". . . the power of the atomic bomb is beyond belief . . ."
Nagasaki Prefecture Report
The United States Strategic Bombing Survey was established by the Secretary of War on 3 November 1944, pursuant to a directive form the late President Roosevelt. Its mission was to conduct an impartial and expert study of the effects of our aerial attack on Germany, to be used in connection with air attacks on Japan and to establish a basis for evaluating the importance and potentialities of air power as an instrument of military strategy, for planning the future development of the United States armed forces, and for determining future economic policies with respect to the national defense. A summary report and some 200 supporting reports containing the findings of the Survey in Germany have been published.
On 15 August 1945, President Truman requested that the Survey conduct a similar study of the effects of all types of air attack in the war against Japan, submitting reports in duplicate to the Secretary of War and to the Secretary of the Navy. The officers of the Survey during its Japanese phase were:
Franklin D'Olier, Chairman.
Paul H. Nitze, Henry C. Alexander, Vice Chairmen.
Walter Wilds, Secretary.
Harry L. Bowman.
Frank A. McNamee.
Fred Searls, Jr.
Dr. Louis R. Thompson.
Theodore P. Wright, Directors.
The Survey's complement provided for 300 civilians, 350 officers, and 500 enlisted men. The military segment of the organization was drawn from the Army to the extent of 60 percent, and from the navy to the extent of 40 percent. Both the Army and Navy gave the Survey all possible assistance in furnishing men, supplies, transport, and information. The Survey operated form headquarters in Tokyo early in September 1945, with subheadquarters in Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, and with mobile teams operating in other parts of Japan, the islands of the Pacific and the Asiatic mainland.
It was possible to reconstruct much of wartime Japanese military planning and execution, engagement by engagement and campaign by campaign, and to secure reasonably accurate statistics on Japan's economy and wear production, plant by plant and industry by industry. In addition, studies were conducted on japan's over-all strategic plans and the background of her entry into the war, the internal discussions and negotiations leading to her acceptance of unconditional surrender, the course of health and morale among the civilian population, the effectiveness of the Japanese civilian defense organization and the effects of the atomic bombs. Separate reports will be issued covering each phase of the study.
The Survey interrogated more than 700 Japanese military, government, and industrial officials. It also recovered and translated many documents which have not only been useful to the Survey, but will also furnish data valuable for other studies. Arrangements are being made to turn over the Survey's files to a permanent Government agency where they will be available for further examination and distribution.
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