Historyresearchpaper - The Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Olivia Betten U.S History Mr Sheaffer The development of the worlds most destructive

Historyresearchpaper - The Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and...

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The Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Olivia Betten U.S. History Mr. Sheaffer May 26, 2016 The development of the world’s most destructive weapon was first made possible by the splitting of the Uranium atom and discovery of fission energy by Otto Hahn in 1938. President
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1 Franklin Delano Roosevelt initially became aware of the discovery and it’s potential through a letter from Albert Einstein himself. Here he stated, “ It may become come possible to set up a nuclear chain reaction in a large a large mass of Uranium, by which large quantities of new radium-like elements would be generated… It is conceivable, though much less certain that extremely powerful bombs of a new type may be constructed.” 1 FDR did not immediately heed the scientist’s advice. The government and FDR gave little priority to the development of an atomic bomb until the fall of 1941. The precedence of the atomic bomb in the war effort was sparked by positive results from British scientists studying the feasibility of atomic weapons as well as intelligence reports that the Nazis already had begun tests of their own, along with the catastrophe of the loss at Pearl Harbor. During this time other advancements that made the usage of such a weapon possible were also made such as improved radar and aviation technology. 2 In June 1941, the United States instated the Manhattan Project. This top-secret operation was run by both the United States War Department’s Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Scientific Research and Development. The main assembly plant was built at Los Alamos, New Mexico. Robert Oppenheimer was in charge of the project. Some have said that he was a questionable choice because he was involved in communist activity in his youth. After the final bill was tallied, nearly $2 billion had been spent on research and development of the atomic bomb. The Manhattan Project employed over 120,000 Americans. U-235 and U-238 were mined in Oak ridge,Tennessee. The Plutonium that was used primarily in the Nagasaki bomb was 1 Goldstein, Donald M., Katherine V. Dillon, and J. Michael. Wenger. Rain of Ruin: A Photographic History of Hiroshima and Nagasaki .( Washington: Brassey's, 1995),p. 1-2. 2 Goldstein, Donald M., Katherine V. Dillon, and J. Michael. Wenger. Rain of Ruin: A Photographic History of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ,p. 2-4
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2 produced in Washington. Secrecy was paramount. Neither the Germans nor the Japanese could learn of the project. Roosevelt and Churchill also agreed that the Stalin would be kept in the dark. Consequently, there was no public awareness or debate. Keeping 120,000 people quiet would be impossible; therefore only a small privileged group of scientists and officials knew about the atomic bomb's development. 3 The first Nuclear bomb was ready and tested on July 16, the Los Alamos scientists detonated a plutonium bomb at a test site located on the U.S. Air Force base at Alamogordo, New Mexico , some 120 miles south of Albuquerque. Oppenheimer chose the name “Trinity” for the test site, inspired by the poetry of John Donne. 4
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