The Manhattan Project: Making the Atomic Bomb

Part V: The Atomic Bomb and American Strategy


Still the Japanese leadership struggled to come to a decision, with military extremists continuing to advocate a policy of resistance to the end. Word finally reached Washington from Switzerland and Sweden early on August 10 that the Japanese, in accordance with Hirohito's wishes, would accept the surrender terms, provided the emperor retain his position. Truman held up a third atomic attack while the United States considered a response, finally taking a middle course and acknowledging the emperor by stating that his authority after the surrender would be exercised under the authority of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers. With British, Chinese, and Russian concurrence, the United States answered the Japanese on August 11. Japan surrendered on August 14, 1945, ending the war that began for the United States with the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The United States had been celebrating for almost three weeks when the formal papers were signed aboard the U.S.S. Missouri on September 2.

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