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One of the last remaining questions of WWII?

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posted on May, 31 2010 @ 11:39 AM
One of the last remaining questions of WWII was the invasion of the Japanese home islands known as Operation Downfall and the sheer cost of such an endeavor? Being that it is Memorial Day, I thought this topic is of relevance today. The operation never took place, because the atomic bombings of both Nagasaki and Hiroshima and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria brought the war to an end.

Clip from the film Trinity and Beyond

Clips of the Soviet invasion of Manchuria from the documentary series [Battlefield - Manchuria] known as August Storm.


Battle Footage:

Russian Victory and the Surrender of Japan on August 14th, 1945.

However, what has brought this hold-over from the Second World War to my attention, was a thread I recently commented on that questioned the use of the atomic weapons on Japan Use of Nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki: A more humane way to end the war just as quick?, and a documentary by the History Channel called History Channel - X-Day: The Plan to Invade Japan on the planned land invasion of the Japanese home islands, known as Operation Downfall that never happened. It turns out I may have been too idealistic with my view of being strictly opposed to the use of atomic weapons by the United States against the Japanese in WWII?

Initially, I have always felt that the barbarity displayed by the United States in using the atomic bomb was uncalled for and unnecessary. It killed civilians in one swoop, and at a scale unseen by man in all record history. Moreover, it ushered in an arms race between the USSR and US, who were once former allies. Each vying to out do the other in nuclear weapons payloads, and stockpiles. Plus, it left all humanity vulnerable to the strategic concept of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) and the utter annihilation of all mankind.

From the documentary Cold War: Mutual Assured Destruction

We still live with that fear long after the Cold War. A Pandora’s Box was opened on August 6th, 1945 and August 9th, 1945, and the demon has spread to every corner of the globe and the potential for annihilation remains.

The above paragraph is how I truly felt, and I have relatives who were veterans of both the European and Pacific Theaters of WWII. Plus, I have family who are Japanese as well. My view is still somewhat similar to the old, however, after watching the History Channel documentary History Channel - X-Day: The Plan to Invade Japan

I stammered after hearing about the carnage predicted by US military planners about such a military endeavor. We all know of how brutal combat was in the Pacific, and how ferocious and fanatical the Japanese soldier were. This documentary really brings to light the sheer seriousness of such an invasion, and the catastrophic affect it would have had on US service members, and the people of Japan.

It was thought of as being a war of annihilation by military planners, because of past experiences of the bloody island hopping campaigns, costly naval engagements, and most notably, Okinawa, considered by the Japanese as part of their homeland and a glimpse of what was to come by US military planners in the event Operation Downfall reached fruition.

Okinawa, april 1945 WWII (Historical fact)

The Pacific: Anatomy of a War (HBO)

This enemy would never quite, never surrender, and would fight until the last man, woman, or child if their country was invaded. Millions upon millions would have died, and the battles would have most likely rivaled or surpassed the carnage seen on the Eastern Front if it was allowed to happen as the US had planned? They would have had to fight inch by inch and door to door. The Japanese race and culture could have been nearly been wiped out by such an assault. The US casualties would have been off the charts phenomenal and absolutely horrendous even by WWII standards. The Purple Hearts created for the invasion have not been exhausted even with the Korean and Vietnam Wars combined, and are still being issued today.

Operation Downfall

Nearly 500,000 Purple Heart medals were manufactured in anticipation of the casualties resulting from the invasion of Japan. To the present date, all the American military casualties of the sixty years following the end of World War II—including the Korean and Vietnam Wars—have not exceeded that number. In 2003, there were still 120,000 of these Purple Heart medals in stock. There are so many in surplus that combat units in Iraq and Afghanistan are able to keep Purple Hearts on-hand for immediate award to wounded soldiers on the field.

The documentary was one of the best I have seen about WWII by the History Channel. It goes into great detail about the events leading up to Operation Downfall, the major players involved, why it never happened, and the aftermath. I was really taken back at the casualty estimates and the predicted carnage of such a battle for the US and Japan.

Thank goodness that nightmare never happened, because it could have been one the biggest black marks on human history, and even surpassing the use of the atomic bomb. Perhaps, using the atomic bomb was a necessary evil, and by learning more about the operation that would have taken place in it its absence; it saved millions of lives on both sides? Happy Memorial Day!

[edit on 31-5-2010 by Jakes51]

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 11:53 AM
There never was a good choice. The only choices available were a bad choice and a worse choice. You decide which was which.

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 01:25 PM
reply to post by Jakes51

No matter our thoughts on warfare, it is a brutal action, taking politics to a further extension.

While I can certainly understand the estimation of 500,000 deaths if our soldiers were to have invaded Japan, it is still what I consider a lesser evil than mass murder.

I see Hiroshima and Nagasaki was an action of mass murder, nothing less.

There is no defense against a nuclear bomb except the threat of a nuclear bomb.

Seeing as America, Germany, and Russia were the ones building towards this type of device at the time, it is a fruitless effort to assuage any guilt of mass murder.

Truman made the incorrect decision.

It was merely a penis measuring contest at the hands of innocent Japanese murder, to show Russia we had a technology they should fear, and through it fear-mongering.

Quote from : Wikipedia : Operation Downfall

Operation Downfall was the overall Allied plan for the invasion of Japan near the end of World War II.

The operation was canceled when Japan surrendered after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Soviet Union's declaration of war against Japan.

Operation Downfall had two parts: Operation Olympic and Operation Coronet.

Set to begin in October 1945, Operation Olympic was intended to capture the southern third of the southernmost main Japanese island, Kyūshū, with the recently captured island of Okinawa to be used as a staging area.

Later, in spring 1946, Operation Coronet was the planned invasion of the Kantō plain, near Tokyo, on the Japanese island of Honshū.

Airbases on Kyūshū captured in Operation Olympic would allow land-based air support for Operation Coronet.

Japan's geography made this invasion plan obvious to the Japanese as well; they were able to predict accurately the Allied invasion plans and accordingly adjust their defensive plan, Operation Ketsugō.

The Japanese planned an all-out defense of Kyūshū, with little left in reserve for any subsequent defense operations.

Casualty predictions varied widely but were extremely high for both sides: depending on the degree to which Japanese civilians resisted the invasion, estimates ran into the millions for Allied casualties and tens of millions for Japanese casualties.

Yes, the Japanese surrendered, after the flight of Enola Gay, and we wiped out Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they had nothing to fight those bombs with, defenseless civilians were slaughtered, without being able to defend themselves.

Defenseless civilians.

Before anyone goes on about Pearl Harbor and those men murdered by Hirohito, F.D.R. laid an elaborate trap, using the American Volunteer Group to spring it.

Quote from : Wikipedia : American Volunteer Group

The American Volunteer Groups were volunteer air units organized by the United States government to aid the Nationalist government of China against Japan in the Second Sino-Japanese War.

The only unit to actually see combat was the 1st AVG, popularly known as the Flying Tigers.

In an effort to aid the Nationalist government of China and to put pressure on Japan, President Franklin Roosevelt in 1941 authorized the creation of a clandestine "Special Air Unit" consisting of three combat groups equipped with American aircraft and staffed by aviators and technicians to be recruited from the U.S. Army, Navy and Marine Corps for service in China.

The program was fleshed out in the winter of 1940-1941 by Claire Lee Chennault, then an air advisor to the Chinese Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek, and Lauchlin Currie, a young economist in the Roosevelt White House.

They envisioned a small air corps of 500 warplanes, though in the end the number was reduced to 200 fighters and 66 light bombers.

Little do people realize F.D.R.'s allegedly innocuous speech about a "day of infamy" was nothing but a well calculated lie, having the "Flying Tiger" in China well before Pearl Harbor, F.D.R. got us intentionally sucked into WWII.

Flying Tigers

Quote from YouTube :

Flying Tigers was the popular name of the 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force in 1941-1942.

Arguably, the group was a private military contractor, and for that reason the volunteers have sometimes been called mercenaries.

The members of the Flying Tigers had lucrative contracts with the Chinese government with salaries ranging from $600 for a pilot to $750 for a squadron commander.

These salaries were three times what they had been making in the U.S. forces.

They were mostly former United States Army (USAAF), Navy (USN), and Marine Corps (USMC) pilots and ground crew, recruited under Presidential sanction and commanded by Claire Lee Chennault.

The group consisted of three fighter squadrons with about 20 aircraft each.

It trained in Burma before the American entry into World War II with the mission of defending China against Japanese forces.

The Tigers' shark-faced fighters remain among the most recognizable of any individual combat aircraft of World War II, and they demonstrated innovative tactical victories when the news in the U.S. was filled with little more than stories of defeat at the hands of the Japanese forces.

The group first saw combat on 20 December 1941, 12 days after Pearl Harbor (local time).

It achieved notable success during the lowest period of the war for U.S. and Allied Forces, giving hope to Americans that they would eventually succeed against the Japanese.

While cross-referencing records after the war revealed their actual kill numbers were substantially less, the Tigers were paid combat bonuses for destroying nearly 300 enemy aircraft, while losing only 14 pilots on combat missions.

In July 1942, the AVG was replaced by the U.S. Army 23rd Fighter Group, which was later absorbed into the U.S. 14th Air Force with General Chennault as commander.

The 23rd FG went on to achieve similar combat success, while retaining the nose art and nickname of the volunteer unit.

For anyone who knows little to no history of WWII, free of the propaganda of war, I suggest a few books which might enlighten people to some of the truth.

The Medusa File: Secret Crimes and Coverups of the U. S. Government

The Game of the Foxes: The Untold Story of German Espionage in the United States and Great Britain During World War II

The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve

Those three books alone have more truth to them than any history book produced yet.

WWII was nothing more than a way for the rich to get richer and keep the poor down.

Over all, looking at the larger picture, it was a giant con on mankind, just for Wall Street.

I will give you three more books as reference points for WWII and the lies which were sold to us, never forgetting those soldiers lost to the battle, defending liars.

Wall Street & the Bolshevik Revolution

Wall Street and FDR

Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler

SKL's Amazon Review of "Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler" :

This book is quite literally a tell all of all the names of who financed Adolph Hitler's rise to power by financial means. The man didn't get into power just by his lies, but by lies of other men too, the men with power, with money, and influence, and the access to Wall Street. You would be surprised to see the names within this book that financed "the funny little man, with the funny little mustache" that almost took over the entire world.

I will not ruin the book for you by telling all the names in it, but I will tell you two men's name I know you will instantly recognize.

Henry Ford & Edsel Ford. Yes, those "Ford's", from Ford Motor Company. Henry Ford even got the highest award the Nazi's could give to a foreigner, in recognition of his assistance to Adolph Hitler, and his picture hung in Hitler's office.

Just so you know, I am not a fan of the Nazi's, nor am I a racist of any kind, nor a fan of Adolph Hitler. I'm following a papertrail to find out all the names of who helped the man get into power to begin with, because I am someone who knows there's more to history than what they teach you in school. It doesn't just come down to the lies a politician tells the people who put them in office, but to the power-brokers who finance the man. Adolph Hitler was a politician, plain and simple. He knew how to lie to the people and give them comfort through manipulative persuasion and then when the people willingly gave him the power he went for the throat of the world.

Another good book that tells the details of who assisted Hitler that you may be able to find here on Amazon is, "IBM and the Holocaust."

Yes, I am talking about that "IBM" here too. They helped Hitler track down the Jews and other "undesirables" (Hitler's words, not Mine) through the use of the census and the Hollerith Card Sorting Machine.

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 01:38 PM
Even after the first two Atomic Warheads were dropped Japan still did not surrender. It was only until we threatened them with dropping another one that they finally got the picture. The funny thing was, we really did not have anymore atomic bombs available. In war there is never any easy decision and it must be remembered that in war people die. Civilians, children and many innocent people will die. However, could you imagine the carnage if Germany was able to take hold of Stalingrad? What if Japan sent warships to the coast of California and began an invasion? Sometimes the only way to end a war is to have the bigger bombs. Sometimes negotiations and diplomacy do not work with the Potsdam Treaty which Japan refused to sign, in which case, not ideal means must be used to ensure a victory and protect the homeland.

Do I feel bad that many innocents died and that the people were disfigured and burned and ill? ABSOLUTELY, but if our soldiers had to invade Japan the horrors would have been astronomical and unimaginable. Our soldiers, our men and women would have had to fight against millions of Japanese civilians and the Japanese were NOT forgiving back then. We probably would have lost nearly 1 million+ troops within the first days. Operation Olympic/Coronet, would have been like the invasion on D-Day except 100X's worse and yes I mean 100 and not 10. When it comes down to it the decision was a very difficult one. Do you risk the lives of your soldiers who have fought valiantly to save the homeland and bring peace back to Europe? Or do you invade with your soldiers who are tired and worn and throw them into the tiger pit of the Japanese homeland? OR do do drop the biggest and most destructive bomb of all time over Japan to not only save the lives of your soldiers, but to save countless more of Japanese lives as well (Because the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima Japans second largest communication for Military dispatch and second Headquarters and then Nagasaki, which was not as important, but it was used to prove a point)?

But in the end both sides of the coin could argue and make great points, but in the end this is nothing more than opinion and I hope that everyone takes this civil and does not get too worked up, because I assure you that there are going to be many opposing opinions. Just remember to respect each other folks!!

Excellent post Jake, and I do agree with all of what you have presented. I do appreciate you posting this and as always, Starred and Flagged my friend for your excellent contribution

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 03:02 PM
It s a tough call and hind site is 20/20. Would the Japanese have surrendered in relatively short order with the other Axis armies of Italy and Germany defeated? Would they have chosen not to surrender out of fear that similar Nuremberg Trials and atrocities committed by the conquering allied armies against civilians?

Would they have fought on just out of spite?

Honestly though my first question regarding World War II, is could it have all been avoided had the Treaty of Versailles not been set up to bankrupt and humiliate Germany, and had American and British Corporations operating in the far Pacific not been so good at denying the Japanese access to vital resources like oil for its rapidly industrializing society and transformation from an agrarian feudal society, to a industrialized nation.

The cost of the nuclear arms race has been staggering in dollars, lives and damage to the ecosystem.

Tens of thousands of people lost their lives in such a swift and brutal way as to defy personal imagination, yet those who died much more lingering and horrifying deaths, and those who were made to bear witness to the deaths of loved ones and friends in that fashion arguably suffered more.

In the end we have all ended up big losers in the long run from a gift that likely will never stop giving us bad tidings.

What goes around comes around, and history’s debt is going to be quite a bill indeed, when it comes presented due and payable.

Great post Jakes51 as always, starred and flagged.

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 03:09 PM
Sometimes great evil is necessary to create a greater good. The terrifying reality of the use of nuclear weapons may be the only thing that has prevented them from being used again... so far.

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 05:01 PM
reply to post by SpartanKingLeonidas

The bombings were a brutal act of aggression, but the alternative seems far worse? If that invasion was allowed to go through as had been planned, it would have boiled down to a war of annihilation. The Japanese would have fought to last man, woman, and child to defend their homeland and their Emperor. That is what the Japanese military leadership was banking on at the time, and they wanted to drag the US into a meat grinder. Phenomenal casualties for the Allies was the objective, regardless of how many of their own would be killed in reaching that objective. The Japanese defense operation was called Ketsugo (Operation Decision).

Operation Downfall

Meanwhile, the Japanese had their own plans. Initially, they were concerned about an invasion during the summer of 1945. However, the Battle of Okinawa went on so long that they concluded the Allies would not be able to launch another operation before the typhoon season, during which the weather would be too risky for amphibious operations. Japanese intelligence predicted fairly closely where the invasion would take place: southern Kyūshū at Miyazaki, Ariake Bay, and/or the Satsuma Peninsula.

While Japan no longer had a realistic prospect of winning the war, Japan's leaders believed they could make the cost of conquering Japan too high for the Allies to accept, leading to some sort of armistice rather than total defeat. The Japanese plan for defeating the invasion was called Operation Ketsugō (決号作戦, ketsugō sakusen?) ("Operation Codename Decision"). The Japanese had secretly constructed an underground headquarters which could be used in the event of Allied invasion to shelter the Emperor and Imperial General staff.

They would have resorted to kamikaze strikes, since every Japanese person was indoctrinated from birth to defend their country and fight to the death for their Emperor.

Surrender was a grave dishonor to their culture at the time. As said in my earlier post, it would have been house to house fighting, digging them out of cave fortifications and underground lairs throughout the country, and killing them.

In other words, if the war was allowed to continue as planned, it would have been a slaughter unlike anything the world has ever seen. Just listen to the veterans who participate in the war, and they recognized how hard fought the victory would have been after a land invasion of Japan. It would have been the decimation of entire race and culture, along with millions of casualties for the Allies.

The decision made by Truman must have been the toughest any man could have made in all recorded history. I know personally, thank goodness that I was not in his shoes. However, looking back at the carnage of the war, and fanaticism of the Japanese, it may have been the only way to get them to surrender without killing every last one of them. As for the other topics mentioned, I am familiar with them, but I may have to look into it further. Thanks for the reply!

[edit on 31-5-2010 by Jakes51]

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 05:30 PM
Ya know, atomic weapons are horrible, war is hell. I bothers me that thousands of Japanese civilians were killed in the blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

On the other hand, America had little choice and should not feel any guilt for what we did to win that war. Before we start feeling sorry for the Japanese, do a little research into the "Bataan Death March" or the "Rape of Nanking" or what they did to their own people on Okinawa. The Japanese were merciless warriors and horrendous occupiers.

While our troops wasted away, the POWs of germany and Japan fared much better than their counterparts operating in the field. My grandfather actually had a German POW on work release on his farm here in Granville County, NC from Camp Butner. The German was well mannered and enjoyed the little bit of freedom there on my dad's ol' homeplace. My father said he commented often on how much better he was there than in Germany fighting, but still longed for the day when it would ened and he could go home.

Point is, the USA did what it had to do to win. There was no other option but victory. Do the research and see what the plans were from the japanese and germans, see the results of what they accomplished in the short time they ruled. It is truly good that we won that war. I thank all the troops that served and still serve... God Bless You ALL

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 08:23 PM
reply to post by TheMythLives

Yes, I can agree with you and making the decision to do the unthinkable was a tough call. However, the alternative as I would find out more thoroughly, seemed a heck of a lot worse? That opening invasion would have been a blood bath, and it turns out Japanese military intelligence had a good idea where and when the invasion would take place. In that sense, one of the most crucial elements to any military action, the element of surprise was gone.

The Allies would have walked themselves into a meat grinder, and that is what the Military Regime wanted. A phenomenal body count for the Allies, with little disregard for their own people, and infrastructure. We must remember the people were indoctrinated into being mere robots and at the beckoned call of an insane military dictatorship. They would have been thrown at the invading forces as cannon fodder. It would have been a horrible situation.

Still, the bombings was one of the most tragic events of the war. However, after reassessing the situation at the time, it was necessary. The Japanese ignored the Potsdam Declaration and President Truman's final warning. It seems the US took every measure necessary to bring the war to an end through diplomatic channels.

Then it took not only one bomb, but two to bring them to surrender. This was a fanatical determined foe. They would rather have their country decimated than surrender. There were elements in the military who wished to continue the war even after the bombs had dropped.

As crude as what you said, sometime it takes those with the bigger bombs to win wars. I suppose in the case of the Pacific, that may be the truth. Lets hope nuclear weapons are never used again against civilians and cities. Thanks for the reply!

[edit on 1-6-2010 by Jakes51]

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 08:34 PM
To be honest, if you can absolutely garuantee no one else is going to lob a nuke at you i would like to see them used more. They basicaly put an end to any theatre of war, invade japan by foot?, what? America would still be fighting japanese insurgency groups to this very day if they hadnt have nuked those lunatics. And thats exactly what Japan were in WWII, lunatics. See what they did to China, wtf, maniacs, lucky they are even allowed to have a police force after the # they pulled.

Just such a shame about the enviromental damage of nukes though. Grim.

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 09:31 PM

Originally posted by ProtoplasmicTraveler
It s a tough call and hind site is 20/20. Would the Japanese have surrendered in relatively short order with the other Axis armies of Italy and Germany defeated? Would they have chosen not to surrender out of fear that similar Nuremberg Trials and atrocities committed by the conquering allied armies against civilians?

Would they have fought on just out of spite?

It seems that even after both bombs had been dropped, there was elements of the military leadership still reluctant to surrender. They were truly lunatics, some military factions even had thoughts of forcing the Emperor to abdicate in a coup.

This clip shows how stubborn and insane the Japanese leadership was at the time. Even after a Soviet invasion of Manchuria and two atomic bombs, they still wanted to fight.

Originally posted by ProtoplasmicTraveler
Honestly though my first question regarding World War II, is could it have all been avoided had the Treaty of Versailles not been set up to bankrupt and humiliate Germany, and had American and British Corporations operating in the far Pacific not been so good at denying the Japanese access to vital resources like oil for its rapidly industrializing society and transformation from an agrarian feudal society, to a industrialized nation.

Perhaps, if the Treaty of Versailles was not so draconian and stiff it may have not given the Hitler an opportunity to seize power? In the case of Japan, it seems they declared war because they were being muscled out of crucial resources in Asia from the US and European Powers. They did not have access to the resources needed to sustain their growth as an industrialized nation, and burgeoning super power. Plus, the US essentially declared war on Japan through proxy, by secretly funding and equipping the Chiang Kai Shek and the Chinese Nationalists as they fought the Japanese.

Very eerily similar to the trials facing the US about its relationship with China as the country grows like Japan did in WWII. Perhaps, like in the past, the US will clash with another Asian power over access to resources? History repeating itself?

Originally posted by ProtoplasmicTraveler
The cost of the nuclear arms race has been staggering in dollars, lives and damage to the ecosystem.

Tens of thousands of people lost their lives in such a swift and brutal way as to defy personal imagination, yet those who died much more lingering and horrifying deaths, and those who were made to bear witness to the deaths of loved ones and friends in that fashion arguably suffered more.

In the end we have all ended up big losers in the long run from a gift that likely will never stop giving us bad tidings.

What goes around comes around, and history’s debt is going to be quite a bill indeed, when it comes presented due and payable.

Yes, the cost of the nuclear arms race has been very costly to maintain, and for all the reason you have mentioned. Plus, we still live under the threat complete annihilation in the event a large nuclear exchange is to occur between the Super Powers. The loss of life from the atomic bombings of Japan are staggering, but as I have said earlier, given the significant casualty and destruction projections for both the US forces and Japanese in the event the invasion took place; it seems the atomic bombs were the only choice to lesson the blow and bring about surrender.

When the bombs dropped the world has never been the same again. Now, humanity has a 1,000 pound gorilla on its shoulders, in the form of potential nuclear annihilation and extinction. Now, the karma element as you mention is something I fear as well, because what goes around truly comes around. Thanks for the reply!

[edit on 1-6-2010 by Jakes51]

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 10:05 PM
reply to post by Jakes51

Knowing the high casualty projections and mind-set of the Asian culture, I would still not drop the Atom Bomb's on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Sorry, the cost of losing our honor as a county, was just way too high.

Remember the Doolittle Raid and you will see they were vulnerable.

Quote from : Wikipedia : Doolittle Raid

The Doolittle Raid, 18 April 1942, was the first air raid by the United States to strike a Japanese home island during World War II.

It demonstrated that Japan itself was vulnerable to Allied air attack and provided an expedient means for U.S. retaliation for Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941.

The raid was planned and led by Lieutenant Colonel James "Jimmy" Doolittle.

Doolittle would later recount in his autobiography that the raid was intended to cause the Japanese to doubt their leadership and to raise American morale:

The Japanese had been told they were invulnerable.

An attack on the Japanese homeland would cause confusion in the minds of the Japanese people and sow doubt about the reliability of their leaders.

There was a second, equally important, psychological reason for this attack...Americans badly needed a morale boost.

Sixteen B-25B Mitchell bombers were launched from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet deep within enemy waters.

The plan called for them to hit military targets in Japan, and land in China.

All of the aircraft involved in the bombing were lost and 11 crewmen were either killed or captured.

One of these B-25s landed in Soviet territory where its crew remained interned for more than a year.

The entire crews of 13 of the 16 aircraft, and all but one of a 14th, returned to the United States or to Allied control.

The raid caused little material damage to Japan, but succeeded in its goal of helping American morale.

It also caused Japan to withdraw a carrier group from the Indian Ocean to defend their homeland and contributed to Japan's decision to attack Midway.

Up to 250,000 Chinese were killed by Japanese retaliatory measures.

With the Flying Tigers operating out of China, why was a larger scale version of what they did, prior to American falsely declaring war on Japan, not tried?

I am of course referring to using China as a staging ground after Pearl Harbor.

If Chiang Kai-shek was willing to welcome our assistance, as a covert means to draw Japan to attack America, therefore allowing F.D.R. to claim deniability, why then did we not openly utilize that alliance with China?

Is it because of the deniability factor and trying to keep the secret agreements secret?

Quote from : Wikipedia : Chiang Kai-shek : Wartime Leader of China

With the Attack on Pearl Harbor and the opening of the Pacific War, China became one of the Allied Powers.

During and after World War II, Chiang and his American-educated wife Soong May-ling, known in the U.S. as "Madame Chiang", held the support of the United States China Lobby which saw in them the hope of a Christian and democratic China.

Chiang was even named the Supreme Commander of allied forces in the China war zone.

He was created a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath by King George VI in 1942.

While I certainly do not agree with F.D.R. basically laying waste to the lives of those at the attack of Pearl Harbor, using the ruse of the Flying Tigers as mercenaries, because it was nothing more than a means of trapping Japan into attacking us, and through F.D.R. trying to keep the secret of not only radar and our cracking the Purple Code from both the Nazis and Japanese, if we were already engaged in WWII, and China was our ally, it certainly seems we could have used China as a staging ground.

Or was the influence of the Russians that powerful upon China at this point?

Or perhaps our discovery of the secrets of Manchuria by the O.S.S. made secrets that were far more valuable to the America Government, to later become MK-Ultra?

Some of this is covered in the book I referenced earlier and I will link it again :

The Medusa File: Secret Crimes and Coverups of the U. S. Government

[edit on 31-5-2010 by SpartanKingLeonidas]

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 10:24 PM
reply to post by Jakes51

this is my understanding of the issue you are addressing:

the true mission was hidden in "Operation Downfall," and was the actual bombing of N. and H., the plans for which were made definite and certain (if not yet official) following the Trinity Test in New Mexico.

they had to get very close to the island of Japan in order to carryout the bombing missions over N. and H.
and to do THAT, they had to progressively take over the island path between Hawaii and Japan, the occupation of which was absolutely crucial for control of the pacific due to the necessity of having airbases to refuel and service the air-fleet of the occupying forces, be it the Axis or the Allies.
also, the less distance necessarily covered carrying a bomb like the two we deployed on Japan, the better! for numerous reasons!

all of the soldiers fighting for this cause, in the pacific theater, were told that the main objective was invading the nation of Japan; but it was never true - still it was close enough to the truth to be valid information for the GI's and still kept the secret objective a secret!

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 10:43 PM
The bombs were not necesary.

Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, reflected this reality when he wrote, "The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace.the atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military point of view, in the defeat of Japan." Admiral William D. Leahy, Chief of Staff to President Truman, said the same thing: "The use of [the atomic bombs] at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender."

Civilian authorities, especially Truman himself, would later try to revise history by claiming that the bombs were dropped to save the lives of one million American soldiers. But there is simply no factual basis for this in any record of the time. On the contrary, the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey reported, "Certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped." The November 1 date is important because that was the date of the earliest possible planned U.S. invasion of the Japanese main islands.

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 10:51 PM
okay, that first reply of mine was made before i read anything following the OP - sometimes i like to keep my first answer *fresh* if you can dig.

now i've read the rest of the replies - all very thoughtful as well as thought provoking and kudos to everyone for giving serious thought to the topic of the OP!

here are my responses, all in one post:

reply to post by pacific_waters

indeed! so true.


reply to post by SpartanKingLeonidas

while i admire your dedication to getting beyond the propaganda we're fed under the name of "historic facts", i can't say i agree with your overall opinion of the bombing of N. and H.
good thing that it doesn't matter whether or not we agree, and it isn't important to me other than to point out why i don't agree in order to present, or reiterate, some relative food-for-thought.
i do know that what you are saying about the underbelly political workings at the end of this war is true - but yet however unethical and detrimental those decisions and the men that made them and acted upon them might be, it still isn't the true bottom line.
the whole war was a travesty and an ongoing mass murder of innocent civilians in just about every country of the world. by the time of the end, the reasons for the beginning were not very important other than that had brought everyone to a heavy place in human history.
the history of the Japanese warrior is unique and defies imitation. the mind-set and lifestyle of the shogun warriors, the way of the samurai warrior, in feudal Japan, is the parent of the spirit that drove the modern Japanese armed forces in the second World War. there was no surrender. only death - either by the hand of the enemy or by the hand of self or a trusted comrade. the way that they treated their prisoners is an echo of what they believed would happen to them if captured by the Allies. the leaders made the people believe that the Allies were monsters and would do things worse than that to every man, woman, and child they were able to capture. therefore, not only the soldier sought to end his life by his own hand rather than surrender to the enemy, so did the civilian from every walk of life.
it was a horrific thing to drop those bombs and kill so many.
but that number would have paled in comparison to the entire nation of Japan being lost to death because of the war.


reply to post by TheMythLives

i think one of the reasons that we had to go ahead with our plan to drop the second bomb was due to the lack of communication from the first city hit out to the rest of Japan. the leaders weren't aware of what had happened for several days - finally certain ones were sent to check and that's when they fully understood what had happened.
by that time, i think, it was almost to the deadline and the leaders didn't have enough time to first regroup themselves following such a shock and then second to decide what to do.

the undying zealousness of the Japanese warrior was what caused the necessity (at least in the minds of our leaders) to have a second bomb ready and then to threaten a third, non-existent, bomb.

to be continued...

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 10:57 PM

reply to post by ProtoplasmicTraveler

but remember, the reason that Japan was cut off from trade was because of their treatment and abuse of China for the previous ten years!
it might not have been the best way to handle the situation, but it was done for a reason related to justice rather than economics.

reply to post by DJW001

i often think that very same thing!

reply to post by Jakes51

i used to think as you say you did, too - that there was absolutely to reason, whatsoever, to justify the bombings on Japan.
but, like you, i, too, found new information that made me re-think my own opinions and try to see the situation from everyone's viewpoint that was involved, including the so-called *enemy.*

i tend to agree with what you say - it was a bad thing but the alternative was worse.

even though we technically won the war (which is a working oxy-moron in my view) i don't think that the objective, at that point in the game, was to win the war.
the goal was just to END the war.
and so it ended.

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 11:11 PM
reply to post by InvisibleAlbatross

however, the peace that Japan sought was on terms favorable to Japan.

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 11:22 PM
I've studied this topic in several different history classes. The latest one focused on the massive amount of revisionist history attached to this event.

In order to understand the decision to use the bomb one must look at a massive amount of primary documentation from the war period. Even five years after the war is probably too late, because by that time the previously poorly understood effects of the fallout had become common knowledge to the general population and the war atrocities of the Japanese were still unknown or had begun to be overshadowed by a war-weary population that wanted to put the war behind them.

That said, could you imagine the reaction of the U.S. population if the invasion had proceeded and 500,000 U.S. soldiers were killed and, to pick a number, say 3-5 million Japanese civilians; only to have it come out a few years later that Truman had a weapon at his disposal that could have ended the war without the invasion? The population was tired of the war and rationing and etc. His hands were pretty much tied in this decision.

Two other things entered the decision. First, according to the numbers that I saw, about 10,000 Japanese were being killed each day in the ongoing bombing, so the initial atomic bombs added up to less than a month of the regular bombing campaign. Second, the fighting would probably have continued until the Emperor system itself collapsed, which would not have happened quickly.

Remember that war continues until the majority of the population no longer supports it. This is true for both the winning and the losing sides.

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 11:25 PM
reply to post by SpartanKingLeonidas

For me personally, like you, I don't think I could have given the order to use atomic bombs on Japan. However, I can look at it a little differently now, knowing what the land invasion entailed. It spared the Japanese of a potential Korea like scenario with the country being split in two in the event the Soviets launched an invasion through Hokkaido, and the US from the South and East. One half Communist and the other Democratic. In the melee, the country would have been turned into a smoldering wasteland with mountains of bodies left in its wake. In that sense, perhaps the bomb was the only way to spare unspeakable carnage for all involved?

The concept of the US losing its honor is still a nagging concern for me, and personally, I felt we lost some of that. Still, we must look at the situation realistically as well, the Japanese would have been slaughtered in an invasion, the country may have been split in two like Korea, and it would have been one of the costliest military endeavors in the history of the United States. I truly believe that now.

The Japanese were always vulnerable and the government knew it. They may have told the people and soldiers otherwise? More importantly, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, commander of the fleet that attacked Pearl Harbor knew and feared the industrial might and military prowess of the United States in a prolonged war after residing and studying in the country during his years as junior naval officer. Moreover, his famous quote could not have been more prophetic,

I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.

Isoroku Yamamoto

Plus, many in the Japanese government before the hawks took over knew that if the US was brought into the war they would lose rights to crucial natural resources, like oil. That is exactly how it played out. The case of China as you have mentioned, has always been a question to me? Why did the US only supply funding, material assistance, mercenary outfits, and advisers to Generalissimo, Chiang Kai Shek? Why not put a troop presence in China?

It would have been difficult and practically unfeasible, most of China's eastern shores was under control of the Japanese, as well as the British Colony of Hong Kong. Plus, Japan had occupied most of Southeast Asia as well. Moreover, India would have been out of the question because any military force would have to trek through the harsh Himalayas to get to China, and most of the fighting against the Japanese was to China's east which would have been a long haul. China is a very big place. Japan conquered Burma and shut down the only land route to China in the "Burma Road," in 1942. There was supplies coming to China through the Himalayas via, India, but mostly by air. The supply operation was known as The Hump.

Plus, the Allies would have been caught in the middle of China's brutal Civil War which was being waged at the same time of the Japanese occupation. I am sure the instability of the country was a major concern for the US and that is probably why the assistance was modest compared to the assistance offered to the British to hold out against the Germans. According to US intelligence analyst of Chinese Affairs, Jay Taylor, there was a bitter relationship between Chiang Kai Shek and his US appointed Chief of Staff, Joseph Stilwell.

These two commanders could not see eye to eye on anything, while both thought the other was incompetent. Moreover, Stilwell was concerned by rampant corruption among the senior leadership of the Kuomintang Army.

General Joseph Stilwell

Stilwell was infuriated also by the rampant corruption of the Chiang regime. In his diary, which he faithfully kept, Stilwell began to note the corruption and the amount of money ($380,584,000 in 1944 dollars) being wasted upon the procrastinating Chiang and his government. The Cambridge History of China, for instance, also estimates that some 60%-70% of Chiang's Kuomintang conscripts did not make it through their basic training, with some 40% deserting and the remaining 20% dying of starvation before full induction into the military.

Eventually, Stilwell’s belief that the Generalissimo and his generals were incompetent and corrupt reached such proportions that Stilwell sought to cut off Lend-Lease aid to China. Stilwell even ordered Office of Strategic Services (OSS) officers to draw up contingency plans to assassinate Chiang Kai-shek after he heard Roosevelt's casual remarks regarding the possible defeat of Chiang by either internal or external enemies, and if this happened to replace Chiang with someone else to continue the Chinese resistance against Japan.

Perhaps, what is mentioned above had a lot to do with why the war effort by the US was not more profound in China? In he case of Roosevelt knowing the attack of Pearl Harbor was imminent. That is only a speculation, and no definitive evidence has been uncovered to substantiate that claim. Still, it seems the war effort got the US out of the throes of the Depression. That is practically accepted now. Thanks for the reply!

[edit on 1-6-2010 by Jakes51]

posted on Jun, 1 2010 @ 12:10 AM
reply to post by queenannie38

They wanted to keep their emperor. In the big scheme of things, a rather minor request. If military men and officials say it was unnecessary, that's good enough for me.

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