The Dropping of the Atomic Bomb

Published: 2021-06-29 06:52:48
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Category: American History

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Just before the beginning of World War II, on August 2, 1939, Albert Einstein wrote to then President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Einstein among several other scientists told Roosevelt of efforts in Nazi Germany to purify uranium-235 that potentially could be used to build an atomic bomb. Shortly after that the United States Government began "The Manhattan Project." Simply put, the Manhattan Project was committed to producing an atomic bomb. On August 6, 1945 the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some of the effects of the two atomic bombs include the extreme death numbers, injuries, burns, radiation illnesses, blood injuries, unhealed scars, cataracts, and chromosome changes. Most people close to ground zero who received high radiation dosages died immediately or during the first day. One-third of all fatalities occurred by the 4th day; two-thirds by the 10th day; and 90% by the end of three weeks. The first two to four months of the bombings, the acute effects killed 90,000-166,000 people in Hiroshima and 60,000-80,000 in Nagasaki. Of the all the deaths from the Atomic bomb the reports estimate that over 50% were due to burns. While casualty rates exceeded death rates, they both were highest near ground zero and declined at similar rates by increasing distance from ground zero. Many of the blood injuries damaged bone marrow and lymphatic tissue. The majority of thermal injuries within 2.0-3.0 km of ground zero were flash burns that left simple, thin scars at first. But the flash-burn scars altered markedly by thickening to become keloids after 3 to 4 months. Many of the civilians lucky enough to not have died, gotten injured, or gotten burned had radiation illness. The cause of the radiation illness is when radiation penetrates deeply into human body and injures cells. Thus the molecules result in cell death, inhibit cell division, or cause abnormalities of intracellular molecules and membranes. In a cataract the ocular lens becomes opaque. Cataracts appeared a few years after the atomic bombings; the first was found in 1948 in Hiroshima; and the next, the following year in Nagasaki. Occurrence was related to age when exposed and distance from ground zero. Chromosome aberrations were first noted in exposed survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1960. Surveys revealed a high frequency of aberrations in blood cells and lymphocytes in fetuses exposed to large radiation doses in the womb or soon after birth. Although chromosome aberrations increased with higher radiation doses, frequency of aberrations was consistently high at all dose ranges. As late as 1985, chromosomal aberrations in body cells persisted among exposed survivors.
The Japanese had demonstrated near-fanatical resistance, fighting to almost the last man on Pacific islands, committing mass suicide on Saipan and unleashing kamikaze attacks at Okinawa. 'We can no longer direct the war with any hope of success. The only course left is for Japan's one hundred million people to sacrifice their lives by charging the enemy to make them lose the will to fight.' (The Age of Hirohito: In Search of Modern Japan by Daikichi Irokawa). Firebombing had killed 100,000 in Tokyo with no discernible political effect. Only the atomic bomb could jolt Japan's leadership to surrender. "After the atomic bombs were dropped, the war ended and we went into Tokyo Bay with the rest of the fleet, the Missouri and the rest of them, while they signed the terms of surrender that ended the war." (Ross) With only two bombs ready (and a third on the way by late August 1945) it was too risky to "waste" one in a demonstration over an unpopulated

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