Friday, August 07, 2015

Remembering my cousin's broken leg

In World War II, my ditzy cousin was a sailor, and his ship had been damaged by a kamikazi. While being repaired, he and the other sailors knew they were scheduled to return to the Pacific for the invasion of Japan, where casualty estimates were huge.

So he went out, got drunk and passed out in a friend's apartment...waking up, he couldn't find the door so jumped out the window and broke his leg.

As a result, he was home on crutches, visiting my mom, when VJ day was declared. She said the town erupted into quite a party in celebration. And the Bomb? Well, they saw the bomb that stopped the war as a blessing, because it meant that he would not be killed in the war.

A lot of people correctly lamenting the H-Bombing of Japan forget the alternative: that the estimates of such an invasion were huge.

From the Diplomad2.0

As the American invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa showed, the Japanese were brave, tough, skillful, and determined defenders of their home islands. American military planners looked at the casualties from those two campaigns and extrapolated to what it would cost to invade Japan proper. The US military estimated that there would be at least one million American casualties, plus hundreds of thousands of other allied dead and wounded, and perhaps twenty to thirty times that many Japanese casualties in the case of an invasion.

the Japanese civilians would have resisted, using primitive weapons, true, but they would have been the casualties. The mass suicides of civilians in  Saipan show that some civilians would have killed themselves instead of surrendering.

If the Nazis invaded England, a similar fight would have occurred. Even Mrs Miniver had a gun for protection. And here in the Philippines, Americans forget that most of those dying in the Bataan death march were Filipinos...and that the locals resisted as best they could (since schools had to toe that Japanese line, most schools shut down rather than cooperate)...and many younger folks husband's older brother and cousin fled to the hills to fight the Japanese in 1941 (my teenaged husband joined only at the end of the war, partly because of MacArthur's plea, and partly to defend the locals from the terrible atrocities by angry retreating Japanese soldiers against civilians.)

Door to door fighting is one of the worst scenerios for any war, and when civilians resist it is worse.

And then there is this link (via Instapundit).

A RIFLE BEHIND EVERY BLADE OF GRASS: Slate: What Would Have Happened if Germany Had Invaded the U.S. During World War II? “In addition, everybody had guns. One commonality among the nations conquered by Germany is that private firearms ownership was heavily restricted or simply banned. With no such restrictions here and given the fact that modern combined arms tactics were still in their infancy, it’s difficult to see how the Germans would have avoided taking heavy casualties.
Yeah. A similar argument was made to my National Guard unit, during the cold war, telling us the Russians would never invade us because they would be resisted.

Ah but revisionist history in the leftist universities have a meme, which is anti American, so let's ignore the context of the use of the bomb, which was viewed by Harry Truman as just a bigger simpler version of the fire bombing which already had decimated Tokyo.

The third alternative, an agreed surrender without an invasion, was not a realistic alternative, alas, despite the revisionist leftist histories that insist that Japan would have meekly surrendered.

such a surrender would have been viewed by the hardline war party as treason, similar to the the surrender of an un-invaded Germany after WWI. That may have allowed the resurrection of a dangerous Japan 30 years later, rather than the present pacifist country that now exists.

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