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The first use of the the Atomic Bomb

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by Diver Derrick VC, Nov 1, 2004.

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  1. Diver Derrick VC

    Diver Derrick VC Member

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    As we all know now the Atomic Bomb was first used in Japan.

    But what if the allies had the Bomb finished a few months earlier.

    Do you think they would have used the Atomic Bomb on Germany or Japan first. Assuming it is not Late April or May '45.

    What do you think?


    Diver Derrick VC
     
  2. Mahross

    Mahross Ace

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    Yes they would have used on germnay first. the bomb was originally being developed for use in the european theatre but the early conclusion of hostillities meant that it could not be used on its intended target.
     
  3. FramerT

    FramerT Ace

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    If Germany, would the U.S. try to keep the bomb secret from our Russian allies? We would have had to tell Stalin to stop his forces at a certain point,away from the fall-out.Or would we?? Maybe Hitler would just conduct the war from his mountain top retreat.
     
  4. camz

    camz Member

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    As far as i know the Soviets had two independent spys at los alamos.
    They were told about the bomb early on though i dont know if they would know of its tactcle use.
     
  5. fjrosetti

    fjrosetti Member

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    I do not believe that the U.S. would of had the stomach to let loose an atomic bomb on Germany, due in part to particular attachment to European people (Germans), and the fact that Allied armies were converging and in close proximity to any atomic bomb blast that would occur in any part of Axis territory. Japan, on the other hand, shared neither of the above listed.
     
  6. lancemaria

    lancemaria Member

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    you're right!
     
  7. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    I have read in a past that a secret meeting ( I think ) was held between Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin. At this meeting which took place towards the end of the war, Roosevelt hinted to Stalin on a new weapon in development. A weapon that the world has not seen yet. Stalin just shrugged this off.... Roosvelt gave Churchill a look of disbelief, and thought thats Stalin's roof was leaking..... Little did they know that Stalin was well aware of what the two were talking about and in fact he himself was working on the same weapon which was complete a little later thanks to his spies.


    In the end I dont think that the U.S. would have used the bomb on Germany..... One of the reasons is that I find it hard to believe that Stalin would allow such a weapon to steal the glorious victory right from under the fingertips of the Russians who have suffered and lost so much, not to mention such a weapon being used in such close proximity to the Russian troops. Also the fact that the Germans after all were Europeans and not the savages which the U.S. had made out the Japanese to look, helps their case .
     
  8. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    I beg to differ. In april/may 45', everybody knew that the Germans had shot their bolt. So it would not have been wise to have used the bomb then. Being that there were only two, their use was more needed against the Japanese who still had plenty of fight in them. There would have been bad PR in the use against Germany since they pretty much had it. Whereas using on Japan, avenging Pearl Harbor could also have played a part.

    Just my 2 cents worth.
     
  9. Otto

    Otto Rested & Resupplied with MREs. Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I love waking up a 2 and a half year old thread! ;)

    The belief that the US didn't have the stomach or was unwilling to use the A-Bomb in Europe is erroneous. Had the A-Bomb been ready well before Germany's surrender, I believe the US would inded have dropped the bomb in Europe, with the blessing of the UK and the Soviets. At the time, Germany was seen as the greater threat, who might have been making their own atomic weapon. As well atomic weapons were viewed as no different than conventional weapons, and there was a strong desire by the US military to use the weapon under the noses of the Russians. Had the A-Bomb been ready prior to the forseeable defeat of Germany, then Germany would have been a target.
     
  10. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Not against me I hope, as we both agree :D
     
  11. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    I think it really depends on exactly when the bomb was ready, the ability of the US to deploy and deliver it in Europe, and the state of the war against Germany.
    To elaborate: The first issue, when, is very important. Let's say the US is across the Rhine in Jan 45 and the Reich is quickly collapsing. There may be a reluctance to use an atomic weapon when casualties are already low and it is obvious that Germany won't last much longer. Why waste such a weapon on an all but defeated enemy? Note, there is nothing in this about reluctance to use the weapon on the basis of ethnicity or race. It would have been simply a matter of good military and political strategy.

    The second problem is deployment. Unless the US made an early decision to put the B-29 into Europe or, had made arrangements with the British to aquire some Lancasters (and suitably modify them) as a substitute, there is no capacity to deliver the weapon onto a German target.
    This is not so straight forward as it appears. The B-29 would have required substancial upgrades to existing 8th AF bases in Britian. Runways would have to be lengthened and strengthened to accomidate the B-29. The crews would have required at least some aclimitization to European combat prior to a nuclear strike. Additionally, maintenance and support equipment would have to be in place before the strike. This might require as much as six months or more to make happen.
    Using the B-29 for the first time on a nuclear strike would not be wise due to the very apparent dissimilarity of the type to existing aircraft. I would expect the US to want to use B-29s in at least a few operations prior to a nuclear strike simply to aclimitize the Germans to its presence. This way there would be less interest in another strike using this aircraft than there would be in a first use.
    Therefore, the US would have to know that a bomb could be ready by late 1944, very early 1945 at the latest, and make the decision to put the B-29 into Europe by early to mid 1944 to have the ability to launch a nuclear strike. Otherwise, the point is moot. Even if a bomb was available, there is no way to deliver it.
     
  12. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Good points
     
  13. Otto

    Otto Rested & Resupplied with MREs. Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I agree TA Gardner. Logistically delivering an A-Bomb is undoubtedly diffucult, but given that the first successful test of an A-Bomb occurred two months after the surrender of Germany, (the Trinity test), use is Europe was never even concievable. As the development of the bomb neared completion, the Manhattan Project changed from a race against the perceived german A-Bomb project, to a race against the end of the war.
     
  14. TA152

    TA152 Ace

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    I think the allies would have used the bomb in Europe if they had enough of them to use. After the war in the 50's there were thousands of warheads all over Europe ready to use in Europe on the Warsaw pact forces.

    The B-29 use would be a problem like it was in the Pacific. The 21st Air Force was created because so many Generals and Admirals wanted to have control of the B-29 for their own pet bombing projects and alot of "interservice politics" were fought for control of the B-29.

    I don't know much about the engineering of the shape for A bombs but Little Boy and Fat Man were very different in shape so perhaps they could have shaped one to fit in a Lancaster for use. (or maybe even a Halifax :p )
     
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