AUTHORGrunden, Walter E.
CHAPTER TITLENuclear Energy and the Atomic Bomb
BOOK EDITORGrunden, Walter E., Ed.
BOOK TITLESecret Weapons and World War II: Japan in the Shadow of Big Science
PUBLISHERUniversity Press of Kansas
CITYLawrence, KS

This chapter addresses the Japanese efforts to develop a nuclear weapon during World War II to explain the problems that nation faced in undertaking the complex technical project. The author first reviews the scientific discoveries that led to nuclear fission and the possibility of an atomic bomb. He then contrasts the nuclear weapons programs of the United States and Germany with the Japanese program. The author finds that unlike the well-coordinated U.S. Manhattan Project, the primary nuclear research efforts of the Japanese army and navy operated independently. The author concludes that Japan’s inadequate resources, its limited industrial capacity, and poor coordination of its scientific infrastructure and personnel combined to ensure that Japan would not come close to producing a nuclear weapon.

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