Summary: The First Atomic Bombs

Improved Essays
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,

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    The dropping of the bomb also started a new age of nuclear weapons. After dropping the bomb, the American government was accused of racism and was stated that "the bomb never would have been used if it was white people". The atomic bomb had to be done. The bombing brought a quick end to the bloodiest war in history. It saved more lives than it had…

    • 1460 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The Pros And Cons Of The Atomic Bomb

    • 1201 Words
    • 5 Pages
    • 16 Works Cited

    Truman was the most important in the deciding factor of this situation. He was immediately thrown into this position after President Roosevelt's death on April 1, 1945 (Jennings). Though Truman didn't know much about the situation, he was one hundred percent confused, he knew the war had to end so American lives could be saved, even though he was aware that alternatives to using the bomb existed (Bird). If Truman had been more informed on the atomic bomb, he might have made a better decision, the right decision. Truman was informed on the atomic bomb mostly by James Byrnes, also known as "Mr. Atomic Bomb" (Jennings).…

    • 1201 Words
    • 5 Pages
    • 16 Works Cited
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    McReynold research and studied the event to bring his perspective through.McReynold was interested about The Atomic bomb leading to The Cold War he researched and investigated as we can see in his article. His perspective is clear that he is not happy with the USs move. “It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan.” McReynold come up with his perspective as his father was in the war. He said they talked a lot about the bombing of Japan. He says President Truman dropped the bomb to start The Cold War, as documented in his title, ‘HIROSHIMA THE FIRST SHOT IN THE COLD WAR’.…

    • 725 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Many minds of many countries came together to form the Manhattan project, and American’s could not have and may not even have tried to do it alone at the time. Hitler forced many to flee because of his fascist dictatorship, and several of these immigrants played a major role in creating the atomic bombs, and without them the Soviet Union or even Germany could have become the most powerful nation in the world by acquiring nuclear weapons before the United States. Without Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, and Enrico fermi the atomic bomb would not have been an American success. “Fermi, along with his fellow émigrés, played an indispensable role in the development of the atomic bomb by the Manhattan…

    • 2067 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Manhattan Project Analysis

    • 1596 Words
    • 7 Pages

    He hired over three thousand physicists to come and help him discover the way that they could control when the splitting of an atom would occur. All of the physicists on the Manhattan Project all helped provide vital information for the creation of the atomic bomb (Arnesen E. 2013). They even helped in the development of the very first nuclear explosion at Alamogordo on July 16,1945. His creation of the atomic bomb was not meant to be used for the death of many people, all Robert Oppenheimer wanted to do was to create the atomic weapon faster than Germany. He had no intent of using the bomb on any other country.…

    • 1596 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Hiroshima had disappeared under a thick, churning foam of flames and smoke. (Hiroshima and Nagasaki Remembered Para 1) The destruction that the bombs caused was devastating and was not imagined. Even though the United States won the war, what was the cost of the victory? The cost of inhumane thing, the killing of innocent civilians, we made people suffer great loss, pain and destruction. Also some might say that the United States did not have to drop both atomic bombs on Japan, that one would have done the job, but one cannot be so certain about…

    • 1031 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Atomic bomb is the most controversial weapon ever made by man; first used by the United States of America during World War Two, it evaporated tens of thousands of people In seconds and destroyed whole cities. The Atomic bomb was devastating but not devastating enough for the U.S. Government who started another bomb project only this time experimenting with Hydrogen. Thus the Hydrogen bomb was created; a bomb that was feared by all people who knew about it. This paper will give one a good understanding of how the first atomic bomb rattled many and how nuclear weaponry has evolved over the decades through the Cold War onto the present. In 1945 the second world War was ending and there was no doubt that the allies were going to win.…

    • 1220 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    All the other countries with failed nuclear programs believed America was having the same problems as they were and underestimated them. Many of the scientists that worked on the Manhattan project were made to believe that their work can end the war and save lives. More than 100,000 scientists worked on the Manhattan Project since 1942. On July 16 1945, Scientist carried out the first trial of the bomb in the New Mexico desert.…

    • 700 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Over 220,000 human lives were destroyed by that initial decision to engage in atomic warfare (Yamazaki). The United States, however, tends to dissociate itself from its responsibility in the amount of innocent lives affected by such a pivotal moment in our collective history. In hindsight, we can recognize the lack of humility and humanity in such an action, but we rarely acknowledge that the A-bomb wasn’t just a misunderstanding of potential, but a calculated method of winning; a claim of superiority. From that moment on, no one saw the U.S. as weak or passive, but as a force to be feared. Equipped with cutting edge technology, the country drove that fear into anyone who didn’t quite understand what made its existence possible.…

    • 1257 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Harry Truman and the Atomic Bomb There are many arguments on whether President Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan was the right one or not. Some historians say it was completely unnecessary while others believe his decision was made to save time and lives. The past cannot be changed but personal opinions on the matter can always be changed. Whether it was the correct thing to do or not, Harry Truman had to make the biggest decision of his life when faced with dropping the bomb. There are clearly many cons to dropping a very powerful atomic bomb on hundreds of thousands of civilians.…

    • 1537 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays