On the 2nd August 1939 some scientists wrote to President Roosevelt of efforts in Nazi Germany to purify Uranium-23 5 with which might in turn be used
to build an atomic bomb. It was shortly thereafter that the United StatesGovernment began the serious undertaking known only then as the Manhattan
Project. The Manhattan Project was designed to research and production that would produce a usable atomic bomb. The Project was named after the
Manhattan Engineer District of the US Army Corps of Engineers, because a lot of the early research was done in New York. In 1942 General Leslie Grove
was chosen to lead the project. He brought a site at Oak Ridge, Tenn. For facilities to separate the necessary uranium-235 from the much more common
uranium-238. Robert Oppenheimer was appointed to lead the day to day running of the project. The team of scientists who worked on the atom bomb worked
6 days a week and often 18 hours a day.
Major General Leslie Groves.
By 1945 the project has nearly 40 laboratories and factories which employed 200,00 people. That was more than the total amount of people employed in
the US automobile industry in 1945. The total cost of the Manhattan project was $2-billion which is about the equivalent of $26 billion today.
Research on atomic bombs was begun around the same time in several countries, including Germany, but in the United States, the actual building of an
atomic bomb was already underway by 1942 under the code name "Manhattan Project." The project was carried out in extreme secrecy using a large
amount of the national budget. Many prominent American scientists including the physicists Enrico Fermi and J. Robert Oppenheimer, and the chemist
Harold Urey, were associated with the project, which was headed by a U.S. Army engineer, Major General Leslie Groves. In September 1944 it was
determined that an A-bomb would be used against Japan. On July 16, 1945 in the desert near Alamogordo, New Mexico, the United States successfully
conducted the world 's first nuclear test, the "Fat Man" test, codename Trinity.
When the bomb exploded and the fireball continued to consume the desert, General Thomas F. Farrell, Groves' assistant cried out, "the longhaors have
let it get away from them! The next day he described the blast a bit more accurately. For the first time in history there was a nuclear explosion; and
what an explosion! The lighting effects beggarded description. The whole country was lighted by a searing light with the intensity many times that of
the midday sun. It was golden, purple, violet, grey and blue. It lighted every peak.....of the nearby mountain range with a clarity and beauty
that......the great poets dream about but describe most poorly and inadequately. Thirty seconds after the explosion came, first, the air blast
pressing hard against people and things, to be followed almost immediately by the strong, sustained, awesome roar which warned of doomsday and made us
feel that we puny things were blasphemous to dare tamper with the forces heretofore reserved to the Almighty.
On August 6th, 1945 the world's first atom bomb was dropped on the Japanese City of Hiroshima. The Atom bomb was dropped by an American B-29 bomber.
The atom bomb was described by a Japanese journalist as a glaring pink light in the sky that burn peoples eyes out. Anyone within a mile of the
explosion from the atom bomb became a bundle of smoking black charcoal within seconds. About 90,000-140,000 people were killed those who where still
alive writhed in agony from their burns. The atom bomb obliterated more than 10 sq km/4 sq mi and there was very heavy damage outside that area. Three
days later the USA dropped another atom bomb on Nagaski. About 60,000-80,000 people were killed by this atom bomb. On August 14 Japan surrendered and
World War II was finally over.