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Response to Jim Lane (Original post)

Wed Aug 7, 2013, 02:28 AM

27. All right, I'll try.

First, by waiting a couple of weeks, the Western Powers would have wound up giving Hokkaido to Stalin and the Soviet Union. They had advanced--if highly shoe-string--plans to invade the northernmost of the main Japanese islands on or about August 21, 1945.

The preparatory step was the Soviet invasion of the Kurile Islands, which began on August 18 and was largely complete within four days. All Japanese residents were expelled by 1946, and the islands, now without the silent "e," remain Russian.

http://istoria.pl/history388.html

That almost certainly would have led to larger Soviet involvement in, for example, the Korean War.

Second, by waiting a couple of weeks and allowing the Soviets a toe-hold on mainland Japan when the Americans did not have one, American plans to invade the southernmost of the main islands, Kyushu, might have been moved up from its planned November 1 date.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=389&topic_id=6231948&mesg_id=6232074

Unfortunately for the Americans, the Japanese had correctly anticipated exactly where the Marines were going to land, had fortified those places, and had at least as many troops on hand to defend as there were Marines to invade. Top brass were inclined to doubt the usually ridiculous claims of enemy strength provided by MacArthur's staff--but this time they had got their call right.

Recall that the bloodbath of Iwo Jima was successfully conducted with a greater than three to one troop advantage in favor of the Americans, taking weeks and thousands of lives to clear out an island eight square miles in area. Then consider that the Japanese were planning to conscript all men and women on Kyushu and use them in the defense--the women were going to be charging machine guns with bamboo spears.

Moving up the date of Operation Olympic would have made it even less likely that the details of the plan could be changed. But the Americans had a super-awesome contingency plan, which would be to use the six or seven atomic bombs we expected to have by then as tactical nuclear weapons, nuke the beaches and inland defenses, and then land the Marines and march them through the radiation zones. The Americans were also seriously considering the use of poison gas to deal with Japanese cave defense tactics, because what could possibly go wrong with that? It's not like the Japanese were planning to hide their kids in the caves--oh, wait, yeah they were.

Yes, all one million of the invading soldiers and Marines, most of them fresh out of high school, would have died within a decade or two from complications of radiation exposure, if they weren't killed by suicidal and irradiated Japanese civilians, and untold millions of Japanese soldiers and civilians would have died as well, and the Soviets would have systematically murdered and worked to death another million Hokkaidans, and then Honshu would also have to be invaded, probably also preceded by atomic bombs and another million American troops because the previous million would be too sick to participate in that invasion....

But the innocent people Hiroshima and Nagasaki might have lived up to another year, and one or two surely would have avoided being consumed in the far larger and bloodier conflicts that loomed. Those people might have been saved--at the cost of twenty times as many other people.

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Jim Lane Aug 2013 OP
Socal31 Aug 2013 #1
niyad Aug 2013 #3
Nanjing to Seoul Aug 2013 #14
Lancero Aug 2013 #28
Niceguy1 Aug 2013 #29
Jim Lane Aug 2013 #30
niyad Aug 2013 #31
ConcernedCanuk Aug 2013 #40
Name removed Aug 2013 #41
cliffordu Aug 2013 #50
NutmegYankee Aug 2013 #55
telclaven Aug 2013 #56
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Fumesucker Aug 2013 #9
Jim Lane Aug 2013 #18
Fumesucker Aug 2013 #24
hack89 Aug 2013 #48
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cliffordu Aug 2013 #51
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joshcryer Aug 2013 #4
Jim Lane Aug 2013 #12
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LearnedHand Aug 2013 #5
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HardTimes99 Aug 2013 #44
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joshcryer Aug 2013 #23
Jim Lane Aug 2013 #25
zipplewrath Aug 2013 #35
Bucky Aug 2013 #36
Hulk Aug 2013 #16
Jim Lane Aug 2013 #26
LineReply All right, I'll try.
sofa king Aug 2013 #27
hunter Aug 2013 #33
sofa king Aug 2013 #49
Lee-Lee Aug 2013 #34
brooklynite Aug 2013 #37
Jim Lane Aug 2013 #38
Bake Aug 2013 #47
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