Unconditional Surrender

James F. Byrnes in his 1947 book Speaking Frankly declared without qualification: “Had the Japanese Government listened to Ambassador Sato and surrendered unconditionally, it would not have been necessary to drop the atomic bomb”. However, America’s demands for an unconditional surrender and its terms were not clarified for the Japanese. Had America clarified the terms of the surrender, the use of the atomic bomb would arguably not have been necessary. Based on all the evidence discovered prior to the Cold War it seems that President Truman was encouraged by many Cabinet and sub-Cabinet official and by President Churchill to clarify the surrender terms. Even before the demand for unconditional surrender, Henry L. Stimson attributed many profound consequences to the development of the new weapon but what he had not suggested was that Truman reconsiders its use against Japan. He also did not mention that the chances of securing Soviet post-war cooperation might be diminished if Stalin did not receive a commitment to international control prior to an attack . It was evident that making any changes to the unconditional surrender would not have expressed serious fears of being criticised politically. The US leaders were repeatedly advised of three main points: first, that the surrender would only be accepted if the Japanese people were assured that the Emperor would not have to step down. Secondly, that if they did not agree to the above they would fight till the last man and Japanese people were willing to die for the Emperor. Lastly, that the Emperor would play a significant role in the post-war internal affairs in Japan and in possibly helping to eliminate the possibility of the spread of Communism. Now, if we know anything about America and their concerns of the spread of Communism, namely the first and second Red Scares, it would seem that the last point would have been very appealing to President Truman and yet the atomic bomb was still used despite Japan clearly outlining their demands, which did not seem all that demanding. In fact, on 3rd August 1945 the Japanese offered to surrender however, this was rejected, as it was not an ‘unconditional’ surrender. The rejection of Japans surrender is evident of the fact that America was planning to use the atomic bomb regardless of Japan surrendering hence why the terms of the surrender were made so difficulty. The bomb would allow the United States the opportunity to show off the power that they had gained through the obtaining of such a powerful weapon.
For Alperovitz, the bomb was dropped when it was as a way to stop the USSR from entering the war in the Pacific and claim the lands promised to them. Napoleon once said that: “Geography explains the policies of all the powers.”, and there is no better explanation for why the United States dropped the bomb on Japan when they did. The result of the dropping of the bomb was something that was a long time coming; indeed, it came as a “surprise” to Stalin when the bomb was dropped. Stalin knew the USA had a “new weapon of unusual destructive force”, not because the USA had told him but because of the espionage, he had put in place. There is therefore evidence to prove that Stalin was aware of the creation of the bomb. Stalin would set out to obtain nuclear capability for the Soviet Union and end the USAs monopoly. After the bomb was dropped, Stalin was still furious. The place Russia had earned as a world power by its victory in the war had been snatched away. “Hiroshima has shaken the whole world,” he is said to have told Kurchatov”. The balance has been destroyed. They are killing the Japanese and intimidating us.” Stalin told Molotov: Therefore, the by-product of the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the fear and anger created in the USSR, which is evident of the fact the killing of so many innocent civilians, wasn’t a direct result of the actions of the Japanese but a strategic plan to intimidate the USSR by Truman. It should also be taken into consideration that the decision to use the atomic bomb was made in the context of Roosevelt’s atomic legacy. However, the use of the atomic bomb as a means of atomic diplomacy was not established until the decision of whether or not the spectre of post-war Soviet ambitions created a ‘positive desire’ to ascertain the bombs power was reached. Gar clearly outlined the reasons why the bomb was dropped and solely blames the United States, namely Truman for the dropping of the bomb and the origins of the Cold War.

Im azaan.