History of the Second World War, Volume 7

however that a weapon of unparalleled power is being created which will completely change all future conditions of warfare. Quite apart from the question of how soon the weapon will be ready for use and what role it may play in the present war this situation raises a number of problems which call for most urgent attention. Whether in­deed some agreement about the control of the use of the new active materials can be obtained indue anytime temporary advan­tage however great maybe outweighed by a perpetual menace to human Insecurity. short before the Bomb had even been constructed Niels Bohr had formulated with clarity and precision the problem which was to bedevil politicians throughout the post­war years but ashe was only a scientist, and furthermore one given to leaving his briefcase in cinemas it was not to be ex­pected that much attention would be paid to his preoccupations. That there was little real communication between Churchill and Bohr is not surprising. As Alanbrooke later said in his diaries Churchill 'was already seeing himself as capable of eliminating all the Russian centres of industry and popula­tion ...he had at once painted a wonderful picture of himself as the sole possessor of these bombs and capable of dumping them where he wished thus all-powerful and capable of dictating to Stalin! Shift in American policy This belief that the atomic bomb would not only destroy Japan with its explosive power, but redress the political balance in Europe as well was shared by President Truman. With the death of Roosevelt American policy towards the Russians and their sphere of influence in postwar Europe underwent a transformation —one which came to ahead at Potsdam in the summer of 1945. While the conference was in session the news of the successful attest Alamogordo reached Presi­dent Truman and confirmed his belief that he now had enough power to reverse Roose­ velts policy and attempt to influence events in the Balkans. Bluntly and confidently he told the Russians that they had not ful­filled the undertakings of the Yalta Declara­tion and he then demanded that the govern­ments in Bulgaria and Rumania should be reorganised that there should be immediate consultations including 'representatives of all significant democratic elements and that free elections should beheld. To this unequivocal attempt to impose the American will upon the Russians Stalins reaction was one of resentment and hostility and he launched a strong counterattack on the situ­ation in Greece. Under the Bombs already pervasive influence the Cold War had begun. Niels Bohr was not of course the only scientist to grasp the dangers. Early in 1945 some of those engaged on the atomic weapon project began to circulate memoranda among themselves and in June 1945 they made one last attempt to warn the politicians of the awful implications of what was being done. In a document called the 2696 Injured mother and child in Nagasaki, clutching emergency rice-ball rations Just how much could be healed? 2693
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