Quotes – from and about U.S. President Harry Truman

“The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians.
– President Harry Truman, August 9, 1945
[HIroshima was a Japanese city with a population of 400,000. The atomic bomb killed more than 150,000 civilians.]

“Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey’s opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.”
– U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey [1945] – which interviewed 700 Japanese officials after WWII

“It is my opinion 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 because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons. My own feeling is that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages.”
– Admiral William Leahy, top military aide to President Truman, in his war memoirs

“It wasn’t necessary to hit them [Japanese] with that awful thing … To use the atomic bomb, to kill and terrorize civilians, without even attempting negotiations, was a double crime.”
– General Dwight D. Eisenhower

“The truth is we are guilty. Our conscience as a nation must trouble us. We must confess our sin. We have used a horrible weapon to asphyxiate and cremate more than 100,000 men, women and children in a sort of super-lethal gas chamber – and all this in a war already won or which spokesman for our Air Forces tell us we could have readily won without the atomic bomb.”
– David Lawrence, founder and editor of U.S. News And World Report

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