We waited until the blast had passed, walked out of the shelter and then it was extremely solemn. We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita: Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince [Arjuna] that he should do his duty and to impress him he takes on his multi-armed form and says, "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." I suppose we all thought that, one way or another. — Oppenheimer
J.R. or Frank?
July 29th, 2007 4:06pm
Your quote was in my favorite book "The making of the atomic bomb" by Richard Rhodes.
This book gives a great review on weapons escalation. It shows how the military powers went from rules of engagement where only military targets were permitted, to where any target, civilian or not, was a viable target.
The book also helps answer why a second bomb )on Nagasaki) needed to be dropped. It refutes claims that the US did not have a third or fourth bomb ready to go.
The book is not a pacifistic whitewash about how terrible the bombing of japan was. Lives, including Japanese lives, were saved by the terrible bombing.
Best of all in the book is the scientific background of the nuclear technology used in the bomb.
I strongly recommend reading "The making of the atomic bomb". Rhodes' follow up book "Dark sun: the making of the Hydrogen Bomb" is almost as good.
You really had to have been there: