Atomic Bomb Essays

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Atomic Testing Though Modern People Essay

Words: 11346 Length: 35 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 33269463

The First Nuclear Test

Of course, the first nuclear test occurred before the 1950s and was part of the United States' effort to develop an atomic weapon during World War II. This test occurred at 5:30 A.M. On July 16, 1945, at a missile range outside of Alamogordo, New Mexico. Even that test was enough to convince a large group of scientists that the atomic weapon was a dangerous and powerful weapon. "The Franck Report," a petition issued by Leo Szilard and 68 other scientists urged President Truman to first demonstrate the capabilities of the atomic bomb before using it as a weapon against the Japanese, because of the mass destruction that came with the bomb.

This test, known as the Trinity Test, was a tremendous success. "The energy developed in the test was several times greater than that expected by scientific group. The cloud column mass and top reached a phenomenal height, variously estimated as 50,000 to 70,000 feet. It remained towering over the northeast corner of the site for several hours." Even at that time, the government was aware of the potentially adverse affects of exposure to radioactive fallout; initial testing looked at radiation levels in houses surrounding the test area. Colonel Stafford Warren, who was Chief of the Manhattan Project's Medical Section, wrote a memo shortly after that test, and his memo indicates concern about possible radioactive exposure to civilians in the area. He noted that:

While no house area investigated received a dangerous amount, ie, no more than an accumulated two weeks dose of 60r, the dust outfall from the various portions of the cloud was potentially a very serious hazard over a band almost 30 miles wide extending almost 90 miles northeast of the site...It is this officer's opinion that this site is too small for a repetition of a similar test of this magnitude except under very special conditions. It is recommended that the site be expanded or a larger one, preferably with a radius of at least 150 miles without population, be obtained if this test is to be repeated.

What the Bomb Does

To really understand the impact of atomic testing on intentional and unintentional victims, it is important to understand what the bomb does. First, it…… [Read More]

Adams, Cecil. 1984. "Did John Wayne die of cancer caused by a radioactive movie set?" The Straight Dope. (Accessed August 19, 2008).

American Cancer Society. 2006. "Radiation exposure and cancer." (Accessed August 19, 2008).
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Japanese Attitude Towards the Atomic Essay

Words: 4551 Length: 14 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 64562654

) Some even thought (rightly) that it was being spared for something big. However, no one in their wildest imagination was anticipating an atomic bomb attack. Hence, on the morning of the fateful day, the residents of Hiroshima were completely unprepared for an atomic bomb explosion.

Painting of Hell":

Many survivors of the atomic explosion on Hiroshima have likened the experience of the blast and its immediate aftermath to mankind's common perception of hell. A young Japanese sociologist, for example, described the scene of a nearby park after the explosion: "The most impressive thing I saw was some girls, very young girls, not only with their clothes torn off but with their skin peeled off as immediate thought was that this was like the hell I had always read about." (Selden and Selden, xix) Another eye-witness, twenty-year-old Shibayama Hiroshi, recalled entering Hiroshima on foot from his suburban workplace within hours of the bombing and encountering a scene reminiscent of "a painting of hell." Apart from the scores of dead bodies he saw floating in the Kyobashi River with "faces swollen to twice their normal size," there was one sight the young man believed he would never forget. He saw a man, his face burned and his blue clothes in shreds, riding along with what looked like black wood fastened to his bicycle with coarse straw rope. As the man on the bicycle came nearer, Hiroshi saw that what he had taken for wood was a stiff, blackened corpse -- probably the remains of a loved one. The man himself seemed crazed. To Hiroshi, all the inhabitants of Hiroshima appeared deranged in the aftermath of the explosion. (Ibid, xx)

Suppressed Feelings During the American Occupation

One of the main objectives of the American occupation government in Japan was to inculcate a sense of guilt for the war in the Japanese people and to snuff out any lingering ultra-nationalist feelings among the populace. It also took steps to ensure that no…… [Read More]

Works Cited:
Braw, Monica. The Atomic Bomb Suppressed: American Censorship in Occupied Japan. Armonk, NY M.E. Sharpe, 1991.

Hume, Mick. "Hiroshima: the 'White Man's Bomb' revisited." Spiked Essays. August 2, 2005. May 24, 2006.
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Decision to Use the Atomic Essay

Words: 1585 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 58194182

Because, clearly, we committed acts of terrorism in dropping the bombs on Japan. The intent was to create a massive destruction to horrific that the victims could not help but surrender without further fight - which is, of course, what happened. Our new brand of terrorism is, truly, the only effective manner that certain people have of waging a war. When you do not have the technology or the resources of the largest nations in the world, but you do know how to make and plant a bomb that is likely to kill civilians and military targets as well - do you simply roll over and surrender because you might kill innocent people? If that was the case, then the United States would have never been able to wage war with anyone using bombs and missiles and rockets - the war could have only been waged by spies and snipers.

Terrorism, then, is a political construct used to brand a particular enemy with a very negative brush. It is an implied immaturity, a "cowardice" that a group of fighters will refuse to engage a clearly and overwhelmingly superior military and instead kill civilians - which seems to have a greater effect toward achieving their desired outcome. Terrorists can often live to fight another day. Soldiers can't. If we insist on defining terrorism in this manner, then we have to accept the label on ourselves for carrying out the attacks against civilians in Japan, German, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf I and Gulf II, and whenever again in the future we do so.… [Read More]

Alperovitz, Gar. The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb. New York: Vintage, 1996.
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Manhattan Project a Bomb Heard Around the World Essay

Words: 1587 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 3890229

Manhattan Project, and examines whether or not we should have dropped the bomb associated with the project.

The Manhattan Project: An Examination

In 1939, the United States got word through various channels of intelligence that the Nazis in Germany were planning to develop an atomic bomb. This was startling and upsetting news for the United States, as the prospect of the Nazis with the most powerful weapon in the world was not a comforting one. As a result, the United States began its own project to develop and build an atomic bomb before the Nazis or the Japanese did. The United States began this project in 1942 under the Army Corps of Engineers. It was the atomic bomb that was developed during this effort, an effort known as the Manhattan Project, that was eventually dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This paper examines the history behind the Manhattan Project and analyzes whether or not the United States should have dropped the bomb it developed.

General Leslie R. Groves, who was the Chief of Construction of the Army Corps of Engineers, was selected to head up the Manhattan Project. The Manhattan Project faced some strong hurdles right from the very beginning, and General Groves had to figure out ways to overcome these. After all, it was early on in the study of atomics, and scientists were only just beginning to understand atoms and how they worked. At the time of the Manhattan Project, there were only two known types of atomic reactions -- fusion and fission. A fusion reaction got its power from combining the nuclei of several hydrogen isotopes to produce helium nuclei. The fusion reaction is used to produce the fusion bomb, otherwise known as the hydrogen bomb. Fission occurs when the nucleus of an atom breaks up into two equal fragments. A neutron breaks the nucleus, and once this is done, fragments release other neutrons to break up more atomic nuclei in…… [Read More]

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World War II the Use of Atomic Essay

Words: 660 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 94462779

World War II

The Use of Atomic Weapons on Japan in WWII

The Second World War officially began in 1939 with the evasion of Poland by Germany. The United States of America did not officially enter this international conflict of epic scale until the Japanese attacked American and European territories in the Pacific in 1941. The war persisted until 1945, culminating with the surrender of Japan and Germany to the U.S. & Allied Forces. During World War II, the world saw the first demonstrations of nuclear weapons -- atomic bombs. There were two infamous attacks on Japan by the U.S. On Nagasaki and Hiroshima, where the atomic bombs were dropped and caused unparalleled damage. The paper will provide a historical and political context within which to consider why the United States of America resorted to the use of atomic bombs upon Japan.

War campaigns waged by Germany and Japan were widely successful. Germany successfully invaded and conquered several critical European territories, providing them with substantial tactical advantage and a serious boost to their morale. Allied with countries such as Japan, who additionally saw military victories, the war was moving in their favor. Because WWII was one of the largest wars that spanned great distances and still is known to be one of the bloodiest wars in human history, the implications for whomever the winning side of the war was (is), the stakes for victory were of epic proportions. This is one of the reasons why the United States resorted to atomic bombs in efforts to stop Japan and stop the war. In essence, the times were very desperate, and as the adage states, "desperate times call for desperate measures."

As with most forms of technology, it is not only just one person or one country that is developing the technology or playing with the ideas. Ideas for technology are always in the air, and it is just a matter of which party is able to produce and in this case,…… [Read More]

Aviation History. (2006) World War II -- Second Atomic Bomb that Ended the War. Available from . 2012 June 25.

Henretta. (2009) Chapters 23 -- 26. Provided.
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Hydrogen Bomb the 1940s Introduced Essay

Words: 696 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 97595256

Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum). After meeting with his advisors over the course of several days, President John F. Kennedy declared a blockade would be put in place around Cuba with the intention of preventing the Soviet Union from supplying Cuba with any more military supplies ("Cuban Missile Crisis," John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum). Shortly thereafter, on October 22, President Kennedy announced, via a television broadcast, the presence of the missiles in Cuba, his decision to "enact a naval blockade around Cuba and made it clear the U.S. was prepared to use military force if necessary to neutralize this perceived threat to national security" ("Cuban Missile Crisis," History Channel). While Kennedy and the United States were unsure of the reaction this televised announcement would have on Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, both political leaders recognized the threat nuclear war posed and agreed to negotiate a deal ("Cuban Missile Crisis," John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum). However, Kennedy and Krushchev reached an agreement that not only called for a dismantling of weapons sites in Cuba in an exchange for a pledge from Kennedy that stated he would not invade Cuba, but also included an agreement from the United States that declared it would removed its nuclear missiles from Turkey ("Cuban Missile Crisis," John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum). The Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was signed by both countries on July 25, 1963.

The tensions between the United States, and Cuba and the Soviet Union, over nuclear weapons helped to usher in a new and constant threat of nuclear war. Since then, nations have been developing and stockpiling weapons that could potentially create irrevocable destruction and harm to the world's population.

Works… [Read More]

Cavendish, Richard. "The First Hydrogen Bomb." History Today. Vol. 56, Issue 5 (2006). Web.

23 March 2013.
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Truman and the Use of Essay

Words: 1131 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 89272459

S. during the summer of 1945 had indicated that the Japanese were ready to surrender; that the War could have been ended, if the U.S. had responded by offering the retention of the Japanese Imperial Monarchy instead of insisting on unconditional surrender. Further research on the decoded messages, however, indicate that the militarists still dominated the power hierarchy in Japan and they were willing to fight to the bitter end, despite their precarious military position. They were depending on the war-wariness of the Americans. Their theory being that the United States was unwilling to bear more casualties and any major setback to the American forces during a planned invasion of the Japanese mainland would improve Japan's bargaining position and obtain a peace agreement. In other words, the Japanese military leaders were only agreeable to a ceasefire and unwilling to consider surrender. They wanted to retain the militarist policies of the government and with the hawks dominating the corridors of power, there were no chances of an early end to the War in August of 1945. It was only the shock of the devastating power of the atomic bombs, which broke the hold of the militarists over the Japanese government and enabled the doves to consider surrender (Wainstock, 1996, pp. 44-57; Frank, 2005)

All of above, by no means suggests that President Truman's decision to use the atomic bomb was based solely on the desire to end the war quickly and save lives. Other considerations may well have played a part in the decision albeit to a lesser extent. For example, the Manhattan Project initiated for the development of the atomic bomb had cost over $2 billion, which was an enormous amount for the time. President Truman must have been under considerable pressure to justify the expenditure to the Congress if the bomb had not been used. The potential rivalry of the United States with the Soviet Union in the post-World War II scenario may too have prompted Truman to avail the opportunity to demonstrate the power of the bomb to the Soviet leaders. Most of all, the American public's desire for revenge and to punish the Japanese for its attack on Pearl Harbor and its atrocious treatment of American prisoners meant that Truman would…… [Read More]

Works Cited:
Frank, R.B. (2005). "Why Truman Dropped the Bomb." The Weekly Standard.

08/08/2005, Volume 010, Issue 44.
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Weapons of Mass Destruction and the Next Essay

Words: 5067 Length: 13 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 10464176

Weapons of Mass Destruction and the Next Terror: Assessment of How a Significant Terrorist WMD Attack Might Be Conducted by a Non-State Actors Perpetrator and Why They Can't Stage an Attack

Weapons of Mass Destructions (WMD) have considerable effect to the economies of both developed and developing countries. In the modern world, most terror groups have resolved to use Weapons of Mass Destruction to harm their enemies. The entire syndicate comprises state actors and the terror group, which intends to destroy the target country. The state actors have direct links or channels of communication with such attackers, foreign allies, and several residential alliances with almost similar connections to the terror groups. Most of the terror groups lack essential materials that would aid in the making of some of the most dangerous weapons such as nuclear bombs. The various forms of attack involved when using lethal weapons include dispersion, dissemination, and detonation. Apart from the overview of the topic, the paper seeks to examine and evaluate the review of Literature, the methodology, analysis and findings, and a summary of the fundamental arguments as well as conclusive remarks.


1. Introduction

2. Literature Review

3. Methodology

4. Analysis and Findings

5. Summary and Conclusions

6.… [Read More]

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Manhattan Project Essay

Words: 3708 Length: 10 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 47798352

Manhattan Project was one of the most documented events in American and World History. The discussion will provide an explanation of the Manhattan Project and how the project changed society forever. The purpose of this essay is to provide a historiographic discussion on the topic of the Manhattan project.

The Manhattan Project Summary

According to a book entitled The Manhattan Project and published by the Department of Energy, Albert Einstein was actually quite instrumental in the development of the Manhattan Project. According to the book Einstein wrote a now famous letter explaining to President Roosevelt advances in science related to chain reactions through the use of Uranium. Einstein asserted that this new scientific discovery could lead to the development of bombs that would be extremely powerful and destructive.

In the letter, Einstein also revealed to the president that Germany was already attempting to build bombs involving this new scientific discovery. Roosevelt was concerned and in 1939 he approved uranium research believing that America could not take the risk of permitting Hitler to develop such a weapon without America also attempting to develop such a weapon. Roosevelt's approval of uranium research marked the beginning of the Manhattan Project.

Basically the Manhattan project represented a concerted effort to research the use of Uranium. This research took place throughout the United States. The primary places at which research was conducted included Hanford, Washington (Engineer Works); Chicago Illinois (Met Lab); Oak Ridge, Tennessee (Clinton Engineer Works); Los Alamos, New Mexico (The Laboratory and The Town). There were also other locations utilized for the Manhattan project.

Ultimately it led to the development of the Atomic Bomb. The United States became the first and only country to drop an atomic bomb and this could not of occurred without the Manhattan Project.

Histographic View

There are many different schools of thought as it pertains to the Manhattan project and ultimately the dropping of the…… [Read More]

Bernstein, Barton J. Reconsidering the Atomic General: Leslie Groves. The Journal of Military History, Vol.67, No. 3 (Jul.,2003), pp. 883-920

Gosling, F.G.. The Manhattan Project. United States Department of Energy. History Division.
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Hiroshima Bombing Essay

Words: 1342 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 9876017

Hiroshima Bombing

The Manhattan Project

When I was asked to work on the Manhattan project during the late 1930's, I was delighted to be included in work of such magnitude. Not only would I work with the most prominent scientists in the world; I would also make a substantial contribution to the United States Government and its effort to keep the country safe.

Recently however I have begun experiencing considerable ambivalence regarding the work we were doing. Nuclear technology is extremely volatile and dangerous. The Government is also under pressure to end the war quickly, and plans are being made to use the atomic bomb for this purpose. Although the atomic bomb would effectively accomplish this, I am having serious misgivings about using it on human targets. My colleagues have voiced similar misgivings. For this reason I was asked to draw up a petition voicing our concerns about using the bomb in populated areas. In order to make a clear decision regarding the contents of this petition, and indeed whether or not such a petition is necessary, I have examined all the factors involved in this issue.

International Law

The most important consideration is international law. Several preventative laws have been implemented in order to prevent unnecessary brutality in events of war. I believe that these should enjoy careful scrutiny before proceeding with the plans for the atomic bomb.

Article XXII of the Hague convention with respect to the laws and customs of war on land for example states that the right to injure the enemy is not unlimited. Surely if a bomb as potent as the one we are developing is used against a nation, unlimited rights to harm the enemy are assumed. It has been shown that the effects of nuclear energy can be more devastating than is required by an act merely to end a war. Many civilians, including women and children, may be harmed if such measures are taken. It was found that plutonium is accompanied by two by-product effects.

The first is that an enormous amount of energy is produced by the chain reaction involved. In fact, a report by Dr. Smyth, one of the first working on such projects, suggests that a relative of the uranium pile may be sufficient to drive the machines of the entire world. Furthermore the Doctor found that the amount of…… [Read More]

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War Rational Choice Realism Essay

Words: 1507 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 66607944

War is a necessary and inevitable. The question of whether it is justified is dependent on the conditions of each war individually, but the necessity and inevitability of armed conflict among human societies has been demonstrated consistently throughout history. Davidson and Lytle (1992) provide a strong argument in favor of this position with their description of the conditions surrounding the detonation of the atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki to bring an end to the Second World War.

Davidson and Lytle argue that the reason for these bombings was not as much to end the war with the Japanese but rather to send a message to the Soviet Union. At the time, the U.S.S.R. was also pursuing nuclear weapons technology. In the wake of the end of the war in Europe, that continent had been effectively been divided between the United States and its allies in the West and Stalin's USSR in the east. To make their case, the authors parrot third-party speculation that the U.S. "had no compelling military reason to drop atomic bombs on Japan" (7). While the use of third party analysis does not explicitly invalidate the conclusion, it also lends it no particular support. The idea that the bomb was dropped for the benefit of the Soviets is, in the end, one man's speculation. One can choose to accept or reject that speculation.

For the sake of argument, it is assumed here that the speculation is accepted as reality, that the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan. The conclusion was reached through application of rational choice theory, which of course was not necessarily the decision-making method for President Truman. Davidson and Lytle (1992) make a logical leap when they argue that "if Truman hoped to intimidate the Russians into cooperating, he seriously erred." Before dissecting this argument, it will first be pointed out that if the authors are going to be so pedantic as to argue whether Truman literally dropped the bombs himself, they might want to get it right -- the Soviet Union was comprised of hundreds of nationalities, Russians only one. Stalin himself was Georgian. "Russian" is…… [Read More]

Crossman, Ashley (2014). Rational choice theory. Retrieved May 25, 2014 from

Davidson, James & Mark Lytle. The decision to drop the bomb. After the fact: The Art of Historical Detection. McGraw-Hill.