The Atomic BombThe atomic bomb is a powerful, explosive nuclear weapon. It is fueled by the fission of the nuclei of specific amounts of plutonium or uranium, in a chain reaction. The strength of the explosion created by one of these bombs is equal to the strength of an explosion created by thousands of tons of TNT.
The atomic bomb was first created in the early twentieth century. Physicists in the United States and Europe had discovered that the fission of uranium could be used to create a deadly explosive weapon. A letter was sent to U. S. president Franklin D.
Roosevelt by Albert Einstein that described this discovery and warned him of its potential dangers if developed by other nations. The Manhattan Project was established by the U. S. government in 1942 so the country could develop an atomic device.
A team under the command of United States Army Brigadier General Leslie R. Groves designed and built the first atomic bombs, directed by J. Robert Oppenheimer. This type of bomb was first tested at Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 16, 1945. The amount of energy that was released by this explosion alone was equivalent to twenty thousand tons of TNT. Many nations have tested nuclear devices, in the atmosphere, under the earth, and under the oceans.
Only the United States of America, Russia, Great Britain, France, and China openly admit to possessing these nuclear weapons. Many other nations, however, are thought to have the capability to assemble these items quickly. The only times that nuclear weapons were used in a conflict between nations was near the end of World War II, in an attempt to get Japan to surrender to the United States. The first atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Over one hundred thousand people were killed by “Little Boy,” the bomb that was dropped on this city.
After Japan still did not surrender, another bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, another Japanese city. “Fat Man,” as this bomb was nicknamed, was estimated to have killed over forty thousand people. Japan agreed to surrender on August 14th, 1945. This development of these bombs brought with it the fear of devastating whole civilizations. Even though the United States of America maintained a monopoly on nuclear weapons, it made proposals in the United Nations for the control and elimination of atomic energy for military purposes. In June of 1946, an American representative named Bernard Baruch presented a plan to the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission.
Within in this, he called for international control over the processing of nuclear materials, safeguards to ensure the atomic energy would be used only for civilian purposes, and the complete abolition of all nuclear weapons. The former USSR vetoed this plan in the Security Council, objecting to the United Nation’s authority over disarmament, and citing the domination of that body by Western Europe and the United States. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were justified in many ways, according to the United States government. It was stated that it was obvious that Japan would never surrender without such an act. The United States economy was suffering. The President believed that there would be a tremendous loss of American life if the war continued.
The former Soviet Union was advancing. The United States couldn’t allow it to reach Japan first. Scientific justifications were also made – the United States wanted to test the bombs to see which would be better made in actual conditions. As a result of this, the United States was established as a world military power. Japan was horrified, and adopts a pacifist manner, avoiding war no matter what.
The world was shocked at such a method of brutality. This event also marked the first time in history that Japan was defeated. The United States continued to occupy Japan, under the command of Commander Macarthur. The United States felt that there was justification in using these bombs to end World War II in the Pacific. President Truman felt that it was necessary to use, for that reason. I feel that the United States was not justified in using the bomb to end the war because of the massive destruction that .