It was spring of 1945, and the Second World War was coming to a decisive conclusion. Germany had surrendered, and Hitler had committed suicide. In addition, Italy had begun working out the details of its surrender with Allied diplomats. Japan, however, refused to surrender. Even after the decisive American victories at Okinawa and Iwo Jima, Japan’s Emperor, Hirohito, refused to give in to the Ally’s demand for “unconditional surrender.” Japan’s defiance forced United States’ President Harry Truman to make the most important decision of his presidency: whether to give the order to invade the Japanese mainland or use the atomic bomb. President Truman, after many months of careful consideration and countless meetings with his Secretary of War Henry Stimson, decided to use the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This decision involved four major justifications: use of the atomic bomb would end the war successfully at the earliest possible moment, it would achieve diplomatic gains in the growing rivalry with the Soviet Union, it would satisfy America’s hatred of the Japanese and it would satisfy the need for Americans to avenge the bombing of Pearl Harbor.