Truman's Decision Essay

645 words - 3 pages

The discussion on what motives affected Harry S. Truman’s decision to launch atomic weapons against Imperial Japan remains undecided. The debate on whether domestic, diplomatic, military, or moral factors affected him most substantially seems to be clearly established in the writings of Robert James Maddox. Although many aspects go into making important decisions, the one that appeared to persuade Truman the most was strictly military influence.
By people such as MacArthur, Truman was seen as only a civilian not properly suited to reside over all of the armed forces as the Commander in Chief. This idea of Truman seemed false when he was faced with disputes. Truman’s train of thought frequently came across as if he was thinking strictly from a military stand point. “I have to decide Japanese strategy –shall we invade Japan proper or shall we bomb and blockade? That is my hardest decision to date. But I’ll make it when I have all the facts.” (Maddox, 168) This statement shows that even though Truman was considering other aspects, such as moral standards, to make his decision, the main goal he was focused on was the strategy of his enemy and the tactics with which he would retaliate. This made it apparent that he was operating with a battle mindset, one usually only found in a man highly concerned with militia maneuvers.
Truman was found acting under the recognition of how his men would be affected by his decisions. He demonstrated his concern when he fired MacArthur for insubordination. The fear that his men would be put in harm’s way because of unauthorized actions of a man forced Truman to eliminate the danger. “Harry S. Truman and other officials claimed that the bombs caused Japan to surrender, thereby avoiding a bloody invasion.” (Maddox, 167). This was yet another example of Truman’s need to protect his...

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