Why did America drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima? The bombing of Hiroshima was one of the pivotal events of the twentieth century, yet this controversial question remains unanswered. At the time General Dwight Eisenhower, General Douglas MacArthur, and chief of staff Admiral William Leahy all agreed that an atomic attack on Japan was unnecessary (Takaki 1). .
The Strategic bombing survey of 1946, the internal War Department repot concluded the atomic bomb had not been needed to end the war. Its assessment of the impact of the Soviet declaration of war was the same: It was a "disastrous event which the Japanese leaders regarded as utter catastrophe and which they had energetically sought to prevent at any cost- Had the atomic bomb not been available or not been used, the study concluded, it is "almost a certainty that the Japanese would have capitulated upon the entry of Russia into the war (Alperovitz 94-5)" .
So why was it dropped? Was the bomb dropped to end the war more quickly? Or was it to startle all opposition? The destruction of a whole city and deaths of thousands of civilians was a gratuitous act to end the war.
General MacArthur's Confusion.
Although General Douglas MacArthur was the supreme commander of the Allied forces in the Pacific, he was not consulted about whether to use the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. He was informed of the decision only forty-eight hours before the fateful flight of the Enola Gay.
MacArthur considered the bomb completely unnecessary from a military point of view: he believed that the Japanese were practically defeated. In July, when the general learned that Japan had asked Russia to negotiate surrender with United stated, he told his staff: "This is it. The war is over. (Takaki 4)" A tremendously significant event had occurred. But General MacArthur did not understand why the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. .
Why the Bomb was Dropped on Hiroshima.