(Original post by Harveys)
Of the 23,000 Japanese soldiers defending Iwo Jima, only 216 were taken alive.
OR this on March 10th Tokyo was fire bombed It is thought that 100,000 people were killed in the raid and another 100,000 injured. They still didn't surrender!!!!!!!!!
By the way 16sq miles of the city was destroyed in that raid only.
On March 12th, a similar raid took place on Nagoya. The raid was less successful as the fires did not join up and just over 1 square mile of the city was destroyed. On March 13th, Osaka was attacked. Eight square miles of the city were destroyed. Nearly 2.5 square miles of Kobe was also destroyed by incendiary raids. In the space of ten days, the Americans had dropped nearly 9,500 tons of incendiaries on Japanese cities and destroyed 29 square miles of what was considered to be important industrial land.
The Americans believed that the massive damage done to Tokyo by the fire raids would have persuaded Japan’s leaders to surrender but they did not. Instead, the B-29 bomber would be needed for another raid – an atomic one. On August 6th, the Enola Gay took off for Hiroshima. On August 9th, Bockscar took off for Nagasaki. Japan surrendered shortly after.
One is the culture of the Japanese at the time. For centuries the Japanese had a warrior class called the samurai. The samurai followed Bushido, or the way of the warrior, which was an honor code that preaches that honor, duty, and loyalty to the emperor and local warlord are the absolute virtues that can be achieved. As a result, a loss of honor would mean that the dishonored samurai would be expected to commit Seppuku, or ritualistic suicide, which involves a samurai taking his sword, stabbing himself with it, and cutting out his own liver. The wound was very painful and could take quite a while to die from, anywhere from a few minutes to a week. The most common way in which a samurai could be dishonored would be by being defeated in battle. However, fighting to the last man and arrow (or in this case, round of ammo) and holding ones position till the death was considered a great honor.
Does this sound like a nation that is willing to give up?
By the last years of the war, everyone, men and women, over the age of thirteen was a part of a sort of National Guard, and were under the same rules as the rest of the military, which was in turn fighting under a modified code of Bushido which dictated that they never surrender and leave behind the wounded. Another aspect of Japan's culture was that of a group mentality. About ninety-nine percent of the Japanese people were, at the time of World War Two, direct decedents from the original nomadic Mongolian tribes that crossed over into Japan from the Korean Peninsula. They inhabited a land of which only twenty percent was flat enough to farm. Entire towns had to work together to maintain tiny rice paddies carved into hillsides that were irrigated by a community network. Disagreement among the common people against their ruler or with each other was unthinkable and impractical.
On the whole, as long as the military oligarchy wanted the war to continue, the majority of the people would be willing to follow through. The Nuclear Bombs being dropped finally got the military oligarchy to be willing to give up the fighting, and that is what brought them to the peace table, under the condition that the emperor remain in power.
Even after the bombs were dropped, the Emperor's speech never mentioned surrender; just that it was in the best interest of Japan to cease fighting. Had America invaded, the Japanese would have kept on fighting unless given the order to stop. Not only would many American lives have been lost cleaning out all of the fighting forces, everyone in Japan over thirteen was a part of that fighting force. The Japanese people would have been decimated to a point of no return.