History: Did America inform Russia that they were developing an atomic bomb?

Watch
strawberryleaves
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 10 months ago
#1
I can't find a straight answer. My history book says that Truman informed Stalin that America was trialling successfully an atomic bomb, in 1945. However other sources have shown that they never actually told Russia of this, which was suspicious as they may've been planning to use it on Russia etc etc.

Help? I'm so confused!
0
reply
ANM775
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#2
Report 10 months ago
#2
Why would you tell your enemy that you are developing a superweapon?
0
reply
strawberryleaves
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 10 months ago
#3
(Original post by ANM775)
Why would you tell your enemy that you are developing a superweapon?
That's what I thought! But my history book says "On 16 July 1945 the Americans successfully tested an Atomic Bomb at a desert site in the USA. At the start of the Potsdam Conference, Truman informed Stalin about it"
0
reply
Drewski
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#4
Report 10 months ago
#4
Depends whether you mean actually informed, or whether the Soviets found out.

We know there were spies in Los Alamos, and that the Manhattan Project was known to the USSR.
0
reply
Drewski
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#5
Report 10 months ago
#5
(Original post by ANM775)
Why would you tell your enemy that you are developing a superweapon?
Because testing a weapon that large can't be kept secret?
0
reply
ANM775
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#6
Report 10 months ago
#6
(Original post by strawberryleaves)
That's what I thought! But my history book says "On 16 July 1945 the Americans successfully tested an Atomic Bomb at a desert site in the USA. At the start of the Potsdam Conference, Truman informed Stalin about it"
sounds like they told them just before they were testing it [meaning they already made it]
0
reply
strawberryleaves
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#7
Report Thread starter 10 months ago
#7
(Original post by ANM775)
sounds like they told them just before they were testing it [meaning they already made it]
Ok. There's lots of conflicting answers for this, so do you know if there's any proof of this? Like definite proof that they told them just before they were testing it, or that spies found out, or whatever the answer is, I still don't know?
0
reply
strawberryleaves
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#8
Report Thread starter 10 months ago
#8
(Original post by Drewski)
Depends whether you mean actually informed, or whether the Soviets found out.

We know there were spies in Los Alamos, and that the Manhattan Project was known to the USSR.
Well my books made it seem like Truman just went up to Stalin with "by the way, I have this super dangerous weapon being tested right now" in conversation which? Doesn't seem right to me.
0
reply
ANM775
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#9
Report 10 months ago
#9
(Original post by strawberryleaves)
Ok. There's lots of conflicting answers for this, so do you know if there's any proof of this? Like definite proof that they told them just before they were testing it, or that spies found out, or whatever the answer is, I still don't know?
(Original post by strawberryleaves)
Well my books made it seem like Truman just went up to Stalin with "by the way, I have this super dangerous weapon being tested right now" in conversation which? Doesn't seem right to me.
what your book says sounds logical.

It sounds illogical to inform the russians that they were building the bomb, but once it was built and they were about to test it then yeah i can see why they'd inform the russians [probably want them to watch and be scared]
0
reply
asfaasdffa
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#10
Report 10 months ago
#10
https://history.state.gov/milestones/1945-1952/atomic
On July 25, after receiving Stalin’s pledge to join the U.S. in the war against Japan in the Pacific, Truman casually informed the Soviet leader that the United States had a new weapon of unusual destructive force. Although Stalin did not appear to be impressed by the news, Truman hoped the information would increase the pressure on Stalin to concede to the Allies’ demands regarding the post-war division of Europe.
from https://www.history.com/this-day-in-...ble-new-weapon

underlined to assist understanding
Last edited by asfaasdffa; 10 months ago
0
reply
Drewski
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#11
Report 10 months ago
#11
(Original post by strawberryleaves)
Well my books made it seem like Truman just went up to Stalin with "by the way, I have this super dangerous weapon being tested right now" in conversation which? Doesn't seem right to me.
Nah, strategically it's right (though he'd have waited until they were 99% sure it would work).

Yeah, they were on the same side during WW2, but the US could see where it was going. They wanted to say "back in your box, sunshine".

And later, in 1945, the USSR saw what they meant.
0
reply
strawberryleaves
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#12
Report Thread starter 10 months ago
#12
(Original post by ANM775)
what your book says sounds logical.

It sounds illogical to inform the russians that they were building the bomb, but once it was built and they were about to test it then yeah i can see why they'd inform the russians [probably want them to watch and be scared]
(Original post by Drewski)
Nah, strategically it's right (though he'd have waited until they were 99% sure it would work).

Yeah, they were on the same side during WW2, but the US could see where it was going. They wanted to say "back in your box, sunshine".

And later, in 1945, the USSR saw what they meant.
Thank you, everyone, this makes a lot more sense now
0
reply
Fullofsurprises
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#13
Report 10 months ago
#13
(Original post by strawberryleaves)
Well my books made it seem like Truman just went up to Stalin with "by the way, I have this super dangerous weapon being tested right now" in conversation which? Doesn't seem right to me.
The sources about Potsdam generally agree that's how Truman broached it with Stalin - almost as a throwaway line. At this stage, the US suspected but was not certain that the Russians were aware of both the detail of the Manhatten Project and the nature and capabilities of the new weapon - so Truman may have approached this rather cynically, as knowing that he was telling the Soviet leader what he already knew.

What is now clear is that the USSR knew a great deal, from agents like Kim Philby and from spies actually working at Las Alamos and finally (to some extent at least) from some of the scientific leaders of the project, who were uneasy about unilateral postwar possession of the Bomb by the US, particularly as the US military authorities were known to have lied about its deployment and effects, both to the scientists and to the politicians. Therefore the USSR leadership were fully aware of it and already had Soviet scientists working on their nuclear weapon plans before the end of WW2.
1
reply
z-hog
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#14
Report 10 months ago
#14
From what I've read, it was the Labour party that decided to embark on a nuclear programme over here and they never told the Tories until it was well under way. With regard to the Yanks and the Soviets, I'm not particularly interested unless it's from a perspective where the US are the baddies and the Soviets the heroes. Considering the state of the indoctrination system, I wouldn't be surprised. Why does it matter whether the Soviets were informed, it doesn't make a difference to anything.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Current uni students - are you thinking of dropping out of university?

Yes, I'm seriously considering dropping out (112)
13.81%
I'm not sure (36)
4.44%
No, I'm going to stick it out for now (247)
30.46%
I have already dropped out (20)
2.47%
I'm not a current university student (396)
48.83%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed