The Bomb didn't beat Japan... Stalin did

Jun 2011
312
The Old Dominion
I think the salient point here is that none of these folks as far as I understand, even knew of the existence of the atomic bomb before one was dropped. That applies to Eisenhower, Macarthur, Nimitz and whoever else wasn’t “in the loop” (which was pretty much everyone). It was a surprise to them.
Regarding who knew what about the atomic bomb, D. Clayton James' The Years of MacArthur, Vol. II 1941-1945, on page 775, tells us of MacArthur being informed of the bomb:

"Brigadier General Thomas Ferrell was sent by the War Department at the end of July to inform him of the atomic bomb and to direct him to keep the skies clear of FEAF aircraft over the specified cities . . .

According to one source*, MacArthur reacted with ‘quiet indignation' when he learned that Eisenhower had known of the atomic bomb long before he was told.

*from an interview with Col Sidney F. Mashbir conducted by Col Virgil Ney, 6 July 1971.”

That seems pretty definitive, including a followup cite of a postwar interview with one of MacArthur's intelligence officers.

Eisenhower, indeed, learned of the bomb while at the Potsdam Conference. From his own Crusade in Europe, page 443:

"I had a long talk with Secretary Stimpson who told me that very shortly there would be a test in New Mexico of the atomic bomb ... The results of the successful test were soon communicated to the Secretary by cable. He was extremely relieved ... In any event, it was decided that unless Japan surrendered promptly in accordance with the demands communicated to the Japanese Government from Potsdam the plan for using the atomic bomb would be carried out."

So, while perhaps told only at the last minute, MacArthur was informed that the bomb(s) would be used and the probable targets. His opinion of their use, which some like to bandy about, really isn't cogent to whether or not he was notified before their use.

Of course, Eisenhower wasn't the only one who knew before MacArthur.

E. B. Potter's Bull Halsey, page 343, describes how Halsey got the news between 16 and 19 July 1945 and indirectly leads to the conclusion that Nimitz already knew:
"One of the officers transferred from Service Squadron 6 came with a message. Rear Admiral William R. Purnell, as an emissary from CinCPac, brought Halsey information that the Twentieth Army Air Force was going to drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. This was the first time Halsey heard of the bomb."

Potter also confirms on pages 381 and 382 of Nimitz, that the CinCPac had been informed of the atomic bomb program back in February 1945 by Commander Frederick L. Ashworth, bearing a message from Admiral E.J. King. The message said that the bomb would be available in the Pacific Theater about August 1, 1945. And, on page 384:
"On July 25, a plane carrying Captain William S. Parsons, a naval ordnance expert, landed on Guam. Parsons had with him films of the world's first man-made atomic explosion . . . Before an awed audience that included Admiral Nimitz, Admiral Spruance, General LeMay and selected officers of their staffs, Parsons showed his movies of the great fireball rising over the desert."

Parsons, of course, was the "weaponeer" on the Hiroshima mission and Ashworth was weaponeer on the Nagasaki mission.

And evidently the word spread a bit. An assistant operations officer aboard the TF38 flagship, Shangri La, operating off the coast of Japan, recounted how Halsey and McCain shared messaging via blinker on various subjects, operational and otherwise. Around the time of the Hiroshima event he recalled some of these messages were along the lines of “. . . any word, yet?”

The operations types, USN and USAAF, were well aware that certain targets had been proscribed, for example, the following message sent 3 July 1945:

032226 JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF TO MACARTHUR NIMITZ AND ARNOLD
WARX 26350. EYES ONLY. KYOTO, HIROSHIMA, KOKURA and NIIGATA will not be attacked by any forces under your command unless further directions are issued by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Para. Knowledge of the above instructions will be limited to the minimum number of persons to carry out the instructions.


It would have been more than a little difficult to adhere to this order without letting your operations/planning types know certain targets were fobidden. And then the plot thickened, a message on 2 August 1945:

021036 CINCPAC ADVANCE HQ TO COM3RDFLT, CTF 94, CTF 95, info CTF 38, COMFAIRWING 1, COMFAIRWING 18, COMGEN USASTAF
A special operation will be conducted by the 509th Bomb Group on 4 or 5 August at a time to be announced later. No ship or aircraft of the Pacific Fleet will come with 50 miles of NAGASAKI, KOKURA, or HIROSHIMA from 4 hours before to 6 hours after the announced time. Acknowledge.


The next day came

030212 CINCPAC ADVANCE to COMINCH
NIMITZ TO KING ONLY.
Cities of KYOTO HIROSHIMA KOKURA and NIIGATA were reserved for special attack with which you are familiar. SecWar directed substitution NAGASAKI for KYOTO. Understand reason being that the latter is an important cultural center he did not want destroyed. Request I be informed if KYOTO is to remain immune from normal bombing attacks. Assume also JCS are familiar with fact that POW camp is at NAGASAKI.


Note the "with which you are familiar," this on 3 August 1945. And then, the same day . . .

031332 CINCPAC ADVANCE to COM3RDFLEET
NIMITZ TO HALSEY ONLY
It is imperative that there be no interference with operations of 509th Bomb Group. Although their objective has been indicated it may be changed. It is accordingly directed that you send no planes over KYUSHU or western HONSHU until specifically authorized by me. It is my intention to give you freedom of action as soon as the special mission has been completed. At this time it appears the task will be completed on the 5th and you can strike as you currently plan on the 6th. Will keep you informed.
Para. After your next attack desire your fleet return to port in order that it may be ready to renew operations in late August.


The next day, 4 August

040612 COMGENUSASTAF TO CINCPOA CINCAFPAC
EYES ONLY NIMITZ AND MACARTHUR
Operational intention is to strike primary HIROSHIMA at 060945/K (-10) or secondary KOKURA at 061010/K or tertiary NAGASAKI at 061030/K. A firm decision confirming the times listed above will leave this headquarters by 051430/K. It is mandatory that no friendly aircraft enter a 50 mile zone around the three targets scheduled for attack between the hours 060545 and 061700 if firm decision confirms the above target times.


On, yeah, for those not used to reading these things, the “06” as in “. . . hours 060545 and 061700 . . .” refers to the hours of 0545 to 1700 on 6 August.

So, there was chatter that something was about to happen and the folks at the top of the food chain were aware, had been briefed, and, some anyway, seen film of the Trinity test, of what that “something” was.

And on 9 August . . . wheee, here’s a would have, could have, should have for those so inclined to “what if,” questions (and I am not one of those so inclined):

090326 COMAF 20 to CINCPAC ADVANCE COMUSASTF
APCOM 5449. KIRKPATRICK TO NIMITZ AND SPAATZ
Note: this is extract of copy to Washington: In view of the effects at TRINITY and HIROSHIMA which far exceeded optimistic expectations, Burnell, Parsons and Farrell believe question of targets should be reviewed immediately. The subject was discussed with NIMITZ and SPAATZ today at GUAM and both concurred in our views expressed below.
Para. Because of great potency targets should where practicable be at least 3 miles on a side. Targets with partially burned out areas having large remaining population and some industry offer greatest possibilities for psychological effects. We consider the “Scare Radius” go be at least 10 miles. It is recommended that the War Department should no longer require visual bombing but leave decision to field command. Every effort will be made to get best bombing conditions. We consider remaining approved targets with exception of KOKURA as inadequate or improperly shaped areas. We do not want to waste any of the effects. It is recommended that the list be revised to include several large cities. It is expressly recommended that the region of TOKYO be included as a target.


Lastly, if anyone wants to pretend that there was no planned coordination between the Soviets and the US in the final throes of the Japanese, they should avail themselves of the message traffic on operational coordination found in the CinCPac Gray Books where the traffic related to establishing coordination and operational boundaries between US and USSR forces appears in laborious detail starting about 24 July 1945 .
 
Jun 2011
312
The Old Dominion
Also note in the text of the last message, above, of 9 August 1945 that Spaatz and Nimitz apparently concur with targeting Tokyo . . . not what one might expect from someone often raised as an opponent to the use of the atomic bombs to end the war.

And "KIRKPATRICK" was COL Elmer E Kirkpatrick, special assistant to General Groves of the Manhattan Project. A US Army CoE officer he was liaison between 20AF and the Manhattan Project. He was also assistant to BGen Thomas Farrell who was Groves' deputy for operations.
 
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royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,649
San Antonio, Tx
Regarding who knew what about the atomic bomb, D. Clayton James' The Years of MacArthur, Vol. II 1941-1945, on page 775, tells us of MacArthur being informed of the bomb:

"Brigadier General Thomas Ferrell was sent by the War Department at the end of July to inform him of the atomic bomb and to direct him to keep the skies clear of FEAF aircraft over the specified cities . . .

According to one source*, MacArthur reacted with ‘quiet indignation' when he learned that Eisenhower had known of the atomic bomb long before he was told.

*from an interview with Col Sidney F. Mashbir conducted by Col Virgil Ney, 6 July 1971.”

That seems pretty definitive, including a followup cite of a postwar interview with one of MacArthur's intelligence officers.

Eisenhower, indeed, learned of the bomb while at the Potsdam Conference. From his own Crusade in Europe, page 443:

"I had a long talk with Secretary Stimpson who told me that very shortly there would be a test in New Mexico of the atomic bomb ... The results of the successful test were soon communicated to the Secretary by cable. He was extremely relieved ... In any event, it was decided that unless Japan surrendered promptly in accordance with the demands communicated to the Japanese Government from Potsdam the plan for using the atomic bomb would be carried out."

So, while perhaps told only at the last minute, MacArthur was informed that the bomb(s) would be used and the probable targets. His opinion of their use, which some like to bandy about, really isn't cogent to whether or not he was notified before their use.

Of course, Eisenhower wasn't the only one who knew before MacArthur.

E. B. Potter's Bull Halsey, page 343, describes how Halsey got the news between 16 and 19 July 1945 and indirectly leads to the conclusion that Nimitz already knew:
"One of the officers transferred from Service Squadron 6 came with a message. Rear Admiral William R. Purnell, as an emissary from CinCPac, brought Halsey information that the Twentieth Army Air Force was going to drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. This was the first time Halsey heard of the bomb."

Potter also confirms on pages 381 and 382 of Nimitz, that the CinCPac had been informed of the atomic bomb program back in February 1945 by Commander Frederick L. Ashworth, bearing a message from Admiral E.J. King. The message said that the bomb would be available in the Pacific Theater about August 1, 1945. And, on page 384:
"On July 25, a plane carrying Captain William S. Parsons, a naval ordnance expert, landed on Guam. Parsons had with him films of the world's first man-made atomic explosion . . . Before an awed audience that included Admiral Nimitz, Admiral Spruance, General LeMay and selected officers of their staffs, Parsons showed his movies of the great fireball rising over the desert."

Parsons, of course, was the "weaponeer" on the Hiroshima mission and Ashworth was weaponeer on the Nagasaki mission.

And evidently the word spread a bit. An assistant operations officer aboard the TF38 flagship, Shangri La, operating off the coast of Japan, recounted how Halsey and McCain shared messaging via blinker on various subjects, operational and otherwise. Around the time of the Hiroshima event he recalled some of these messages were along the lines of “. . . any word, yet?”

The operations types, USN and USAAF, were well aware that certain targets had been proscribed, for example, the following message sent 3 July 1945:

032226 JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF TO MACARTHUR NIMITZ AND ARNOLD
WARX 26350. EYES ONLY. KYOTO, HIROSHIMA, KOKURA and NIIGATA will not be attacked by any forces under your command unless further directions are issued by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Para. Knowledge of the above instructions will be limited to the minimum number of persons to carry out the instructions.


It would have been more than a little difficult to adhere to this order without letting your operations/planning types know certain targets were fobidden. And then the plot thickened, a message on 2 August 1945:

021036 CINCPAC ADVANCE HQ TO COM3RDFLT, CTF 94, CTF 95, info CTF 38, COMFAIRWING 1, COMFAIRWING 18, COMGEN USASTAF
A special operation will be conducted by the 509th Bomb Group on 4 or 5 August at a time to be announced later. No ship or aircraft of the Pacific Fleet will come with 50 miles of NAGASAKI, KOKURA, or HIROSHIMA from 4 hours before to 6 hours after the announced time. Acknowledge.


The next day came

030212 CINCPAC ADVANCE to COMINCH
NIMITZ TO KING ONLY.
Cities of KYOTO HIROSHIMA KOKURA and NIIGATA were reserved for special attack with which you are familiar. SecWar directed substitution NAGASAKI for KYOTO. Understand reason being that the latter is an important cultural center he did not want destroyed. Request I be informed if KYOTO is to remain immune from normal bombing attacks. Assume also JCS are familiar with fact that POW camp is at NAGASAKI.


Note the "with which you are familiar," this on 3 August 1945. And then, the same day . . .

031332 CINCPAC ADVANCE to COM3RDFLEET
NIMITZ TO HALSEY ONLY
It is imperative that there be no interference with operations of 509th Bomb Group. Although their objective has been indicated it may be changed. It is accordingly directed that you send no planes over KYUSHU or western HONSHU until specifically authorized by me. It is my intention to give you freedom of action as soon as the special mission has been completed. At this time it appears the task will be completed on the 5th and you can strike as you currently plan on the 6th. Will keep you informed.
Para. After your next attack desire your fleet return to port in order that it may be ready to renew operations in late August.


The next day, 4 August

040612 COMGENUSASTAF TO CINCPOA CINCAFPAC
EYES ONLY NIMITZ AND MACARTHUR
Operational intention is to strike primary HIROSHIMA at 060945/K (-10) or secondary KOKURA at 061010/K or tertiary NAGASAKI at 061030/K. A firm decision confirming the times listed above will leave this headquarters by 051430/K. It is mandatory that no friendly aircraft enter a 50 mile zone around the three targets scheduled for attack between the hours 060545 and 061700 if firm decision confirms the above target times.


On, yeah, for those not used to reading these things, the “06” as in “. . . hours 060545 and 061700 . . .” refers to the hours of 0545 to 1700 on 6 August.

So, there was chatter that something was about to happen and the folks at the top of the food chain were aware, had been briefed, and, some anyway, seen film of the Trinity test, of what that “something” was.

And on 9 August . . . wheee, here’s a would have, could have, should have for those so inclined to “what if,” questions (and I am not one of those so inclined):

090326 COMAF 20 to CINCPAC ADVANCE COMUSASTF
APCOM 5449. KIRKPATRICK TO NIMITZ AND SPAATZ
Note: this is extract of copy to Washington: In view of the effects at TRINITY and HIROSHIMA which far exceeded optimistic expectations, Burnell, Parsons and Farrell believe question of targets should be reviewed immediately. The subject was discussed with NIMITZ and SPAATZ today at GUAM and both concurred in our views expressed below.
Para. Because of great potency targets should where practicable be at least 3 miles on a side. Targets with partially burned out areas having large remaining population and some industry offer greatest possibilities for psychological effects. We consider the “Scare Radius” go be at least 10 miles. It is recommended that the War Department should no longer require visual bombing but leave decision to field command. Every effort will be made to get best bombing conditions. We consider remaining approved targets with exception of KOKURA as inadequate or improperly shaped areas. We do not want to waste any of the effects. It is recommended that the list be revised to include several large cities. It is expressly recommended that the region of TOKYO be included as a target.


Lastly, if anyone wants to pretend that there was no planned coordination between the Soviets and the US in the final throes of the Japanese, they should avail themselves of the message traffic on operational coordination found in the CinCPac Gray Books where the traffic related to establishing coordination and operational boundaries between US and USSR forces appears in laborious detail starting about 24 July 1945 .
LOL, well, I stand corrected. I did not realize that knowledge of the bombs prior to their being used, was known to the top of the army and naval commands. It makes sense - no use completely surprising one’s top brass and those who knew were notified were well within the war zone.
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,649
San Antonio, Tx
It's a tragic irony that Truman - egged on by Acheson et al - was so adamant on precisely that point. If he'd been more flexible, the war might well have been shortened by months.
Highly unlikely. Up until the Imperial Conference during which the emperor finally spoke up, the Japanese military called the shots and the emperor was what they wanted him to be: a remote puppet who seldom, if ever, spoke up. The US was quite leery of invading Japan because of the bloodbath that would probably result if it tried to conquer it. Happily, this was not required. From what I have gleaned in years of reading on the topic, the Japanese have a national problem with the concepts of shame and defeat and the ability to admit defeat. This appears to be a continuing problem in Japan which has never stopped efforts to paper over its defeat, or to acknowledge things such as the impressment of Korean ladies into sexual slavery for the troops.
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,649
San Antonio, Tx
I should be noted that the Red army destroyed more Japanese forces (meaning killed more Japanese soldiers) during Manchurian Operation than the USA had done for the whole war. The most Japanese soldiers were killed by Chinese by the way. Japanese historian Tsuyoshi Hasegawa - Wikipedia claims that the Pacific war ended not due to nuclear bombings, but because to the entry of the Soviets. Also the fate of the last Russian monarch and his family at the hands of reds and prospects for a punitive red occupation influenced the surrender. Neither Soviets defeated Germans alone nor USA did the same with Japanese. The Allies defeated Japan and Germany.
You’re right: the Americans did not defeat the Japanese alone. They worked closely with the Chinese, British, Australians, and New Zealanders...the Soviets were Johnny-come-latelies to the show. The Japanese in Manchuria were a shadow of their former selves, the majority of their best troops there were sent to the Pacific to stem the Allied juggernaut there.
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,649
San Antonio, Tx
The idea that Soviets could have invaded Japan in August is total nonsense. If the Soviet planners thought that they could,,then they were very deluded.

Realty check:

1. Where were the air bases the Soviets needed to need their ships against attack, not just the initial landing, but in the months of supplying the invasion force? Their invasion force and their supply ships

2. The Soviets had virtual no combat ships to counter the Japanese navy, which was still far more powerful and far more experienced than the few Soviet ships. The Soviet invasion fleet and their supply ships would have blown out of the water.

The Soviets also lacked destroyers and other ships to protect against submarine attacks, The Soviet ships would have been easy meat for Japanese attacks.

3. The Soviets had no experience in amphibious assaults. Crossing a rivier is not the same as crossing open. What port did they plan to use to resupply their forces once they did land? The Soviets would have needed one for any invasion.

4. It took the Soviets weeks to conquer the tiny Kuril islands, and this was after the Japanese had announced their surrender. Invading the main islands of Japan? Dream on.

5. The atomic bombs made the difference, because the Japanese in the emperor specifically said so in his surrender speach. He mad no mention of the Soviets as a factor in his speach. It was the Americans who had been reducing the Japanese cities to rubble, it was the Americans who had been doing all the fighting against the Japanese, it was the Americans who had strangled Japan's industrial output with their blockade of submarines and aircraft. The Manchuria the Soviets invaded was worthless to Japan, since any potential resources it possesed couldn't get to Japan due to the American forces, the ships got sunk.

To invade an island in tne middle of the ocean, you need a few things.

a. A large navy to protect your invasion force. Did the Soviets have a large navy? No.

b. Aircraft, either from land or aircraft carriers, to protect you ships. Did the Soviets in tne Far East have these aircrafts, with air bases for the aircraft and the range? No. Nor did they have aircraft carriers.

c. Supply ships to support the invasion force once tney landed? No, the Soviets did not have these supply ships in large numbers. When fignting the Nazis, the Soviets had to rely on their Allies ships to supply them with critical supplies via tne Mirmask run.

If you dispute any of this, show me the actual pictures of the landing crafts, the facts and figures from credible sources for the ships and aircraft available for their invasion, the camps that the troops mustered for the invasion, and where were these camps located? If they were going to invade in August, then before the first bomb dropped tne troops and ships and planes would had to be gathered and mustered. You don't assemble the troops and equipment the day before the invasion, and tnat is exactly what you are saying. Invading tiny islands against an enemy that already announced they were surrendering is one thing, against islands of 80 million is another thing altogether.

You have been reading too many Soviet proganda history books, or historians of the calibre of Gavin Menzies.

Any intelligent Japanese military planner would have known the Soviets were no risk in invading Japan. The Japanese mignt now be claiming they were worried, but that is the kind of rewriting history the Japanese are known for.
Excellent. Well said.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,995
Sydney
Soviet forces landing on Hokkaido were planned , scheduled and ready ,
there had been a successful landing on the Kuriles and Sakhalin .


South Sakhalin Offensive Operation | Operations & Codenames of WWII

" The Soviet invasion came under the strategic direction of General Maksim A. Purkayev’s Far Eastern Front,
The Soviet offensive included the invasion of the Japanese southern half of Sakhalin island:
while the primary purpose of the invasion was to clear Japanese resistance, it was also to pave the way, within 10 to 14 days,
for a combined invasion of Hokkaido, the northernmost of the Japanese home islands. "
 
Jun 2011
312
The Old Dominion
You might wish to remember that it was unnecessary for the Soviets to invade Sakhalin, they already held the northern half of the island and had since 1905 when the southern portion below the 50th parallel was ceded to the Japanese. Conveniently, for supply and troop purposes, near the north end of the island across a narrow straight were minor ports at Lazarev on the mainland and Mys Pogibi on Sakhalin, about four miles apart. One might also note that the Soviet's overland advance into the Japanese held southern half did not go as easy as they planned and was not without difficulty even after the Soviets executed a flanking landing behind the main lines of Japanese resistance, this after the announced surrender from Tokyo; fighting continue for another week or so before all the dust settled.

This "invasion" of Hokkaido, the Soviets, with remarkable foresight, were planning on launching from a port that they had not completely secured. Their plan was to move a rifle battalion (battalion!!!) at a time across the La Perouse Strait. Stationed on north end of Hokkaido, at least from the information provided to SCAP by the Japanese, was an infantry division (see below) . . . hmmm, battalions, essentially coming ashore in motorboats and longboats, piecemeal, against a division. That might have been interesting.

One might note that one of the things worked out at Yalta, besides ceding the entire island of Sakhalin to the Soviets and making the 38th parallel as the dividing line of occupation areas on the Korean Peninsula, was that the demarcation line between the Soviets and the US with regard to the Japanese home islands was, surprise, that same strait. So, when Stalin informed Truman of the plan, he was gently, perhaps not so gently, reminded of that dividing line. It was Stalin, himself, who called off the operation. One might also note that the proposed Soviet operation was to occur after the Japanese announced their acceptance of the Potsdam terms. I guess just to keep busy the Soviets spent the next three or four weeks invading islands in the Kurile Islands, shooting it out with the mini-garrisons stationed there, threatening any USAAF over flights and eventually expelling the Japanese inhabitants . . . perhaps a foretaste of what might have been in store for Hokkaido.

Besides, there was already a USN presence lurking about on the island since 15 July 1945.

1549143289223.png
Map from "Documents submitted to the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces by the Japanese Mission to Negotiate Surrender, Manila, 19 August 1945, Part 2"
 
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royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,649
San Antonio, Tx
We fudged the meaning of "unconditional surrender" to induce the capitulation of the Italian government in 1943. We could have tried it with Japan as well.

Most of the pro-negotiation coalition in Tokyo didn't want much more than a guarantee that the Emperor wouldn't be dethroned or degraded. If we'd offered them that, then there's a good chance they probably would have jumped at it.

It's a tragic irony that Truman - egged on by Acheson et al - was so adamant on precisely that point. If he'd been more flexible, the war might well have been shortened by months.
It’s possibly more relevant that the two atomic weapons did indeed shorten the war by months because they were atomic bombs. Before that, the Japanese seemed to keep their own counsel.
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,649
San Antonio, Tx
It's incontrovertible fact, Japan in 1945 was ready to surrender if only Allies were prepared to give some kind of guarantee, they wouldn't exterminate institution of their Emperor. Grotesque fantasies of millions dying in huge invasions which ignorant superpatriots bring up aren't relevant to discussions of this fact.

Allies chose to insist on immoral "unconditional surrender" idea and so alone are responsible for continuing war. Nuclear bombing of Hiroshima/Nagasaki was totally unnecessary murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

In another thread I quoted from truthful words of Admiral Zacharias (head of military intelligence of USA) when he described how Japanese sued for peace and were ignored by New Dealers and jingos in Truman Administration. His article had correct title: "How We [USA] Bungled The Japanese Surrender":

One of the first such [peace] moves, proving we were on the right track, came when the Emperor of Japan asked the Holy See to intervene with us on his behalf and seek out our terms in preparation for formal peace negotiations with Pope Pius XII himself acting as intermediary.

Involved in this move, besides the Pope, were Pietro Cardinal Fumasoni-Biondi, head of the Congregazione de Propaganda Fide, the Vatican's own "intelligence service"; His Excellency, Petro Tatsuo Doi, Archbishop of Tokyo; two of the Cardinal's representatives in Tokyo and members of a special mission of the Office of Strategic Services working in Italy on contacts developed through the Vatican.

If we still needed evidence that Tokyo was actually suing for peace, the appeal to the Vatican provided it for us. Unfortunately, nobody outside the Navy Department and the O.S.S. seemed to take the opportunity seriously. In fact the State Department discouraged it altogether and told the O.S.S. to discontinue its efforts, since American public opinion "might never approve of a peace negotiated with the help of the Roman Catholic Church."

To strengthen our knowledge of Japanese sentiments for peace still further, Tokyo---at about this time---also called on the Russians to negotiate peace on its behalf. Here, however, the obstacle was that the Soviet never acted on the request, in fact it never advised us of the Japanese move. We had to learn about it in a roundabout way.


How We Bungled the Japanese Surrender

In fact Zacharias was not quite truthful when wrote this last sentence in 1950. As most Second World War buffs probably now know, USA had broken Japanese codes. In July 1945 they read clearly instructions from Japanese Foreign Ministry to their Ambassador in Moscow Mr. Sato on asking USSR to broke peace. So from several sources USA had crystal clear info Japan wanted peace.


Zacharias was sane and competent man with unquestioned integrity. And hardly can be said was unpatriotic or left wing peacenik. So his words are very potent anti toxin against lies and falsehoods peddled by our chest thumper USA superpatriots.:)
I find it extremely ironic that Japan supposedly made approaches to a) the Vatican, b) the Swiss, c) other European diplomatic missions, but none to the Americans,British, Australians, New Zealanders, Dutch or Chinese. Remind me again: Who were the Japanese fighting?