The Atomic Bomb

The End of the War With Japan

The Manhattan Project

When the war started, the atomic bomb had not yet been invented. The United States received word that the Germans were working on nuclear weapons and so they began to research the possibilities. Scientists, including Albert Einstein, discovered that a powerful explosion might be possible by splitting an atom. This type of bomb could destroy large cities in a single blast and would change warfare forever. The code name for the research and development of the bomb was The Manhattan Project.

The Big Decision

Germany had already surrendered and World War II in Europe was over. Japan would not surrender. The US was deciding on an invasion of Japan. Army leaders figured that anywhere from 500,000 to 1 million Allied soldiers would die in an invasion. President Truman decided to drop the atomic bomb instead.

The United States dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Nagasaki was bombed shortly after. Both cities were destroyed and tens of thousands died.

Six Days after the bombing of Nagasaki, Emperor Hirohito and Japan surrendered to US forces.

The End

Emperor Hirohito announced that Japan would surrender. Later on September 2, 1945 the Japanese signed a surrender treaty with US General Douglas MacArthur aboard the battleship USS Missouri. This day is known as V-J Day, or Victory Over Japan Day.

World War II Ended

The Allied victory in Germany and Japan ended the war. Within days the United States would find itself on the brink of war again; a Cold War.