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The Atomic Bomb and the End of World War II

August 5, 2008 Sixty-three years ago this month, the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, and the Japanese government surrendered to the United States and its allies. The nuclear age had truly begun with the first military use of atomic weapons. With the material that follows, the National Security Archive publishes the most comprehensive on-line collection to date of declassified U.S. government documents on the atomic bomb and the end of the war in the Pacific. Besides material from the files of the Manhattan Project, this collection includes formerly “Top Secret Ultra” summaries and translations of Japanese diplomatic cable traffic intercepted under the “Magic” program. Moreover, the collection includes for the first time translations from Japanese sources of high level meetings and discussions in Tokyo, including the conferences when Emperor Hirohito authorized the final decision to surrender

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Did you know…..?

During the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender, the second American flag on the veranda deck of the Missouri had been flown from Commodore Matthew Perry‘s flag in 1853-1854 when he led the US Navy’s Far East Squadron into Tokyo Bay to urge the opening of Japan’s ports to foreign trade. MacArthur was a direct descendant of the New England Perry family and cousin of Commodore Matthew Perry. Perhaps it was MacArthur who insisted on the flag and saw himself as a second “opener” of Japan rather than the nation’s conqueror!

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Photo Museum


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