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Samurai_TwoSeven

Operation Downfall - The Planned Allied Invasion of the Japanese Home Islands

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Across the sea, Japan lay in wait with what was assumed to be an army full of conscripts willing to die for their country. The Japanese had pulled all stops for the defense of the Home Islands, committing all remaining forces they had remaining. These included 66 army divisions plus an estimated 30 million conscripts. They had access to over seven thousand combat aircraft, over six thousand tanks and tankettes, four battleships (all damaged), 5 aircraft carriers (all damaged), two cruisers (all damaged), 23 destroyers, 46 submarines, and over 2,500 various suicide craft.

 

 

EDIT: I don't know what the hell happened when I posted this, but it deleted 90% of what I had worked on for nearly 2 hours. It's past midnight, I'm going to bed and redoing it in the morning

Edited by Samurai_TwoSeven

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EDIT: I don't know what the hell happened when I posted this, but it deleted 90% of what I had worked on for nearly 2 hours. It's past midnight, I'm going to bed and redoing it in the morning

Just goes to show you that, if you have a long post that you're putting in a lot of work for, you should compose it outside of the forum in a word processing program, then copy/paste it.

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Just goes to show you that, if you have a long post that you're putting in a lot of work for, you should compose it outside of the forum in a word processing program, then copy/paste it.

 

Welp, you have to learn one way or another

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The scary thing about this is the Japanese had accurately guessed when the Allies were going to invade and the Allied planners had underestimated the forces available to the Japanese. They had ~13000 planes in all and all were slated for Kamikaze use. They planned to have 1300 mini suicide subs built and 3300 suicide boats. They also changed target priority from warships to supply ships and transports for everybody involved. They also planned to have 4000 divers trained, and underwater bunkers to hold them, that could mine the landing craft as they approached.

 

The US estimate was 1 million Allied and 7 million Japanese casualties. The Japanese called for 1-1 attrition so the Allies would sue for peace.

 

The Russians would also be attacking from the North.

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To put this into perspective, the U.S., in anticipation of the massive casualties, manufactured 500,000 Purple Heart medals. The casualty total from all the wars we've fought in since 1945 (Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, both Gulf Wars, Afghanistan) hasn't even come close.

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I read somewhere that the U.S. made so many Purple Hearts in preparation for casualties during Operation Downfall that they still haven't gone through the supply. I also read that Nimitz and MacArthur fought like badgers over who would be in command of the assault.

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I read somewhere that the U.S. made so many Purple Hearts in preparation for casualties during Operation Downfall that they still haven't gone through the supply. I also read that Nimitz and MacArthur fought like badgers over who would be in command of the assault.

 

There's so much that can be discussed; how many casualties both sides would take, how long it'd go on for, how Japan, if we won, would be divided between the US/UK and the USSR (similar to Korea,) the list goes on and on. 

 

Fortunately, we don't have to think about any of that, thanks in no small part to the atomic bombs.

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The scary thing about this is the Japanese had accurately guessed when the Allies were going to invade and the Allied planners had underestimated the forces available to the Japanese. They had ~13000 planes in all and all were slated for Kamikaze use. They planned to have 1300 mini suicide subs built and 3300 suicide boats. They also changed target priority from warships to supply ships and transports for everybody involved. They also planned to have 4000 divers trained, and underwater bunkers to hold them, that could mine the landing craft as they approached.

 

The US estimate was 1 million Allied and 7 million Japanese casualties. The Japanese called for 1-1 attrition so the Allies would sue for peace.

 

The Russians would also be attacking from the North.

 

It wouldn't have mattered.  The Japanese could have stockpiled those planes but where's the FUEL and PILOTS?  They're literally putting up scrub pilots .  If they were lucky, they had any flight time whatsoever and learned how to land.  In contrast, they would be facing American aviators, naval or otherwise, to include the pilots of the British Pacific Fleet, that have had FULL training, YEARS of operational / combat experience, and supported by the Best Logistics ever seen.

 

Now, I think there would be a high cost for conquering the Japanese Home Islands but make no mistake, Japan would have been erased from the books.  The Japan we know now would not exist if the Allies had to land there and literally sweep the entire countryside of resistance until the Emperor finally gave the word to give up.  Until the Emperor committed to surrender, what was pitifully left of their military (the IJN was a complete non-factor after Leyte Gulf in late 1944, now we're talking late 1945;  The IJA had a huge amount of men stuck on the continent, starving without logistical support from home... Look it up, whole formations were starving to death on the mainland) and their civilian population would be thrown at the Allies to die.  This would go on until the Emperor gave in, and even then, he would have hardened elements within his own government, military that would have rather have Japan die in a fiery hell than surrender.  IMO, once the Allies land on Japan and the Japanese casualties mount and territories lost, it would only make them bitter to fight to the end.  The Allies can and will root them out.  The Japanese would have to retreat to the mountains for bitter fighting.  It is there they will starve and die, and if not, mount suicidal attacks against the Allies.  This isn't some sh*t island in the Pacific.  This is home.

 

I have no belief the Japanese would come out of this any decently.  The question is how many Japanese would have to die until the Emperor can get his government and military to buy in on surrender.  Even the historical surrender after the Atomic Bomb drops and Soviet Invasion and destruction of the Kwantung Army, the Emperor faced a coup attempt to prevent Japan's surrender.  I think the Allied victory after Operation Downfall would have been costly enough that the peace afterwards would be more bitter and not as lenient as what the US historically pursued.

 

The deaths resulting from the Atom Bomb Drops, Soviet Invasion in '45 prompted the Emperor to finally give up.  Thankfully Operation Downfall never had to occur because it would have been a truly costly moment in history with all the deaths.  It's unfortunate those people died, but the prospect of millions and millions dying in a failed hope to defend Japan would have been far more disastrous for humanity.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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It wouldn't have mattered.  The Japanese could have stockpiled those planes but where's the FUEL and PILOTS?  They're literally putting up scrub pilots .  If they were lucky, they had any flight time whatsoever and learned how to land.  In contrast, they would be facing American aviators, naval or otherwise, to include the pilots of the British Pacific Fleet, that have had FULL training, YEARS of operational / combat experience, and supported by the Best Logistics ever seen.

 

Now, I think there would be a high cost for conquering the Japanese Home Islands but make no mistake, Japan would have been erased from the books.  The Japan we know now would not exist if the Allies had to land there and literally sweep the entire countryside of resistance until the Emperor finally gave the word to give up.  Until the Emperor committed to surrender, what was pitifully left of their military (the IJN was a complete non-factor after Leyte Gulf in late 1944, now we're talking late 1945;  The IJA had a huge amount of men stuck on the continent, starving without logistical support from home... Look it up, whole formations were starving to death on the mainland) and their civilian population would be thrown at the Allies to die.  This would go on until the Emperor gave in, and even then, he would have hardened elements within his own government, military that would have rather have Japan die in a fiery hell than surrender.  IMO, once the Allies land on Japan and the Japanese casualties mount and territories lost, it would only make them bitter to fight to the end.  The Allies can and will root them out.  The Japanese would have to retreat to the mountains for bitter fighting.  It is there they will starve and die, and if not, mount suicidal attacks against the Allies.  This isn't some sh*t island in the Pacific.  This is home.

 

I have no belief the Japanese would come out of this any decently.  The question is how many Japanese would have to die until the Emperor can get his government and military to buy in on surrender.  Even the historical surrender after the Atomic Bomb drops and Soviet Invasion and destruction of the Kwantung Army, the Emperor faced a coup attempt to prevent Japan's surrender.  I think the Allied victory after Operation Downfall would have been costly enough that the peace afterwards would be more bitter and not as lenient as what the US historically pursued.

 

The deaths resulting from the Atom Bomb Drops, Soviet Invasion in '45 prompted the Emperor to finally give up.  Thankfully Operation Downfall never had to occur because it would have been a truly costly moment in history with all the deaths.  It's unfortunate those people died, but the prospect of millions and millions dying in a failed hope to defend Japan would have been far more disastrous for humanity.

 

When you're putting men who've been fighting for four years, who are often trained by men rotated in and out of the combat zones and training schools, with that kind of logistics, against mostly some young men mixed with mid- to late-teens, who have only a week of training (2 days takeoffs, 2 days formation flying, 3 days doing crash-dive practice,) the results will be rather predictable, but due to the fuel situation, kamikaze ops might not be viable beyond the first few months. 

 

And when you combine this with people fighting on and for their homeland, military and civilians alike...how do you spell "bloodbath?" This would be Guadalcanal, Tarawa, the Marianas, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa, but on a much larger scale. Admiral Bull Halsey's words about "the Japanese Language being spoken only in Hell" might not be any truer. And even if they run out of supplies, how much more suffering would the Japanese people be willing to inflict on their invaders, just to exact a higher cost of destroying them completely? Hell, when all is said and done, casualties between all parties, Allies (USA, UK, USSR) and Japanese alike would be mind-numbing. I suspect that only when there's less than a few thousand left would the Emperor and government start to consider the (dishonorable?) idea of surrender. And this wouldn't be until around 1947-48. 

 

Finally, after this is all over, and you're President Truman, and your country has a massive body count on it's hands, how do you explain yourself? How do you explain to millions of families across America that their men all died for this? And what's harder, how do you bring yourself to explain to the dead servicemen's wives, mothers, families, that their men didn't have to die because you had an equally destructive weapon in your arsenal, but were too afraid to use it? If you were to do all that, the next thing to do would be get a draft for a resignation speech ready. 

 

If there's one thing to be glad about here, history had a different ending. It's no small understatement that the atomic bombs killed many people, but saved millions more. On a side note, both my grandfathers would have been on tap for the invasion had it gone down, so there's a good chance I wouldn't be here, as would many of us. Argue all you want about the use of the bombs, but their impact cannot be denied.

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That's one thing people didn't understand about the Atomic bombings. Two cities annihilated to show Japan and Russia the power of them and in turn it prevented possibly ten millions of casualties on both sides.

 

The horror of the atomic bombing of 2 cities and the horror of fighting for every inch of Japan, killing fanatical soldiers and resisting civilian alike.

Be damned if you do, be damned if you don't. 

 

If you ever watched Hacksaw Ridge, the horror of the battles of the islands would be magnified by a greater order of magnitude to the entirety of Japan.

 

And I wouldn't be abashed to admit that Battle of Japan may turn the US people's opinion against continuing the war. The War Department probably knew this and would do their utmost best to delay and censor news coming out of Japan. I don't think the people were even aware the true extent of the Okinawa campaign thanks to the News' restraintment.

Edited by Hurlbut

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Assuming no atomic bombs (either they don't work or just aren't ready), a low estimate of casualties BEFORE the November 1945 invasion of Kyuushu would be around 15 million Japanese civilians dead from starvation alone.

 

Casualties from invasion would be horrific, but. On Okinawa, significant numbers of Japanese troops did surrender, so It might not be quite the fight to the death some fear.

 

But yeah, after the battles on Kyuushu and Honshu, and Soviets in Hokkaido, plus starvation deaths elsewhere, Japan would cease to exist as a nation.

Edited by ScrewySqrl

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