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The Neccesity Of The Bombings Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki

2412 words - 10 pages

Brightened Skies and Darkened Souls:

A study of the necessity of the Atomic attacks on Japan that ended World War II

The atom bomb was a weapon of incredible power. The bomb was so potent it could devastate a city singlehandedly. The atom bomb harnesses a natural event known as fission. This event happens on a molecular scale, but releases more energy than it uses to begin. When fission occurs enough in close quarters, it releases enough energy to create a large explosion. The Bomb was created in 1945 by a coalition of physicists secretly funded by the American government. Many scientists such as Leo Szilard had received word that the Nazi government was already ...view middle of the document...

Before being used, the bomb first had to be tested to make sure it worked the way it was supposed to. The test came to be known as The Trinity test for reasons only known to Robert Oppenheimer, the head scientist of the project. The test would have to take place at a secluded location because of the unknown destructive force of the bomb. An appropriate location was found in a practice bombing range in New Mexico known as the Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range. This area was 3,200 square miles of near empty land, the perfect area for something of this scale (Walker 1). The Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range was only 230 miles south of Los Alamos, the site where the bomb was built (Walker 1). However, the Trinity site was only one of eight possible choices for the testing site. After an examination of various factors-good weather, few settlements, distance from Los Alamos, and no Indian land being used- only two choices remained, this being one of them (Walker 1). The other possible option was a military base that would not be usable unless General George Patton gave permission. Because of the nature of the relationship between Patton and the director of the project, General Groves, that option was eliminated and only the eventual Trinity site remained (Walker 1). The test took place at 5:30am on July 16 1945 (EYE). The test was a success and created a mushroom cloud of dust, debris, and smoke of over 38,000 feet in height. As the bomb went off it created a "Conglomeration of flames that promptly started rising" (Fermi http://www.dannen.com/decision/trin-eye.html). The flames also created such an extreme heat that men stationed over 20 miles away could feel an intense rush of heat (Serber http://www.dannen.com/decision/trin-eye.html). This heat existed because "The explosion was 10,000 times hotter than the surface of the sun" (Walker 1). The power of the bomb was extreme as it had "More power than 20,000 tons of TNT" (Truman, Britannica, http://america.eb.com/america/article?articleId=387013&query=truman+hiroshima#cite). It could be easily assumed that the bomb would destroy a city. No other weapon could compare in sheer power and terror production to the atomic weapon.

Because of the weapon's nature, some argued that a show of military might using the bomb would be enough. Many of these dissenters said that Japanese ambassadors could be invited to the bombing range for a display of the pure destructiveness of the source weapon of the atomic age. These dissenters included some key scientists from the development of the bomb. These men believed that if the Japanese saw the destructive power of the bomb in person, with no casualties, then the war could be ended by peaceful means.

World War II had already killed millions of people, the rest were unsure of their futures, especially the citizens of those countries that were still at war. In the last two battles alone, over 80,000 Americans had become casualties of war. Moreover,...

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