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The Manhattan Project was a U.S. government led research project between 1942 to 1945 that produced, tested and used the first atomic bombs.
Manhattan Project." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 06 Aug. 2009 <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/362098/Manhattan-Project>.
"The Manhattan Project was the codename for a project conducted during World War II to develop the first atomic bomb. The project was led by the United States, and included scientists from the United Kingdom and Canada. Formally designated as the Manhattan Engineer District (MED), it refers specifically to the period of the project from 1942–1946 under the control of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, under the administration of General Leslie R. Groves. The scientific research was directed by American physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer."
Source: "Manhattan Project." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 5 Aug 2009, 00:36 UTC. 5 Aug 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Manhattan_Project&oldid=306115102>.
Quoted from Spartacus Educational "In May, 1940, the German Army invaded Denmark, the home of Niels Bohr, the world's leading expert on atomic research. It was feared that he would be forced to work for Nazi Germany. With the help of the British Secret Service he escaped to Sweden before being moving to the United States.
In 1942 the Manhattan Engineer Project was set up in the United States under the command of Brigadier General Leslie Groves. Scientists recruited to produce an atom bomb included Robert Oppenheimer (USA), David Bohm (USA), Leo Szilard (Hungary), Eugene Wigner (Hungary), Rudolf Peierls (Germany), Otto Frisch (Germany), Niels Bohr (Denmark), Felix Bloch (Switzerland), James Franck (Germany), James Chadwick (Britain), Emilio Segre (Italy), Enrico Fermi (Italy), Klaus Fuchs (Germany) and Edward Teller (Hungary).
Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt were deeply concerned about the possibility that Germany would produce the atom bomb before the allies. At a conference held in Quebec in August, 1943, it was decided to try and disrupt the German nuclear programme.
In February 1943, SOE saboteurs successfully planted a bomb in the Rjukan nitrates factory in Norway. As soon as it was rebuilt it was destroyed by 150 US bombers in November, 1943. Two months later the Norwegian resistance managed to sink a German boat carrying vital supplies for its nuclear programme.
Meanwhile the scientists working on the Manhattan Project were developing atom bombs using uranium and plutonium. The first three completed bombs were successfully tested at Alamogordo, New Mexico on 16th July, 1945. " Source: Spartacus Educational 2009 <http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAmanhattan.htm>.
"In a national survey at the turn of the millennium, both journalists and the public ranked the dropping of the atomic bomb and the end of the Second World War as the top news stories of the twentieth-century. The advent of nuclear weapons, made possible by the Manhattan Project, not only helped bring an end to the Second World War -- it ushered in the atomic age and determined how the next war, the Cold War, would be fought...more" Source: The Manhattan Project An Interactive History <http://www.cfo.doe.gov/me70/manhattan/>.
Other links that may be useful include:
- The Manhattan Project Atomic Bomb Investigating Group <http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/mp01.asp>