Heroes & Villains
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Transcript: Source2

News of the bomb in The Daily Telegraph newspaper, 7 August 1945
(Telegraph Group Limited (1945), source from The British Library)

Source 2a

ALLIES INVENT ATOMIC BOMB: FIRST DROPPED ON JAPAN

2,000 TIMES THE BLAST-POWER OF R.A.F. 11-TONNER

ENEMY THREATENED WITH “RAIN OF RUIN” FROM THE AIR

The Allies have made the greatest discovery in history: the way to use atomic energy. The first atomic bomb has been dropped on Japan. It had:

Over 2,000 times the blast power of the largest bomb ever used before, which was the British “Grand Slam,” weighing about 11 tons; and More power than 20,000 tons of T.N.T.

Yet the explosive charge is officially described as “exceedingly small.” A spokesman at the Ministry of Aircraft Production said last night that the bomb was one-tenth the size of a “block buster,” yet its effect would be “like that of a severe earthquake.”

The first atomic bomb, a single one, was dropped on Hiroshima, a town of 12 square miles, on the Japanese main island of Honshu. Tokyo radio said that the raid was at 8.20 a.m. yesterday, Japanese time, and that the extent of the damage was being investigated.

The official announcement yesterday of the existence of the bomb was made 16 hours after its first use. Late last night no report had been made on the damage done because it had been impossible to see the result through impenetrable clouds of dust and smoke.

Source 2b

EFFECT ON WAR AND PEACE

Statements were yesterday issued by Mr. CHURCHILL from Downing-street, by Mr. TRUMAN from the White House, by Mr. STIMSON, the United States Secretary of War, giving an account of the research which led to the development of the new weapon; of the terrible fate awaiting Japan if she does not immediately yield; of the future use of atomic energy as a source of power and an instrument for keeping the world’s peace.

In the Downing-street statement Mr. CHURCHILL was quoted as saying: “By God’s mercy British and American science outpaced all German efforts. The possession of these powers by Germans at any time might have altered the result of the war and profound anxiety was felt by those who were informed.”

Mr. Stimson said the bomb would prove a tremendous aid in shortening the war against Japan. It had an explosive power that “staggered the imagination.”

President TRUMAN described the results as the greatest achievement of organised science in history. The Allies had spent the sum of $500,000,000 on the “greatest scientific gamble in history,” and had won.

If the Japanese did not now accept the Allies terms, he said, they might expect “a rain of ruin from the air the like of which had never been seen on this earth.”

The method of production would be kept secret while processes were being worked out to protect the world from the danger of sudden destruction. Congress would be asked to investigate how atomic power might be used to maintain the future peace.

EMPIRE SCIENTIST HELP

British, American and Canadian scientists collaborated in developing this tremendous new source of power. Mr. Stimson also disclosed that Dr. Niels Bohr, the Danish Nobel Prize winner, had been whisked from the grasp of the Nazis and had helped in the bomb’s development.

By agreement between Mr. Churchill and Mr. Roosevelt research was carried out in the United States and in Canada, safe from enemy attacks. ……