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The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb

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Maggie Evans

on 4 May 2011

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Transcript of The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb

The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb WWII
By Maggie Evans and Katie Muniz Background Why? Death Tolls (Hiroshima & Nagasaki) Works Cited Burr, William. "The Atomic Bomb and the End of World War II: A Collection of
Primary Sources." The National Security Archive . N.p., 27 Apr. 2007 . Web.
27 Apr. 2011. <http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB162/
"The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb ." Harry S. Truman Library & Museum .
N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2011.
Dietrich, Bill. "Pro and Con on Dropping the Bomb ." The Seattle Times. N.p., 1995. Web. 27 Apr. 2011. <http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/special/trinity/supplement/procon.html>.
Ferrell, Robert H. "Introduction: Truman and the Bomb, a Documentary History Harry S. Truman: Library & Museum . N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2011. <http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/bomb/ferrell_book/
"Harry S. Truman ." The White House Washington . N.p., 2010 . Web. 21 Apr. 2011. <http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/harrystruman>.
"Hiroshima and Nagasaki Death Toll." Children of the Atomic Bomb: A UCLA Physician's Eyewitness Report and Call to Save the World's Children . N.p., 10 Oct. 2007 . Web. 26 Apr. 2011. <http://www.aasc.ucla.edu/cab/200708230009.html>.
"Man Who Dropped Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima Dies at 92 ." Fox News.com . N.p., 1 Nov. 2007. Web. 21 Apr. 2011. <http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,307252,00.html>.
Shalett, Sidney. "First Atomic Bomb Dropped on Japan; Missile Is Equal to 20,000 Tons of TNT; Truman Warns Foe of a 'Rain of Ruin." The New York Times Learning Network . N.p., 2010 . Web. 21 Apr. 2011. <http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/big/0806.html >.
Tucker, Spencer C. "Dropping the Bomb: Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Dropping the Bomb Saved Lives." World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2011. Web. 21 Apr. 2011.
Classicoradio. Harry S Truman's announcement on Bombing of Hiroshima. YouTube .
N.p., 8 Mar. 2009 . Web. 27 Apr. 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/
"Nagasaki bombing." Image. National Archives. World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2011. Web. 21 Apr. 2011 Pilot of the Plane Which Dropped the
Atomic Bomb: Paul Warfield Tibbets Jr.
Pilot of the B-29 that dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.
He was a student at the University of Cincinnati's medical school until he dropped out to enrole in the Army Air Corps in 1937.
He and his crew of 14 men dropped the five-ton bomb which killed approximately 70,000-100,000 people and severely injuring countless amounts of citizens.
Tibbets died on November 1, 2007 of many health problems.
In previous interviews Tibbets expresses how he never regrets his role and how the emotional impact has had no effect on him.
"We had feelings, but we had to put them in the background. We knew it was going to kill people right and left. But my one driving interest was to do the best job I could so that we could end the killing as quickly as possible." ~Tibbets August 6, 2005 Harry S. Truman 33rd president of the USA lasting from 1945–1953
After a few weeks of being Vice President, Truman rarely saw President Theodore Roosevelt.
He was given no preparation or information about the developement of the atomic bomb.
Serious deliberations were held between Truman and his advisers about the dropping of the bombs.
He then decided that dropping the two bombs would be the only way to get Japan to surrender and save millions of American lives. His reasons were: how the Japanese acted in WWII and the bombing of Pearl Harbor
There was a lot of resentment towards the Japanese from the US
March of Bataan – in which Japanese soldiers made Filipino and American people walk 50 miles in four days with lack of food and water-
In Japanese prison camps – they treated the United States soldiers with more hatred than any other country
Americans invaded various islands in Japan throughout 1994 taking many casualties and costing a lot
By June – everyone was wondering what Truman would do to see if the Japanese would surrender
Because of all these casualties, invasion would be too much – Truman’s decision to drop the bombs was mainly for the safety of the United States and it’s soldiers Focus Questions 1. What was Harry S. Truman’s reasoning behind dropping the atomic bomb on Japan?

2. How did the bombing affect Japan and the international community?

3. Why are some people critical of the dropping of the atomic bombs? This is the New York Times article published after the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. The articles vividly describe the events leading up to the bombing such as the bomb testing in New Mexico. Truman makes it clear that the Japanese were fairly warned and that this was able to save many American lives from further slaughtering. Spending on technological advancements added up to $2,000,000,000. Lastly, it goes in depth into the inventing and decision making among the government in order to drop the bomb. Key Terms
1) Harry S. Truman - 33rd President of the United States- made the ultimate decision to drop a bombs on Japan during WWII.
2) Atomic bomb- a nuclear weapon “…as an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions either fission or a combination of fission and fusion.”
3) Albert Einstein – Just before WWII he told Roosevelt that Germany might be developing an atomic bomb and actually helped Truman and Roosevelt build the atomic bomb
4) March of Bataan- Japanese soldiers made Filipino and American people walk 50 miles in a four days with no food or water – this caused anger in the United State leading to one of the factors of dropping the atomic bomb Truman's Press Release President Truman’s document of the official press release of telling America about the bomb in Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
He explains the details of the bomb and also the fact that it is a lot worse than the British “Grand Slam”. Truman states that, “The Japanese began the war from the air at Pearl Harbor. They have been repaid many fold.”
Basically, he is telling the American people this was an act of revenge.
Also, later in the speech he addresses that the bomb spared the Japanese from utter destruction (i.e. more fighting on Japan’s land).
Truman continues to say how he was able to get the power of the bomb from scientist that discovered it and were helping the Americans use and understand it.
He tried to make his speech to appeal to the American audience and gain their support behind his decision for the atomic bomb.
His last point is that the Congress of the United States will limit the atomic power and keep peace in the country and throughout the world. Audio Part I: Audio Part II: "Fat Man" - Atomic Bomb was dropped on Nagaski August 9, 1945 "Little Boy" - Atomic Bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 Mushroom Cloud in Nagasaki
(60,000 feet above) This picture explains the death tolls for both the bonds of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
Although the bomb in Nagasaki was 21 kiloton and Hiroshima was only 15, the death toll was higher because they had a bigger population. The bombs were sent to drop on Japan in August of 1945.
This saved thousands of American lives because it was the only way the US could end the war.
Joint Chiefs of Staff encouraged President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the February 1945 Yalta Conference to persuade the Soviet Union to enter the war against Japan.
The first successful bomb test is achieved in Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 16, 1945.
Most destructive air raid in history was not the atomic bombing of Hiroshima or Nagasaki, but the firebombing of Tokyo on the night of March 9–10, 1945.
By dropping the bomb the US did not have to share the occupation of Japan with the USSR and this would hopefully put an end to the aggressive actions of the USSR leader, Joseph Stalin.
The Japanese government was trying to withdraw from the war, but by the time the first atomic bomb was dropped it was too late.
First bomb fell on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. On August 8, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, Stalin honoring, to this day, his pledge at Yalta to enter the war against Japan "two or three months after the defeat of Germany," which had occurred on May 8, 1945. On August 9, a second atomic bomb fell on Nagasaki.
Hirohito, leader of Japan, expressed his decision to make peace over the radio after long meetings with the government on August 15, 1945. This was absolutely incredible because no one had ever heard his voice before. He agreed to sign the Potsdam Declaration and surrender. August 10, 1945
Damage done in Nagasaki
Mushroom Cloud in Hiroshima
(20,000 feet above) Made of uranium
120 inches (length) x 28 inches (diameter)
Weighed 9,000 lbs.
Contained 15,000 tons of high explosives Made of plutonium.
128 inches (length) x 60 inches (diameter).
Weighed 10,000 lbs.
Contained 21,000 tons of high explosives. Pros and Cons of the Bombing: PROS CONS The Japanese had demonstrated resistance, fighting to almost the last man on Pacific islands, committing mass suicide on Saipan and unleashing kamikaze attacks at Okinawa. Only the atomic bomb could jolt Japan's leadership to surrender.
With only two bombs ready (and a third on the way by late August 1945) it was too risky to "waste" one in a demonstration in an unpopulated area.
An invasion of Japan would have caused significant amounts casualties on both sides that could easily have exceeded the toll at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The two-targeted cities would have been firebombed anyway.
Immediate use of the bomb convinced the world of its horror and prevented future use when nuclear stockpiles were far larger.
The bomb's use impressed the Soviet Union and halted the war quickly enough that the USSR did not demand joint occupation of Japan. Japan was ready to call it quits anyway. More than 60 of its cities had been destroyed by bombings, the home islands were being blockaded by the American Navy, and the Soviet Union entered the war by attacking Japanese troops in Manchuria.
American refusal to modify its "unconditional surrender" demanded to allow the Japanese to keep their emperor needlessly prolonged Japan's resistance.
A demonstration explosion over Tokyo harbor would have convinced Japan's leaders to quit without killing many people. Even if Hiroshima was necessary, the U.S. did not give enough time for word to filter out of its devastation before bombing Nagasaki.
The bomb was used partly to justify the $2 billion spent on its development and experimentation.
The two cities were of limited military value, Civilians outnumbered troops in Hiroshima in a six to one ratio.
Japanese lives were sacrificed for power in politics between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.
Conventional firebombing would have caused just as much damage without making the U.S. the first nation to use nuclear weapons. Arial View of Damage of Hiroshima Before and After of Nagasaki
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