The Art of Tetman Callis The Second World War Who decided who lives and dies

Who decided who lives and dies

“I was brought into the secret of the atomic bomb because [Admiral] Nimitz insisted that his intelligence officer be fully briefed as to what was going on. This occurred when Major General Leslie Groves, the Manhattan Project’s director, arrived with representatives of the secretary of war’s ad hoc committee shortly after the first atomic bomb had been exploded in Alamogordo, New Mexico, on 16 July [1945]. After we had watched the movies of the Alamogordo test, I was convinced that if the bomb worked, it would give the Japanese a psychological ‘out’ from the terrible dilemma they were facing. Although they were defeated and knew it, they just could not surrender. I told the team from Washington that it was my firm opinion that only a decisive intervention from the emperor would end the war. The atomic bomb represented a new kind of warfare. It would give the emperor the chance to ‘turn off the faucet’ on the slaughter and end the war without loss of face. When I was asked my opinion of an appropriate target, I named Okura, an army arsenal city that had not yet been raided. Hiroshima, however, was selected.” – Rear Admiral Edwin T. Layton, U.S.N. (Ret.), And I Was There

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