaire du mémoire
I) The will of ending the war as soon as possible to limit human cost
II) The diplomatic gain on the international stage
III) Truman's accountability toward American people
IV) The psychological factors: racism and will of revenge
V) The quasi-absence of reasons to prevent him from using the bomb
Extraits du mémoire
[...] Further sporadic bombings, sinkings, massacres, etc. in Japan, in China and in the Pacific ocean could be avoided. Thus, the main reason why Truman used the bomb corresponded with the highest priority at that time, which was shorten the agony of war, in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans? in his own words. Secondly, on top of permitting the end of the war, using the bomb, it was believed, could bring about an increased diplomatic prominence of the US on the international stage. [...]
[...] Paterson. Major Problems in American Foreign Relations, Volume II : Since 1914. 7th edition. Boston : Wadsworth Cengage Learning - Patterson, Thomas G., J. Garry Clifford, Shane J. Maddock, Deborah Kisatskyn and Kenneth J. Hagan, American Foreign Relations : a History, Volume 2 : Since 1895, 7th edition. [...]
[...] Boston : Wadsworth Cengage Learning - Walker, J. Samuel, Prompt & Utter Destruction Truman and the Use of Atomic Bombs Against Japan, Revised Edition. Chapel Hill & London : The University of North Carolina Press Thomas G. Patterson et al, American Foreign Relations : a History, Volume 2 : Since 1895, 7th ed. (Boston : Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2010), 226-227. James G. Hershberg, James B. [...]
[...] Conant Harvard to Hiroshima and the Making of the Nuclear Age, (New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 1993) Patterson, American Foreign Relations J. Samuel Walker, Prompt & Utter Destruction Truman and the Use of Atomic Bombs Against Japan, Revised Edition (Chapel Hill, NC & London : The University of North Carolina Press, 2004), 2-4. Walker, Prompt & Utter Destruction, 9-10. Walker, Prompt & Utter Destruction Patterson, American Foreign Relations Patterson, American Foreign Relations, 230-231. Walker, Prompt & Utter Destruction, 17-18. Dennis Merrill & Thomas G. [...]
[...] Assuming again that the army's landing on the main Japanese island of Kyushu would be necessary to defeat Tokyo definitely, the forecasts concerning American deaths were even higher (around 500,000 according to General George Marshall, over a million according to Secretary of War Henry Stimson, etc.). Truman's personal traumatizing experience of the First World War made such a loss of American lives inconceivable in his eyes. Moreover, the fact that he had come into power not as result of democratic elections but simply because of his predecessor's premature death, made him feel personally responsible for every single youth's death. That is why, even if the number of casualties predicted had been smaller, Truman would have probably still used the bomb. Even though he was not completely sure that an invasion of Kyushu island would not be necessary, by hitting Japan in an astonishing and unknown way, Truman expected Emperor Hirohito to finally lose his pride and surrender immediately and unconditionally. [...]
À propos de l'auteur
Hélène M.EtudianteRelations internationalesWhy did Truman use the atomic bomb against Japan ?