Essay Sample: Impact of the Atomic Bomb on Civilians and the Environment

Published: 2022-09-12
Essay Sample: Impact of the Atomic Bomb on Civilians and the Environment
Type of paper:  Course work
Categories:  Research Environment
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 976 words
9 min read

The dropping of two nuclear bombs on the Japanese towns of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in 1945 August continues to be the only time in a war where there was the use of atomic weapons in history. Winston Churchill who was the prime minister and Franklin Roosevelt the US president in 1943, called on the Axis attackers to surrender during the World War II. The nuclear weapons were initially intended to make the Axis leader, Nazi Germany, end the war. Luckily, the Third Reich was already down by July 1945 when it was time to test the weapon, leaving imperial Japan as the only remaining Axis target. Following Roosevelt's death in April, his successor president Truman sent a last warning to Japan which was then ignored. This research plan tends to use primary and secondary articles to find out the impacts of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The reports by Siemes (1945) and the Manhattan Engineer District are used to understand the happenings of the events from a first witness standpoint of the survivors of this horrific occasion. By using Malloy's (2012) and Reynold and Lynch's (1955) research, the study will be well informed on the impact of the radiation effect on civilians and the environment.

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Although it is not precisely known the number of lives lost as a result of the attacks with statistics standing at approximately over 140,000 individuals, this study intends to show the adverse impacts the atomic bombs brought on the civilians as well as the environment. The atomic bomb had a significant effect on the town's environment and its civilians such that apart from the vast deaths, the survivors started behaving unreasonably, suffered from severe burns and injuries, and resulted in unpredictable environmental incidences.

The US is currently in the aftershock of a military deed whereby there was the use of a pro-active attack with a weapon of supreme power and technology. To the US people who were tired of the brutal continuous war, this drastic strategy was a righteous and necessary way of ending the madness of WWII. Nevertheless, the madness was just underway. The August 6th and 9th events were the starts of a nuclear era, and with it, there was more than just a pile-up of dead bodies (Malloy, 2012). According to research by Malloy (2012) and Reynolds and Lynch (1955), what took place in Japan was not just a historic breakthrough, but the aftermaths of radiation impacts and technology use on humanity were clearly defined. The whole universe was to live in dread of complete extinction, the terror that currently changes world politics. Malloy's (2012) article claims that the idea of dropping a nuclear bomb on the Japanese as a way of ending the long war is defensible on morals, politics, and military context. The articles show how the thousands who died following the attacks convinced the Japanese to surrender, calling an end to the historical WWII but contributing to the aftermath of radiation-caused illnesses and environmental degradation in the long-term.

The articles by Manhattan Engineer District (1946) and Siemes (1945) contribute to Malloy and Reynold's research by giving ground-based information from a witness perspective on what transpired on the days of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks. According to these sources, a few minutes following the release of the nuclear bomb, Hiroshima was no longer visible (Manhattan Engineer District, 1946; Siemes, 1945). They also contribute information to secondary research by Malloy, Reynolds, and Lynch on how the excessive radioactive contamination led to prevalence rates of tumours, congenital disabilities, and cancer in today's survivors of the historic attack. According to Siemes (1945), survivors required aid for their injuries. Nevertheless, most of the medics were either disabled or killed, and the medical supplies did not last long. Siemes goes ahead to tell us how the survivors started noticing the impacts of the bomb's radiation exposure, with symptoms ranging from mental retardation, hair loss, bleeding, nausea, flash burns, to death (Siemes, 1945). The Manhattan Engineer District (1946) helps us understand the topic on the effects of the atomic bomb by explaining how the nuclear attack in Hiroshima saw the destruction of every creature in a one-mile radius of the city. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were in ruins; the H-bridges barriers were knocked down; the familiar landmarks were no more recognizable, and utility poles stood at odd angles. (Manhattan Engineer District, 1946).

The primary sources and findings from subsequent researches report high grievances among survivors of the radiation attack, including lack of concentration, amnesia, and general fatigue. Impacts on the victims as witnessed by Siemes (1945) and the Manhattan Engineer District (1946), were majorly irritability, insomnia, suicidal ideations, anger, intense nightmares and flashbacks, a feeling of discouragement and guilt, high sense of immobility and unresponsiveness, becoming upset, and continuous recalling of the events. Consequently, researchers found out that extreme heat of thermal radiation destroyed the environment including people, buildings, trees, and animals (Reynolds & Lynch, 1955; Malloy, 2012). Majority of the individuals escaped death from the burns or radiation but suffered from various cancers as a result of the particle emissions. America continues to be the only nation to have made use of atomic weapons, which are known to be very inhumane and cruel due to the sheer number of military and civilian deaths and environmental destruction as witnessed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


The Manhattan Engineer District (1946). The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A Penn State Electronic Classics Series Publication. Retrieved from

Malloy, S. L. (2012). "A Very Pleasant Way to Die": Radiation Effects and the Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb against Japan. Diplomatic History, 36(3), 515-545. Retrieved from

Reynolds, M. L., & Lynch, F. X. (1955). Atomic bomb injuries among survivors in Hiroshima. Public Health Reports, 70(3), 261. Retrieved from

Siemes, J. A. (1945). Eyewitness account of Hiroshima. Atomic Archive. Retrieved from

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