Japan Gets Nuclear Weapons Before Allies...

...is the premise to this ATL I found. It's weird, because the guy posting it is apparently not from any AH boards or communities. What's PF&SF?

(*)- Foot notes out of character.

Hello everyone!

I am quite surprised that the mail I received was genuine after
all. It is an honor to be in such company, me being a humble editor and

I will have to introduce myself and the Diverse I come from, it
seems. I have browsed through the archives and Bibat-san was quite
helpful when I e-mailed her for help on this, for which I profusely
thank her. Plumbing the depths of the archives has been educational
experience, showing how insignificant people in my Diverse, like
Ejercito Joseph, a bandit beheaded in the 1960s in my world, or
Ferdinand Marcos, a popular insurgent in the 1950s, could both become

Well, no more digressions, it is time to introduce myself.

I am Hosokawa Vicente, chief editor of the Alamat line of
Kodansha's manga division. My father is Col. Hosokawa Miike, formerly
chief adviser to President Sison Jose of the Luzon protectorate, and my
mother Suarez Yukiko, a daughter of the Suarez conglomerate family. I
have lived most of my life in the Luzon Protectorate, until my recent
promotion from Kodansha Philippines to the main office here in Tokyo.
Thus I am quite familiar with the history of the island protectorates,
though I am sure quite a few other Japanese know of it too.

After browsing through the mailing list archives, I have noticed
several disrepancies in the differing histories of our worlds and have
succesfully pinpointed some of the seemingly trivial details of history
here, like the early discovery of a large uranium deposit in the
Manchurian protectorate and the freely open exchange of information
between Japanese and German physicists in the early days of the war did
not occur in some of the other Diverses.

I have pinpointed these as the mathstick points of my Diverse's
history but the latchkey change seems to be the early testing at the
Konan facility in Korea of the atomic bomb and the annihilation of
majority the American fleet at Leyte Gulf on October 25, 1944 as a
result of "Kusanagi", a kamikaze-type bomb plane piloted by Tsukuro
Shinichi, the first time a nuclear weapon was used in war(*).

(*) In our timeline, the Japanese Atomic Bomb project made its first
test explosion off the Korean Peninsula a day or so after the Hiroshima
explosion. Obviously, these guys did it earlier.

As all those whose diverses have been influenced by the use of
atomic weaponry, this changed the paradigm of the war and the entire
world. General Macarthur and the higher ranking members of the American
Fleet were suddenly erased from the face of planet. The landing forces
that were to arrive at Leyte, that did arrive in several other
diverses, became dust in the waters of Leyte Gulf(*).

(*) Leyte Gulf became the setting for Godzilla's awakening in the
1962 movie from Hosokawa's diverse.

Shortly afterwards, the Emperor's historic speech of patriotism and
reaffirmation that Japan would win the war with use of the powers
wielded by the Sun Herself was heard all over the world. The Allies
were paralyzed. The European Theater of Operations ground to a halt for
a few days, in fear of the nuclear threat, since Germany and Japan were
allies. As it was, it was a needless fear. The secret of the atom was
discovered too late for Germany to properly create one, with the
destruction and capture of their facilities in Norway and the crippling
of their Bavarian laboratory(*). Transport from Tokyo to Berlin was
considered but thought too risky, for a bomb falling into Allied hands
would tip the balance once again. Berlin still fell but after a
disastrous march. By June of 1945, the European Theater of Operations
was over. The Allies then turned their eyes to the Pacific.

(*) True. In our timeline, German physicists were close to the secret of
the bomb, but no lab and source for uranium crippled the effort.

The Russians, thinking to overwhelm the Japanese protectorates of
Manchuria and Korea, combined with the Chinese for a concentrated
attack. This was the biggest mistake they could make. The concentration
of troops and the fact that the direction of their attack was
predictable from the outset. The Imperial Army had seeded the Korean
peninsula and Manchuria with atomic mines(*) and the result was an
absolute slaughter. The North Korean peninsula was devastated and has
become the current DMZ between the Russo-Chinese Socialist
Confederation and what remains of the Korean protectorates. Manchuria
fared better and managed to rebound, becoming one of the most
productive protectorates of the Co-Prosperity Sphere(**).

(*) A conjectural use of atomic weapons as envisioned by several US
think tanks after the war. A Pyrrhic victory for the invading forces.

(**) But, nonetheless, still radioactive and primary home of the

This debacle showed the Allies that they had obviously met their
match and a ceasefire was drawn up in the Hawaii Conference of 1946,
the other factors being the developing distrust between the Socialist
nations now led by Stalin alone since Mao Tse Tsung died in the Korean
debacle, leading to the three-sided Cold War that lasted until the 60s.
The Philippines, or rather the current Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao
Protectorates, was probably one of the most influential factors in the
end of the Cold War situation and healing the rift between the Co-
Prosperity Sphere and the Western Democratic nations, but that comes

The Philippine Situtation

1944-1950: Transition

I have thus far illustrated the international viewpoint, now I'll
have to illustrate the local, rather the Filipino picture.

The day that Tsukuro Shinichi did his heroic act of suicide that
changed the course of the war, the Philippines was at a turning point.
Three years of military guidance under the Imperial Army was doing its
work and finally enlightening the masses that they were finally free
from Western oppression and were free to express their nationalism.
Tagalog was the norm in publications, though other regional languages
were being felt. There was even a minority doing English work in
literature, with, of course, the supervision of Harvard-trained and
Oxford-trained Japanese who made sure such works were not derivative of
the Western styles(*). There was even a rage for Chinese literature by the

(*) Tagalog becomes de rigeur. The "decadent" Western literature was
slowly phased out until the end of the Cold War.

There were several projects similar to the Thomasite Expedition of
the Americans, but the war hampered its implementation, though after
the war, a full-scale educational program of schooling in Eastern
thought and language was promulgated(*).

(*) The Japanese during their five year stay acted as badly as the Americans
in the initial years of their possesion of the islands. Given enough time
indoctrination, the Filipino has been known to bow to anyone.

With the Americans beaten back and their eventual abandonment, the
remaining resisting Filipinos were won over. The landmark years of
1945-1946, showed a nation in transition towards true independence.

Of course, there were rumors of atrocities. But with the end of the
war, the Emperor troubled by these rumors requested an investigation
from General Yamashita. The major part of the blame was eventually
found to be from the several Korean draftee battalions, who committed
countless atrocities. Recruited from the dregs of society during the
early days of the war when the need for men was desperate, they
continued to act barbarously in uniform. Of course, all of them were
executed and reparations were made to the survivors. There were also
executions of Japanese troops and officers who had not held to the code
of the warrior. This went a long way to the easing of relations between
the Philippines and Japan, and also added to the Co-prosperity Sphere's
reputation. For what government can boast of holding War Crimes Trials
of its own soldiers? Not the Americans nor the British or the Russians(*).

(*) Real world propaganda propagated during the 60s. Korean draftee
battalions were blamed for the Japanese excesses so as to make the
thought of accepting Japanese business in the Philippines easier. The meme
slowly weakened, but it's still there. Kinda like the memes that the
Church was not the primary cause of Philippine suffering or that the Pope
was always infallible(**).

(**) Papal infallibility was declared only in the year 1894. That means
everything that the Popes did before 1894 were possibly wrong under
the eyes of God. ^_^

However an unfortunate side effect of this investigation was the
despising of Korean immigrants that was dominant during the 1960s and
1970s, which resulted in several lynchings. But that is long gone now.

The end of the war also signalled the change of mode for the
Imperial Army. It was now officially declared the army of the Greater
East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere and its mandate of defense against
external threats was set. They were there to help the local governments
of the respective member countries in keeping law and order. The needs
of the army opened itself to recruits from member nations, so that by
1950 there was a Filipino battallion in its ranks(*).

(*) Classic indoctrination techniques by a colonial power, used by the
Spanish and the Americans in the Philippines.

Economic aid was sent from Japan to all member countries, the
Emperor's only request that the members pay in kind and we did. In oil
and raw materials, the Philippines became both the greatest supplier
and the breadbasket of Japan. What the Philippines got out of it was
increased aid, which eased the life of the ordinary citizen and
guaranteed security of social stability(*).

(*) Standard of living though higher also curtailed several personal
freedoms that were only returned after the last of the Showa militarists
died in the 70s.

But there was a problem and by the 1950s it had become most evident.

The Philippines was too large for efficient governmental

1950s: The Division

The Great Division, as it became to be called, was suggested by
several Japanese statesmen to the Philippine government on February 25,
1951. At first, the though of dividing the Philippines was
inconceivable but it became obvious that a centralized government like
that was currently in place would be the downfall of the Republic.

Thus, on June 12, 1951, a National Convention was called that
heralded the breaking up of the Republic into three distinct geo-
sociolinguistic parts: The Luzon/Tagalog Protectorate, The Visayan
Protectorate and the Mindanao Protectorate(*). Each protectorate had the
same constitution and functioned like a country, answerable only to the
Co-prosperity Sphere Council based in Kyoto, Japan.

(*) What the Spanish and the Americans should have done considering
the Filipino penchant for tribalism/regionalism.

This incredible act of division made possible the economic miracle
that the island protectorates are nowadays. The Filipino traits of
regionalism, loyalty and camaraderie combined with Japanese know-how
enabled the creation of something stronger than the sum of all parts(*).

(*) Studies have shown that bureacratic speed and efficiency would be
tripled if true independence were given to the Visayas and Mindanao.
The regions are practically self-supporting as it is.

1960s: The Changing of the Guard

While all of this was underway, there was a subtle change coming
all over the Sphere itself. The mass diaspora of Korean and Chinese
immigrants caused by the Atomic War, as the short conflict against the
Russo-chinese juggernaut, along with the Filipino penchant for cultural
crosspollination was affecting the Japanese mindset(*).

(*) The Filipino cultural baggage is a virus as virulent as a Sumerian

A symbol of this is my own field of work. Tezuka Osamu's work was
heavily influenced by the Filipino artists and works he had met on a
trip to the Philippine islands during his two-year military tenure.
Korean and Chinese manga artists were already working in Tokyo for the
underground presses. One of my favorite symbols of this exchange
between cultures was when Osamu Tezuka's character, Tetsuwan Atom,
first opens his eyes. Four scientists greet each other on their
success, a Filipino, Korean, Chinese and, of course, their project
leader, a Japanese. The Filipino was soon to take a center stage in
Japanese popular culture for the next few decades as evidenced by
Pilita Corales and her smash tour of Japan, and continuing Filipino
characters in manga and anime, like Scientific Ninja Team Gatchaman,
Voltes V, Neo Genesis Evangelion and Angel Ace(*).

(*) The resulting art style would not be manga per se, but rather imagine
a more realistic/western style being mixed with Japanese simplicity.

This sort of cultural shifting was speeded along by the Imperial
Army. The required two-year tenure for any Japanese citizen became a
two-year tour of all the countries of the Sphere, not just a duty to
one's country and the Emperor. Some soldiers, like my father, met and
married their wives, to the horror of some parents(*).

(*) Miscegenation between the colonizer and the colonized is inevitable.

While Communism and Capitalism battled each other through India,
the Co-prosperity Sphere was melding with each other and generally
getting along. Of course, the Huk and other guerilla groups were
active, but the Imperial Army finally put a stop to them in the mid-

(*) Rather totally. Crucifixion and decapitation is still part of the penal

As a result of this, a new brand of politician entered the stage in
Japan and other member countries. Truly cosmopolitan, they were
familiar with other cultures and were open to change, replacing the
politicians of the military era(*).

(*) Meaning more focused on economic domination than military

This was the landmark era when the Co-prosperity Sphere opened its
markets to the world of free trade and relations with America were
reestablished, prompted by Filipino politicians(*).

(*) Thus making the Philippines, the logical site for the transactions very
rich. Not to mention the politicians themselves.

1970s: Activism

Student activism became the byword of the '70s(*). With the ascension
of a new Emperor, some changes were apt to be needed, also becaus of
the changing world scene. China was opening to trade and the American
reconnection, students were demanding more of their governments and
thus the General Council.

(*) Surprisingly enough the 60s-70s was concurrent with student activism
worldwide. A new generation becoming socially aware and feeling the
birth pangs of a new culture.

These student protests had several effects here in the island
protectorates. The protectorates themselves became officially
quinlingual: Tagalog as lingua franca in the islands, Nihongo as lingua
franca in the Sphere, English as lingua franca in the world, Spanish as
a part of our cultural history and of course, the regional languages of
Bicolano, Ilocano, Ilonggo, Cebuano were officially accorded by their
respective protectorates as the regional languages, all of them being
taught. Thus it is understandable that most Filipinos are polyglots and
highly sought for in positions all over the world(*). Another result of
the student protests was the modification of the educational system and
the repeal of laws left over from the war years.

(*)Filipinos are psychologically more likely to be polyglots than any
other modern race. The deep structures of the Filipino brain are inundated
in at least several languages before puberty hits, making it linguistically

1980s and 1990s: The Boom

What can I say of the 80s and the 90s? They were boring but they
made us all quite rich. Except for the occasional disaster, like the
Kobe earthquake, the Pinatubo eruption and several others, the
Philippine protectorates still manage to keep themselves right after
Japan in term of economic development. As a part of what my cousin
calls the "parasite economy", I would say we have ourselves quite well,
if the indication of everyone buying manga and watching anime in the
protectorates can be said to say something(*).

(*) The Japanese did it right. Comics should be issued in phone book
sized antholigies every three months, capice?

Ravelos' and Ikegami's Zuma, Darna and other Filipino characters
are classics in both Hiwaga and Shonen Jump. The Miyazaki/Dimaano
"Angel Ace" was a top-grosser in 1996 plus we had dozens of other
projects that flew high, like "Mananabas", "Maskara" and others. Plus
Filipinos still get exposure in the entertainment industry. Nakamura
Rica(*) is a really big actress both in Japan and Luzon, plus other
members of the Sphere. Tan Ami, a Filipino-chinese, was a main
character in Pretty Soldier Sailormoon. Jolina is a hit in Akihabara(**).

(*) Rica Peralejo is at least part Japanese.
(**) Jolina would be a big hit as an idoru.(***) ^_^
(***) If you think this is a compliment then you have obviously been
slacking off and not reading enough. )-:

But the most indicative and landmark event that I could say as an
anime fan, is when Kenshin Himura met Rizal Jose in the anime series
Rurouni Kenshin(*). That was so cool! I can honestly say that I'm
proud I have Filipino blood in my veins!

(*) Jose Rizal lived in Japan for a period of three months and got
himself a Japanese girlfriend. He mastered Nihongo in a week and
went all over the place.

I'm just sharing this, because it's well-written and I'm curious as to what everyone thinks about the possibility of Japan surviving World War II with nukes.
The use of suicide-nukes, whether delivered by plane or carefully buried mines in necessary chokepoints, would absolutely devastate American battle plans. If we can't attack them by land, and they manage to nuke even one battle group by sea (and they certainly would), we'd have no clear win strategy. With almost a full year between the Japanese deployment of nuclear weapons and our own use, the Japanese could easily make good many of their losses in the previous year, before we were able to return the favour.

The real trick is getting a negotiated peace. Japan with nuclear weapons would have very serious difficulty accepting anything less than our total capitulation, which clearly isn't in the cards.
JimmyJimJam said:
The whole thing is pretty absurd. While we are giving WWII Japan nukes, lets give nukes to WWI Serbia.

Why is successful Japanese nuclear research absurd? Unlikely without significant alteration, yes, but Japan was certainly engaged in such a project; had it been begun earlier, funded better, and not split between two separate groups, it is not inconceivable that success would have been achieved.

I will admit, however, that a likely (as opposed to somewhat plausible) scenario requires considerably more divergence. If, for example, Japan realized well before the outbreak of war that America was insurmountable by conventional warfare (which itself requires great alteration in governmental power structure), it's not unlikely that Nishina and Arakatsu could have acquired much earlier government funding for a bomb project, and used it against American forces much later than OTL Pearl Harbor, perhaps even after the conclusion of war in the European theatre.
I didn't write this, but anyhow:

After browsing through the mailing list archives, I have noticed
several disrepancies in the differing histories of our worlds and have
succesfully pinpointed some of the seemingly trivial details of history
here, like the early discovery of a large uranium deposit in the
Manchurian protectorate and the freely open exchange of information
between Japanese and German physicists in the early days of the war did
not occur in some of the other Diverses.

How close to completion of the atomic project were the Germans? Maybe they were better prepared in this TL, or they treated their scientists better.

I have pinpointed these as the mathstick points of my Diverse's
history but the latchkey change seems to be the early testing at the
Konan facility in Korea of the atomic bomb and the annihilation of
majority the American fleet at Leyte Gulf on October 25, 1944 as a
result of "Kusanagi", a kamikaze-type bomb plane piloted by Tsukuro
Shinichi, the first time a nuclear weapon was used in war(*).

(*) In our timeline, the Japanese Atomic Bomb project made its first
test explosion off the Korean Peninsula a day or so after the Hiroshima
explosion. Obviously, these guys did it earlier.

In OTL... the Japanese atomic project succeeded?
The Japanese actually managed to build a nuke during WWII? I didn't know that. Are you sure? :confused: Are for the scenario mentioned above, lets that Japan managed to build a primative atomic device in time for the start of Kamikaze operations at the end of the war, one or two such attacks would have stopped that Americans dead in their tracks.
Japan uses its limited (At best what.. 3-4 bombs?) atom bomb supply to stymie the US island hopping campaign.

Its too late to make a real war-winning difference.
The SEAC front continues, grinding the Japanese out of south east asia as per OTL.
The Soviet offensive moves through Manchuria and into Korea, unlikely they are going to be held. (Now if the Soviets found the atom bomb plants/plans intact.. now that could be.. interesting) Might threaten the alliance depending on how much influence the US accepts the USSR having in China.

Japan is continued to be bombed and starved into submission and you still get the atom bombing in 1945. Possibly a joint invasion plan if Japanese surrender isn't apparent that splits the key islands in two.. (North and South Japan perhaps)
Forum Lurker said:
Why is successful Japanese nuclear research absurd?


Money. Oh and the other reasons are money, money, money, and money.

Why do you think Britain sent over all that data on 'tube alloys' early in '42? They couldn't afford the project and neither could the Japanese. Hell, the Nazis only got as far as a poorly designed reactor in '45 thanks to a (deliberately?) bad guesstimate of the cross section of neutron absorbtion for various materials.

Unlikely without significant alteration, yes, but Japan was certainly engaged in such a project...

Blackboard thought experiments and table top physics is a long, long way from Trinity. The biggest hurdles facing the Manhattan Project wasn't whether the Bomb was feasible. Rather it was manufacturing enough fissionable materials (both U235 and the Pu isotope), calculating the implosion method for Fat Man, and designing the firing circuit for both Little Boy and Fat Man. Tell me how the Japanese can afford to build and operate both Hanaford and Oak Ridge and I'll gladly listen.

Even with the effort put into the centrifuges and gas diffusion piping at Oak Ridge; can you grasp the idea of miles of each?, and the Pu breeder reactors at Hanaford, the US had FOUR bombs available in 1945; one for Trinity, two for the Japs, and one that wasn't used. 1946 added perhaps another THREE to that list. There simply weren't enough fissionable materials to be had.

The US had easy access to uranium ores from the Congo, ores that were either refined for Little Man or used to create plutonium for Fat Boy. Where are the Japanese going to get the same ores? It isn't as if uranium was a commonly mined substance in the 30s and 40s.

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Strategos' Risk said:
The whole point of this ATL I've found is that the Japanese discover an uranium source is Manchukuo.


Then they still have to build either an Oak Ridge to separate out the 235 or a Hanaford to use the uranium to make plutonium. You just don't shovel pitchblend in a bomb after all. Having the ore is only the beginning.

It also means that they, despite knowing that certain materials can fission, need to do the research required to settle on 235 and the plutonium isotope as their best bet (as late as '45 the Nazis were thinking something involving heavy water). Once the materials are selected, they then work out the production techniques and build the massive industrial plants required to produce 235 and the Pu isotope.

I'm not saying it can't be done. Am I saying that it is a hell of a lot of work. And no one but the US got within a country mile of doing it by 1945 despite the fact that fission was general knowledge among the scientific community.



I think its possible with a early enough POD of Japan going for it way before anyone else does, giving it a big enough head start. Unlikely but certainly not impossible. Japan did quite a few things no one else bothered with properly. Their torpedo technology while everyone else focused just on big guns comes to mind.

That is true. Japan was a bit of a hermit kingdom during the period. Just as the Long Lance torpedo was kept secret (so secret that the USN didn't want to believe it even when they found one on a beach in the Solomons!), the Japanese were even able to build Yamato and Mushashi without anyone having any real idea of just what kind of battleships those two vessels were. Japan was also able to keep the activities of their horrific bio-chem warfare research unit in Manchuria largely quiet and that unit used local villages as experimental subjects. However, I believe the Japanese would have trouble hiding their versions of Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, and Hanaford. The last two were rather huge industrial sites.

They'd have trouble hiding the scientists too.

In the 1930s, the phrases 'atomic/nuclear research' and 'atomic/nuclear researcher' did not have the level of dread and security attached to them that they do in our post-Hiroshima world. Scientists engaged in that work were not cloistered by their respective governments and freely shared information with each other. Part of the reason Einstein was approached to write that famous letter to FDR was that researchers in Germany who had been previously in contact with colleagues in the West had suddenly gone silent or no longer shared anything but the most general information.

(This espionage by 'examining what is no longer there' worked in other areas too. The Nazis firmly beleived that the Allies had nerve gasses because of the sudden lack of any papers published in US chemistry journals, papers that dealt with certain areas of research necessary for nerve gasses. The truth was that the US had censored the journals but for insecticide research not because of nerve gas research. Insecticide was a big part of the Pacific War effort.)

As others have pointed out, Japan did have nuclear researchers and Japan did engage in nuclear research during WW2. In the waning of the war in Europe, the Nazis een tried shipping the Japanese nuclear materials by submarine. Just like the German ones, Japanese nuclear scientists were well known to and corresponded regularly with their Western counterparts. If they had faded behind the security a Japanese Manhattan Project required, scientist's in the West would have noticed just as they noticed in the case of Nazi Germany(1). Thus, Einstein's letter to FDR would have either mentioned Japan too or been sent earlier or both.

Again, I'm not saying a Japanese bomb is ASB territory. Indeed, I believe ti is plausible. What I am saying is that it requires a lot of work, requires many PODs than we normally think, and requires PODs further back in time than the 1930s.


1 - Fortunately, those 'missing' German researchers were working on things other than the Bomb.
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The POD necessary for a Japanese atomic bomb is the decision to go with Liquid Thermal Diffusion using electrical heating instead of starving the project and using steam heating as we did in the American Manhattan project.
Having the American Manhattan project run by a civil engineer instead of a chemical engineer was a contributing factor in that decision.

Live steam, steam nozzle jet vibrations, welded joints, and UF6 do not play together well.

Plutonium bombs are much more difficult to build than Uranium 235 bombs. You can use a Hiroshima type gun design with Uranium and do not have to develop implosion designs as with Plutonium.
If Japan is going to get Nukes it needs to start the war when they are close to having them. So if the Japanese start in ernest in 1940 with one team and fund them as much as they can, I would beleive they could have them in 1947. You have to understand that Japan had much less inustrial capacity than America, Germany, British Empire/Commonwealth or the Soviet Union. So they need to bide their time, or at least something has to make them Withdrawl from parts of China. So lets say that Roosevelt agrees for some reason to directly negotiate with the Japanese at a conference in Honolulu. The Japanese agree to withdraw from all of China excetpting Manchuria and then island of Hainan, but they also gain a sphere of influence in the Shandong penisula. Japan stays at peace biding its time. 1944 roles around and the Germans have finally been expelled from Africa and Sicily by British forces, and the SU is reaching the Dneipr. The US is still technically neutral but is now completely supplying the Allies with weapons, tanks, planes, and other neccesities, as well has patrolling large sections of the Atlantic. In 1942 Japan attacks Vichy Indochina, annexing it to the Japanese Empire. Churchill urges Roosevelt to let it slide, as a war in the Pacific would prove to me a unneccesary drain on the British attempt to liberate Europe. The Phillipines are granted their independence on July 4th, 1944. In the 1944 election Henry Wallace loses against the Republican Dewey, who cuts back on aide to the Soviet Union. The Allies are near exhausted, and the SU is hurting without American Aide, though there not loosing ground. Seeing a chance to take what they have desired for so long, Japan attacks the new Filipino Republic on Febuary 13th, 1945, occupying the islands in lighting speed.

Will continue.
Using Liquid Thermal Diffusion instead of Gaseous Pressure Diffusion (like we did) or Electromagnetic separation does not take machining capability (points for explaining why). Japan had huge amounts of spare hydroelectric capability in what is now North Korea (they used electrolytic separation for their nitrogen fixation plants, which is why they had the heavy water byproduct) and that is the limiting factor for LTD capability.
Gun type weapons are not difficult to make and test. Not like implosion weapons.
Delivery systems incapability is why they still would have lost the war.
Yeah, if your right, I think they would have put the bombs on islands like Iwo Jima, and when the americans had almost over ran the island, detonating the nuke. But I really dont see the Japanese beating the Americans to the Nuke. The need to start way earlier.
Justin Green said:
Yeah, if your right, I think they would have put the bombs on islands like Iwo Jima, and when the americans had almost over ran the island, detonating the nuke. But I really dont see the Japanese beating the Americans to the Nuke. The need to start way earlier.
That's probably their best bet. They would have to have started at least two years earlier, in 1939 instead of 1941, if they wanted to beat America to the bomb. That's when the first reports of fission came out.
The other earlier POD is a smart Japanese guy reading Noddack's letture to Naturwisschenshaftin in 1936 and discovering fission instead of Joliot-Curie.
Project SPHINX

guys remember that the US military while drafting plans for OLYMPIC intended to incorporate the use of poison gas against the Japanese home islands under Project SPHINX- as stated in CODENAME DOWNFALL, Gen George Lincoln and other high-level planners were intending to launch nerve gas B29 bombings of Nagasaki, Hiroshima and some 25 other major Japanese cities had 'Fat Man' and 'Little Boy' not been employed in Aug 1945, thereby effectively turning Japan into a chem wasteland. So, if in a TL where japan possesses functional nukes before the Americans, how much more would the US utilise its own retaliatory chem warfare strikes ?

I also agree that had Japan developed its nuclear program as systematically as the US had, then their employment of a nuke isn't outside the realms of possibility...