Japan’s Atomic Bomb

Japan’s Atomic Bomb (2005) This History Channel documentary adds little to what Robert K. Wilcox described in Japan’s Secret War: Japan’s Race Against Time to Build its Own Atomic Bomb (1994). What’s new are; 1) documents detailing early sketches of the Japanese approach to an A-bomb; 2) interviews with several members of the A-bomb team; and 3) description of an army-supported team of nuclear scientists in Japan and a more heavily financed naval nuclear initiative in Korea. None of the A-bomb team members were asked on camera how close they had been to developing an operational bomb. Heavy reliance was placed on Journalist David Snell’s 1946 article that he had interviewed an eye witness to the test firing of an’ atomic bomb’ off North Korea days before Japan’s surrender.

I find this film (and Wilcox’s book) interesting, because the Japanese saw no ‘immorality’ in developing an A-bomb. The ‘immorality’ was when the United States was successful in its development and delivery. My impression is that the Japanese were still in the rudimentary stages of developing a deliverable A-bomb at the end of WW II.

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