Sunday, August 14, 2005

On August 14th in military 1945

On August 14th in military history….in 1945. The Japanese surrender unconditionally to the Allies and end World War II. As it looked more and more like the Japanese were going to loose World War II, the Japanese civilian leadership started looking for ways to diplomatically stop the war. However, since the Japan was a constitutional monarchy, it could only enter into a peace agreement with the unanimous support of the Japanese cabinet, and it was dominated by the Japanese military, which gave the Japanese military de facto control of Japan. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had already stated on the record that the US would accept nothing less than unconditional surrender and the US, Great Britain and China had just issued the Potsdam Declaration which reiterated the unconditional surrender demand and also the dismantling of the Japanese military-industrial complex. Faced with loosing their control of Japan or dooming Japan to total destruction, the Japanese military chose the later and started preparing for the invasion of the Japanese islands. Their plan was simple, cause as many Allied casualties so that the Allies would 1) be bled white, 2) loose all desire to continue the war and 3) allow Japan to surrender with some conditions, the most important that the Japanese military continue to be in control of the country. If accomplishing this task meant that millions of Japanese would loose their lives and untold destruction fall upon the country, then that was the price to be paid. The important thing was that the Allies would also suffer untold casualties.

Unfortunately, for the Japanese, the US decided to drop the atomic bomb. As I previously posted here and here, the atomic bomb destroyed the Japanese plans for "Gotterdamerung". It removed the possibility of millions of Allied casualties from the equation but left the possibility of millions of Japanese casualties and untold destruction. By dropping the atomic bomb, the US demonstrated that we would and could destroy their country with impunity and without massive casualties.

Another wrinkle in the story was on the 8th of August, Russia declared war on Japan. Being a long-time enemy of Japan, Japan knew that Russia would want to claim back territory that Japan had taken from Russia during the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-1905. Now faced with complete and total destruction of the Japanese islands without anything to show in return and the possible loss of territory to the Russians, the Japanese emperor broke the stalemate between the Japanese civilian leadership and the Japanese military and accepted the terms of the Potsdam declaration. The cabinet ratified his desires and on the 14th of August, 1945, they accepted the offer and unconditionally surrendered to the Allies with the caveat that the Emperor would still retain his post as sovereign ruler of Japan. As a side note, the surrender agreement did not affect the Russians and they kept fighting until early September after they had captured the Kuril Islands.

The 14th of August is also the birthday of my sainted father. He served most of the war in the Pacific theatre, so for him, his war didn’t end until August. In 1945, he was a 22 year-old bosun’s mate. He had volunteered for the Navy in September 1942 since he didn’t want to be drafted into the Army. For the last three years, he had participated in numerous actions (his ship, the USS Birmingham had received 9 battle stars) and had seen some of his friends and shipmates killed. His wartime journeys had taken him from the island of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea to the island of Okinawa in the Pacific Ocean. He had seen much more of the world than anyone had in his family or anyone else that he knew back home in Idaho. When I think back on my life and what I had accomplished by 22 years, it is clear that my father had accomplished much more in his life by the age of 22 that I could ever hope to. Although I had joined the Marine Corps, served a mission for the LDS Church in France and finished two years of college, it pales in comparison to what my father and his generation had done. Thru their sacrifices, they gave us the gift of freedom today. When it comes right down to it, all of our rights given to us by that sacred document, the US Constitution, would mean nothing if we were not free to exercise them, and my father and his generation preserved our freedom so that we could exercise these rights. For this, we should be always grateful that when the country called, my father and his generation stood up to be counted instead of running to Canada or joining organizations like or making movies like Michael Moore. It is easy to see how grateful they are for their freedom as they strive to destroy this country and denigrate President Bush. Remember that the next time one of those "patriots" opens their pie-hole.


At 6:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, sometime ago I ran across your blog spot as I'm somewhat a war history buff myself, but the more I read the weirder you seem. What the hell are you?

You reference Utah a lot, are you a Mormon? Is that where you live? And you seem so incredibly blinded by extreme conservative points of view. Please tell me you aren't as fanatical as you seem.

At 11:47 PM, Blogger The Great El-ahrairah said...

Yes, I am Mormon and I was raised in Utah and that is the state that I call home. I'm currently living and working outside of the US with the US military in the global war on terrorism. As for "extreme" conservative points of view, guilty as charged. I support President Bush and everything that he is doing to protect this country and defeat the terrorists. I am against abortion, gun control and high taxes and for the death penalty and dismantling the UN, the world's most corrupt organization. I believe that the US is the greatest country in the world and that if other countries recognized that, things would be alot easier. If after all that, my viewpoints seem "fanatical", oh well. I've seen too much during my life and read too much history to believe what liberals say. But, as always, you are free to stop by and make any comments that you feel necessary and of course, thank you for your feedback.


Post a Comment

<< Home