The Manhattan Project Essay

1015 words - 4 pages

Leaving from the Marianas, more specifically Tinian Island, the Enola Gay, a Boeing B29 Super fortress begins a very controversial mission. On August 6, 1945, the plane and its crew were headed for the island of Japan and the city of Hiroshima. The cargo that was held within the belly of the bomber was of extraordinary significance and power. "Little Boy," as was its code name, was the first nuclear bomb that was to be used at wartime. At 9:15 a.m. on that day the crew of the aircraft dumped the bomb over the city of Hiroshima and killed approximately 90,000 people within a matter of seconds. As if this was not enough, a second nuclear bomb code named "Fat Man" was delivered to the city of Nagasaki just three days later. This bomb was dropped by the crew of the Bockscar, also a B-29 Super fortress, of the same 509th Group. "Little Boy" and "Fat Man" combined for a devastating 200,000 casualties approximately in Japan and forced the Japanese to surrender bringing an end to World War II (Kross 40). It seemed at first that the United States was rather reluctant to enter the war that Germany was waging across Europe and the surrounding areas. With help from Japan, Hitler's armies were brutally expanding there territory and committing mass murder of those they felt were not the ideal race. The Jewish people of Germany as well as homosexuals and many different groups of people were targeted for genocide. Unwilling to get involved in the beginning, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the United States were pondering what they should do about the Germans. However, this was no longer a tough decision once the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. With this act of aggression shown toward the United States by the Japanese, and the fact that they had attacked the U.S. on its own soil all but forced the country to get involved in what is now know as World War II. There are many significant actions that took place to eventually allow America and its allies to claim victory in the war but one of the most influential is known as the "Manhattan Project." Knowing that the German scientists were working on a possible bomb using nuclear fission, in August of 1939 Albert Einstein and fellow scientist Leo Szillard alert President Roosevelt of the potential problem if the Germans perfect this before the Americans can. This led to a secret project to be headed by General Groves to build an atomic bomb. This project was named the "Manhattan Project." For this project to be successful either plutonium or uranium must be produced and enriched. In Washington the team worked to produce plutonium and in Tennessee, uranium 235 is enriched in 1944. The first tested atomic bomb was exploded in July of 1945 and was code named "Trinity." This...

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