President - Harry S. Truman
Diary Entry 10/8/1945
I strongly defend bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I believe I shortened the war and saved American lives. We did not have any casualties; this is tremendous when you’re in war. Japan first attacked us at Pearl Harbour in 1941, this is our revenge. Having found the bomb we have used it. We have used it against those who attacked us without warning at Pearl Harbour, against those who have starved, beaten and executed American prisoners of war, against those who have abandoned all pretence of obeying international laws of warfare. We have used it to shorten the agony of war, in order to save lives of thousands of thousands of Americans.
Our decision to deploy atomic bombs saved massive casualties occurring on both sides. Bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a great strategic play I believe. We used Hiroshima as our first target because it is the headquarters of the fifth division and second general army, which commands the defence of Southern Japan with 40,000 military personnel in the city. Hiroshima had never been bombed and so that we could learn the effects of an atomic bomb on a virgin city. It is a communication centre, it has several military facilities. Nagasaki has a wide-ranging industrial activity. These targets are purely military based. Our targets were soldiers and sailors and not women or children.
Even if the Japanese are savages, ruthless and fanatic, we as the leaders of the world for the common welfare cannot drop this terrible bomb on the capital. I know that Japan is terribly cruel and uncivilized nation in welfare but I can’t bring myself to believe that, because they are beasts we should ourselves act in the same manner. I still believe that it was inhuman bombing Hiroshima & Nagasaki, I had no other choice. It is my job to serve the United States of American and to put my country and people first. I had to have confidence and believe so that the nation will...