When Germany was the epicenter of World War II, it makes us wonder why Japan was bombed and not Germany. Well, there are several reasons for this, although not every aspect may be verifiable. Some things are top secret, which are hardly ever revealed in public domain. However, based on available factual information, it is possible to get an idea as to why nuclear bomb was not used on Germany. Here are some reasons why Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed and not Germany.
Bomb development date – During World War II, the allied powers, especially United States, were in a race to develop an atomic bomb. There was great urgency, as it was felt that even Germany was working to develop its atomic bomb. The one who got there first would apparently have a decisive edge in World War II.
The main reason why nuclear bomb was not used on Germany was that the country had already surrendered before the first atomic bomb was developed and tested. The first successful nuclear explosion was carried out on July 16, 1945. Germany had already surrendered prior to that on May 07, 1945.
Italy, another major Axis power in World War II, has surrendered even earlier in 1943. As Germany had already surrendered, there was no question of using nuclear bomb on Germany. However, it remains unclear if Germany was ever the target.
Fear of nuclear bomb getting in wrong hands – During World War II, the allied forces believed that Germany was quite close to developing their own nuclear bomb. Some experts say that Germany was not the first target, as they had capabilities to steal the technology of nuclear bomb in case it landed without exploding. Nuclear bomb technology was new at that time, so there was always a chance of the bomb not exploding. In such a scenario, Germany would have used its technical expertise to copy the nuclear bomb. In comparison, Japan at that time did not have such technical capabilities.
Contingency plan if target was missed – As compared to Germany, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were strategically chosen, as these are located along the sea. Military experts of that time felt that the nuclear bombs would fall harmlessly in the sea, if the target was missed. In shallow waters, the navy could also attempt to recover the atomic bomb if it had missed its target.
Logistical reasons – Bombing Germany presented logistical challenges, as the bomb had to be transported first to United Kingdom. Moreover, it was not certain if any of the available British warplanes would be able to successfully carry and deploy the atomic bomb. The best option available at that time was B-29 bomber, which had range of 5,600 miles (9,000 km). The bombs were flown to Tinian Island, from where the B-29 bomber dropped it on Hiroshima.
Realpolitik – While it is the general perception that nuclear bombs were used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki to avoid military causalities, some experts believe that nuclear bombs were used just to establish US as the primary world power. It is believed that ending the war was not the primary purpose of using nuclear weapon in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some experts believe it was just a case of realpolitik.