The navy believed that a blockade supported by an air campaign would suffice.
They wanted to use air bases in China and Korea to launch bombing raids against key cities in Japan. The army believed that such a campaign would take too long and that the morale of the American public might suffer as a result. They supported the use of an invasion that would go to the heart of Japan — Tokyo. The army got its way. It quickly became apparent that any invasion of Japan would present huge difficulties.
Operation: Downfall | Turtledove | FANDOM powered by Wikia
There were very few beaches that could be used as a landing place and the Japanese knew this. Both sides knew that only the beaches in Kyushu and the beaches at Kanto, near Tokyo, could support a huge amphibious landing. The Japanese took the appropriate measures in both areas. The Americans had planned to land in Kyushu first and use it as a base for planes to attack other targets in Japan.
These planes would then be used to give support to the landings at Kanto.
Alerts In Effect
As there were so few places to land a massive force of amphibious troops, the Japanese guessed as early as where such landings would take place. The actual invasion of Kyushu was known to be fraught with dangers. Therefore, there were those in the American military who advocated the use of chemical weapons on the Japanese defenders.
The use of poisonous gas had been outlawed by the Geneva Convention, but neither America nor Japan had signed this. As Japan had used poisonous gas in their attack on China , there were some in the US military who felt it was perfectly justified to use it on the Japanese.
The Japanese did fear a gas attack and records do show that senior military figures in Japan wanted to ensure that if there was a gas attack, that the response of the Japanese would be such that it would not make any attack worse. American Intelligence had known for a while that Japan was in no fit state to respond to a gas attack with a gas attack. The main concern for the Americans was the potential for huge casualty rates. Additionally, illustrator John White created several extremely well-done charts and diagrams that had the details of their center sections lost in the crease of the book.
A few fold-out pages may have shown these illustrations a little better. Even with these publishing issues, reading this book was very worthwhile. Despite the book's title, the content stretched beyond just Japan in just The discussion of military planning and political decision making dealt more with the US than for Japan and the timeline largely covered the war's last 12 months beginning in late , which put the later events in better context.
Chun not only discusses the US plans for the defeat of Japan, but also the decision making criteria behind the plans and the concerns of the decision-makers. The material is obviously well-researched, including quotes from leaders' personal diaries.
From the fire-bombing of Japanese cities to the use of the atomic bombs, Dr. Chun acknowledged the aguish of those who planned and ordered he attacks, but did not digress into the moral debate himself. Questions surrounding President Truman's decision to launch atomic weapons persist to this day; Japan should be an essential piece of reference material for anyone wishing to weigh those questions within their proper historical and political contexts.
Did you enjoy this article?
Japan 1945: From Operation Downfall to Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Thank you.
- Inner Grace: Augustine in the Traditions of Plato and Paul.
- Economics of Accounting: Performance Evaluation: 2 (Springer Series in Accounting Scholarship);
- Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative.
- Structures: From Theory to Practice?
- Are The Planets Inhabited?!