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Official Bombing Order, July 25, 1945

Source: U.S. National Archives, Record Group 77, Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers, Manhattan Engineer District, TS Manhattan Project File '42 to '46, Folder 5B "(Directives, Memos, Etc. to and from C/S, S/W, etc.)."

The written order for the use of the atomic bomb against Japanese cities was drafted by General Groves. President Truman and Secretary of War Stimson approved the order at Potsdam.

The order made no mention of targetting military objectives or sparing civilians. The cities themselves were the targets. The order was also open-ended. "Additional bombs" could be dropped "as soon as made ready by the project staff."

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         E.O. 11652, Secs 3(E) and 5(D) or (E)
         NND 730039
         By ERC NARS, Date 6-4-74

                                        25 July 1945

TO:   General Carl Spaatz
      Commanding General
      United States Army Strategic Air Forces

     1. The 509 Composite Group, 20th Air Force will
deliver its first special bomb as soon as weather will
permit visual bombing after about 3 August 1945 on one of the
targets:  Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigata and Nagasaki. To
carry military and civilian scientific personnel from the
War Department to observe and record the effects of the
explosion of the bomb, additional aircraft will accompany
the airplane carrying the bomb.  The observing planes will
stay several miles distant from the point of impact of the

     2. Additional bombs will be delivered on the above
targets as soon as made ready by the project staff. Further
instructions will be issued concerning targets other than
those listed above.

     3. Discussion of any and all information concerning
the use of the weapon against Japan is reserved to the
Secretary of War and the President of the United States.
No communiques on the subject or releases of information
will be issued by Commanders in the field without specific
prior authority.  Any news stories will be sent to the War
Department for specific clearance.

4. The foregoing directive is issued to you by direc-
tion and with the approval of the Secretary of War and of
the Chief of Staff, USA.  It is desired that you personally
deliver one copy of this directive to General MacArthur and
one copy to Admiral Nimitz for their information.

                       (Sgd) THOS. T. HANDY

                           THOS. T. HANDY
                           General, G.S.C.
                           Acting Chief of Staff

copy for General Groves

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Copyright Notice: This original of this document is believed to be in the public domain. Its transcription and formatting as an e-text, however, is copyright 1995-1998 by Gene Dannen (gene@dannen.com).

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