On August 1, 1945, five days before the bombing of Hiroshima, the U.S. Army Air Force dropped one million leaflets over Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and 33 other Japanese cities warning that those cities were going to be destroyed within a few days and advising the residents to leave to save their lives. One side of the leaflet had a photo of five U.S. bombers unloading bombs and a list of the targeted cities. The other side had the text. The English version of the leaflet is included in an article at the CIA website, “The Information War in the Pacific, 1945,” by Josette H. Williams. OWI stands for Office of War Information:
“the American Air Force”
You ask if this is true. I remember that we didn’t have an “air force” at that time I think. Didn’t they just call it the army? That could be a details that challenges the credibility of the document.
Some of you out there must know if I am right.
This Japanese soldier stationed in Hiroshima says they were dropped the day before -
Are you asking if we warned the Japanese before we bombed them?
The only disconcerting thing about this particular set of responses is the painfully low level of education of the American public these days about the war and many other things:
- Of course this article is accurate; most people know about the critical role the seizure of the Marianas had for the bombing campaign against Japan. The other supporting facts within the article are also accurate - so why would anyone doubt its accuracy?
- We had our usual chorus of twits that didn't know that the title for our air forces at that time of the war was the "U.S. Army Air Forces"... And subordinate units - such as the Tenth Air Force - were referrred to as air forces.
- The word is "corps" not "corp" as in the French word for body. What are they teaching in school these days?
Aside from the positive propaganda value of being able to point out that people were warned of this looming destruction, the language also suggests that all 35 cities would be destroyed, naming Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the head of the list.
Someone more knowledgable than I can perhaps clarify just how many bombs were available at the time and when additional bombs could be manufactured.
My recollection is that one bomb was detonated as a test, and the other two that existed were dropped on Japan. Was there an inventory capable of carrying out the explicit threat, or was the destruction of two targets going to be used to create credibility regarding the threat?