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‘Minutes to Hiroshima’: The story behind the atomic bombings that ended WWII

When the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed, the attacks were the fatal blow for the country of Japan. The detonations marked the end of WWII.

In Fox Nation’s “Minutes to Hiroshima,” Martha MacCallum discusses the efforts that went into the making of the atomic bombs and their deployment 76 years ago.

In 1939, physicists Leo Zijlaard and Albert Einstein sent a strong warning to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

“They wrote, it may be possible to set up a nuclear chain reaction in a large mass of uranium by which vast amounts of power and large quantities of new radium-like elements would be generated. A single bomb of this type, carried by boat and exploded in a port, might very well destroy the whole port together with some of the surrounding territory,” said MacCallum.

“They urged the United States to stockpile one of the main ingredients of this powerful new bomb, uranium ore, so that American scientists could develop their own atomic weapons before the Germans.”

With and Zijlaard and Einstein persuading the U.S. to act, and Britain and Canada showing support, American scientists now needed a plan. The plan would become known as the Manhattan Project.

This project was kept highly classified.

“130,000 people would eventually be hired for the project, but only a handful ever actually knew the specifics of the work they were doing,” said MacCallum.

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The two atomic bombs would be ready for the American scientists by 1945. The first version, called Little Boy, was fueled by uranium. The second, nicknamed Fat Man, had a plutonium core.

Delivered by the Los Alamos Laboratory, the first atomic bomb test was carried out in the desert of New Mexico.

“One scientist said it looked as if the heavens were boiling, as the destructive power of 15,000 tons of TNT was unleashed,” said MacCallum.

The test was a success. It was now evident the damage from this weapon would be catastrophic for an enemy of the United States.

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Following the passing of Franklin D. Roosevelt, President Harry S. Truman was in charge and now ready to strike Japan. Roosevelt and allied leaders gave the Japanese one more chance to surrender. Japan ignored the warning.

On August 6th, 1945, The Enola Gay, a B-29 Superfortress plane, led by pilots Paul Tibbets and Thomas Ferebee, dropped the atomic bomb Little Boy on the city Hiroshima.

“The $2 billion Manhattan Project would come to an explosive end.”

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