Blogs > Cliopatria > Shell Shock

Apr 22, 2005 2:58 pm

Shell Shock

As part of my research I am currently browsing the 1945 and 1946 editions of the London Daily Herald (long transmogrified into Yer Supersoaraway Sun). As such I was a little taken aback to see an article on May 31, 1945 about an atomic bomb – this would be about seven weeks before Trinity Test and the Potsdam Conference, where Truman fretted about how most opportunely to reveal the Manhattan Project secret to Stalin. True, as you can see below, the reference is brief and dismissive – which makes me wonder if it was a deliberate plant to persuade Japan (or for that matter the USSR) that rumors of the bomb’s existence were unfounded. But are there similar references to atomic weapons in US papers in the spring of 1945?

HRS Phillpott: Globe-Busting Bomb – It Was Coming.

"The ‘Atomic Bomb’. You have never heard it, and you never will, because, according to Lord Darnley, if it ever drops it will destroy not only humanity but the globe itself.

"Lord Darnley was speaking in the House of Lords last night, and declared that this ‘Atomic Bomb’ was ‘three-quarters in preparation’ at the end of the [European] war.

"“If what we are told about the atom is true”, he said, “every atom in the world might be disintegrated and the world would disappear."

(This would be Esme Ivo Bligh, ninth earl, and the son incidentally of Ivo Francis Walter Bligh, former president of the MCC and Kent County Cricket Club and the first English captain of an ‘Ashes’ match with Australia.)

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Ben W. Brumfield - 4/23/2005

You also wouldn't want to hire him to write correct HTML, but don't tell my employer that.

Ralph E. Luker - 4/23/2005

Ben Brumfield may be the best commenter anywhere on the net. You wouldn't want to hire him as a research assistant, but he's good company for a drink after work.

Ben W. Brumfield - 4/23/2005

I am sorry to report that Donald Duck and the Atom Bomb dates to 1947, so no luck there.

Ben W. Brumfield - 4/23/2005

I am sorry to report that Donald Duck 'The Crossroads of Destiny': choosing a future in atomic Australia," words/discontents (19 June 2001): endnote #27. Not exactly a direct answer to your question, but it suggests that talk about an atomic bomb was in the air.

Manan Ahmed - 4/22/2005

Can't wait for them to start. The only time I ever root for the English. And, I really mean, ever.