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Atomic Bomb Essay

1631 words - 7 pages

The Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

     The first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, on August 6, 1945.
The world would never be the same. This paper will discuss the
significance of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and how
they led to the success of the Allied forces. It will also discuss how the
United States developed the atomic bomb, the decision to drop the bomb, the
weakening of Japan, the actual bombing an destruction of both cities, the
surrender of Japan and the impact the atomic bomb would have in the future.
     During World War II, the United States was afraid that Germany
would develop the atomic bomb first. Germany had taken over Norway, which
was a heavy water supply and Czechoslovakia, which was a uranium supply.
Both of these, water and uranium, were needed to make the atomic bomb.
Therefore, the United States initiated a top secret program called the
Manhattan Project. Even the Vice President didn't know about this project.
The Manhattan Project cost over 2 billion dollars. Yet, Congress never
voted to fund this program (Hoare, 1987, 10-14). Roosevelt authorized
scientists to find out if an atomic bomb could be built. On December 2,
1942, scientists working in a secret laboratory under the bleachers of a
football field in Chicago achieved the first man-made nuclear reaction. An
atomic bomb could now be developed. Many scientists and other skilled
workers participated in the making of the first atomic bomb. However, only
few knew what they were making. In 1944, after D-Day, the Alsos (a troop
sent to find how far the Germans had come in the building of the atomic
bomb) radioed back that they had given up in their attempt to make it.
Still, despite scientists' pleas with the President to discontinue it, the
U.S. maintained the work on their atomic bomb (Conrad, 1982, 12-16). In
Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 16, 1945, the first atomic bomb was
detonated in the desert. The bomb was much more explosive than scientists
thought it would be. The 100 foot tower which housed the bomb was totally
destroyed by the blast. ("World War II", 1997, 1-2). After the bomb
exploded, Robert Oppenheimer, the head of the Manhattan Project, said,
"Behold. I have become death, destroyer of worlds." (Hoare, 1987, 18)
     When Harry Truman became President after Franklin D. Roosevelt's
death, he appointed a committee to advise him about the atomic bomb. The
committee was headed by Secretary of War, Henry Stimson. The committee
argued about whether to drop the bomb on a Japanese city or to have a
demonstration explosion in an isolated part of Japan. However, some
committee members thought that the plane may be shot down or the bomb may
not explode. Therefore, they decided not to have a demonstration bomb.
The committee decided that the bomb needed to be dropped directly on a city.
Stimson wrote the President, "We can...

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