civilian casualties wouldve been enormous and the military casualties on both

Civilian casualties wouldve been enormous and the

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civilian casualties would've been enormous, and the military casualties on both sides at Iwo Jima were steep. Those islands were small, whereas two million soldiers and many more civilians defended the main island of Japan. Another key question is whether or not invasion and occupation were necessary to force a surrender, or even unconditional surrender. They likely were, unless they left in power the leaders that perpetrated the war. As for the emperor himself, though, the U.S. left Hirohito on the throne anyway as part of General 8
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HIST1302---Chapter 12 MacArthur's reconstruction program in the late 1940s and early 50's. He reigned as the ceremonial leader of Japan until his death in 1989. The U.S. dictated Japanese politics, though, in the early postwar years. For the full context of August 1945, it's important to consider not just the war against Japan, but rather the beginning of the Cold War between the U.S. and Soviet Union. When the U.S. met with the Soviets at the Potsdam Conference after the European war, the Soviets signaled their willingness to open up a front against Japan. Earlier, at the Yalta Conference in February 1945, FDR wanted help against Japan. But by Potsdam in late July 1945, they feared the Soviets were getting in on the spoils at the end after the U.S. had done the heavy lifting. The U.S. had, by now, tested "the gadget" in New Mexico -- all the more reason they didn't need Soviet help. Moreover, bombing Japan could demonstrate the new weapon for the Soviets' benefit. Historians have emphasized the Soviet factor more in recent years, especially after examining Truman's own letters. The Soviets planned to enter the war against Japan in early August. On August 6th, the U.S. dropped a uranium bomb, Little Boy (left), out of the Enola Gay on Hiroshima, Japan. It destroyed the city of 140k people, directly killing 80k and damaging a U.S. POW camp outside town. Total casualties including radiation poisoning by the end of the year were between 90- 140k. The Japanese refused to surrender. The U.S. then went after a strategic industrial target, Kokura, with a plutonium-core bomb, Fat Man (lower left). Kokura was mostly covered with clouds so Bockscar , the B-29 carrying it, turned around to return to the Marianas before running out of fuel. The clouds cleared over Nagasaki, where the Mitsubishi Plant had already been bombed the week before with conventional weapons. It was the second time (after Midway) a chance clearing had helped dictate the course of the war. The Bockscar dropped and detonated their bomb, killing another 70k. The second attack was on August 9th, the very day the Soviets entered the war. The short Soviet-Japanese War consisted mainly of Soviet takeovers in Manchuria (NE China), Sakhalin, North Korea and the Kuril Islands. The swift Soviet victories, along with the atomic bombs, contributed to Japan's decision to surrender on September 2nd, 1945. ¹ A week later, the Japanese signed surrender terms on board the USS Missouri , one of the ships damaged at Pearl Harbor four years earlier. The U.S. took control of Japan, re-writing its constitution, barring it
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