Technology is a great thing, it aids man in the exploration of the universe, and himself. But there are times when technology can be the greatest downfall of man. One such time was when the creation of the nuclear bomb. Which was to be used in the Was in efforts to end it.
In 1939, a group of scientists, including Albert Einstein, wrote a letter to President Roosevelt to warn of the Nazi’s effort to purify Uranium-235, which would be used in the creation of a bomb of mass-destruction. This prompted the president to create the Manhattan Project, the code-name for a top-secret project which would put the world’s most brilliant scientists together to create a bomb. In 1942 General Leslie Grove was chosen to lead the project. He purchased a site at Oak Ridge, Tenn. For facilities to work on extracting Uranium 235. For the next 3 years nearly 200,000 people, working in 40 factories, worked 6 days a week, usually for 18 hour days in order to finish the project.
In 1945, President Truman had received some unsettling news, the bombs had been finished. 3 bombs had been produced, and it was time to test them to see if they had been successful in creating a nuclear weapon. The government had chosen a site in New Mexico called the “Trinity Testing Site” in Alamogordo. On July 16th, They conducted the first Nuclear Bomb testing.
They had proved that the bombs were usable, now the had to decide whether or not to drop the bomb. The scientists who created the bomb, started to realize that the had created something that would change the world as they knew it. The began to urge the president not to drop the bomb in Japan, but instead to show Japanese officials what would happen if the bomb was to be dropped on their country. Truman was against this because he had no idea if the other two bombs would work if the were to be dropped. So, Truman had to chose whether to drop the bomb, or show the effects of it. Truman knew that a full-scale invasion of Japan, in order to end the war, was to dangerous because of the possibility for severe American casualties. Truman had weighed the issues and decided to drop the 1st bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.
On August 6th 1945, a plane named the Enola Gay, flew over Hiroshima and at 8:15 am one minute after the Little Man was dropped the plane, 2,000 feet above the ground, the 1st casualties of the Nuclear Age were becoming statistics. Within milli-seconds anyone within a mile of the blast was vaporized. Large Buildings and human beings around the city were being destroyed by extremely high temperatures and winds produced from the explosion (The Atom Bomb, Internet).
“A bright light filled the plane,” wrote Lt. Col. Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the Enola Gay. “We turned back to look at Hiroshima. The city was hidden by that awful cloud…boiling up, mushrooming.” For a moment, no one spoke. Then everyone was talking. “Look at that! Look at that! Look at that!” exclaimed the co-pilot, Robert Lewis, pounding on Tibbets’s shoulder. Lewis said he could taste atomic fission; it tasted like lead. Then he turned away to write in his journal. “My God,” he asked himself, “what have we done?” It is believed that more than 140,000 people died by the end of the year (Ohba, Benson) One girl, whos opinion was shared by other Japanese, said “No matter how much I think of it, what a nasty horrible atom bomb! What was the war fought for? Many Were Killed, ‘For Peace,’ they said, but where is this peace (Osada)?”
The massive effects of the bomb was not enough for the emperor of Japan to sign a peace treaty. So Truman ordered the second bomb, named “Fat Man” to be dropped on Nagasaki, Japan. The blast produced a blast greater than the one in Hiroshima, but due to the geographic structure of the city, the bomb did less damage. It was less damage, but it still managed to kill an estimated 70,000 people by the end of the year(Ohba, Benson).
The second bombing prompted Emperor Hirohito to sign a peace treaty on August 14th, onboard the USS Missouri, officially ending World War II.