13 Key Pros and Cons of Dropping the Atomic Bomb on Japan

In August of 1945, the decision was made to drop the atomic bomb on Japan, causing two cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to become pillars of history and examples of the devastation the bomb can cause. The reason for the attack was to end World War II, but many people argue that it was completely unnecessary and cruel. To come up with an informed idea on this subject, let us look at the pros and cons of the event.

List of Pros of Dropping the Atomic Bomb on Japan

1. Ended the War
It triggered Japan to surrender and ended the war quicker.

2. Saved Lives
It prevented a massive number of civilians in the US from possibly losing their lives, not to mention the soldiers themselves. In fact, the invasion by the Japanese would have caused a great amount of casualties on both sides, which could have easily exceeded the toll in Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

3. Showed Strength
It showed the superiority of the US to the rest of the world, by showing their possession of atomic weapons.

4. Demonstrated Lethality
Though the immediate use of the bomb convinced the world of its horror, it has prevented its use in the future, when nuclear stockpiles would be far larger.

5. Avoided Joint Occupation
Its use has impressed the Soviet Union and halted the war quickly. This was enough reason for the USSR not to demand joint occupation of Japan.

6. Created Peace
Peace talks have become much easier to develop because of the fear the bomb brought to the rest of the world.

List of Pros of Dropping the Atomic Bomb on Japan

1. Made An Arms Race
When other nations realized that the US held this type of power, they were coerced to develop their own in an arms race.

2. Physical Impact
Aside from the thousands of innocent Japanese people who died from the bomb’s impact, there were millions more who were affected by its residual radiation.

3. Costly Protection
Millions of dollars were needed to be spent to develop the atomic bomb.

4. Destruction of Cities
Cities had already been completely destroyed from the war’s fire bombings, so many people believed the use of the atomic bomb was unnecessary.

5. Unnecessary Use
It seemed like Japan was very close to surrendering that time. In fact, a huge number of its cities had already been destroyed by conventional bombing, the home islands were already blocked by the US Navy, and the USSR has already entered the war by attacking Japanese troops in Manchuria. The dropping of the atomic bomb was seen as adding insult to injury in a major way.

6. Created Anger
The event created a great amount of anger and animosity between the US and Japan, which actually still exists today.

7. Lack of Control
There was no control of the means on how the atomic bomb caused devastation and human casualties.


The US has certainly justified the drop of the atomic bomb by instilling fear into its citizens. However, a Japanese invasion was also greatly feared, and a real possibility during that time. With the pros and cons mentioned above, we can have a good idea of what should have been done.