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The Manhattan Project was a top-secret plan

to develop an atomic bomb.

In 1938, 3 chemists in Berlin discovered that

they could spilt the atom, however they still
had many technical problems that needed to
be solved.

Einstein upon hearing of these discoveries

feared that the Germans might succeed in
creating an atomic bomb of their own.

Einstein wrote to Roosevelt informing him of

his concerns and thus, caused the launch of
the Manhattan Project in December 1941.

The lead scientist on the Manhattan Project

was J. Robert Oppenheimer. He is often called
the "father of the atomic bomb".


In 1942, Canada was notified of this project.

Canada was asked to contribute uranium, an important

component of the bomb.

The Canadian government agreed, and as a result,

secretly bought the Eldorado mine at Great Bear Lake
in the Northwest Territories, to produce the uranium.

By the summer of 1945, the first bomb was ready to be

tested. On July 16, 1945 scientists readied themselves
for the test. The bomb was attached to a 100-foot
tower at Trinity Site near Alamogordo, New Mexico.

A blinding flash was visible for 200 miles as it lit up

the sky, a mushroom cloud reached 40,000 feet,
blowing out windows of civilian homes, a 100 miles
away. The bomb had created a half-mile wide crater
which metamorphosed sand into glass.

Soon word reached President Truman in Potsdam,

Germany that the project was successful.

Einstein was deemed a security risk and could not be consulted for help
with the project, or contribute to it. After the dropping of the bombs, he
later regretted his decision in informing the Americans about Germanys
plans on developing an atomic bomb saying:

Had I known that the Germans

would not succeed in
developing an atomic bomb, I
would have done nothing.


The city of Hiroshima was an important military

centre, with a civilian population of 300,000. 43,000
of which were soldiers.

On August 6th, 1945, the first ever deployed atomic

bomb nicknamed Little Boy was dropped on

An air raid alert from earlier that morning had been

called o after only a solitary aircraft was seen (the
weather plane). As such, the city was alive with

The American B-29 bomber Enola Gay piloted by

Paul Tibbets, named after his mother, flew over the
city and dropped the bomb.

The explosion wiped out 90% of the city and

immediately killed an approximate of 80,000 people.
Ten of thousands later died from the radiation
exposure from the bomb.


The yield of the explosion was later estimated

at 15 kilotons, the equivalent of 15,000 tons
of TNT.

9 out of 10 people half a mile or less from

ground zero were killed instantly and less
than 10% of buildings in the city survived
without any damage. The blast wave shattered
glass in areas twelve miles away.

Before the dropping of the bomb, at 11:00am

August 6th, President Truman announced to
the public informing them of the bombing. He
warned if Japan refused to surrender
unconditionally as demanded by the Potsdam
Declaration of July 26. The US would
continue to attack with equally devastating

Mr. Akihiro Takahashi was only 14 years old, when the bomb was dropped. He was standing
in line with other students of his junior high school, waiting for the morning meeting 1.4 km
away from the centre. After the attack, he was under medical treatment for about year and
half. And even today he regularly sees an ear doctor, an eye doctor, a dermatologist and a
surgeon. Out of sixty of junior high school classmates, only ten are alive today. This is his
account of that day:

The heat was tremendous . And I felt like my body was burning all over. For my burning body the
cold water of the river was as precious as the treasure. Then I left the river, and I walked along
the railroad tracks in the direction of my home. On the way, I ran into an another friend of mine,
Tokujiro Hatta. I wondered why the soles of his feet were badly burnt. It was unthinkable to get
burned there. But it was undeniable fact the soles were peeling and red muscle was exposed.
Even I myself was terribly burnt, I could not go home ignoring him. I made him crawl using his
arms and knees. Next, I made him stand on his heels and I supported him. We walked heading
toward my home repeating the two methods. When we were resting because we were so
exhausted, I found my grandfather's brother and his wife, in other words, great uncle and great
aunt, coming toward us. That was quite coincidence. As you know, we have a proverb about
meeting Buddha in Hell. My encounter with my relatives at that time was just like that. They
seem to be the Buddha to me wandering in the living hell.


The town of Kokura, was the bombs initial target

but upon reaching the town, the pilots discovered
that it was surrounded with haze and smoke. As
such, they decided to fly to the next target, the
city of Nagasaki.

The city of Nagasaki was an industrial centre and

major port on the west coast of Kyushu.

Similarly to Hiroshima, an all-clear from an air

raid alert had long been given by the time the
B-29 had begun its bombing run.

This time, the atomic bomb nicknamed Fat

Man was deployed by the American B-29
bomber Bocks Car.

It was the morning of August 9th, 1945, when

Nagasaki was hit. 3 days from the bombing of


70% of the citys industrial zone was destroyed,

with 75,000 wounded and killed.

The yield of the explosion estimated at 22,000

tons of TNT. At least 7,000 tons, 30% more
than Little Boy.

Although Fat Man had a more destructive

force than Little Boy, the citizens of Nagasaki
were lucky in the fact that, because of the
geographical landscape of Nagasaki, its
surroundings contained much of the destructive
force. With hills and mountains protecting
those on the outskirts of the city.

The death tolls of the atomic bombs later

estimated to have exceeded 200,000 due to
deaths from the initial blasts, injuries and
radiation exposure in the long term.


After the bombing of Nagasaki, the Japanese

realized that they could not withstand another

As a result, on August 15th, 1945, Emperor

Hirohito announced his unconditional
surrender to the Allies. He urged his people to
accept the surrender, saying:

Should we continue to fightit would not only

result in the ultimate collapse and obliteration of
the Japanese nation, but would also lead to the
total extinction of human civilization

Japans formal surrender took place aboard

American battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay, on
September 2nd, 1945.


On September 2nd, more than 250 Allied warships

were anchored in Tokyo Bay. Just after 9 am, Japanese
Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signed on
behalf of the Japanese government. General Yoshijiro
Umezu then signed for the Japanese armed forces.

Supreme Commander MacArthur signed next on

behalf of the United Nations, declaring:

It is my earnest hope and indeed the hope of all

mankind that from this solemn occasion a better world
shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past.

Ten more signatures were then made, by the U.S.,

China, Britain, the USSR, Australia, Canada, France,
the Netherlands, and New Zealand.

As the ceremony ended, so did WWII, after six hard

long years of fighting, with millions and thousands of
casualties and deaths on both sides.


The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki still

remains the only use of nuclear weapons for warfare in

However, by 1949, the Soviets had developed their own

atomic bomb and the nuclear arms race began.

New hostilities began to emerged between the U.S. and

the Soviet Union. Known as the Cold War, it was a
struggle for control over conquered areas of Eastern
Europe. Starting in the late 1940s and through to the
early 1990s.

Both countries began building more and bigger bombs,

and in 1952, the United States tested a new and more
powerful weapon, the hydrogen bomb.

The Soviet Union followed with its own version in 1953.

By 1981, USA had 8,000 ICBMs (Intercontinental

ballistic missiles) and 4,000 planes capable of delivering a
nuclear bomb. While the USSR 7,000 ICBMs and 5000


Over the years there have been many debates

on whether the dropping of the atomic bombs
on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were justified.

Even before the dropping of the atomic bomb,

there were already those that opposed the
idea. Admiral William Leahy, an advisor to
U.S. President Truman was one of them, he
advised Roosevelt, not to use they bomb,
It was my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at
Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in
our warThe Japanese were already defeated and ready to
surrenderMy own feeling was that in being the first to use
it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the
barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war
in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying
women and children


However, some disagreedColonel Paul

Tibbets, the pilot of Enola Gay dismissed
such criticism, as it failed to take into the
consideration of the context of the times,
war. He says this:
As for the mission flown against Japan on the 6th and 9th of August,
1945, I would remind you, we were at war. Our job was to win. Once
the targets were named and presidential approval received, we were to
deliver the weapons as expeditiously as possible, consistent with good
tactics. The objection was to stop the fighting, thereby saving further
loss of life on both sides. The urgency of the situation demanded that
we use the weapons first - before the technology could be used against

Some of the pilots of the Enola Gay even

"If I was told to carry the A-bomb again I would do it, because that
was our job."


In my opinion, I do not think that the dropping of the atomic

bombs was necessary. Although it was no hidden fact that the
Japanese committed terrible crimes against humanity as did
many during the war, and refused to surrender unconditionally
leaving the U.S. with supposedly no choice, I do not think these
alone justifies the killing of over 200,000 people. Some say that
the dropping of the atomic bombs saved the further loss of
American lives, and that could have been true, but the U.S.
could have simply found an un-inhabited area, dropped the
bomb, and shown the devastating eects of the bomb to the
Japanese. Similar to what they did when they first tested an
atomic bomb. And after seeing the eects of the bomb, if the
Japanese still refused to surrender, then they could have
threatened Japan and later attacked. On top of that, the
bombing of Nagasaki was definitely unjustified. First, unlike
Hiroshima, it was not a military centre, Nagasaki had perhaps
around 150 military personnels there at the time, and second
Japan would have likely surrendered after the first atomic bomb,
if given the time. Over 95 per cent of the combined casualties of
the two cities were civilian.

To summarize I believe the dropping of the atomic bombs were


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