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  #101  
Old 10-11-2019, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul in Qatar
Just by the way, in my professional opinion, the US would have lost had it attempted to invade Japan. If someone want to talk about that we can.
Just a inquiry. Why do you think that. Granted, it would be a bloody mess on both sides.
Repeating the inquiry.

Because I think it would be a bloody mess on one side, and an absolute catastrophe on the other.
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As the Allies advanced towards Japan, conditions became steadily worse for the Japanese people. Japan's merchant fleet declined from 5,250,000 gross tons in 1941 to 1,560,000 tons in March 1945, and 557,000 tons in August 1945. Lack of raw materials forced the Japanese war economy into a steep decline after the middle of 1944. The civilian economy, which had slowly deteriorated throughout the war, reached disastrous levels by the middle of 1945. The loss of shipping also affected the fishing fleet, and the 1945 catch was only 22% of that in 1941. The 1945 rice harvest was the worst since 1909, and hunger and malnutrition became widespread. U.S. industrial production was overwhelmingly superior to Japan's. By 1943, the U.S. produced almost 100,000 aircraft a year, compared to Japan's production of 70,000 for the entire war. By the middle of 1944, the U.S. had almost a hundred aircraft carriers in the Pacific, far more than Japan's twenty-five for the entire war.
Cite. The Japanese had given up trying to stop the air raids, to conserve fuel for the expected invasion. However -
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While the Japanese military decided to resume attacks on Allied bombers from late June, by this time there were too few operational fighters available for this change of tactics to hinder the Allied air raids.
The US was not going to lose.

And they weren't going to be discouraged, either. They found out that the Japanese would fight to the last man in Okinawa, and expected the same for an invasion of mainland Japan - but they were planning to go ahead and invade anyway.

The US was going to finish the war, once and for all. Fortunately, the A-bomb came along, and shifted the calculus even more - from 'hundreds of thousands of Allied deaths vs. tens of millions of Japanese deaths" to "every man, woman and child in every city in Japan, one after another after another, vs. NO Allied deaths." Not a glorious death for the Emperor, taking your enemy with you in honorable defeat. Watching your cities go up in radioactive flame, one after another - and there is not one damn thing you can do about it.

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  #102  
Old 10-11-2019, 03:31 PM
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Was it Admiral Halsey who said, "When we are finished with them, the only place Japanese will be spoken is in Hell", or Nimitz?
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  #103  
Old 10-11-2019, 03:32 PM
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Was it Admiral Halsey who said, "When we are finished with them, the only place Japanese will be spoken is in Hell", or Nimitz?
Halsey.

https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Willia...ick_Halsey,_Jr.


Nimitz seemed like a less colorful person.
  #104  
Old 10-11-2019, 03:33 PM
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Was it Admiral Halsey who said, "When we are finished with them, the only place Japanese will be spoken is in Hell", or Nimitz?
Totally sounds like something the rough spoken Halsey would say, though I don't know if it's just an anecdote or ever confirmed.
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  #105  
Old 10-11-2019, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by carnivorousplant View Post
Was it Admiral Halsey who said, "When we are finished with them, the only place Japanese will be spoken is in Hell", or Nimitz?
Totally sounds like something the rough spoken Halsey would say, though I don't know if it's just an anecdote or ever confirmed.
I've read that he was overheard to mutter this when his command returned to Pearl Harbor the evening after the attack.

He did say, in a 1944 news conference, that "The only good Jap is a Jap who's been dead for six months." He then went on to say that he was committed to creating lots and lots of good Japs.
  #106  
Old 10-11-2019, 03:46 PM
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I've read that he was overheard to mutter this when his command returned to Pearl Harbor the evening after the attack.

He did say, in a 1944 news conference, that "The only good Jap is a Jap who's been dead for six months." He then went on to say that he was committed to creating lots and lots of good Japs.
That totally sounds like him as well. He was often, um, colorful in his language and speech.
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  #107  
Old 10-11-2019, 09:36 PM
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BTW, lets not forget that just maybe 10 years prior the USA and japan had been friends. Many Americans had fond memories of the unique people, culture, and architecture of Japan.
Just wanted to mention that this "friendship" had already been fraying as far back as the Versailles Conference after WWI and the subsequent 5:5:3 naval agreement that left Japan contained as a naval force inferior to the British and Americans. Japanese imperialists resented this and were starting to push in the 1920s and 1930s for "Asia for Asians" (which of course meant Japan as the colonial power conquering and subjugating Asia).

Then there was anger in America over the Mukden incident and the Japanese takeover of Manchuria in 1931, following by Japan attacking China and committing atrocities there (Japanese planes sinking the U.S. gunboat Panay just inflamed things further).

Add in Pearl Harbor, killing of U.S. prisoners of war, the Bataan Death March etc. and there is absolutely no way the U.S. would've stopped short of total victory even if the Japanese had retreated from all their colonies back to the home islands and promised to be nice.

Last edited by Jackmannii; 10-11-2019 at 09:36 PM.
  #108  
Old 10-11-2019, 09:47 PM
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The USA convinced Great Britain to end a treaty with Japan. I believe this increased Japanese animosity with both countries.
  #109  
Old 10-12-2019, 03:05 AM
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The USA convinced Great Britain to end a treaty with Japan. I believe this increased Japanese animosity with both countries.
Not how it happened. Canada convinced the rest of the Empire, based upon wanting goodwill with the United States. America wasnt even at the Imperial Conference of 1921 , being as it wasnt part of the Empire.
  #110  
Old 10-12-2019, 06:05 AM
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The US was planning for the invasion of Japan in 1945. It didn't matter whether or not Japan had retreated to the 4 main islands. FWIW, my father was on the planned invasion force, but Hiroshima and Nagasaki changed the equation.
[hijack]Unfortunately, the view that it was just the atomic bombs which ended the war is prevalent, but it’s only part of the story. It’s pretty well documented that the Soviet entry into the war was also a significant factor. Some historians believe that the Soviet entry was actually more important and the bombs were not a factor, While I have read their arguments, I can’t see how the two factors can be separated. The Japanese themselves talk about the “twin shocks” of both events.

The faction of the Big Six members of the War Council which was opposed to surrender had been holding out while they were waiting for their “Hail Mary pass” attempt – to have the Soviets negotiate a better ending to the war than a complete surrender. The Soviet entry into the war meant that they wouldn’t get better terms and the issue was forced.
  #111  
Old 10-12-2019, 11:22 AM
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The USA convinced Great Britain to end a treaty with Japan. I believe this increased Japanese animosity with both countries.
The animosity predated that. Some Japanese people feel that the United States betrayed Japan during the negotiations to end the Russo-Japanese War in 1905.
  #112  
Old 10-12-2019, 11:59 AM
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The animosity predated that. Some Japanese people feel that the United States betrayed Japan during the negotiations to end the Russo-Japanese War in 1905.
Teddy Roosevelt and the Portsmouth treaty. I'd forgotten about that.
Thanks, Little Nemo.
  #113  
Old 10-12-2019, 02:36 PM
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[hijack]Unfortunately, the view that it was just the atomic bombs which ended the war is prevalent, but it’s only part of the story. It’s pretty well documented that the Soviet entry into the war was also a significant factor. Some historians believe that the Soviet entry was actually more important and the bombs were not a factor, While I have read their arguments, I can’t see how the two factors can be separated. The Japanese themselves talk about the “twin shocks” of both events.

The faction of the Big Six members of the War Council which was opposed to surrender had been holding out while they were waiting for their “Hail Mary pass” attempt – to have the Soviets negotiate a better ending to the war than a complete surrender. The Soviet entry into the war meant that they wouldn’t get better terms and the issue was forced.
That's just Soviet propaganda, like the fact they won WW2 all by themselves, since they took the most casualties.

While it is true that the entry of USSR ended one hope for a negotiated peace, Military losses wasnt going to do it. The Bomb allowed the Emperor to ask for peace, since it was something new.
  #114  
Old 10-12-2019, 09:09 PM
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That's just Soviet propaganda, like the fact they won WW2 all by themselves, since they took the most casualties.

While it is true that the entry of USSR ended one hope for a negotiated peace, Military losses wasnt going to do it. The Bomb allowed the Emperor to ask for peace, since it was something new.
I believe the Russians won WWII. Well, in more ways than one. They killed the most Germans, and kept the countries they "liberated" from the Nazis.
I do wish they hadn't been given US aid, so that the Russians and Germans had killed each other.

The only good thing about Russians is that they killed a lot of Germans.
The only good thing about Germans is that they killed a lot of Russians.

I believe that the bomb and the fact that the Russians wouldn't negotiate for terms, and would indeed invade Japan were equal factors in forcing a Japanese surrender. Fortunately all the Russians got were some Japanese islands they still argue over, and North Korea.
  #115  
Old 10-12-2019, 09:18 PM
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Repeating the inquiry.


Forgive me for not checking back. Very simply the Americans were very war-weary and were being force to play the Japanese game. The American manpower shortage was getting very bad by 1945.


Further, consider the kamikazes. They worked and the US Navy had no real solution. They were first-generation cruise missiles. Okinawa was bad enough, CORONET would have faced four times as many suicide planes, and offered four times as many targets.


You need to remember the Japanese path to "victory" involved the Americans invading. That was their plan. Furthermore, it basically worked.


The Japanese got a much sweeter deal than the Germans. A deal was done that the Emperor would not be hung by his neck as he so thoroughly deserved.
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  #116  
Old 10-12-2019, 09:56 PM
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Forgive me for not checking back. Very simply the Americans were very war-weary and were being force to play the Japanese game. The American manpower shortage was getting very bad by 1945.


Further, consider the kamikazes. They worked and the US Navy had no real solution. They were first-generation cruise missiles. Okinawa was bad enough, CORONET would have faced four times as many suicide planes, and offered four times as many targets.


You need to remember the Japanese path to "victory" involved the Americans invading. That was their plan. Furthermore, it basically worked.


The Japanese got a much sweeter deal than the Germans. A deal was done that the Emperor would not be hung by his neck as he so thoroughly deserved.
Like i said, my Dad served in Mac's HQ, the they were gung-ho for the invasion.

Nope, the navy solved them with destroyer pickets and a squad of fighters up all the time. Later, all the IJN could do was damage a destroyer. They were no longer such a menace.

Not at all, their plan was to damage the American fleet so bad we would be forced to negotiate.

The "deal" wasnt spelled out. And the Emperor was known to have been a figurehead- many Japanese leaders were convicted of warcrimes.
  #117  
Old 10-13-2019, 10:17 AM
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I posted my previous reply in haste and it shows. I was heading out the door to the office.

I maintain that the invasions of Japan would have failed. Let me be more verbose.

Up until this point, the Americans had the advantage of mobility. The Island Campaign showed the American could avoid Japanese strong-points, letting them sit in isolation This held American (and perhaps Japanese) casualties down. But upon reaching the Home Islands, this advantage failed. Now we had to play the Japanese' game in their home court.

The Japanese had a strategy to avoid unconditional surrender. It was the model taught to them by the Chinese. It was the model the learned in the Island Campaign. They intended to prolong the fight and inflict unacceptable losses on the Americans. The American plan was more vague. Invade Kyushu (OLYMPIC) in November 1945 in order to gain bases needed for the invasion of Honshu (CORONET) in March 1946. The goal of the invasion of the Tokyo Plain was to take the capital and then something, something, something.

OLYMPIC would have been about four times the size of the invasion of Okinawa. That battle took 100 days and cost (the Americans) 13,000 killed and 37,000 injured for a round number of 50,000 casualties. (Note about a quarter of casualties are killed, or the number of casualties are three times the number killed.) Roughly we can say the OLYMPIC attack would have killed and hurt 200,000 Americans, four times the butcher's bill on Okinawa.

That is the best-case scenario. On Okinawa we had a numerical advantage. It was a small island and we basically had to kill most every Japanese soldier on it. At Kyushu the Japanese had as many defenders as we had attackers. These defenders were dug in, but once the land battle started they could be expected to attack the American forces for many months.

The Japanese Navy had gone away except for some small boats and 100 submarines. The Japanese Army had just about unlimited people. Less understood is that the Japanese Army and Naval Air Forces (they were working very well together) also had baskets of airplanes. Production of suicide aircraft did not end until the war did. Training of pilots continued. Aircraft and crews returned from China every day. American intelligence missed this at Okinawa, estimates were of 90 aircraft on Formosa, really there were 700. For Olympic the number of aircraft available would have been overwhelming.


They adopted a new strategy for OLYMPIC. Rather than going for the warships as they had previously, now their main targets were troopships. At Okinawa 36 US ships were sunk about 400 were damaged. If we multiply by four we get 140 sunk and 1,600 damaged. That would, I suppose be something like a Japanese victory. I admit those numbers seem high. Cut them in half. It still looks like a Japanese win.

The Japanese hoped to kill 20% of the landing force while they were still at sea. Just 10% would have been about 76,000 killed. That also looks like a Japanese win. Remember Okinawa was considered very bloody and it cost only 50,000 casualties (dead + injured). Just landing the landing force might have been an Okinawa all by itself.


All of the above ignores the atomic weapons. OK, let us include them. Marshall famously observed the impact of the atomic bombs was mostly physiological. It gave those who wanted to surrender an excuse to do so. Of course a large faction wanted to fight on anyway. What if they did?

After Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August the Americans would have horded their bombs, saving them for a November OLYMPIC. I have seen numbers that indicate they might have had six. Two for each of the landing zones. Had they been used on the defenders, the landings themselves would have been easier. (Of course nobody knew much about the effects of radiation.) But such attacks would not have bothered the better, more mobile units in holes further inland.


You indicate a belief that the Navy had solved the kamikaze problem. I see no indication of this. Fighter aircraft from Okinawa would have provided a heavy cover, but I suspect they still would have gotten through. I am eager to be educated on this. The kamikazes were first-generation cruise missiles and they still give sailors nightmares. While the US had gotten better in the months since Okinawa, so had the Japanese.


OK, there is a more complete discussion I ought to have posted this morning. I was limited by my need to go to work. Now I am heading off to dinner. I hope I was clearer with this note.
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  #118  
Old 10-13-2019, 11:39 AM
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I believe the Russians won WWII. Well, in more ways than one. They killed the most Germans, and kept the countries they "liberated" from the Nazis.
I do wish they hadn't been given US aid, so that the Russians and Germans had killed each other.

The only good thing about Russians is that they killed a lot of Germans.
The only good thing about Germans is that they killed a lot of Russians.

I believe that the bomb and the fact that the Russians wouldn't negotiate for terms, and would indeed invade Japan were equal factors in forcing a Japanese surrender. Fortunately all the Russians got were some Japanese islands they still argue over, and North Korea.
The Soviets are also partially responsible for starting WWII through helping Germany rearm, supplying Germany raw materials and the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moloto...ibbentrop_Pact that allowed the two countries to attack and divide Poland and allowed Germany to invade the West without the fear of a two front war. The Soviets never returned their conquered territory.

The Soviets did the majority of fighting against the Nazis. But they also enabled WWII. And for the peoples of Eastern Europe, WWII didnt end till 1989.
  #119  
Old 10-13-2019, 12:04 PM
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The Soviets are also partially responsible for starting WWII through helping Germany rearm, supplying Germany raw materials and the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moloto...ibbentrop_Pact that allowed the two countries to attack and divide Poland and allowed Germany to invade the West without the fear of a two front war. The Soviets never returned their conquered territory.

The Soviets did the majority of fighting against the Nazis. But they also enabled WWII. And for the peoples of Eastern Europe, WWII didnt end till 1989.
The British declared war to liberate Poland, but the Russians kept it. In hindsight, I believe the Allies should have let Germany and Russia slug it out without lend lease. At the end of the war, there were too many Russians in Europe for the USA and Britain to retake Eastern Europe. I've read that at the end of hostilities, cargo ships in route to the Soviet Union were turned around mid ocean and steamed homeward.
  #120  
Old 10-13-2019, 12:14 PM
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Why the decision for invasion instead of blockade and an atom bomb every month on troop concentrations?
  #121  
Old 10-14-2019, 09:06 AM
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I posted my previous reply in haste and it shows. I was heading out the door to the office.

I maintain that the invasions of Japan would have failed.
Failed in the sense that they would have killed a lot of the Allied soldiers? Probably. Failed in the sense that the Allies would reconsider the invasion, and negotiated terms more favorable to the Japanese military government. I doubt that very much.

As mentioned, all the Allied plans for the invasion included estimates of Allied casualties in the hundreds of thousands. Yet they were still planning on going ahead with the invasion. I don't think they would have been surprised if their estimates were correct. Certainly not surprised enough to be discouraged.

The Normandy campaign cost over 220,000 Allied lives. But the Allies didn't stop until they were in Paris.
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The Japanese had a strategy to avoid unconditional surrender. It was the model taught to them by the Chinese. It was the model the learned in the Island Campaign. They intended to prolong the fight and inflict unacceptable losses on the Americans. The American plan was more vague. Invade Kyushu (OLYMPIC) in November 1945 in order to gain bases needed for the invasion of Honshu (CORONET) in March 1946. The goal of the invasion of the Tokyo Plain was to take the capital and then something, something, something.
As mentioned in the cite, the Japanese had committed almost everything they had in the defense of Kyushu. Once Kyushu was accomplished, the Japanese had nothing in reserve. It would certainly have been a bloodbath. But after the bloodbath, even if the Japanese populace (of starving old men, women, and children) had been inspired to fight to the death for the Emperor, how were they going to do it? Bamboo spears, against heavily armed GIs, who had learned that there were no non-combatants?
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OLYMPIC would have been about four times the size of the invasion of Okinawa. That battle took 100 days and cost (the Americans) 13,000 killed and 37,000 injured for a round number of 50,000 casualties. (Note about a quarter of casualties are killed, or the number of casualties are three times the number killed.) Roughly we can say the OLYMPIC attack would have killed and hurt 200,000 Americans, four times the butcher's bill on Okinawa.
Which was expected.
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At Kyushu the Japanese had as many defenders as we had attackers. These defenders were dug in, but once the land battle started they could be expected to attack the American forces for many months.
If the Japanese die at three or four or five times the rate that Allies die, it is not going to take months before they run out of defenders.
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At Okinawa 36 US ships were sunk about 400 were damaged. If we multiply by four we get 140 sunk and 1,600 damaged. That would, I suppose be something like a Japanese victory. I admit those numbers seem high. Cut them in half. It still looks like a Japanese win.

The Japanese hoped to kill 20% of the landing force while they were still at sea. Just 10% would have been about 76,000 killed. That also looks like a Japanese win.
WADR, this sounds like a repetition of one of the basic mistakes made by Imperial Japan even before they started the war.

They thought that America was weak and soft, and could be intimidated. That was the basis for their strategy for the war in Pacific - grab as much as they could, and count on the Americans to back down. It didn't work.

A victory where you lose five or ten times as many soldiers and aircraft and ships as the enemy is not much of a victory. If the idea is a war of attrition, the Japanese were going to lose, sooner rather than later.
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All of the above ignores the atomic weapons. OK, let us include them. Marshall famously observed the impact of the atomic bombs was mostly physiological. It gave those who wanted to surrender an excuse to do so. Of course a large faction wanted to fight on anyway. What if they did?

After Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August the Americans would have horded their bombs, saving them for a November OLYMPIC. I have seen numbers that indicate they might have had six.
The advantage of the A-bombs was that it made an invasion unnecessary. Assuming you are correct, and the Allies had six more bombs.

Six more Japanese cities cease to exist. Next month, another city disappears from the Japanese map. The month after that, another city.
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You indicate a belief that the Navy had solved the kamikaze problem. I see no indication of this. Fighter aircraft from Okinawa would have provided a heavy cover, but I suspect they still would have gotten through. I am eager to be educated on this. The kamikazes were first-generation cruise missiles and they still give sailors nightmares. While the US had gotten better in the months since Okinawa, so had the Japanese.
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Allied pilots were more experienced, better trained and in command of superior aircraft, making the poorly trained kamikaze pilots easy targets. The U.S. Fast Carrier Task Force alone could bring over 1,000 fighter aircraft into play. Allied pilots became adept at destroying enemy aircraft before they struck ships.

Allied gunners had begun to develop techniques to negate kamikaze attacks. Light rapid fire anti-aircraft weapons such as the 40 mm Bofors and 20 mm Oerlikon autocannons were highly effective,[32] but heavy anti-aircraft guns such as the 5"/38 caliber gun (127 mm) had the punch to blow kamikazes out of the air, which was preferable since even a heavily damaged kamikaze could complete its mission.[33] The speedy Ohkas presented a very difficult problem for anti-aircraft fire, since their velocity made fire control extremely difficult. By 1945, large numbers of anti-aircraft shells with radio frequency proximity fuzes, on average seven times more effective than regular shells, became available, and the U.S. Navy recommended their use against kamikaze attacks.
Cite.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieutenant Commander Iwatani, Taiyo (Ocean) magazine, March 1945
I cannot predict the outcome of the air battles, but you will be making a mistake if you should regard Special Attack operations as normal methods. The right way is to attack the enemy with skill and return to the base with good results. A plane should be utilized over and over again. That’s the way to fight a war. The current thinking is skewed. Otherwise, you cannot expect to improve air power. There will be no progress if flyers continue to die.
Also -
Quote:
Originally Posted by French Marshal Pierre Bosquet
C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas la guerre. ("It is magnificent, but it is not war.")
And of course
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Originally Posted by George Patton
You don't win a war by dying for your country. You win a war by making the other poor son of a bitch die for his country.
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  #122  
Old 10-14-2019, 11:36 AM
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Allied gunners had begun to develop techniques to negate kamikaze attacks. Light rapid fire anti-aircraft weapons such as the 40 mm Bofors and 20 mm Oerlikon autocannons were highly effective,[32] but heavy anti-aircraft guns such as the 5"/38 caliber gun (127 mm) had the punch to blow kamikazes out of the air, which was preferable since even a heavily damaged kamikaze could complete its mission.[33] The speedy Ohkas presented a very difficult problem for anti-aircraft fire, since their velocity made fire control extremely difficult. By 1945, large numbers of anti-aircraft shells with radio frequency proximity fuzes, on average seven times more effective than regular shells, became available, and the U.S. Navy recommended their use against kamikaze attacks.
I'll nitpick Wikipedia there. Radio proximity aka VT fuses for 5" guns were introduced to combat by the USN in early 1943. By the time organized 'special attack' operations by the Japanese started in late 1944 they were standard. They weren't used exclusively but that was on purpose. Doctrine was to fire some time fused shells, 1 in 4 was a rule of thumb, to give feedback on the fire control solution, at least in longer range fire controlled by ships main AA directors capable of generating time fuze settings. That is, if the time fuse shells were going off far from the target that showed that the fire control solution was wrong and the VT fuse shells are also far off. Sometimes by 1945 individual 5"mounts were directed in short range fire by 40mm gun directors, which had no ability to calculate time fuze settings, then they'd fire just VT.

VT fuzes for hand loaded 3" AA guns and light cruiser 6" main guns were available in 1945 and not much earlier but those were smaller in number compared to 5", also lacked sophisticated AA fire control in both cases. 40mm proximity fuzes only appeared in the 1970's. The USN's rush project was to replace the 40mm with an autoloading version of the 3" firing VT only, the first production ones weren't complete till late 1947 (that's an error in wiki article on the 3"/50 saying introduced from 1946), might have been accelerated if war continued but not a major factor.

So, there wasn't much technological advancement in USN AA gunnery between the appearance of widespread kamikaze tactics in late 1944 and a prospective invasion of Japan in late 1945. There were *more* 40mm mounts per ship though, in particular special programs sacrificing 20mm and removing some or all torpedo tubes from destroyers to free up space/weight for more 40mm mounts.

And by late 1945 the carrier based TBM-3W airborne early warning a/c would have been available, by early '46 in actual history landbased PB-1W's (B-17's) became operational, which might have been accelerated. Their APS-20 radar was ahead of its time, the British used it in the AEW version of the Shackleton until 1991.

But generally the likely qualitative difference in kamikaze threat by November 1945 would have been decline on Japanese side. A larger % of the available ca. 10,000 operational Japanese a/c at the end of the war were non-combat types, most of the ~2500 special attack sorties before that were using combat types, sometimes even modern ones*, though also some non-combat types. Pilot resources also worse, a lot the actual special attack missions were by pilots at least partly trained for conventional operations, sometimes fairly experienced men. It's a myth that they all minimally trained. But the larger number in invasion of Japan would mostly have been minimally trained. Too little fuel for anything else; the fuel shortage could even have limited suicide operations directly.

On land aspect I'd note that the size of Kyushu as a target cut both ways. It held a large IJA force bigger on paper than US attacking force would have been, but large area also meant the defending force had to be more dispersed to defend all avenues of attack and the attacking force had more room for maneuver than in cases like Okinawa or particularly Iwo Jima where every square foot had to be seized. Also we'd have to consider the execrable performance of the Kwantung Army in Manchuria/Korea against the Soviets in Aug 1945. It was a hollow force in equipment and training, belying its large manpower strength on paper, and put forth an effort arguably well below previous fanatical IJA resistance in the island campaigns. In some cases IJA units fought to the last man v the Soviets, but in others they withdrew in the face of Soviet attacks, even prior to Aug 15.

In general one has to consider the very real possibility of a diminution of Japanese morale. It's worst case and not necessarily realistic to assume absolute across the board sustained fanatical resistance by the Japanese, especially when anachronistically superimposing later Korea/Vietnam era war weariness onto the US side. Maybe the US public would have eventually turned against heavy losses in a Japan invasion, possibly even US military morale collapsed. But that was not in sight pre A bomb, where the universal assumption was a still long and bloody road ahead to defeating Japan. Nobody was happy about that, but no real public opposition to it as a policy in principal.

*detailed special attack mission lists in Japanese sources show that over half of JNAF special attack sorties were Type 0 Fighters (obsolescent as a fighter but still fast for an attack a/c) or Suisei ('Judy') divebombers (modern). About half of JAAF suicide sorties were Type 1 ('Oscar'), Type 3 ('Tony') or Type 4 ('Frank') fighters, again ranging from obsolescent but not easy to intercept to modern. Big fleets of trainers would been more of a mainstay in post Aug 1945 special attack.

Last edited by Corry El; 10-14-2019 at 11:41 AM.
  #123  
Old 10-14-2019, 03:59 PM
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Thanks to you, Corry El and to Paul in Qatar for your thoughtful posts.

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  #124  
Old 10-14-2019, 04:33 PM
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The Normandy campaign cost over 220,000 Allied lives.
Nitpick: Its 210000 casualties but only 37000 Allied soldiers killed.

https://d-dayrevisited.co.uk/d-day-h...ost-of-battle/

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Taking a wider view, during the Battle of Normandy over 425,000 Allied and German troops were killed, wounded or went missing. This figure includes around 210,000 Allied casualties, with nearly 37,000 killed amongst the ground forces and a further 16,000 deaths amongst the Allied air forces. German losses of around 200,000 were killed or wounded; a further 200,000 were taken prisoner during the Campaign. Looking just at the fierce fighting which took place around the Falaise Pocket (or Falaise Gap) in August 1944, the German Army suffered losses in excess of 90,000 men, including those taken prisoner
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Old 10-14-2019, 09:22 PM
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I maintain that the US fleet would have been so battered by a November 1945 OLYMPIC that it could not have mounted a March 1946 CORONET. Further, I doubt that the Americans could have secured one third of Kyushu in the time allotted. The Japanese army on that island would have remained capable of maneuver and attack. Finally, I see nothing magic about capturing Tokyo. If the Japanese wanted to they could have done to us what the Chinese did to them.


I was reading someone's note to someone else about projected conscription numbers. He said the Americans had to be ready to take losses on a scale not seen since the American Civil War. Imagine that.

All in all, the world was very lucky this war was shortened by the blows of the atomic weapons and Soviet invasion. Other scenarios would have been much worse.
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  #126  
Old 10-14-2019, 09:45 PM
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I maintain that the US fleet would have been so battered by a November 1945 OLYMPIC that it could not have mounted a March 1946 CORONET. Further, I doubt that the Americans could have secured one third of Kyushu in the time allotted. The Japanese army on that island would have remained capable of maneuver and attack. Finally, I see nothing magic about capturing Tokyo. If the Japanese wanted to they could have done to us what the Chinese did to them.


I was reading someone's note to someone else about projected conscription numbers. He said the Americans had to be ready to take losses on a scale not seen since the American Civil War. Imagine that.

All in all, the world was very lucky this war was shortened by the blows of the atomic weapons and Soviet invasion. Other scenarios would have been much worse.
The Japanese military would have little to no fuel

The Japanese military woiuld have little to no food

The Japanese military didnt have the industry nor transport to supply regular army units

The US would carpet bomb and lay down massive artillery barrages against any forces they confronted. The Japanese would crumble faster than the Germans did against the USSR
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Old 10-14-2019, 11:44 PM
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The British declared war to liberate Poland, but the Russians kept it. In hindsight, I believe the Allies should have let Germany and Russia slug it out without lend lease.
The UK wasn't neutral on the subject of the conflict between Germany and the Soviet Union. They were already at war with Germany; if the Germans had beaten the Soviets, it would have made Germany stronger for their ongoing war against Britain.

So while Britain was no friend of the Soviet Union, they didn't want them to lose a war against Germany. So it was in Britain's interest to assist the Soviets as much as they could.
  #128  
Old 10-15-2019, 10:05 AM
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Up until this point, the Americans had the advantage of mobility. The Island Campaign showed the American could avoid Japanese strong-points, letting them sit in isolation This held American (and perhaps Japanese) casualties down. But upon reaching the Home Islands, this advantage failed. Now we had to play the Japanese' game in their home court.

The Japanese had a strategy to avoid unconditional surrender. It was the model taught to them by the Chinese. It was the model the learned in the Island Campaign. They intended to prolong the fight and inflict unacceptable losses on the Americans. The American plan was more vague. Invade Kyushu (OLYMPIC) in November 1945 in order to gain bases needed for the invasion of Honshu (CORONET) in March 1946. The goal of the invasion of the Tokyo Plain was to take the capital and then something, something, something.
A couple of things right off. First, the Chinese had a lot more ability to trade space for time, which the Japanese simply didn't have. I'm sure they wanted to prolong the campaign and bleed the US and other allies as much as they could, hoping against hope to gain concessions that would allow them a more limited surrender. The problem was, they simply didn't have the space to trade for time, and they didn't have enough of the right kinds of weapons or systems to simply throw back an allied invasion of both the northern and southern armies, which is what would be happening. They also didn't have the logistics to be able to shift forces around in any sorts of meaningful numbers, nor the medical stockpiles to be able to treat the massive amounts of wounded they would be incurring.

Basically, by this stage of the war the allies had total air superiority and could and more importantly did raid all over the home islands. What this means, in practical terms, is that any sort of large scale logistics system was simply not going to function. A large majority of rail traffic could be interdicted from the air, making it very difficult for Japan to shift troops and supplies around, especially once the invasion started. Also, most of the Japanese navy was combat ineffective by this time, meaning it would be very difficult for them to even move supplies and troops by coastal shipping. For all intents and purposes the US and allies would have had near total sea superiority as well.

On the invasion front, it's true that the Japanese had pretty much figured out all the places the allies could or would land, and had turned them into death traps. This goes for but the US as well as Soviet landings. It would have been bloody. The problem was, they didn't have anything to back it up after the initial fighting. They couldn't follow up with troops and tanks covered by artillery to counter attack because they didn't have the ability to do that by this stage. They would have been running into exactly the same issue the German's did after Normandy, which was they couldn't get their nodal deployed and dispersed divisions into the combat zone without taking heavy losses from constant air attack. In addition, the Japanese lacked good armor or even good logistics transport (jeeps and trucks and the like) to mobilize their infantry. They relied heavily on rail transport for stuff like that, as well as naval transport, both of which would have been highly problematic due to allied air and naval superiority.

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OLYMPIC would have been about four times the size of the invasion of Okinawa. That battle took 100 days and cost (the Americans) 13,000 killed and 37,000 injured for a round number of 50,000 casualties. (Note about a quarter of casualties are killed, or the number of casualties are three times the number killed.) Roughly we can say the OLYMPIC attack would have killed and hurt 200,000 Americans, four times the butcher's bill on Okinawa.

That is the best-case scenario. On Okinawa we had a numerical advantage. It was a small island and we basically had to kill most every Japanese soldier on it. At Kyushu the Japanese had as many defenders as we had attackers. These defenders were dug in, but once the land battle started they could be expected to attack the American forces for many months.
The US had planned on this scale of causalities however. As for numerical advantage, I think you are missing a key point. At the point of entry, the attacker would STILL have an advantage. The Japanese, after all, had to cover all of the possible invasion options, while the attacker knew exactly which they would use. That's why Normandy wasn't an instant failure, despite the fact that the Germans had many times as many troops in the region than the allies did. The trouble, for the Germans and for the Japanese in this case was getting those dispersed echelons to the combat theater. Sure, Japan had a lot more soldiers, but they didn't have a good way to get them from where they were staging (and hiding) to where they were needed. They did have tunnel systems, and could move troops and supplies that way, but not enough to overwhelm and throw back the invasion.

In the end this is the key point you are missing. The Japanese didn't nor could they gain back air superiority. That means that any attempt to move large scale forces into the invasion battle space to either throw back the invasion or reinforce embattled forces would be seriously hampered, with the result being those forces getting whittled away. And, though you didn't mention them, the plan called for the Soviets to be hitting the Northern islands at the same time. This means that Japan would have been in a vice, caught between two forces.

All the while, the allies would have been bombing and shelling literally ever target out there that was left. We had, by this stage, already bombed most Japanese cities and all identified manufacturing targets, but at some point we'd have been going after secondary, tertiary and even just targets of opportunity...just like in Germany. Every attack would have whittled down the finite resources that Japan had left at this point in the war, some of which were just irreplaceable due to the fact that the allied fleet and air force were between them and their access to getting more of it.

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The Japanese Navy had gone away except for some small boats and 100 submarines. The Japanese Army had just about unlimited people. Less understood is that the Japanese Army and Naval Air Forces (they were working very well together) also had baskets of airplanes. Production of suicide aircraft did not end until the war did. Training of pilots continued. Aircraft and crews returned from China every day. American intelligence missed this at Okinawa, estimates were of 90 aircraft on Formosa, really there were 700. For Olympic the number of aircraft available would have been overwhelming.


They adopted a new strategy for OLYMPIC. Rather than going for the warships as they had previously, now their main targets were troopships. At Okinawa 36 US ships were sunk about 400 were damaged. If we multiply by four we get 140 sunk and 1,600 damaged. That would, I suppose be something like a Japanese victory. I admit those numbers seem high. Cut them in half. It still looks like a Japanese win.

The Japanese hoped to kill 20% of the landing force while they were still at sea. Just 10% would have been about 76,000 killed. That also looks like a Japanese win. Remember Okinawa was considered very bloody and it cost only 50,000 casualties (dead + injured). Just landing the landing force might have been an Okinawa all by itself.
The Japanese could hope for a lot of things, but it was and is unrealistic that they could possibly get 20% of the troop ships, especially after it became apparent that's what they were going for. The reason it worked initially is because it was a surprise and a change. This wouldn't have been the case later on, however. Also, the Japanese ability to sustain those sorts of raids was rapidly narrowing. Oh, they still had some capability in that direction, but that's because the allies hadn't gone into full interdiction mode at that point. By the time of an invasion, however, it would have been very difficult for Japan to mount these sorts of raids, as there would be almost constant air sorties from allied air and naval forces bombing anything that looked like a target.

No doubt the US and the allies would have suffered serious causalities taking the beachheads, despite the air and naval superiority. But it wouldn't have stopped the US or the Soviets or thrown them back. It would have just made the final victory cost a lot more for everyone, especially when you consider how the allied troops would have felt after this level of causalities inflicted on them.

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All of the above ignores the atomic weapons. OK, let us include them. Marshall famously observed the impact of the atomic bombs was mostly physiological. It gave those who wanted to surrender an excuse to do so. Of course a large faction wanted to fight on anyway. What if they did?

After Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August the Americans would have horded their bombs, saving them for a November OLYMPIC. I have seen numbers that indicate they might have had six. Two for each of the landing zones. Had they been used on the defenders, the landings themselves would have been easier. (Of course nobody knew much about the effects of radiation.) But such attacks would not have bothered the better, more mobile units in holes further inland.

No, we wouldn't have if Japan was still fighting on. Not sure where you got this from, but the plan was to continue to drop atomic bombs on Japan, and several of the additional bombs were already earmarked for several other potential industrial cities or logistics hubs. We wouldn't have been dropping them on the landing zones, we'd have been destroying, further, the Japanese ability to resupply, reinforce or build new, as well as any stockpiles of material or strongholds. You can bet that the capital and palace would have been subsequent targets, despite the fact that a lot of Tokyo was already in ashes due to firebombing raids. Those wouldn't have stopped either.

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You indicate a belief that the Navy had solved the kamikaze problem. I see no indication of this. Fighter aircraft from Okinawa would have provided a heavy cover, but I suspect they still would have gotten through. I am eager to be educated on this. The kamikazes were first-generation cruise missiles and they still give sailors nightmares. While the US had gotten better in the months since Okinawa, so had the Japanese.


OK, there is a more complete discussion I ought to have posted this morning. I was limited by my need to go to work. Now I am heading off to dinner. I hope I was clearer with this note.
I think the kamikaze problem was self limiting. The Japanese only had so many aircraft left, limited ability to build more due to material shortages as well as the manufacturing centers being under attack, and if a full on air interdiction was happening would have had limited ability to mount large raids that could have done real damage. Again, look at Germany as an example, but in Japan it would have been even more extreme, as Japan lacked a lot of the Germany capabilities and resources, and also was constrained by their own more limited terrain. Japan didn't have Western or Eastern Europe as a buffer. While it's terrain favored defenders, it didn't help the Japanese with respect to logistics, especially in the conditions that would have been extent during an invasion.

In short, whether it took months or even a year or so, the Japanese were ultimately doomed. They didn't have the ability to stop and throw back an allied invasion. They didn't have the ability to really push back the navy, or to stop or even seriously slow the allied air forces that would have had complete air superiority. Their supplies of critical material, including medicine was limited. Even their food supplies were low...hell, even with the atomic bombs dropped and the war ending quickly there were serious issues with food supplies, and this was with the allies bringing in food and medicine for them, not them being completely self reliant.

The atomic bombs would have just sped things up. Basically, every major Japanese city, especially those used for logistics and manufacturing would have been destroyed, either conventionally or through atomic bombs, as would all identified strong points and stock piles.
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  #129  
Old 10-15-2019, 10:27 AM
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With that many US losses, I doubt that the occupation of Japan would have been mush more harsh. Russia would never let go of any territory it captured. The future economic greatness of post war Japan would never have occurred.
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  #130  
Old 10-15-2019, 11:23 AM
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1. A couple of things right off. First, the Chinese had a lot more ability to trade space for time, which the Japanese simply didn't have.

2. On the invasion front, it's true that the Japanese had pretty much figured out all the places the allies could or would land, and had turned them into death traps.

3. That's why Normandy wasn't an instant failure, despite the fact that the Germans had many times as many troops in the region than the allies did. The trouble, for the Germans and for the Japanese in this case was getting those dispersed echelons to the combat theater. Sure, Japan had a lot more soldiers, but they didn't have a good way to get them from where they were staging (and hiding) to where they were needed.

4. The Japanese could hope for a lot of things, but it was and is unrealistic that they could possibly get 20% of the troop ships, especially after it became apparent that's what they were going for.
I agree with most of that just a few additions and things I don't totally agree with.

1. Yes, a US campaign in Japan and Japanese ones in China is completely apples and oranges. As you say, the key to China's non-defeat in the 1937-45 war with Japan, until the US beat Japan and put China on the winning side, was 'strategic depth'. They had a big enough country relative to the size of the IJA to just withdraw to where the Japanese couldn't expand the front any further. Most of the fighting in China 1938-45 was along western and southern edges of the perimeter around the Yangtze the Japanese gained by '38. Even in 1944-45 the Japanese made more territorial gains (in the Ichi-go offensive seeking to link their holdings in North China to Indochina by land to use railways to get around US interdiction of sea lanes) but same formula of driving organized Chinese armies out of ever larger area the Japanese had to hold, but the Chinese armies just withdrew further. Japan was just not big enough relative to the scale of forces involved to do that.

OTOH it's possible there would have fanatical civilian resistance in areas of Japan the US seized whereas occupied China was mainly pacified and partisan operations were a limited nuisance to the Japanese in some places only. But also again assuming uniform fanatical resistance at every level of Japanese society is just an assumption. Japan then as now was a human society, it had a breaking point.

2/3. I agree on the point of defense against over-beach landing defenses having to be spread out unless there are very few beaches. So the most of the dug in defense force won't be able to engage the attackers and its total number relative to the attacker is less important than in a contest between two maneuvering forces. But in the later Pacific War the Japanese had adopted a defense doctrine different from the Germans in Europe. The Germans went with a 'classic' doctrine of thin immobile beach defense forces (generally lower quality) which would delay the development of a beachhead until mobile (generally higher quality) reserves could concentrate to crush it. That failed in Normandy because Allied air superiority delayed movement of the mobile reserves too much, and they were arguably not numerous enough anyway.

The IJA in the most infamously bloody late smaller island campaigns (Iwo Jima and particularly Okinawa) neither seriously tried to defend beaches, because beach defenses had proved too vulnerable to naval gunfire in previous cases, nor placed any hope in mobile counterattacks to defeat the beachhead (the signature last gasp doomed-to-defeat infantry charges of defeated IJA formations were generally eschewed in the final campaigns). Rather they spread out their forces in deep defensive zones inland to try to extract maximum casualties. There was no reserve to defeat the weakened landing force in counterattacks, the idea was just to force the attacker through defensive zone after defensive zone to inflict casualties, hoping to deter subsequent invasions.

Part of the Okinawa model would probably have again been the method of defense of Kyushu. But again the size of that island was not necessarily advantageous for that kind of defense. The island was big enough for the attacker to have more latitude maneuvering around and isolating particularly difficult defensive positions, while not big enough for the entirely different Chinese defensive doctrine of relying on depth. And to the extent the IJA considered the size of Kyushu called for more of a coast defense/mobile reserves approach, the low quality of IJA mobile forces and US air superiority would have been big problems. Again the Soviet campaign in Manchuria or US one on Luzon in 1945 might be an alternative model rather than just projecting the land aspects of the Okinawa campaign, though admittedly with the big difference of local population friendly to the US invasion of Luzon and Manchurian/Korean population mixed between pro/anti Japanese but mainly indifferent.

4. I agree the idea of 'special attack' units shifting dramatically to troopships as targets is speculative at best. One of the basic problems with special attack as referred to in earlier post was inability to learn and refine tactics based on first hand knowledge...the men who completed their missions were dead. I don't see why to believe that a follow on wave of special attack, even less experienced pilots, no direct feedback of knowledge from previous ones, less support from conventional fighter units (which was a factor at Okinawa), generally slower a/c (lots of combat types over Okinawa more trainers in late 1945) would have jumped up in effectiveness, whether being drawn like moths to a flame to picket destroyers, or in general.

Another factor indirectly referred to is the severe famine that would have struck Japan over the winter of 1945-46, mass starvation deaths were only avoided in actual history by emergency shipments of food by the US.
  #131  
Old 10-15-2019, 11:51 AM
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. . . assuming uniform fanatical resistance at every level of Japanese society is just an assumption. Japan then as now was a human society, it had a breaking point.
I'm not sure that 'breaking point' could ever have been reached if the Emperor had not arrived there first. And that took the atomic bombings.
  #132  
Old 10-15-2019, 12:02 PM
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I agree with some of your additions, and disagree with others, but I think the crux is nothing you brought up makes for a US/allied defeat in an invasion. Simply put, the Japanese couldn't win, and had they tried to fight it out they would have just made things worse once they were forced to surrender.

I'll just comment, briefly, on a couple of things from your post:

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Originally Posted by Corry El
OTOH it's possible there would have fanatical civilian resistance in areas of Japan the US seized whereas occupied China was mainly pacified and partisan operations were a limited nuisance to the Japanese in some places only. But also again assuming uniform fanatical resistance at every level of Japanese society is just an assumption. Japan then as now was a human society, it had a breaking point.
Absolutely the Japanese would have, especially initially, resisted fanatically. They also wouldn't have been hampered by the ongoing civil war happening in China, or by a CCP stabbing the government in the back as often as they assisted in fighting the Japanese. But I don't think it would have made that much of a difference except in terms of civilian deaths. At some point, the allies would have just taken a zero trust stance, which would have been very bad for the population. Simply put, the Japanese civilians could be as fanatic as they wanted, but they were poorly armed and equipped, and almost completely unsupported (they were short on rations and basic necessities BEFORE the invasion). What they would accomplish is to kill a few allied soldiers at some fairly horrific cost to themselves going forward.

I also agree with you that it's an assumption that Japan, or really any society can be that fanatic across the board. You could see in other cases a mixed bag of fanaticism, with German and Russian examples really underscoring this. But looking at Vietnam, you can see that this fanaticism was pretty great, but there were breaking points. The Tet offensive, for instance, pretty much broke the Viet Cong in South Vietnam to the point that they weren't a major factor again in the war. North Vietnam was able to keep fighting mainly because of external, outside support that Japan wouldn't have had.

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The IJA in the most infamously bloody late smaller island campaigns (Iwo Jima and particularly Okinawa) neither seriously tried to defend beaches, because beach defenses had proved too vulnerable to naval gunfire in previous cases, nor placed any hope in mobile counterattacks to defeat the beachhead (the signature last gasp doomed-to-defeat infantry charges of defeated IJA formations were generally eschewed in the final campaigns). Rather they spread out their forces in deep defensive zones inland to try to extract maximum casualties. There was no reserve to defeat the weakened landing force in counterattacks, the idea was just to force the attacker through defensive zone after defensive zone to inflict casualties, hoping to deter subsequent invasions.

Part of the Okinawa model would probably have again been the method of defense of Kyushu. But again the size of that island was not necessarily advantageous for that kind of defense. The island was big enough for the attacker to have more latitude maneuvering around and isolating particularly difficult defensive positions, while not big enough for the entirely different Chinese defensive doctrine of relying on depth. And to the extent the IJA considered the size of Kyushu called for more of a coast defense/mobile reserves approach, the low quality of IJA mobile forces and US air superiority would have been big problems. Again the Soviet campaign in Manchuria or US one on Luzon in 1945 might be an alternative model rather than just projecting the land aspects of the Okinawa campaign, though admittedly with the big difference of local population friendly to the US invasion of Luzon and Manchurian/Korean population mixed between pro/anti Japanese but mainly indifferent.
Yes, I agree that the Japanese planned a completely different battle from the German's. Sorry about that. I used Germany as an example because for Japan to actually throw off the invasion they would need to be able to mobilize and counter attack, and, simply put, they didn't have the force structure to do that. Sure, their battle was designed to cost lives, but, again, using earlier battles where they didn't really oppose the landing but planned to fight it out in well prepared defenses is something we'd already seen and had experience with. While we lost quite a few troops, the Japanese invariably lost a lot more...and that's something they simply couldn't afford. They needed to kill many allied soldiers for each of their soldiers killed, not the other way around.

The whole thought process that if you can just hurt the enemy enough that they will go away is something they were counting on, but I've seen no indication that they could have ramped things up on their own to that threshold.

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Another factor indirectly referred to is the severe famine that would have struck Japan over the winter of 1945-46, mass starvation deaths were only avoided in actual history by emergency shipments of food by the US.
Exactly. And it wasn't just food. Japan just wasn't positioned well for this sort of fight, had it happened. They could and certainly would have hurt the allies...but they would have been destroyed doing it. As bad as the atomic bombs were, an invasion would have been orders of magnitude worse, and I seriously doubt that Japan would be anywhere close to where it is today had it happened.

I think one thing that Paul in Qatar is missing is how tight the noose had become. We were able to stage air force assets out of some of the near island conquests, including Okinawa, as well as carrier based ones, which would have further tightened the noose. We had total air superiority over the island, and were raiding at will. We hadn't really ramped up, fully, the interdiction part of that raid system, mainly we were still in the heavy bomber stage, but we were gearing up for allowing fighter escorts to basically freelance as we had in Germany. They could escort the bombers (though that was increasingly becoming irrelevant as Japanese air support evaporated) then basically attack any targets of opportunity. This would have made it very difficult for the Japanese to try large raids with their kamikaze attacks. As you also noted, the best trained and capable crews were pretty much dead as a feature of this tactic, and they weren't exactly getting back good tactical data on what worked and what didn't They had already started to strip their cadre earlier, and so they weren't able to train very well. They were running out of material for building more planes as well, but those they had would have been under increasing attack from fighters and smaller bombers as that phase of the air war got rolling.
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  #133  
Old 10-15-2019, 12:04 PM
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With that many US losses, I doubt that the occupation of Japan would have been mush more harsh. Russia would never let go of any territory it captured. The future economic greatness of post war Japan would never have occurred.
Or it might have had the opposite effect. Politics can dictate economics.

In Europe, America and the Soviet Union were facing off against other directly in Germany. So both sides ended up encouraging a quick recovery for Germany so their half could function as a viable ally.

We didn't feel a similar pressure in Japan. We had no incentive to see Japan rebuilt as a military power. And we didn't encourage Japanese economic recovery until we needed a logistic base for our wars in Korea and Vietnam.

But if history had been different and there had been a Soviet garrison in northern Japan, we probably would have followed the German example and pushed Japan to rebuild and rearm quickly.
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:17 PM
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I'm not sure that 'breaking point' could ever have been reached if the Emperor had not arrived there first. And that took the atomic bombings.
The breaking point was the fact that there was little food on the home islands. Im not sure how people think the Japanese could fight, march, reposition without food. This would affect the military the most, and along with a lack of transport on land and sea, would make it damn nearly impossible to move masses of men. https://www.histclo.com/essay/war/ww...ly45-food.html

IF the Japanese had resisted, a systematic campaign of bombing and embargoing would have starved the Japanese out with a minimal loss of American lives.

I doubt the Soviets could have launched an attack on Hokkaido for months if not years. They had neither the navy, the landing craft nor the practical experience to launch a massive naval invasion.

Luckily there were nukes that greatly reduced the human suffering on all sides of the war.
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:23 PM
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Or it might have had the opposite effect. Politics can dictate economics.

In Europe, America and the Soviet Union were facing off against other directly in Germany. So both sides ended up encouraging a quick recovery for Germany so their half could function as a viable ally.
The Soviets did anything but encourage a quick German recovery. They looted and transfered whole factories back to the USSR. They pillaged and burned all German settlements they came across in late 44 and 45. Then they peeled off Upper Silesia and gave it to Poland. The Soviets were also busy imprisoning and killing all segments in both occupied Germany and Eastern Europe who could remotely challenge them politically. This meant industrialists, intellectuals and landowners. They just didnt care about economics at that time. They also turned down an opportunity to receive Marshall Plan aid.
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:23 PM
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Another factor indirectly referred to is the severe famine that would have struck Japan over the winter of 1945-46, mass starvation deaths were only avoided in actual history by emergency shipments of food by the US.
The Japanese government, which was mostly controlled by the military at this point, had made some harsh contingency plans. Their first priority was to keep feeding the troops. Then they wanted to keep feeding the civilians who supported military logistics. After that, they started creating categories of people who were seen as surplus. It wasn't clear if the plans were to directly kill these people or just cut off their food and let them starve to death. But either way, it was planned for these people to die.

The first group was POW's. Japan had decided to kill all of them to save on food. This obviously would have produced a strong desire for retribution after the war.

The second group was the elderly; people who could no longer work in factories and help the war effort. The third group, if conditions got bad enough, was children; Japan considered sacrificing them if food was too scarce. As I noted, it wasn't clear whether they planned on killing children and the elderly or just letting them starve to death. But either possibility is horrifying.

So imagine what Japan would have been like if we had gone with the blockade strategy and starved them into surrender. The country we would have been occupying would have been filled with half-dead people who had murdered their parents and children to stay alive. A lot of them probably would have killed themselves when a surrender was signed and they realized their sacrifices had been meaningless. And the occupiers would have had no interest in mitigating the terrible conditions they found. Japan would have ceased to exist as a society.
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:35 PM
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The Soviets did anything but encourage a quick German recovery. They looted and transfered whole factories back to the USSR. They pillaged and burned all German settlements they came across in late 44 and 45. Then they peeled off Upper Silesia and gave it to Poland. The Soviets were also busy imprisoning and killing all segments in both occupied Germany and Eastern Europe who could remotely challenge them politically. This meant industrialists, intellectuals and landowners. They just didnt care about economics at that time. They also turned down an opportunity to receive Marshall Plan aid.
The Soviets were certainly willing to take from Germany to help their own country. But after that, they wanted to see East Germany recover. They didn't try to force East Germany to remain an agricultural country (which it had largely been when Germany was united) and they had no problems with building up an East German army.

And while the Red Army did attack a lot of civilians in the final months of the war, it's notable that the official Soviet policy had changed. The word had come down to tone down the anti-German rhetoric. Soldiers were being told to see the Germans and other Eastern Europeans as victims of the Nazi regime that they were liberating. But that message didn't filter all the way down and most soldiers saw the people in the countries they were capturing as targets for rape and pillaging.

The Soviets rejected the Marshall Plan because they saw it as an American attempt to sneak into power in Eastern Europe not because they didn't like the economic advantages that were offered. If their only desire had been to see Germans suffer, they could have rejected Marshall Plan aid for Germany while accepting it elsewhere.
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:39 PM
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Again, we're overlooking what the Soviets brought to the war. Not only did they run roughshod over Japanese forces in Manchuria, they also had a robust plan to invade Hokkaido, the northern Japanese home island.

Capturing Hokkaido means the Japanese forces would have had to contend with THREE separate home island invasions. And unlike Kyushu and Honshu, Hokkaido was poorly defended and would have fallen (or let's say "been controlled") quickly. That would have left the Soviet Army a literal ferry ride across the That would have brought the Soviet army within a literal ferry ride across the Tsugaru Strait from the northern end of Honshu.
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:41 PM
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Also consider that up until the very end, poison gas was still being proposed as an option when dealing with Japan.
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:41 PM
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Nitpick: Its 210000 casualties but only 37000 Allied soldiers killed.

https://d-dayrevisited.co.uk/d-day-h...ost-of-battle/
Your nit is successfully picked, and I sit corrected.

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Old 10-15-2019, 12:46 PM
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The Soviets were certainly willing to take from Germany to help their own country. But after that, they wanted to see East Germany recover. They didn't try to force East Germany to remain an agricultural country (which it had largely been when Germany was united) and they had no problems with building up an East German army.

And while the Red Army did attack a lot of civilians in the final months of the war, it's notable that the official Soviet policy had changed. The word had come down to tone down the anti-German rhetoric. Soldiers were being told to see the Germans and other Eastern Europeans as victims of the Nazi regime that they were liberating. But that message didn't filter all the way down and most soldiers saw the people in the countries they were capturing as targets for rape and pillaging.

The Soviets rejected the Marshall Plan because they saw it as an American attempt to sneak into power in Eastern Europe not because they didn't like the economic advantages that were offered. If their only desire had been to see Germans suffer, they could have rejected Marshall Plan aid for Germany while accepting it elsewhere.
According to Anthony Beevors The Fall of Berlin 1945, The Soviets (all the way up to Stalin) knew about the raping and looting but they didnt care. There were even incidents of drunk Soviet troops fragging any officer who tried to stop them. A tragic sidenote in the conquest of Germany is that liberated Soviet citizens were raped at about the same percentage as German women. Slave laborers were seen as politically suspect and many were liberated from a German labor camp to a Soviet Gulag. The same went for the few surviving Soviet POWs.

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Old 10-15-2019, 12:54 PM
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Again, we're overlooking what the Soviets brought to the war. Not only did they run roughshod over Japanese forces in Manchuria, they also had a robust plan to invade Hokkaido, the northern Japanese home island.

Capturing Hokkaido means the Japanese forces would have had to contend with THREE separate home island invasions. And unlike Kyushu and Honshu, Hokkaido was poorly defended and would have fallen (or let's say "been controlled") quickly. That would have left the Soviet Army a literal ferry ride across the That would have brought the Soviet army within a literal ferry ride across the Tsugaru Strait from the northern end of Honshu.
The Soviets did not have the naval logistics or know how to invade Hokkaido in 1945 or anytime soon after. https://nationalinterest.org/blog/bu...on-japan-32602
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Old 10-15-2019, 03:06 PM
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Just wanted to mention that this "friendship" had already been fraying as far back as the Versailles Conference after WWI and the subsequent 5:5:3 naval agreement that left Japan contained as a naval force inferior to the British and Americans. Japanese imperialists resented this and were starting to push in the 1920s and 1930s for "Asia for Asians" (which of course meant Japan as the colonial power conquering and subjugating Asia).

Then there was anger in America over the Mukden incident and the Japanese takeover of Manchuria in 1931, following by Japan attacking China and committing atrocities there (Japanese planes sinking the U.S. gunboat Panay just inflamed things further).

Add in Pearl Harbor, killing of U.S. prisoners of war, the Bataan Death March etc. and there is absolutely no way the U.S. would've stopped short of total victory even if the Japanese had retreated from all their colonies back to the home islands and promised to be nice.
All true but one cannot discount the 1937 visit by Helen Keller where she discussed her fondness for the Japanese people and they seemed to really bond with her.

"She and her companion Polly Thomson arrived at Yokohama in April 1937 and stayed in the Far East until the late summer. They traveled everywhere and were feted by everyone. They were received by Prince and Princess Takamatsu who, in turn, secured invitations for them to attend the Imperial Cherry Viewing Party at the Shinjuku Imperial Gardens in Tokyo. There they were received by the Emperor and Empress of Japan; in Nara, they touched the sacred bronze Buddha, the first women to be allowed to do so."
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Old 10-15-2019, 04:10 PM
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The Soviets did not have the naval logistics or know how to invade Hokkaido in 1945 or anytime soon after. https://nationalinterest.org/blog/bu...on-japan-32602
My cite says they had a plan, and your cite says they were trying to implement that plan.

True, we're only talking about a couple of thousand troops in the Soviet plan but when the Japanese surrendered, the ships were there.
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Old 10-15-2019, 04:23 PM
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All true but one cannot discount the 1937 visit by Helen Keller where she discussed her fondness for the Japanese people and they seemed to really bond with her.

"She and her companion Polly Thomson arrived at Yokohama in April 1937 and stayed in the Far East until the late summer. They traveled everywhere and were feted by everyone. They were received by Prince and Princess Takamatsu who, in turn, secured invitations for them to attend the Imperial Cherry Viewing Party at the Shinjuku Imperial Gardens in Tokyo. There they were received by the Emperor and Empress of Japan; in Nara, they touched the sacred bronze Buddha, the first women to be allowed to do so."
And the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were entertained by Hitler in Berlin six months later, while Hermann Goering gave Charles Lindbergh a medal in 1938. Didn't mean squat then, doesn't mean squat now.
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Old 10-15-2019, 10:48 PM
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My cite says they had a plan, and your cite says they were trying to implement that plan.

True, we're only talking about a couple of thousand troops in the Soviet plan but when the Japanese surrendered, the ships were there.
Yes the Soviets had a entirely viable plan to invade Hokkaido. The various documents are also reproduced in David Glantz' "The Soviet Strategic Offensive in Manchuria, 1945: 'August Storm'". Two Soviet divisions would have been transported to the port of Rumoi in echelon (IOW one at at time) and a third would have done a shore to shore operation in landing craft from from already (and still) Russian held islands just a few miles north of Hokkaido. The IJA 5th Area Army on Hokkaido had two divisions and an independent brigade but spread all over the island. It had no major units at Rumoi, the Soviets could basically have walked in there as far as land opposition. Nor did the 5th Area Army have the strength to then eject the Soviets once they consolidated a bridgehead, under cover of land based Soviet a/c.

In the debate on Hokkaido it's sometimes posited that the Japanese could respond effectively with (special attack heavy) air power but firstly that would have presented serious logistical difficulties, like getting fuel there to sustain operations (tankers couldn't run along the coasts of Japan then, not if the US was onboard with a Soviet operation, juicy targets for carrier planes if not tripped up by US mining which extended to northern Honshu ports by then, the regular ferries which supplied Hokkaido were mainly sunk in a July carrier raid). And secondly it's not clear how much air power the Japanese would have been willing to withdraw from Kyushu and west/central Honshu while anticipating a US invasion there. And that's where the great bulk was stationed, weak air contingents in northern Honshu and Hokkaido. As of the end of the actual war Japan hadn't rearranged its forces in the Home Islands to adjust for the rapid Soviet advances in Manchuria, Korea, Sakhalin and the Kuriles.

It would have taken the Soviets some time to build up a force on Hokkaido to secure that island entirely then proceed to northern Honshu, where things things would have gotten more difficult. But 'The Soviets didn't have the navy to invade Hokkaido' while often said, is wrong. They had what they needed given the short distances involved, which allowed land based air support, even allowed field artillery support from Soviet held islands in some cases, and weak Japanese defenses. They laid it out in an entirely plausible plan.

Last edited by Corry El; 10-15-2019 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 10-16-2019, 12:23 AM
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Yes the Soviets had a entirely viable plan to invade Hokkaido. The various documents are also reproduced in David Glantz' "The Soviet Strategic Offensive in Manchuria, 1945: 'August Storm'". Two Soviet divisions would have been transported to the port of Rumoi in echelon (IOW one at at time) and a third would have done a shore to shore operation in landing craft from from already (and still) Russian held islands just a few miles north of Hokkaido. The IJA 5th Area Army on Hokkaido had two divisions and an independent brigade but spread all over the island. It had no major units at Rumoi, the Soviets could basically have walked in there as far as land opposition. Nor did the 5th Area Army have the strength to then eject the Soviets once they consolidated a bridgehead, under cover of land based Soviet a/c.

In the debate on Hokkaido it's sometimes posited that the Japanese could respond effectively with (special attack heavy) air power but firstly that would have presented serious logistical difficulties, like getting fuel there to sustain operations (tankers couldn't run along the coasts of Japan then, not if the US was onboard with a Soviet operation, juicy targets for carrier planes if not tripped up by US mining which extended to northern Honshu ports by then, the regular ferries which supplied Hokkaido were mainly sunk in a July carrier raid). And secondly it's not clear how much air power the Japanese would have been willing to withdraw from Kyushu and west/central Honshu while anticipating a US invasion there. And that's where the great bulk was stationed, weak air contingents in northern Honshu and Hokkaido. As of the end of the actual war Japan hadn't rearranged its forces in the Home Islands to adjust for the rapid Soviet advances in Manchuria, Korea, Sakhalin and the Kuriles.

It would have taken the Soviets some time to build up a force on Hokkaido to secure that island entirely then proceed to northern Honshu, where things things would have gotten more difficult. But 'The Soviets didn't have the navy to invade Hokkaido' while often said, is wrong. They had what they needed given the short distances involved, which allowed land based air support, even allowed field artillery support from Soviet held islands in some cases, and weak Japanese defenses. They laid it out in an entirely plausible plan.
Disagree.

Firstly, the Soviets could only have made the attempt in spring/summer. Hokkaido winters are harsh and start early. Their armor and mech infantry would be rather useless on Hokkaido because of weather and terrain. Japanese kamikazes would be far more effective against the small and rarely used Soviet naval force. What port facilities could the Soviets expect to use and how would they survive winter if 45.

The idea if a Soviet invasion before spring of 1946 is a pipe dream imo.

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Old 10-16-2019, 09:59 AM
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Disagree.

Firstly, the Soviets could only have made the attempt in spring/summer. Hokkaido winters are harsh and start early. Their armor and mech infantry would be rather useless on Hokkaido because of weather and terrain. Japanese kamikazes would be far more effective against the small and rarely used Soviet naval force. What port facilities could the Soviets expect to use and how would they survive winter if 45.

The idea if a Soviet invasion before spring of 1946 is a pipe dream imo.

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This guy, from Military History Visualized (well, non-Visualized in this case, since he mainly just talks) agrees with you. It's a YouTube video.

Basically, for those who don't want to watch it, he makes a case that the Soviets couldn't have invaded on schedule because of a number of factors, including the fact that the ports they were planning to use in Manchuria were still in Japanese hands. Also, they didn't have the logistics and fleet assets to move over the number of divisions they were calling for as needed. Additionally, when they took several of the other, northern islands from Japan the defense was pretty fierce and they ended up losing some critical shipping assets early on. Finally, and probably the most damning, they apparently didn't have the ability to support their invasion using air assets. I'm a bit curious about this one, as it seems they SHOULD be able too fly off of air strips on the conquered islands as well as from Manchuria. I admit I don't know as much about Soviet air craft and range data, so maybe it was a range issue. I suppose asking the US to provide naval support, especially naval air cover would be out of the question for the Soviets, so I guess on their own resources they didn't have the capabilities to do the invasion on schedule. That said, they had more than a million troops in the area (Manchuria as well as the northern Japanese islands they did take), and were already moving supplies in. It might have taken them several more months, but they should have been able to build up air support in the region to give them some cover and, hell, maybe buy additional ships from some of the allies. Though this would have thrown off the time table for their own part and maybe allowed the US and other allies the time to force a surrender without the Soviet invasion at all.
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Old 10-16-2019, 11:07 AM
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Japanese kamikazes would be far more effective against the small and rarely used Soviet naval force.
Japan might have even used what little non-Kamakazi airforces they had remaining to attack the Soviet fleet directly since there was no way their anti-aircraft abilities were going to even be the slightest match for what the US Navy could dish out (and was, hence the reason the Kamakazi was used).
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Old 10-16-2019, 11:24 AM
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Since I linked to the other video, I might as well link to this one by the same guys (Military History Visualized) that goes into Olympic. Basically, it goes into the OOB for the US and the plan for where troops would be hitting, and even why they were going for what they were going for.
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