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Thread: Manhattan Project

  1. #1

    Manhattan Project

    I just watched Manhattan Project on the History Channel. Wow, it's amazing what I always learn from the whole deal; the moral decisions, the reasons for the targets, and the discoveries along the way.

    I forget the numbers, but there's a graph that showed the millions of deaths that happened last century, and once the bombs were dropped, those annual worldly deaths dropped dramatically.

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  3. #2
    I would be interested in seeing the show. Do you thing they will run it again?

  4. #3
    There are those who feel a "national" guilt for that act and want us to be eternally apologetic. I personally feel the two bombs on Japan saved millions of lives by ending the war at that point.
    Stan

    Check out my photo gallery at www.pbase.com/sparker1

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Felicia
    I would be interested in seeing the show. Do you thing they will run it again?
    Yeah, I'll bet they'll run it again. In fact, it was on at 5 today, they could be airing it tonight.


    Quote Originally Posted by sparker1
    I personally feel the two bombs on Japan saved millions of lives by ending the war at that point.
    That's exactly what they pointed it out, and not hypothetically either. They showed how millions of people have been dying throughout the entire century through wars, and once these bombs were dropped, the numbers just dropped right off.

    They explained it was because humans now saw the power of the bomb, and were more afraid of war. Bottom line, they didn't want to start any crap anymore.

    Still, with the wars in current years, the casualties don't come close in comparison to last century's deaths.

  6. #5
    I watched it too. I finaly learned how the calutron (sp?) and the gas defusion methods of seperating the U235 and the U238 works.

    Also, did you know that when all the calutrons at Oak Ridge were working they used 1/10 th of the electricity in the USA at the time.

    One more neat fact they took ALL the silver in the federal government (Fort Knox) to use as the bus bars in the giant magnets in the calutrons.
    To go up pull back, to go down pull back all the way.

  7. #6
    Thanks for the tip Somebeech. I

  8. #7
    Reminds me of the song by Rush. Good song.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by DaveOU812
    Reminds me of the song by Rush. Good song.
    Imagine a man when it all began
    The pilot of "Enola Gay"
    Flying out of the shockwave on that August day
    All the powers that be, and the course of history,
    Would be changed forevermore...

    -Neil Peart


    Rush Rocks!


    James

  10. #9
    It's got a fair bit of physics which might be difficult if you've never had a course, but The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes is one of the most interesting books I've read. Covers it all, from the science to biographical information on the scientists to political considerations to how people died in Hiroshima. Highly recommended.

  11. #10
    Expecting the United States and its citizens to regret the use of atomic weapons on Japan represents a dangerous distortion of history.

    -The Japanese weren't close to surrender (as far as we knew at the time.)
    -Their fanatical, suicidal and irrational defense of the islands we invaded on the way to Japan showed that they were willing to die en masse to kill as many of us as they could, for reasons that were almost entirely dogmatic.
    -It was estimated that invading Japan might cost as many as half a million American lives.
    -The actions of Japan as a nation, and of her military commanders (the Rape of Nanking, the Bataan Death March, etc), plainly illustrated that as a whole, we were dealing with a dangerously indoctrinated society that would be unlikely to accept a surrender without an overwhelming show of force.
    -If it were 1945 and I were President, even with my current 2007 knowledge, I would definitely drop the bombs.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_of_nanking
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bataan_Death_March
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_war_crime

    Read the last one especially hard. Your head will spin from how horrific they were. They absolutely had to be stopped.

  12. #11
    Hear, hear, Richard. Even our schools fail to inform students of Japanese atrocities while teaching WWII history, often questioning the use of "the bomb". Ridiculous.
    Stan

    Check out my photo gallery at www.pbase.com/sparker1

  13. #12
    Very good post Richard. I never knew the true background of the bombs. Your right Sparker , in school they never mentioned anything like that when teaching about the history of the war and bombs.
    The man thong is wrong.

  14. #13
    I think that WWII has been miss portrayed as the

  15. #14
    I guess I will be the black sheep with the opinion that Truman had other alternatives to dropping the bomb on Hiroshima and Japan. I think a simple invitation to Hirohito to White Sands would surely have put the fear of god if not convince the Japanese emperor that surrender was his only option unless he wanted to sacrifice tens of thousands of civilian lives. He also could have dropped those bombs on islands like Iwo Jima that had a large majority of the Japanese army. I personally think Truman was out for revenge over Pearl harbor and he definitely had the go ahead from the american public. He probably wanted to make a strong statement to the Ruskies that the US wouldn't tolerate the spread of communism. i don't know..

  16. #15
    I'm sure there were alternatives that could have been tried. Whether they might have had the desired effect is open to speculation. Truman may have thought this was the most effective approach, or he may have been after some revenge. I personally don't think killing soldiers would have been enough. I think it was necessary to damage infrastructure and demonstrate beyond question the massive destructive power of the new weapon. I am not inclined to second guess the decision since it worked so well.
    Stan

    Check out my photo gallery at www.pbase.com/sparker1

  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by sparker1
    I'm sure there were alternatives that could have been tried. Whether they might have had the desired effect is open to speculation. Truman may have thought this was the most effective approach, or he may have been after some revenge. I personally don't think killing soldiers would have been enough. I think it was necessary to damage infrastructure and demonstrate beyond question the massive destructive power of the new weapon. I am not inclined to second guess the decision since it worked so well.
    It was tried, if you really want to get into a morality quagmire start looking at the firebombing of Japan's major cities. More lives and more destruction then the nukes. The intention was fully to punish the civilian populace, cause them pain and stop the war. It is interesting that even that late into the war we still did not understand the culture and imposed our values upon them, expecting them to react like we would react. The harsh reality is that the population would have never voiced a contrary opinion, only following leadership that was placed in a near deity like position. The mass civilian suicides that took place on Saipan and Okinawa should have been a clue.

    It has been said that the decision to drop nukes had very little to do with bringing Japan to surrender, continuing the fire bombing could have turned the country to ashes and a non lethal blockade could have starved them out. Japan was militarily bankrupt at that time and would not have been capable to reconstruct. The display of fire power was for the benefit of the Soviet Union and what was happening in Europe. As mighty as we feel our efforts in the European theater it is fractional to the mass and the experience that was the Red Army. The threat of the Soviets continuing their push west was real. We were allied only as long as we had a common enemy. The fact we had nukes probably cooled things off dramatically. The US felt they had a 10 year lead on the the USSR on the atomic bomb, it was a surprise when just a few years later they lit the fuse on their own device.

  18. #17
    The display of fire power was for the benefit of the Soviet Union
    That's OK, too.
    Stan

    Check out my photo gallery at www.pbase.com/sparker1

  19. #18
    We could have tried different things but at what cost to our soldiers. All the documentaries I have watched show a determined Japanese army that would rather kill themselves than surrender. I think this was one way that would definitely send the message to the Japanese in a quick effective way. I do feel for the civilians that suffered radiation and disfiguring because of it.
    The man thong is wrong.

  20. #19
    One thing to consider that is seldom mentioned...

    When you act as the leaders of a nation, you don't just represent its soldiers, but also its land, its children, its workers, its future. Every time the Japanese military invaded countries or brutalized its captives or attacked our bases, they put all that they represented at risk. And it goes full circle, because tyrants and despots, be they individuals or entities like armies or political parties, cannot exist in a vacuum. You can argue that the Japanese people, like the Germans, were brainwashed by powerful indoctrination tools, but not all at once, and not without a majority of willful participation. Hitler, for example, wouldn't get very far today standing on a street corner preaching about how evil Jews are.

    I'm not saying that ever Japanese citizen was "asking for it," so much as to assert that as a nation, Japan took a course that was likely to end tragically, and that Japan as a nation was responsible for it.

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