The Atomic Bomb: “The Year of Decisions”
Becoming a Detective:
On June 17th, 1945, President Truman writes in his personal diary, “I have to decide Japanese strategy – shall we invade Japan proper or shall we bomb and blockade? That is my hardest decision to date. But I’ll make it when I have all the facts.” To this day, many historians consider this “decision” as one of the most momentous of the 20th century.
Given the context of Truman’s recent ascension to the Presidency on April 12, 1945, and the fact that he had not been aware of the Manhattan Project prior to this time, would it have been realistic to expect him to stop the momentum underway or in fact offer an alternative Japanese strategy? In other words, did Truman decide to drop the bomb, or was the use of the atomic bomb inevitable?