Leslie Groves

Leslie Groves Assists Film on "Making of the Atomic Bomb"

Leslie Groves Assists Film on "Making of the Atomic Bomb"


Typed Letter Signed, to Leslie R. Groves, April 21, 1970, Richmond, England. 1 p., 7" x 9". Very good. Endorsed by Groves in his distinctive writing, "Ans Apr 27 OK".



“I am producing for American and British television a major documentary on the story of the making of the atom bomb to mark the 25th anniversary this summer of its successful completion. It is also extremely likely that the finished film will be shown in many other countries around the world. With this in mind, I wonder whether I might seek your help – in particular whether I might call upon you for a chat when I am in the United States in the near future.”


Historical Background

In 1970, Batty produced a fifty-two-minute documentary entitled The Atomic Bomb: The Dawn of the Nuclear Age!  In 1975, he followed up with a second documentary of the same length entitled The Hydrogen Bomb: The Ultimate Weapon of Destruction!



Peter Batty (b. 1931) is a British television writer, director, and producer specializing in historical programs. He was a feature writer for the Financial Times in London. He wrote a history of the American Civil War published in 1999 and developed a five-part documentary film based on that work.


Leslie R. Groves Jr. (1896-1970) was a United States Army General with the Corps of Engineers who oversaw the construction of the Pentagon and directed the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb during World War II. Born in New York to a Protestant pastor who became an army chaplain, Groves graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1918 in a course shortened because of World War I. He entered the Corps of Engineers and gained promotions to major by 1940. In 1941, he was charged with overseeing the construction of the Pentagon, the largest office building in the world, with more than five million square feet. Disappointed that he had not received a combat assignment, Groves instead took charge of the Manhattan Project, designed to develop an atomic bomb. He continued nominally to supervise the Pentagon project to avoid suspicion, gained promotion to brigadier general, and began his work in September 1942. The project headquarters was initially in the War Department building in Washington, but in August 1943, moved to Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He and physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer selected the site in Los Alamos, New Mexico, for a laboratory, and Groves pushed successfully for Oppenheimer to be placed in charge. Groves was in charge of obtaining critical uranium ores internationally and collecting military intelligence on Axis atomic research. Promoted to major general in March 1944, Groves received the Distinguished Service Medal for his work on the Manhattan Project after the war. In 1947, Groves became chief of the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project. He received a promotion to lieutenant general in January 1948, just days before meeting with Army Chief of Staff Dwight D. Eisenhower, who reviewed a long list of complaints against Groves. Assured that he would not become Chief of Engineers, Groves retired in February 1948. From 1948 to 1961, he was a vice president of Sperry Rand, an equipment and electronics firm. After retirement, he served as president of the West Point alumni association and wrote a book on the Manhattan Project, published in 1962.


Ex. Leslie Groves Family, Christies Auction.



Item: 65831

Price: $450.00
Leslie GrovesLeslie Groves
Leslie Groves
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