History of War

REVIEWS

“THE BOOK IS ESSENTIALLY ABOUT THE HISTORY OF ATOMIC BOMB WARTIME INTELLIGENCE, DRAWING THE CONCLUSION THAT A SERIES OF MOMENTOUS MISTAKES AND LIES TOOK THE WORLD STUMBLING INTO THE NUCLEAR AGE”

FALLOUT

THE STORY OF THE “LIES, PRETENCES AND DECEPTIONS” THAT DRAGGED THE WORLD INTO THE NUCLEAR AGE

Author: Peter Watson Price: £25.00 Publisher: Public Affairs Released: Out now

In a single moment on the morning of 6 August 1945, an event changed forever the course of warfare. For eight months, the USA and Britain had worked in the utmost secrecy to build the most devastating killing machine the world had ever known. It was intended to be used against the Nazis, but that regime’s collapse in May 1945 obviated the need to drop an atomic bomb on Germany. Instead, Japan became the target of what has become one of military history’s most controversial decisions. The first bomb was detonated over Hiroshima and the second was dropped on Nagasaki, killing a total of 129,000 people, most of whom were civilians.

Journalist and historian Peter Watson recounts in his fascinating and meticulously researched narrative the making of the atomic bomb. He argues that it was an unnecessary weapon whose nature politicians failed to understand. The book is essentially about the history of atomic bomb wartime intelligence, drawing the conclusion that a series of momentous mistakes and lies took the world stumbling into the nuclear age.

The bomb, Watson writes, came about as the result of a series of “lies, pretences and deceptions” between the Allies, all of which brought into being the

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