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The Atomic Bomb.

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The Atomic Bomb By Pereira In 1939 World War II broke out in Europe. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was by then the President of the United States of America. Because of their previous experience in World War I, isolationist ideas had led to the approval of Neutrality Acts in American Congress. These Neutrality Acts were laws which prevented American citizens from selling military equipment or lending money to any country at war. As for non-military supplies, they could only be sold to warring countries if they paid cash for them and took care of their transportation. Japan had turned into German's strongest ally and their power frightened America, sandwiched between the two countries. Because of this, Roosevelt succeeded in persuading Americans to send both non-military goods and military equipment either to Britain or to any country whose defence he considered necessary to the safety of the USA. ...read more.


Factories started producing tanks, bombers and other war supplies instead of cars and washing machines. Wages and prices were seriously controlled and income taxes were introduced. To gain the war, more powerful weapons were needed. Thus, scientists started working on a top-secret research scheme, code-named the Manhattan Project. As the "White House press release on Hiroshima" states, this project was carried on in the United States with British agreement since the USA territories were out of reach of enemy bombing. The director of the laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico, where this project developed, was J. Robert Oppenheimer. The aim of the project was to make a nuclear weapon, the atomic bomb, and as soon as possible. First, because the Germans were already working on it, and secondly because it seemed the only means to stop Hitler and the Japanese from destroying the "free world", to end the war quickly and to save many human lives. ...read more.


Even the scientists involved didn't agree about the issue. Most really hoped that the mere possession of such a weapon could be enough to frighten the enemy and stop the war. Before its use on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a group of them clearly showed their disagreement signing petitions and warning both of the bomb's unusual destructive force and of the radioactive fallout which followed the bomb test. After the damage to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, different opinions could still be heard: "We were afraid that Hitler had the bomb first, and we made this bomb, which shortened the war and saved a lot of American and Japanese lives in the Japanese war" (Victor Weiskopf, physicist). "If I had known that the Germans would not succeed in constructing the atomic bomb, I would have never lifted a finger" (Albert Einstein, physicist). "I think it was necessary to drop one, but the second one could have easily been avoided. I think Japan would have capitulated anyway" (Hans Bethe, physicist). ...read more.

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