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Leaders & Controversies the national archives
Home > Truman & the atomic bomb > Why did Truman use it? > Source 1  
source one
Part of a radio broadcast by Truman on 9 August 1945, referring to the atomic bombing of Japan
(Courtesy of the Imperial War Museum ref 427/1)
IWM 427/1; radio broadcast by Truman, 1945


  1. What reasons does Truman give for atomic bombing Japan?

  2. Why does Truman say that Hiroshima was a military base chosen as a target to limit civilian casualties?

  3. Do you think Truman is being sincere when he says that the decision to use the bomb was not taken lightly?

  4. The same day Truman gave this speech, a second different type of atomic bomb (made with plutonium) was dropped on Nagasaki. What reasons might there have been for bombing Nagasaki?

  5. These are words that Truman really spoke. Does this mean that this is a reliable piece of evidence for a historian?