The History Of The Atomic Bomb Essay

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The History Of The Atomic Bomb Essay, Research Paper Daniel SimonsHistory 12 The year is 1945 and World War II has been going on for 6 years. The Germans led by Adolf Hitler, are starting to see one defeat after another. They lost the Eastern Front to the Russians and the Western front was slowly but surely being taken back by the allied forces, mainly the British and the Americans. The Americans had only entered the war 4 years before, but their impact on the war was so great . The Americans declared war on Japan on December 7,1941, after the unprovoked attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbour. In what historians describe as a foolish move on Hitler s part, he also declared war on America, which brought the US into the war that was taking place on European soil. In mid 1945,

as the war in Europe was gradually drawing to a close, the world began focusing their attention on the Pacific Theatre. In the Pacific the Americans were actively pursuing the Japanese forces. The US Navy saw the Pacific as an arena in which it could perform more effectively than in the Atlantic or the Mediterranean. General Douglas MacArthur, who had commanded in the Philippines and been evacuated to Australia, was the United States best-known military figure and as such too valuable to be left with an inconsequential mission. The Battle of Midway had stopped the Japanese in the central Pacific, but they continued to advance in the Southwest Pacific along the Solomons chain and overland on New Guinea. On July 2, 1942, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff directed the naval and ground

forces in the south and Southwest Pacific to halt the Japanese, drive them out of the Solomons and north-eastern New Guinea, and eliminate the great base the Japanese had established at Rabaul, on New Britain in the Bismarck Archipelago. While all these battles were occuring a permanent solution to the problem of the Japanese was being worked on, it was called the atomic bomb. In June l942, President Roosevelt transferred the atomic bomb project to the War Department’s Army Corps of Engineers. To disguise this super-secret project, the Corps created a Manhattan Engineer District, with a headquarters initially based in New York City. Three months later, Brig.Gen.Leslie Groves was appointed to head the “Manhattan Project “. Grove’s major task was to build the huge

industrial facilities needed to separate the small amounts of uranium and plutonium needed for a bomb. Although the Manhattan Project is best remembered for its brilliant scientific leadership, it was, above all, a massive engineering enterprise. At the height of construction in mid-1944, the project employed nearly 129,000 people. No other nation in the world had the massive industrial capacity to make this possible. The few decision-makers who knew about the Manhattan Project always assumed that the atomic bomb would be used against either Germany or Japan. Some, like Major General Groves, thought that it could be decisive in ending the war. That alone could justify the United States’ huge investment in the bomb $ 2 billion, or roughly $ 20 billion in l997 dollars but the

project’s great expense also motivated him to have it ready as soon as possible. In the spring of l945, Groves accelerated the production of fissionable materials. On April 12, 1945, President Roosevelt died unexpectedly in Warm Springs, Georgia. Vice President Harry S. Truman, in office for less than three months, was sworn in the same day. President Truman entered office with no knowledge of the atomic bomb, because Roosevelt had never told him about it. Stimson and Groves gave Truman an extensive briefing on the atomic bomb shortly after his swearing in as President. Truman was quickly confronted with the need to approve the use of the atomic bomb, which was expected to be ready by August. Truman confronted a complicated situation in Europe and the Far East. Japan, although