Summary: The First Atomic Bombs

It was the morning of August 6th, 1945, when a specially designed B-29 bomber aircraft, given the name Enola Gay, would embark on an unforgettable mission that was ordered by U.S President Harry Truman. It took flight at 2:45 a.m., departing from the Tinian air force base sailing its way to Hiroshima, Japan. This massive plane had a full wingspan of 43 meters and a top speed of 365 mph. However, it was neither its size nor speed that made it a deadly war machine; it was the single piece of cargo that it carried. For this plane carried in its belly, the first atomic bomb that was used in a populated area. Three days later, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan. These two events left an undeniable impact and profound effects that will …show more content…
Through this committee Roosevelt had one simple goal, “to spare no effort in securing the earliest possible successful development of an atomic weapon” (Stimson 3). However, in 1941, Germany was believed to be ahead of the United States in the development of such a weapon. Because it was “vital that they should not be the first to bring atomic weapons into the field of battle”, President Roosevelt created the Manhattan Project to develop an atomic bomb (Stimson 3). This top-secret confidential project consisted of 120,000 physicists, scientists, and engineers; but in order to keep secrecy, only a small group of privileged scientists and officials knew the true meaning behind the project, everyone else was kept in the dark. In fact, many contributors were oblivious of the importance of their work until they heard about the atomic bombings on the news. Two of the most crucial leaders of the Manhattan Project were General Leslie Groves and Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer. These two men worked closely together to successfully direct the project. After $2 billion spent and three years of nonstop research, development, and construction, Oppenheimer stated that he was ready to test the world’s first atomic bomb. On July 16, 1945, the …show more content…
A wave of differentiating views swept the country. Right after the event, most Americans celebrated the end of the war and a few talked about the bombs, it was as if the government and the public had avoided the topic. However, once newspapers and stories of the atomic bombs were shared with the public, roughly a year after the incident, American began to question their morality and doubt if it was the right decision. Many claimed that the bombs challenged the very values of which democracy was built upon. Others saw the atomic bomb as a great force, and were frightened by a future accompanied by such a destructive weapon. Hanson W. Baldwin, a writer of New York Times expressed his concern for the effect of the bomb in his editorial “The Atomic Bomb”, he states “Americans have become a synonym for destruction. And now we have been the first to introduce a new weapon of unknowable effects which may bring us victory quickly, but which will sow the seeds of hate more widely than ever." There is no doubt that the bombings had created moral dilemmas among Americans, who initially ranked themselves morally higher than any other nation. Numerous Americans could not grab on to the fact of what their country had done. The famous Albert Einstein, compared the bomb to a mouse trap in his quote “mankind invented the atomic bomb; but no mouse would ever construct a mousetrap.” Several other felt the same way,

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