Hiroshima2

This essay has a total of 1624 words and 7 pages.


Hiroshima2





"We have spent 2 billion dollars on the greatest scientific gamble in history - and won."
- President Harry Truman

Up until August 6th, occasional bombs, which did no great damage had fallen on Hiroshima.
Many cities roundabout, one after another were destroyed, but Hiroshima itself remained
protected. There were daily observations of planes over the city, but none of them dropped
a bomb. The citizens wondered why they alone, had remained undisturbed for such long a
time. There were fantastic rumors that the enemy had something special in mind for this
city, but no one had dreamed that the end would come in such a fashion as on the morning
of August 6th. Undoubtedly, the atomic bombing of World War II was the most significant
military event that ever took place in history. Not only was it the beginning of what we
know as the Manhattan Project and nuclear power, it was the most devastating attack in
military history, which led to post-war controversy. This is the story of World War II,
and the catastrophic events that followed... 

On the 2nd of August, 1939 some scientists wrote to President Roosevelt of efforts in Nazi
Germany to purify Uranium-235, a highly unstable element, which might in turn be used to
build an atomic bomb. It was shortly thereafter that the United States Government began
the serious undertaking known only then as the Manhattan Project. The Manhattan Project
was designed to research and production that would produce a usable atomic bomb. Robert
Oppenheimer was appointed to lead the day to day running of the project. The team of
scientists who worked on the atom bomb worked 6 days a week and often 18 hours a day, and
by 1945, the project had nearly 40 laboratories and factories which employed 200,00
people. The total cost of the Manhattan project was $2-billion which is about the
equivalent of $26 billion today.

During the time of the development of the bomb, the many scientists who contributed to the
project were extremely passionate of their work. The project itself, became very
successful due to the extensive research. For example, one of its biggest benefits was
that it lead to the discovery of how to harness nuclear power. Nuclear power plants became
much more efficient than conventional power plants, and today have become a large supplier
of power for the United States and the rest of the world. Also, technology discovered in
the creation of the A-bomb was being used for medical purposes. Over the years, doctors
have gained the use of CAT scans and radiation to treat patients. As one can imagine, the
few years during the project must have been considerably exciting.

However, when the project was completed, this attitude changed as many scientists were
against the usage of the bomb. You may ask yourself, ”why did they work themselves so hard
on the bomb, but were against using it?” In actuality, the scientists had been pursuing
the atomic bomb in pure scientific interest. They had no intention of using it for
military purposes. Dr. Leo Szilard, a Hungarian-born physicist quoted, “I opposed it with
all my power, but I'm afraid not as effectively as I should have wished.”

August 6, 1945- It was a Monday morning; a Monday morning which no one would ever forget.
8:15 a.m. - the first atomic bomb, also known as "Little Boy", was dropped on Hiroshima.
It was dropped from the Enola Gay, one the U.S.’s B-29 bombers that flew over on that day.
It took about a whole minute for Little Boy to reach the point of explosion, but when it
did, it caused devastating human injuries. The people who saw and survived Little Boy
said, "We saw another sun in the sky when it exploded." The heat and the light generated
by the Little Boy were far stronger than bombs which they had seen before. When the heat
wave reached ground level it burnt everything around it. The strong winds generated by the
bomb destroyed most of the houses and buildings within a 1.5 mile radius. When the wind
reached the mountains, it was reflected and again hit the people in the city center.
However, this was not the only problem. The radiation generated by the bomb caused
long-term problems to those affected. Many people died within the first few months and
many more in later years because of radiation exposure. Some people acquired genetic
problems which resulted in having malformed babies or being unable to have children. More
than 140,000 people died by the end of the year including students, soldiers and Koreans
who worked in factories within the city. The total number of people who died because of
the bomb is estimated to be 200,000.
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