There are bombs, and there are bombs: Hiroshima
August 6, 1945 15 kiloton atomic bomb killed 90-100k immediately, 140k died from
complications by end of 1945.
August 9, 1945 atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki killed 35-40k immediately, and 75,000 by the
end of 1945.
Hiroshima and Royan
Should we have dropped the atomic bomb on Japan?
Spring 1944 – top Japanese officials anticipated the war and began discussing ways of ending it.
February of 1945 – the Emperor was told by a group of statesmen that defeat was certain and
that peace should be sought at once, by march a specific peace overture was under cabinet
April 1945 – American forces landed on Okinawa.
-The Kioso government was replaced by Suzuki who took office with the specific idea of
ending the war as quickly as possible and who undertook approaches to Russian Ambassador
Malik about interceding for peace.
-President Roosevelt dies, Truman takes office, and was told about Manhattan project.
-An Interim Committee was set up to determine the use of the bomb.
June 1945 – Okinawa was taken.
-The Emperor of Japan told a new Inner War Council to plan to end the war.
-The Interim Committee advised Truman to use the bomb as quickly as possible, on a dual
civilian-military target and without warning.
-Report was compiled urging that we not drop the bomb on Japan, and was rejected.
July 1945 – US intercepts secret cable from Togo to Russian Sato asking him to get the Soviets to
end the war short of unconditional surrender.
-Test bomb explodes in New Mexico word was sent to Truman who was at the Potsdam
Conference, which began the next day July 14, 1945.
-The Potsdam Declaration of July 26
called for unconditional surrender, not mentioning
the Emperor, whose status was of primary concern to the Japanese.
-The Japanese cabinet discussed unconditional surrender, while the bomb was dropped
on Hiroshima the 6
-While the Japanese were meeting and moving towards acceptance of Potsdam terms, the
Russians declared war August 8
, and the second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki the 9
-The emperor accepts deal August 14
The U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey said:
-That certainly prior to December 31, 1945 and in all probability prior to November 1,
1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if
Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.
Robert Jungk said: