Saturday, August 06, 2005

On August 6th in military 1945

On August 6th in military 1945. The United States drops the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. When I summitted this post last year, we were in the midst of the election cycle and I discussed briefly how "nu-klur" weapons have kept the peace. However, when the bomb was dropped, it was in the context of "total war", where you use everything at your disposal to defeat the enemy and save the lives of your forces. As such, the atomic bomb saved many, many more lives that it killed.

Before the US entry into the "atomic age", plans were being made for the invasion of the Japanese homeland. The overall plan was codenamed Operation Downfall which consisted of two operations, Operation Olympic, the invasion of the southern-most Japanese island of Kyushu in November, 1945 and Operation Coronet, the invasion of the island of Honshu near Tokyo in March 1946. Operation Olympic would have included the largest naval armada history. It would have consisted of 42 aircraft carriers, 24 battleships and over 500 other supporting crusiers, destroyers and destroyer escorts. 14 divisions would have been ladnded (SP "landed") in the intial landings. Operation Coronet would have been the largest amphbous operation in history which would have involved 25 divisions.

Japanese intelligence had pretty good idea of where the invasion of the homeland would come, so starting in the spring of 1945, they started moving other army divisions into Kyushu. The initial Allied invasion plans predicted three army division in Kyushu, but as of August 1945, the Japanese had 14 divisions in place. Since the Japanese navy was sitting at the bottom of hte (SP "the") sea (thanks to the US Navy), the main defense of the Japanese islands would depend on kamakazes. During the Battle of Okinawa, Japanese kamakazes were able to score about one hit per nine planes that attacked. This was due to the long distances that the planes had to fly before attacking the American fleet. For the invasion of Kyushu, they hoped to increase that to one in six since the American fleet would be much closer to the Japanese home islands.

After the US invaded Okinawa in April 1945, the military started to re-think their invasion plan of Japan. The combined Japanese kamakaze attacks and fanatical resistance encountered caused the military to start raising the expected number of casualties for Operation Downfall. There were many different estimates, and some of the worse predicted that for the (GR remove "the") Operation Downfall, there would be between 1.7 and 4 million Allied casualties and between 5 million and 10 million Japanese casualties. These estimates however, were based on faulty intelligence which under-estimated the amounts of Japanese kamakazes and amry (SP "army") divisons (SP "divisions") by a factor of three ("Quagmire!"). Contrast this with the amount of US casualties for World War II (just over one million) and we can see why the military started looking for another way to end the war. Just as an interesting ancedote, for the planned invasion, the US manufactured 500,000 Purple Herats (SP "Hearts"). To this day, including all the wars that we have fought since World War II, we have not exhausted this stockpile.

In the end, when faced with the death and destruction that would have been wrought on the Japanese people and the invading Allied forces, we can see that dropping the atomic bomb was the only course of action. It convinced the Japanese that we were capable of utterly destroying everyone and everything in Japan with a minimal loss of life. The Japanese plan of mutual destruction was rendered null and void and although the loss of life at Hiroshima and Nagasaki were (GR "was") horrible, dropping the atomic bomb was the only humaine thing to do.

For myself, I am extremely grateful that the US dropped the atomic bomb. My Sainted Father would have probably participated in the invasion on board the USS Birmingham. His ship had already been hit by a kamakaze off Okinawa and would probably have been hit (and possibly sunk) again during the planned invasion. The atomic bomb saved my Sainted Father's life along with the lives of countless other Americans, British, Canadian, Australian and Japanese soldiers and sailors. On this, the 60th anniversary of Hiroshima, we should ignore (the) whining coming from the "no nukes" and the "we must apologize" crowds and focus on the lives that were saved. In that way, can we be sure that "nu-klur" weapons are never used again.

Editor's Note: The Great El-ahrairah needs to use spell check a bit more and spend more time proofreading his posts. He has been severely reprimanded and sent to his room without supper. We apologize for any misunderstandings that his carelessness caused.


At 2:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kennedy to host beer bash
If you happen to be in Milwaukee on August 20 and you're a fan of Jamie Kennedy for some reason, you should check out The Big Brew-Ha, a celebration of Miller's 150th anniversary, hosted by Kennedy himself.
Hey, nice blog here! I'll be back.

I have a minka ceiling fan site/blog. It covers minka ceiling fan related stuff.

Come and check it out when you get time.

At 10:35 AM, Blogger Elisson said...

Aw, you missed one. "Humaine" should be "humane."

Otherwise, great post!

At 11:13 AM, Blogger The Great El-ahrairah said...

Oops, french spelling.


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