H-Bomb Development: Decision on the Merits or Political Necessity
US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States
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This monograph employs a historical analysis to review the debate and subsequent decision within the US government in 1949 and 1950 over whether to pursue an accelerated program to develop thermonuclear weapons. The development of the thermonuclear bomb by the United States and Soviet Union in the early 1950s significantly altered the balance of power between nations and cemented the status of the United States and Soviet Union as superpowers. This paper addresses two fundamental questions what led to the US decision to pursue thermonuclear weapons and how that decision was made.