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Post Info TOPIC: Assignment #23: Atom Bomb Mock Trial

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Assignment #23: Atom Bomb Mock Trial

Here you can summarize your research from the packets given.  Here is the rubric for the trial itself:



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Pictures supporting the decision to never have dropped the bomb.






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ok, so I reposted this from where I didnt know where to put it.

I didnt know where else to post the packet questions so I did it here.

Pgs. 40-44

According to one view point, the development and use of the atomic bomb was inevitable, and therefore atomic scientists were not morally responsible for the results. The argument goes like this the discovery of nuvlear fission by scientists working without government sponsorship was the result  of the natural procerss of science, once the military potential of fission became clear, leading countries could not take the chance that a potential enemy might develop the weapon first; witht he development of the atomic bomb, its use in time of war was inevitable. Therefore if the US had not dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945, the technology would have soon been used elsewhere. What do you think about the validity of this line of reasoning? Does this argument relieve the scientists and political leaders of moral responsibility?

I dont think it would have been used elsewhere. I think that the use of the bomb wasnt inevitable. The main reasons other countries became interested in the technology of atomic bombs was because of the one used on Hiroshima. I feel that things wouldnt have gotten that bad elsewhere if we hadnt developed the atomic bomb.

Some people feel that the atomic bomb wasnt even supposed to be dropped on Japan. Scientists feel it may have been meant for the Soviet Union. At the Yalta Conference in 1945, Roosevelt had sought Soviet participation in the war that he didnt receive. When Truman came into office, he had adopted a tougher line against the Soviets than Roosevelt had, he wanted to attack this union. Many people believe the bombs were dropped in the first place to influence the Soviet Union.

Issue 5
Scientists who were working close with the Manhattan Project felt that if they dropped the bomb on Japan, then the Soviet Union would discover the chemistry used to make it and create one in the next 5 years. Nuclear weapons were a critical element in the balance of power between the superpowers. For US nuclear weapons strategy to be effective, however, the threat had to be credible. They wanted the other countries to believe they had these weapons without having to use them.

Both the US and the Soviet Union developed missiles capable of accurately delivering a warhead against a target six thousand miles away in less than 30 minutes, bomber aircraft that could strike from one continent to another, and nuclear-equipped submarines with enough explosive power to kill tens of millions of people.

Issue 6
No one understood the damage that radiation could cause in the 1930s. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki allowed for the first studies of effects of large amounts of radiation. Many people didnt notice at first, the damage that radiation could do to the body. There were long term effects and short term effects. When a nuclear bomb explodes, both the bomb's casing and the earth's surface at the point of detonation are exposed to intense radiation and themselves become radioactive.
These chemicals could be passed on from mother to child also, through milk and could permanently stay in their bones. In 1963, the testing of nuclear weapons was banned from the atmosphere.



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Double V Campaign
Activity 1
Listening to African American Voices
How could individual African Americans further their own quest for equal rights during WWII?

 To further their quest for civil rights, certain African American knew that by becoming a soldier they would gain some more respect and be able to enjoy some of the same things the white men did. There were these projects that only allowed the entrance of colored war workers and were rented by them. They came equipped with auditoriums, playgrounds, and day nurseries for those parents who worked during the day. Also many African Americans began being trained in the occupations of machinery and working with cars, although many white people resented this. When some African Americans were denied jobs solely because of their race, they left Mobile, Alabama, which was extremely segregated.

The Homefront
Activity 3

Rationing & Recycling
1. Develop a list of some of the major items that civilians in the United States rationed, recycled, or just went without during WWII.

Certain foods

2. How were these items used in the war effort?
Gasoline was used to fuel tanks, and also cars and trucks used in battle and for transportation. Rubber was used to make tires for tanks, and also used in the production of boats and aircrafts used in the war. Both steel and metal are used to build airplanes and tanks to keep them strong and protect from firing bullets. Certain foods were rationed so that they could be sent to the troops fighting over in Europe and to the hungry and starving communities there. Paper was used in the war effort to make war posters, and also to encourage people to buy war bonds.

3. How did the Depression help Americans to prepare for life without the "luxury" items?

Since the Depression hit and devastated millions of Americans, they were already used to living without very pricy and luxurious things. So once the war began and things were being rationed, they didn't really feel that great of a loss as they had felt once the Great Depression had started.

Why do you think did Americans not begin to recycle things after the war was over?

I don't think Americans began recycling things after the war was over because they were afraid that they might end up in either another Depressed state, or another state of war. They probably began keeping everything that they could, incase another state of hysteria occured.

4. How do you explain the contradiction between Americans whose act of rationing and recycling made them feel they were part of the war effort and the emergence of a black market for goods during the war?

The contradiction occured because some Americans felt that by donating and recycling everything they had and used they would be helping out the troops in Europe greatly. However, some Americans were more interested in selling these recycled goods to people inside the country who would buy them off of them because they needed these items for some reason.

How did rationing and recycling contribute to a sense of community? Do you think Americans today would ration to contribute to a war effort? Explain your answer.

Rationing and recycling contribute to a sense of community because it allows regular civilians to do something that will benefit their country. They come together as a whole and give everything that they have so that they can support the people fighting for their freedom. I don't think Americans today would ration to contribute to a war effort. Nowadays everthing is so fast paced and everyone mainly looks out for themselves and rarely takes time to worry about the people who are out their winning them the civil liberties they enjoy everyday without realizing it.



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Letters from the Front Lines Activity

1. To whom is Babe writing, one person or many?
Babe is writing to his entire family.

2. What does Babe recount that his family will be happy to hear
He wants his family to know that he is in the best of health.

3. In what ways does Babe make it sound as if he is practically on a vacation?
He states that the weather is beautiful and that all he does there is eat and sleep.

4. What do you think he might be implying when he says, "Don't worry about my money situation, because theire isn't anything to spend it on here in Anzio"?
He might be saying that he doesn't need his family, who is probably suffering money problems, to send him any this month because there is nothing he needs to buy there and he doesn't want them to have to send him their money.

5. In what ways does Babe intimately convey that he is still very connected to his home and family?
At the beginning of one of his letters, he mentions that he hopes everyone in the family is doing well, and that he wants everyone to take care of themselves, because when he comes home he will be doing a lot of eating.

6. Why do you think Babe does not give his family more details about the real conditions on the beaches of Anzio?
I think Babe leaves out a lot of information because he doesn't want them to worry about him or frighten them with the horrors of war. By leaving out the gruesome details he leaves his family with happy thoughts so they aren't fearing for his life the entire time he is away.

7.How does Babe's brother interpret the letters he received from Babe differently today than he did during the war?
He interprets the letters differently because I think he realized what Babe was doing. He noticed that he never mentioned any of the bad aspects of war in his letters, just the occasional good thing that would occur.

8.Do you think Babe was right to hide so much of the reality he was living from his family?
Yes, I think Babe was right to hide so much from his family. I don't think they needed to know about all the casualties going on there. This would have caused them to worry so much while he was there and they would have had a hard time going on with the rest of their daily lives.




Issue 1 The Moral Responsibility for Using the Bomb


Truman defended his use of the atom bomb on Japan (quote on page 35)

New York Times reporter Hanson Baldwin on the other hand spoke out against the use of the atom bomb (quote on page 36)

Also on page 36 a survey polling public opinion on the use of the atom bomb, (53.5% agreed with bombing the two Japanese cities)

Further research suggestions- see was Secretary of war Henry Stimson, Secretary of State James Byrnes, and General Leslie Groves thought about the use of the bomb


Issue 2 Little Boy, Fat Man, and Japans Surrender


1946-U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey concluded that victory over Japan could have been achieved through the blockade and without the use of the Atomic Bomb, it just would have taken some patienceLike November or December of 46. (two quotes from a Jap. Foreign Minister, and a Jap. Ambassador to the USSR about the Potsdam Treaty)

some historians say that the Japanese would have surrendered earlier if they had been told that their emperor will stay as a constitutional monarch. 

Further Research suggestions- 1. find out what President Truman and his advisors were discussing during the final days of war.  Assess the reasons for the presidents final decision.

2. research the decisions by Japanese officials, what were the reasons why they did not surrender after the first bombing


Issue 3 Scientists and Moral Responsibility


Quotes by Oppenheimer and Einstein stating their regret for the Manhattan Project p. 39

Also a quote by Oppenheimer delivered before the bombings for them p. 39

Edward teller quote saying that scientists arent morally responsible p. 39

I.I. Rabi said that scientists were morally responsible p. 39

Leo Szilard regret quote p. 39

Otto Hahn regret/shock quote p. 40

Further research suggestions- research debates discussed in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists and summarize positions taken during these debates, and see how they changed over time.


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Packet Summary Info Pages 12 to 16


Page 12

What contributed to U.S. attitudes about Japan?

            The fact that many P.O.W.s were treated mercilessly by the Japanese, who were seen as heartless and vicious, using fierce and unrelenting tactics in battle.  An example of this was the Bataan Death March where more than 7,000 captured Allied soldiers died. 

Why did the U.S. bomb Tokyo?

            The U.S. needed to dismantle Japans island Empire in the Pacific.  To do this it needed to destroy their industrial capability, the morale of the workers and the labor they provided, which were viewed as central to Japanese resistance. This was seen as a necessity of war to attack Japanese civilians.  The main targets were the industrial districts which were surrounded by working-class neighborhoods.

What was fighting like in the Pacific?

            When the U.S. was deciding whether or not to invade Japan they knew if they did it would be fierce from the experience with the Pacific islands.  Japanese soldiers lived by the Bushido warrior code in which if they surrender they would dishonor themselves and would break the link between them and their families and emperor; death was preferred over dishonor.  Many Japanese soldiers also believed they would be killed, if they surrendered, by the Americans, and in some situations they were justified in this belief.  Due to these beliefs many Japanese soldiers would fight to the death or commit mass suicide instead of surrendering.  This caused there to be over 185,000 allied casualties by July 1945 which was little compared to Japanese casualties which suffered 185,000 in just the battle over Okinawa.  Also many Japanese soldiers became the suicidal kamikaze pilots which in a desperate attempt to stop allied forces dove right into American ships with planes packed to the brim with explosives.  The Jaoanese would not break psychologically, morally, or economally said the Joseph Grew, former U.S. Ambassador to Japan.


Page 14

What were the concerns about an invasion of Japan?

            The U.S. was concerned that it would cost too many lives just to invade Japan to ensure their unconditional surrender.  It was also concerned that if the Soviet Union helped us, whose help we welcomed at first, they would keep any territory they invaded like they had in Europe.


Page 15

What early progress was made in the development of an atomic bomb?

            Enrico Fermi, an Italian immigrant, led a team working at the University of Chicago in December 1942 and created a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction using U-235 (an isotope of Uranium), the first time in history humans harnessed the power of the atom.  As uranium only contains 0.7% of U-235 naturally, a factory would be needed to carry out the expensive and difficult process of collecting it, which was devised by the British.  It was built in the U.S. in Tennessee to protect it from German bombing in Britain.  While this took place in 1942 and following years Glen Seaborg, a physicist at the University of California, identified PU-239 as another element that could be used in nuclear fission.  Although this isotope of plutonium was cheaper to make it was a lot more radioactive and highly dangerous for humans to handle and it was decided that the plant to procure PU-239 would be built in a remote part of Washington.

Why did the government combine scientists working on the bomb into a single program?

            They felt that improved organization and coordination would hasten their effort.  From this the U.S. Army created the Manhattan Project to step up consolidation.  This program not only achieved this but it reduced a possible security breach by keeping all the scientists together which in turn strengthened their bond and conviction in the project to produce nuclear energy.  

What problems did the Manhattan Project scientists uncover?

            While running experiments on nuclear energy a couple problems came up when designing the bomb itself.  First of all they needed to figure out the smallest amount of fissionable material needed to produce a self-sustaining chain reaction.  In addition to this they needed to create multiple special compartments within in the bomb to hold smaller amounts of fissionable material to keep the bomb from melting itself, thus a smaller explosion, in the early stages of a nuclear chain reaction and until it could detonate properly with complete fission.


Page 16

What was the result of the testing of the bomb?

            The result from the bomb itself, called Trinity, a twin of Fat Man, was that it produced a force of 18,000 tons of TNT.  Different reactions came from the scientists working on and watching the explosion ranging from amazement to horror to speechless as the watched theory become reality and a dawn of a new age.  While this took place, President Truman was in a conference in Potsdam, Germany with Winston Churchill, Josef Stalin, and Chiang Kai-shek and the responsibility over this powerful new weapon fell upon him.

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