He discuses his decision at length. Truman understood his options and had he wanted to make a statement without destroying a Japanese city he might have considered Oppenheimer's suggestion that an uninhabited Pacific island be used to "scare" the world!!
The manner in which the targets were selected demonstrated the humane manner in which this decision was reached. For Example, Kyoto was not on the target list because it was a religious site which might infuriate the Japenese. Hiroshima had not received much bomb damage, (while more people were burned to death in the Tokyo firebomb raids carried out by LeMay's B-29s) and it was the home to a homeland defense garrison. This argument goes on and on and hasn't changed much in 60 years. I enjoy the History channel, (BA History!!) but I've found some of the shows to be sloppily produced. When this happens, I just click over to another show!
Same here. However, I enjoy finding all the mistakes I can. Most are minor, but some stand out screaming "HERE I AM!"
The best show on the History Channel is "Mail Call"! As a note, Kyoto was saved by Sec. of War Stimson who felt because it "was the ancient capital of Japan, a historical city, and one that was of great religious significance to the Japanese." Incidentally, he had also spent his honeymoon in Kyoto many years earlier. However, by taking Kyoto off the target list, (something that ticked off Gen. Groves and the committee picking targets because they felt Kyoto had the best topography that would not less the effects of the blast) the city became a target for LeMay and his B-29 firebomb raids. So in order to protect it, they "officially" kept it on the list of atomic targets but never planned to actually bomb it. Only the five cities on the targeting list were off limits to LeMay, Hiroshima, Yokohama, the Kokura Arsenal (primary target of Bock's Car), Niigata, and Nagasaki.