The Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were nuclear attacks on the Empire of Japan during World War II (WWII).
The United States and the Allies were fighting against Japan and slowly winning. Truman ordered these attacks on August 6 and 9, 1945. The atomic bombs had been created through the Manhattan Project. The first bomb was called Little Boy, and was to be dropped on Hiroshima, and the second bomb was called Fat Man, and was to be dropped on Nagasaki.
Such a warning shot could have persuaded the Japanese to end the war, and its humane nature would have enhanced the US’s moral standing.
The atomic bombings are often framed as the only alternative to a land invasion of a Japan that wouldn’t surrender under any but the most-dire circumstances.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki were chosen for several reasons.
First, both cities were unsuitable for firebombing, mainly due to the river deltas preventing firestorms from being very effective.
One early study estimated 40,000 American soldiers’ deaths, yet President Harry Truman and others soon spoke of “half a million.”But the A-bombs’ advent automatically changed that, allowing the US to wield the threat of nuclear attack.
With the first device tested and proven in July 1945, and numerous others being readied early in August, America could have used their power as a new dimension of threat—rather than crudely dropping the bombs as mass killers.
Properly used as threats to ensure quick surrender, the A-bombs could have prevented virtually all further deaths in Japan—of Americans, Japanese and any others, from invasion, firebombing, A-bombing and ground warfare.
That is, of course, precisely what the A-bombs did achieve.