DIRECTORElstein, David
TITLEThe World at War: Volume 24 - The Bomb
DISTRIBUTORThames Television
RUNNING TIME52 minutes

Narrated by Laurence Olivier, this film in the The World at War series gives an interesting perspective of the events surrounding the use of atomic bombs against Japan. It shows interviews with many important figures: Curtis LeMay, Col. Paul Tibbets, Secretary of State Byrnes, and Japanese cabinet members. The film begins with the American airbase at Tinian and the systematic destruction of Japan by area bombing. Tashikazu Kase, member of the Suzuki cabinet, explains the desperate situation in Japan in the summer of 1945. The film shifts to the strained relations among the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union over the future of Poland. John McCloy, Assistant Secretary of War, explains that for Truman and Byrnes, using the bomb concerned gaining diplomatic leverage with the Soviets more than ending the war with Japan. The film shows the failure of this strategy at Potsdam, where Truman announced to Stalin that the U.S. had the bomb. McGeorge Bundy explains that the Secretary of War wanted an immediate discussion about control of the bomb with the Soviets. The film ends with the surrender of Japan aboard the USS Missouri.

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