RE: Next stop, the INVASION OF JAPAN! He was Not looking forward to it.
It was estimated that 250,000 people died in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (COMBINED TOLL ).
Question: How may would have died had the war continued?
Estimates I’ve read on the projected toll of invading mainland Japan:
US KIA’s: 100K+
US casualties: over 1 million.
Japanese KIA’s (civilians included): Over 1 million.
Japanese casualties (civilians included): No estimates, just a mind-bogglingly huge mess.
Now, here’s what most of these red diaper babies never think about, which proves that they are stupid:
Let’s say we didn’t drop the A-bombs. What was our plan? We weren’t just going to sit around on ships out at sea, delivering surrender ultimatums. This whole trope of “give peace a chance” wasn’t going to work with Japan. Their military leadership was fanatical and was ready to take the entire country down the rat hole with them.
No, our plan was roughly this: LeMay had the logistics lined up to start firebombing the entire main island of Japan, starting in September, ‘45. He was going to start firebombing raids, like the ones done on Tokyo, at the north end of the island, and work his way south. The schedule was daunting - about every third day, a new city would be targeted. The bombers with the frag & napalm loads would fly over first, then the “matchstick” bombers with the magnesium flares would fly over and ignite the mess that the cast iron and napalm loads had created down below.
Estimates were that over 1 million Japanese civilians would be killed in these raids. There were over 20 cities to be targeted. Over 200K Japanese died when we immolated Tokyo, so I think the estimate of 1 million civilians killed is rather low. Japanese cities are very densely packed, and when one imagines a firestorm taking over their cities, there’s really few ways out of the situation. It becomes a huge, open air crematorium. Without a super-accurate census of the population before the event, there’s really no way to accurately estimate how many would die.
LeMay had worked very hard on lining up the logistics and plans for this effort, and LeMay was actually seriously pissed when the A-bombs just showed up on his doorstep with the 509th. If the A-bombs worked, all of the logistical effort and expense we had invested in getting ready to burn Japan to the ground was for naught. And, make no mistake, it was a huge logistic effort, and a lot of Marines died to take islands close enough to Japan to allow us to stage the materials, planes (including fighter support), people and munitions close enough to the mainland to accomplish this.
After the mainland cities had been burned to a crisp, their infrastructure bombed to ruins, *then* we would start invading.
If we had not dropped the A-bombs, I seriously doubt that Japan would have recovered to where it has today. The survivors would have been rebuilding for 20+ years longer than they had to.
Because the Japanese would be extremely aggressive, and interpolating from the way they defended any Islands we invaded, in defending their homeland it was estimated at the time that 1,000,000 American troops and that many more Japanese military and civilians would die during an invasion.
Not only that, we killed far more people destroyed much more property with our incendiary bombing of Japan.
Initial estimates from the previous island amphibious landings indicated 1 million Allied casualties in the initial actions with probably 100,000 to 300,000 deaths of friendlies.
Every island landing preceding the Mainland campaign had an exponential progression in causalities and fatalities. Unlike the island hopping campaign, the Japanese sentiment regarding their homeland was overwhelmingly more defensible amongst the common man. The public really didn’t care too much about the islands being lost as opposed to their homeland which had never been invaded or conquered by a foreign power.
Additionally, the American war fighting production machine was beginning to fatigue.
More devastating would be the prolonged campaign and risk of a second German Armistice after WWI promoting another war 20 years later by the Japanese people.
The American fight in the Pacific Theater in WWII is nearly a perfect study of a well fought war with a prompt conclusion and the vanquished being returned to self government and success within a generation after the conflict.