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Operation 'Olympic' vs Operation 'Ketsu-Go'.


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#1 ozjohn39

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 08:05 PM

IMNHO,

If what I have read over the years on these two plans is anywhere near accurate, I have the strong opinion that Operation 'Olympic' would have FAILED!

The key to that belief is that the 9,000+ planes, pilots and fuel were ready and waiting, and THIS time they were going to send the lot over almost all at once not just 100 a day, but 1000 and more, first the carriers to eliminate the airborne threat, and then the TROOP-SHIPS.

Imagine what that enormously influential American, Mr GALLUP, would have to say about that!

Comments very welcome.

OJ

Edited by ozjohn39, 27 July 2008 - 10:15 PM.
Lousy spelling

"I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it". - Voltaire.

#2 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 08:18 PM

Just in case some here dont know what Operation OPERATION KETSU-GO was :).


The sooner the Americans come, the better...One hundred million die proudly.
- Japanese slogan in the summer of 1945.
Japan was finished as a warmaking nation, in spite of its four million men still under arms. But...Japan was not going to quit. Despite the fact that she was militarily finished, Japan's leaders were going to fight right on. To not lose "face" was more important than hundreds and hundreds of thousands of lives. And the people concurred, in silence, without protest. To continue was no longer a question of Japanese military thinking, it was an aspect of Japanese culture and psychology. - James Jones, WWII

Japanese Homeland Defense Strategy
With the greater part of Japan's troop strength overseas and industrial production suffering under constant American air attacks, the defense of the Japanese home islands presented an enormous challenge to the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters (IGHQ). On 8 April 1945, the Imperial General Headquarters issued orders, to be effective 15 April, activating the First and Second General Armies.(1) These two Armies would be responsible for the ground defense of the Japanese home islands. Also, on 8 April 1945, IGHQ issued an order activating the Air General Army, effective 15 April. The purpose of the new Air General Army was to coordinate the air defense of Japan, providing a single headquarters through which cooperation with the ground forces and the Navy could be expedited in implementing the defense of the home islands.(2) Simultaneously with the activation of the First and Second General Armies and the Air General Army, IGHQ issued orders for the implementation of Ketsu-Go(Decisive) Operation. Defensive in nature, the operation divided the Japanese home territory into seven zones from which to fight the final decisive battles of the Japanese empire.(3)
The strategy for Ketsu-Go was outlined in an 8 April 1945 Army Directive.(4) It stated that the Imperial Army would endeavor to crush the Americans while the invasion force was still at sea. They planned to deliver a decisive blow against the American naval force by initially destroying as many carriers as possible, utilizing the special attack forces of the Air Force and Navy. When the amphibious force approached within range of the homeland airbases, the entire air combat strength would be employed in continual night and day assaults against these ships. In conducting the air operations, the emphasis would be on the disruption of the American landing plans. The principal targets were to be the troop and equipment transports. Those American forces which succeeded in landing would be swiftly attacked by the Imperial Army in order to seek the decisive victory. The principal objective of the land operation was the destruction of the American landing force on the beach.
Ketsu-Go operation was designed as an all-out joint defense effort to be conducted by the entire strengths of the Army, Navy and Air Force. In the various orders and directives issued by IGHQ regarding Ketsu-Go, inter-service cooperation was stressed.(5) The basic plan for the operation called for the Navy to defend the coasts by attacking the invasion fleets with its combined surface, submarine, and air forces. The Air General Army would cooperate closely with the Navy in locating the American transports and destroying them at sea. Should the invasion force succeed in making a landing, the Area Army concerned would assume command of all naval ground forces in its area and would exercise operational control of air forces in support of ground operations. An integral part of the Ketsu-Go operational planning included reinforcement of sectors under attack by units transferred from other districts. Since U.S. air raids had already seriously disrupted the transportation system, time schedules were planned to provide for all troop movements to be made by foot.(6) If the battle at the beach showed no prospect of a successful ending, then the battle would inevitably shift to inland warfare; hence, interior resistance would be planned. Guard units and Civilian Defense Corps personnel, with elements of field forces acting as a nucleus, would be employed as interior resistance troops. Their mission would be to attrite the Americans through guerrilla warfare, espionage, deception, disturbance of supply areas, and blockading of supplies when enemy landing forces advanced inland. It is interesting to note that the Japanese normally exercised little inter-service coordination throughout the war. Now when the homeland was threatened, the Japanese finally stressed inter-service coordination and unity of command.
Operational preparations for Ketsu-Go were conducted in three phases. The first phase, during which defensive preparations and troop unit organization was completed, continued through July 1945. The second and third phases were never completed because of the end of the war. However, the second phase, during which training was to be conducted and all defenses improved, began in August and was intended to continue through September. The third phase, which would see the completion of troop training and deployment, as well as the construction of all defense positions, would be completed during October.(7) Thus, if implemented, X-Day would have occurred just as Japanese defense plans had been completed.
For Operation Olympic, American forces would have landed against elements of the Second General Army. The defensive zone of the Second General Army was the western portion of Honshu and the islands of Shikoku and Kyushu. Within three days of being activated, on 18 April 1945, the Second General Army established its permanent headquarters in Hiroshima.(8) The Second General Army commanded the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Area Armies (equivalent to a U.S. field army). The seven defensive zones established for Ketsu-Go all had individual defensive plans. The defense of the island of Kyushu came under operation Ketsu-Go, No. 6. While Kyushu previously fell within the Western Military District, under Ketsu-Go, No. 6 the defense of Kyushu became the responsibility of the Sixteenth Area Army under the Second General Army.
The Second General Army estimated that the U.S. would enlarge its foothold on Okinawa, establish air bases on that island and, as soon as possible, begin its thrust at the Japanese archipelago via southern Kyushu. It was believed that the first objective of the Americans would be to secure operational bases for its Navy and Air Force. The Japanese correctly estimated that the American objective would be to secure Kagoshima Wan for anchorage and port facilities necessary for the buildup.(9) The earliest possible time at which an invasion attempt might be made by the U.S. was estimated to be the first part of July, when it was estimated that a strength of ten divisions could be mustered.(10) By July, Japanese officers were assessing that the invasion would occur in October or November 1945 due to the summer typhoon season.
The intent of Ketsu-Go was to inflict tremendous casualties on the American forces, thereby undermining the American people's will to continue the fight for Japan's unconditional surrender. This intent is clear in a boastful comment made by an IGHQ army staff officer in July 1945:
We will prepare 10,000 planes to meet the landing of the enemy. We will mobilize every aircraft possible, both training and "special attack" planes. We will smash one third of the enemy's war potential with this air force at sea. Another third will also be smashed at sea by our warships, human torpedoes and other special weapons. Furthermore, when the enemy actually lands, if we are ready to sacrifice a million men we will be able to inflict an equal number of casualties upon them. If the enemy loses a million men, then the public opinion in America will become inclined towards peace, and Japan will be able to gain peace with comparatively advantageous conditions.(11)
It is evident by this statement that in the summer of 1945 Japanese strategists identified the will of the American people as the U.S. strategic center of gravity and a critical vulnerability as the infliction of high casualties.(12)
Defense of Kyushu
The completion of defensive preparations in Kyushu was of the greatest urgency as the initial U.S. attack was almost certain to be directed at that island. Its defense was also the most difficult of all the districts, as Kyushu had the greatest length of vulnerable sea coast to defend.(13) Since it was generally conceded that the U.S. would make initial landings in Kyushu, the Sixteenth Area Army had been given priority in the receipt of supplies and in the build-up of troop strength. Fortification construction had also been emphasized and, in general, preparations were further advanced in Kyushu than in other areas of Japan.
Ketsu-GoOperation, No. 6 was the overall guide for the defense of Kyushu, but the Sixteenth Area Army prepared its own detailed defense plan. Known as the Mutsu Operation, the Army's plan divided Kyushu into three sectors which were, in turn, broken down into seven sub-divisions.(14) The Sixteenth Area Army estimated that the main American landing effort would be directed against the southeastern coast near Miyazaki, with secondary assaults anticipated to be made at Ariake Wan and along the southwestern coast at Fugiachi Hama on the Satsuma Peninsula. (see Map 9) Mutsu Operation No. 1 was given priority over the other operations. The Japanese thus were extremely accurate as to the location of the American landing zones.
Deployed throughout Kyushu and on adjacent islands, the Sixteenth Area Army had three armies and two special forces with a total of 15 divisions, 7 independent mixed brigades, 3 independent tank brigades and 2 fortress units. For a complete listing of Japanese units, commanders, and strengths on Kyushu see Appendix D.
The defensive concept called for each army to hold one division in reserve. In the event of an invasion, the Sixteenth Area Army would concentrate a force composed principally of the armies' reserve divisions and the three tank brigades. This force would then be utilized as an assault group to be rushed to the area of the main American effort. Their mission would be to annihilate the American forces as soon after the initial landings as possible. The defensive plan called for a major counterattack to be delivered within two weeks of the initial American landings.(15) As stated by a Japanese officer, the object of the defense was "to frustrate the enemy's landing plans with a counterattack like an electric shock, and at the proper moment to annihilate the enemy by close-range fire,
by throwing hand grenades, and by hand-to-hand combat."(16) Groups assigned to coastal defense were to contain the enemy, while reserve troops were being concentrated for the decisive battle or, in some cases, hold out for long periods of time until a decisive battle was won in some other area and permit the release of strength for a counterattack in the sector being held.(17)
Having no way to counter U.S. air power, every effort would be made to confuse the battle lines so as to prevent the use of naval gunfire and air power to support the ground troops. The advances of the mobile reserves would be accomplished under cover of darkness for protection from aircraft.(18)
The defense positions in Kyushu were built in accordance with the precepts laid down in The Three Basic Principles on How to Fight Americans, which had been developed as a result of lessons learned in south Pacific combat. In brief, these principles were:
- Positions should be constructed beyond effective range of enemy naval bombardment.
- Cave type positions should be constructed for protection against air raids and naval bombardment.
- Inaccessible high ground should be selected as protection against flame throwing tanks.(19)
The production, movement and distribution of supplies was one of the most important aspects of the defense preparations on Kyushu.(20) Preparations included the storing of munitions in caves and other underground shelters to protect them from air raids and naval bombardment. The original Japanese plan called for the supplying of each division with one campaign unit of fire, and by July 1945 this quantity was actually in the possession of the area armies. One campaign unit of fire was sufficient ammunition for one campaign - generally understood to be a three month supply.(21) This called for the following rounds per weapon: 1,000 rounds per field piece, 25,000 rounds per machine gun, and 240 rounds per rifle.(22) However, by August 1945 with the greatly increased number of troops, it was necessary to reduce ammunition stocks to a one-half unit of fire for each unit (about 1 1/2 months). This reduction in ammunition supplies made it necessary to adjust supply plans for the high priority areas and to plan for the rapid transfer of ammunition from one area to another when the invasion was actually launched and the place and direction of attack had been determined.(23) The Japanese were preparing and may have been able to bring their ammunition supplies back up to the three month level given the amount of time between August and November.
Air operations against American landings on Kyushu were to be the responsibility of the 5th Naval Air Fleet and 6th Air Army, both under the control of the Air General Army. They had airfields throughout Kyushu, Shikoku and Chugoku. Fields in southern Kyushu which were being attacked almost daily had been abandoned as bases and were only to be employed for staging suicide missions. Their plan called for the neutralization of as many transports as possible as the American fleet approached the shores of Japan. If landings were made, the air forces would conduct operations to sever supply lines to facilitate the fighting of the ground forces. Planes were to be released in waves of 300-400, at the rate of one wave per hour, against the invasion fleet. Sufficient fuel had been stored for this use, but only about 8,000 pilots were available.(24) Although the pilots were poorly trained and no match against experienced American pilots, they were capable enough to carry out suicide attacks against ships. At the end of the war, Japan had approximately 12,725 planes. The Army had 5,651 and the Navy had 7,074 aircraft of all types.(25) While many of these were not considered combat planes, almost all were converted into kamikaze planes. The Japanese were planning to train enough pilots to use all of the aircraft that were capable of flying.
Naval operations against the invasion fleet would be conducted in two phases. The first phase would consist of attriting the American fleet as it approached the home islands. The remaining 38 Japanese fleet submarines would attempt to attrite as many transports as possible. They were to serve as launch platforms for manned suicide torpedoes called "Kaitens". Although the Kaitens had not proved too successful in operations on the open ocean, the Japanese hoped that they would be effective in the restricted waters around the home islands. The five-man midget submarines, known as "Koryu," would also be employed with either two torpedoes or an explosive charge for use in a suicide role. The Navy planned to have 540 Koryu in service by the time of the invasion. A more advanced midget submarine, the "Kairyu," was a two man craft armed with either two torpedoes or an explosive charge. Approximately 740 Kairyu were planned by the fall of 1945.
As the invasion fleet reached the landing areas, the second phase would commence. The 19 surviving Japanese destroyers would attempt to attack the American transports at the invasion beaches. Suicide attack boats, called "Shinyo," carrying 550 pounds of explosives in their bows, would strike from hiding places along the shore. The Shinyo were aiming for any craft carrying troops. The Japanese Navy and Army had an estimated combined total of 3,300 special suicide attack boats. Finally, there would be rows of suicide frogmen called "Fukuryu" in their diving gear 30 feet or so beneath the water. The outermost row of Fukuryu would release anchored mines or carry mines to craft that passed nearby. Closer to shore, there would be three rows of divers, arrayed so that they were about 60 feet apart. Underwater lairs for the Fukuryu were to be made of reinforced concrete with steel doors. As many as 18 divers could be stationed in each underwater "foxhole".(26) Clad in a diving suit and breathing from oxygen tanks, a Fukuryu carried an explosive charge, which was mounted on a stick with a contact fuse. He was to swim up to landing craft and detonate the charge. The Navy had hoped for 4,000 men to be trained and equipped for this suicide force by October.
Ground operations against the American landings called for the ground forces to quickly determine the area of the invasion and concentrate in this area as many troops as possible before the invasion began. If the preliminary bombardment or early seizure of small islands to the south and southwest of Kyushu indicated an invasion attempt on southern Kyushu, then the 57th Division, the 4th Independent Tank Brigade, and the Chikugo and Higo Forces would move south to the vicinity of Kirishima to stage for a counterattack against the American landings.(27) The main body of infantry were to be deployed on the first commanding ground inland from the beach. These ground forces were to conduct operations so as to destroy the American forces in coastal areas before they secured firm beachheads. Should the Americans advance simultaneously in several locations, the ground forces were to direct the main operation against the main enemy force. If the enemy's main force could not be located, then the Japanese would seek a decisive battle in an area where their main force could most easily be directed. In the other operational areas, elements would carry on delaying actions in order to facilitate the operations of the main Japanese force.(28)
Medium and heavy artillery were to cover the landing craft approaches, the beaches, and plains areas surrounding the beaches. Plans for the employment of artillery seemed to combine the beach defense tactics employed on Saipan with some of the fixed defense plans employed on Iwo Jima.(29) Coastal defense and artillery batteries were to withhold their fire until landing craft came in range. However, there was no centralized control or fire-direction of the coast defense and artillery batteries.(30) The Japanese considered the massing of fires a waste of ammunition. Each artillery position was to remain in place conducting fires independently until destroyed. Artillery and mortar units were to be emplaced generally on the reverse slope of the first ridges inland from the beach and in caves further inland. The priority for employment of mortars was beach defense.
Commanders were told to be ready to swiftly divert the necessary troops and military supplies to other sectors at any time. The ground forces were to be concentrated in planned operational areas. Movement of ground forces would be primarily at night by foot, and the movement of war supplies would be by rail or water as the situation permitted. Troop movements were to be executed even under American air attacks.(31) </STRONG>
Coastal Defenses / Fortifications
The Japanese had extensive experience with how the Americans conducted amphibious assaults in the Pacific. In late 1944, the Japanese also sent a team of officers to debrief the Germans on their defenses at Normandy and how the Allies assaulted to gain a foothold in Europe. From these experiences the Japanese coastal defenses on Kyushu were divided into three zones.
1. Beach Positions - These positions were to be used mainly in beach fighting and for firing against landing craft. They were to be heavily fortified and concealed for protection against naval gunfire. Coastal fortifications were constructed in cave type shelters to withstand intense bombings and bombardments, especially from naval gunfire. They were to have the ability to conduct close range actions and withstand attacks from flame-throwers, explosives, and gas. Their purpose was to defeat any landing attempt.
2. Foreground Zone - If the beach positions could not prevent a landing, then the attack was to be delayed in this zone with localized counterattacks and raids. Obstacles, hidden positions, timed land mines, and assault tunnels utilizing natural terrain features were prepared to slow the attack and to fight within the enemy lines to limit the effectiveness of naval gunfire and close air support.
3. Main Zone of Resistance - This zone was the area where the main resistance was to be established. Battalions and larger units would occupy key terrain positions which were independent of each other. (see figure 12.) These positions were to be organized mainly for antitank warfare and the fields of fire were to be short. These installations were constructed as underground fortresses capable of coping with close range actions in which flame-throwers, explosives, and gas would be used. This resistance zone was intended to stop the American advance and set up the major counterattack that was to decisively defeat the attack.(32) The Japanese paid special attention to camouflage of their positions even during construction.(33) Defensive positions were to be concealed from air, land, and sea observation. Within all three zones, dummy positions were constructed for deception. Cave installations were to be heavily reinforced and capable of withstanding a direct hit by naval gunfire. Pillboxes, assault positions, sniper positions, and obstacles were to be organized for close quarter combat and mutually supporting. Each position was to store water, ammunition, fuel, antitank weapons, food, salt, vitamin pills, and medical supplies.(34)

Defensive measures taken inland included Rear Defense Zones. These zones were established in important areas inland as alternate positions for the area army to be used in holding out against a forceful penetration by the enemy or in support of a strategic offensive.(35) Holding positions were constructed across lines of communications to check rapid advances of enemy mechanized forces.
Inland fortifications were also constructed to provide cover and concealment for heavy equipment such as tanks, motor vehicles and artillery as well as bomb proof storage of ammunition and fuel. As on many islands throughout the Pacific, these storage shelters were impervious to American air and naval bombardment.
Satsuma Peninsula Defenses (40th Army)
Mutso Operation, No. 1 covered the defense of southern Kyushu by the 40th and 57th Armies. This part of Kyushu was considered the most probable area to be invaded. Part C provided for the defense of the Satsuma Peninsula region by the 146th, 206th, and 303rd Divisions, and the 125th Independent Mixed Brigade of the 40th Army. In the event of an invasion in this area, those units would attempt to hold the V Amphibious Corps on the beaches until the mobile reserve could be assembled and moved from their inland locations. The counterattack phase would be carried out by a mobile reserve composed out of the 25th, 57th, 77th and 216th Divisions, together with the three tank brigades. The mobile reserve would advance to the vicinity of Ijuin to seal off the Satsuma Peninsula and prepare for the counterattack. There were also plans to redeploy two divisions from the Fifteenth Area Army in Honshu to augment the counterattack in southern Kyushu.(36)
The Japanese 40th Army had a strong concentration of artillery and heavy mortars on the western side of Satsuma Peninsula, south of Ijuin, in the 206th Division's zone of action. This concentration was closer to Fukiage Hama than to the beaches selected for the V Amphibious Corps.(37) Many units of the 40th Army were considered in poor state of organization and training. The 303rd and 206th Infantry divisions were particularly poor.(38)
The 77th Division, rated as A-1 by the Japanese, was under administrative control of the 40th Army and was held in reserve north of Kagoshima Wan. It was to be prepared to support the 40th Army if a landing were forced on the western shore of Satsuma Peninsula. The plan called for movement, chiefly by foot and at night, along the shore road of Kagoshima Wan, crossing the peninsula on the road system just west of Kagoshima. The estimated time for this movement was six to seven days.(39)
The 25th Division, also rated A-1 by the Japanese and under administrative control of the 57th Army, was held in reserve in the area of Miyakonojo. It was prepared to counterattack in the Miyazaki area. It likewise was to be moved chiefly on foot at night, the estimated movement time being five days.(40)
The 216th Division was centrally located in reserve at Kumamoto, prepared to move south as the situation dictated. If the preliminary bombardment or early seizure of small islands to the south and southwest of Kyushu definitely indicated an early invasion attempt on southern Kyushu, the 216th Division was to be moved, principally on foot and at night, to the area of Kirishima, northwest of Miyakonojo. This movement would have taken 7 days.(41) Likewise, if early indications pointed toward the invasion of southern Kyushu, the 57th Division and 4th Independent Tank Brigade of the 56th Army were to be withdrawn from the Fukuoka area and moved by any and all methods available to the Kirishima area.(42)
The defensive plan called for the use of the Civilian Volunteer Corps, a mobilization not of volunteers but of all boys and men 15 to 60 and all girls and women 17 to 40, except for those exempted as unfit. They were trained with hand grenades, swords, sickles, knives, fire hooks, and bamboo spears. These civilians, led by regular forces, were to make extensive use of night infiltration patrols armed with light weapons and demolitions.(43) Also, the Japanese had not prepared, and did not intend to prepare, any plan for the evacuation of civilians or for the declaration of open cities.(44) The southern third of Kyushu had a population of 2,400,000 within the 3,500 square miles included in the Prefectures of Kagoshima and Miyazaki.(45) The defensive plan was to actively defend the few selected beach areas at the beach, and then to mass reserves for an all-out counterattack if the invasion forces succeeded in winning a beachhead.(46) The Japanese were determined to fight the final and decisive battle on Kyushu. At whatever the cost, Japanese military leaders were planning to repel any U.S. landing attempt. The defense of the Japanese home islands centered on two primary operations: the Army's fanatical defense of the beaches, and the employment of Kamikaze planes and suicide boats against transports. The Japanese plans for suicide attacks were much more extensive than anything the U.S. had yet experienced in the war. The Japanese special suicide forces were seen as a "Divine Wind" which was to save their nation just as the "Divine Wind" had driven the Mongol hordes back in the thirteenth century.(47)

OPERATION KETSU-GO

Edited by JCFalkenbergIII, 27 July 2008 - 08:33 PM.

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#3 Joe

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 10:05 PM

JCF, I've lost count, how many time's have you posted that article? :)
It's very interesting, I've shown it to everyone I know! :D
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#4 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 10:07 PM

At least 4 LOL. Just a coupla times to those who refuse to see ;) LOL. Peaceful and ready to surrender huh? LOL
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#5 Joe

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 10:10 PM

Exactly.
When I get back to school I'm going to give it to my history teacher...she thinks the Japanese where ready to surrender...
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#6 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 10:12 PM

I have some more information as to the supplies ,fuel and other items like weapons and vehicles were being stockpiled somewhere. Ill have to see if I can did it up.

Edited by JCFalkenbergIII, 28 July 2008 - 01:41 AM.

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#7 brndirt1

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 01:25 AM

Operation's Olympic and Coronet of the whole Downfall design looked like this. On the US side: 43 divisions. At the time of the surrender, some of the divisions were in various stages of transferring from French ports to the Philippines. There were also approximately six more that were to be made available, three from Europe and three from the Pacific, with additional reserves in the continental United States.

Great Britain and the rest of the UK would have supplied a minimum of three more divisions. Separate engineer, logistic and Army Air Force personnel would initially number in the hundreds of thousands and eventually surpass a million men in the western allied land and air forces.

On the Japanese side, the underground stockpiling of munitions, gasoline and other war supplies was well advanced at the time of the surrender, roughly four months before the opening invasion, and perhaps as much as eight long months before the assault on Honshu was planned. There is never enough time to prepare for an invasion, but from a purely technical standpoint, eight months is practically an eternity.
American planners worked from the assumption that the war could last into at least the end of 1946. The Emperor was also not planning to go down fighting in the ruins of Tokyo as Hitler had in Berlin, and a massive staging area and underground complex beyond the Kanto Mountains was well on the way to completion when the war ended. It was located about a hundred miles northwest of Tokyo near the Olympic site at Nagano, and unlike the mythical "last redoubt" of the Nazis was a reality.

I have found this site to be of great help when trying to determine the bloody outcome of such a battle plan:

Plans For the US Invasion of Japan

and please don't ignore the double * (**It is now believed that the Japanese only had approx 800 kamikaze planes to throw against any invasion fleet.)

Of course this comparison between "Downfall" and "Ketsu-Go" doesn’t take into account that the Soviets would be advancing from the north, something the Japanese had made NO preparations to counter and had gutted their Asian Army in preparation for Ketsu-Go.

And contrary to the opinion of some the Soviets had completely good amphibious capability by then, and American ships with which to do it. Their version of the Marines were actually an older force than the USMC, since they had existed before the USSR and only had their name changed when Lenin and then Stalin came to power.

By August of 1945, the Soviet Pacific Fleet only had these as indigenous warships; 2 cruisers (1 the flagship), 10 destroyers, 2 torpedo boats, 19 patrol boats, 78 submarines, 10 minelayers, 52 minesweepers, 49 "MO" (light attack) boats, and 204 motor torpedo boats of their own design and construction.

Against even this Pacific Red Banner Fleet, the Imperial Japanese had nothing left to speak of, thanks to the western allies and the USN and the USAAF. But in the spring of 1945; numerous LCIs, LCTs, and (I think) 28 Coast Guard frigates were transferred by the United States to the Soviet Union under lend-lease, and Soviet sailors were trained in the use of the ships in Cold Bay Alaska by US Coast Guard sailors. The USCG transferred the ships to the USSR, and the Red Banner was hoisted over them in July of 1945 and they sailed for Mother Russia with their new crews. These ships and training in their use was in anticipation of perhaps the need for a Soviet invasion from the north while America launched its own from the south.

Here is a complete list of all US specialized "landing/amphibious craft" supplied to the USSR under Lend-Lease from mid-’44 to July ’45; this list was supplied by "Tiornu" (Richard Worth) on another forum:

2 LCVP: C-42116, C-42737
2 LCS(S): C-7653 (Mk 1), C-51393 (Mk 2)
2 LCM(3): C-29301, C-29309
54 LCM(3): LCM 786, LCM 787, LCM 793, LCM 850, LCM 851, LCM 857, LCM 858, LCM 859, LCM 860, LCM 861, LCM 862, LCM 863, LCM 864, LCM 866, LCM 867, LCM 868, LCM 869, LCM 870, LCM 871, LCM 872, LCM 873, LCM 874, LCM 875, LCM 876, LCM 877, LCM 878, LCM 879, LCM 880, LCM 881, LCM 46972, LCM 46973, LCM 46974, LCM 46975, LCM 46976, LCM 46977, LCM 46978, LCM 46980, LCM 46981, LCM 52410, LCM 52411, LCM 52412, LCM 52413, LCM 52421, LCM 52422, LCM 52423, LCM 52425, LCM 52426, LCM 52427, LCM 52428 (Three of these were lost in attacks in the Far East in 1945.)
2 LCT: LCT 1163, LCT 1176
15 LCT(6): TDS.1 (ex-LCT 1047), TDS.2 (ex-LCT 559), TDS.3 (ex-LCT 561), TDS.4 (ex-LCT 563), TDS.5 (ex-LCT 745), TDS.6 (ex-LCT 1015), TDS.7 (ex-LCT 1046), TDS.8 (ex-LCT 1442), TDS.9 (ex-LCT 1445), TDS.10 (ex-LCT 744), TDS.11 (ex-LCT 1434), TDS.12 (ex-LCT 1435), TDS.13 (ex-LCT 1436), TDS.14 (ex-LCT 1437), TDS.15 (ex-LCT 1438)
30 LCI: DS.1 (ex-LCI(L) 526), DS.2 (ex-LCI(L) 527), DS.3 (ex-LCI(L) 551), DS.4 (ex-LCI(L) 554), DS.5 (ex-LCI(L) 557), DS.6 (ex-LCI(L) 666), DS.7 (ex-LCI(L) 671), DS.8 (ex-LCI(L) 672), DS.9 (ex-LCI(L) 945), DS.10 (ex-LCI(L) 946), DS.31 (ex-LCI(L) 584), DS.32 (ex-LCI(L) 585), DS.33 (ex-LCI(L) 586), DS.34 (ex-LCI(L) 587), DS.35 (ex-LCI(L) 590), DS.36 (ex-LCI(L) 591), DS.37 (ex-LCI(L) 592), DS.38 (ex-LCI(L) 593), DS.39 (ex-LCI(L) 665), DS.40 (ex-LCI(L) 667), DS.41 (ex-LCI(L) 668), DS.42 (ex-LCI(L) 675), DS.43 (ex-LCI(L) 943), DS.44 (ex-LCI(L) 949), DS.45 (ex-LCI(L) 950), DS.46 (ex-LCI(L) 521), DS.47 (ex-LCI(L) 522), DS.48 (ex-LCI(L) 523), DS.49 (ex-LCI(L) 524), DS.50 (ex-LCI(L) 525). (Four or five were war losses before the PTO was done).

Richard Worth (author of Fleets of World War Two) is generally quite accurate when it comes to ships, names and numbers.

America was "hedging its bets" as per the atomics, as well as for "Operation Downfall", both "Olympic" and "Coronet" sections. It is fortunate for America that the atomics worked, and not just because the Soviets might have gained ground in northern Japan.

When Okinawa, the staging area for "Olympic", was hit with Typhoon "Louise" in October of '45, it was by then nearly abandoned. Yet it still represented the largest loss of USN ships and US armed forces in history to a "natural" event. If Japan had still been holding out, and maybe keeping the Red Army at bay, a real "divine wind" would have again decimated their foes in the south, hundreds more ships and men would have perished, just as had happened centuries before against the Khan. I wonder how much harder they would have fought after that?

With that obvious "intervention" by the Gods, the correctness of their place in the world, and the support of the Gods would have made a surrender impossible without complete genocide-like annihilation. Minuoru Genda recalled in a interview with Gordon Prange post-war, that after Pearl Harbor, William Halsey said; "when this war is over the only place the Japanese language will be spoken is in Hell." Genda told Prange that after Hiroshima and then Nagasaki were bombed he thought that Halsey could very well be right.

I'll post a "run-down" of that typhoon if anybody wishes to see it. Sadly for me, one of the uncles I never knew died there, in that typhoon. After the war was over. He was a machinist mate first class, and stationed at Okinawa, working and waiting for shipping out, back to the US. His body was never recovered.

Two US Colonels; Dean Rusk (later Assistant Secretary of State) and a Colonel Bonesteel had already sat down and drawn the dividing line at the 38th parallel in less than one-half an hour and using an old National Geographic map of Korea in early July of '45 so that allied troops would not be "shooting at each other in confusion if and when they met". It was also to be the division line of authority until the "peace treaties" were signed with each side administering in its own area; it is not out of the realm of possibility that the same line could or would be extended east to where it crossed the Japanese home-islands if the Soviets had advanced from the north.

Stalin accepted that line proposed in July for Korea long before the Red Army even went to war in the east, it is also possible he would accept another "arbitrary line" for the division of Japan’s home island. He and his Red Army weren’t actually in either place at the time. But since the Soviet re-taking of Sakhalin and the Kuriles had been defined in rather vague terms at the Crimean Conference, that line would probably only be extended if the atomics failed to function or if the Japanese remained determined to fight on regardless.

It appears (by simply looking at the maps) That Sendai on Japan’s east coast is located at lat. 38°16'05" north, and Sakata on Japan’s west coast is at lat. 38°91’67" north. If my memory isn’t too faulty, it seems that Sendai was about 2 hours north of Tokyo by the modern shinkansen; "bullet train". I think it is about 300 km, or 190 miles? Isn't that about twice the distance Berlin was inside of East Germany, but without an Autobahn?

With the previous agreements at Yalta which put the as yet unconquered German/Nazi capital of Berlin about 110 miles inside of the agreed to Soviet zone, with a "proposed" corridor between the east and west, it may have made perfect sense to Stalin to allow a similar arrangement to be set up in Japan, with a "corridor" of free passage from the "Soviet Zone" in the north (near the 38th Parallel) to the capital of Tokyo in the south. Perhaps with similar divisions of the city into allied sectors as agreed to at Potsdam concerning Berlin.

If (my opinion) this situation had come to pass, Stalin may have had less reason to try the Berlin blockade in 1948. If he was denied access to Tokyo, as he did the western allies in Berlin in ‘48, it would be a "loose, loose" situation. The Allied airlift made the Berlin Blockade a moot point, but if he was denied access to Tokyo, there were no reasons to even regard his claims and actions in Berlin as reasonable. Those situations may have made the Communist system look even less appealing for the Asian "populace" outside of Mao’s China.

The indigenous agri/aquaculture of the northern portions of the Japanese home islands were and still are important for feeding the Japanese populace, but the US and the western allies could have fed the southern portion without even breaking a sweat. Remember we (USA) also provided the Japanese with "Bennies" to both ease their hunger pangs, and increase their work times. With the consequence that about 10-20% of the civilian Japanese were addicted to speed by the time the official "occupation" was ended.

Now, one other problem I see arising from the Red Army advancing from the north, that is the retention of Hirohito in even the highly reduced state in which he was which made the transition from "war" to "peace" as easy as it was. The Soviets had come into being by overthrowing an absolute monarchy and executing the Tzar and his family, accepting even a constitutional monarchy may have been a "wrench in the works" for the Soviets. As the industrial portion of Japan was in the south, just as the industrial part of Germany was concentrated more in the west than the east, the Soviets would have had an even smaller "power base" of native Japanese. Just my own guesses of course since it didn't happen.

"IF" this division had happened, I wonder how much of an influence the agriculture centered north would have on the industrial education centers of the south. Communism seemed to work "quick" in industrial areas (witness the Soviets themselves), but be longer lasting in agricultural areas (witness China which was really a socialist society before the Communist form of same was instituted).

So, let's see here. The atomics are not used (or they don't work), America and the other western allies are crippled by both Typhoon Louise and Operation Downfall losses, and the Soviets occupy the northern half of the Japanese home-islands. Not a pleasing alternative concept actually.

Edited by brndirt1, 28 July 2008 - 01:52 AM.

Happy Trails,
Clint.

#8 Devilsadvocate

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 02:11 AM

IMNHO,

If what I have read over the years on these two plans is anywhere near accurate, I have the strong opinion that Operation 'Olympic' would have FAILED!

The key to that belief is that the 9,000+ planes, pilots and fuel were ready and waiting, and THIS time they were going to send the lot over almost all at once not just 100 a day, but 1000 and more, first the carriers to eliminate the airborne threat, and then the TROOP-SHIPS.

Imagine what that enormously influential American, Mr GALLUP, would have to say about that!

Comments very welcome. OJ


The kamikazes would definitely have been a much worse problem than they were at Okinawa, but according to one very well informed commentator, a much more disturbing problem would have been the timing and the weather attendant upon both OLYMPIC and CORONET.

D, M. Giangreco has studied both KETSU-GO and Operation DOWNFALL and written extensively on the probability that American casualties would have substantially exceeded the worst-case scenario's expected by the JCS.

See; http://www.ww2f.com/...ivine-wind.html

#9 rkline56

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 08:42 PM

Exactly.
When I get back to school I'm going to give it to my history teacher...she thinks the Japanese where ready to surrender...


Ha ha Joe, If she doesn't believe it now - she never will. IMHO.
P.S. To JCF Good read, thanks for posting.

#10 rkline56

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 09:06 PM

At least 4 LOL. Just a coupla times to those who refuse to see ;) LOL. Peaceful and ready to surrender huh? LOL


Oh, I get it. Thanks for the heads up. Nice portrait.
Side Note: The Yaqui Indians of Mexico's Sonoran Desert. They were the Indian Tribe portrayed briefly in Two Mules For Sister Sara. They have an extensive philosophy, POV, meaning for the word "see". Your post reminded me of that philosophy.




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