Two week ago, we published a post on the”We Remember Blog” recalling Pat and my memories of VJ Day 1945 and today is the 71st anniversary of Imperial Japan signing the formal surrender documents on the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay ending World War II.
Following our publishing of the “We Remember VJ Day” post, I received numerous messages from friends all over the country commenting on how the Japanese surrender, hastened by the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagaski earlier in August 1945, most probably saved their fathers’ lives. In August 1945, these friends’ fathers were in training and preparing to be part of the US invasion of Japan in November 1945.
Although I knew that horrendous casualties would have resulted from such an invasion, I had never really read or studied much about the plans for the invasion, Japan’s preparations for it or the size and scope of the anticipated casualties on both sides. Nor, did I know that there was a very good chance, despite the massive casualties, that the invasion would not have succeeded.
The messages from these friends re their fathers caused me to go back and research the plans for the invasion Japan’s perpetrations for it and the speculation regarding casualties and the outcome of the invasion. In doing s I discovered the following in-depth paper on those subjects by James Martin Davis that was originally published in the The Omaha World Herald in November, 1987.
Although the publication is long (+/- 20 minutes reading time), I highly recommend that it be read. After reading it, I am sure you will concur with my conclusion – Thank God Truman (not one of my favorites) Ordered The Use Of Atomic Weapons. That won the war and saved millions of lives including many of my friends’ fathers.