Memorandum for the Secretary of War, Subject: The Test, July 18, 1945

Author:  Leslie R. Groves
Date: July 18, 1945

Subjects: World War II

This report was sent by me to Secretary Stimson in order that he might have a more detailed knowledge of the explosion than he would have been able to gather from the cables that had been sent to him. About midafternoon of July 18, at the suggestion of Mr. Harrison, I decided such a report should be written. I wrote the first paragraph and discussed the general tenor of the report with General Farrell, my deputy in Washington, and asked him to start a draft. I also instructed him to include a section on his own impressions and one on those of Dr. Lawrence.

Shortly after 6 p.m., I began working with General Farrell on editing, revising, and rewriting the entire report. We had arranged to have a courier plane, which was to leave for Potsdam, held until the report could be completed in final form. About 2 o’clock on the morning of the 19th the report was completed and dispatched immediately to Potsdam. The effect of the report upon Secretary Stimson, the President, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill was most marked, and it led to the strong wording of the Potsdam ultimatum. A part of the second paragraph is necessarily omitted for security reasons.

Memorandum for the Secretary of War, Subject: The Test, July 18, 1945


Location: Vault
Call No. Box 1

Language: english