Atomic Bombing of World War II

Essay by JimiSakCollege, UndergraduateA+, January 1995

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On August 6, 1945, at approximately 3 A.M., a bomb was dropped that had more power than the world had ever seen before. The effects of this bomb were terrible. The radiation in the cities still causes problems today. Many people ask the question, 'should we have dropped the atomic bomb?'

When the United States was making the atomic bomb it named the operation the Manhattan Project because much of the early research was done in New York City. The program was organized when the Germans discovered nuclear fission in 1938. The American scientists feared that the Germans would discover how to construct the atomic bomb. The program's first leader was Vannevar Bush, who was the head of the National Defense Research Committee and the Office of Scientific Research and Development. The next leader was Gen. Leslie Groves of the Army Corps Engineers. First, Groves set up research labs in many East Coast universities under the leadership of Arthur Compton.

Then he had a weapons laboratory built on an isolated mesa in Los Alamos, New Mexico, where theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer was appointed director. In late 1942 Enrico Fermi built a reactor using plutonium. The parts of the bomb were shipped to New Mexico and assembled. Finally on July 16, 1945 the atomic bomb was tested positive in Alamogordo, New Mexico. It was the first explosion of an atomic bomb.

After the Allies won the war in Europe the United States felt a need to end the war. One way to end the war quickly and without any American casualties was to use the atomic bomb. There was a lot of controversy to use the atomic bomb. After a conference in late July of 1945 with the President's cabinet, the military commanders, and Prime Minister Churchill, it was decided...