The atom bomb

The nightmare of Okinawa made Truman decide to use the atom bomb

The US operation of 1945 to take the island of Okinawa was the largest battle of the Pacific during the second world war. Seven US divisions were used in the operation, approximately half a million men, along with the entire US Pacific fleet of 1,457 ships. The initial assault was led by a landing force of 183,000, which brought with it 747,000 tons of cargo. It was, according to this superbly researched, well-written book, ‘the greatest air-land-sea battle in history’. The US side was led by Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr, the son of a famous Confederate general. His opponent on Okinawa was Lieutenant General Mitsuru Ushijima, whose force