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  Nostalgia ain't what it used to be

Thursday, 26 April, 2018
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The Bomb (Part one of two)

Date: 05 August, 2017

By: Chief

Imageell, like it or not, it is August and soon it shall be September. But back in 1945 not everyone was sure, especially the Japanese, if there would be a tomorrow, let alone a September. As we all should know on 06 August, 1945, a great deal of the City of Hiroshima basically — disappeared. Returned, if you will, into what everything had originally started off as — subatomic particles. Three days later on 09 August, 1945, the exact same thing happened to the City of Nagasaki. Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. City to subatomic particles.

The only question is — were they necessary?

Probably

I think so but not for the more conventional or mundane reason. Militarily, in my opinion, the bombing of those two Japanese cities with atomic weapons was and remains to this very day indefensible. Even before the Trinity detonation on 16 July, 1945, Japan was thoroughly and completely beaten.

Japan, a series of fairly small islands containing a fairly large population and a fairly small amount of natural resources. Please note I am being very magnanimous to the Nips and their homeland. Hence, most of the essential raw materials necessary to begin and sustain a war:

had to be imported — by ship. Therefore, all that was necessary was too 'ring' the islands with a naval and air blockade and sink or shoot down any and all ships and aircraft attempting to make it to a Japanese port. This was being accomplished, and I might add, quite successfully at that.

At the time (1945) making port was becoming a very large problem for Emperor Hirohito, General Tojo and assorted cohorts. They simply could not import anything as anything and everything was being sunk by:

Indeed, it would appear the Land of the Rising Sun was fast becoming the Land of the Sinking Sun. And without doubt it was.

By July, 1945, the People of Japan were starting to starve. And it was just going to get worse. Additionally, with all the fire bombings of Nippon, only extremely small amounts of essential war materials were being built and sent to wherever they were needed. Japan was slowly, but absolutely — dying. And dying of starvation is a terrible way to die.

Operation Starvation

By the end of 1944, we had Japan pretty well boxed in. By late June, 1945, we had Japan completely boxed in. MacArthur knew it. Nimitz knew it. The Joint Staff knew it. The president knew it. Even the Japanese government knew it. However, the oh so mighty problem was the Nip government decided to play the game of 'Ostrich' and choose not to believe it. Big mistake there Tojo. Dummy.

The Battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, both of which cost us dearly, did actually teach us one very important lesson — that Japanese would rather fight too the death or commit suicide than surrender. Hence, the cost in human lives, both ours and the Nip, would be unbelievably high. There simply had too be another way.

There was.

Once we started pushing the Nip back towards Japan we could then forward deploy our:

It became known as "Island Hopping." And it worked.

By late 1943 our submarines were starting to wreak havoc on Nip shipping. While sinking 'Men of War' might be a nice thing to accomplish, sinking merchant ships was an absolute necessity. It was, after all, merchant ships which provided all the raw materials Japan needed in order too prosecute their war. Without those raw materials Japan would — starve. Now once we had Nippon completely cut off and isolated from the rest of the world we commenced the actual Operation Starvation. Quoting Wikipedia:

"Operation Starvation was an American naval mining operation conducted in World War II by the Army Air Forces, in which vital water routes and ports of Japan were mined by air in order to disrupt enemy shipping."

The outcome of Operation Starvation was nothing short of remarkable. Again quoting Wikipedia:

"Eventually most of the major ports and straits of Japan were repeatedly mined, severely disrupting Japanese logistics and troop movements for the remainder of the war with 35 of 47 essential convoy routes having to be abandoned. For instance, shipping through Kobe declined by 85%, from 320,000 tons in March to only 44,000 tons in July. Operation Starvation sank more ship tonnage in the last six months of the war than the efforts of all other sources combined. The Twentieth Air Force flew 1,529 sorties and laid 12,135 mines in twenty-six fields on forty-six separate missions. Mining demanded only 5.7% of the XXI Bomber Command's total sorties, and only fifteen B-29s were lost in the effort. In return, mines sank or damaged 670 ships totaling more than 1,250,000 tons."

As I wrote, it was nothing short of remarkable.

To put it in simple but effective terms by July, 1945, Japan, as a war making power, had been destroyed. Without our needing to set one single boot on the ground of Japan proper. Furthermore, we had the wampum and the logistics to keep the blockade in place as long as necessary. Therefore, the need too either:

in order to gain the capitulation of Japan was thus made — mute.

Continue on to part two.

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