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World War Two - Atomic Bombs

Hiroshima Crew image

•Articles about the "Enola Gay" and her crew can be read here

How The Atomic Bomb Was Developed (Yank, 1945)

"The story behind the atomic bomb is a detective story with no Sherlock Holmes for a hero. The number of scientists who took part in the search was without parallel...The dramatic story begins with Dr. Lise Meitner (1878 – 1968), a woman scientist and director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin. In 1938 Dr. Meitner is bombarding uranium atoms with neutrons and then submitting the uranium to chemical analysis. To her amazement..."


How Tokyo Learned of Hiroshima (Coronet Magazine, 1946)

Shortly after Tokyo's capitulation, an advance team of American Army researchers were dispatched to Hiroshima to study the effects that the Atom Bomb had on that city. What we found most interesting about this reminiscence was the narrative told by a young Japanese Army major as to how Tokyo learned of the city's destruction:

"Again and again the air-raid defense headquarters called the army wireless station at Hiroshima. No answer. Something had happened to Hiroshima..."


The Making of the Atomic Bomb (Yank Magazine, 1945)

"The Manhattan Project" was the code name given to the allied effort to develop the Atomic Bomb during World War Two. The research and development spanned the years 1942 through 1946 and the participating nations behind the effort were the Unites States, Great Britain and Canada. Within the United States, there were as many as three locations where the Manhattan Project was carried out however this article concerns the goings-on at the uranium-enrichment facilities in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The article presents the point of view of your basic PFC on the base; how he had to maintain the necessary secrecy, what was it like living among such a plethora of pointy-headed slide-rule jockeys and how grateful they were to be living the comfortable life, while so many other draftees fared so poorly.


The Atomic Crusade (Rob Wagner's Script Magazine, 1948)

Attached is a 1948 article by the Nobel laureate Arthur Holly Compton (1892 – 1962) concerning the widespread understanding among nuclear physicists to wrestle control of atomic energy away from the military and firmly in the hands of civil authorities, where it's benefits can be put to general use and harnessed as positive force in the lives of all mankind.

Awarded the Nobel prize for physics in 1927, the SCRIPT MAGAZINE editors believed that Arthur Compton, more than anyone else, deserved the title "Daddy of the Atomic bomb". When the U.S. Government decided to proceed with the research and development of this weapon, Compton was assigned the double task of attempting a nuclear chain reaction and of designing the bomb itself.

Compton is remembered as the senior physicist at the Manhattan Project who hired Dr. Robert Oppenheimer.

Click here to read an article about American public opinion during the early Cold War years.

Click here to read about the invention of the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile


The Atomic Bomb (Dept. of the Army, 1956)

In ten lines the U.S. Army history section succinctly outlined Japan's grim situation and the events that led up to the dropping of the bomb:

"By the summer of 1945 it was obvious to most responsible leaders in Japan that the end of the war was near. For the first time those who favored ending the war came out in the open and in June, Japan sent out peace feelers through the Soviet Union. The rejection of the Potsdam Declaration of 26 July, however, sealed the doom of Japan..."

Click here to read an article about American public opinion during the early Cold War years


One of the First Letters to the Editor in Favor of the Bomb (Yank Magazine, 1945)

Apparently the arguments that we still hear today concerning whether or not use of the Atomic Bomb in 1945 was justifiable popped-up right away. The following is a letter to the editor of YANK MAGAZINE written by a hard-charging fellow who explained that he was heartily sick of reading the

"pious cries of horror [that] come from the musty libraries of well-fed clergymen and from others equally far removed from the war".

*Watch a Clip Concerning Robert Oppenheimer and the Creation of the Atomic Bomb*


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