The Committee further advised that:
The JIC pointed out, however, that a Russian decision to join with the U.S. and Britain would have enormous force--and would dramatically alter the equation:
The committee also stressed the judgment that:
The next day--in an exuberant letter to his wife (made public in 1983)--Truman wrote that with the Russian declaration of war
This official document judged that Russia's early August entry into the war
The study concluded that well before the bombings even an initial November 1945 landing on the island of Kyushu was only a "remote" possibility--and that the full invasion of Japan in the spring of 1946 would not have occurred. (See p. 85, Chapter 7)
When the Committee convened to select cities for atomic attack in May, it included only those cities which not only were still largely intact but which were also "likely to be unattacked by next August"--and, further, "which the Air Forces would be willing to reserve for our use unless unforeseen circumstances arise." (See p. 523, Chapter 42)
Although there was a military base in Hiroshima, this had little to do with targeting instructions. There was no significant military base at Nagasaki.
Few analysts have noticed that the Interim Committee recommendation was not actually followed. In fact, the way in which the bombing was planned--and carried out--specifically avoided significant war plants. The subject came up at the Target Committee meeting of May 28--and, as the minutes show:
- Grew's repeated efforts--beginning in late May--have long been documented. (See Chapters 3, 4, 5, and 6)
- Secretary of War Stimson--in a memorandum of July 2--offered Truman his considered recommendation that if assurances were given:
- The Joint Staff Planners advised the Joint Chiefs:
- Truman was personally approached and urged to clarify the surrender formula in one way or another prior to the issuance of the Potsdam Proclamation:
(See pp. 300-301 [and reference notes], Chapter 23)
- As noted, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff also asked the British Chiefs of Staff to persuade Prime Minister Churchill to approach President Truman about the surrender formula.
The Post stressed that the two words "remain a great stumbling block to any propaganda effort and the perpetual trump card of the Japanese die-hards for their game of national suicide."
White's move was supported immediately by Senator Capehart of Indiana--who called a press conference the same day to state:
- President Truman's journal shows he knew the Proclamation could not be accepted by the Japanese. (See p. 303, Chapter 24)
- The position of the Emperor was accepted five days after Hiroshima was bombed. (See pp. 416-420, Chapter 34)
Guide: Part III
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