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August 7, 1945 – News reports from Chungking, China to Mutual in New York –
After the Hiroshima bombing, President Truman issued a statement announcing the use of the new weapon. He stated, “We may be grateful to Providence” that the German atomic bomb project had failed, and that the United States and its allies had “spent two billion dollars on the greatest scientific gamble in history—and won”. Truman then warned Japan: “If they do not now accept our terms, they may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth. Behind this air attack will follow sea and land forces in such numbers and power as they have not yet seen and with the fighting skill of which they are already well aware.” This was a widely broadcast speech picked up by Japanese news agencies.
The 50,000-watt standard wave station on Saipan, the OWI radio station, broadcast a similar message to Japan every 15 minutes about Hiroshima, stating that more Japanese cities would face a similar fate in the absence of immediate acceptance of the terms of the Potsdam Declaration and emphatically urged civilians to evacuate major cities. Radio Japan, which continued to extoll victory for Japan by never surrendering, had informed the Japanese of the destruction of Hiroshima by a single bomb. Prime Minister Suzuki felt compelled to meet the Japanese press, to whom he reiterated his government’s commitment to ignore the Allies’ demands and fight on.
Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov had informed Tokyo of the Soviet Union’s unilateral abrogation of the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact on 5 April. At two minutes past midnight on 9 August, Tokyo time, Soviet infantry, armor, and air forces had launched the Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation. Four hours later, word reached Tokyo of the Soviet Union’s official declaration of war. The senior leadership of the Japanese Army began preparations to impose martial law on the nation, with the support of Minister of War Korechika Anami, to stop anyone attempting to make peace.
On 7 August, a day after Hiroshima was destroyed, Dr. Yoshio Nishina and other atomic physicists arrived at the city, and carefully examined the damage. They then went back to Tokyo and told the cabinet that Hiroshima was indeed destroyed by a nuclear weapon. Admiral Soemu Toyoda, the Chief of the Naval General Staff, estimated that no more than one or two additional bombs could be readied, so they decided to endure the remaining attacks, acknowledging “there would be more destruction but the war would go on”. American Magic codebreakers intercepted the cabinet’s messages.
Since there was no indication of Japan surrendering, the Allies decided to proceed with dropping another bomb and to have it ready by 11 August, but Col. Paul Tibbets pointed to weather reports indicating poor flying conditions on that day due to a storm, and asked if the bomb could be readied by 9 August. The next destination was Nagasaki.
Here are shortwave reports from Mutual correspondents stationed in Chungking China and relayed back to the Mutual studios in New York – the reports are read twice in the event of poor reception. Even at this date, it was unclear as to whether or not Japan would surrender while the attacks continued and the true horror of this Atomic Bomb was revealed.
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