what if...

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by fly boy, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. fly boy

    fly boy Member

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    what if the US never nuked japan do you think the tide of war could change for a month or would the war go with an invasion
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    An invasion, 20 million dead and possibly a confrontation with the Soviet Union at the end of the day.
     
  3. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    After Okinawa fell, the Japanese had little left to play with. Their sources
    for oil, rubber, steel and other commodities had just about dried up. I think
    if someone had asked, and removed the "unconditional" from surrender, they
    might have at least thought about it. I do believe that we would have had
    to invade, tho.

    Charles
     
  4. wilbur1

    wilbur1 Active Member

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    Yea they werent very far away in terms of material, the fight was in the dog but the dog was too weak
     
  5. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    When they looked at cost of American lives compared to an invasion and the bomb, it was a no brainer.

    However, your question is what if we didn't drop it.

    I agree with FlyboyJ. The death toll would have been staggering. Plus, after the wear on men and materials on the U.S. side, Russia would have been very unpredictable.
     
  6. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    We would have had to go ahead with "Operation Downfall". American casualties would have been extremely heavy. Iwo Jima and Okinawa cost over 75,000 casualties combined, of that over 19,000 killed. Do the math, not pretty. Would have been criminal NOT to initiate the atomic raids. Good thing it only took two A-bombs; that's all we had in August '45.

    I also have got a "selfish" reason to justify the A-bombs. Although my old man had enough "points" in the ETO, I got the feeling that he, and just about everybody else, would possibly have had to eventually get involved. So I might not be sittin' here right now typing this post.

    TO
     
  7. orion549

    orion549 Member

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    The death toll of an invasion would've been huge, I think I heard somewhere the Japs had something like 5000 aircraft on standby just for Kamikaze duty in preparation for an invasion. Although I've also heard that they were preparing to surrender when the bombs were dropped, or at least after the first, so an invasion may still not have happened anyway.
     
  8. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    The fighting in the CBI would have gone on longer too, let's not forget. So, the death toll would have been even greater all round. I've heard that the Japanese aircraft (of all types) that could have been prepped for suicide attacks was closer to 17,000 ! The number seems high to me... but if true, my god.
     
  9. Evil_Merlin

    Evil_Merlin Member

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    The Japanese mainland was still training women, children and the elderly in homeland defense right up to the end. It was rather scary.

    The propaganda the Japanese authorities were using to scare the civilians about a possible invasion and the treatment they woud face under the occupational forces (or rather invasion forces) were downright horrible.

    The Japanese had plans to mobilize and utilize over 10,000 aircraft to protect the islands (by July, more were expected to be ready by October, but not a lot more), mostly as Kamakazis, as well as the use of suicide boats, which were already under construction under the watchful eyes of Admiral Matome Ugaki (100 Kōryū-class submarines, 250 smaller Kairyū-class submarines, and 1,000 Kaiten manned torpedoes were available to the Navy. The Army had about 800 Shin'yō boats).

    The invastion was expected to be so bad that if the collective Allied invasions (Olympic followed by Coronet 4 months later) took more than 180 days, over 1.2 million casulties were expected, with nearly 300k of those being KIA's. Heck the government made half a million purple heart metals in expectation of the invastion. By last year there were still over 110 thousand left in inventories!
     
  10. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    Just one question though, why would you have to invade Japan? Japan's offensive force in august 1945 was virtually nil. Why not just lock them out from the outside world and let them return to the middle ages on their own? Remember, they hardly had any natural resources and without oil, they wouldn't have lasted long any more.
     
  11. Evil_Merlin

    Evil_Merlin Member

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    Because they still had the ability to wage war, very similar to what Germany was able to do right up to the end.
     
  12. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    Merlin is right. You cannot allow the enemy freedom to wage war; it's been one of the most important aspects of war throughout history. Denying the enemy the ability to wage war was the primary reason the Roman Empire grew so large and the reason that Japan would have needed to be invaded.
     
  13. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    No bomb. Probably an invasion. Put it at 70-80% odds. There were a few in the American forces that were starting to go against invasion at the end of July, begining of August. Nimitz was one. The planners called for 350K Japanese defenders on Kyushu on Nov 1. Intelligence told them that the number was already at 800K by Aug 1. Nimitz saw a bloodbath and thought blockade would get the job done in 2 years.

    McArthur wanted invasion. Probably, fairly certain, he would've gotten it.

    Casualties from Invasion:
    Allied
    Allied Naval- 19K (15K KIA)
    Allied Air- 9K (7.5K KIA)
    Allied Ground 398K (98K KIA)
    Allied POW in Jap Hands 200K (200K KIA)
    Allied Civilians in Jap Hands 7K (7K KIA)

    Japanese
    Naval 40K (36K KIA) Mostly naval forces acting as ground troops
    Air 12K (12K KIA) Kamakaze
    Land 700K (500k KIA, remainder wounded or sick)
    Civilian 2-7Million (1.5M K, Remainder sick and wounded)

    Asian Civilian 200K per month Deaths.

    A bunch of the numbers above are swags (scientific wild ass guesses). But I base it on the casualty rates for the US Marine/US Army battles (Japanese deaths to American deaths were roughly 4-1 on smaller islands and 17-1 on larger islands where battle was more mobile). Also, the japanese were not keeping any Enemy POW or Civilians alive after the Invasion started. Why feed useless mouths? Lastly, the Japanese civilian deaths are based on a population that was on the verge of starvation at the end of 1945 when the Rice Crop failed. Coupled with a destroyed rail, road and interisland shipping network and you have widescale starvation and disease (the real killers in war).
     
  14. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    Not convinced yet. Japan was different from germany in the fact that it had no real borders with any other country. It's much easier to seal off. If you seal them of from oil, they have no freedom to wage war, because they have no fuel to power the machine. It's the principle of siege in the middle ages which still could be applied.
     
  15. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    It took a lot to besiege a city in Medieval times, it was always preferred to assault any city or castle than besiege it. The U.S would have used a lot of resources keeping units on station all year round. On top of Japan itself there are the Japanese units in China and Burma in 1945 that surrendered when Japan itself did. Those units would continue fighting with Japan blockaded which would lead to a continued loss of life in the CBI theatre.

    On top of the actual combat that would have taken place without Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there was the Soviet threat which was real. The Soviets would have attempted an invasion of the Japanese home islands in the north with the aim of holding them after the war. There would have most likely been an incursion into Manchuria and China as well which would have produced a larger Soviet presence in south east Asia. A larger Soviet Union that would have certainly clashed with the Allies over Japan, if nothing else.

    'The bomb' stopped more than just an invasion of Japan, it made the Soviet Union step back and think twice before reacting against the Allies - which probably saved more lives than you or I could imagine.
     
  16. orion549

    orion549 Member

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    I've never heard this Soviet angle, anybody have some info on it? I'd like to read what they had started for preparations for this type of excursion. Because I would've thought the Soviets were not in the position to make an attack elsewhere, as I had always heard they were not anywhere near the strength of the Allies in the West, and had there not been the "mutual tolerance" between the Western Allies and the Soviets, the Western forces could have almost walked into a good portion of the USSR instead of sweeping up into Germany.
     
  17. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    The idea in war is to end it ASAP, utilizing any available resource. Japan still had an army in the field; in the course of enforcing a blockade/siege there were still going to be American casualties. After four years of war and 405,000 Americans killed, that was not an option. And incredibly, the A-bombs saved more Japanese lives than American lives in the long run.

    TO
     
  18. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    From what I understand, Russia was moving aggressively to take control of land Japan occupied, and ended up with half of Korea. If the war would have continued, Russia would have certainly occupied all of Korea and possibly occupied the northern part of Japan, which they did anyway by occupying the Kuril Islands.

    The atomic bomb detonation also dampened Russian ambitions in Europe, most likely preventing a follow-on war with the Soviet Union.

    In my opinion, the atomic bomb, up to now, has been the most peace inducing weapon ever developed.
     
  19. Evil_Merlin

    Evil_Merlin Member

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    Marcel you need to understand just what the Japanese mindset was at the time. In its history it had never lost a battle, and was very much a war based country starting with the inital unification wars of the Heian Period which was full of civil war and the real foundation of what is Japan, the Mongol invasions of the 1200's during the Kamakura Period which forged the Japanese into a true feudal society based on violence and extereme segregation between classes. And then the start of the Muromachi period which really only started once the shogunate was destroyed, again with civil war.

    By the time the Muromachi period ends (around 1568) and the Azuchi-Momoyama period starts, Japan very quickly becomes one of military stabilization under Nobungaga and Hideyoshi. They waged many wars against Korea in order to capture the orient for their own use.

    With the rise of Edo (Tokyo) things began to stablize but there was much to fight about especially during the Boshin War...

    We all know what started in the early 20th century.

    Japan has always, until it's defeat in WW2 been a very war based society.

    What happened was bound to happen eventually.
     
  20. merlin

    merlin Member

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    No, it's nothing to do with me! That's EVIL Merlin - not 'Merlin'.

    But to add my opinion while I'm here!

    Any attempt to modify the Unconditional surrender requirement would be seen as a sign of weakness by the Japanese. They surrendered when they did, because as they had no defence against the A-bomb, they were able to 'save face'. Without the 'bomb', it was back to plan-A - make it so expensive in lives that the Allies will negotiate. But then that was always the Japanese plan - one big battle: Pearl harbor, Midway Leyte Gulf!

    In preparation for an invasion, the railways were going to be cut - which would just to isolate the battlefield, but also cut off the cities from the farmland. Gradually, but inexorably the population would leave the cities in search of food, or starve.
    By this time Japan would have little or no coastal shipping - all sunk by aircraft. In Germany P-47's strafed horse drawn carts, in Japan, it would be similar with all the aircraft amassed in Okinawa on carriers, plus the US built V-1's.
    The big problem would be - who would be able to surrender, i.e. have the authority!?
     
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