Why not "besiege" Japan?

Discussions on WW2 in the Pacific and the Sino-Japanese War.
sensha
Member
Posts: 2
Joined: 06 May 2019 13:12
Location: Jpn

Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by sensha » 06 May 2019 15:55

Elites, "elites", or old guards? :)

OpanaPointer
Member
Posts: 4232
Joined: 16 May 2010 14:12
Location: United States of America

Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by OpanaPointer » 06 May 2019 16:35

Knowledgeable people.
Come visit our sites:
hyperwarHyperwar
World War II Resources

Bellum se ipsum alet, mostly Doritos.

rcocean
Member
Posts: 301
Joined: 30 Mar 2008 00:48

Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by rcocean » 13 May 2019 22:57

OpanaPointer wrote:
06 May 2019 16:35
Knowledgeable people.
Yes, there are some knowledgeable people on this thread. I'd recommend a new book "Implacable Enemies" that covers the last year's war in the Pacific and also goes over the Japanese Surrender.

This book emphasizes that the Japanese were counting on the USSR to "broker" a peace between the USA and Japan. The Japanese not only were NOT expecting a USSR declaration of war, they were expecting Stalin to help them win a negotiated peace. For a price - of course. The Japanese were expecting to pay the USSR handsomely.

They were completely shocked on August 11, 1945, when Molotov - instead of discussing a peace proposal - handed them a declaration of war. This collapse of their dream of a negotiated peace via Stalin was a major factor in the surrender.

OpanaPointer
Member
Posts: 4232
Joined: 16 May 2010 14:12
Location: United States of America

Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by OpanaPointer » 13 May 2019 23:04

Yet Togo Shigenori couldn't give their Ambassador in Moscow any concrete talking points to take to Molotov.
Come visit our sites:
hyperwarHyperwar
World War II Resources

Bellum se ipsum alet, mostly Doritos.

OpanaPointer
Member
Posts: 4232
Joined: 16 May 2010 14:12
Location: United States of America

Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by OpanaPointer » 13 May 2019 23:16

rcocean wrote:
13 May 2019 22:57
OpanaPointer wrote:
06 May 2019 16:35
Knowledgeable people.
Yes, there are some knowledgeable people on this thread. I'd recommend a new book "Implacable Enemies" that covers the last year's war in the Pacific and also goes over the Japanese Surrender.

This book emphasizes that the Japanese were counting on the USSR to "broker" a peace between the USA and Japan. The Japanese not only were NOT expecting a USSR declaration of war, they were expecting Stalin to help them win a negotiated peace. For a price - of course. The Japanese were expecting to pay the USSR handsomely.

They were completely shocked on August 11, 1945, when Molotov - instead of discussing a peace proposal - handed them a declaration of war. This collapse of their dream of a negotiated peace via Stalin was a major factor in the surrender.
I recommend The Last Great Victory: The End of World War II, July/August 1945 by Stanley Weintraub. July and August 1945 covered thoroughly and unflinchingly.
Come visit our sites:
hyperwarHyperwar
World War II Resources

Bellum se ipsum alet, mostly Doritos.

Carl Schwamberger
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 7387
Joined: 02 Sep 2006 20:31
Location: USA

Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 15 May 2019 13:55

rcocean wrote:
13 May 2019 22:57
... The Japanese not only were NOT expecting a USSR declaration of war, they were expecting Stalin to help them win a negotiated peace. For a price - of course. The Japanese were expecting to pay the USSR handsomely.

They were completely shocked on August 11, 1945, when Molotov - instead of discussing a peace proposal - handed them a declaration of war. This collapse of their dream of a negotiated peace via Stalin was a major factor in the surrender.
The DoW was probably more important than the actual attack or its progress. Just the existence of a hostile USSR shattered Japanese strategy.

'Japans Decision to Surrender' by Butow covers the closing months in a bit more breadth tho not the depth of detail in the last weeks as Weintraub does.

OpanaPointer
Member
Posts: 4232
Joined: 16 May 2010 14:12
Location: United States of America

Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by OpanaPointer » 16 May 2019 13:07

Agreed. Weintraub (see above) covers July and August day by day, on all theaters. Formidable work. I'm currently on August 10th. He mentions the bizarre (in diplomatic terms) event where the Russians presented their declaration of war while the Japanese were presenting their surrender offer, such as it was.
Come visit our sites:
hyperwarHyperwar
World War II Resources

Bellum se ipsum alet, mostly Doritos.

rcocean
Member
Posts: 301
Joined: 30 Mar 2008 00:48

Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by rcocean » 16 May 2019 21:35

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
15 May 2019 13:55

The DoW was probably more important than the actual attack or its progress. Just the existence of a hostile USSR shattered Japanese strategy.

'Japans Decision to Surrender' by Butow covers the closing months in a bit more breadth tho not the depth of detail in the last weeks as Weintraub does.
What's astounding is that even after the USSR declaration of war, their successful attack in Manchuria, the A-bomb on Hiroshima AND the A-bomb on Nagasaki, it STILL Took the Emperor's unheard of intervention to get the Japanese Army to surrender. And even then, there was coup attempt that came within a hair breath of succeeding.

The Japanese Army (which includes the Army Air Force) kept promising the Emperor that "We'll get 'em this time". The invasion of Leyte was supposed to end in Japanese Victory. Then the Kamikazes were going to destroy the US fleet off Okinawa. Now, in August 1945, the Army was telling Hirohito that the Japanese would get better terms after the US invasion of Kyushu was "Destroyed". These Army officers seem like Lunatics today, but they were in charge and they almost kept the war going.

rcocean
Member
Posts: 301
Joined: 30 Mar 2008 00:48

Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by rcocean » 16 May 2019 21:40

BTW, I'm reading "Wainwright's Story" and it emphasizes how the Japanese Generals thought Surrender was cowardly and dishonorable. Wainwright was treated with contempt by the Japanese. How could a General surrender? Any honorable Japanese officer would fight to the death or commit suicide. And of course, no Japanese Admiral or General ever surrendered voluntarily - we only took them prisoner when the Emperor ORDERED them to give up.

So, you can understand - if not agree with - the Japanese Army's crazy willingness to fight on.

OpanaPointer
Member
Posts: 4232
Joined: 16 May 2010 14:12
Location: United States of America

Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by OpanaPointer » 16 May 2019 22:52

I think the scheduled three bombs a month, if used strategically, would have put paid to the last resistance. One pika after another would have shaken all but the hardest heads.
Come visit our sites:
hyperwarHyperwar
World War II Resources

Bellum se ipsum alet, mostly Doritos.

paulrward
Member
Posts: 374
Joined: 10 Dec 2008 20:14

Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by paulrward » 28 May 2019 02:34

Hello All :

To Mr. Sensha :

You stated :
I was the US choice to push the war to the point of unconditional surrender.

US propaganda ensured because the US was victorious. Part of that propaganda was the portrayal of Imperial Japan as an evil that had to be destroyed. But instead, what followed the destruction of Imperial Japan was North Korea, Mao's communists China, and the elevation of Stalin's Soviet Union. All three of these were worse than Imperial Japan.

So as part of the US's campaign for unconditional surrender was the decision to use the nukes. In a total war, war is hell. And yes if Japan had nukes, they would have used them. The problem is the narration surrounding the use of the nuke. That incorrect narration states that it was necessary to use the nukes thus morally correct. No, just like the Nanking massacre or the Bataan March, the use of the atomic bombs (irrelevant as to whether or not they were necessary for Japan to surrender) is a war crime. A war crime that exceeds the magnitude of many of the war crimes conducted by Imperial Japan.

Had unconditional terms been lighter, I think it would be possible that Japan would have surrendered. But the loss of Korea, Taiwan, even Okinawa, and the complete disarmament was something that would make Japan totally incapable of any foreign policy for its own interest. Interests that surely had its necessary place as demonstrated by the events the followed shortly after the destruction of Imperial Japan... the communists win in the Chinese Civil War and the US getting caught with its pants down from the outbreak of the Korean War. Had the US acted any slower, Pusan might have been captured in 1950 by the communists. And communism was stirring in Japan itself heavily in the few years after 1945. The US push for the unconditional surrender was a highly naive act in my honest opinion.

Mr. Sensha, you have raised many interesting points, which I will try to address individually.

1. You state that it was " U.S. Propaganda that portrayed Imperial Japan as an evil that had to be destroyed " . To many people, both in 1945 and today in 2019, Imperial Japan WAS an evil which had to be destroyed. And Propaganda had nothing to do with it. I have a page of photos that I could post on this forum that were taken from IJA soldiers and officers, after their capture, showing in gruesome detail the attrocities perpetrated by Japanese officers and enlisted ranks on Chinese civilians and soldiers of the various Allied nations. I will not post it for obvious reasons of good taste. Sufficient to say that no reasonable person seeing them could come to any other conclusion than that Imperial Japan had to be destroyed. Some of the photos were even printed in Japanese newspapers, for the edification of the subjects of the Emperor.

North Korea, Mao's China, and Soviet Russia were NOT the result of the dropping of the Atomic Bomb. Mao and Stalin pre-dated the beginning of the Pacific War, and North Korea was the result of agreements reached, on an ad-hoc basis in 1945, between the members of the Allies. In fact, Japan was NOT at war with the Soviet Union in 1945, and, if you want to be really correct about it, it was the conquest and occupation of both Korea and large areas of China, with the resultant destruction of their civil infrastructures, that made the ultimate triumph of Communism possible in both countries. Had the United State NOT dropped the Atomic Bomb, in all likelihood the Soviet Union would have declared war on Japan, and then used this war as a excuse to occupy ALL of Korea and assist Mao in driving both Japan and the Nationalists out of China.

As for calling the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, and the Peoples Democratic Republic of North Korea " worse than Imperial Japan ", I would respectfully remind you that, in 1945, not one of those three entities was killing U.S. Citizens. Japan WAS killing Americans. That made Japan MUCH WORSE than the other three.

2. As for the decision to use nuclear weapons being a ' War Crime '. I must pose the question: Under what Lawful Authority was the use of Nuclear Weapons considered a ' Crime ' ? An aci is only a 'Crime' if there is a specific law against it. For example, serving a person Pork in Saudi Arabia or Beef in India might be considered 'Crimes' in those countries, but in the United States, they are both lawful and acceptable. Is it your position, Mr. Sensha, that the MacDonald's Corporation is guilty of International Crimes ?

As for the Magnitude: Following the Doolittle Raid on Japan, the Imperial Army carried out a series of brutal reprisals against the Chinese People which resulted in the deaths of between 225,000 and 275,000 people. The two Atomic Bombs killed far fewer Japanese that this. Thus, the magnitude of the so called 'crime' of the use of nuclear weapons against Japan is much less than the scale of the crimes the Japanese were perpetrating upon the Chinese. So, while a few of the war crimes perpetrated by the Japanese were smaller than Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there were many Japanese War Crimes which were much, much greater. And, they have NEVER been forgotten by the victim-nations.

" Had unconditional terms been lighter..." " The loss of Korea, Taiwan, even Okinawa, and the complete disarmament..."

Mr. Sensha, you spoke of ' War Crimes " Starting in the 1880s, Japan embarked on an imperialistic path that led to it's invading Korea and China, attacking Russia without warning, and then again attacking China, France, the United States, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Siam. Japan looted these nations of their wealth, murdered their citizens, and destroyed vast portions of their infrastructures and societies.

Then, Japan was defeated on the sea, on the land, and in the air. And suddenly, like a murdering thief who has been trapped by the police, Japan was being ordered to surrender or die. It is apparently your position that Japan should have been allowed to keep some it it's ill-gotten gains and simply be allowed to leave quietly and live in a peaceful retirement.

Mr. Sensha, that wasn't going to happen. The Japanese Government and the Japanese Military was going to pay the price for their crimes. If they surrendered quietly, unconditionally, then only the criminals would suffer in the post war environment. If, on the other hand, like the cowardly thieves they were, they picked up some children and attempted to use them as human shields, then the price was going to be heavier. Because the children they were using as shields were THEIR OWN CHILDREN, and the Allies really didn't have any greater concern as to the number Japanese children who died than the Emperor and his cabinet had over how many Chinese children died.

And this is one of the things that, historically, really bothers the Japanese: The idea that maybe, just maybe, they are not ' Special '. That the death of one Chinese Child is just a great a tragedy as is the death of one Japanese child.

As for the Post War upheavals in Asia, remember, Mr. Sensha, that each and every one can be attributable, all or in part, to the efforts by Imperial Japan to destroy all of the governments on Mainland Asia so that they could be forcibly incorporated into the Southern Resource Area of the Greater East Asian Co Prosperity Sphere. Had Japan not devastated Korea and China, they might have grown into strong, self reliant nations without their terrible histories of suffering and death at the hands of the Imperial Japanese Army. And, as for the near-takeover of South Korea, and the communist ' stirring ' in Japan, remember, Mr. Sensha, who was responsible for saving both countries from Communism: That's right, Douglas MacArthur !

Had MacArthur not been appointed to rule over the Emperor and teach his people the basics of humanity, the Soviet Union might have moved in to Japan instead. Then, there would have been no Post War Miracle for Japan. No Sony or Teac. No Honda or Kawasaki. No Mitsubishi or Nissan. All you would have had in Japan would have been an Emperor and his family being shot in a basement, the Communists running the Government, the Schools, the Press, the Media, and the Military, and nearly five decades of hungry, threadbare, hopeless Japanese waiting in endless lines to buy their weekly ration of Commintern Rice.....


If one believes that the United States was naive, as you say, it is your opinion. I respectfully disagree.


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
Information not shared, is information lost
Voices banned, are voices who cannot share information....

User avatar
fredleander
Financial supporter
Posts: 2161
Joined: 03 Dec 2004 20:49
Location: Stockholm

Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by fredleander » 09 Jun 2019 16:07

Without having read through the pages here and just recently leafed through Edward Miller's War Plan Orange, an often mentioned Phase III in the various versions of The Plan was exactly to siege Japan after its naval fighting capacity had been demolished. The USN planners usually expected that an invasion would not be necessary as the enemy would take to his senses and surrender. As they were about to at the end of the war.

So, I agree, why not besiege Japan.

Fred
River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book about Operation Sealion:
https://www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - an eight-book series on the Pacific War:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D3 ... rw_dp_labf

paulrward
Member
Posts: 374
Joined: 10 Dec 2008 20:14

Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by paulrward » 09 Jun 2019 20:45

Hello All :

Mr. Fredleander stated :
So, I agree, why not besiege Japan.
Mr. Fredleander, having read War Plan Orange ( it has a favored place on my bookshelf ! ) I agree that a blockade ( siege ) of Japan would
have been successful. However, at what cost to the Allies ?

In your view of a ' Siege ', would this include a continuation of the USAAF conventional bombing campaign of Japan. Also, would the
USN and the IJN continue to carry out submarine warfare against each other ? Additionally, what about the fate of China and the Chinese ?
What would the IJA be doing on the mainland of China during such a ' siege ' ? And finally, what would be the actual cost in terms of lives
lost and dollars spent to the United States of continuing to keep a ' fleet in being ' to conduct a naval blockade Japan ?

These and many other questions have been discussed in this thread. I invite you to go back and study some of the ideas presented and
facts and figures cited, and then let us know your thoughts.


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
Information not shared, is information lost
Voices banned, are voices who cannot share information....

User avatar
fredleander
Financial supporter
Posts: 2161
Joined: 03 Dec 2004 20:49
Location: Stockholm

Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by fredleander » 09 Jun 2019 23:08

paulrward wrote:
09 Jun 2019 20:45

Mr. Fredleander, having read War Plan Orange ( it has a favored place on my bookshelf ! ) I agree that a blockade ( siege ) of Japan would
have been successful. However, at what cost to the Allies ?

In your view of a ' Siege ', would this include a continuation of the USAAF conventional bombing campaign of Japan. Also, would the
USN and the IJN continue to carry out submarine warfare against each other ? Additionally, what about the fate of China and the Chinese ?
What would the IJA be doing on the mainland of China during such a ' siege ' ? And finally, what would be the actual cost in terms of lives
lost and dollars spent to the United States of continuing to keep a ' fleet in being ' to conduct a naval blockade Japan ?

These and many other questions have been discussed in this thread. I invite you to go back and study some of the ideas presented and
facts and figures cited, and then let us know your thoughts.

Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward

Thank you, Paul, but presently I am not in a position to put too much time into this but I would like to make a small contribution by referring a little more to the WPO.

As you know, through the 35 years it was in effect it was regularly updated, changed is maybe a better word as it was a frequent victim of the constant changes of the officers and staffs responsible for its upkeep. However, some items stayed rather untouched, most importantly the three "phases", the blocking of Orange expansion (I), the destruction of the Orange fighting capability (II) and the final strike against the Orange home-land.(III). In the Pacific War this conforms well with the Battle of Midway, the capture of part of the Ryukus (Okinawa) and Orange's capitulation.

In the WPO, however, Phase III was usually expected to be executed by a siege - a naval blockade or by negotiations, as that was the gentlemanly way to do it. As the WPO was mainly a naval domain, which the Army was happy to let it be, not much effort was used on planning for ground operations in an occupied Orange and with that China was rarely actual. By siege I believe the WPO planners meant it to be a siege in the classical sense, that of passive warfare.

What the length and cost of a siege would amount to is anybody's guess - the term "unconditional surrender" was not used in the original WPOs - and it would probably have complicated a Pacific War Phase III based on a siege. Knowing that parts of the Japanese leadership was already probing for peace negotiations in the summer of '45 and that their shipping capacity and fuel oil was at a low ebb - US submarines were at a loss to find targets and Yamato's final mission was allegedly initiated without return fuel, a siege needn't necessarily be that long. The Kamikaze raids were the last major effort of the Japanese but these could also not fly without fuel even if they had enough pilot candidates.

With no Orange fighting capabilities left a siege/blockade could be executed in leisure and the US soldiers could start returning home even before the enemy surrender was a fact. There was always the atomic bomb.

We know who would have pulled this off eminently if he had been given a free hand.

Fred
River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book about Operation Sealion:
https://www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - an eight-book series on the Pacific War:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D3 ... rw_dp_labf

OpanaPointer
Member
Posts: 4232
Joined: 16 May 2010 14:12
Location: United States of America

Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by OpanaPointer » 09 Jun 2019 23:34

But the war was fought under Rainbow-5.
Come visit our sites:
hyperwarHyperwar
World War II Resources

Bellum se ipsum alet, mostly Doritos.

Return to “WW2 in the Pacific & Asia”