"We have spent 2 billion dollars on the greatest scientific gamble in history - and won."
- President Harry Truman
Up until August 6th, occasional bombs, which did no great damage had fallen on Hiroshima. Many cities roundabout, one after another were destroyed, but Hiroshima itself remained protected. There were daily observations of planes over the city, but none of them dropped a bomb. The citizens wondered why they alone, had remained undisturbed for such long a time. There were fantastic rumors that the enemy had something special in mind for this city, but no one had dreamed that the end would come in such a fashion as on the morning of August 6th. Undoubtedly, the atomic bombing of World War II was the most significant military event that ever took place in history. Not only was it the beginning of what we know as the Manhattan Project and nuclear power, it was the most devastating attack in military history, which led to post-war controversy. This is the story of World War II, and the catastrophic events that followed...
On the 2nd of August, 1939 some scientists wrote to President Roosevelt of efforts in Nazi Germany to purify Uranium-235, a highly unstable element, which might in turn be used to build an atomic bomb. It was shortly thereafter that the United States Government began the serious undertaking known only then as the Manhattan Project. The Manhattan Project was designed to research and production that would produce a usable atomic bomb. Robert Oppenheimer was appointed to lead the day to day running of the project. The team of scientists who worked on the atom bomb worked 6 days a week and often 18 hours a day, and by 1945, the project had nearly 40 laboratories and factories which employed 200,00 people. The total cost of the Manhattan project was $2-billion which is about the equivalent of $26 billion today.
During the time of the development of the bomb, the many scientists who contributed to the project were extremely passionate of their work. The project itself, became very successful due to the extensive research. For example, one of its biggest benefits was that it lead to the discovery of how to harness nuclear power. Nuclear power plants became much more efficient than conventional power plants, and today have become a large supplier of power for the United States and the rest of the world. Also, technology discovered in the creation of the A-bomb was being used for medical purposes. Over the years, doctors have gained the use of CAT scans and radiation to treat patients. As one can imagine, the few years during the project must have been considerably exciting.
However, when the project was completed, this attitude changed as many scientists were against the usage of the bomb. You may ask yourself, ”why did they work themselves so hard on the bomb, but were against using it?” In actuality, the scientists had been pursuing the atomic bomb in pure scientific interest. They had no...