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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 ...


43

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 ...


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

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 ...


25

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 ...


25

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 ...


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 ...


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 Inazō wrote in his famous Bushido: the Soul of Japan that: [T]he choice of ...


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 ...


18

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 ...


13

Let me illustrate @StuartAllan's answer: if they hear "Japanese castle", people think about this: And while that is pretty and impressive, it will of course be a heap of smoking rubble after no more than a few hits from a battleship's guns. But what the attacking military is really up against is this: and laying waste to it is gonna take some time... ...


13

My understanding is that the Electromagnetic Pulse induced by a nuclear weapon is mainly due to the ionizing effect of the gamma rays released by the nuclear reaction. However, for this ionizing effect to produce a downward blast of electrons moving at relativistic speed to the ground (the cause of the voltage shock on the ground), the ionizing effect has to ...


12

Yes. The most famous example is an embassy to Rome sent by several Christian daimyo from Western Japan. Consisting of four teenage envoys and a number of attachés, the group departed from Nagasaki on 20 February 1582 and reached Lisbon on 10 August 1584. In addition to meeting Pope Gregory XIII, the Japanese toured Spain and visited several Northern Italian ...


12

The answer to this question is yes, Japan was capable of maintaining the war at the time and likely would have done so. However, Japan was incapable of conducting meaningful offensive operations by then. So, in a sense they couldn't have hurt the U.S. but they would have hurt many others. U.S. General Curtis LeMay was responsible for implementing the ...


12

Japan was not really capable of "maintaining war" by mid-1945. The problem was that it was unwilling to "make peace" on anything like reasonable terms. If the Allies had wanted a stop to the fighting, one possibility might have been a "cease fire in place." That would leave the Allies in possession of the Philippines, and Iwo Jima and Okinawa, but it would ...


10

I'm not sure why you think staff officers carried them for combat. They were not really the ones responsible for the actual fighting in the first place. More generally, Japanese officers carried swords as accessories for their uniforms. The blades were both ceremonial as well as status symbols, because higher ranks were entitled to swords with special ...


10

According to a different set of GDP estimates (which are PPP-adjusted to facilitate cross-national comparisons), Japan's economy is roughly in proportion to @TomAu's estimates of Japan's martial contributions. For example Tom estimates that Japan contributed more to the war effort than Italy. In every year of the war, Wikipedia estimates that Japan had a ...


10

This is the mitsuwari-ken-hanabishi (三つ割り剣花菱) crest, a rather obscure design used by the Aki Clan (安芸氏) of (surprise, surprise) Aki Dstrict in the Tosa Province of Shikoku. The Aki Clan is said to be descended from Soga no Umako, a powerful minister in Ancient Japan whose descendants were later exiled from the capital after a power dispute in the royal ...


10

The existing answers do a good job of explaining why the EMP effect radius was not as large, but there's another important aspect we need to consider: We're talking about 1945. EMPs do affect anything electronic to some extent, but they primarily affect sensitive electronics, especially miniaturized electronics like what we use today. The voltages that are ...


10

Because they were delayed in Xuzhou, and before that in Shanghai. At first, in July 1937, fighting was localised in North China, but for various reasons, hostilities erupted in Shanghai one month later, in August, escalating the situation to a full-scale war. That battle dragged on for 3 months, with Japan landing an entire field army in the city. Without ...


9

Hideyoshi's reasons were not singular. A number of factors motivated his invasion of Korea. Although speculative hypothesis regarding his mental state is popular, domestic pressure for expansion coupled with seemingly-promising opportunities sufficiently explains the decision. TL;DR: Hideyoshi needed land and to keep his soldiers occupied. Korea was an easy ...


9

I suppose the answer to your question is that, firstly, we definitely have to consider the aid by the U.S. after the war. Like, well, Japanese children asking for the American soldiers for chocolates etc, but the real booster in terms of the economic impact was probably due to the korean war. SCAP officials believed economic development could not ...


9

There are no set ages for participating in combat. Generally speaking however, the first battle for a young samurai was in their early teens, roughly around 15 years old (opportunities permitting). Examples include Hōjō Ujiyasu at Ozawahara in 1530 (15), Takeda Nobukatsu at Temmokuzan in 1582 (15), and Date Masamune against the Sōma clan in 1581 (14). Cases ...


9

Initially, Japanese observers thought the Taiping Rebellion was a nationalist revolt by Ming China loyalists. This perception was encouraged by for instance the rebel slogan "Destroy Manchuria, Revive Han China (滅満興漢)". Thus, Japan believed the rebellion to be an attempt by the subjugated Han Chinese natives to free themselves form their Manchurian ...


9

Midway was a distraction at a critical moment in the battle, but this more due to luck than anything else. If you replay the Battle Of Midway over again, it is unlikely it would have turned out that way again. Despite the US advantage of surprise and Japanese overconfidence, so much of the battle was down to luck. Midway made three important (I won't say ...


8

Were there any pilots that declined to carry out the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? The answer is no. Then Lt. Colonel Paul W. Tibbets, who retired a Brigadier General, was put in charge of the newly formed 509th Composite Group of the Army Air Corps in September, 1944 (activated in December, 1944). He was a successful bomber pilot / leader and ...


8

You appear to be asking about the account General Douglas MacArthur gave of his first meeting with the Shōwa Emperor. During that event, Hirohito assumed full and sole responsibility for all of Japan's wartime actions, and offered himself to the "judgement" of the Allied powers. Trials are for determining guilt. If you go to the police and claimed ...


8

No, this story is assuredly bogus. First of all, there is no evidence that Jiang Baili graduated with the highest score. The Imperial Japanese Army Academy held two graduations in 1905: the 17th and 18th classes. See the following table of top graduates, between 1902 and 1907 for good measure. - From left to right, the columns are: Class, Graduation ...


8

Male citizens over the age of 25 were eligible to vote, except for members of the Imperial Army or Navy and the Imperial family. Originally, suffrage was limited to only those who had paid 15 yen in taxes. This initially meant that rural landowners dominated the franchise. However, the tax restriction was reduced to 10 yen and then 3 yen, and eventually ...


7

This questions "asks a negative" so it is impossible to answer with absolute certainty, but I would highly doubt there was any hesitation among the air crews. The B-29 crews were all elite crews who were highly expert and highly committed to the war effort. These men had already been fire bombing Tokyo and cities in Okinawa, so I doubt they had any qualms ...



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