Apocalypse Quiz

Yesterday was the anniversary of “Hiroshima” and yesterday evening I saw commemorative commentary on the Fox News Channel which cued some of my regular thoughts & opinions.

Today on the internet I came across the below item, and (among other things) let it be said that even for the militaristic among us, what was wrong with, for example, the (still maximally “aggressive”) second choice? If you are going to employ the most massive material weapon ever produced by (the) man, which you rightly expect to shock, awe and effect the surrender of the Japanese Emperor, why not drop the first one in an empty field? The fact that this option was passed over, provides fertile avenues of research for aspiring theologians working in the field of dizzying rot-lusting human evil.


The Manhattan Project Poll on the Use of Atomic Weapons, July 1945.

This is the straightforward poll of Compton and Daniels which asked 250 scientists at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory arm of the Manhattan Project in pre-Trinity July, 1945. (Originally published as “A Poll of Scientists at Chicago, July 1945,” in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, February 1948, 44, p63. and again published in Compton’s Atomic Quest in 1956.)  

Which of the following five procedures comes closest to your choice as to the way in which any new weapons that may develop should be used in the Japanese war: (REQUIRED)

1. Use them in the manner that is from the military point of view most effective in bringing about prompt Japanese surrender at minimum human cost to our armed forces.

2. Give a military demonstration in Japan to be followed by renewed opportunity for surrender before full use of the weapon is employed.

3. Give an experimental demonstration in this country, with representatives of Japan present; followed by a new opportunity for surrender before full use of the weapon is employed.

4. Withhold military use of the weapons, but make public experimental demonstration of their effectiveness.

5. Maintain as secret as possible all developments of our new weapons and refrain from using them in this war.


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