American Military Leaders Urge President Truman not to Drop the Atomic Bomb



Download 27.01 Kb.
Date29.04.2016
Size27.01 Kb.
American Military Leaders Urge President Truman
 not to Drop the Atomic Bomb


  • The Joint Chiefs of Staff never formally studied the decision and never made an official recommendation to the President. Brief informal discussions may have occurred, but no record even of these exists. There is no record whatsoever of the usual extensive staff work and evaluation of alternative options by the Joint Chiefs, nor did the Chiefs ever claim to be involved.

  • In official internal military interviews, diaries and other private as well as public materials, literally every top U.S. military leader involved subsequently stated that the use of the bomb was not dictated by military necessity.

Navy Leaders

  • In his memoirs Admiral William D. Leahy, the President's Chief of Staff--and the top official who presided over meetings of both the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Combined U.S.-U.K. Chiefs of Staff--minced few words:

      • [T]he use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender. . . .

      • [I]n being the first to use it, we . . . adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children. (See p. 3, Introduction)

      • Privately, on June 18, 1945--almost a month before the Emperor's July intervention to seek an end to the war and seven weeks before the atomic bomb was used--Leahy recorded in his diary:

      • It is my opinion at the present time that a surrender of Japan can be arranged with terms that can be accepted by Japan and that will make fully satisfactory provisions for America's defense against future trans-Pacific aggression.

 

Source: http://www.colorado.edu/AmStudies/lewis/2010/atomicdec.htm




American Military Leaders Urge President Truman
 not to Drop the Atomic Bomb


  • The Joint Chiefs of Staff never formally studied the decision and never made an official recommendation to the President. Brief informal discussions may have occurred, but no record even of these exists. There is no record whatsoever of the usual extensive staff work and evaluation of alternative options by the Joint Chiefs, nor did the Chiefs ever claim to be involved.

  • In official internal military interviews, diaries and other private as well as public materials, literally every top U.S. military leader involved subsequently stated that the use of the bomb was not dictated by military necessity.


Air Force Leaders


  • The commanding general of the U.S. Army Air Forces, Henry H. "Hap" Arnold, gave a strong indication of his views in a public statement only eleven days after Hiroshima was attacked. Asked on August 17 by a New York Times reporter whether the atomic bomb caused Japan to surrender, Arnold said:

      • The Japanese position was hopeless even before the first atomic bomb fell, because the Japanese had lost control of their own air.

      • In his 1949 memoirs Arnold observed that "it always appeared to us that, atomic bomb or no atomic bomb, the Japanese were already on the verge of collapse."

Source: http://www.colorado.edu/AmStudies/lewis/2010/atomicdec.htm



American Military Leaders Urge President Truman
 not to Drop the Atomic Bomb


  • The Joint Chiefs of Staff never formally studied the decision and never made an official recommendation to the President. Brief informal discussions may have occurred, but no record even of these exists. There is no record whatsoever of the usual extensive staff work and evaluation of alternative options by the Joint Chiefs, nor did the Chiefs ever claim to be involved.

  • In official internal military interviews, diaries and other private as well as public materials, literally every top U.S. military leader involved subsequently stated that the use of the bomb was not dictated by military necessity.

Army Leaders

  • On the 40th Anniversary of the bombing former President Richard M. Nixon reported that:

      • [General Douglas] MacArthur once spoke to me very eloquently about it, pacing the floor of his apartment in the Waldorf. He thought it a tragedy that the Bomb was ever exploded. MacArthur believed that the same restrictions ought to apply to atomic weapons as to conventional weapons, that the military objective should always be limited damage to noncombatants. . . . MacArthur, you see, was a soldier. He believed in using force only against military targets, and that is why the nuclear thing turned him off. . . .

  • The day after Hiroshima was bombed MacArthur's pilot, Weldon E. Rhoades, noted in his diary:

      • General MacArthur definitely is appalled and depressed by this Frankenstein monster [the bomb]. I had a long talk with him today, necessitated by the impending trip to Okinawa. . . . (See p. 350, Chapter 28)

  • Former President Herbert Hoover met with MacArthur alone for several hours on a tour of the Pacific in early May 1946. His diary states:

      • I told MacArthur of my memorandum of mid-May 1945 to Truman, that peace could be had with Japan by which our major objectives would be accomplished. MacArthur said that was correct and that we would have avoided all of the losses, the Atomic bomb, and the entry of Russia into Manchuria.

Source: http://www.colorado.edu/AmStudies/lewis/2010/atomicdec.htm

 

[Excerpted from "Harry S. Truman: Advancing the Revolution," in Reassessing the Presidency: The Rise of the Executive State and the Decline of Freedom, John Denson, ed.]


The most spectacular episode of Harry Truman's presidency will never be forgotten but will be forever linked to his name: the atomic bombings of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and of Nagasaki three days later. Probably around two hundred thousand persons were killed in the attacks and through radiation poisoning; the vast majority were civilians, including several thousand Korean workers. Twelve US Navy fliers incarcerated in a Hiroshima jail were also among the dead.[1]

Great controversy has always surrounded the bombings. One thing Truman insisted on from the start was that the decision to use the bombs, and the responsibility it entailed, was his. Over the years, he gave different, and contradictory, grounds for his decision. Sometimes he implied that he had acted simply out of revenge. To a clergyman who criticized him, Truman responded testily,

Nobody is more disturbed over the use of Atomic bombs than I am but I was greatly disturbed over the unwarranted attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor and their murder of our prisoners of war. The only language they seem to understand is the one we have been using to bombard them.[2]






Winston Churchill    Former Prime Minister of U.K.

Agree

There were those who considered that the atomic bomb should never have been used at all. I cannot associate myself with such ideas… I am surprised that very worthy people—but people who in most cases had no intention of proceeding to the Japanese front themselves—should adopt a position that rather than throw this bomb we should have sacrificed a million American and a quarter of a million British lives...

Edit Pitches

01 Aug 1945    Source
Harry Truman    United States President,1945-1953

Agree

Having found the [atomic] bomb we have used it. We have used it against those who attacked us without warning at Pearl Harbor, against those who have starved and beaten and executed American prisoners of war, against those who have abandoned all pretense of obeying international laws of warfare. We have used it in order to shorten the agony of war, in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans.



Background information… from adopted text: U.S. History and Geography: Modern Times- McGraw-Hill

Page 311….



More Background Information: The Atomic Bomb: Hiroshima and Nagasaki

The Bombings

On August 6, 1945, after 44 months of increasingly brutal fighting in the Pacific, an American B-29 bomber loaded with a devastating new weapon appeared in the sky over Hiroshima, Japan. Minutes later, that new weapon—a bomb that released its enormous destructive energy by splitting uranium atoms to create a chain reaction—detonated in the sky, killing some 70,000 Japanese civilians instantly and leveling the city. Three days later, the U.S. dropped a second atomic bomb over the city of Nagasaki, with similarly devastating results. The following week, Japan’s emperor addressed his country over the radio to announce the decision to surrender. World War II had finally come to its dramatic conclusion. The decision to employ atomic weapons against Japan remains a controversial chapter in American history. Even before the new President Harry S. Truman finalized his decision to use the bombs, members of the President’s inner circle grappled with the specifics of the decision to drop the new weapon. Their concerns revolved around a cluster of related issues: whether the use of the technology was necessary to defeat an already crippled Japan; whether a similar outcome could be effected without using the bomb against civilian targets; whether the detonation of a second bomb days after the first, before Japan had time to formulate its response, was justified; and what effect the demonstration of the bomb’s devastating power would have on postwar diplomacy, particularly on America’s uneasy wartime alliance with the Soviet Union.



Source: http://teachinghistory.org/history-content/beyond-the-textbook/25484

Leaflet Dropped Over Japan (1945)

Annotation
Hours after the Hiroshima bombing, American bombers again took to the skies over Japan. This time their payloads contained not bombs but leaflets: printed warnings in Japanese cautioning those on the ground of the fearful new weapon the U.S. had deployed. Addressed to “The People of Japan,” it notified them that the United States possessed “the most destructive explosive ever devised by man,” a single one of which carried the equivalent of 2,000 bomb loads of explosive power. That “awful fact,” the leaflet read, “is one for you to ponder and we solemnly assure you it is grimly accurate.” The leaflet also indicated that the weapon had already been used once in Japan: “If you still have any doubt, make inquiry as to what happened to Hiroshima when just one atomic bomb fell on that city.” It closed by urging readers to demand a quick and peaceful end to hostilities lest the U.S. employ “this bomb and all our other superior weapons to promptly and forcefully end the war.”

Such warnings to civilian populations were not unusual during the World War II. Besides offering some moral cover to the attackers, warning leaflets had other, more practical value. They sowed fear and mistrust for the government on the ground, which was often seen as unable to provide basic air defense; and by encouraging citizens to flee the cities (the leaflet dropped on Japanese civilians after Hiroshima listed not just Nagasaki but a half-dozen other potential targets) they created enormous logistical and production challenges for the target nation: civilians fleeing urban areas clogged roads and were, by definition, not working in war industries.



Source: http://teachinghistory.org/history-content/beyond-the-textbook/25484


Share with your friends:




The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2020
send message

    Main page