Inspired by Did the United States have a third atomic bomb to drop on Japan?. Imagine Japan did not surrender after 2 bombs (just preferring to die), or a war with the Soviet Union breaks out, or for any other reason: what could be the potential sustained rate of nuclear bomb production by U.S. say, through the end of 1945? How soon it could be significantly increased?

It obviously depends on the supply of plutonium (uranium-based Little Boy-type bombs could not be produced in any significant quantity for sure).

  • 2
    possible duplicate of Did the United States have a third atomic bomb to drop on Japan?
    – Bregalad
    Jun 16, 2015 at 20:31
  • This kind of question is pure speculation. Jun 16, 2015 at 21:07
  • 6
    @Tyler Durden: Not speculation, as an analysis of production facilities & resources could give a pretty accurate answer, or least an upper bound on production. Speculation would involve asking whether and to what extent the authorities would have been willing to use the facilities.
    – jamesqf
    Jun 16, 2015 at 21:44
  • The production rate in summer 1945 seemed to be about 10 to 14 days weeks per bomb, give or take. This obviously could have been stepped up over time, if the political will to do so existed. Jun 16, 2015 at 22:35

1 Answer 1


The production rate could have been about three a month according to the transcript of the telephone conversation between Gen Hull and Col Seeman on the Nuclear Secrecy Blog

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

  • Now that's an answer! Clear and authoritative! Jun 17, 2015 at 8:36
  • This fits with the summary I remembered - there was a gap after the first two but after that, they could be churned out like clockwork.
    – Oldcat
    Jun 19, 2015 at 22:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.