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Tag Archives: Pacific Theater

Classic Articles: A Different Theory of the Japanese Surrender

Did the Soviet Union’s actions influence Truman’s decision-making? ~

Brant Guillory, 8 August 2017

Today is the anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, which is alternately considered both controversial and essential to ending the war.

A few years ago, I had the good fortune to hear a talk at the Mershon Center at Ohio State by Dr. Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, discussing the impact of the bomb on Japan’s decision to surrender.

INTRODUCTION

I attend[ed] a weekly seminar series at the Mershon Center for Security Studies and Public Policy here at Ohio State University. On some weeks, the seminar coincides with guest speakers. Last week, Dr. Tsuyoshi Hasegawa came to talk, and this is a summary of his narrative. But first, it may be helpful to introduce Dr. Hasegawa by way of his Mershon Center bio:
Tsuyoshi Hasegawa is professor of Modern Russian and Soviet History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His current research interests include the political and social history of the Russian Revolution, focusing on crime and police in Petrograd during the Revolution, March 1917 – March 1918, as well as Soviet military history, collecting materials on V.K. Bliukher. Hasegawa is also studying Russian/Soviet-Japanese relations, especially the Soviet-Japanese War of 1945, Soviet policy toward the San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1951, and the Soviet-Japanese Normalization Talks, 1955-56. Hasegawa has published widely on the Russian and Soviet history, his most major publications being The Northern Territories Dispute and Russo-Japanese Relations. Vol. 1: Between War and Peace, 1967-1985. Vol.2: Neither War Nor Peace, 1985-1998 (UC Berkeley, 1998), Russia and Japan: An unresolved Dilemma between Distant Neighbors, edited with Jonathan Haslam and Andrew Kuchins (UC Berkeley, 1993), and Roshia kakumeika petorogurado no shiminseikatsu [Everyday Life of Petrograd during the Russian Revolution] (Chuokoronsha, 1989). His most recent publication is titled Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan (Belknap, 2005). Dr. Hasegawa received his PhD from Washington University in 1969.

THE PRESENTATION

Following the fall of Germany in May of ’45, the Allies turned their attention to the three-year old Pacific War. To avoid continued American causalities and bring World War II to a close, Truman ordered the nuclear bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Conventional American wisdom is that the atomic bomb brought about the fall of Japan, and few American textbooks challenge this idea. However, a Japanese scholar, Dr. Tsuyoshi Hasegawa of UC-Santa Barbara, has published an new book, Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan, that re-examines the end of World War II through a new perspective on international diplomacy, and comes to the conclusion that although the atomic bomb was certainly a very important factor in ending World War II, it was not the most important one. In fact, it might have caused the U.S. to prolong the war longer than necessary.

Raid on the Marshall Islands – an Order of Battle Pacific AAR, part 4

The culmination of the raid on the Gilberts & Marshalls ~

Avery Abernethy, 30 July 2017

As introduced in the first episode – This is an after action report (AAR) from Order of Battle: World War 2 the US Pacific Campaign and the Marshalls – Gilbert Islands Raid scenario. I played this scenario as part of the US Pacific Campaign. 

On Turn 13 the Red Task Force air wings start the attack on the last major objective. It will be a tough nut to crack. There are at least three squadrons of Japanese planes including a highly dangerous torpedo squadron. My carrier will have to stand off at least two flight turns away to the East to avoid being hit.

Raid on the Marshall Islands – an Order of Battle Pacific AAR, part 3

The raid on the Gilberts & Marshalls is almost done ~

Avery Abernethy, 28 July 2017

As introduced in the first episode – This is an after action report (AAR) from Order of Battle: World War 2 the US Pacific Campaign and the Marshalls – Gilbert Islands Raid scenario. I played this scenario as part of the US Pacific Campaign. 

A lot happened on Turn 10. First, I received two US submarine units to the far Southwest. They spotted a Jap merchant. Subs have fairly damaging attacks but also take several turns to reload after firing.

Raid on the Marshall Islands – an Order of Battle Pacific AAR, part 2

Airboy’s raid on the Japanese, early in the war, rolls on ~

Avery Abernethy, 26 July 2017

As introduced last episode – This is an after action report (AAR) from Order of Battle: World War 2 the US Pacific Campaign and the Marshalls – Gilbert Islands Raid scenario. I played this scenario as part of the US Pacific Campaign. 

 

Objective Black 1 was hit by my air wing on Turn 2. The aircraft were on the ground and two Jap ships were at the island. Unfortunately, there is also a Jap coastal battery on the island. My air groups immediately sink one Jap ship and strafe the parked planes. My carrier must stand off until the coastal battery is taken care of.

 

By turn 4 the US Navy in TF Black has sunk two ships and destroyed the coastal battery. My ships can now shell the Jap planes on the ground and blow up the oil depot.

 

Meanwhile, TF Red’s combat air patrol spotted two Japanese merchants in-route to target Red 1. My air wings heavily damaged the Jap merchants while my two ships sailed closer to Red 1.

 

An overview of the situation is easily obtained by the game.

The distances are so great that the overview feature in the game is very welcome.

Objective Red 1 was really easy. No coastal gun, no anti-aircraft and no oil depot. My carrier air wing did the job really fast.

Objective Black 1 has been largely liquidated. The coastal battery, the AA gun and the Jap planes are all destroyed. My ships will shell the oil depot as they pass on their Southern heading towards objective Black 2. The dive bomber and torpedo plane landed to refuel and reinforce. My F4F Wildcat refueled last turn and is heading South to recon the next objective.

 

Objective Red 2 is going to be a lot harder. There is an airfield with Jap planes, an AA gun and an Oil Depot. My PT Boat will swoop in close to the island to bring the AA gun and any parked Jap planes under direct fire. The last Jap plane from Objective Red 1 was destroyed. Black Task Force is steaming South.

 

On Turn 8 my Red Task Force has liquidated the first target and is sailing West towards target Red 2. That is going smoothly. Black Task Force destroyed the Oil Depot and is heading South. Unfortunately, Objective Black 2 is even tougher than Black 1. There is a light cruiser, a heavy AA unit, a merchant ship and an unknown number of Jap planes as scouted by my F4F. It will take one carrier air wing, two destroyers and a cruiser a while to eliminate this target.

 

 

Turn 9 shows how my US battle plan is starting to unravel. I sent one destroyer from the Black Task Force due West in order to link up with the Red Task Force around the last objective. The Jap Light Cruiser steamed North at full speed and is attempting to engage the carrier with the Black Task Force. Target Red 2 is going to be easy meat. My PT boat damaged the Jap Squadron on the ground. My F4F did additional damage. I should be able to shoot down the Jap squadron next turn. The PT boat can easily take care of the light AA gun and my ships can blow up the Oil Depot as they sail West. So far, the Red Task Force is getting the easy opposition and the Black Task Force is engaging a lot more units.

How does the battle wrap up?  Come back and see later…


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Raid on the Marshall Islands – an Order of Battle Pacific AAR, part 1

After Pearl Harbor, it’s time for the US to strike back ~

Avery Abernethy, 24 July 2017

After the Japanese destroyed most of the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 the US Naval Command and President Roosevelt were under tremendous pressure to position the US Carriers into a defensive position. Some argued the carriers should defend Hawaii. Others suggested pulling the carriers back to protect the US West Coast. After taking command of the Pacific Fleet on December 31, 1941, Admiral Nimitz was responsible for how the US Fleet would be deployed.

Instead of a strict defensive deployment, Nimitz used the remaining US ships centered on the aircraft carriers to both ferry planes to Pacific outposts and also to launch raids against the Japanese. The decision to launch raids against Japan was a very ballsy move by Nimitz. The most famous raid was by Doolittle’s group from the Carrier Hornet. But a more extensive raid against the Gilbert Islands came first.

This is an after action report (AAR) from Order of Battle: World War 2 the US Pacific Campaign and the Marshalls – Gilbert Islands Raid scenario. I played this scenario as part of the US Pacific Campaign.

Order of Battle: Pacific, the Philippines, Part III

A multi-part AAR of a battle in the Philippines ~

Avery Abernethy, 7 June 2017

This is the 2nd Scenario in the US Pacific Campaign for Order of Battle WW2.  The First Scenario is Pearl Harbor which is not suited for an AAR.  I’m playing on the Lt. Level.

The end of the battle, and the fall of the Philippines?

Turn 11, Part 2

Order of Battle: Pacific, the Philippines, Part II

A multi-part AAR of a battle in the Philippines ~

Avery Abernethy, 6 June 2017

This is the 2nd Scenario in the US Pacific Campaign for Order of Battle WW2.  The First Scenario is Pearl Harbor which is not suited for an AAR.  I’m playing on the Lt. Level.

Continuing yesterday’s battle…

Turn 5 – achieved first objective

Order of Battle: Pacific, the Philippines, Part I

A multi-part AAR of a battle in the Philippines ~

Avery Abernethy, 5 June 2017

This is the 2nd Scenario in the US Pacific Campaign for Order of Battle WW2.  The First Scenario is Pearl Harbor which is not suited for an AAR.  I’m playing on the Lt. Level.

Terrain before main troop deployment

Following up the success at Pearl Harbor the Japanese invaded many areas in the Pacific.  The largest concentration of US ground forces were in the Philippines.  The Japanese landed with huge forces after McArthur allowed almost his entire air force to be destroyed on the ground.  McArthur retreated southward towards the Bataan Peninsula.