Friday, August 06, 2010

Hiroshima was bombed to save lives - American and Japanese

President Truman decided to use the first atomic bomb on Japan in order to save lives. US estimated invading Japan would result in one million US casualties. (Casualties is the military term which includes both killed those wounded to the point they cannot fight.) It was a difficult decision, but he knew an invasion would have been far worse for US military personnel and for the people of Japan. On July 26 the United Nations issued the Potsdam Declaration which called for unconditional surrender by Japan or to face total annihilation. How did Japan respond? Military Quotes
Three days later, the Japanese governmental news agency broadcast to the world that Japan would ignore the proclamation and would refuse to surrender. During this same period it was learned -- via monitoring Japanese radio broadcasts -- that Japan had closed all schools and mobilized its school children, was arming its civilian population and was fortifying caves and building underground defenses.
Even after the Hiroshima bomb on August 6 the leaders of Imperial Japan intended to continue to fight. That's why a second bomb over Nagasaki, Japan, three days later was necessary. Japan had planned massive resistance to an invasion of the main islands of Japan. For example: Allied planes had been flying over cities in Japan unmolested, so we thought Japan's air force was shattered. Not so...
What the [U.S.] military leaders did not know was that by the end of July the Japanese had been saving all aircraft, fuel, and pilots in reserve, and had been feverishly building new planes for the decisive battle for their homeland. As part of Ketsu-Go, the name for the plan to defend Japan -- the Japanese were building 20 suicide takeoff strips in southern Kyushu with underground hangars. They also had 35 camouflaged airfields and nine seaplane bases.
Over 100,000 Japanese died at Hiroshima and many more were maimed. Compare that to half million US and unknown millions Japanese that would die if the invasion were necessary. Communist Japan - Stalin would "helped us" with Japan and we probably would have had a divided Japan, like Korea, half Communist, repressed and starving. More from Military Quotes
Deep in the recesses of the National Archives in Washington, D.C., hidden for nearly four decades lie thousands of pages of yellowing and dusty documents stamped "Top Secret". These documents, now declassified, are the plans for Operation Downfall, the invasion of Japan during World War II. Only a few Americans in 1945 were aware of the elaborate plans that had been prepared for the Allied Invasion of the Japanese home islands. Even fewer today are aware of the defenses the Japanese had prepared to counter the invasion had it been launched. Operation Downfall was finalized during the spring and summer of 1945. It called for two massive military undertakings to be carried out in succession and aimed at the heart of the Japanese Empire. In the first invasion - code named "Operation Olympic"- American combat troops would land on Japan by amphibious assault during the early morning hours of November 1, 1945 - 61 years ago. Fourteen combat divisions of soldiers and Marines would land on heavily fortified and defended Kyushu, the southernmost of the Japanese home islands, after an unprecedented naval and aerial bombardment. The second invasion on March 1, 1946 - code named "Operation Coronet"- would send at least 22 divisions against 1 million Japanese defenders on the main island of Honshu and the Tokyo Plain. It's goal: the unconditional surrender of Japan. With the exception of a part of the British Pacific Fleet, Operation Downfall was to be a strictly American operation. It called for using the entire Marine Corps, the entire Pacific Navy, elements of the 7th Army Air Force, the 8 Air Force (recently redeployed from Europe), 10th Air Force and the American Far Eastern Air Force. More than 1.5 million combat soldiers, with 3 million more in support or more than 40% of all servicemen still in uniform in 1945 - would be directly involved in the two amphibious assaults. Casualties were expected to be extremely heavy. Admiral William Leahy estimated that there would be more than 250,000 Americans killed or wounded on Kyushu alone. General Charles Willoughby, chief of intelligence for General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Southwest Pacific, estimated American casualties would be one million men by the Fall of 1946. Willoughby's own intelligence staff considered this to be a conservative estimate. ...
There is much more at Military Quotes.

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