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