Every year at this time, I trace the final days leading up to the
first (and so far only) use of the atomic bomb against cities, Hiroshima
and Nagasaki, Japan, in August 1945. This is a subject
that I have studied and written about in hundreds of articles and three
books (including Atomic Cover-up
and Hollywood Bomb) since the early 1980s with a special emphasis
on the aftermath of the bombings, and the government and media
suppression in the decades after.
Yesterday's lengthy entry, including Gen. Eisenhower opposing using the bomb against Japan. Today:
July 22, 1945: Still at Potsdam, Secretary of War Stimson meets with Prime Minister Churchill, who says that he was baffled by President Truman's sudden change in getting tough, almost bullying, with Stalin--but after he learned of successful first A-bomb test at Trinity he understood and endorsed it.
also cheered by "accelerated" timetable for use of the bomb against
cities--with first weapon ready about August 6. Stimson in diary notes that two top officials endorse his
striking off the city of Kyoto (which he had visited and loved) from the target list because of its cultural importance.
The U.S. learns through its "Magic" intercepts that Japan is sending a special emissary to the Soviet Union to try to get them to broker a peace with the U.S. as soon as possible (the Japanese don't know the Russians are getting ready to declare war on them in two weeks). Of course, as we noted earlier, Truman--who wrote in his diary it meant "Fini Japs" when the Soviets entered war--now hoped to use the bomb before then.