Blog Archives

Truman Diary – July 1945

 

Churchill – Truman – Stalin

From: The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum

Entry:

25 Jul 1945

We met at 11 A.M. today. [That is Stalin, Churchill and the U.S. President.  Clement Attlee was also there.] But I had a most important session with Lord Mountbatten & General Marshall before that. We have discovered the most terrible bomb in the history of the world.  It may be the fire destruction prophesied in the Euphrates Valley Era, after Noah and his fabulous Ark.

Anyway we think we have found the way to cause a disintegration of the atom.  An experiment in the New Mexican desert was startling – to put it mildly. Thirteen pounds of the explosive caused the complete disintegration of a steel tower 60 feet high, created a crater 6 feet deep and 1200 feet in diameter, knocked over a steel tower 1/2 mile away and knocked men down 10,000 yards away. The explosion was visible for more than 200 miles and audible for 40 miles and more.

This weapon is to be used against Japan between now and August 10th. I have told the Sec. of War, Mr. Stimson to use it so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women and children. Even if the Japs are savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic, we as the leader of the world for the common welfare cannot drop this terrible bomb on the old Capitol or the new.

He & I are in accord. The target will be a purely military one and we will issue a warning statement asking the Japs to surrender and save lives. I’m sure they will not do that, but we will have given them the chance. It is certainly a good thing for the world that Hitler’s crowd or Stalin’s did not discover this atomic bomb. It seems to be the most terrible thing ever discovered, but it can be made the most useful.

At 10:15 I had Gen. Marshall come in and discuss with me the tactical and political situation. He is a level headed man – so is Mountbatten.

Gen. George Marshall, US Army Chief of Staff and Gen. Henry ‘Hap’ Arnold, Commanding General US Army Air Corps (NARA pic)

At the conference Poland and the Bolsheviki land grant came up. Russia liked herself to a slice of Poland and gave Poland a nice slice of Germany taking also a good slice of East Prussia for herself. Poland has moved in up to the Oder and the west Niesse, taking Stettin and Silesia as a fact accomplished. My position is that according to commitments made at Yalta by my predecessor Germany was to be divided into four occupation zones, one each for Britain, Russia and France and the U.S. If Russia chooses to allow Poland to occupy a part of her zone I am agreeable but title to territory cannot and will not be settled here. For the fourth time I’ve stated my position and explained that territorial sessions had to be made by treaty and ratified by the Senate.

We discussed reparations and movement of populations from East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Italy and elsewhere. Churchill said Maisky had so defined war booty as to include the Russi German fleet and Merchant Marine. It was a bomb shell and sort of paralyzed the Ruskies, but it has a lot of merit.

Click on images to enlarge.

##############################################################################################

Potsdam Political Humor –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

##############################################################################################

Farewell Salutes – 

William Brownsey – TX; US Army, 11th Airborne Division

Roger Cannon Jr. – UT; US Navy, WWII / US Army, Korea

Code talkers’ Monument

Edward Dietsch – Towson, MD; US Army, WWII, ETO, 12th Armored Division, Medic

James Hampton – Springfield, IL; US Navy, WWII, USS Fraser (DD-607)

Ronnie Knopp – WY; US Army, WWII, ETO, Interpreter

Conway Lewis – Memphis, TN; USMC, WWII, Purple Heart / US Army, Korea, OCS Interpreter

John Montgomery – Franklin, KY; US Army, WWII

Leonard Nace – Quakerstown, PA; US Navy, WWII, Seaman 1st Class

Harry Preston = Kitchener, CAN; Canadian Army, WWII, Galt Highland Light Infantry

Gary White – Miami, FL; US Army, Vietnam, 2 Bronze Stars

############################################################################################

Advertisements

The Bomb Babysitter

Donald Hornig

Donald Hornig was a year out of graduate school when he received a mysterious job offer.  No one would even tell him what or even where the job was, so he declined – until the President of Harvard University called and convinced him to take it.

Soon after, Hornig bought an old car and headed for Los Alamos, New Mexico.   He would become one of the youngest leaders of the team that developed the first atomic bomb and the last surviving witness of the detonation on July 16, 1945.

Albert Einstein & Julius Robert Oppenheimer

Born in Milwaukee, Hornig “was the first in his family to go to college,” said the Associated Press.  He studied physical chemistry at Harvard, earning his Doctorate in 1943.  In Los Alamos, the head of the Manhattan Project, J. Robert Oppenheimer, gave him the job of developing the firing unit that triggered the detonation.


The Trinity tower. “At 9 p.m., I climbed the 100-foot tower to the top, where I baby-sat the live bomb,” Dr. Hornig recalled in a 2005 NPR interview. Credit Los Alamos National Laboratory

On the eve of the blast, Hornig “was assigned another task,” said The Washington Post.  Oppenheimer decided that someone should be at the site to babysit the bomb, he later remembered.

As lighting and thundered raged outside, Hornig sat by the bomb reading a book of humorous essays.  In the morning, “he took his place beside Oppenheimer in a control room more than 5 miles away.”

When the bomb exploded, at 5:29:45 a.m., Hornig recalled, “My first reaction, having not slept for 48 hours, was, ‘Boy am I tired.’  My second was, We sure opened a can of worms.”  He later described the massive orange fireball as, “one of the most aesthetically beautiful things I have ever seen.”

Hornig went on to teach at Brown and Princeton universities, said the New York Times, before becoming science adviser to President Lyndon Johnson.  “Working for Johnson was reportedly not easy; the president disdained scientists because many of them opposed the Vietnam War.

Hornig was named president of Brown University in 1970, where his budget cuts restored the institution’s finances.  Upon his resignation in 1976, he described his tenure as “bittersweet.”    He returned to Harvard and to teaching to end his career.

Donald Hornig was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on 17 March 1920 and the world lost him on 21 January 2013 in Providence, Rhode Island.

############################################################################################

Military HALLOWEEN Humor – 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE!!

############################################################################################

Farewell Salutes – 

Lawrence Brown – Yale, OK; US Navy, WWII & Korea, submarine service

Jesus Cepeda – Lawrenceville, GA; US Navy, WWII, Pearl Harbor

Adrian Dunt – Howard County, IA; US Army Air Corps, Japan Occupation, 11th Airborne Division

Robert Frear – Whangamata, NZ; NZEF # 76618, WWII

Robert Kost – Williamsport, PA; US Navy, WWII, boat mechanic

Maurice McCarthy – WV; US Merchant Marine, WWII, ETO / US Navy

Ethel Orr – VT & HI; US Army WAC, WWII, PTO, Operating nurse

James Slape – Morehead City, NC; US Army, Afghanistan, Sgt., KIA

Henry Suverkrup – Dubuque, IA; US Navy, WWII, USS Saratoga

Charlie Wolfers – Canon City, CO; US Army Air Corps, WWII, communications

############################################################################################

Last Crew Member of Enola Gay Dies in Georgia

As this site begins to retell the story of WWII – A part of history passes….

%d bloggers like this: