Tens of thousands of men, women, and children were killed by the two weapons.
The public justification for using atomic bombs against these defenseless cities was that it was necessary to bring a quick end to the war and save millions of lives that would have been lost in a military invasion of Japan.
The quick and total victory of the Allies was assured by these superscientific devices for mass killing.
The new weapons confirmed a radical shift in the nature of warfare, from attacking opposing armed forces to destroying whole populations.
The books by Stephanson are detailed and readable.
The war is conveyed in works of fiction and personal narratives.
The World History Resources Center at http://history.wadsworth.com/west_civ/ offers a variety of tools to help you succeed in this course.