THE PRESIDENCY: Decision at the Crossroads

For three days last week, when the international clouds seemed darkest, Harry Truman was convinced that the atomic bomb tests at Bikini should be canceled.

He told the military his reason: it was unwise to have so much of the nation's naval power in the Pacific at a time when it might be urgently needed elsewhere, say in the Mediterranean. Hastily, the Navy Department made its case: 1) only two major fleet units (battleships) were to be used, 2) neither was to be drawn from the Atlantic Fleet, 3) those ships could be left in the fleet if the commander...

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