President Eisenhower, in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, on December 8, 1953, stated, "Even a vast superiority in numbers of weapons, and a consequent capability of devastating material retaliation, is no preventive, of itself, against the fearful material damage and toll of human lives that would be inflicted by surprise aggression."
Harry Truman in 1945 "regarded the [atomic] bomb as a military weapon and never had any doubt it should be used." In a 1958 handwritten document on the rise of the atomic age, he later stated, "Now we are faced with total destruction. The old heckler prophets presented the idea of the destruction of the world by fire after their presentation of a destruction by water. Well that destruction is at hand unless the great leaders of the world prevent it."
In Karl Compton's "If the Atomic Bomb Had Not Been Used," he states, "The atomic bomb introduced a dramatic new element into the situation, which strengthened the hands of those [Japanese government officials] who sought peace and provided face-saving argument for those who had hitherto advocated continued war." Truman said, “The United States has built a new weapon
of great destructive power which we intend to use against Japan.”
Stalin . . . raised the matter which turned out to be the main point of our meeting. “Our allies have told us that the USA has a new weapon, the atom bomb. . . . We will no doubt have our own bomb before long. But its possession places a huge responsibility on any state. The real question is, should the countries which have the bomb simply compete with each other in its production, or should they, and any other countries that acquire it later, seek a solution that would mean the prohibition of its production and use? It’s hard at this moment to see what sort of agreement there could be, but one thing is clear: nuclear energy should only be allowed to be used for peaceful purposes.” Molotov agreed and added: “And the Americans have been doing all this work on the atom bomb without telling us.” http://www.learner.org/courses/amerhistory/pdf/OriginsColdWar_L-One.pdf
The nuclear arms race was a competition for supremacy in nuclear warfare between the United States, the Soviet Union, and their respective allies during the Cold War. During the Cold War, in addition to the American and Soviet nuclear stockpiles, other countries developed nuclear weapons, though none engaged in warhead production on nearly the same scale as the two superpowers.