ORDER TO DROP THE ATOMIC BOMB
Handy to Spaatz, National Archives
(July 25, 1945)
The document below is the order to attack Japanese
atomic bombs. In it, the Acting Army Chief of Staff, Thomas
Commanding General Carl Spaatz, Army Strategic Air Forces, to "deliver
[the] first special bomb as soon as weather will permit . . . after
August 1945." The target list: "Hiroshima,
Kokura, Niigata, and Nagasaki."
Further attacks were also authorized: "additional bombs will be
on the above targets as soon as made ready." Handy was the acting
chief of staff because George Marshall was with President
Harry S. Truman at the Potsdam
Conference. The letter explicitly notes that this order
approved by Marshall and Secretary of War Henry Stimson. Truman,
of course, provided the ultimate authorization for dropping the bomb.
The document is available on the National
Archives web site. To read a transcript of the letter click here.
Click on a link below to return to
Sources and notes for this page.
The text for this page is original to the
Department of Energy's Office
of History and Heritage Resources.
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