11 September, 2012

11 September 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 513 % Postmaster, N.Y.
11 September, 1945
My dearest sweetheart –

This month is slipping by very rapidly and not a heluva lot has happened yet. We lose one more officer tomorrow morning. He has 101 points – by virtue of one-each per papoose – male, and he’s a happy man. We decided to make him happier last nite – and on the spur of the moment, we had a binge. We hadn’t had one in some time – and it’s a long long time since we had one like the one last nite. The only reason the chandeliers didn’t come down is because we don’t have chandeliers. When the girls who came in to clean – saw the living room this a.m. – I think they felt like quitting.

I don’t really believe any of us really drank so much, dear. But there’s no use denying that everyone is keyed up – under more tension than usual – and a little alcohol merely serves as an outlet. At least that’s my interpretation for some of the wildness.

With officers down to 101 leaving – we’re really going to feel the pressure any day now. We have one officer with 100, two with 99, two with 98, one with 97, one 96, and 4 with 95. If all those go in the next two weeks or so – I’ll soon end up as battalion commander, if I don’t watch out. I sure wish I could be writing you that I was leaving any day. But it’ll come, sure as shooting.

Well, again no mail from you – but the whole battalion is short on mail, so I can’t blame it on Montreal. I’m anxious to hear more about that. Do you realize that I left you last way up in the styx of Rutland, Vt.?

Say – who does that kind Hellfont think he is, anyway – or have I already registered my indignation in another letter? He is persistent – and unfair, too, considering the fact that I’m not around; it’s not very soldierly of him – to say the least, darling – but I’m so glad your principles haven’t changed. It’s certainly comforting.

Boy that was a piece of gossip in re Dr. Alperte and his wife and newborn. If the story being passed around is not true – then it’s a nasty piece of business. On the other hand, if it is true – it’s not very nice either. I can’t understand why – if they did get into trouble like that – they didn’t marry earlier. Dr. Freedman is a pretty well-known pediatrician in town and I can imagine how things hummed.

Gosh, darling, it’s already 1000 and I have to speak to the battalion at 1015 – so I’d better take off. But not before I remind you yet again that you’re the dearest thing in the world to me, sweetheart, and that I love you with all the sincerity of which I am capable. Always remember that, dear. And now, so long and love to the folks.

All my everlasting love, darling


about Harry Stimson's Memorandum to Truman
about Letting the Soviet Union in on Atomic Bomb Secrets

"The only deadly sin I know is cynicism."
Henry L. Stimson
Henry Lewis Stimson (21 September 1867 – 20 October 1950) was an American statesman, who served as Secretary of War, Governor-General of the Philippines, and Secretary of State. He was a conservative Republican, and a leading lawyer in New York City. He is best known as the civilian Secretary of War during World War II, chosen for his aggressive stance against Nazi Germany, with responsibility for the Army and Air Force. He managed the drafting and training of 12 million soldiers and airmen, the purchase and transportation to battlefields of 30% of the nation's industrial output, and the building and decision to use the atomic bomb. He communicated his thoughts on the political aspects of the U.S. keeping the secrets of the bomb from the Soviet Union after V-J Day in the following letter and memorandum.

Memorandum on the Effects of Atomic Bomb
From: Henry Stimson, Secretary of War
To: Harry S Truman, President of the United States of America
Date: 11 September 1945

Mr. Stimson, who did not enjoy a good relationship with President Harry S. Truman, retired from office on his 78thbirthday, 21 September 1945, just 10 days after dating this Letter and Memorandum. Click here to read the above-letter along with the entire Memorandum. Here are some excerpts from the Memorandum:
... To put the matter concisely, I consider the problem of our satisfactory relations with Russia as not merely connected with but as virtually dominated by the problem of the atomic bomb. Except for the problem of the control of the bomb, those relations, while vitally important, might not be immediately pressing. The establishment of relations of mutual confidence between her and us could afford to wait the slow progress of time. But with the discovery of the bomb they became immediately emergent. Those relations may be perhaps irretrievably embittered by the way in which we approach the solution of the bomb with Russia. For if we fail to approach them now and merely continue to negotiate with them, having this weapon rather ostentatiously on our hip, their suspicions and their distrust of our purposes and motives will increase. It will inspire them to greater efforts in an all-out effort to solve the problem. If the solution is achieved in that spirit, it is much less likely that we will ever get the kind of covenant we may desperately need in the future. This risk, is, I believe, greater than the other, inasmuch as our objective must be to get the best kind of international bargain we can - one that has some chance of being kept and saving civilization not for five or for twenty years, but forever.

The chief lesson I have learned in a long life is that the only way you can make a man trustworthy is to trust him; and the surest way to make him untrustworthy is to distrust him and show your distrust.

If the atomic bomb were merely another though more devastating military weapon to be assimilated into our pattern of international relations, it would be one thing. We could then follow the old custom of secrecy and nationalistic military superiority relying on international caution to prescribe the future use of the weapon as we did with gas. But I think the bomb instead constitutes merely a first step in a new control by man over the forces of nature too revolutionary and dangerous tofit into the old concepts. I think it really caps the climax of the age between man's growing technical power for destructiveness and his psychological power of self-control and group control-his moral power. If so, our method of approach to the Russians is a question of the most vital importance in the evolution of human progress.

... My idea of an approach to the Soviets would be a direct proposal after discussion with the British that we would be prepared in effect to enter an arrangement with the Russians, the general purpose of which would be to control and limit the use of the atomic bomb as an instrument of war and so far as possible to direct and encourage the development of atomic power for peaceful and humanitarian purposes. Such an approach might more specifically lead to the proposal that we would stop work on the further improvement in, or manufacture of, the bomb as a military weapon, provided the Russians and the British would agree to do likewise. It might also provide that we would be willing to impound what bombs we now have in the United States provided the Russians and the British would agree with us that in no event will they or we use a bomb as an instrument of war unless all three Governments agree to that use. We might also consider including in the arrangement a covenant with the U.K. and the Soviets providing for the exchange of benefits of future development whereby atomic energy may be applied on a mutually satisfactory basis for commercial or humanitarian purposes.

... I emphasize perhaps beyond all other considerations the importance of taking this action with Russia as a proposal of the United States - backed by Great Britain but peculiarly the proposal of the United States. Action of any international group of nations, including many small nations who have not demonstrated their potential power or responsibility in this war would not, in my opinion, be taken seriously by the Soviets. The loose debates which would surround such proposal, if put before a conference of nations, would provoke but scant favor from the Soviets. As I say, I think this is the most important point in the program.

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