Smith; Durango, and nation, hoped war’s end near

Friday, Sept. 1, 2017 5:04 PM
Duane Smith

With the shock of the second atomic bomb being dropped, Americans wondered how much longer Japan could hold out.

Surrounded by naval ships, relentlessly bombed, and defeated throughout Asia, the Japanese had no hope of preventing final surrender. What that might mean to the country and its people remained unknown.

Already, however, the German leaders faced war crime trials. Would the Japanese also? And what would be the fate of the emperor and the war leaders?

War weary Americans hoped the conflict would soon end and peace finally return.

War, which had never been glorious, now seemed more horrifying than it had been as the world entered the atomic era.

Durango Herald-Democrat, Aug. 11, 1945:

JAPAN OFFERS TO QUIT: WASHINGTON CONFIRMS NOTE AS SECOND BOMB LEVELS NAGASAKI – Reports today on the second atomic bombing said that the bomb obliterates Nagasaki in an inferno of smoke and flame. President Truman’s talk lacks hint of quick peace. In a speech, he painted a black picture and warned Japanese citizens to leave industrial cities immediately and remarked that the use of the atomic bomb would be continued.

HHHTHE BUMSTEADS COME TO DURANGO TO STAY – The famous comic strip (“Blondie”) is signed for an indefinite run.

HHHDurango Herald-Democrat, Aug. 12:

ALLIES ANSWER JAPAN – Require full authority over the Empire

The Big Four (United States, Soviet Union, France, England) gave their answer to the Japanese surrender offer stipulating that the authority of the Japanese emperor shall be subject to the rule of the Allies’ military commander.


HHHLAW DRAFTED TO END THE DRAFT – V-J Day appears imminent.

Fleet ordered to renew fight. The powerful American and British fleet, off the coast of Japan, will resume the attack on the enemy’s islands.

Duane Smith is professor emeritus of history from Fort Lewis College. Reach him at 247-2589.