Japanese civilian and military leaders are still unable to agree on accepting the Potsdam Declaration's surrender terms. Emperor Hirohito instead breaks the tradition of imperial non-intervention in government and orders that surrender be accepted, provided that the Emperor be allowed to retain his position. General Groves reports that the second plutonium core would be ready for shipment on August 12 or 13, with a bombing possible on August 17 or 18. President Truman orders a halt to further atomic bombing until further orders are issued.
1945: Ending the War
1945: Ending the War
The Scientific Panel of the Interim Committee, which includes Enrico Fermi, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Arthur Compton, and Ernest Lawrence, reports that it sees "no acceptable alternative" to the use of an atomic weapon against Japan.
Norris Bradbury takes over as director of Los Alamos Laboratory (a position he would hold for 25 years).
J. Robert Oppenheimer resigns as director of Los Alamos Laboratory, accepting a post at CalTech.
S-50 Plant completely shuts down.
Japanese officials sign the formal Japanese Instrument of Surrender on board the USS Missouri.
General Douglas MacArthur arrives in Japan to oversee the formal surrender ceremony and to establish a democratic Japanese government.
J. Robert Oppenheimer warns Secretary of War Henry Stimson that:
Atomic weapons would improve qualitatively and quantitatively over coming years.
Adequate defenses against nuclear weapons would not be developed.
The US would not retain hegemony over nuclear weapons.
Wars could not be prevented even if better nuclear weapons were developed.
Following leaflet bombing of Tokyo with surrender terms, Hirohito orders that an Imperial Edict accepting surrender be issued. At 2:49 p.m. (1:49 a.m. Washington time), Japanese news agency announces surrender.
Secretary of War Henry Stimson recommends shipping the second plutonium core to Tinian Island. President Truman orders area firebombing resumed. Gen. Henry Arnold, US Army Air Force, launches the largest raid on Japan of the war with over 1000 B-29s and other aircraft, carrying 6000 tons of bombs.