Howthe Atomic Bomb Was Effective In Ending WWII
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TheSecond World War started after France and Britain declared war onGermany, after Poland was attacked by Soviet Union, Germany andSlovak.1The attack instigated in September 1939. France and Britain hadpromised to defend Poland by declaring war on Germany in case itinvaded Poland. The two nations honored their pledges by sendingtheir ultimatum to Hitler ordering him to pull out from Poland. Hefailed to respond to these demands and this marked the commencementof a state of war between Britain and Germany. The war was caused bypolitical and economic instability, fascism, and Japanese militarism.The conditions that led to the war included the Treaty of Versaillesand the failure of the League of Nations. During the war, thegreatest and deadliest technology discovered was the Atom Bomb. TheAtom Bomb was effective in leading to the end of the war because itcaused Japan to surrender. Nevertheless, it had physical andpsychological side effects and global impacts The Atom Bomb greatlyaffected the outcome of WWII and will forever be remembered as one ofthe deadliest weapons of all times.
CausesLeading up to World War II
PoliticalInstability and Economic Collapse
Oneof the causes of the Second World War was political instability andeconomic collapse. Studies show that the First World War resulted inpolitical instability and economic collapse which brought aboutfascism in the European continent, and which in turn led to WWII.2Economic collapse was instigated by the worldwide depression, highinflation, debt, and massive unemployment. Fascism is defined as apolitical belief wherein an autocrat is given full power while thereis emphasis of racism and nationalism. One kind of fascism is theNazi version which was committed in reversing the Versailles Treatyas well as establishing the German Empire through the employment ofinvasion and war. Through fascism, the militants were glorified,international organizations were criticized, and war was believed tobe an adequate way of attaining national objectives. Both Italy andGermany under the rules of Mussolini and Hitler respectively usedhostile foreign policies which involved war as an attractive andanticipated method.
Aninstance of fascism can be evidenced when Hitler broke the MunichAgreement. The agreement was made between Hitler and Britain’sPrime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, in order to prevent war. Theagreement prohibited Hitler from invading Czechoslovakia after he wasgiven Sudetenland, a part of the region. However, Hitler did not keephis promise as in March 1939, he attacked Czechoslovakia. France andBritain denied Czechoslovak government call for help, but they tookaction after Hitler attacked Poland in September 1939. The twocountries took military action with the hope that Hitler could endhis aggression.3
The First World War resulted indepression in the European continent living many people without jobs.The Great Depression was a harsh global depression during the periodprior to the WWII. In most nations, the depression, which was themost deepest and extensive, commenced in 1929 and ended in 1940s. Itstarted in the United States with the crash of the stock market andrapidly spread to the rest of the world. The depression resulted inworldwide economic decline through trade reduction, lost of businessincome, fall in prices and increase in unemployment. Unemployment wascaused by the closure of most factories and businesses due tobankruptcy. Japan experienced depression in 1931, which made thecitizens to lose faith with the government and the military became agood solution to their problems. The western European nations and theUnited States governments were so pre-occupied with the economiccrisis and this led to the political collapse to deal with growingdanger of fascism.
BothBenito Mussolini of Italy and Adolf Hitler of Germany had faith infascism. These leaders practiced fascist governments as they took allpower and denied individuals of their human rights including freedomof religion, speech, and press.4The most important things that counted were the country and its powerin expense to individual life. In Germany, Nazi Party adopted theIndian swastika religious symbol, modified it a little and made itthe national symbol. The party also undertook massive outdoor ralliesand for many citizens, Hitler and fascism seemed to be the solutionto Germany troubles. Hideki Tojo of Japan also instigated a kind offascism in 1920s and 1930s. Tojo was a fascist autocrat who had mostof the nation’s real power. This was evidenced when he pushed hiscountry to become part of the Axis Power of Italy and Germany.Besides, he assisted Japan in planning for war with the US.
Thegreat depression devastated many economies across the world. Japanexperienced depression in 1931 which resulted in high unemploymentrates, reduction in trade, fall in prices, and loss of income bybusinesses. These factors made people lose faith with the rulinggovernment and sought help from the military. Certainly, the economicdownturn in Japan made people turn to military for assistance, whichgave the latter complete power over the government. This was termedas Japanese Militarism, whereby the militarism dominated the socialas well as political life of the country. The military had the samestrength as the nation, and it greatly influenced the Japanesecommunity. Western imperialism was a major threat to Japan accordingto Meiji government, thus the Fokoku Kyohei policy was designed inorder to strengthen the industrial and economic establishments of thecountry. The objective was to build a strong army that could protectJapan against such imperialism. Japanese militarism can be evidencedafter the invasion of Manchuria by Japanese army. The League ofNations intervened following an appeal by the Chinese government. Theorganization informed the Japanese government to order their army outof Manchuria, but the military did not adhere to those orders andwent on with the invasion.
ConditionsLeading up to World War II
GermanyInvasion of Poland
Theinvasion of Poland by Germany was one of the conditions that resultedin WWII.5In spite of the fact that Germany had signed a non-aggression treatyto prevent war, it broke the promise by invading Poland. Poland wasattacked by Soviet Union, Germany and Slovak and this marked thecommencement of the WWII. The attack instigated in September 1939following the signing of both the Molotov-Tōgō andMolotov–Ribbentrop agreements. By October the same year, Poland wasfully divided and annexed by the Soviet Union and Germany.
Franceand Britain had promised to defend Poland by declaring war on Germanyin case it invaded Poland. The two nations honored their pledges bysending their ultimatum to Hitler ordering him to pull out fromPoland. He failed to respond to these demands and this marked thecommencement of a state of war between Britain and Germany.Chamberlain actions did not yield much assistance as ultimately,Germany plus Soviet forces were able to fully divide and annex PolandOctober 1939.
TheTreaty of Versailles
Afterthe WWI, Orlando of Italy, Lloyd George of England, Woodrow Wilsonfrom the US and Clemenceau of France came together to talk about howGermany was to compensate for the damages caused by the First WorldWar.6The treaty of Versailles was made on the basis of 14-point plan asproposed by Woodrow. Although Germany signed the treaty, itconsidered its terms too harsh. The major terms included thefollowing.
Reparations: The war damages cost Germany 6,600 million pounds which it was expected to pay the allied powers.
War Guilt Clause: It required Germany to take the responsibility of instigating WWI.
Disarmament: It entailed de-militarizing Germany by requiring it to have just a small army, no airforce, six naval ships, no submarines, and no tanks.
Territorial Clause: Anschluss was not allowed, while land belonging to Germany was offered to other nations.
Theterms of the treaty devastated Germany greatly. The majority ofcitizens termed the requirements extremely unjust, thus were no happyabout it. The massive war debt was upsetting to Germany as it alsoaffected its economy badly. The result of this was deep and long termresentment against Britain and France among other allied powers.Considering the economic status of the country, it was impossible forGermany to pay off the debts. There was high inflation and increasedunemployment. As a result, the citizens were dissatisfied with theruling government and they opted to vote to power Hitler who hadassured to pull apart from the Versailles Treaty.
Failureof the League of Nations
Notall nations joined the League. Woodrow was the one who came up withthe suggestion for the League of Nations. Nevertheless, the USgovernment was transformed prior to the signing of the pact and therepublican government that took office declined to become part of theLeague. Besides, Germany was excluded from joining as it had startedWWI, while Russia was declined because of the rising terror ofcommunism.
TheLeague lacked real power or army with which to act. It wasestablished in 1919 as a global organization for maintaining worldpeace, but it eventually failed. One reason was lack of power. Amajor weapon used by the League was asking member nations todiscontinue trading with aggressive nations. The great depression of1920s made it impossible for nations to lose their trading partners,thus the weapon failed to work. For instance, when Japanese armyrefused to pull out of Manchuria and went on with the invasion, theLeague ordered member nations to discontinue doing business withJapan. Nevertheless, countries refused to hinder such orders partlydue to depression. Instead, Japan opted out of the League rather thanwithdrawing from Manchuria. Another instance was in 1935 after theinvasion of Abyssinia by Italy. Although the League ordered theimposition of trade restrictions, this did not come to pass.
TheLeague also lacked an army. Member nations were expected to supplysoldiers to attack an aggressive country. Nonetheless, nations wereunwilling to involve themselves and provoke aggressive nation toinvade. Therefore, they did not supply any troops.
TheUnderlying Reasons and Motives that Lead Nations to Pursue MilitaryObjectives when Dealing with Other Nations
Economicproblems were one of the fundamental reasons that made countries topursue military objectives.7Economic downturn of the 1920s was the major cause of economicproblems. . In most nations, the depression, which was the mostdeepest and extensive, commenced in 1929 and ended in 1940s. Itstarted in the United States with the crash of the stock market andrapidly spread to the rest of the world. The depression resulted inworldwide economic decline through trade reduction, lost of businessincome, fall in prices and increase in unemployment. Unemployment wascaused by the closure of most factories and businesses due tobankruptcy.
Economicinterest was one of the motives that made countries to pursuemilitary objectives. This is evidenced when the League of Nationsordered member countries to discontinue trading with aggressivenations or enforce trade restrictions. Member states were not readyto lose their trade partners. The great depression of 1920s made itimpossible. For instance, when the Japanese army refused to pull outof Manchuria and went on with the invasion, the League ordered membernations to discontinue doing business with Japan. Nevertheless,countries refused to hinder such orders partly due to depressionwhich had caused major problems such as increased unemployment andhigh inflation.
ThePrimary Reasons and Causes the World was previously divided BetweenEastern and Western Blocks of Nations from 1945 to 1989
Theprimary reasons for world division were politics, government, andideology. In Japan, Germany and Italy, there prevailed an extremelyaggressive and militaristic national ideology. In Japan, Japanesemilitarism was a kind of ideology that militarism dominated thesocial and political life of the entire country. The militarystrongly influenced the Japanese society. The military had the samestrength as the nation, and it greatly influenced the Japanesecommunity. Western imperialism was a major threat to Japan accordingto Meiji government, thus the Fokoku Kyohei policy was designed inorder to strengthen the industrial and economic establishments of thecountry. The objective was to build a strong army that could protectJapan against such imperialism. Japanese militarism can be evidencedafter the invasion of Manchuria by Japanese army. The beginning ofGermany militarism is evidence during the Prussian leadership in the19th century.8The Prussian king was able to enroll and train many officers of thearmy. This resulted in a slowly built up group of militants on oneside, and a group of enlisted men on the other side. The latter wererequired to completely abide by the order of the military and thisyielded a culture founded on deference. Fascism was another kind ofideology that aimed at glorifying the military, deprecated globalorganizations, and deemed war as a suitable way of attaining nationalgoals. Both Benito Mussolini of Italy and Adolf Hitler of Germany hadfaith in fascism. These leaders practiced fascist governments as theytook all power and denied individuals of their human rights.
Theprimary causes of world division were the Iron Curtain, NATO/WarsawPact, and the Cold War. The Iron Curtain was a symbol of physicalboundary and ideological conflict that divided the European continentinto two parts from 1945 to 1991, when the Cold War ended. The IronCurtain entailed the attempts by the Soviet Union to obstruct itselftogether with its protectorate states from being into contact withthe west. The Eastern bloc contained nations that were influenced andconnected to the Soviet Union, while the Western bloc contained therest (US and NATO states including Japan). Countries on both sideshad to develop their own military and global economic alliances. Theeastern side formed the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance andthe Warsaw Pact led by the Soviet Union, while the western blockformed the European Community and/or the North Atlantic TreatyOrganization led by the US. A symbol of the Iron Curtain was theBerlin Wall that had its checkpoint Charlie.
TheNATO/Warsaw Pact was a joint defense treaty that was made at the timeof Cold War.9The treaty was made amongst eight communist countries of Eastern andCentral Europe. The pact acted as a military tribute to the Councilfor making possible Mutual Economic Assistance. To a certain extent,the Warsaw Pact acted a reaction to the Soviet military to thecooperation of Western Germany into NATO in the year 1955. However,the initial motives were the desires of Soviet to have power over thearmy in Eastern and Central Europe. This in turn was aimed to sustainpeace in the European continent as directed by the principles andobjectives of the UN Charter.
TheCold War took place after WWII. It was a situation of military andpolitical tension between powers in the Eastern and Western bloc. Thewar was able to temporary divide wartime coalition against NaziGermany. This left the US and the USSR as the only superpowers withintense political and economic dissimilarities. For instance, the USwas a capitalist state while the USSR was a one party state.
Howthe Atomic Bomb was Effective in Ending the War
Japanwas issued with a threat of destruction whose aim was to make thenation bring to an end the war. However, Japan failed to react andthe US adhered to its promise by dropping atomic bombs in two Japancities, Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The first unique atomic bomb that wasdropped on 6 August 1945 was effective in ending the WWII as it madeJapan to surrender. Certainly, the dropping of the bomb was asignificant historic event. Japan surrendered to the allied powers on15 August 1945.10On 2 September, it signed the Instrument of Surrender and thisofficially ended the Second World War. Partly, after the bombings,Japan adopted Three Non-Nuclear Principles which prohibited thecountry from nuclear armament. Up to date, the ethical justificationsand necessity of dropping the bomb have been examined and are stilldebated. It is argued that it was the fastest way of ending the WWIIand saving many lives.
Theinitial atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima city on August 6, 1945 wasreferred to as “Little Boy”. The effects of the bomb werewidespread. It killed both civilians and military forces at random. The direct impact of the bombing killed approximately 90- 166,000individuals by December 1945.11In the next five year, causes associated with the bomb killed more60,000 persons. The second atomic bomb was dropped at Nagasaki cityon August 9, 1945 and it was termed as the “Fat Man”. This onehad more adverse effects. It killed around 60,000-80,000 persons bythe end of the year while 140,000 more lost their lives in thesubsequent five years. According to Hiroshima state healthdepartment, most of the deaths that occurred on the day of the blastwere caused by flame burns (60%), falling debris (30%) while the restwas caused by other injuries. US estimates shows that radiationsickness caused 15-20 percent of the deaths.12
Thebombings also caused radiation injuries and this resulted to cancer,birth defects and tumors. Ionizing radiation amounted to 15%. Theimpacts of radiation included nausea, vomiting, fever, bleeding, lossof hair, low immunity, and diarrhea. Survivors developed variousdiseases including blood disorder, eye diseases, psychoneurologicalissues, leukemia, and malignant tumors.13Congenital malformation and genetic damage was evidenced in childrenwho were born by bomb survivors.
Oneof the psychological effects was post traumatic stress disorder(PTSD). According to studies, respondents reported symptoms of PTSDthat takes place after a traumatic event. Some of the symptomsencompassed being upset after recalling the event, high sense ofimmobility and indifference, discouragement and guilt. Physicalsymptoms included headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Otherpsychological effects included amnesia, fatigue and failure toconcentrate. Reports made by psychiatrists in Nagasaki in Hiroshimain 1950s showed neurotic symptoms such as amnesia, fatigue, andfailure to concentrate among bomb survivors. Other symptomsencompassed autonomic nerve difference including fear, palpitation,and mental breakdown.
Theatomic bomb instilled fear on nations worldwide. The adverse effectsof the bomb which made Japan to surrender made other superpowers suchas the USSR to avoid starting war for fear of any attack. It alsogenerated reverenceof the US, and the knowledge of what Atomic power was and what itcould do.
Thepaper investigated how the Atomic Bomb was effective in ending WWII.In order to achieve this, the paper has analyzed the causes of thewar, the conditions of the war, why nations pursued militaryobjectives and why the world was divided between the eastern andwestern blocs. From the analysis, it is apparent that AtomBomb effectively led to the end of the war because it caused Japan tosurrender. On 2 September, it signed the Instrument ofSurrender and this officially ended the Second World War. However ithad many physical and psychological side effects and global impactssuch as the fear and reverence of the US, and the knowledge of whatAtomic power was and what it could do.
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Adamthwaite,Anthony P. 1992. The Making of the Second World War. New York:Routledge.
Barnaby,Frank & Joseph Rotblat. 1982, “The Effects of Nuclear Weapons”in Nuclear War: The Aftermath Vol. 11 No. 2/3, pp. 84-93.
Lawton,Clive. 2004. Hiroshima:The Story of the First Atom Bomb.Cambridge, Mass.: Candlewick Press.
Roberts,Jeffery J. 1998. "Peering through Different Bombsights: MilitaryHistorians, Diplomatic Historians, and the Decision to Drop theAtomic Bomb." AirpowerJournal 12(1): 66-78. (accessed 11 October, 2014).http://ezproxy.snhu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/217768966?accountid=3783.
TheNational WWII Museum. "VJ Day Fact Sheet." The NationalWWII Museum. Accessed September 5, 2014.http://www.nationalww2museum.org/learn/education/for-students/ww2-history/at-a-glance/vj-day-fact-sheet.pdf.
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1 "World War II". In The Great American History Fact-finder. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2004.
2 "Dealing from Weakness Led to World War II." 1986. Toronto Star, Apr 16, 0-A20.
3 "World War II". In The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide. Abington: Helicon, 2014.
4 .Adamthwaite, Anthony P. 1992. The Making of the Second World War. New York: Routledge.
5 The National WWII Museum. "VJ Day Fact Sheet." The National WWII Museum.
6 Volvo, James M. 2010, A History of War Resistance in America. Santa Barbara. Calif:Greenwood, 2010. eBook Academic Collection (EBSCOhost), EBSCOhost.
7 Volvo, James M. 2010, A History of War Resistance in America. Santa Barbara. Calif:Greenwood, 2010. eBook Academic Collection (EBSCOhost), EBSCOhost.
8 Adamthwaite, Anthony P. 1992. The Making of the Second World War. New York: Routledge.
9 Adamthwaite, Anthony P. 1992. The Making of the Second World War. New York: Routledge.
10 "Birth of the Bomb: Fifty Years Ago This Summer, a Single Explosion Changed the World Forever." Current Events, a Weekly Reader Publication, May 8, 1995, 2A.
11 Lawton, Clive. 2004. Hiroshima: The Story of the First Atom Bomb. Cambridge, Mass.: Candlewick Press.
12 Barnaby, Frank & Joseph Rotblat. 1982, “The Effects of Nuclear Weapons” in Nuclear War: The Aftermath Vol. 11 No. 2/3, pp. 84-93.
13 Roberts, Jeffery J. 1998. "Peering through Different Bombsights: Military Historians, Diplomatic Historians, and the Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb." Airpower Journal 12 (1): 66-78.