WWI Photography US in London detail
WWI Photography Catalog

The Fine Print

« The Atomic Bomb, 31 July 1945: Truman's Statement on the Bombing of Hiroshima | Main | The Atomic Bomb: the Only Order to Actually Use Nuclear Weapons, 25 July 1945 »



This might be as perfect an example of the failure of a country's leadership as exists.

Perhaps the leaders of Japan knew they were doomed if they surrendered, I have no way of knowing and don't pretend to know much of the times for the average Japanese citizen.

Clearly, the failure to surrender after Hiroshima led to a failure of both Japanese and American leadership.

Regardless of the justification of the first bomb, there is no adequate justification of the second.

It is such a sad period for all of humanity, and the leaders have to bear the brunt only because they had the misfortune to be in charge in those days.

John Ptak

Thanks for your thoughts on this Rick. I am by no means an expert in this area. It seems that the "average Japanese citizen" wasn't a concern for the ruling Japanese military. I remember reading in Richard Rhodes' book (The Making of the Atomic Bomb) that when the high command met in Tokyo on 7 August that the Hiroshima bomb was not on the agenda.

There were 450 hours or so between the Trinity Test and the bombing of Hiroshima--300 hours if you took out sleep. Not much time in a savage time-pressed whirlwind in which there really wasn't much thought of not using the bomb.


The second one was necessary in order to demonstrate that the first was not a fluke nor limited to a singular event.

Thus; we proved that we had dropped the first, and as evidence to prove the point, the second, with clear intent and fore knowledge of the results and could very well repeat it, seemingly, at will.

In reality, we only had the two working bombs available. The enemy however did not know this. Once could have been luck, a second proved "capability to continue".

The second was for this reason, absolutely necessary.

Kathy Kirlin

I have one of the propaganda leaflets dropped on Hiroshima. My dad was part of the flight crew on a B-29, and participated in the dropping of the leaflets. He got this leaflet from a Japanese man he met while visiting the Arizona Memorial in the 90's on a reunion tour of the Marianas Islands. I would like to know what the leaflet says, if any one can help me with that I would appreciate it. The leaflet is double sided, with a picture of Truman on one side. More details furnished. Thanks for any help you can give me. Kathy Kirlin

The comments to this entry are closed.