tv Oral Histories CSPAN September 5, 2015 7:58am-9:24am EDT
liesel unfortunately died a few days later. after wounds which she sustained i was in the hospital for quite a long time. he told me -- he asked me if he could do something with me and i said if we could write to my uncle in turkey and tell him i was alooive and to see if he ha any news about my parents and my brother. i didn't see him for quite a long time. the following day the war was over and how i found about it, we went to -- to make a hospital out of a schoolhouse. >> and then you came to america? >> we were married a year later in france. my husband came back after being discharged from the army. he came back, we were married in
paris and i came with him to the united states. i landed here on the 30th of august, 1946, came to buffalo, new york, on the 13th of september. i have three children and eight grandchildren. i have one minute and one statement. i wrote in the preface of my first book something which is very dear to me. i finished the last chapter of my book i feel at peace at last. i have discharged a burden and repaid a debt to any unnamed heroes. i'm haunted by the thought that i might be the only one left to tell the story. happy in new new life, i pen it had last sentence. i've written my story with tears and with love and in the hope that my children, safely asleep in their cribs, should not awaken from a nightmare and find it to be reality.
i have just put my youngest grandchild, three weeks old, into her crib. it is with this prayer now for all history'sek, american tv reel america brings you archival films that help tell the story of the 20th century. filmintment in tokyo" is a documenting the course of world war ii in the pacific theater, from the japanese invasion of the philippines through the surrender ceremony onboard the uss missouri on september 2, 19 45, which was presided over by general douglas smith macarthur. this hour-long film features many graphic scenes of combat and has frequent racial slurs way describing the japanese. ♪
he had barely 500. illions, yet 48 equipped divisions. against him were thousands of miles of jap infested islands and controlled sees -- seas. against him was time, space, and preparation. against them was an area that may be vast united states seem small. american industry and labor were converting from the nonessentials of peace to the necessities of war. ♪ conversion was low and the european theater at first call. there was little to spare for the pacific. little to travel 10,000 miles from factory to foxhole.
the longest supply line in the world. a supply line won and secured by naval victory in the coral sea, land victories in the galapagos islands. ♪ but the japs were still on the move. march 2, 1943. a strong enemy convoy was crawling through the bismarck sea. the fifth air force struck with every plane they could get off the ground. ♪
score: 22 shattered hulks. every enemy ship. a decisive aerial victory had been gained in a critical hour. the japs had been stopped. this was the turning point. the job of fighting back to the philippines and beyond to japan required the closest teamwork of sea, land, and air forces. this brought together douglas macarthur and chester nimitz. washington had a plan. two roads back to the philippines. along thehawaii gilberts, marshals, to palau. this was the job for naval and
up from australia and across jungle clad new guinea we , learned amphibious warfare and used the sea lanes for surprise, until we had cut off the japs and stood on the admiralty's. word dog in and ready. wak.e bypassed we ♪ strategy, surprise, up the stairway of islands. ♪ morotai. the gis in the south pacific word dog in and ready for the main event.
to get there, they had left a lot of japs behind them. fox score. 152,000 dead, 160,000 bypassed. this total of 312,000 japs had dost us 13,000 dogtags naile to white crosses. ♪ meantime, the forces commanded by admiral nimitz in hawaii faced a different kind of war. there were no places to hit 'em where they ain't. coral and atoll had to be taken jap by jap. ♪
in early october of 1944, a combat loaded convert from pearl harbor was on its way to strike the enemy stronghold. one afternoon, a top-secret code message broke radio silence. for three years, our expanding navy and air force sf prowled the pacific, cutting jap supply lines, smashing airstrips, blasting garrisons, until jap losses made a big change in plans. from admiral nimitz, instructions to change course. the invasion canceled, rendezvous for task forces headed for a new objective. the philippines.
>> now get this. these are the philippines. about the top is luzon, the most important island. manila. corregidor. the japs are expected in his here. out of the bottom is another place they are expecting us. got it? ok. so we do not hit luzon. we do not hit mindanao. we hit here, right in the middle. now remember, don't get careless. they are the same kind of japs they have always been. any questions? >> questions? sure. the silent kind. ♪ yes. there are always questions. ♪
>> and the lord said, i have certainly seen the affliction of my people. and i heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters. and i'm come down to deliver them out of the land unto a good land. >> an army is a collection of men. and a man is a collection of needs. one of these needs is prayer. and prayer is a form of remembering. remember? yeah. back in those canvas hotels in the staging area. yeah, i remember. i remember joe getting all polished up to go nowhere. what a character. funny how the unimportant things are important.
like the first beer you had in nine months. like the accordion. and you remember packing. cutting down to just what you need, because what you take, you take on your back. and you remember the things you left behind. the lone prairie ♪ >> all the things you want to say and could not. and all the things you want to take and couldn't. western skythe ♪ the lone prairie ♪ ♪
these forward into leyte. againstr the challenge reinforced jap positions. [explosions] while the gis pressed forward, grabbing ground suddenly a new , threat developed. headingfleet appeared, for both entrances to leyte gulf, moving to a blast our foothold in the philippines. ground troopsmuch could do about this threats from the rear. this was a job for the navy. ♪ the first engagement was fought at night. ♪
onshore, everybody sweated it out, from g.i. to general. our heaviest artillery was turned around toward the sea. they looked big. but against naval broadsides, they would be like pistols against rifles. ♪ carriers put the sting of death into the air around the leyte gulf. jap fighters and bombers reinforced their sea strength.
[airplane engines whirring] floating wreckage and floating japs. we had won a naval battle. ♪ >> battle one, beachhead secure. but to the infantry, it was just another day to keep pushing. the speed and dash of the first days are gone. you're not front-page headlines anymore. and being dry is something you have forgotten. you march in mud. ♪
sometimes, they are not enough. ♪ this is a cathedral, a large church in a small town. but this is only one church of one town of one island. and there are thousands of islands where people like these are waiting. and on these other islands, life under the japanese is hard. ♪ dominationt jap meant. guerrillas had kept us informed. ♪
january 9, 1945. this is luzon. .our divisions landing abreast we had expected a very different kind of creating the least -- we had expected a very different welcome than the cheering filipinos who told us the japanese have pulled back two days before. ♪ these are guerrillas. don't let the uniforms fool you. these men kept the war going in the philippines, long after the japs said it was over.
some targets, they cannot see. mountains would have to be bought with battles like these. >> they are doing ok! [explosions] >> they are flying too much from northwest -- too much from northwest to southeast. that is good! that is right on the ball. [explosions] >> bombs very nicely placed, within the target area. >> sea company moving up right here with the mission of
attacking this ridge directly to our rear. f company is moving to the present position located on this high ground back there. they are going to pass through f company and attack toward the same hill. you give me a concentration on that hill. >> 2380? zeroed the mortars around the hill. we will drop it right in there. >> get direct fire. >> yes, sir. >> ok, sam. i would like a lot of phosphorus. i would like an artillery concentration for these troops to move in this direction. ♪
narrator: yea, though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death, i will fear no evil. ♪ narrator: it is slow going up a hillside. it is slow because you have got the hill against you along with the enemy on it. ♪ it is slow going up. sometimes slower coming down. spedime, the main force down the central plains. back of enemy lines was an important human objective, the prisoner of war camp. if we failed to reach these men, they will be taken with the retreating japs on another death march. hand-picked gorillas and a company of rangers started on
said, i have surely seen the affliction of my people. and i have heard their cries by reason of their taskmasters. and i am come down to deliver unto at of that land delivered land. february, 1945. american objective corregidor. the general had an appointment with the past. ♪ corregidor, the name of a rock. but it is more than a name. the way valley forge and the
hope, andy earnest indeed the hope of all mankind, that from this solemn occasion a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past. upon faith and understanding. a world dedicated to the dignity of man, and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom, tolerance, and justice. representatives of the emperor of japan and the japanese government and the japanese imperial general headquarters to sign the instrument of surrender at the
on! ♪ ht will go weekend, threeay days of politics, books, and american history on a full day of special programs on c-span, here are a futures -- few of the features for labor day monday. at town hall hall event in seattle discusses the pros and cons of big out and civil liberties. later that evening at 6:30, a debate on how to reduce poverty between president obama and the president of the american enterprise institute. at 8:00, mark cuban and former presidents bill clinton and george w. bush on leadership skills. we arerning at 10:00, live all day in the nation's capital for the 15th annual national book festival with programs featuring cokie roberts
and joseph ellis as well is your opportunity to talk with pulitzer prize-winning american historian david mccullough, buzz aldrin, and others. an in-depth conversation with the former first lady and senior fellow lynne cheney who will take your calls and tweets. eden at 9:00, catherine talks about how families from chicago to the mississippi delta are surviving on no income. labor day monday beginning at shareeaston, authors their thoughts on social and political issues. on american history tv on cspan3, tonight at 8:00, the boise state university fessler explains how defoliation -- university professor explains how defoliation created long-term damage to people and
the environment. sunday afternoon at 4:00 on "reel america" the film addressing overcrowded schools following the post-world war ii baby boom. on labor day monday, our interview with billionaire philanthropist david rubenstein. get our complete schedule at www.c-span.org. night, theday stanford law school professor talks about her book, which takes a critical look at the legal profession in the united states, the high cost of law school, and lack of diversity in the profession. >> i think we need a different model of legal education that includes one-your programs for people doing routine work. two-year programs as an option for people who want to do something specialized in the third year. and three full years for people
who want a full, general legal education we now have. it is crazy to train in the same way somebody who is doing routine divorces in a small town in the midwest and somebody doing mergers and acquisitions on wall street. we have this one-size-fits-all model of legal education that is extremely expensive. the average debt level for a law student is $100,000. that assumes you can train everybody to do everything in the same way. i am licensed to practice in two states, and i would not trust myself to do a routine divorce. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific on c-span's "q&a." >> with the sudden death of president harding, vice president calvin coolidge takes office. grace coolidge was an enormously popular first lady and
influenced the taste of american women by becoming a style icon. although she married a man known as silent cal, she never used -- spoke to the press but used the office to bring attention to issues she cared about. ladies," examining the public and private lives of women who filled the position and their influence on the presidency from martha washington to michelle obama sunday at 8:00 eastern on american history tv on cspan3. >> coming up next, richard thornton examines president truman's decision to drop the atomic bomb on hiroshima and nagasaki. he looked at the u.s. and ussr and the promises president roosevelt made during the yalta conference. he is the president of the institute for the study of strategy and politics which
hosted this event. this is a portion of a symposium 1940focused on august, five, in asia and the pacific marking the 70th anniversary of the end of world war ii. it is about one hour. writtenssor thorton has books on the presidency of carter, nixon, and reagan. and also a book on truman and the korean war, which today he is going to discuss truman and the end of world war ii. although there are many books on truman's decision to drop the comment bomb, there
are two overarching interpretations. one is the official view that it was done to shorten the war and save lives. and the other so-called revisionist view, that it was done to intimidate the russians, especially in europe. has skewed avie discussion on geopolitics, especially the emerging conflict with the russians. while the revisionist view is a disguised ideological lament about the lost possibility of detente with them. views share the same assumption. that the united states pursued no long-term assumption except to win the war. the truth is, if one does not understand strategy, one cannot
understand why any of the leaders acted the way they did. except in the most superficial way. from the longer-term perspective, world war ii itself was the culminating stage in a century-long struggle among japan, russia, and china for control over northeast asia. struggle and that held control for half a century. the united states have not played -- had not played a major role in it. but in the summer of 1945, was poised to play a decisive role. with japan's impending defeat and china's continued weakness, the question was how the united states and soviet union would,
in one way or another, shape the future structure of northeast asia. in my view, truman's decision to drop it, bonds-- was a preventive act designed to put in place a geopolitical structure that went far beyond the immediate effect of defeating japan. his purpose was undeniably to shorten the war and save lives. it was also to create the basis for long-term american hegemony in the pacific. thethat required defeating soviets to win control over northeast asia. upon assuming the presidency, truman initiated an exhaustive review of the agreements f.d.r. had made with stalin. the review took place in the
context of rapidly deteriorating relations with moscow as soviet forces searched toward berlin, prague, and vienna. f.d.r. committed the united states to the establishment of friendly governments around the borders of the soviet union. europe, according to the 1939 map, that meant only finland, poland, and romania. as part of f.d.r.'s general strategy to crush and occupy germany, he also agreed to shift poland borders, the entire state, some 200 miles, west into germany to ensure there would be a wea postwar germanyk. this had to consequence of not only assuring domination of finland, poland, and romania, but also open the door for soviet penetration into central europe. in the spring of 1945, stalin persuaded the pro soviet czech
president to transfer the ,astern tip of czechoslovakia sometimes called eastern ravinia, to the soviet union. they would sign a treaty in june. the annexation of that small piece of territory gave the soviets a direct order on hungry timengary for the first and a position in central europe. suffice it to say truman was alarmed at the soviet union's expanding demands in europe would find similar expression in the far east. that is why in his first meeting on april 23, truman emphasized repeatedly a need for the mutual observation of agreement. good relations, he said, could not be a one-way street. commitment -- to the
indignant reply he had never been talked to that when his life, truman replied keep your agreement and you will not be talked to like that. truman knew that they would flout the agreements made in the far east just as they were flouting them in europe. of particular concern was the secret yalta agreement. il to, f.d.r. and stalin -- at and stalin agreed the soviet union would into the war on the side of the allies on one condition. that the status quo would be preserved in outer mongolia, that the mature in court -- manchurian port would be nationalized and least to the soviet union. that russia and china would jointly operate in the chair in -- manchurian railroads. that the southern portion would be returned to the soviet union and that the cure-all islands islands wouldral
be handed over to the soviet union. agreement went on to state the soviet union stood ready to conclude a treaty of friendship and alliance with china to legalize these concessions. finally, f.d.r. also said he would gain his concurrence. the secret agreement reflected in part an ingenious solution to a fundamental conflict of interest between the united states and soviet union over china. long-term soviet strategy had been to establish buffer zones around the borders of the states, as was then occurring in eastern europe. and asia, the buffer zones -- in asia, the buffer zones were outer mongolia, manchuria, korea, and the islands. the soviets had long ago established estate in outer
mongolia, exerted substantial influence, and were poised to take a page from japan's book in seizing manchuria and korea. states for close to half a century had espoused a strategy of the open door which meant undeserved support for china's territorial integrity. american and russia strategies were indirect conflict, particularly over manchuria which in 1943, f.d.r. had promised to return to china. f.d.r.'s solution to this conundrum was to propose that in return for stalin's commitment to china's territorial integrity, he would guarantee the soviet union's preeminent interests in manchuria would be safeguarded. those interests were to be safeguarded through the instrumentality of the chinese,
lists, who had controlled manchuria after the war. there were no communists in manchuria then. what was proposed to bind us together was the treaty of friendship and alliance between the soviet union and china and the commitment to enter into a coalition government. the united states would encourage and support both negotiations. realize onlynt to a handful of men knew about the secret agreement at delta -- yalta. it would not be made public for a year. in retrospect, it is clear intro policy. it is also clear there was more to f.d.r. and stalin's agreement then was put on paper. they had an understanding regarding the pursuit of interests again japan, just like that against germany. invasion of japan's .slands was never made explicit
f.d.r.'s intentions were clear. an expansion of operation milepost, the united states provides the soviet union with thousands of trucks, planes, locomotives, transportation equipment, supplies, for the invasion of manchuria. and for project hula, transferred 139 ships to the soviet union in the far east including training 12,000 naval personnel. the early end of the war rock -- brought termination of those programs. had the war continued, these programs would have continued. a few days after the yalta meeting, the war department proposed two options for the soviet occupation of japan. these options clearly indicated f.d.r.'s intent. that they would only come into
play after the war ended and if his strategy was fully carried out. the position the russians would have acquired in the far east as a result of these agreements and understandings, combined with controlled half of europe, would have made the soviet union the dominant player on the entire eurasian landmass and a global equal to the united states. it would have won the century long struggle for control over asia, seizing manchuria, korea, and half of japan. they would have been able to incorporate industrial plant the japanese construction and acquired the ports they liked, making siberia viable. moreover, the longer the war continued, the stronger the soviet position would be at the end. it is no wonder truman concluded this was a bad bargain. f.d.r. had given away too much.
especially as it became increasingly evident it was no longer necessary to have the soviet union come into the war to defeat japan. faces isallenge truman how to wiggle out of f.d.r.'s commitments, especially yalta, but also milepost and hula, without violating any of them. this solution lay in the agreements themselves. the only specific territorial changes f.d.r. had committed the united states to in yalta horse ocalan -- were sakalin and the kuril islands. limited.t union was soviet control of outer mongolia was reconfirmed. but f.d.r. had made no formal commitment for the invasion and occupation of japan, of japan's home islands. nor had he made any formal
written commitment about korea. at cairo, we know in november of 1943, they agreed in due course, korea becomes independent. by the time of yalta, the independence for korea had morphed into a three-power trusteeship which included the soviet union but not great britain. -- unlike the written commitment and yalta absence of any formal written commitments from my japan and korea -- for homeland japan and korea were trumans we out of f.d.r.'s bad bargain. truman would adhere scrupulously to the written commitment, to alter to u.s. advantage the
unwritten informal understandings. and the atomic bomb would be the key to success. as truman's review continued, it became clear japan was beaten. the japanese navy and air force had ceased to exist as viable forces. the u.s. air force had commenced massive bombing against most cities leaving the monroe's -- them in ruins. u.s. navy had a blockade bombarding the coastal cities. submarines had cut off all access to the islands. japan was prostrate. moreover, working the japanese were seeking to end the war, extending peace feelers to the vatican, the swiss, and the russians in moscow. the sole condition was the imperial prerogative would remain intact. what was most heartening was the information the atomic bomb be
available for use by early august. there is some confusion here about the bomb, as many authors argue truman only decided to use the bomb while in pottstown after he learned of the successful trinity test, implying it was a last-minute decision and not part of an integrated strategy. at best, that is only half true. the manhattan project scientists had devised two bombs. the uranium version with a gun trigger detonator and a plutonium version designated by an implosion device. by february of 1945, our scientists were confident the uranium bomb, little boy, would work and not require testing. the more complicated implosion type, plutonium bomb, called fat man, would require testing which was scheduled for early july. in the meantime, reparations --
preparations were underway to train aircrews, set up a forward base, construct laboratories in which to assemble the bomb. by mid-may, 1800 officers and men who had been training in nothing except they were going to conduct a special mission. the 500 nights was prepared -- 09th was prepared and in place only weeks after the president had been briefed on the bomb. as part of truman's review, secretary of war simpson briefed him on the manhattan project on april 25. the president set up the interim committee, chaired by simpson, to determine whether, when, and where the bomb could be used. by the time the committee met, the capability to deliver the weapon was already in place.
committee members included simpson,'s soon-to-be be secretary of state, jimmy burns, the under secretary of the navy, assistant secretary of state william clayton, scientific advisors, and chief of staff general marshall. burns was very distrustful of the russians and supported the use of the bomb without informing them. marshall opposed the use of the bomb and suggested informing moscow about it. since and also thought at this time -- simpson also thought at this time information about the bomb should be shared. scientific opinion was mixed, with a strong segment opposed to its use. nevertheless, the interim committee determined two bonds would be available by early august. for thethe july tests plutonium device. the committee recommended and truman agreed the bombs should be used against japan without warning and without informing
the soviet union in advance. from this point, in my view, the atomic bomb secretly played a central role in truman's plan. the decision to use the bombs had been made while harry hopkins was in moscow, may 26, june 6. his mission was first and foremost to smooth over the growing postwar european disputes, especially over poland. obtain stalin's agreement for a meeting of the big three and confirm arrangements for soviet entry into the war against japan. his commitmentd to join the war against japan but added a new condition. that condition was china would have to sign a treaty legalizing the yalta accords before the soviets would go into war against japan. stalin evidently thought he had leverage over the united states, uld quickly dropped
his condition when he found out otherwise. stolen also agreed to be a party to a trusteeship in korea. he confirmed the unconditional surrender formula and informed hopkins soviet forces will be ready to move by august 8. he also told him russia would expect to share in the actual occupation of japan and he wanted an agreement with us and the british as to the zones of occupation. as of yet,there was no agreement occupation zones. to restate, truman would support what fda or -- f.d.r. had committed the united states to do in the yalta agreement would not support that which had not been committed to in writing, the occupation of japan, and the trusteeship for korea. that he and secretary burns kept that decision to themselves as arguments swirled among advisors over the endgame.
the options, as they evolved through midyear, were for either invasion or bombing and blockade without invasion. weather, how, or when to use the atomic bomb does not seem to be part of that discussion. not all of truman's advisors knew about the bomb. ahose who did a post its use -- post its use. after the war, a lot of opinions were changed. one argue for the grand strategy pursued. that meant the joint invasion and occupation of japan, the russians coming from the north, the americans from the south, meeting in tokyo. of the president's top advisors in washington, marshall is the only one who proposed this course. the secretary of war, assistant secretary of state, secretary of leahy,y, admiral william
argued against invasion. they urged acceptance of the conditions that the emperor's carotid be preserved to end the war without invasion. admiral king and chester nimitz and the air force admiral also argued against invasion. they believed japan could be forced to surrender by intensification of the naval blockade and aerial bombardment then underway. the simpson proposal to modify the unconditional surrender formula might have brought a ndompt into the conflict -- e to the conflict, but at the cost of leaving the japanese regime intact and without removing prospects for the resurgence of the japanese military. the general and admiral's arguments would have met the continuation of the war for several more months with its
attendant casualties. but most of all, opened the door for a strong soviet role in the endgame and a joint claim in the occupation of japan, as stalin was already demanding. furthermore, none of these arguments addressed the larger issue of the postwar structure of the far east and the respective soviet and american positions in it. although the president agreed on june 18 on the long-standing plans to invade japan, they set about crafting a broader solution that included the use of the bomb. they thought by dropping the atomic bomb to end the war, six months to a year sooner than expected, not only would an american invasion be avoided and life saved, but also soviet participation in the war would be limited. if successful, and it was a big if, the united states would control japan and the soviet
union would be excluded. the bomb was not intended to keep the russians out of war. that would have been impossible. this was moscow's historic opportunity to settle the century long struggle among japan, china, and russia for control over northeast asia. stalin was determined to seize it. make no mistake about it. but truman was equally determined to limit their events to the asian mainland -- their advance to the asian mainland. to limit the soviet position in korea, truman sought to circumscribe the soviet position in manchuria. he supported f.d.r.'s plan for a treaty between russia and china and the creation of a coalition government. truman and burns decided on this strategy without input from their advisors. fina