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Manhattan Project Essay

1847 words - 8 pages

The Manhattan Project
“Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds” was what Robert Oppenheimer, one of the makers of the nuclear bomb, said after successfully exploding a bomb (Jinarājadāsa). There are few events that forever change human history such as the invention of fire and the Manhattan Project’s creation is one of these. The Manhattan Project’s atomic bomb was the most influential invention of the 20th century because it forever changed Japan, started a worldwide race for nuclear bombs, and marked the start of a 40 year Cold War with the Soviet Union. There had never been such a powerful weapon that could level cities in seconds and cause such widespread damage over ...view middle of the document...

Research occurred in the US, Canada, and the UK and the first ever atomic bomb tested happened at the Trinity Test in New Mexico in July of 1945 (Manhattan). There were two types of bombs created, a gun type with uranium-235 and an implosion type with plutonium (Manhattan). Little Boy, a gun type, was the bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Fat Man, an implosion type, was the one dropped on Nagasaki (Manhattan). On the 15th of August, Japan announced its surrender and signed the Instrument of Surrender on September 2nd, effectively ending the war.
The amount of deaths, radiation poisoning, hereditary illnesses, and forced surrender of Japan is one of the reasons that make the atomic bomb the most influential invention. Between 70,000-80,000, or 30% of the population, people died in Hiroshima, another 70,000 injured, and 90% of the doctors and 93% of the nurses in the area were killed (Atomic Bombings). The total destruction radius was one mile, an estimated 4.7 square miles of the city were destroyed, and 69% of the buildings were destroyed in Hiroshima alone (Atomic Bombings). The United States sent in General Farrell to survey the damage in Hiroshima and he said “the scene is of utter devastation, the airplane photographs do not give adequate presentation of the complete leveling of the city which is substantially destroyed” (Document 77a). In Nagasaki, up to 75,000 people
Kagan 3
were killed instantly, and the total destruction radius was one mile (Atomic Bombings). Nearly half the deaths in both cities occurred on the first day, and between 150,000-246,000 people died in total (Atomic Bombings). The US estimated that the cause of death was 15-20% radiation sickness, 20-30% burns, and 50-60% other and illness (Atomic Bombings). The utter destruction of these two cities was so great that it forced Emperor Hirohito to supersede the Supreme Council who was in charge and surrender, something Japan had never done because it had never lost a war or been invaded (Surrender). Japan also adopted the Three Non Nuclear Principles that stated Japan could not make nuclear weapons which is still upheld today (Atomic Bombings). The radiation poisoning caused burns initially, and then led to sickness, skin and lung problems, cancer and other terminal illnesses which could be hereditary (Effects). The bomb dropped on Hiroshima was equivalent to 20,000 tons of TNT and 2000 times more powerful than any other bomb at the time (Shalett). On top of all of that, Japan was under the control of the US until 1952 when the Treat of San Francisco was signed (Surrender). Japan’s landscape was forever altered when the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The 40 year Cold War fought between the USA and Soviet Union is another reason why the atomic bomb is the most influential invention. Following the end of WWII, America agreed to a policy of “containment” to stop the spread of communism while the Soviet Union was creating the Eastern Bloc using...

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