TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Hiroshima Marks 60th Anniversary of Atomic Bomb Attack

Re: Hiroshima Marks 60th Anniversary of Atomic Bomb Attack
10 Aug 2005 19:07:06 -0700

jtaylor wrote:

>> The Germans were pretty much on their way to having their own atomic
>> weapons.

> The stuff I've read (Farm Hall transcripts, for instance) says no,
> they were working on a pile, not bombs. They miscalculated the amount
> of fissionable material necessary and so thought they could not

Germany was clearly interested in developing nuclear power for
military purposes. However, as stated, the project didn't get very
far. The Allies went to a lot of trouble to disrupt a source of heavy

Before the war even ended, an American specialist team went into
Germany to get German scientists and their records. See "Now it can
be told" by Gen. Leslie Groves.

Japan was also working on a nuclear weapon, although their project was
extremely limited in size and basically just lab research.

When nuclear fission was discovered and announced in January 1939,
scientists worldwide knew of the potential for extremely powerful
weapons and began to think about the issues involved.

We are fortunate that making a nuclear weapon is not easy at all.
This is why 60 years later so few nations have them. Making the fuel
is very difficult as well is detonation. Of course, one can't help
but wonder what would've happened if the U.S. had the bomb a year
later, say August 1944. The Allies still face high losses slogging
through Europe to Germany at that point, and a great many losses in
the Pacific against Japan. Thousands, perhaps millions of enemy
civilians and soldiers would also die. The shock of a single bomb
doing the work of a huge fleet of conventional bombers would've been
the shock to end the war.

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