The Unseen Hand - Ralph Epperson

The Atomic Bomb

It was in 1945 that the war started to unwind. But the war was not to end as quickly as it could have.

The Japanese attempted to end the war on February 14, 1945, when the American government learned of their efforts to surrender through a decoded message between their government and the Russian government. But the American government was not ready to accept Japan's efforts to end the war. "Marshall [George Marshall, the Army Chief of Staff] made it clear that he had little faith in the Japanese overtures for peace."

These peace overtures were repeated again in June, 1945, when Russia received word that Japan was ready to end the war. These messages were once again intercepted by the American government, but nothing was done.

The reason for America's reluctance to end the war became clear on August 6, 1945, when the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. The American Air Force tried to warn the people of the city that it was certain to be destroyed, as they dropped 720,000 leaflets onto the city stating that Hiroshima would be ". . .obliterated unless Japan surrendered at once." A good many people left the city, but it was estimated that around 250,000 people remained.

The decision to drop a second bomb was made:

"No top level meeting had been convened to discuss the necessity of a second bomb, no attempt made to determine if the first bomb or Russian entry (Russia had declared war on Japan on August 8, 1945) into the conflict had quickened Japan's intent to surrender."

Harry Truman, who had assumed the presidency after President Roosevelt's death on April 12, 1945, is quoted as saying, after the first bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, that: " . . . this is the greatest thing in history."

There are those in high places in the American government who felt that it was not necessary to drop either bomb on Japan. One, Admiral William Leahy, was on record as saying: "I was of the firm opinion that our war against Japan had progressed to the point where her defeat was only a matter of time and attrition."

There is still speculation as to why the two cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were selected as the targets for the two atomic bombs, since neither were military targets, in the main. One author offers an explanation: "Hiroshima and Nagasaki . . . were the chief centers in Japan of a native Christian population."

There is some evidence that before the bombs were dropped on Japan, President Roosevelt had some second thoughts about the use of these enormously powerful and destructive weapons on innocent people: "The President . . . prepared a speech for delivery on Jefferson Day. Roosevelt had intended to expose openly to the world 'the danger that politicians will accept as inevitable the destruction of innocent people to achieve their goals and that scientists will concentrate on the means and ignore the ends of their research.'"

In any event, before he could deliver the address, Roosevelt passed away, so the world will never know for certain just what he intended by this speech.

It is interesting to note that Japan never attacked Russia during the war. Russia was America's World War II ally and therefore a presumed enemy of Japan. Neither had Russia attacked Japan prior to the dropping of the first atomic bomb. This is strange as Russia was at war with Japan's ally Germany, and according to the terms of the Tripartite Treaty already referred to, both nations should have been at war with each other. Japan's attacking of Russia would have had dramatic results in assisting the nation of Germany, for two reasons.

  1. It would have opened up a second front for Russia, which would have been forced to move troops needed in its war against Germany to the war against Japan, thereby relieving some of the pressure on Japan's ally, Germany; and
  2. It possibly could have closed the Russian port of Vladivostok, where much of America's Lend-Lease war material was being unloaded. This action would have aided Germany as it would have eliminated much of the war supplies Russia needed to conduct the Weir against Germany.

August 8, 1945, was the day that Russia finally decided to enter the war against Japan, and this was but six days prior to that nation's surrender. It has been theorized that the reason this occurred in this sequence was to rationalize the giving of Japanese property or interests to the Russians after the war, since they were then an official enemy of Japan.

One of the Americans who observed the strange behavior of the American government was General George S. Patton. He had seen enough to cause him to want to resign from tbe military so that he could "say what I want to" about America's "soft on Communism" stance during the war. Patton knew enough about the military that he couldn't merely retire and speak out, because military men of high rank, even though retired, are still under the control of the government. This subjection to government authority includes their ability to speak out on the main issues of the day. Should Patton resign, he would be free to speak as he saw fit

Patton had a strong dislike for what happened as the Russians acquired much of Eastern Europe, and it is said by many that he was going to speak about this betrayal to the American people after the war was over.

But, before he had a chance to resign, he was killed after an automobile accident caused him to be hospitalized.

In 1979, a former undercover agent for the Office of Strategic Services, the OSS, gave an interview in which he claimed that he had been asked to kill Patton. This agent was ". . . Douglas Bazata, a veteran intelligence agent, who said he received a contract on Patton's life in 1944. According to Bazata, the order for the 'hit' came down to him from none other than the legendary Office of Strategic Services direct from [its administrator] 'Wild Bill' Donovan."

When Bazata was asked why he was finally going public with this admission after so many years, he said he " . . . was in poor health and wanted the American people to know the truth."

The newspaper that carried the interview claimed that it had "a professional analyst subject Bazata's interview to the rigors of a content analysis using a Psychological Stress Evaluator (P.S.E.) His report: Bazata gives no evidence of lying."

It was Bazata's contention that, although he collected more than $10,000 for the death of Patton, he was not responsible for Patten's actual death. He claimed that he knows, however, who did kill him, and that Patton was killed by a dose of cyanide in the hospital where he was taken after the automobile accident, and that it was the cyanide rather than the accident that took his life.

About the same time as Patton's death, the Second World War wound down to a halt. But the tragic events of the war were not to come to a close as yet.

The victorious Allies had to move over sixteen million Germans from their homes in Central and Eastern Europe. The reasons for this expulsion are not presently clear, although the removal was agreed to by the Allied governments.

In October, 1944, the Soviet Army was advancing westward through the eastern nations of Europe. This westward movement ". . . triggered a massive flight of German civilians to the West. Four to five million persons fled. Millions of Germans also remained. . . Large German enclaves . . . remained in other areas of pre-war Poland, in Hungary, Romania, and Yugoslavia. In the last two years of the war, however, a far-reaching Allied policy had been taking form . . . aimed at . . . the radical removal of Germans from Eastern and Central Europe. At the conclusion of the Potsdam Conference (17 July—2 August, 1945) a protocol was announced. Article XIII of which authorized the transfer of the Eastern Germans to what was left of the Reich (Germany)."

As the Germans were being forcibly removed from their homes, "acts of incredible cruelty and sadism were committed. Helpless civilians were evicted from their homes with clubs, women were raped, men were conscripted into slave labor, thousands were interned in camps awaiting expulsion—"

After the war ended, the victorious Allies conducted War Crime trials at Nuremburg. One of those convicted of the forced deportation of Germans and others into forced labor was Albert Speer, Germany's Minister of Arms and Munitions. In his book Inside the Third Reich, Speer wrote: "Deportation of labor is unquestionably an international crime. I do not regret my sentence, even though other nations are now doing the same thing we did."

Others also saw the depravity of the deportations and attempted to bring it to the attention of the U.S. government. One of these was Robert Murphy, U.S. Political Adviser for Germany, who wrote to the U.S. State Department: "In viewing the distress,. . . the mind reverts instantly to Dachau and Buchenwald. Here is retribution on a large scale . . . practiced. . . on women and children, the poor, the infirm."

No one listened, especially the United States, and the deportations continued. The tragedy is that "over 2 million Germans did not survive their involuntary migration."

The war was now over, the Germans had been removed from their new homes, and Europe could begin to rebuild from the enormous destruction. The costs of the war could now be totalled: More than 50 million persons, 25 million of them in uniform, the rest civilians, were killed, most of them by horrible deaths.

There were no victors in World War II except the nations who now controlled the lands under dispute during the war. One American general, Albert C. Wedemeyer, correctly concluded that Russia was the only victor:

"Stalin was intent on creating favorable conditions for the realization of Communist aims throughout the Balkans and Western Europe. He emerged as the only victor of the war. We [the Allies] insured the emergence of a more hostile, menacing predatory power than Nazi Germany, one which has enslaved more people than we liberated."

[Illustration] from The Unseen Hand by Ralph Epperson


A European who agreed with General Wedemeyer was Prince Michel Sturdza, former Foreign Minister of Rumania, who wrote the following about World War II in his book The Suicide of Europe:

"World War II . . . was to leave only one victor. . .: International Communism as embodied in Soviet Russia."

So the Second World War was over.

But, as was pointed out by General Wedemeyer, America had created a far more menacing power: Soviet Russia.