While secretly planning an invasion of Japan, Truman warns:
Harry Truman Typed Letter Signed as President. Two pages on
White House letterhead, 8" x 10.25", Washington, June 29, 1945.
Just two and a half months into his presidency, Harry Truman writes
to Governor Dwight H. Green of Illinois about how best to handle
the manpower needs of the nation. Green had a keen interest in and
responsibility to oversee such issues, as Illinois had one of the
largest state governments at the time. The President writes, in
"...there will be no substantial reduction in the weight of the military effort which we must bring to bear upon Japan..."
"My dear Governor Green: I have your telegram of June twenty-second, urging that the former State Employment Service office which was transferred to Federal operation for the duration of the national emergency, be promptly returned to State jurisdiction. I note that you too feel that this service should be returned to the State as originally contemplated since in your opinion the problem is no longer particularly acute from the standpoint of production.
"Based upon the best information available to me, the production required for the effective prosecution of our war with Japan will continue to present acute manpower problems in many industries and in a substantial number of localities. The emergency which required the unification of our public employment office systems has, therefore, not terminated. As pointed out in my recent report to the Congress on the progress of the war, there will be no substantial reduction in the weight of the military effort which we must bring to bear upon Japan. Nor can there be any relaxation in our effort on the home front and war requirements must continue to have first claim upon our facilities. The flexibility which results from Federal operation of the Employment Service will continue to be indispensable...
Having in mind the foregoing, it is my considered opinion that the dispersal of our present unified public employment office system into 50 separate State and Territorial systems cannot safely be undertaken while we are still engaged in a major war. Very sincerely yours, Harry Truman."
Deeply involved in overseeing the prosecution of the war with Japan, Truman had grave issues to consider the day he wrote this letter, having also approved a secret Joint Chiefs of Staff plan to invade southern Japan at Kyushu with five million troops, most of them American.
Throughout April, May, and June 1945, a disturbing build-up of Japanese ground forces around Kyushu was reported by Allied intelligence. Sending combat divisions from Manchuria, Korea, and northern Japan, the Japanese Army amassed fourteen divisions and numerous smaller formations (eventually totaling 900,000 men) in the area between March and August 1945. Given his decision that day to go forward with the invasion plans, his warnings to Governor Green about war production needs and the manpower necessary to supply millions of troops is telling.
When the Joint Chiefs initially devised their plan, the Manhattan Project was still a closely guarded secret, known only to a very small number of high-echelon officials. In light of the massive troop build-up in Kyushu and the incredible number of troops the Joint Chiefs' plan required, in July 1945 Truman decided to scuttle the invasion plan in favor of dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In doing so, he hoped to end the war quickly by inflicting massive destruction with such unimaginable force that Japan would surrender. Truman's signature is large and boldly penned. Letter bears a red date/time stamp on the first page at upper right and is pristine.
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