The Manhattan Project - Estevan Aviles History 315L...

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Estevan AvilesHistory 315LProfessor StoffThe Manhattan ProjectThe dropping of both atomic bombs on Japan during World War II were very significant events in our history. The immense amount of destruction they caused was unreal. There are a couple of viewpoints of the overall intention for dropping the bomb. President Truman, who was naïve to the Manhattan Project after Roosevelt’s unexpected death, had to come up with a conclusion to this project. During this time, all of his supporters and himself solely wanted to end the war with Japan. However, theories questioning Truman’s decision were later generated and accepted by many Americans. Stimson initiated this by claiming the use of the bomb as a diplomatic tool to shape the peace, particularly with Stalin. Although both of these are controversial justifications, the decision to drop the bomb on Japan is still a questionable decision.J. Robert Oppenheimer was a genius physicist during the commencement of the Manhattan Project. His decision to become involved with the project seems to have been stimulated by both political and military aspects. As a professor of physics at the University of California during World War II he began to notice a large amount of students becoming unemployed and unable to pay for college any longer. He also learned of the inhumane practices of the Nazis in Germany. Being of a Jewish family from Germany, the persecution of Jews greatly affected him emotionally (page 2).After the discovery of nuclear fission he thought of creating a powerful explosive weapon of atomic energy. When he was asked to become the scientific director of the Manhattan Project, he knew the only reason he agreed was because the construction of a massive atomic weapon, which could bring an end to the war in the Pacific and save many soldiers’ lives, was possible.
Estevan AvilesHistory 315LProfessor StoffHe was also convinced by Edward Teller’s calculation, that his creation would not be a universal catastrophe (page 2).Truman’s claim of the bomb as a military weapon to strictly end the war is very direct. It seems that at the time his decision was made, the only intention was to force Japan to surrender causing the war the end and possibly wanted revenge for Pearl Harbor. Many American soldiers were being killed by the Japanese as well. Truman saw that the bomb was absolutely needed to shorten the agony of war and cease the death of countless American soldiers (page 9).The assumption that Truman’s claim of the bomb is false is inexplicable. After numerous meetings and negotiations with Stimson and other personnel from the War Department, the decision to drop the bomb was never challenged. At the Interim Conference Meeting on May 13, 1945, Stimson himself said the task at hand was to end the war and that they were obligated to use this power with the best wisdom they could commend. General Marshall is also convinced to use the bomb to quickly end the war and save lives after primarily opposing the use of the bomb (document 43, page 122).

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