The Power of the Atomic Bomb in Shaping the Post-War World There were few men in Washington who understood the role the atomic bomb could play in ending World War II and shaping the peace. Military planning focused on two options, conventional bombing accompanied by a blockade or an invasion of the Japanese home islands. Both options were so problematic politically and militarily that policymakers who were familiar with the Manhattan Project found it difficult to oppose the bomb’s use. There were also few men who knew the role the bomb could play in winning the peace. President Harry S. Truman, Secretary of State James F. Byrnes, and Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson saw the bomb as a way to shape the post-war world in the American image, without reliance on regional allies to maintain peace throughout the world.
The Manhattan Project was one of the largest scientific collaborations ever to have taken place, tapping the minds of the world’s greatest chemists, theoretical physicists, nuclear scientists, and at it’s peak utilized the resources of as many as 125,000 people. The product of the $2 billion project was the implementation of nuclear fission in a weaponized form, producing what is known today as the ‘Atomic Bomb’. On July 16th, 1945, the US Army Corps of Engineers, accompanied by many of the project’s scientists and members of the press, executed ‘The Trinity Project’, detonating the first Nuclear Weapon at the White Sands Missile Testing site near San Antonio, New Mexico. Shortly thereafter while attending the Potsdam Conference, President Truman was informed of the successful test. When Japan refused to surrender under the terms set forth at said conference, The President authorized the use of the atomic bomb against Japan. The first of two detonations occurred over the city of Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945. When Japan still refused to surrender, the second bomb was dropped over Nagasaki on August 9th the same year. After a final conventional air raid on the 13th of August, Japan agreed to surrender the following day. Despite the effect of ending the war, and hypothetically saving hundreds of thousands of lives, a much bigger question was raised surrounding the moral implications of using a device capable of such destruction and extermination. This commentary on the aforementioned implications will show how the use of nuclear weapons against Japan, despite claims to the contrary, was unjustified both on the basis of the implications in and of themselves and of prior knowledge of the effects o...
In fear that Nazi Germany was developing an atomic bomb, on December 6 1941, scientists, engineers and the army raced to build the first man-made atomic bomb. These combined efforts provide the United States with wartime military advantage was dubbed ‘The Manhattan Project’. However, when by late 1944, concrete intelligence confirmed that Germany’s work on atomic weaponry had basically stalled in 1942, many scientists were given cause to pause and reassess their commitment to the project. Joseph Rotblat, for instance, quit the project maintaining that, ‘the fact that the German effort was stillborn undermined the rationale for continuing’. Indeed, he was the exception. Nevertheless, the scientists’ apprehensions reached a high plateau when Germany surrendered in May 1945. These events, among others, suggested that the bomb would be used, if at all, against Japan (a reversal, in a way, of the racism and genocide issues within Germany). Many scientists, thus, began to debate among themselves the moral and ethical implications of using an atomic bomb in the war and the fate of humanity in the imminent atomic age. In doing so, the scientists with a stronger sense of responsibility, resolved that, as they had created the bomb, they possessed both the legitimacy and intellect to formulate proposals regarding its use. On their political mission, the scientists fastened...
The atomic bomb was created over a time of 6 years. Started in 1939 and completed in 1945 had numerous bad things that followed it. It was created during World War II, while America was at war with Japan. America heard rumors about Japan creating nuclear weapons, so the U.S. also did so, only bigger and better. The atomic bomb became known as the “Manhattan Project” and was created to settle the war that was going on.
The Atomic bomb is a weapon created back in 1944 during world war two. The research for it started in 1934 with Italian scientist Fermi, he and his colleagues started subjecting uranium to bombardments of neutrons and showed new isotopes were formed. At the time they thought that they had found new atoms not found in nature. However tests done by two Germans in 1938 to 1939 showed that the neutrons were in fact splitting the uranium atom up in two pieces each about half the mass of the uranium, they later called this nuclear fission. The splitting of the atom released large amounts of energy with the two smaller atoms flying away from each other. This theory was later confirmed by a French physicist.
In the 20th century, the United States faced many issues within the nation and within the world. It overcame many obstacles and made many discoveries to come to what is our country today. This century was the most influential to society and America as a whole. One of the biggest worldwide dilemmas, however, was the Second World War, or WWII. This war began 1939 as Nazi Germany invaded many European countries. Then in 1945, the war came to an end. The United States’ opponent was Japan and after the attacks of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the government knew they must take action in war. On May 12, 1942, President Roosevelt ordered the construction of the first atomic bomb. With help from Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, Robert Oppenheimer and over 100,000 other scientists, thus was the Manhattan Project, a secret government based organization to construct atomic bombs, General Leslie R. Groves as its organizer.
The dropping of the first atomic bomb marked a turning point in the way nations fight one another. The destructive nature of the atomic bomb changed the course of warfare forever. “The effectiveness of nuclear deterrence is best explained by the fact that it was based on fear unlike other peace-keeping strategies of the twentieth century.” This gradual shift to a “fear based” strategy was in response to the failures of previous peace keeping strategies earlier in the century during World War I and II, including the Wilsonian ideals, the treaty of Versailles at the end of World War I, and the concept of appeasement prior to the start of World War II.
Maddox, Robert. “The Biggest Decision: Why We Had to Drop the Atomic Bomb.” Taking Sides: Clashing View in United States History. Ed. Larry Madaras & James SoRelle. 15th ed. New York, NY. 2012. 280-288.