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51

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 ...


27

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. ...


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 ...


24

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 ...


23

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 ...


21

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 ...


21

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 ...


14

In general, people fight over thrones because of the power it represents. For Japan, the tennō was not particularly powerful in the first place, but moreover lost secular power quite early in Japanese history. For most of the last 1,200 years, true political power was decoupled from the imperial title. Hence while many factions fought for power in Japan, ...


13

Short Answer Roughly speaking, in the early decades after 1867: ~7% became educators ~16% became public servants ~25% became corporate employees the rest became unemployed or farmers Overview Most of them actually did not do particularly well. After the Meiji Restoration, the samurai became the new shizoku class and initially received stipends from ...


12

Kind of, but not as such. The closest to what you're probably thinking of is the nihonjin-machi that began to form in the Pacific around the same time as Europe's Renaissance. These were primarily mercantile communities, but later also housed significant numbers of samurais, Christians and other exiles from Japan. None of them survived after the early modern ...


12

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... ...


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

There were several reasons why this could not or would not happen. 1. Shoguns were appointed officers of the state Although one might describe the Shogunate as hereditary (in the same sense that the Crown of the Holy Roman Empire was "hereditary"), the office of Shogun was technically an Imperial appointment. Powerful samurai clans lobby the Imperial Court ...


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

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 ...


9

Japan did have naval forces at the time, and they probably fought the Mongolians a few times. The samurai Takezaki Suenaga, a gokenin from Higo in central Kyūshū, was a veteran of both wars. To showcase his valour in battle (to request rewards from the government), Takezaki commissioned the Mōko Shūrai Ekotoba, an illustrated account of the Mongol ...


9

You are referring to the medieval Japanese legal doctrine of kenka ryō sebai (喧嘩両成敗), literally, in quarrels, punish both sides. The prescribed punishment varied, but use of the death penalty indeed predates the Tokugawa rise to power after 1600. The earliest example is a law promulgated in April 1445 that mandated beheading. ...


9

Because they were not "better" or "more effective". There are generally poor reports of the People's Liberation Army's effectiveness against Japan during World War II. - Elleman, Bruce A. Modern Chinese Warfare, 1795-1989. Routledge, 2005. Keep in mind that comparisons are difficult to make because the Nationalists[1] bore the brunt[2] of all ...


9

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 ...


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

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 ...


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

In terms of recorded history, the earliest contact that I know was in 50 B.C., when a Japanese army supposedly aborted its invasion upon hearing of the Silla king's greatness. Make of its credibility what you will... 《三國史記·新羅本紀》八年,倭人行兵,欲犯邊,聞始祖有神德,乃還。 This is recorded in the History of the Three Kingdoms, written in A.D. 1145. The same document reports ...


8

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 ...


8

They didn't end up in any one particular place. In more recent decades, discovered skulls are generally returned to Japan, or disposed of in various ways (lack of identification). Certainly at least some would have been gotten rid of (through burial or otherwise) since WW2 was still ongoing. American authorities did not officially approve of the practise. ...


8

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 ...


8

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 ...


7

Semaphore's answer is excellent, as usual. Let me add just an anecdotal perspective. Is their any evidence that rape was perpetrated by American soldiers during WWII? My grand-mother, a teenager at the time, was part of a fairly active resistance network interacting with the British military. On the wake of the liberation of her area of France, her ...



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