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77

We have to delve into two spheres to address this question, the political and the military. Militarily, the Japanese fought a series of border skirmishes with the Soviet Union at Khalkhin Gol (located along the Manchurian - Mongolian border, Mongolia then being a "People's Republic" and puppet of the Soviet Union) through early summer to early autumn 1939, ...


54

Also, correct me if I'm wrong but the heavy AA guns appear like they can't point down over the deck. They can only point upwards or parallel to the surface, but not down at the surface. This assumption is wrong. The US Mark 12 5"/38 caliber dual purpose (surface and aircraft) mount was the primary heavy AA armament facing kamikazes. It was mounted on ...


54

First of all, Japanese Forces were by no means inferior to their enemies in terms of fighting spirit or training. Beyond a doubt, No nation in WW2 had soldiers of such fanatical devotion in her service as Japan did, who actively sought out Gyokusai (Glorious death). Their mindset could be explained in Japanese martial song, Umi Yukaba: If I go away to ...


46

Because the Japanese Government surrendered on 15 August. Naturally, the Japanese military was ordered to lay down their arms. For Manchuria this meant the much-reduced Kwantung Army, which accordingly surrendered as a unit to the advancing Soviets. There is a surprising amount of confusion over when exactly the surrender took place. A quick search found ...


41

The official reason was to avoid a long and costly battle attempting to force the Japanese to surrender by invading the mainland. The Japanese were tenacious fighters and their tactics of Kamikaze suicide bombers and their courageous defense of their country in engagements such as the Battle of Okinawa, lend substantial credibility to this claim. Some such ...


40

The nature of Nazi and Japanese atrocities is quite different. The Japanese atrocities, when ordered from above, were "rational" in the sense that they were perpetrated to gain a perceived tangible benefit for the war effort (please do not misconstrue my words to mean that I condone these actions! I do not!) The most appalling crimes, such as the rape of ...


38

Perhaps this is a generational thing? As a Gen-X'er, I grew up hearing about things like the Bataan Death March, The Rape of Nanking, and how in general the Japanese didn't feel like adhering to the Geneva Conventions, (as dramatized in Bridge over the River Kwai, among other movies and books). When I was a kid we also had lots more Pacific Theater veterans ...


37

There was an 88-minute long speech made by Hitler to the Reichstag on December 11th, 1941, which was four days after the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor, where he officially declared that Germany would join Japan in the war against the USA. In this speech, he mentioned a few of his personal reasons for this decision. That decision to declare war had been ...


31

I seriously doubt it. Japan was a traditional monarchy, philosophically and ideologically far closer to China than Germany. Of course both were mortal enemies and had been for centuries. Far more likely they were drawn together simply by the fact that both were shut out from the "international community" and felt slighted by the UK and US (and in case of ...


29

This is a matter of very hot debate. It depends on what assumptions you make about what would have happened in the future. But there are two basic scenarios: The bombings saved somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 - 500 thousand US lives, and Japanese lives in the millions. The bombings saved US lives numbered only in the thousands, and actually cost the ...


28

No. Japan had almost no capability to continue waging war. In fact, strangled by the American blockade, Japan was tottering on the brink of collapse. Experts both then and since believed that the combined pressure of the Soviet entry, the relentless blockade (and usually, the conventional aerial bombardment campaign) would have compelled Japan to surrender. ...


27

The effects of Hiroshima and Nagasaki run quite deeply. One of the most profound effects is that Japan is very pacifistic and one of the few (if not the only country) that has outlawed war. Article 9 of the Japanese constitution prohibits the Japanese government from declaring war, although permits Japan to maintain a self-defense force. Since the end of ...


27

Hiroshima, the first city, was "an important army depot and port of embarkation in the middle of an urban industrial area. It is a good radar target and it is such a size that a large part of the city could be extensively damaged. There are adjacent hills which are likely to produce a focussing[sic] effect which would considerably increase the blast damage. ...


27

Many people seem to be confused that this was a plan developed during or just prior to WWII to defend the home islands, this is not true. Kantai Kessen was developed and adopted after the Russo-Japanese war (1904-1905) and well before the US entered WWII (1941). With that in mind, answers must take into account the interwar situation and mindsets of the ...


27

Little Boy detonated at ~580 metres above Hiroshima, and Fat Man at ~500 metres above Nagasaki. While all nuclear explosions generate electromagnetic pulses of some sort, at these low altitudes their strength rapidly diminishes with distance, giving them a rather limited area of effect. The effects of EMP from a surface or low-altitude nuclear burst will ...


26

This is probably a slightly garbled account of the destruction of Shuri Castle in Okinawa. During the Second World War's Battle of Okinawa, the battleship USS Mississippi shelled the historical Ryukyu palace for three days prior to its capture by US marines. At 0718 on May 25, the Mississippi began a murderous onslaught with her 5 and 14-inch guns that ...


24

The Japanese navy had a fundamental misunderstanding of the American navy, in large part because of its experience with other, European navies such as those of Russia and Britain. And perhaps they were confused by America's War Plan Orange," which preached similar doctrine, but was more "honored in the breach than the observance." In the 1905 war with ...


23

Wow, where to start. Basically, ignore anything in the previous answer regarding Europe and shields. As far European metallurgy goes, pattern welding was in use as early as the 2nd and 3rd centuries. The technique continued to be used up until about the end of the viking era (mid 11th century) when quenching and tempering basically took over. As a ...


22

Tokugawa Ieyasu banned it in 1614 for one. You would be killed for being a practicing Christian up until the Meiji restoration. Think about it like this. You've got Europeans coming in. They are seen as a direct threat[1] to your power base built on the divine authority of the God Emperor and the Shogun, his personal representative. The Buddhists don't claim ...


22

The U.S. likely did not target Tokyo for the atomic bomb strikes as it was the seat of the Emperor and the location of much of the high ranking military officers. These are precisely the people you do not want to kill if you want to negotiate a surrender, as they are the people you would be negotiating with. The U.S. decided to drop the bombs onto military ...


22

Yes, there were extensive rapes by American soldiers during the Second World War. During the Second World War American GIs in Europe raped around 14,000 civilian women, in England, France and Germany. There were around 3,500 rapes by American servicemen in France between June 1944 and the end of the war ... some Allied troops were punished for sexual ...


22

The usual explanation is that Japanese culture believed the soul resides in the abdomen. Since the ritual of seppuku or harakiri is usually meant to provide an honourable death, cutting open the abdomen was an act that "bares the soul", so to speak. The Meiji educator Dr. Nitobe Inaz┼Ź wrote in his famous Bushido: the Soul of Japan that: [T]he choice of ...


21

It wasn't as simple as "13 against 4" as the question states. Russians only had 8 real battleships. 3 were coastal defense Ushakov class battleships. The entire order of battle was significantly less lopsided than the ratio above indicates. Even leaving aside ship quality, the quantity was (from Wiki) | Japan | Russia | =====...


21

The Japanese had 4 terms they were demanding in order to "surrender": The emperor would remain inviolate. Japan's borders would be restored to those of summer of 1942, requiring the allies to return to Japanese control every island and country that they had been thrown off of, such as Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, and the Philippines. Japanese troops would ...


21

Ray Monk in Inside the Center: The Life of J. Robert Oppenheimer tells the story thus: Truman returned to Washington from Potsdam on the evening of 7 August and was immediately caught up in a whirlwind of activity generated by Groves, who was determined to proceed as quickly as possible with a second bombing of Japan. He and Admiral William ...


20

I am fortunate in being 75 years of age. I travelled extensively during my 22 years in the British Royal Navy and have spoken over the years, to many people of various nationalities. One should remember that each country writes it's own history and therefore it is bound to suffer from at least some bias. The best education about the WW2 subjects mentioned ...


20

The Japanese, Germans, and Italians primarily allied based on their late-bloomer status and desire for geopolitical revisionism. Whereas countries like Britain, France, Russia, and so forth had unified and developed empires in the centuries prior to industrialization, the Axis powers had not really unified and become politically and militarily centralized ...


20

This modern tradition has its roots in the First World War, when Japan entered on the side of the Allies following the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. Japan's entry carried an initial, overt goal of restoring the German Kiautschou Bay Concession to Chinese sovereignty. The Siege of Tsingtao, the administrative centre of the German concession, ended in the ...


19

(A little background for others reading this post) In 1868 Emperor Meiji re-established imperial rule. To move Japan into the modern era, he encouraged his people to explore and learn from the more technologically advanced cultures of the world. Even in the late 1800s, English was the language of international commerce. Emperor Meiji's push to learn ...


19

Japan had a small domestic oil production, a few million barrels, but not nearly enough to meet their peacetime needs let alone war. What they did have is enough oil refineries with a capacity of almost a year's peacetime consumption. If they could get the oil to Japan, they could refine it into fuel. They were also heavily invested in synthetic oil plants ...



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