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 entry. Today:
July 24: Truman at Potsdam discloses the existence of the
atomic bomb to Stalin (who had possibly
already been informed about it by his spies). In his memoirs, a
decade later, Truman would describe it briefly this way: "On July 24 I
casually mentioned to Stalin that we had a new weapon
of unusual destructive force. The Russian Premier showed no special
interest. All he said was he was glad to hear it and hoped we would
make 'good use of it against the Japanese.'" American officials present
would assert that Stalin failed to grasp the import of the new weapon in
future world affairs. But a Soviet official with the Stalin party
later claimed that Stalin immediately ordered his scientists to speed up
work on their own weapon. See views of Churchill and others who witnessed the telling.
Gen. Groves drafts the directive authorizing the use of the atomic bombs
soon as bomb availability and weather permit. It lists the following
in order of priority: Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigata, and Nagasaki. They are all large cities and orders are to drop bombs over center of them, thereby dooming tens of thousands of civilians for death. This
directive constitutes final authorization for atomic attack--no
orders are issued. Indeed, there would never be a separate order,
even by Truman, to use the second bomb against Japan--it just rolled
off, as if from atomic assembly line.