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Atomic bomb

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The decision to drop the atomic bomb remains a very controversial one in American and world history. To what degree did fear of Moscow or a desire to intimidate the Soviets factor into this decision? Was the act itself immoral?

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First off, an excellent source on this subject in Richard Frank's "Downfall." Anyone who attempts to tackle this subject without reading Downfall will probably rely more on ideology than facts. In my opinion, Downfall should be considered the definitive book on the subject. It is partly based on recently declassified Japanese codes broken by the Allies that show exactly what American decision-makers knew at the time.

Of course, the classic revisionist account remains Gar Alperovitz's "Atomic Diplomacy" - but this has become somewhat dated in light of new information.

1) Soviet entry into the war was a key goal due to the large Japanese forces in Manchuria - it was feared these forces might fight on even after the fall of the home islands

2) The ability to curb Soviet demands and use the bomb as diplomatic leverage clearly occurred to US policy-makers. That being said, it was more like the icing on the cake. The bomb was developed to be used. Had the Soviet ...

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