8-6 Truman makes his decision to use The Bombs
SANTA FE – Every list of New Mexico's most important events includes The Bombs. They usually are listed as "most important." Below is a reprint from my World War II 60th anniversary series.
At Potsdam, President Harry Truman received the news for which he had been waiting. "Operated on this morning. Results…already exceed expectations. Dr. Groves pleased." The test at Trinity Site had worked.
Armed with this new information, Truman, who had not had a single war briefing prior to assuming the presidency three months earlier, entered the discussions with a banty-rooster confidence that astounded everyone. It was the beginning of his "Give-'em Hell Harry" routines.
He let Josef Stalin know there would be no more entreaties from the
There was some thought of a demonstration to show we had it, but we had broken Japan's Purple Code for top-level messages before the war even started and knew they knew we were in a race to see who could develop the bomb first.
Ever since we took
On a normal night's bombing run, nearly 1,000 would leave at the rate of one every 15 seconds. The bomb load was the biggest of any plane, but Gen. Curtiss LeMay kept pushing the envelope up to the point of overload. Many planes didn't make it off the ground and crashed in flames at the end of the runway.
The A bombs also were an overload so it was decided that the bomb for
The crews that dropped the atomic bombs were extremely well prepared. They spent a year in training, unaware of the purpose until just before their missions.
The training unit was called the 509th Composite Bombing Group, under the command of Col Paul Tibbetts. The group trained at Wendover Air Base in
The group was a miniature, stand-alone air force and had priority over every other unit in the military. When it moved to
On July 14, two days before "Fat Man" was tested in the
The prime target was Kokura, but a late report of prison camps in the area shifted the target to
The year of training paid off. Last-minute preparations were almost leisurely as
Before the Enola Gay's historic flight, leaflets were dropped over the four possible targets, urging all civilians to evacuate. They were ignored. Forty square miles of industrial