AUTHORCary, Otis
TITLESecret Documents: Atomic Bomb Targeting—Myths and Realities
PERIODICAL TITLEJapan Quarterly
DATE PUBLISHED1979
VOLUME NUMBER26
ISSUE NUMBER4 (October/December)
PAGE NUMBERS506-514
ISSN0021-4590


This article was written by the U.S. officer responsible for organizing the Target Committee that evaluated Japanese targets for the atomic bomb during World War II. As a witness to the proceedings, Otis Cary wrote the account to dispel the myth that had grown up about why Kyoto was spared bombing in the closing months of the war despite its high strategic value. The author recounts the discussions and conclusions reached during the four meetings of the Target Committee, and he provides a detailed description of the criteria used to determine target priority. Cary’s account credits Secretary of War Henry Stimson with sparing Kyoto, as he adamantly refused to allow the military establishment to target the city. The article also discusses the Interim Committee’s role in determining the use of the atomic bombs.


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