Gaining a WW2 unconditional Japanese surrender from naval blockade?

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,787
USA
My opinion:

The first bomb was justifiable. If the Allies had waited after that until the Soviets invaded, Japan would probably have surrendered, making the second bomb less justifiable.

HOWEVER...

Had the Soviets invaded without a second bomb, the Japanese may not have surrendered until Soviet troops actually landed on the home islands, which potentially could have led to a partition of Japan similar to Korea. This would most definitively have NOT been a good thing.
Japan was already prepping to defend the Japanese Home Islands against an expected invasion by the US military in the next few months. Why would they suddenly reverse course and surrender unconditionally because of the Soviet Union taking less populated and less important northern islands, when they were going to defend Kyushu to the death?

Beyond fortifying Kyushu, they were also doing the same with Honshu, turning every possible invasion beach and inland route into a death trap that would dwarf Iwo Jima or Okinawa.
 

botully

Ad Honorem
Feb 2011
3,546
Amelia, Virginia, USA
Japan was already prepping to defend the Japanese Home Islands against an expected invasion by the US military in the next few months. Why would they suddenly reverse course and surrender unconditionally because of the Soviet Union taking less populated and less important northern islands, when they were going to defend Kyushu to the death?

Beyond fortifying Kyushu, they were also doing the same with Honshu, turning every possible invasion beach and inland route into a death trap that would dwarf Iwo Jima or Okinawa.
The only thing the Japanese elite feared more than the Americans was a communist revolution. Although forced into the shadows, in the early ‘20s Japan had a lively communist party.
 
Mar 2019
1,952
Kansas
Japan was already prepping to defend the Japanese Home Islands against an expected invasion by the US military in the next few months. Why would they suddenly reverse course and surrender unconditionally because of the Soviet Union taking less populated and less important northern islands, when they were going to defend Kyushu to the death?

Beyond fortifying Kyushu, they were also doing the same with Honshu, turning every possible invasion beach and inland route into a death trap that would dwarf Iwo Jima or Okinawa.
Many of the US bombing raids went in unopposed as the Japanese where conserving forces for the expected invasion. A scarier development discovered after the war was the US had badly underestimated the resources stockpiled on the Home islands
 

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,787
USA
The only thing the Japanese elite feared more than the Americans was a communist revolution. Although forced into the shadows, in the early ‘20s Japan had a lively communist party.
But where do the Big Six express that fear? Where are they shown to be more fearful of a Soviet invasion of Sakhalin and other northern islands, but less fearful of US invasion of Kyushu and Honshu?
 

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,787
USA
Many of the US bombing raids went in unopposed as the Japanese where conserving forces for the expected invasion. A scarier development discovered after the war was the US had badly underestimated the resources stockpiled on the Home islands
They went unopposed because the Japanese had no real way of defending their skies against them. They did have ample means of defending against naval and ground attack. What limited fighter aircraft they possessed would be used in mass kamikaze, they'd use their best forces to defend their most important locations, and use random civilians to augment those forces using whatever weapons they could muster, to include bamboo spears and explosives for combined arm close range anti-tank defense.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,354
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Japan was already prepping to defend the Japanese Home Islands against an expected invasion by the US military in the next few months. Why would they suddenly reverse course and surrender unconditionally because of the Soviet Union taking less populated and less important northern islands, when they were going to defend Kyushu to the death?

Beyond fortifying Kyushu, they were also doing the same with Honshu, turning every possible invasion beach and inland route into a death trap that would dwarf Iwo Jima or Okinawa.
The Soviets taking the Kurils and Hokkaido might be one thing - but having them land in northern Honshu would be quite another.
 

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,787
USA
The Soviets taking the Kurils and Hokkaido might be one thing - but having them land in northern Honshu would be quite another.
But that would take longer than the US. The Big Six were already planning to resist an invasion of Honshu by the US within 6 months or so.
 

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,787
USA
The Japanese had close to 10,000 aircraft in reserve for the invasion
I'm not sure on the number but I know they were going to use every single variant of aircraft in their inventory tasked with kamikaze to use against the invasion fleet, specifically against troop carrying ships.

It takes far less skill to take off from a hidden bunker only a few miles from the invasion beaches, fly a few minutes to the water's edge and hit a transport who had minimum radar warning, maybe a half a minute, before impact.

Versus planning a massed interceptor operation against an allied heavy bombing attack against a city, requiring hundreds if not thousands of fighters to make any sort of dent, and having to possibly do it at night.

For the latter requires highly trained pilots and top notch aircraft that can not only deal with any USN fighters but also deal with the USAAF bombers, requiring hundreds of hours, minimum, for each basic pilot and more for flight and squadron commanders.

The former requires barely trained kamikaze pilots with mostly simulator training, maybe a few hours at most of flight time.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,807
The Japanese had close to 10,000 aircraft in reserve for the invasion
They still struggled to even get planes up to the altitudes the US strategic bombers flew on.

Since the Japanese home islands were effectively cut off by the Allied submarines (being unable to even effectively convoy in supplies) carburants were in short supply. 10 000 planes with not enough fuel doesn't matter all much. And even when there was fuel, the quality was a major issue. By the last stages of the war the Japanese were ordering school children out in the woods to fell pine trees and dig up their roots, from which they could extract a pitiful form of Erzatz carburant. While the US and UK flew their planes on 100 octane petrol.