"A Bomb A Life" De Groot

1196 words - 5 pages

In the book " The Bomb A Life" De Groot , in three chapters, pictures in great detail the three steps that started the atomic age: the decisions, the test in New Mexico and the final "test" in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The NAME objectively untwists the scheme behind one of the most significant event of the modern world.The forth chapter describes the beginning of the atomic age, the testing of the bomb in the desert of New Mexico. The importance of this event becomes clear already in the first paragraph that describes that the scientists metaphorically compared the test to giving a birth. A successful test would result in a boy, a failure in a girl. The most dominant feeling accompanying the whole chapter is the interplay between an unbelievable uncertainty about the effect of the bomb and a big pressure from the side of the puppeteers, the politics. Mind-blowing is the uncertainty that in this case could also be taken as huge irresponsibility towards the rest of the world. Hidden somewhere in New Mexico on a place called Alamogordo Bombing Range or Trinity a handful of scientists, executives and more then 400 other people mainly soldiers, all well creamed with sun cream and wearing sunglasses were ready to press the red button and change the world forever - without even having asked it before. Like small kids, not exactly knowing what devastating force they have or have not under control "…no one quiet knew how the baby would behave" (De Groot 58), those pioneers were bating "…whether Fat Man would ignite the atmosphere and, if so, whether the conflagration would destroy the entire world or be confined to New Mexico" (De Groot 57). All these fears and queries were hold under a powerful governance cover, in order not to spread panic and endanger the test. The second important factor, as already mentioned, was time. The formal US president Truman had an important meeting in Potsdam with Churchill and Stalin, about the post-war configuration of Europe, on the 15th July 1945. His advisers and Truman himself emphasized that it would be much better "…if he went to Potsdam with a Bomb in his pocket"(De Groot 58). Unambiguously technical progress and the weather situation moved to a less important level. The detonation was fixed for the 16th of July. At 5.30 on the 16th of July the bomb was successfully tested. It did not destroy the world as some feared but the explosion that had the power of over 18 thousand tons of TNT should at least significantly affect its future. The rest of the pages in the forth chapter is devoted to numerous descriptions of the explosion. They might differ in style, but all agree that it was an overwhelming and breathtaking spectacle. The atomic age has started. Immediately new goals appeared: keep an explosion that could be heard in three states secret and probably not as difficult but morally very demanding - the battle test.The fifth chapter, as its title already reveals is dedicated to decisions....

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