That was the 1920s, when US Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson had come to the city of Kyoto, Japan for a honeymoon with his wife. The beautiful scenery of this city captivated his mind and he did not want to see its beauty and culture destroyed. When America made a list of cities for nuclear attack, Stimson was adamant in front of the then US President Henry Truman to demand the removal of Kyoto from this list.
First meeting of America’s Target Committee
World War II was reaching its end. But Japan was not ready to bow down. The US decided to use the world’s first nuclear weapons against Japan as part of its Manhattan Project. A meeting of the Target Committee of America was held on 27 April 1945. In this, certain parameters were set, on the basis of which the targets were selected. It was decided that the city chosen for the nuclear attack should be large in size and should also have a significant population.
And the top-3 countries became final
Most importantly, there should be military installations in this city so that Japan can be weakened in the war. In this, Tokyo was not chosen possibly because the US Air Force had already destroyed it by bombing it. After a long struggle, about 17 Japanese cities were selected. Hiroshima was at the top of the target list because the city had suffered the least damage so far from US attacks. General Leslie Groves, head of the Manhattan Project, made it clear that the target list would be Hiroshima at number one, Kyoto at number two and Yokohoma at number three.
After all, why was the eye cut in Kyoto?
It is said that nuclear scientists and military officials wanted to target Kyoto because the city had several major universities and many large industries operated from here. Not only this, 2000 Buddhist temples and many historical heritage were present in this city. In view of the importance of Kyoto to Japan, it was set as the first target in the meetings. In the year 1945, Henry L. Stimson was the US Secretary of War and his role was prominent in all decisions related to the war.
‘I don’t want a bomb to be dropped on Kyoto’
Being close to the US President, he also had the ability to postpone and change many decisions. The date was 30 May 1945, another meeting was held in America, in which Stimson clearly told Groves, ‘I do not want the bomb to be dropped on Kyoto’. Now there was Stimson on one side and on the other side all the military officers and nuclear scientists who were not ready to remove Kyoto from the target list because the matter had gone too far. Eventually Stimson pleaded with US President Truman. He wrote in his diary that I suggested to the President that the people of Japan were emotionally attached to Kyoto and that if a bomb was dropped on this city, the relations between the two countries would never improve in future and Russia would take advantage of this. could.
Honeymoon memories and love gave new life to Kyoto
‘The President agreed with me,’ Stimson wrote. Stimson also had some personal memories associated with Kyoto. As for this city, he also wanted to avoid ruining the moments he spent with his wife in Kyoto during the honeymoon. Ultimately, what Stimson wanted happened, and Kyoto’s name was dropped from America’s target list. In this his influence as Minister of War and his close relationship with the President played a big role. Kyoto’s beauty, culture and historical heritage protected the city in 1945, but Nagasaki could not escape the American wrath.
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