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In May 1943, the Japanese fleet at the Pacific island of Truk was chosen as the first preliminary target of the U.S. atom bombs, which were expected to be ready by spring of 1945. Military planners ruled out Germany as a target, fearing that if the bomb was a dud the Germans would use it to design their own atomic weapons. The scientists who worked on the bomb believed Germany was the target until well into 1945. Some scientists left the Manhattan Project after learning that the Germans did not have a viable atomic bomb program. (May/June 1995)