In 1939, during the initial days of World War II, scientists came to know that Hitler’s physicists had already discovered the process of splitting uranium atom. Albert Eintein and Enrico Fermi, who had to fled from Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, were then living in United States. They saw the cloud of danger. Germany could anytime become an owner of deadly nuclear bomb, which unpredictable Hitler would never hesitate to use on anyone, anywhere, anytime he wants. The aftermath of which.. is unthinkable.
They both agreed to inform President Roosevelt about the upcoming mega threat and insist him to order the US atomic researching process to gear up. Einstein wrote letter to the President and Fermi went to Washington to discuss the matter with the officials personally. However, none of these policy-makers were convinced. President Roosevelt just agreed to carry on the project with a little more speed.
But soon the US intelligence itself started to ring the same alarm to US officials that Einstein and Fermi were ringing for months. Now the administration started to take that seriously. It was 1941, when the whole research process to produce atom bomb got an official name, ‘the Manhattan Project’.
Before 1942, the nuclear research activities in US was limited in Columbia University, the University of Chicago and the University of California at Berkeley. After producing the first ever controlled nuclear chain reaction at the University of Chicago in December that year, the project got a super speed bump. Floods of funds started to pour down. More nuclear plants were built in Hanford, Tennessee, Oak Bridge, Los Alamos. $2 billion were spent, 120000 citizens were employed.
To prevent the axis power knowing about the project, only the inner-circle of the scientists and officials knew about the actual goal of the research… the creation of atomic bomb. Rest and the others outside were informed that the project was just about regular nuclear researches aiming for electricity producing and other innocent purposes. Even the then Vice-President Harry S. Truman was also kept in dark until he became president himself.
After years of efforts, the final day ofresult came on 16 July 1945. Scientists, researchers and government officials gathered in Alamogordo, New Mexico. The newly invented, much awaited first ‘Nuclear Bomb’ was attached on the top of a 100-feet high tower.
Moments after it was dropped from the tower, a massive bright flash appeared, seen even from 200 miles away. A giant mushroom cloud was generated and reached 40,000 feet above the ground. All the window glasses within 100 miles radius were smashed.
To cover up the incident, a false story of ‘huge load of ammunition blast in accident’ was made up and presented to the press. President Truman was informed about the successful test of the bomb. And a worldwide terrible competition of producing and collecting nuclear weapons had just began.