Sunday, July 30, 2023

good morning justin


Albert Einstein was among the scientists urging President

Roosevelt and the United States to create a revolutionary

new bomb that could unleash unimagined destruction by

splitting uranium atoms.  It was feared Nazi scientists were

already developing this technology.  The world's nightmare

was for Hitler's Germany to have sole possession of this

atomic bomb.

On a cool, sunny morning in 1945 a lone B-29 bomber

dropped its payload over the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

Seventy thousand people immediately perished while 

another seventy thousand died in short order from burns 

and radiation poisoning.  The nuclear age had begun.





The bombs dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki were 

each five tons - one of a kind experimental behemoths that

were not suited for mass production.  The intent was to 

bring World War II to a quick and decisive close without

the need for a U.S. invasion of Japan that would likely 

cost the adversaries an additional million casualties.

War's end brought new suffering.  Infrastructure such as 

roads, rail and power plants were largely destroyed.

Europeans by the millions crowded the roads, refugees

displaced from their homes, searching for a new start.

There were no jobs, no money and families faced 

starvation.  Desperation was everywhere.     

From war's ashes rose two great global powers - the 

United States and the Soviet Union.  Having defeated

Germany, their common enemy, these two allies now 

found themselves locked in a new struggle over competing

views and conflicting needs.

Stalin never intended to honor his agreement with FDR

and Churchill to allow free elections in Eastern Europe.  

Russia would have its buffer of Moscow friendly nations 

along its border with Europe no matter what it takes.  One

need only look at Russia's history of invasions from the 

West to see why an external protective layer was in order.

Napoleon's army burned Moscow in the 19th Century.  

Germany wrecked havoc on Russia in both World Wars. 

The Red Army already occupied all the nations bordering

the Soviet Union from Poland to Bulgaria.  The U.S. and

Britain were in no position to argue.

The surrender of Japan in August, 1945 brought the first 

global peace since 1931.  It was Pax Americana.  The

United States dominated the world both economically

and militarily.  After all, they were the sole possessors of 

the nuclear genie.  What a shock to the American psyche

it was when the Soviet's detonated their own atomic bomb

just four years after Hiroshima.  That very same year

America's longtime ally, China, was lost to Communists.

The following year, 1950, saw a third-rate Korean army 

throw U.S. troops into a panicked route over in some 

vague place.  Then Alger Hiss, trusted aide to FDR,

was accused of being a spy for Stalin.  

Americans felt betrayed.  People were filled with fear.

It was a time made for Joe McCarthy.  Speaking before

a gathering in Wheeling, West Virginia, the Wisconsin

senator held a paper above him, announcing he had

the names of 205 card carrying Communists...

each one a U.S. government employee.


McCarthyism became known for its sins of zealotry.

The problem with the Hiroshima A-Bomb was that the blast

radius was too small to destroy a truly large city.  Stalin

didn't find Uncle Sam's puny stock of nuclear weapons

terribly worrisome.  True deterrence would require a fusion

bomb, one that could deliver a thousand times the

explosive force of the fission-produced atomic bomb.  

Dr. Edward Teller, father of this thermonuclear device -

the H-Bomb, warned Congress about the disaster to U.S.

interests were the Soviets to gain this advantage first. 

One sleepy afternoon while schmoozing with House

Speaker Sam Rayburn, the Vice President was ordered

to return immediately to the White House.  This was

how Harry Truman became President of the U.S.

and took responsibility for being leader of the Free





©  Tom Taylor