Countdown to Atomgeddon
The Race to Build the First Atomic Bomb
About the Book
The story leading to the development and the first test of the atomic bomb is a complicated study in human endeavor under strict security and secrecy. During the later months of World War II in Europe, there was a growing concern that many of the scientists in Germany were in the process of developing a similar weapon that the United States was developing and eventually tested and deployed to end the war in the Pacific arena. Many scientists immigrated to other countries including the United States from Germany due to the forced Third Reich emigration policy. One German physicist in particular was helping to develop the weapon for the Third Reich. His name was Dr. Werner Heisenberg. There was speculation after the war had ended, and Dr. Heisenberg had died, that he had intentionally slowed the progress of the bombs development for Germany for fear that Hitler would attempt to dominate the rest of the world with its use. Information of the development on both sides of the war was apparently available even with the strict secrecy concerning the weapon through the use of spies. Many spies and informants were found on both sides of the conflict to include Russia. It was rumored that both Russia and Germany had informants working alongside the American scientists in Los Alamos and were responsible in helping Germany and Russia develop a weapon. Eventually, the German weapon was not completed as the Third Reich was more intent on developing rockets, jet engines, and was defeated in early May of 1945. Russia was second to develop a weapon and test-fired it in 1949. That was the beginning of the nuclear arms race. This book is written with the intent to show the humanistic side of the race to develop the first atomic bomb and, as accurately as possible, describe the local and regional implications of the bomb. Most characters are fictitious, and some of interviews are invented, but most of the details are summaries of many articles and books written about the bomb; and without their help, this book would not have been written. There may not have been a conspiracy to slow the progress in developing the American bomb, but most of the facts lead the writer to believe there was at least one. The brilliance of the leading military general in directing the Manhattan Project cannot be denied and was proven many times. Without his direct and indirect intervention in the project, it is conceivable that the world may now be speaking German. The conspiracy featured in this book could very well have been General Grove’s most effective ruse in the race. Jumbo was created as a simple cover for the test bomb, but many of the spies and saboteurs were led to believe that Jumbo was the test bomb and effectively directed attention away from the real bomb at Trinity Site.
About the Author
James Howell was five years old when the first atomic bomb was detonated in the desert thirty miles from his home, July 16, 1945. It was the dawning of the atomic age and he slept through it. Since retiring from an executive sales position after twenty-one years, he has been trying to reconstruct that time and its implications. His objective in writing this book is to add the humanistic touch to much of the masses of documented information about Trinity Site, Jumbo, and to help revise the memory of that day. He now lives in Grand Prairie, Texas, with his wife.