The question of why the atomic bomb was developed can be extremely tricky to answer. Some would say it was for military reasons, while others would say it was for political dominance during a time of uncertainty. Still, there are others who would say it was developed for a combination of reasons. After conducting some research on this question, the most logical answer to give in this assignment would be to say the atomic bomb was developed for a combination of reasons. Some of these reasons were for military dominance, while others were for political upstaging during a time when the United States had to firmly plant itself as a global policing power that was not to be underestimated again. Pearl Harbor was fresh in the minds of military and political leaders, so it was time to show the enemy what kind of destruction awaited the world should they dare to attack the allies again.
There are many reasons as to why the decision was made not only to develop but to also test these atomic bombs. Albert Einstein had originally alerted President Roosevelt to the fact that Nazi Germany had begun testing ways to purify uranium so it can be made into a weapon of mass destruction. Given that the United States did not want to be on the receiving end of such a weapon, Robert Oppenheimer and other scientists decided to beat the Nazis and create an atomic bomb. While there were misgivings about using the bomb after witnessing its potentially destructive power in the desert during testing, it was concluded that once the world saw the destructive power of such a weapon it would put the fear into the axis powers and the mere threat of such a weapon would keep the enemy at bay.
The results of the bombs being dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were of course devastating. Not only were the immediate repercussions from the initial bombings, but there would be a fallout of nuclear material that would poison the environment in these areas as well as make future generations of inhabitants ill with various forms of cancer as well as other diseases. Oppenheimer as well as others who worked on the project to develop these weapons of mass destruction were outraged that the second one was deployed, citing that only one was truly necessary from a military point of view. While the use of one atomic bomb by the United States was necessary from a political as well as a military point of view, there was no real justification for dropping the second one. The reason for this is the destructive power of the first was enough to prove the point the allies, specifically the United States, wanted to make without causing more destruction in the area.
There would not be a need to use any type of atmoic weapon in today’s world, whether big or small. It was proven in Japan in 1945 that these bombs have massive destructive power not only immediately but for future generations. With that said, there is no need for any country to use this type of weapon again. To do so would create a desolate, poisonous world where life could not easily sustain itself any longer. This is why peaceful resolution to conflict should be exhausted before resorting to such terrible weapons of war.
- Herken, Gregg. The winning weapon: The atomic bomb in the cold war, 1945-1950. Princeton University Press, 2014.
- Roark, James L., Michael P. Johnson, Patricia Cline Cohen, Sarah Stage, and Susan M. Hartmann. The American Promise, Volume 2: From 1877: A History of the United States. Vol. 1. Macmillan, 2012.
- Rhodes, Richard. Making of the atomic bomb. Simon and Schuster, 2012.