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1945: Ending the War

1945: Ending the War

Timeline Image: 
Sea full of ships under way

1945 Aug 11

President Truman and Secretary of State Byrnes reply with an amended form of the Potsdam Decree that acknowledges the Emperor, but still refuses to guarantee his position. General Leslie Groves decides to delay shipping the second plutonium core and contacts Robert Bacher just after he had signed receipt for shipping the core to Tinian Island. The core is retrieved from the car before it leaves Los Alamos, NM. Also, Strategic Air Forces Carl Spaatz halts area firebombing.

1945 Aug 9

0347: Bock's Car takes off from Tinian, the target of choice is Kokura Arsenal. Charles Sweeney is pilot. Soon after takeoff he discovers that the fuel system will not pump from the 600 gallon reserve tank. 1044: Bock's Car arrives at Kokura but finds it covered by haze, the aim point cannot be seen. Flak and fighters appear, forcing the plane to stop searching for it. Sweeney turns toward Nagasaki, the only secondary target in range. Upon arriving at Nagasaki, Bock's Car has enough fuel for only one pass over the city even with an emergency landing at Okinawa.

1945 Aug 8

At Foreign Minister Togo's request, Soviet Ambassador Sato tries to persuade the Soviets to mediate surrender negotiations. Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov cancels the meeting, then announces that the Soviet Union is at war with Japan effective the next day. Meanwhile, leaflet dropping, and warnings to Japan by Radio Saipan begin (Nagasaki does not receive warning leaflets until August 10). Fat Man unit F33 is dropped in practice bomb run. Assembly of Fat Man unit F31 with the plutonium core completed in the early morning.

1945 Aug 7

In the absence of an immediate surrender, a crash effort begins to print and distribute millions of leaflets to major Japanese cities warning of future atomic attacks. Also, The date for dropping Fat Man is moved up to August 10, then to August 9, to avoid a projected 5 days of bad weather. This requires skipping many check out procedures during assembly.

1945 Aug 5

At 1500 Gen. Curtis LeMay officially confirms the mission for the next day. Lt. Col. Paul Tibbets will take over as pilot, Deak Parsons will fly as weaponeer. Lt. Col. Paul Tibbets names B-29 No. 82 the "Enola Gay" after his mother, over the objections of its pilot Robert Lewis. Little Boy is loaded on the plane. Also, Dummy Fat Man unit F33 (complete except for plutonium core) is prepared for practice bombing run.

1945 Aug 4

Lt. Col. Paul Tibbets briefs the 509th Composite Group about the impending attack. He reveals that they will drop immensely powerful bombs, but the nature of the weapons are not revealed.