Hell to Pay: Operation DOWNFALL and the Invasion of Japan, 1945-1947
Hell To Pay: Operation Downfall and the Invasion of Japan, 1945-1947 is the most comprehensive examination of the myriad complex issues that comprised the strategic plans for the American invasion of Japan. U.S. planning for the invasion and military occupation of Imperial Japan was begun in 1943, two years before the dropping of atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In final form, Operation Downfall called for a massive Allied invasion--on a scale dwarfing "D-Day"-- to be carried out in two stages. In the first stage, Operation Olympic, after the dropping of multiple atom bombs the U.S. Sixth Army would lead the southern-most assault on the Home Island of Kyushu to secure airfields and anchorages to support the second stage, Operation Coronet, a decisive invasion of the industrial heartland of Japan through the Tokyo Plain, 500 miles to the north, led by the First and Eighth armies. These facts are well known and have been recounted-- with varying degrees of accuracy-- in a variety of books and articles. A common theme in these works is their reliance on a relatively few declassified high-level planning documents. An attempt to fully understand how both the U.S. and Japan planned to conduct the massive battles subsequent to the initial landings was not dealt with in these books beyond the skeletal U.S. outlines formulated nine months before the initial land battles were to commence, and more than a year before the anticipated climactic series of battles near Tokyo. On the Japanese side, plans for Operation Ketsu-go, the "decisive battle" in the Home Islands, have been unexamined below the strategic level and seldom consisted of more than a rehash of U.S. intelligence estimates of Kamikaze aircraft available for the defense of Kyushu. Hell To Pay examines the invasion of Japan in light of substantial new sources, unearthed in both familiar and obscure archives, and brings the political and military ramifications of the enormous casualties and loss of material projected by trying to bring the Pacific War to a conclusion by a military invasion of the island. This ground breaking history counters the revisionist interpretations questioning the rationale for the use of the atom bomb and shows that the U.S. decision was based on very real estimates of the truly horrific cost of a conventional invasion of Japan.
The plans for Operation Downfall and the planned invasion of Japan
By Susanna Hutcheson "Copywriting for the Discri... - October 18, 2009
I enjoy reading about WW11 and war strategy especially interests me.
D.M. Giangreco is a respected writer and has a deep knowledge of his subject. He has written an impressive account of what the United States planned to do had the war not ended when it did.
America planned an enormous invasion of Japan. The book gives us inside details of how both sides prepared for this invasion. Operation Downfall, as it was called, would have made D-Day look minute. Had the bombs not been dropped that ended the war, what would have happened, as described in this book, would have changed the course of history. It would have shed much more blood and the war been a much larger and deadlier war than it was.
If you ever questioned the correctness of the decision to drop the Atom bomb that ended the war, reading this book is likely to change your mind. That turned out to be a wise decision. The alternative would have been almost unthinkable --- yet it was going to happen... read more
Extremely well researeched and referenced
By Terry Sofian "tsofian" - October 25, 2009
The morality of the U.S. use of atomic weapons to end World War Two has been argued about since news of the destruction of the two Japanese cities was reported. In the current atmosphere of revisionist history this event and the men who decided to perform it have been castigated and defamed. This book sets the record of events leading up to that decision straight and provides the primary source material to show how the bombs came to be dropped. It also takes a very close look at events that did happen after the war ended (such as weather) and others that did not but might have (such as the assault landings on the Japanese Home Islands). The author describes how that informtion is important and how it would have affect the conflict in Japan. He quotes extensively from sources on both sides of the war. It is amazing to me that our current intellectuals have been so critical of American leaders who publically stated their remorse over the destruction of innocent human life in the form of... read more
Wonderfully comprehensive and thorough -- a must-read
By James Meek - November 1, 2009
As a Japanese-fluent American with an intense interest in the history of WWII in the Pacific, and of the war-end period in particular, I had long been frustrated by the unavailability of any definitive analysis of the Japanese preparations for defense against the invasions that might have been needed to end the war on terms acceptable to the democracies, and of the expectations of America's leaders regarding the casualties the invasion forces would incur.
Although I haven't time now to write the fuller review this excellent book so richly deserves, I am compelled to at least take the time to give it my very highest acclaim as a book that every serious student of the war-end period absolutely must read.
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