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Hydrogen Bomb Developed After U.S Drops Atomic Bombs on Japan

Harry S. Truman is most well-known as the President who approved the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan. He presided over the end of WW II, the start of the Cold War and the Korean War.

In his final State of the Union address before Congress, in 1953, he announced that the United States had completed development of a hydrogen bomb. This only three years after he announced his approval for the Atomic Energy Commission to continue its work on development of a super bomb and other forms of atomic energy weapons.

Scientist Urge Development
of Hydrogen Bomb
On September 23, 1949, President Truman announced to the American people, "We have evidence that within recent weeks an atomic explosion occurred in the USSR."

At that time, some of the Los Alamos scientists, who had worked on developing the atomic bomb, feared that the USSR might already be working on a hydrogen bomb. Hungarian-born physicist Edward Teller and American-born business man, and Atomic Energy Commissioner (AEE) Lewis Strauss urged the rapid development of a weapon with an explosive force equivalent to 16 million tons of TNT, 800 times as much as the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945.

Edward Teller, US Physicist

Over serveral months, both men dedicated their efforts to bringing everyone in Washington around to their point of view. Strauss made his views very clear in a letter to President Truman on November 25th. "I believe that the United States must be as completely armed as any possible enemy. From this, it follows that I believe it unwise to renounce, unilaterally, any weapon which an enemy can reasonably be expected to possess. I recommend that the President direct the Atomic Energy Commission to proceed with the development of the thermonuclear bomb..."

Arms Race
In 1953, USSR scientists, tested their first hydrogen bomb, designed by Russian physicist Andrei Sakharov.