1945: Leaflet Draft

In the morning, the OWI group completes their draft for the atom bomb leaflet. They fly the draft to Tinian to General Farrell, who makes a few changes. He calls the changes to Saipan by telephone, and orders that the text be broadcast every fifteen minutes from the radio station on Saipan that broadcasts messages to Japan.

The leaflet’s text reads:

TO THE JAPANESE PEOPLE:

America asks that you take immediate heed of what we say on this leaflet.

We are in possession of the most destructive explosive ever devised by man. A single one of our newly developed atomic bombs is actually the equivalent in explosive power to what 2000 of our giant B-29’s can carry on a single mission. This awful fact is one for you to ponder and we solemnly assure you it is grimly accurate.

We have just begun to use this weapon against your homeland. If you still have any doubt, make inquiry as to what happened to Hiroshima when just one atomic bomb fell on that city.

Before using this bomb to destroy every resource of the military by which they are prolonging this useless war, we ask that you now petition the Emperor to end the war. Our President has outlined for you the thirteen consequences of an honorable surrendor: We urge that you accept these consequences and begin the work of building a new, better, and peace-loving Japan.

You should take stops now to cease military resistance. Otherwise, we shall resolutely employ this bomb and all out other superior weapons to promptly and forcefully end the war.

Additional text excerpts of leaflets