The Manhattan Project was a large scale research and development project that took place during World War II. It is thanks to this project that the US was able to create the first nuclear weapons in the history of the world. It was organized by the US and also involved the United Kingdom as well as Canada.
From 1942 to 1946, the project was led under the command of Major General Leslie Groves of the US Army Corps of Engineers. J. Robert Oppenheimer, a nuclear scientist, was the director of the Los Alamos Laboratory, where the nuclear bombs were designed.
The project begun quite modestly in 1939, however, it would expand in the coming years, and at its peak it would involve nearly 130,000 people as part of its personnel. Its cost is estimated at around 2 Billion US Dollars (Which would be equivalent to around 24.5 Billion US Dollars today). Around 90% of this money went for building factories that would produce fissile material, which is material capable of sustaining a nuclear fission chain reaction. Less than 10% was used for the actual development and production of the weapons.
The project itself took place at more than 30 sites across the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.
The Manhattan Project ultimately led to the creation of the first nuclear weapon, which would be later used in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II.
Here, you will learn everything about the project, how it came to be, all the challenges that the personnel faced and how the deadliest weapon ever was created.
The giant K-25 plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA, where the uranium for the first atomic weapon was produced.