The Order to Drop the Atomic Bomb
25 July 1945
TO: General Carl Spaatz
United States Army Strategic Air Forces
1. The 509 Composite Group, 20th Air Force will deliver its first special
bomb as soon as weather will permit visual bombing after about 3 August
1945 on one of the targets: Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigata, Nagasaki. To carry
military and civilian scientific personnel from the War Department to
observe and record the effects of the explosion of the bomb, additional
aircraft will accompany the airplane carrying the bomb. The observing
planes will stay several miles distant from the point of impact of the
2. Additional bombs will be delivered on the above targets as soon as
made ready by the project staff. Further instructions will be issued concerning
targets other than those listed above.
3. Dissemination of any and all information concerning the use of the
weapon against Japan is reserved to the Secretary of War and the President
of the United States. Communiques on the subject or releases of information
will be issued by Commanders in the field without specific prior authority.
Any news stories will be sent to the War Department for special clearance.
4. The foregoing directive is issued to you by direction and with the
approval of the Secretary of War and of the Chief of Staff, USA. It is
desired that you personally deliver one copy of this directive to General
MacArthur and one copy to Admiral Nimitz for their information.
THOS. T. HANDY
Acting Chief of Staff