Perhaps it was the time when the atomic bomb had fallen on Colchester.
It was enough to blow the Party to atoms, if in some way it could have been published to the world and its significance made known.
That was in another hidlng-place known to Julia, the belfry of a ruinous church in an almost-deserted stretch of country where an atomic bomb had fallen thirty years earlier.
All three powers merely continue to produce atomic bombs and store them up against the decisive opportunity which they all believe will come sooner or later.
The effect was to convince the ruling groups of all countries that a few more atomic bombs would mean the end of organized society, and hence of their own power.
What is more remarkable is that all three powers already possess, in the atomic bomb, a weapon far more powerful than any that their present researches are likely to discover.
Although the Party, according to its habit, claims the invention for itself, atomic bombs first appeared as early as the nineteen-forties, and were first used on a large scale about ten years later.
During this time rockets loaded with atomic bombs can be assembled at all the strategic spots; finally they will all be fired simultaneously, with effects so devastating as to make retaliation impossible.
Certain backward areas have advanced, and various devices, always in some way connected with warfare and police espionage, have been developed, but experiment and invention have largely stopped, and the ravages of the atomic war of the nineteen-fifties have never been fully repaired.
There are no more uses of "atom" in the book.
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The world was forever changed when we learned to split the atom.
By 1942, however, we knew that the Germans were working feverishly to find a way to add atomic energy to all the other engines of war with which they hoped to enslave the world.