Nazi Germany surrenders, May 7, 1945. On this day in 1945, Gen. Alfred Jodl, representing the German High Command, signed a document unconditionally surrendering all German military forces, to take effect the following day, thereby all but ending World War II in Europe.
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd president of the United States from 1945 to 1953, succeeding upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt after serving as vice president.
Presidential term: April 12, 1945 – January 20, 1953
Four Months Later On Aug. 9, 1945, the United States dropped a second atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki.
Nagasaki had many internment camps during the war, and the capital of the largest city of Nagasaki Prefecture on the island of Kyushu in Japan. The city’s name, “long cape” in Japanese. Part of Nagasaki was home to a major Imperial Japanese Navy base during the First Sino-Japanese War and Russo-Japanese War.
During World War II, the American atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki made Nagasaki the second and, to date, last city in the world to experience a nuclear attack (at 11:02 a.m., August 9, 1945 ‘Japan Standard Time.
Americans were taught that Kamikaze Japanese would never surrender, and this was the only way to win the war. But American Generals, the top American military leaders who fought World War II, much to the surprise of many who are not aware of the record, were quite clear that the atomic bomb was unnecessary, that Japan was on the verge of surrender, and—for many—that the destruction of large numbers of civilians was immoral.
Most were also conservatives, not liberals. Adm. William Leahy, President Truman’s Chief of Staff, wrote in his 1950 memoir I Was There that “the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender.… in being the first to use it, we…adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.”
“The use of this barbarous weapon…was of no material assistance in our war against Japan.” —Adm. William Leahy, Truman’s Chief of Staff
The commanding general of the US Army Air Forces, Henry “Hap” Arnold, gave a strong indication of his views in a public statement only eleven days after Hiroshima was attacked. Asked on August 17 by a New York Times reporter whether the atomic bomb caused Japan to surrender, Arnold said that “the Japanese position was hopeless even before the first atomic bomb fell, because the Japanese had lost control of their own air.”
“It was a mistake…. [the scientists] had this toy and they wanted to try it out, so they dropped it.” —Adm. William “Bull” Halsey
Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet, stated in a public address at the Washington Monument two months after the bombings that “the atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military standpoint, in the defeat of Japan…” Adm. William “Bull” Halsey Jr., Commander of the US Third Fleet, stated publicly in 1946 that “the first atomic bomb was an unnecessary experiment…. It was a mistake to ever drop it…. [the scientists] had this toy and they wanted to try it out, so they dropped it…”
Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, for his part, stated in his memoirs that when notified by Secretary of War Henry Stimson of the decision to use atomic weapons, he “voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives…”
He later publicly declared “…it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.” Even the famous “hawk” Maj. Gen. Curtis LeMay, head of the Twenty-First Bomber Command, went public the month after the bombing, telling the press that “the atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war at all.”
In “Amelia Earhart: Beyond the Grave,” author W.C. Jameson claims that Amelia Earhart was a spy for the U.S. government, and was flying a secret mission to photograph Japanese military installations in the Pacific at the time of what he calls her “so-called disappearance” in July 1937. Two years before the start of WW2.
In this version of events, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized Earhart’s mission and knew everything about her disappearance, but kept it under wraps.
Jameson argues that after Earhart was shot down or landed in Japanese territory and taken captive, Roosevelt made no attempt to free them because he didn’t want to admit he had enlisted the famous aviator as a spy. After Japan released Earhart in 1945, Jameson says, she returned to the United States, where she lived under the name Irene Craigmile Bolam in what was essentially an early form of the federal government’s witness protection program. Earhart died in 1982, Jameson writes, when she was around 86 years old.
A much more cynical view has emerged, Amelia was captured by the Japanese when she was forced to land because she was got lost and ran out of gas. Very believable. Everybody, even in Japan recognized her because she was famous. She was held in a interment camp in Nagasaki, and when the Americans bombed that island and dropped the second atomic bomb she was killed. That’s why she was never released after the war, because a cover-up followed. Roosevelt denied all knowledge.
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