The Atomic Bomb: Crash Course History of Science #33

We tell a lot of stories about science and
politics on Crash Course. But it’s hard to get much more political
than the Manhattan Project. This is the story of the bomb that earned
a capital B and the scars it left on twentieth century science and culture. It’s… not a happy story—sorry in advance. [INTRO MUSIC PLAYS] The story picks up where we left off last time, with Einstein writing the president
of his new homeland, the United States, urging him to build a nuclear weapon before Hitler. But how did Al even know about this amazingly
powerful weapon? For that, we turn to Hungarian–American
physicist Leó Szilárd. Szilárd read about Ernest Rutherford’s
work with electrons and, in 1933, realized that it was theoretically possible to split
apart an atom’s juicy center and create nuclear fission—releasing vast amounts of
energy… and thus splitting apart another atom… and another… and another. Thus, Szilárd came up with the idea of a
nuclear chain reaction. Which could mean a new form of energy! Orrrrr… a superweapon. Szilárd, with the help of hotshot Italian
physicist Enrico Fermi quickly patented the idea of a nuclear reactor,
or atomic pile, in 1934. This device would cause a self-sustaining
nuclear reaction. Then, in 1938, German physicists actually
achieved fission in the lab. …and also Hitler annexed Austria, and a year
later, Poland. War descended again onto the world. Szilárd decided that only his and Fermi’s
invention could save it. So he drafted a letter to President Roosevelt,
with some input from a couple of other physicists. Only, Szilárd wasn’t famous enough to just,
you know, high-five Roosevelt and get a nuclear weapons program off the ground. But he knew someone who was. Albert Einstein, the most famous scientist
in the world—possibly ever—signed Szilárd’s letter. It’s only two pages and totally worth Googling. It basically said, there’s the possibility
of this new super weapon… and the Germans might get it first. Now, let’s be clear: Einstein was a pacifist. But he was also, well, a very smart, deeply
pragmatic person. In his mind, the only question was—would
the Americans, Germans, or Russians split the atom first? And he foresaw a potentially very bad ending
for Germany, the Jewish people, the free world, and science… He foresaw literally the end of the world. What happened next is… really, really hard
to understand from today’s perspective: the U.S. government, with a little help from
Canada, ran an enormously expensive and secret weapons program for four years. Secret even from Congress. There were no leaks. So almost no one on earth understood the possibility
of nuclear physics until it was too late. This program was code-named the Manhattan
Project. And it was perhaps the first and clearest
example of Big Science: government-sponsored, multi-year, multi-sited, field-defining work. The Manhattan Project involved 43,000 people,
including a who’s-who of European and North American scientists in the 40s, from Szilárd
and Fermi to the great Hungarian-American mathematician and computer scientist, John
von Neumann. The Project had several different parts, but
most of the science-ing happened in a couple of places. Take us on a fateful ride, ThoughtBubble: First stop: the University of Chicago underneath
the football stadium. Yep, that’s right: the biggest science ever
got physically started in a place no one would ever look for it—which sounds like the plot
of a B-movie. There, in December of 1942, Enrico Fermi,
the “architect of the nuclear age,” created the very first controlled nuclear chain reaction—Chicago
Pile 1. Keep in mind, the Europeans who’d fled Hitler
and the Americans and Canadians who were now managing their novel experiments had no idea
how far Hitler’s team might have gotten. Everything was secret, new, and a guess. This was science at war. Second stop: the mines on the Navajo Nation,
which includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. Here, starting in 1944, the people who call
themselves the Diné mined a yellow rock containing naturally high amounts of the heavy metal
uranium. The Diné would continue to mine the nation’s
uranium for decades, until 1989, long after the peak of the Cold War. No one knows the full extent of the radiation
exposure, but we can uncontroversially say that mining radioactive ore led to higher
rates of lung cancer. The U.S. government didn’t act to address
this problem until 1990. A long, long time after World War Two. Okay, back in time, third stop: Los Alamos
Laboratory in New Mexico. Here, American physics boss Julius Robert
Oppenheimer, AKA “the father of the atomic bomb,” oversaw the Project’s scientific
research and the design of the nuclear weapons. And on July 16, 1945, the team led by Oppenheimer
set off the world’s first atomic explosion at the Trinity site near Los Alamos. The bomb was much bigger than anyone had anticipated. A large mushroom cloud appeared high over
the desert. The test was a success.
Famously, Oppenheimer summed up the moment by quoting the epic Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad
Gita: “I am become Death, destroyer of worlds.” In the story, this is a line that Vishnu says
when he takes on a fearsome, multi-armed form. Which meant, basically, that Oppenheimer recognized
two things: developing a nuclear weapon was like being a god. And this weapon was about appearing more fearsome
to one’s enemies. Thanks Thought bubble. By mid-1945, the biggest enemy of the democratic
world was no longer Germany. The Allies had invaded and retaken France
in June. Now, the United States wanted to end the Pacific
War, with Japan. And the United States now had a totally new
weapon, one that created devastation on an unprecedented scale. The only choice left was whether or not to
use it. Most historians today agree that the reason
for dropping the bomb cited at the time—that is, to prevent a long, drawn-out war with
Japan—is wrong. Part of the challenge in writing the bomb’s
history, especially right after the war, was that many official documents were classified. Once documents began to be declassified, such
as Truman’s diaries at the Potsdam Conference, which became publicly available in 1978, historians
began to change the narrative of why Truman dropped the bomb. President Truman—Roosevelt had died earlier
in 1945—was aware that Japan was militarily weak. An American victory was basically inevitable. Truman was also quite aware of the number
of casualties that would result from the use of an atomic bomb. The decision to drop it was a well-informed
one. Besides immediate military victory, two other
reasons factored into this decision. One, to justify its monumental cost. And two, to intimidate all enemies—present
and future—of the United States. On August 6, 1945, the Enola Gay—a B-29
Superfortress bomber named after the mother of the pilot—took off from an island six
hours away from Japan. At just after eight in the morning, Hiroshima-time,
the Enola Gay dropped a ten-thousand-pound uranium-235 bomb nicknamed Little Boy that
exploded over the city. This was the first and deadliest atomic bombing
in history. Three days later, on August 9, 1945, the United
States dropped a second atomic weapon, a plutonium-239 weapon nicknamed Fat Man, on another port
city, Nagasaki. About two hundred thousand people died in
the two bombings and couple of months after. Japan surrendered unconditionally. It remains the only nation to have been attacked
using an atomic weapon. The long-term impact was unknown and unknowable:
even the scientists who created the bomb didn’t know what would happen, although they had
some pretty strong guesses. After the war, Oppenheimer became director
of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and now there’s an opera about him. Japan rebuilt. The United States experienced an unprecedented
economic boom. Yet the end of World War Two and the revelation
of the Manhattan Project did not bring about world peace—but a smoldering global super-conflict
called the Cold War, between the Soviet Union and the United States. The stakes? Control of most of the world. The rules of this game? Nuclear physics. The units of success? Number of atomic bombs. Size of atomic bombs. Aaand… that’s it. Yeah, weird for the conflict that pretty much
organized global politics for forty years. Okay, so what did the physicists come up with? The thermonuclear or hydrogen bomb, which
used fusion or the joining together of nuclei to create an even bigger reaction than the
first-generation, fission reactors had been able to. The United States invented this one, too. The Teller–Ulam design, named after physicists
Edward Teller and Stanisław Ulam, is still secret, to this day. Which is… kind of amazing. Teller… was intense. He advocated for using thermonuclear weapons
for all kinds of reasons, including digging out convenient, giant artificial harbors. You know, a totally justifiable use of a novel
superweapon! Jokes aside, the United States and USSR continued
to build and test these weapons. Between 1946 and 1958, the U.S. tested a series
of gigantic nuclear bombs at Bikini Atoll, which caused permanent damage, displacing
the Bikini Islanders. Forever. From their own nation. This is just one of the most heinous examples
of the lasting social and ecological damage of nuclear physics. Nuclear fission used for energy production
has not been blameless. You might have heard of the terrible accidents
at Three Mile Island in 1979, Chernobyl in 1986, and Fukushima Daiichi in 2011. You may not have heard about the accident
in 2014 at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico: when the wrong brand of kitty
litter was used in containment, a drum of nuclear waste exploded. Nuclear waste is incredibly dangerous for
thousands of years. And there is literally tons of it, and no
one knows what to do with it! So it all comes down to… kitty litter. Aaanyway, we’ll return to the Anthropocene,
or the physical signs of global ecological collapse, a little later. The different applications of nuclear energy
are still hotly debated today. And so are the different ways of telling the
history of this technology. For example, when the Smithsonian National
Air and Space Museum tried to mark the anniversary of dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima with
an exhibit, in the 1990s, a debate erupted: was the United States justified in using this
weapon? How should historians of technology think
about weapons? In fact, this became known as the History
Wars! On the application-side, many groups of scientists,
such as the Union of Concerned Scientists, have criticized nuclear weapons and energy
programs as unnecessary. That is, these can been seen as good examples
of the problem of creating shiny, new technologies simply for technology’s sake. Or maybe, as social scientist Carol Cohn pointed
out in 1987, in her classic portrait of the U.S. culture of strategizing about global
nuclear war, “Sex and Death in the Rational World of Defense Intellectuals,” the whole
point of building bigger, better weapons of mass destruction was just to prove you had
the bigger… bomb. Next time—the world is still, sigh, at war:
it’s time to examine antibiotics, Nazi science, and the rise of biomedicine. Crash Course History of Science is filmed
in the Dr. Cheryl C. Kinney studio in Missoula, Montana and it’s made with the help of all
this nice people and our animation team is Thought Cafe. Crash Course is a Complexly production. If you wanna keep imagining the world complexly
with us, you can check out some of our other channels like Health Care Triage, Scishow Space,
and Nature League. And, if you’d like to keep Crash Course
free for everybody, forever, you can support the series at Patreon; a crowdfunding platform
that allows you to support the content you love. Thank you to all of our patrons for making
Crash Course possible with their continued support.

Comments 100

  • I think I see how a grand weighing of cost (in lives) puts the atomic bomb's use in perspective, and justifies it in the minds of some.

    Ultimately, I just don't think intimidation and scare tactics really saves anything in the long run; actual mercy– not a statistical, post-rationalized kind of mercy– and dignity for all life, and compassion leads to the best outcome for all sides. This is what ultimately puts me at odds with the atomic bomb– I get the statistics, but it's use still doesn't actually solve anything in terms of true peace and humanity. Some of you may think there isn't a place for this simple, merciful view in discussions of war; I think reflection on compassion has no greater precedent than here.

  • Could you do a Crash Course series on the history of feminism? Sorry, I wasn't sure what video to put this comment on…

  • Bikini island was bombed? Sponge bob ?!?!!!😓

  • This sucks for us all.

  • I love the Green brothers stuff. But I’m noticing a negative trend. Focusing on the bad instead of the good. Judging others from the past very harshly.

  • Sir i need subtile with your speaking. Because i am not good at english. Hope you will help me.

  • It’s not like Hiroshima and Nagasaki’s populations recovered and even continued to grow… wait…

  • Why do americans get so defensive when called out of their atrocities? Do they really believe they are the good guys, because no great power can be one. You dont get to be one without subjugating and dominating others, thats the point. Why its so hard to admit it?

  • I heard a couple of years ago of two other types of nuclear reactor, one which uses standard nuclear waste as fuel and another that uses the waste from the second reactor as fuel, the end result being much safer than nuclear waste for additional energy production

  • I think we should’ve let another 150,000 US Soldiers die invading Japan plus 1,000,000 Japanese Soldiers and Citizens because they wouldn’t surrender. Plus Japan had 3 Subs getting loaded with Bio-Lab Plague from LAB-731 to be launched into Dan Diego and LA. That would’ve been a cool experiment

  • This episode isn't in the history of science playlist- it skips from 32 to 34. can you add it to the playlist so people don't miss this episode?

  • Nice, no mention of Tsar Bomba. Well done CC.

  • This episode is currently missing from the CrashCourse History of Science play list

  • WRONG! To stop the advance of the USSR… which, in hindsight, was the correct thing to do. Just check Berlin.

  • Best to stay away from the justification of using the bomb, it gets murky really fast

  • I’ve been to the Atomic Bomb museum and Peace Park in Nagasaki. It’s something I sincerely wish everyone could do, most especially politicians. I can dream, but I’d like to believe we could actually move toward disarmament if this could happen. But being a realist, I don’t think it will happen in my lifetime.

  • A few issues I have with this video are there was no major issue at 3 mile island, nuclear energy and power plants are actually one of the safest forms of energy and cause very minimal amounts of pollution compared to many other methods.

    Most importantly though is the US's justification for dropping the bombs. This video claims it was not to end the war. Yet even after the first and second bombs were dropped Japans government was refusing to surrender. It took the Emperor stepping in to end the war and even then the military tried to prevent Japan from surrendering thinking that someone was forcing the Emperor to surrender.

    Had the bombs not had been dropped Japan would have forced us and our allies to land hundreds of divisions on Japan causing way more casualties then the bombs caused to both sides. And in the mean time while the invasion of Japan was planned the US and allies would have continued to bomb Japan causing way more casualties there then the nukes did. And then there also would have been all the fighting happening on the land on the islands of the Pacific and the mainland of Asia.

    So not believing the US was justified in dropping the bombs to end the war is really ridiculous. If you disagree please let me know why you think that.

  • 案の定原爆投下は正しかったというアメカスだらけ。やっぱりアホなんだなって

  • More people were killed in the fire bombing of Tokyo than died in both A bomb attacks. It just took more planes to do the job. Japan now tries to play the victim card about WW2. Sad really.

  • Weird you giving the pro coal argument against nuclear energy here, especially since you pride yourself on fact checking.

  • Is it just me, or does Hank seem a little more serious and a little less, well, 'fun' than in his other series?

    I miss his cheesy jokes ;_;

  • When ever you see a discussion on Atomic Bombs and Nuclear accidents in the same discussion then the they are comparing apple to oranges and typically for sensationalism. All the accidents discussed are "industrial" accidents involving chemicals or high energy steam. There has been not one inadvertent atomic explosion EVER. (Well possibly inside stars but not on earth) The issue is the release of radioactive materials. Which is a major concern, but it is very easy to detect where levels are above safe and avoid them or minimize exposure. However, with, for example, a chemical plant accident (which have occurred much more often and would be produced by the same mechanism discussed here) some chemicals are difficult to detect are spread with the same mechanisms and can have just as bad or worse effects than radiation exposure. But those stories don't have the click bait appeal.

  • Well everyone else is doing this so here is mine.
    As far as Japan's surrender is concerned, the use of the atomic bombs was not necessary. But to be fair, Truman could not have known that.
    I think the Japan's surrender had more to do with the Soviet invasion than the bombs and so even if we never used them things would have played out the same anyway.

    Now if you want to argue that Hiroshima and Nagasaki prevented Korea from escalating, that is a very strong possibility. Though i am not sure if Truman was thinking that far ahead.

  • fortnite

  • this wasn't the geman flag at the time

  • So many people in the comments section think they have a moral standing on eradicating a vast majority of people, justified teachings from prior leaders they did not know about in the least, nor did Truman know of any of your existences. Hide behind bias facts.
    This video LITERALLY showed Trumans intentions from his diary, to argue his intentions otherwise is plain silly.
    1. Wanted to justify cost of bomb
    2. Wanted to intimidate
    3. Immediate military victory
    All you uncompassionate people are saying "Japan deserved it"
    Japan is a country with a leader that calls the land Japan. It is not the children living in it,not the unborn , not the old men and women or the couple about to get married. Those are people.
    You are lucky you have your consumerism worries to think about so compassion escapes your hearts,but dont be arrogant your life is not worth more than the one living on the other side of the world whether in an igloo or a hut.
    Your patriotism is an illusion as you did not choose to be born on that land, so do not pretend to take pride in decisions you have no effect on.

  • I would like to give a typical Japanese person's point of view on the dropping of the atomic bomb: it was a horrifying event that defined Japan's loss and should never be experienced again, by anyone. We don't care (anymore) whether it was an experiment or America's show of power or if it was necessary to end the war. The continued development and threat to use these weapons by modern nations vying for power is an affront to the suffering the men, women, and children of Hiroshima and Nagasaki of the time, and the lessons they teach to the younger generation. Japan is the only country to have experienced the atomic bombs and should speak out more and louder when it comes to these debates (unlike whatever path our right-wing PM seems to want to take).

    Sure, there are others who may have direct relatives influenced by the bombs and who may rightfully be angry at the pain they and their loved ones had to go through. Some descendants of the original victims still suffer from the radioactive effects and need governmental and financial help for medical treatment. But we wouldn't wish the same on anyone else, and it's absolutely infuriating that there are still nations which continue to develop such technology, under the delusion that it may be a viable solution to future conflicts, when it shouldn't even be considered.

  • The atomic fraud devised in Bohemian Grove. Why would the mixture of chemicals produce a SINGLE exploding atom in an entire concoction of chemical soup? Why should I believe that as apposed to the entire chemical soup exploding, or that simply the bomb is a myth?

  • Once is bad, twice is awful.

  • Your (predictably) politically liberal analysis fails to include the balance between the deaths caused by the bombing (immediate and long-term) vs the deaths of a land invasion (Allies and Japan).

  • Where is John green?

  • Little bit of bias on the nuclear bomb "use" discussion. Not making a value claim about the bombing, but the speaker here clearly has a bit of a bias, so if you are interested I would look into what other historians have to say,

  • Also wow…him bringing up the super minor event at WIPP is just propaganda.

  • Simplified: Japan slapped the US
    We in turn kicked Japan until they bled

  • Watch in my channel, the video with the title GOD OF THE ATOM. You will surely learn something new…

  • When did Aegon the Concquer attack Westeros?

  • Uh no GLaDos wached this

  • I’m so happy that we nuked Japan lol

  • Nuking Japan is the happiest story all time lol 😂

  • Women in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were giving birth to chunks of meat for years after the bombs were dropped. CrashCourse could have mentioned that. They bombed civilians, not an army facility or a harbor, airfield, military centers. And they bombed civilians twice. Americans have been and have remained to this day the most vicious savages this planet has ever seen. Just look at Yemen today if you think I am exaggerating. What goes around comes around.

  • Trinity site is not "near Los Alamos". It's over 200 miles away.

  • The bomb wasn't used until the war was over.
    Einstein is so great, he abandoned his wife and kids to have lots of sex with his cousin.. Brilliant
    Everyone involved was a fuckboy

  • There ao much anti nuclear bias and misinformation in this video.

    1.Japan was militarily weak but was never going to surrender.
    Case in point, the bloody battle of Okinawa (1945) where the Japanese soldiers fought to the death. Using the Atomic bombs saved American lives, specifically soldiers like my dad.

    2. France has been safely using nuclear power for many years to generate electricity AND recycling their nuclear waste on site .
    They have standardized all reactors to operate identically.
    They do not use fossil fuels for power generation.

  • Who are "most historians"? I would really like to see the sources used here.

  • Why can we not get rid of. !"#$%&/(I. music? It is disturbing.

  • But the cold war stayed cold….

  • Great video, big fan of the channel. thank you for always providing great content. PS nice job walking on shells on this one

  • So basically bikini bottom is a place populated by mutant sea life after the fallout of the nuclear tests?

  • your mom is fat

  • The death count from the bombs were tiny when compared to the fire bombing campaigns.

  • The units of success to the cold war also included atomic bomb delivery capabilities (rockets). Bombs aren't a useful show of force, unless you can put them where you want to… Or at least convince the world that you can. This fact directly contributed to the space race and some of the more tense moments of the cold war like the Cuban missile crisis.

  • Kind of funny that still today nuclear power is the only clean and sustainable form of energy we have!  It's too bad the hippies had to ruin that.

  • the Oppenheimer quote is based on a misinterpretation of the original quote from Sanskrit. a better translation would be that I become the world destroying time. this quote comes in the middle of a battlefield and is about how winning the battle was insignificant and it would be lost to the sands of time. also when mentioning the reasons behind dropping the bomb, you failed to mention how the invasion of Japan would cost anywhere from a 100,000 to more than 1,000,000 American lives and many more Japanese as they have fought to the death in the earlier battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

  • No mention of the casualty figures for invading Japan? No mention of the limited control Truman had over the use of the bomb?

  • No mentioning the truly staggering expected casualties in the invasion of Japan?

  • Presentation A bit childish ….the word is ‘THE’ …not ‘DA’….

  • "Nuke Japan we don't know what will happen with radiation" JK Anime and Love Live will happen and that's all that needs to be said.

  • Wrong Flag on 2:21 for Germany! It dosn´t was the Federal Republic of Germany, it was the "3. Reich" or Nazi Germany with his own Flag.
    @CrashCours coud take the white, blue and red flag and this will be wrong too, but they dicided to use the UDSSR flag.

  • Thanks for making this, Crash Course team. It really elevated my history lesson.

  • Book recommendation – "Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon" by Steve Sheinkin (Newbery Honor, 2013)

  • Without the bombs the Japanese would never have surrendered until their emperor was dead and their entire military was defeated. The invasion of Japan by US (and possibly countries’) forces would have caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands or up to 2 million dead. The atomic bomb was horrific but there were no other alternatives.

  • War crime.

  • So saving America life’s didn’t play a part.

  • SO-CALLED Jewish people they are not the true people of YAHAWASHI ISRAELITES! Get it right!

  • ‘This was science at war.’
    That hit me harder than
    ‘Avengers, Assemble.’

  • And then came anime and manga

  • Fuchs was a German traitor it's lucky for Russia America and Britain that he was a communist traitor against his homeland Germany

  • I know no one really cares all that much but for everyone's future reference anytime you see an "sz" ("sz" is one letter in Hungarian and I think Hungarian is the only language with the sz combination) like at 0:43, you pronounce it like a regular "s" sound. And a side note, in Hungarian an "s" by itself is pronounced like a "sh" sound in English.

    So his name would be pronounced Leo Silard. If you're curious, the á is kind of pronounced… well just get the google translate woman robot to pronounce it.

  • "Twin Towers Destroyed Using Clean Nukes" > JamesFetzer(.)org
    Earth has endured +2,500 atomic tests, dozen times as weapons, see 80 articles on Nuclear Education at VeteransToday(.)com

  • I'd like to see Hank and Kyle Hill discuss Nulcear Energy.

  • Japan deserved it 🤷🏼‍♂️

  • Does everyone think Japan is NOT going to get even??? 🤔

    They're just being patience.

  • Drop one bomb on a low civilian area in Japan, afterwards ask for an unconditional surrender, and if they refuse yeah ok sure drop the second. To drop 2 in a very short amount of time makes absolutely zero sense with the benefit of heinsight.

  • So they murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent people to look tough and spend money? Sounds like America.

  • Such a sad part of history

  • Wow, like so many videos here on YT about this subject there are so many errors. First thing credit for getting the fact right about Leo Szilard and Fermi right and how they went to Einstein and he signed a letter of introduction to FDR. There it stops, you got the origins of the Manhattan Project wrong, the US tried to go it along while the UK also had their atomic weapons program again alone. After both programs hit stone walls they agreed to work together and Canada was brought into the project as well givner her stores of Uranium as well as it's connection to both countries and war effort. With the Quebec Agreement signed mid 43 all efforts were combined and the UK brought the Belgium Government in exile to the table considering the had the world largest source of Uranium in the Belgian Congo. It was discovered Mine officials fearing a German takeover of it's head office in Belgium had shipped large stockpiles to New York where they sat untouched until that time. A total of 1200 tons were sitting in New York and a further 3000 tons were shipped direct from the Congo and it was this Uranium used to construct the atomic bombs, the Trinity, Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs were all fuled from this source. Small amounts for testing was from Domestic sources but the Congo and Canada provided the lion's share. Then you call Oppenheimer the father of the atomic bomb, how do you come up with that? He wasn't a nuclear physicist and knew nothing of what was being done, he was a theoretical physicist like Sheldon Cooper on the Big Bang or like Einstein himself. Groves chose Oppenheimer to Coordinate the project as for security reasons all the individual branches of the project had been separated so one part didn't know what the other was working on. This was done over the wishes of the scientist themselves by Groves who was paranoid and a control freak. Don't get me wrong I like Oppenheimer but he had no part in designing or building the atomic bombs.
    Next to your comment the USA wanted to end the war with Japan, were that true the US would have accepted the Japanese offer in the fall of 44 but they did not.
    "the US had a new weapon the created devastation on an unprecedented scale" Hold on you need to qualify that comment, conventional bombing still was more devastating as proven by many of the cities carpet bombed by the USA in Japan. Of the 67 bombed with high explosives, incendiaries and napalm 30 of them were far far more devastating than either Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in fact while they were less than 50% damaged some conventional cities were well over 80% destroyed with one being 99%.
    You skip over the ending of the Pacific war for some reason, will not assume why. It's worth mentioning that the atomic bombs didn't sway Japan's decision to end the war, in fact the day after the second atomic bomb the Japanese again only offered a conditional surrender which can be found by reading the messages between Japan and the US via the Swiss embassy. In using the atomic bombs on city centers to kill civilains specifically this signaled the USSR that the US had no morals and would stoop to any level to subjugate an enemy. Just was reaffirmed when the US refused to honour FDR's agreements with Stalin so the cold war escalated as tensions increased mainly in post war Europe. Figures for the dead by the atomic bombs from the US medical corp was 300K by 1950 with over half suffering horrible injuries for months to years. In 2007 the IPT ruled the atomic bombings violated international laws of the day (1945) and officially called them war crimes as well as crimes against humanity. Their recommendation was that the US be banned for ever possessing atomic weapons.

  • Your failure to mention the atomic scientists, led by Szilard, who were against nuking Japan is a real shame. Poor history. Poor science.

  • Came to look for Hungarians correcting Hank's pronunciation of Szilárd. Was not disappointed

  • Richard Feynman, one of the more badass physicists, was also in the Manhattan Project. I know you weren't trying to name all of them, but that definitely deserves his own episode. I haven't peeked to the end of this series yet so maybe he will be in it.

  • So I went to a wake the guy was an old ww2 machinist died. I met his fellow workers,they worked at a navel station in Pasadena on foothill blv. During ww2 .When the 210 was finished 1970,it took part of the navel station.these old women told me there was an old shack destroyed,now part of the 210,free way, there inside was the first atomic bomb being transported to the coast to be transported to the Pacific island ,I should of asked where?,but was surprised just to,learn that it was close by where hundreds of thousands of vehicles travel everyday over the area!!!


  • Why can't we just dilute the spent fuel in gravel or something? Nobody was worried about the uranium when it was an ore in the ground.
    Sorry if there's an obvious reason, I'm not an expert in nuclear chemistry/physics as of posting this.

  • I can't help but feel like Hank here came down too hard on the anti Truman side of the debate without providing enough of a counter argument to the estimated cost of an invasion of mainland Japan.

  • This is propaganda. Hopefully most people are more aware than to be duped by this junk.

  • There is also a book called Sadoko and the 10,00 paper cranes it’s about a girl who had lukukimia (sorry if I spelt that wrong) I really recommend it! 😀 btw great information XD

  • I don't care why we dropped the bombs. I care that they ended the war quickly.

  • "I am Huntokar, I am the destroyer"

  • Einstein is a FRAUD created by the Jesuits! Look it up. Why do you think he made his famous quote after being asked "what's it like being the smartest man in the world?" His answer "i don't know, why don't you ask Nikola Tesla"

  • Organized politics, dont forget to mention, organize "his-story"

  • America: drops a bomb on Japan
    America:"were great at war"
    Every one else: "WHAT DID YOU DO!?

  • If you think about it, nothing in the universe is truly as vile as the human race. Everything is built on neutrality (if we talk about the scientific standpoint and leave religion alone) everything is made by events that happen.

    Humans were formed by that same literal universal law. But by that random chance we developed the ability to think outside of instinct and form solutions based on emotion.

    Because of this, humans are the most intelligent beings in the known universe. We are have the power to craft, solve, and discover. But freethinking beings always get out of hand.

    Nothing can ever come close to what evil things the human race has done, because nothing else is evil.

    A good example of this ideology is Heath Ledger’s Joker. The character to us, the viewer, is evil. This is because he is truly neutral. He makes decisions based on no prejudice or emotion, he just does. That is why the hero of the story, Batman, forms his decisions based on morality and saves those who he deems worthy to be saved. Joker just wants the neutrality that the universe was born with. Action and consequence, forever repeating.

    Humans are the most vile thing to exist and the making of the atomic bomb lets them play with the balance of reality itself.

  • The production of a bomb is the end result of the fission reaction. In terms of science, it is a direct proof that one can harness the energy derived from fission reaction. But the fact that it killed people, destroyed properties, and destroyed the environment that was bombed made the scientists who created the bomb think deeper. Just like now, I have nagging question, if USA did not create this monster, wouldn't the same monster be created by the Nazi Germany? The world have seen how Hitler works… If USA did not drop the bomb, I believed Hitler and his cohorts would DROP IT. In their hands, it would become more dangerous, more disastrous! Gassing a population of Jews wouldn't become startling anymore compared to the results of a bomb dropped

    by Nazi Germany

  • Is that Wal-e on the desk?




  • Think about this: There were two separate nuclear technologies, Uranium & Plutonium, used just THREE DAYS APART in 1945! What are the actual chances of That?! Farcical!

  • On an actual note, truly the 2 most destructive instances that has ever happened in war, killed 100,000s, vaporized in seconds. America didn't have to drop it, the war was essentially coming to an end. Yet it is very swept under the rug and never any consequences for it. It was a freaking nuke… dropped on civilians. Pearl Harbor wasn't even an attack on civilians, yet Americans blame Japan, say they had no choice, and act like it never happened. Worse than 9/11 in terms of casualties and also it was a freaking nuke. I'm not trying to put America in a bad light, I'm trying to get it out of its delusional, misinformed one. Also what I'm saying is not at all outlandish you pansys.

  • It wasn’t an “Oops”.

  • I am who I am. I'm struggling with the concept of reality; is this just part of my reality as I perceive it or is it fundamental truth? Is whatever I witness through personal contact, visual, aural or other sensory perception the truth? Maybe everything in my life is of my creation. Have I created this brilliant presentation, (thank you), in my 'creative world' which I inhabit, or is it really true. Is my life and world as I perceive and live in reality? It is to me but what about you dear reader? Can we as individuals change the world by re-adjusting our thoughts and perceptions? Can we change the world into a place of love, peace and joy by embracing the thought that everything so far is a construct of our enormously powerful minds? We created atomic and nuclear weapons, appalling, even more destructive chemical, biological and psychological weapons; maybe now is the time to create strange weapons of peace, love and joy in our minds to change reality. If you've read this far bless you and yours. PAX G

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