Page 1

Parent Official Text - Potsdam Surrender Ultimatum
Date 12 August 1945
Language English
Collection C.W.J. Phelps Collection
Box Box 1
Folder First Phelps Scrap Book
Repository University of Virginia Law Library
General Headquarters Supreme Commander Allied Powers Legal Section Routine Incoming Message In the Clear 12 August 1945 To: CINCAFPAC, CGUSFCT, CGUSFIBT, CGUSASTAF From: Washington NR: 1230 11th Following official text of Potsdam Surrender Ultimatum: The President of the United States, the President of the National Government of the Republic of China, and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, representing the hundreds of millions of our countrymen have conferred and agree that Japan shall be given an opportunity to end this War. The prodigious Land, Sea and air Forces of the United States, the British Empire and of China, many times reinforced by their Armies and air Fleets from the West, are posed to strike the final blows upon Japan. This Military Power is sustained and inspired by the determination of all the Allied Nations to prosecute the War against Japan until she ceases to resist. The result of the futile and senseless German resistance to the might of the aroused free people of the World stands forth in awful clarity as an example to the people of Japan. The might that now converges on Japan is immeasurable greater than that which, when applied to the resisting Nazis, necessarily laid waste to the Lands, the industry and the method of life of the whole German People. The full application of our military power, hacked by our resolve, will mean the inevitable and complete destruction of the Japanese armed forces and just as inevitably the utter devastation of the Japanese Homeland. The time has come for Japan to decide whether she will continue to be controlled by those self-willed militaristic advisers to the threshold of annihilation, or whether she will follow the path of reason. Following are our terms. We will not deviate from them. There are no alternatives. We shall brook no delay. There is to be eliminated for all the time the authority and influence of those who have deceived and misled the people of Japan into embarking on world conquest, for we insist that a New Order of peace, security and justice will be impossible until irresponsible militarism is driven from the World. Until such a New Order is established and until there is convincing proof that Japans War-making power is destroyed, points in Japanese territory to be designated by the allies shall be occupied to secure the achievement of the basic objectives we are here setting forth. The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and Japanese Sovereignty shall be limited to the Islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor Islands as we determine.