Shortly before the crew of the B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay completed their mission to bomb Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, U.S. pilots dropped leaflets over Japan warning citizens of coming destruction. The leaflets warned Japanese citizens that their government was leading them to death and that the US government had no wish to kill civilians.
United States. Army. Air Corps
Unknown, Gift, Unknown
0.05 Cubic feet ((1 folder))
No restrictions on access.
This collection consists of three 5.5 x 8.5 inch leaflets, printed on both sides. They contain text in Japanese as well as images. Caption information from an unknown source is provided for some of the leaflets. Leaflet No. 2101 reads, "This is a message from the President of the United States, Harry Truman, to the people of Japan. The only way to avoid complete destruction of your family, home, economy, and nation is to immediately cease all military activities and surrender unconditionally. If you continue your futile resistance, we will be forced to bring unnecessary destruction upon the nation. This damage will be far greater than those received by Germany." This leaflet has an image of Harry Truman, one of a Japanese woman holding a baby, and another of Japanese fishermen in boats. The leaflet also has an image of bombed buildings with the caption, "Save your nation from destruction" and an image of a B-29 in flight captioned "Superfortress above Tokyo." Leaflet No. 2097 has an image of an emaciated man and a body of water on one side and reads, "A year after the supplies were cut off to an isolated island in the souther [sic] sea...This soldier and the floating debris speak the truth about this war." Leaflet No. 2094 has an image of President Truman and various military equipment on one side and reads, "In his message to the Japanese people, the President of the United States, Harry Truman says 'The term "unconditional surrender" is strictly a military term. We only demand the military to surrender its weapons. We do not intend to enslave or exterminate the people of Japan. The former Prime Minister Gen. Koiso gave a false interpretation of this term in order to forcefully continue the war that cannot be won.'" The reverse of this pamphlet reads, "Unconditional surrender means the surrender of all weapons" and features an image of an unidentified military officer signing papers and a second image of a group of civilians standing by military personnel.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Aerial operations
World War, 1939-1945 -- Propaganda
World War II Propaganda Leaflets, Accession XXXX-0846, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
National Air and Space Museum Archives