Was the invasion of Okinawa necessary

Discussion in 'Nuclear, Chemical & Bio Weapons' started by Josephwalker, Feb 22, 2019.

  1. Josephwalker

    Josephwalker Well-Known Member

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    We landed Marines on Okinawa April 1st of 1945 which resulted in roughly 50,000 casualties with nearly 12,000 killed. Supposedly this island was of great importance for air bases to later mount an assault on the Japanese mainland but just a few months later in August we dropped the bomb there instead and this invasion never happened. It makes me wonder if all those American lives were squandered taking an island that we could have just nuked a few months later instead of taking it the hard way. I have to wonder who made this decision and why. Anybody have any insight into this? I've researched it and come up blank and am left thinking that by that point in the war mass casualties were just accepted as routine and the politicians in DC along with military command just didn't care.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
  2. unkotare

    unkotare Well-Known Member

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    We know the administration didn’t give a **** about human life.
     
  3. Questerr

    Questerr Banned

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    April 1st predates the Trinity Test, so they weren't sure if one of the designs for the atomic bomb would even work. Furthermore, they didn't know that dropping the atomic bomb would induce a surrender. So in hindsight you could say it was unnecessary, but they definitely didn't know that at the time.
     
  4. Guyzilla

    Guyzilla Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I would go further. The dropping of atom bombs, was not necessary. We did so, as a demonstration for our ALLIES, soon to be adversaries, Russians. And, we did it on folks that looked different. Not like Germans, that look like us.

    We disallowed the Japanese to retain any dignity, nor their emperor. To shove them into a pride display. So we could then present the display.
     
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  5. ThirdTerm

    ThirdTerm Well-Known Member

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    On April 23, 1945, Truman was fully briefed on the atomic bomb’s progress after assuming office. It was too late to cancel the plan to invade Okinawa, which was already in progress.

     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
  6. Josephwalker

    Josephwalker Well-Known Member

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    Fair point on trinity test.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
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  7. Questerr

    Questerr Banned

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    Not knowing the atomic bomb would induce a surrender is a fair point too. The firebombing of Japanese cities killed far more people and destroyed much more area and none of them induced a surrender.
     
  8. unkotare

    unkotare Well-Known Member

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    Yup
     
  9. unkotare

    unkotare Well-Known Member

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    The administration did not care how many lives it cost on either side. They wanted to try their new toy on a civilian population, and they would do whatever it took to position themselves to do so. FDR didn’t give a **** about anybody, and Truman did what he was told.
     
  10. APACHERAT

    APACHERAT Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    FDR or the Truman administration ?

    The invasion of Okinawa was adopted in 1924 with adopting War Plan Orange.

    Both the FDR and Truman administrations just set the time schedules of carrying out Plan Orange.

    It can all be found here. -> http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/
     
  11. Questerr

    Questerr Banned

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    Should we have instead ramped up firebombing Japanese cities, mining their coastal waters, and bombing their railways and bridges in order to starve them into submission instead?
     
  12. APACHERAT

    APACHERAT Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Was the invasion of Tarawa necessary ?
    The lessons learned saved tens of thousands of American Marines and soldiers later on during the war.

    Was the invasion of Iwo Jima necessary ?


    note:
    (My father saw combat action on Iwo Jima and survived.)


     
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  13. ThirdTerm

    ThirdTerm Well-Known Member

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    Taking Iwo Jima was necessary to secure an air base, from which B-52 bombers departed for mainland Japan. After losing Iwo Jima to the US, Japan's major cities were defenceless and continuously bombed. The famous “Doolittle Raids" were a dress rehearsal. Compared to Iwo Jima, taking Okinawa was strategically unnecessary. The next major island called Kyushu is located far away from Okinawa, similar to the distance between Tokyo and Iwo Jima. Okinawa is actually much closer to Taiwan.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
  14. unkotare

    unkotare Well-Known Member

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    Both
     
  15. Josephwalker

    Josephwalker Well-Known Member

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    I just have to wonder if with a bomb like that on the horizon if it would have been prudent to wait a few months before invading Okinawa and using it there first if it worked
     
  16. Capt Nice

    Capt Nice Well-Known Member

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    2,335 Americans died when Japan attacked Pearl Harbour and you're concerned that we 'disallowed' any dignity to the Japanese? Boo-Hoo. We would have lost many time more lives than that had we physically invaded Japan. And, by the way, Japan did retain their emperor. Looking back on history it was nice to see a war end with a win.

    https://www.quora.com/Why-did-the-e...apan-committing-so-many-atrocities-in-the-war
     
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  17. Josephwalker

    Josephwalker Well-Known Member

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    My grandfather served in the 1st Marines which took 50% casualties in Peleliu. With the benefit of hindsight that island could have been easily bypassed but MacArthur was demanding it to protect his right flank and Nimitz agreed with his opinion. Only Halsey thought it was not necessary but it was hard to overrule MacArthur. My grandfather then went on to participate in the Okinawa invasion and thought he'd be mopping up and it would be a cakewalk since the 1st Marines were being held in reserve after they sustained such heavy loses on Peleliu. Didn't work out that way and he was seriously wounded as the battle moved inland. He was still hospitalized when the bomb was dropped a few months later and couldn't help wondering why his marines were sent into Okinawa with that weapon right around the corner. His whole life he was proud of being a Marine but went to his grave wondering if he had lost so many buddies there for nothing. Today is the anniversary of his death which got me thinking about this subject.
     
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  18. Guyzilla

    Guyzilla Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    We purposely pushed them till they would get their backs up, to then NUKE them. That is some level of boo hoo.
     
  19. Josephwalker

    Josephwalker Well-Known Member

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    Pushed them by not providing oil so they could continue their imperialism and barbarity on the civilian population of countries they conquered?
     
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  20. Capt Nice

    Capt Nice Well-Known Member

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    What do you mean by 'get their backs up'. Do you mean we pushed them till they got mad?? What a shame. If we had them anywhere near a breaking point why in the hell did it take two bombs?
     
  21. BuckyBadger

    BuckyBadger Well-Known Member

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    In hindsight? Maybe not. But we were living in the moment and we had no idea if dropping the atomic (or two) would induce the result we wanted. We needed Okinawa for the invasion of the home island. Taking Okinawa also signaled to the Japanese the beginning of the end. After losing this battle, it was apparent the war was over. Holding Okinawa was their last hope. It made the atomic bombs even more effective, from a strategic point of view. Simply put, the Japanese were not only subject to relentless bombing, including atomic bombs, they were open to invasion.

    Checkmate.

    I have spent a good amount of time on Okinawa and it is a beautiful island and I love the Japanese culture. On the AFB (Kadena) they have a memorial and the original shack where the Japanese tortured Americans. It's humbling to see such sights and to realize the sacrifices that were made by ordinary Americans. Don't write off their sacrifices because decisions were made in the heat of the moment. We owe these men a lot, IMO.
     
  22. JakeStarkey

    JakeStarkey Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, Bucky Badger, for the great post. My dad and step-dad both were wounded on Okinawa. The facts, I think, support that the invasion was necessary as a step to the ultimate goal of making Japan to stop. Even after two atomic bombs dropped on them, important segments in the Imperial forces still were trying to prevent the Japanese Emperor from surrendering. Japan did, indeed, lose the war. America and its Allies did, indeed, win the war.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
  23. BuckyBadger

    BuckyBadger Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome Jake. Please give your Dad and Step-Dad a heartfelt thank you for their service and for their survival. God bless them both. They did things some can only imagine.
     
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  24. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Gee I had no idea you thought of the Democrats that way until now.
     
  25. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I would say that Truman of all people had a first hand view of what Japan intended to do. And on the homeland, Japan planned a dozen times worse fate to any that invaded Japan. We today do not truly realize how tough the Japanese actually were. But back then, Truman understood. That has to be a clear reason why he used the Atomic bombs in conquering Japan.
     

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