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  Library Correspondence David Lloyd: Memorandum, January 6, 1953

Memorandum reviewing letter to Professor Cate
From: David D Lloyd
To: Harry S Truman, President of the United States of America
Date: January 6, 1953

January 6, 1953

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT:

At your request I have reviewed your draft letter to Professor Cate, and I have made a few slight revisions after checking the details.

In your draft, you state that General Marshall told you that a landing in Japan would cost a quarter of a million casualties to the United States, and an equal number of the enemy. Mr. Stimson, in his book written by McGeorge Bundy, says that Marshall’s estimate was over a million casualties. Your recollection sounds more reasonable than Stimson’s, but in order to avoid a conflict, I have changed the wording to read that General Marshall expected a minimum of a quarter of a million casualties and possibly a much greater number -- as much as a million.

Secretary Forrestal does not appear to have been at the Potsdam meetings until July 28, and your conferences about the atom bomb appear to have taken place early in the meeting, on July 22, 23 and 24. Accordingly, I have deleted the Secretary of the Navy from the list of those with whom you conferred.

I have also inserted a paragraph explaining why the orders to General Spaatz were dated July 25 rather than after the ultimatum. This has been checked with the historian of the Department of Defense.

Russian entry into the war was less than a week before the surrender.

I have deleted the last sentence of your draft, since I think that it might be unfairly used by the propagandists of the political opposition. It states a fundamental truth, but in a very restrained way, and it seemed to me that it might raise more problems than it would help.

I attach various memoranda to me on this subject from Kenneth Hechler who did the research.

DAVID D. LLOYD


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See Also
Hiroshima and
Nagasaki Documents