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Transcript of Examination practice
How to answer the question
*Define the kind of leader Truman needed to be during war
*Think of the pros and cons of Truman's decision
*Evaluate the causes and effects of the atomic bomb
*It's a "to what extent" question, so have an idea of what side you are on (justified or not)
To what extent was President Truman justified in ordering the atomic bomb attack on Japan?
*US invasion would cost thousands of soldier' lives.
*Interim Committee (May 1945) urged the dropping of the bomb immediately.
*High causality rates were suggested to be on Iwo Jima and Okinawa
*The Japanese would fight to the death.
*Henry Stimson: least possible cost in US Army lives. This would also avenge Pearl Harbor.
-It was possible to invade Japan.
-It would of been possible to demonstrate the power of the atomic bomb by dropping one over the Bay of Tokyo.
-Some thought dropping a bomb would lead to an arm race.
-Revisionist view: Truman dropped the bomb to demonstrate US power. The decision was more about keeping the USSR out of Asia. Some of the revisionists felt that the anticipated Soviet entry into the war brought about Japan's surrender.
*Did the immediate Presidency of Truman lead to his decision to drop the atomic bomb?
*Did the dropping of the atomic bomb contribute to an arm race?