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Koude Oorlog

Introduction to source 1 and 2

Source 1 and 2 are about the use of the atomic bomb against the two Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On August 6, 1945 the United States throw an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 9. The Japanese Government have applied on Aug. 15. This is World War II ended

Source 1

James Byrne, US Secretary of State, speaking in 1945.

Any weapon that would bring an end to the war and save a million casualties among American boys was justified, and we were talking about people who hadnít hesitated at Pearl Harbor to make a sneak attack destroying not only ships but the lives of many American sailors. I would have been satisfied had the Russians determined not to enter the war against Japan. I believed the Abomb would be successful and would force the Japanese to accept surrender on our terms. I feared what would happen when the Red Army entered Manchuria.

Source 2

An extract from The Roots of European Security by the Russian historian Vadim Nekrasov, 1984.

Officially the Americans claimed that the bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was aimed at bringing the end of the war nearer and avoiding
unnecessary bloodshed and casualties. But they had entirely different objectives. The purpose of the bombings was to intimidate other countries,
above all the Soviet Union. In other words the US decision to use atomic energy for military purposes was meant to produce a diplomatic and
psychological impact, and this has since involved the world in a nuclear arms race.


Use source 1 and 2

How useful are Sources 1 and 2 to explain why President Truman ordered the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan in 1945?
















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Copyright:  Albert van der Kaap, 2011