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Unit 8 Source Packet 

Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Essential and Focusing Questions:

Part A—Why did Japan attack Pearl Harbor?

Background Videos
Background Essay
Notes (if you need them)
Document A: Attack at Pearl Harbor (US Perspective)
Document B: Attack on Pearl Harbor (Japanese Perspectives)
Document C: Japan Times and Mail, April 19, 1924
Document D: Excerpts from The Way of the Subjects
Document E: Map of Japanese Empire, 1870 - Pearl Harbor
Document F: Timeline
Document G: Japanese Imports Chart
Document H: Remarks by Hideki Tojo

Part B—Individuals & Groups

Focusing Questions:
Inquiry Stations: Explore Topics
Station 1: African-Americans
Station 2: Japanese-Americans
Internment Camps
Korematsu v United States
Station 3: Civilians
Station 4: Women
Station 5: Latino-Americans
Station 6: Soldiers (PTSD)
Station 7: Navajo Code Talkers

Part C—Atomic Bombings

Background Videos
Background Essay: The Dawn of the Atomic Age | Junior Scholastic
Background Essay: Truman and the Atomic Bomb — World War II
Document : Firebombing of Tokyo, 1945
Document : Harry Truman’s Memoirs
Document : Admiral Leahy’s Memoir, I was There (1950)

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Document : The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb by Harry Stimson
Document : Nippon Times (August 10, 1945)
Document : New York Times (August 24, 1965)
Document : Hiroshima Diary (1945)
Document : New Means of Destruction (July 17, 1945)
Document : Harrowing Accounts from Hiroshima Survivors | Smithsonian

Essential and Focusing Questions:

1. FQ: Why did Japan attack Pearl Harbor?

2. FQ: How did the war impact individuals and groups?

3. FQ: How have historians taken different perspectives on the war?

4. FQ: Should the US have dropped atomic weapons on Japan?

5. EQ: How should we remember the dropping of the Second World War?

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Part A—Why did Japan attack Pearl Harbor?

Focusing Questions:
● Why did Japan attack Pearl Harbor? (SS.H.2.6-8.MdC.)

Background Videos
● Did Japan Attack Pearl Harbor for Oil?​ HISTORY
● Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor​ | Britannica
● Pearl Harbor (1941)

Background Essay

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Notes (if you need them)

● America Enters the War​ | Video Transcripts
● America Enters the War​ | Outline Notes

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Document A: ​Attack at Pearl Harbor (US Perspective)

Aboard the USS ​Arizona

The battleships moored along "Battleship Row" are the primary target of the attack's first wave. Ten
minutes after the beginning of the attack a bomb crashes through the A ​ rizona's two armored decks
igniting its magazine. The explosion rips the ship's sides open like a tin can starting a fire that engulfs
the entire ship. Within minutes she sinks to the bottom taking 1,300 lives with her. The sunken ship
remains as a memorial to those who sacrificed their lives during the attack. Marine Corporal E.C.
Nightingale was aboard the ​Arizona​ that fateful Sunday morning:

"At approximately eight o'clock on the morning of December 7, 1941, I was leaving the breakfast
table when the ship's siren for air defense sounded. Having no anti-aircraft battle station, I paid little
attention to it. Suddenly I heard an explosion. I ran to the port door leading to the quarterdeck and
saw a bomb strike a barge of some sort alongside the NEVADA, or in that vicinity. The marine color
guard came in at this point saying we were being attacked. I could distinctly hear machine gun fire. I
believe at this point our anti-aircraft battery opened up.

"We stood around awaiting orders of some kind. General Quarters sounded and I started for my battle
station in secondary aft. As I passed through casement nine I noted the gun was manned and being
trained out.


"I was the last man to leave secondary aft because I looked around and there was no one left. I
followed the Major down the port side of the tripod mast. The railings, as we ascended, were very hot
and as we reached the boat deck I noted that it was torn up and burned. The bodies of the dead were
thick, and badly burned men were heading for the quarterdeck, only to fall apparently dead or badly
wounded. The Major and I went between No. 3 and No. 4 turret to the starboard side and found
Lieutenant Commander Fuqua ordering the men over the side and assisting the wounded. He seemed
exceptionally calm and the Major stopped and they talked for a moment. Charred bodies were

"I made my way to the quay and started to remove my shoes when I suddenly found myself in the
water. I think the concussion of a bomb threw me in. I started swimming for the pipe line which was
about one hundred and fifty feet away. I was about half way when my strength gave out entirely. My
clothes and shocked condition sapped my strength, and I was about to go under when Major Shapley
started to swim by, and seeing my distress, grasped my shirt and told me to hang to his shoulders
while he swam in.

"We were perhaps twenty-five feet from the pipe line when the Major's strength gave out and I saw he
was floundering, so I loosened my grip on him and told him to make it alone. He stopped and grabbed
me by the shirt and refused to let go. I would have drowned but for the Major. We finally reached the
beach where a marine directed us to a bomb shelter, where I was given dry clothes and a place to

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Document B: ​Attack on Pearl Harbor (Japanese Perspectives)

"Surprise Attack Successful"

Commander Mitsuo Fuchida led the first wave of the air attack and published his recollections in 1951.
These were later published in English in 1955. We join his story as he approaches the Hawaiian coast:

"One hour and forty minutes after leaving the carriers I knew that we should be nearing our goal.
Small openings in the thick cloud cover afforded occasional glimpses of the ocean, as I strained my
eyes for the first sight of land. Suddenly a long white line of breaking surf appeared directly beneath
my plane. It was the northern shore of Oahu.

It was 0749 when I ordered my radioman to send the command, 'Attack!' He immediately began
tapping out the pre-arranged code signal: 'TO, TO, TO...'

The effectiveness of our attack was now certain, and a message, 'Surprise attack successful!' was
accordingly sent to ​Akagi [Flagship of the Japanese attack fleet] at 0753. The message was received
by the carrier and duly relayed to the homeland, ...


As we closed in, enemy antiaircraft fire began to concentrate on us. Dark gray puffs burst all around.
Most of them came from ships' batteries, but land batteries were also active. Suddenly my plane
bounced as if struck by a club. When I looked back to see what had happened, the radioman said:
'The fuselage is holed and the rudder wire damaged.' We were fortunate that the plane was still under
control, for it was imperative to fly a steady course as we approached the target. Now it was nearly
time for 'Ready to release,' and I concentrated my attention on the lead plane to note the instant his
bomb was dropped. Suddenly a cloud came between the bombsight and the target, and just as I was
thinking that we had already overshot, the lead plane banked slightly and turned right toward
Honolulu. We had missed the release point because of the cloud and would have to try again.

While my group circled for another attempt, others made their runs, some trying as many as three
before succeeding. We were about to begin our second bombing run when there was a colossal
explosion in battleship row. A huge column of dark red smoke rose to 1000 meters. It must have been
the explosion of a ship's powder magazine. [This was the Battleship ​Arizona]​ ​The shock wave was felt
even in my plane, several miles away from the harbor.

We began our run and met with fierce antiaircraft concentrations. This time the lead bomber was
successful, and the other planes of the group followed suit promptly upon seeing the leader's bombs
fall. I immediately lay flat on the cockpit floor and slid open a peephole cover in order to observe the
fall of the bombs. I watched four bombs plummet toward the earth. The target - two battleships
moored side by side - lay ahead. The bombs became smaller and smaller and finally disappeared. I
held my breath until two tiny puffs of smoke flashed suddenly on the ship to the left, and I shouted,
'Two hits!'

When an armor-piercing bomb with a time fuse hits the target, the result is almost unnoticeable from
a great altitude. On the other hand, those which miss are quite obvious because they leave concentric

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waves to ripple out from the point of contact, and I saw two of these below. I presumed that it was
battleship ​Maryland​ we had hit.'

As the bombers completed their runs they headed north to return to the carriers. Pearl Harbor and the
air bases had been pretty well wrecked by the fierce strafings and bombings. The imposing naval
array of an hour before was gone. Antiaircraft fire had become greatly intensified, but in my continued
observations I saw no enemy fighter planes. Our command of the air was unchallenged."

As the first wave of the attack made its way back to its carriers, Commander Fuchida remained over
the target in order to assess damage and to observe the second wave attack. He returned to his
carrier after the second wave successfully completed its mission.

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Document C: Japan Times and Mail, April 19, 1924


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Document D: Excerpts from ​The Way of the Subjects


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Document E: Map of Japanese Empire, 1870 - Pearl Harbor


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Document F: Timeline

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Document G: Japanese Imports Chart


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Document H: Remarks by Hideki Tojo


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Part B—Individuals & Groups

Focusing Questions:
● How did the war impact individuals and groups? (SS.H.2.6-8.MdC. )

Inquiry Stations: Explore Topics

Station 1: African-Americans
● America: the Story of Us: Blacks in the Military​ | ​HISTORY
● African American Units of WWII​ | ​
● The Tuskegee Airmen​ | ​Smithsonian
● Who were the Tuskegee Airmen? | ​HISTORY
● Tuskegee Airmen: American Heroes​ | Stuff You Should Know

● Patriotism Crosses the Color Line: African Americans in WWII | NewsELA
● The Perilous Fight - Social Aspects - African Americans | PBS

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Station 2: Japanese-Americans
Internment Camps
● Ugly History: Japanese American Incarceration | TED-Ed
● Japanese-American Internment During WWII​ | ​HISTORY
● Children in Internment Camps​ | Smithsonian
● Kids Meet a Survivor of Japanese-American Internment ​| ​HiHo Kids
● Revisiting Japanese-American Internment at 75th Anniversary ​| ​PBS

● Japenese-American Relocation in the US during WWII | NewsELA
● Life at the Manzanar Camp for Japanese-Americans in WWII | NewsELA
● Primary Source: Harold Icke’s Letter to Roosevelt on Japanese Internment | NewsELA
● Primary Sources: Family Album Project | Masumi Hayashi Photography
● Primary Sources: Japanese-American Relocation Digital Archives | JARDA
● Primary Sources: Japenese-American Internment during WWII | DPLA

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Korematsu v United States
● Loyal American | Fred Korematsu | Bill of Rights Institute
● Fred Korematsu: Why his Story Still Matters Today | NewsELA

Majority opinion written by: Justice Black 

Majority: Conviction affirmed. The Supreme Court ruled that the evacuation order 
violated by Korematsu was valid, and it was not necessary to address the constitutional 
racial discrimination issues in this case. 

Concurring Opinion Written by: Justice Frankfurter 

Concurrence: The constitutional issues should be addressed, but in evaluating them, it 
is clear that the “martial necessity arising from the danger of espionage and sabotage” 
warranted the military’s evacuation order. Conviction affirmed 

Dissenting opinion written by: Justice Jackson 

In a strongly worded dissent, Justice Robert Jackson contended: "Korematsu ... has 
been convicted of an act not commonly thought a crime. It consists merely of being 
present in the state whereof he is a citizen, near the place where he was born, and 
where all his life he has lived." The nation's wartime security concerns, he contended, 
were not adequate to strip Korematsu and the other internees of their constitutionally 
protected civil rights. 

Justice Jackson called the exclusion order “the legalization of racism” that violated the 
Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. He compared the exclusion 
order to the “abhorrent and despicable treatment of minority groups by the dictatorial 
tyrannies which this nation is now pledged to destroy. He concluded that the exclusion 
order violated the Fourteenth Amendment by “fall[ing] into the ugly abyss of racism.” 


Was the military’s exclusion order justified?


The majority opinion ruled that the court should not address the entirety of the order 
under which Korematsu was convicted, which included provisions requiring citizens to 
report to assembly and relocation centers. The majority found it necessary only to rule 

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on the validity of the specific provision under which Korematsu was convicted: the 
provision requiring him to leave the designated area. 

Because the order applied only to people who were Japanese or of Japanese descent, it 
was subject to the “most rigid scrutiny.” The majority found that although the exclusion 
of citizens from their homes is generally an impermissible use of government authority, 
there is an exception where there is “grave [ ] imminent danger to the public safety” as 
long as there is a definition and close relationship between the government’s actions 
and the prevention against espionage and sabotage. The majority ruled that there was 
sufficient danger and a sufficient relationship between the order and the prevention of 
the danger to justify requiring Korematsu to evacuate. The majority said the order was 

The dissenters disagreed. They put forth their position that the order should have been 
considered as a whole, and the Court should have considered the other 
contemporaneous orders, all of which, when considered together resulted in the 
imprisonment of U.S. citizens in what were essentially concentration camps, based only 
on their race.  

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Station 3: Civilians
In the United States
● The US Home Front During WWII | HISTORY​ - video
● The US Home Front During WWII | HISTORY​ - text
● Ration Books | National WW2 Museum
● Primary Sources: WWII Civilian “War Effort” Documents | Truman State University
● The Perilous Fight - Social Aspects - Conscientious Objectors | PBS
● The Perilous Fight - Home Front | PBS

Around the World

● The Bombing of Civilians in WWII | Constitutional Rights Foundation
● Lessons Learned: The Firebombing of Tokyo | Council on Foreign Relations​ - video
● Allied Bombing of Dresden: Legitimate Target or War Crime? | DW News
● Firebombing of Tokyo | HISTORY
● Bombing of Tokyo | Britannica
● Primary Sources: Remembering Dresden: 70 Years After the Firebombing | The Atlantic

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Station 4: Women
● Beyond the Story: American Women During World War II​ | ​Scholastic
● Honoring the Female Pilots of WWII | CBS
● Rosie the Riveter: Home Front Oral History Project | Smithsonian

● Tending the Home Front: The Many Roles of California Women in WWII | NewsELA
● Rosie the Riveter Reverberates for Today’s Working Women | NewsELA
● The Perilous Fight - Social Aspects - Women | PBS

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Station 5: Latino-Americans
● Latino Americans - Episode 3: War and Peace​ | PBS
● Forgotten Voices: The Bracero Program | UCLA Labor Center
● How Anti-Mexican Racism in LA Caused the Zoot Suit Riots | HISTORY

● Latinos in World War II: Fighting on Two Fronts | NewsELA
● Los Veteranos: Latinos in World War II | National WW2 Museum
● Primary Sources: Mexican Labor and WWII: The Bracero Program | DPLA

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Station 6: Soldiers (PTSD)

● The Psychology of PTSD​ | T​ ED-Ed
● Why the Battle of Okinawa Caused Severe Combat Fatigue​ | ​Smithsonian
● Battle Fatigue during the Battle of the Bulge​ | ​YouTube
● Nightmares of the ​Indianapolis​ | Hardcore History Podcast

● The Perilous Fight - Psychology of War - Letters from the Front | PBS
● The Perilous Fight - Psychology of War - Mental Toll | PBS
● Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder | Mayo Clinic

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Station 7: Navajo Code Talkers
● Who Were the Navajo Code Talkers? | CNN
● Navajo Code Talker Explains Role in WWII | AP

● The Navajo Code Talkers Played Crucial Role During WWII | NewsELA
● Native Words Native Warriors - Codes and Intelligence | National Museum of the
American Indian

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Part C—Atomic Bombings

Focusing and Essential Questions:
FQ: How have historians taken different perspectives on the war? (SS.H.2.6-8.MdC. )
FQ: Should the US have dropped atomic weapons on Japan? (SS.H.4.6-8.MC.)
EQ: How should we remember the dropping of the atomic bombs in 1945? (SS.H.4.6-8.MC.)

Background Videos
● Truman and the Atomic Bomb​ | ​PBS
● Testing the Atomic Bomb | BBC Studios
● Truman’s Ultimatum Regarding the Bomb | BBC Studios
● Dropping the Bomb | BBC Studios
● Remembering the Tragic Aftermath | BBC Studios
● Harrowing Aftermath of the Bomb | BBC Studios
● Nagasaki Bomb and Surrender | BBC Studios
● Hiroshima Atomic Bomb - Survivor Recalls Horrors | BBC News

Background Essay: ​The Dawn of the Atomic Age​ | Junior Scholastic


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Background Essay: Truman and the Atomic Bomb — World War II

When Harry Truman became president upon the death of Franklin Roosevelt, the Atlantic and
Pacific theaters of World War II presented distinctly different pictures. Hitler's government was
disintegrating, and Germany surrendered on May 8, 1945, less than a month after Truman took
office. In contrast, Japan appeared undeterred by the thousands of tons of bombs and napalm
that had been dropped on its soil and that had claimed 100,000 Japanese lives. The ferocious
resistance Japan's army had posed on the island of Okinawa, where 10,000 American and
100,000 Japanese soldiers died, reinforced the notion that Japan would never surrender.

A committee appointed by Truman soon after he took office had a solution to the impasse. It
reported that a top-secret weapon, the atomic bomb, would be available shortly and should be
used without any prior warning. The report offered no alternatives. While the president did agree
in mid-June to plan for a possible U.S. invasion of Japan in the fall of 1945, his lack of
experience in office, determination to minimize American casualties, and desire to demonstrate
strength to the Soviet Union made him inclined to accept the study committee recommendation.
This inclination was reinforced by a sense that aerial attacks by all sides in the war had made
the bombing of civilian populations an acceptable practice, and that Japan's initial attack on
Pearl Harbor in 1941 justified any counterattack. On July 25, Truman learned that the bomb had
been successfully tested and ordered military commanders to deploy the weapon at their

After a final diplomatic attempt to obtain Japan's unconditional surrender failed, the bomber
Enola Gay​ dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6. Truman
was shown aerial photos of the devastation two days later, but was unaware that 80,000
Japanese had been killed and that tens of thousands more would die from ensuing radiation
sickness. A second strike on August 9 destroyed the Japanese port city of Nagasaki and
claimed 40,000 more lives. Japan surrendered on August 14.

Truman claimed to have had no second thoughts on his decision to drop the bombs, yet many
have questioned whether less lethal alternatives were available. These critics included several
scientists who worked on the atomic bomb, and who felt a test demonstration of its effects
would have been sufficiently persuasive. Others have suggested that a clear warning to the
Japanese, or an assurance that defeat would not entail replacement of their emperor, would
have led to surrender. Ultimately, however, the secrecy under which the bomb had been
developed, coupled with a determination to save American lives, kept such options from even
being considered.

Reprinted from ​PBS LearningMedia:​ Truman and the Atomic Bomb — World War II

© 2013 WGBH. All Rights Reserved. For personal or classroom use only. Not for redistribution.

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Document A: Firebombing of Tokyo, 1945


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Document B: ​Harry Truman’s ​Memoirs

"I had then set up a committee of top men and had asked them to study with great care the
implications the new weapons might have for us. It was their recommendation that the bomb be
used against the enemy as soon as it could be done. They recommended further that it should
be used without specific warning... I had realized, of course, that an atomic bomb explosion
would inflict damage and casualties beyond imagination. On the other hand, the scientific
advisors of the committee reported... that no technical demonstration they might propose, such
as over a deserted island, would be likely to bring the war to an end. It had to be used against
an enemy target.

The final decision of where and when to use the atomic bomb was up to me. Let there be no
mistake about it. I regarded the bomb as a military weapon and never doubted it should be

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Document C: Admiral Leahy’s Memoir, ​I was There

"The use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no 
material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already 
defeated and ready to surrender... 
"In being the first to use it, we . . . adopted an ethical standard common to the 
barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and 
wars cannot be won by destroying women and children." 
— Admiral William E. Leahy, President Truman's Chief of Staff, in his memoirs "I 
Was There" 

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Document D: ​The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb

by Harry Stimson
"The face of war is the face of death; death is an inevitable part of every order 
that a wartime leader gives. The decision to use the atomic bomb was a 
decision that brought death to over a hundred thousand Japanese... 
"But this deliberate, premeditated destruction was our least abhorrent 
alternative. The destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki put an end to the 
Japanese war. It stopped the fire raids, and the strangling blockade; it ended 
the ghastly specter of a clash of great land armies. In this last great action of 
the Second World War we were given final proof that war is death." 
—Secretary of War Henry Stimson 

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Document E: ​Nippon Times​ (August 10, 1945)

"How can a human being with any claim to a sense of moral responsibility 
deliberately let loose an instrument of destruction which can at one stroke 
annihilate an appalling segment of mankind? This is not war: this is not even 
murder; this is pure nihilism. This is a crime against God and humanity which 
strikes at the very basis of moral existence. What meaning is there in any 
international law, in any rule of human conduct, in any concept of right and 
wrong, if the very foundations of morality are to be overthrown as the use of 
this instrument of total destruction threatens to do?" 
— ​Nippon Times​ (Tokyo), August 10, 1945 

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Document F: ​New York Times ​(August 24, 1965)

"The day was August 6, 1945. I was a G.I. who had weathered the war in 
Europe and now awaited my place in the storming of Japan's home islands. 
On Truman's orders, the first atomic bomb ever wielded in war exploded over 
Hiroshima. For Americans in uniform and those who waited for them to come 
home, outrageous as this might appear from the moral heights of hindsight, it 
was a sunburst of deliverance." 
—Lester Bernstein, New York Times, 10/24/65 

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Document G: ​Hiroshima Diary​ (1945)

"The view where a moment before all had been so bright and sunny was now 
dark and hazy... What had happened? All over the right side of my body I was 
bleeding... My private nurse set about examining my wounds without speaking 
a word. No one spoke... Why was everyone so quiet? The heat finally became 
too intense to endure... Those who could fled; those who could not perished... 
Hiroshima was no longer a city but a burned-over prairie. To the east and to the 
west everything was flattened. The distant mountains seemed nearer than I 
could ever remember... How small Hiroshima was with its houses gone." 
- Michihiko Hachiya, Hiroshima Diary: The Journal of a Japanese Physician 
August 6 - September 30, 1945 

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Document H: ​New Means of Destruction (July 17,


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Document I: Harrowing Accounts from Hiroshima

Survivors | Smithsonian