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The Race To Build The Atomic Bomb

1806 words - 7 pages

The Race To Build The Atomic Bomb - WW2 essay - Isabella Todisco 10FOn the 16th of July 1945, the Manhattan project, America's effort at building an atomic bomb for attack on Japan, was successfully detonated for the first time during a test in Alamos, New Mexico. The President of the United States at the time, President Truman, refused to risk the massive amount of lives that may be lost on both sides, should the allies attack the Japanese home islands.Below is a map of Japanese territory during the war in mid 1942:Selecting where to drop the bombsTruman ordered the usage of new technology. Scientists working at an American base presented them with two weapons, while their military groups sought out uranium to produce a third. J. Robert Oppenheimer, a bright physicist also known as 'the father of the atomic bomb', designed the Bomb and lead 3,000 people to build and operate the bomb.Between the 10th and 11th of May 1945, Oppenheimer and a few members of his team devised a list of cities, which would act as suitable targets for atomic attacks on Japan. The group eventually narrowed it down to just 4 targets: Hiroshima, Kyoto, Yokohama and Kokura.Hiroshima was picked to be used as the first target because of both its military and industrial values. As a military target, Hiroshima housed a major army base, which sheltered the Japanese 5th division and the 2nd army headquarters. Hiroshima was also a highly important port in the south of Japan and a major communications center.Another factor of Hiroshima being chosen for the first target, is the huge mountains surrounding it. It was thought that when the bomb blast went off, the mountain would crumble and fall and create even more destruction in the area.A man named Henry Stimson, a U.S Secretary of War, voiced successfully against the choosing of Kyoto as a target as it held major cultural importance to the world and it held high sentiment for him, as he and his wife had travelled their for their honeymoon prior to the war.Before the bombing, The U.S Army conducted many missions over the cities of Japan, made up of a few B-29 bombers. The purpose of these flight missions, was to slowly wear down the alertness of the Japanese anti-aircraft defense crew, being either gunners or fighter pilots, so that when they dropped the bomb some of the Japanese would possibly let their guards down.Below is a photo of the original bomb to be dropped on Hiroshima named "Little Boy":HiroshimaAugust 6 1945The B-29 Superfotress bomber, Enola Gay of USAAF, 393rd Bombardment squadron, commanded by Colonel Paul Tibbets of the 509 CBG (Composite Bombardment Group), XX Air Force, took off from North Field of Tinian in the Mariana Islands on June 6th 1945. Their cargo was named "Little Boy".The crew was instructed that Hiroshima was the primary target, though if Hiroshima could not be reached for any reason, such as weather, Kokura and Nagasaki were their alternate targets. They were joined by two other B-29 bombers that...

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