If meant their practical invention was inevitable.
If you ever decide to rent the 1989 movie "Fat Man and Little Boy," starring Paul Newman, be prepared. Watching this film about the development of the atomic bomb is undeniably disturbing. The film, titled for the nicknames of the two weapons dropped on Japan at the end of World War II, confronts the arguments against creation of the bomb: that Japan seemed defeated by the time it was ready for use; that there was uncertainty over its aftereffects; that if the U.S. stopped the bomb project, the vague possibility existed that the age of nuclear weapons would not begin. But they also address the counter-arguments: that Japan still had the capacity to inflict terrible casualties and remained, in any case, responsible for the war in the Pacific; that any scientific discovery carries a risk; that the theoretical knowledge of how to make atomic weapons meant their practical invention was inevitable.
Most of us have seen the movie heroics portrayed John Wayne or Gary Cooper where the hero, armed with only a rifle or sheer determination storms the bunker of the evil "Gerry's" or the inscrutable Japanese. The mythos attached to World War II almost always falls short of the full-on devastation of two Japanese cities, devastation never before imagined. The argument for fifty years has ranged from "we had to" to "couldn't this have been avoided" to "my God, never again."
What led to the evolution of such a deadly means of irreversible destruction? If World War I was the war to end all wars . . . how can any one ever explain Hiroshima or Nagasaki?
World War I (1914-18) began as a war of movement, but after thefirst few weeks of engagement, troops (and nations) found themselves in the midst of what amounted to a stand-off, or, at the very least, a war of wills. Each side suffered enormous casualties in vain efforts to breach the other’s defenses; new weapons such as the airplane a…