Victory in the Pacific
This is another book in the series about Naval operations during WWII in the Pacific, and covers the year 1945. As with all the other books in this series, it's very well done and filled with information. A few of the points I found most interesting were these:
There was a discussion about which place to attack next: Luzon or Formosa. Formosa lost because it was determined it would take too many troops to subdue.
As of January of 1945, Japanese planners realized that the final stage of the war would be fought on their own islands.
Additional shelling of Iwo Jima before the landing of troops probably would not have helped, since the Japanese defenses were so well made and hard to damage.
Okinawa originally paid tribute to China. Ulysses S. Grant, as President, was scheduled to visit, and the Japanese worried that they might appeal to the U.S. for protection, so Japan took over the island quickly.
The number of suicide boats was at least in the hundreds. Fortunately, our troops tended to find them before they could be used, but not always.
“Twilight was the kamikazes' favorite hour for self-immolation.”
The book goes into a long description of the sinking of the Yamato, and says that the Yamato's anti-aircraft weapons were not very good because the users had not had any practice shooting at actual planes.
In the attack on Yamato and the other ships that were with her, Yamato lost almost 2500 men of her compliment of 2767. Yahagi lost 446 men, Asashimo lost 330 men, and seven destroyers lost 391 men. U.S. losses were 10 planes and 12 men.
About 1900 suicide sorties were flown against the U.S. in the battle for Okinawa. They destroyed around 30 navy ships, and damaged 368 others. We also lost around 763 aircraft.
The author says that, if FDR had lived, he might have made it more understandable to Japan that the U.S. did not desire to kill the Emperor. That might have helped cause Japan to surrender earlier than it did, but FDR died and Truman did not feel himself qualified to make such a decision without military advice.
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