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Atomic Bomb – Oppenheimer – Manhattan Project Historical Document Collections Available

Los Angeles, CA – WEBWIRE

In the biography, “American Prometheus,” Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin wrote about the director of the Manhattan Project’s Los Alamos Laboratory, “Robert Oppenheimer was an enigma. A theoretical physicist who displayed the charismatic qualities of a great leader, an aesthete who culti­vated ambiguities. In the decades after his death, his life became shrouded in controversy, myth, and mystery."

Recently much attention has been given to aspects of the Manhattan Project, due to the release of the biographical motion picture Oppenheimer, directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the biography “American Prometheus.”

BACM Research – has 17 document collections covering all American aspects of the development and use of the first atomic bombs, which can be found at:

Also recently released,

Atomic – Nuclear Weapons & Energy History & Documents Archive 1939 – 2011 USB Drive

89,575 pages of documents related to the development and use of atomic - nuclear weapons and the civilian use of nuclear energy, in 22 primary and secondary source document collections. The period 1939 to 1945 is most heavily covered. This set can be found at:

The titles include:

World War II: War Department Atomic Bomb Development Harrison-Bundy Papers

9,038 pages of the Harrison - Bundy Files relating to the development of the atomic bomb, copied from material held at the National Archives.

George L. Harrison and Harvey H. Bundy were two special assistants to Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson. The Harrison-Bundy Files, also known as the Arneson Files, document the Army’s role in the development and production of nuclear weapons. The files date from 1940 to 1950, with most documents dating from 1942 to 1946.

World War II: War Office of Scientific Research and Development Atomic Bomb Development Bush-Conant Papers

12,700 pages of the Vannevar Bush and James Conant Files relating to the development of the atomic bomb, copied from materials held at the National Archives and Records Administration.

These records were maintained in Dr. James B. Conant’s office for himself and Dr. Vannevar Bush. The files date from 1939 to 1947, with most documents dating between 1940 and 1945.

The files are mostly composed of letters, memorandums, reports, and technical reports relating to the development of the atomic bomb. The material includes correspondence from high-ranking government and military officials and eminent American and British scientists and industrial engineers connected with the atomic bomb project. This project, until it was turned over to the army, was referred to by the code names “uranium,” “S-1,” or “tube alloys” (the British code name).

Manhattan Project/General Groves: Top Secret Correspondence Manhattan Engineer District (1942-1946)

This collection contains a total of 5,393 pages. Materials include Top Secret Correspondence.

A collection of 5,171 pages of correspondences, formerly classified as “Top Secret,” maintained by Major General Leslie Groves while he was the commanding general of the Manhattan District (Manhattan Project) from September 1942 to December 1946.

The correspondence in this collection, much of which is with high-level U.S. Government or military officials, documents the Army’s role in the development, production, and deployment of atomic weapons, and is mostly dated between 1942 and 1946. The records are mostly drawn from those of the Manhattan Engineer District, contained in Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers, Record Group (RG) 77.

Manhattan Project: Manhattan District Official Contemporary History

The Department of Energy, Manhattan Engineer District official 79-volume, 14,238-page contemporary history, written in the 1940’s, the official history of the Manhattan Project.

The Manhattan Project was a research and development program undertaken during World War II that produced the first nuclear weapons. It was led by the United States with the support of the United Kingdom and Canada. From 1942 to 1946, the project was under the direction of Major General Leslie Groves of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Nuclear physicist Robert Oppenheimer was the director of the Los Alamos Laboratory that designed the actual bombs. The Army component of the project was designated the Manhattan District.

In 1944 General Leslie Groves, head of the Manhattan Engineer District, realized that it was important to begin documenting the history of The Project. Groves gave instructions for the creation of the history of the Manhattan Project called the “Manhattan District History.” It was created by several different authors under the editorship of Gavin Hadden.

Manhattan Project: Photographs of the First Atomic Bombs being Prepared on Tinian Island

This series consists of photographs documenting the preparation and loading of the first two atomic bombs, “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” at the base of the 509th Composite Group at Tinian Island in the Marianas. Included are views of the bomb loading pits, personnel writing messages on the bombs, and views of the B-29 “Enola Gay” landing at the base after dropping the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.

Manhattan Project: Spy for the Soviet Union George Koval FBI Files

1,892 pages of FBI files covering George Koval, the American born Soviet Spy code named “DELMAR” who infiltrated the Manhattan Project.

John Earl Haynes, a historian at the Library of Congress and an authority on the cold war, says of Koval, “Koval was a trained agent, not an American civilian. He was that rarity, which you see a lot in fiction but rarely in real life, a sleeper agent. A penetration agent. A professional officer.”

George Abramovich Koval (1913 – 2006) was an American who acted as a Soviet intelligence asset. According to various Russian sources, Koval’s infiltration of the Manhattan Project as a GRU (Soviet military intelligence) agent drastically reduced the amount of time it took for Russia to develop nuclear weapons. American intelligence estimated that the Soviet Union would have the bomb between 1950 and 1953. The first Soviet atomic bomb, code-named by the Americans as Joe 1, was detonated on August 29, 1949. The design was very similar to the first US “Fat Man” plutonium bomb, using a TNT/hexogen implosion lens design. According to Michael Walsh in his May 2009 Smithsonian article, “George Koval: Atomic Spy Unmasked,” the initiator for the plutonium bomb was, according to Russian military officials, “prepared to the ’recipe’ provided by military intelligence agent Delmar [Koval]”

Albert Einstein FBI Files - Correspondences - Atomic Bomb Papers - Historical Documents – Newspapers

2,270 pages of FBI Files, Einstein correspondences, atomic bomb development papers, Sigmund Freud papers and newspapers articles. Albert Einstein (1879-1955) is generally considered the greatest physicist of all time. Time Magazine named him “Person of the Century” in 1999. He was born to Jewish parents in Ulm, Germany in 1879. Although most famous for his theory of relativity (and specifically mass-energy equivalence, E=mc²), he was also known as an international advocate of peace, human rights, and an early supporter of a homeland for the Jewish people.

In 1933, while Einstein was visiting the United States, Adolf Hitler came to power. Because of his Jewish background, Einstein did not return to Germany. He eventually settled in the United States and became an American citizen in 1940. On the eve of World War II, he endorsed a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt altering FDR to the potential development of “extremely powerful bombs of a new type” and recommending that the US begin similar research. This eventually led to the Manhattan Project. Einstein supported the Allies, but he generally denounced the idea of using nuclear fission as a weapon.

American Victims of the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima 1945

A 400-page vertical file compiled by the Department of Defense in 2009 of material covering American victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima 1945, mostly American POWs who were in Hiroshima when the atomic bomb was dropped.

General Leslie Groves, Manhattan Project Director, Personnel Files, Documents, Publications and Newspapers

1,821 pages. Lieutenant General Leslie Richard Groves Jr. (1896 – 1970) was a United States Army Corps of Engineers officer who oversaw the construction of the Pentagon and directed the Manhattan Project, the top-secret research project that developed the atomic bomb during World War II.

J. Robert Oppenheimer FBI, CIA, Manhattan Project Files, Security Hearings, Books & Newspapers

During World War II, theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer led the Manhattan Project’s (Manhattan Engineering District) clandestine lab in Los Alamos from 1943 to 1945, where his team developed and produced the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. Dr. Oppenheimer chose the name TRINITY for the first detonation of a nuclear weapon. After World War II, he became Chairman of the General Advisory Committee of the Atomic Energy Commission providing technical advice for use and control of nuclear weapons. Congress revoked Oppenheimer’s security clearance after hearings held to investigate his pre-World War II connection with the Communist Party

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Atomic Bomb

352 pages of letters, reports, official memorandum, clippings, and publication excerpts, dating between 1939 and 1945. Documents reference matters related to the development and use of the atomic bomb during World War II, including correspondence and writings about the Manhattan Project, general nuclear research, and the potential for enriching uranium.

President Harry S Truman Atomic Bomb Decision

578 pages. Files date from 1945 to 1953. Documents include coverage of the Groves Project AKA the Manhattan Project, minutes of the meeting held at the White House on Monday, 18 June 1945, evaluation of situation regarding the War in the Pacific against the Japanese, strategic bombing survey, study of wartime use of the atomic bomb by the Interim Committee chaired by Robert Oppenheimer, Truman diary entries, and Truman’s reaction to the historical response to his decision to drop the bomb.

Vietnam War: Nuclear Weapon Use Options and Considerations Department of Defense, White House, CIA Files, and White House Secret Audio Recordings

2,156 pages of Department of Defense, White House, National Security Council, CIA files, Nixon and Johnson secret White House audio recordings that address the nuclear question faced during the Vietnam War. Some material in this collection was not declassified until 2016.

World War II: Atomic Weapon Use Against Japan Newspaper Coverage

612 full sheet American newspaper pages with coverage of the use of atomic weapons against Japan and that nation’s World War II government’s downfall.

The Washington Star, formerly known as the Evening Star, and the Sunday Star along with three dozen regional newspapers from Alaska to the Florida Keyes in the collection, cover world reaction to the atomic bombings and efforts to conclude the war. In newspapers dating from August 6, 1945, to December 31, 1945.

World War II: Destruction of the German Atomic Program British Intel MI5, US Army & CIA Files

620 pages of documents and histories dealing with the German nuclear program and its destruction through Operation Gunnerside. Includes intelligence after Gunnerside to gauge the possibility of a residual German atomic program.

Operation Gunnerside ended what the allies suspected to be a German nuclear bomb project. The 1943 destruction of the Nordsk Hydro plant in Telemark, Norway ended the manufacturing of heavy water for use in German projects. Heavy water can be used in a certain type of reactor, in which plutonium can be bred from natural uranium.

World War II: Medical Effects of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki Documents & Films

3,928 pages of reports and 3 hours and 40 minutes of film, covering the medical effects of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki.

Reports date from 1945 to 2011, and were produced by the Japanese Army Medical College, 1st Tokyo Army Hospital, Manhattan Engineer District (Manhattan Project), United States Bombing Survey, Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, Armed Forces Special Weapons Project, United States Atomic Energy Commission, Radiation Effects Research Foundation and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

World War II: Operation EPSILON Detention of German Nuclear Scientists British Intelligence Files

225 pages of British War Office intelligence files, reports and transcripts, covering the detention and monitoring of German nuclear scientists, captured and detained at the end of the war with Germany.

The files contain approximately 125 discernible narrative pages.

Operation EPSILON was the code name given to the program under which ten top German scientists who it was believed to have been working in Germany’s nuclear program, were captured between May 1 and June 30, 1945, and were eventually detained at an estate, Farm Hall, in Godmanchester, England, near Cambridge. The main objective of the operation was to learn what if any work was performed by Germany toward building an atomic bomb, and any possible achievements that resulted. They were held at Farm Hall from July 3, 1945, to January 3, 1946.

World War II: Operation Olympic, X-Day Invasion of Japan & A-Bomb Decision Documents

1,589 pages of documents and historical studies concerning Operation Olympic, the planned invasion of Japan and the decision to use the atomic bomb against Japan.

Operation Olympic was a part of Operation Downfall along with Operation Coronet. Operation Downfall was the proposed Allied plan for the invasion of the Japanese home islands.

The planned operation was canceled when Japan surrendered in the days following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Soviet declaration of war against Japan and the invasion of Manchuria. Set to begin in November 1945, Operation Olympic was intended to capture the southern third of the southernmost main Japanese island, Kyūshū, with the recently captured island of Okinawa to be used as a staging area. In early 1946 would come Operation Coronet, the planned invasion of the Kantō Plain, near Tokyo, on the main Japanese island of Honshu. Airbases on Kyūshū captured in Operation Olympic would allow land-based air support for Operation Coronet. If Downfall had taken place, it would have been the largest amphibious operation in history.

Casualties were expected to be very heavy, and it was hoped that the use of atomic bombs might shock the Japanese into surrendering. The first bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. On 8 August the Soviet Union declared war on Japan and launched a massive attack in Manchuria. The Soviet blow had great diplomatic and political impact. On 9 August a second atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. On 15 August 1945 the Japanese authorities surrendered.

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 Manhattan Project
 Atomic Bomb
 J. Robert Oppenheimer
 Hiroshima & Nagasaki
 General Leslie Groves Jr

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