Stealing Japan's WWII surrender statement


#1

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#2

This detail forms the divergence in the fun, if not exactly deathless, 1945 by Robert Conroy – a novel about Operation Torch, the invasion of the Japanese home islands. In that novel, the plot succeeded given this coup time move Emperor Hirohito to “safety”


#3

Also despite it being called an ‘unconditional surrender’ the US wanted to remove and try the emperor, and yet the emperor remained in place - so the term ‘unconditional’ was a bit of a stretch.

This was the first time that most people had actually heard the emperor, and as the article states most didn’t understand him because of his archaic language.

He died in the late 1980s and I recall (as a printer) one of my customers, a fish processing company - used his death as an excuse not to pay bills. When I called them up to say they are way overdue, one of their excuses was that the Emperor died and the Japanese people are in mourning and not eating any fish. How’s that for an excuse?


#4

I guess this guy didn’t have a radio.


#5

The code name for the invasion of the Japanese home islands was “Operation Downfall.”

Those casualty estimates informed the US decision to employ nuclear weapons. Whether or not that decision was justified remains a topic of considerable debate.


#6

OP was probably thinking of OLYMPIC (part 1 of DOWNFALL).

ed: TORCH was the Allied invasion of North Africa

Bruce “WWII HHIISSTTOORRYY BBUUFFFF” Young


#7

Am I the only one envisioning a Scooby-Doo-esque chase through a Japanese palace, where people keep going in out and of sliding doors?


#8

You are not :stuck_out_tongue:


#9

#10
Hirohito used a formal dialect called Classical Japanese, which had fallen into disused a generation earlier... ... The radio host, after Hirohito's address, explained what had just happened.

I am occasionally available to perform this service after US Presidents make formal addresses.


#11

With Fat Man being a Plutonium device and Little Boy being a Uranium device (the first such detonation), vastly different from eachother, I have the uneasy suspicion that these were an extension to the live testing of devices, simply in waiting.


#12

At least he got to serve as the inspiration for a disturbingly racist episode of Gilligan’s Island.


#13

Luther, Anger Translator, is that you???


#14

Operation Torch was the Allied invasion of North Africa.


#15

There’s no contradiction there, 'shifter. Remember the USA was a deeply racist nation at the time. And remember that the armed forces (and many of the people at home) were well aware of the obscene levels of atrocity that even routine combat with the Japanese had reached - read With the Old Breed for examples. (I have a friend who owns a Japanese soldier’s skull that his father brought back from the Pacific as a memento; he used to keep it on his desk as a paperweight.) The morality of the times was not the morality of today; and war with the Japanese was total war, that the Japanese militarists brought upon themselves. The motivations for Nagasaki had to be complex and varied among the people responsible for advising the president, but there’s no doubt that almost everyone involved was more than willing to use Japan as a weapons testing ground. Still, regardless of motivation, there’s also little to no doubt that millions of lives were saved by the US demonstration of willingness and ability to reduce the entire island chain to an uninhabitable wasteland.


#16

The Manhattan Project scientists were certain that the gun-type detonation system used in Little Boy would work, so they didn’t bother wasting scarce uranium by testing.it. The design was very inefficient and wasn’t intended to be put into production. Instead it was built so that they’d have a back-up if the implosion based Fat Man didn’t work


#17

Quite right! My apologies. I was thinking of Operation Olympic, the narrower part of the invasion of Kyushu.


#18

I stand corrected.


#19

Well, some people in the US did, while most others thought that removing the emperor (AKA trying and executing him for war crimes) would have destabilized Japan into civil war, or possibly sent the country toward communism, the spectre of which was looming large just a few miles away in Korea. Remember there had just been a war - neither side knew much about the real goings on inside the heads of their former enemies.

Sadly, from what has subsequently been unearthed about the Showa Emperor’s role during the war, it seems the Allies were too cautious. They should have at least imprisoned him if not executed him along with his cabinet ministers. Keeping him on as head of state allowed the extreme right to prosper in the post-war era, and has prevented a more unified and stable Asia from emerging.

Oh well. Another thing to blame America for. You guys must be used to now though I’m sure.


#20

Based on our experiences in Okinawa, an invasion of Japan would have killed millions. Hundreds of thousands of women and children would have committed suicide. Some of the US generals and politicians advocated letting Japan keep the emperor as a way to help them accept occupation. This is the opposite of our approach in Germany, where we assumed that letting Hitler escape (or even a rumor) would inspire guerrilla resistance. The plan was to capture Hitler and put him on display in St. Elizabeth’s mental hospital in DC, where John Hinkley is now. But even several years earlier the Allies’ psychological profile predicted Hitler would kill himself.

There were all sorts of competing plans about how the end of the war should be handled. One idea for German was the complete deindustrialization of the country, but then they did the math, US planners figured Germany could not be self-sufficient in food. Hitler had been right on that count, but it should have made him less willing to wage war.