The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Propaganda

On August 11th, 1945, two days after the bombing of Nagasaki, a message was dispatched from Major General Leslie R. Groves to Brigadier General Thomas F. Farrell, who was his deputy in atomic bomb work and was representing him in operations in the Pacific, directing him to organize a special Manhattan Project Atomic Bomb Investigating Group.

On the day after the Hiroshima strike, General Farrell received instructions from the War Department to engage in a propaganda campaign against the Japanese Empire in connection with the new weapon and its use against Hiroshima. The campaign was to include leaflets and any other propaganda considered appropriate. With the fullest cooperation from CINCPAC of the Navy and the United States Strategic Air Forces, he initiated promptly a campaign which included the preparation and distribution of leaflets, broadcasting via short wave every 15 minutes over radio Saipan and the printing at Saipan and distribution over the Empire of a Japanese language newspaper which included the description and photographs of the Hiroshima strike.

The campaign proposed:

  1. Dropping 16,000,000 leaflets in a period of 9 days on 47 Japanese cities with population of over 100,000. These cities represented more than 40% of the total population.
  2. Broadcast of propaganda at regular intervals over radio Saipan.
  3. Distribution of 500,000 Japanese language newspapers containing stories and pictures of the atomic bomb attacks.

The campaign continued until the Japanese began their surrender negotiations. At that time some 6,000,000 leaflets and a large number of newspapers had been dropped. The radio broadcasts in Japanese had been carried out at regular 15 minute intervals.

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