World War II – Document #5

 

 

“On July 17 world-shaking news had arrived….

 

The atomic bomb is a reality….Here then was a speedy end to the Second World War, and perhaps to much else besides….Up to this moment we had shaped our ideas towards an assault upon the homeland of Japan by terrific air bombing and by the invasion of very large armies….

 

Now all this nightmare picture had vanished. In its place was the vision – fair and bright it seemed – of the end of the whole war in one or two violent shocks….”

 

source: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s recollections of news received during the Potsdam Conference, July 1945 (1953)