Decisive Darkness: What if Japan hadn't surrendered in 1945?

Status
Not open for further replies.
Prelude: It's Always Darkest Before It Goes Completely Black

Japan was finished as a warmaking nation, in spite of its four million men still under arms. But...Japan was not going to quit. Despite the fact that she was militarily finished, Japan's leaders were going to fight right on. To not lose "face" was more important than hundreds and hundreds of thousands of lives. And the people concurred, in silence, without protest. To continue was no longer a question of Japanese military thinking, it was an aspect of Japanese culture and psychology.

~ James Jones

We can no longer direct the war with any hope of success. The only course left is for Japan's one hundred million people to sacrifice their lives by charging the enemy to make them lose the will to fight

~ Imperial War Journal, July 1945

By the late Summer of 1945, the once mighty Japanese empire was facing oblivion. An unbroken string of defeats for two years had left Japan surrounded by more numerous and more advanced allies. The United States of America and the British Commonwealth blockaded Japan with impunity, depriving Japan of the strategic materials that they had went to war to secure, and the food that its population of over 70 million relied upon. As the Imperial Japanese Navy ceased to be an effective fighting force, American and British ships had little else to do but unload their guns onto the cities and towns of the Japanese coast.

Swarms of American bombers torched Japanese cities with little resistance due to the scarcity of fuel and ammunition, killing and wounding hundreds of thousands of civilians, and rendering millions of others homeless and wrecking the Japanese economy. Only one hope remained for the Supreme Council for the Direction of the War, the small cabal of men now in charge of directing Japanese policy, that they could hold on until American casualties took their toll on American and British public opinion, forcing the leaders of the Allied nations to accept a negotiated peace contrary to their 1942 demand for unconditional surrender. The Allies had captured Okinawa in the first half of 1945 where they now prepared for an invasion of the Japanese Home Islands, it was hoped that a final decisive victory could be won on Japanese soil to offset the last two years of humiliation, the dawn that would follow their darkest hour.

It would only get darker. On August 6th the Americans destroyed the city of Hiroshima with an Atomic Bomb, a bomb the Japanese themselves had attempted to create but had concluded it to be too difficult. Two days later the Soviet Union, who the Japanese had hoped might mediate a peace with the west or even join them in their fight, broke their neutrality pact with the Japanese and declared war, launching invasions of Manchuria, Sakhalin, and the Kuril Islands.
As the terrible shock of both these events took hold, it became clear to a majority of the Supreme Council, in conjunction with the Emperor’s wishes, that the situation was now so hopeless that unconditional surrender had become the only acceptable way to proceed. In the early hours of August 14th the Foreign ministry transmitted orders to its embassies in Switzerland and Sweden to accept the Allied terms of surrender.

Later that day, the embassies would receive a contradictory message.

Despite a brief few hours of hope, the Second World War was not over.

Japan had begun her final fight.
 
Japan surrenders anyways at the end if August as the Soviets invade the Hone Islands and mass starvation breaks out in the cities due to the Allied blockade. Downfall was, in reality, never going to occur.
 

Tsao

Banned
To continue was no longer a question of Japanese military thinking, it was an aspect of Japanese culture and psychology.
Well, this will certainly be interesting. Also overwhelmingly horrifying, but I suppose that's part of the fun, isn't it?

Not something I'm really solid on, so I won't comment further for now, but I'm suscribing to see how this goes.
 
A very interesting premise best case scenario for Japan would be unconditional surrendered. Worst case results would be the de-population of the Japanses Isle by a large amount.

An American Japan populated by a large minority of non Japanse is interesting but the way it gets to that point would be horrific.
 
Japan surrenders anyways at the end if August as the Soviets invade the Hone Islands and mass starvation breaks out in the cities due to the Allied blockade. Downfall was, in reality, never going to occur.
This assumes the Western Allies let them. It was stated in another thread that the Japanese Home Islands were thoroughly mined by the Americans and I would certainly think that, at least in the beginning, the Western Allies would not let the Soviets divide another country.

Regardless, very interested in this.
 
This assumes the Western Allies let them. It was stated in another thread that the Japanese Home Islands were thoroughly mined by the Americans and I would certainly think that, at least in the beginning, the Western Allies would not let the Soviets divide another country.

Regardless, very interested in this.
Hokkaido was not a part of the mining focus of the American missions, though there were some minefields there, mainly in the southeast. The main areas the Americans mined were around Kyushu, Shikoku and Honshu. Once they minded Aomori's ports and the rest of northern Honshu, then mining Hokkaido would have been a waste of time and mines since supplies and men couldn't reach Honshu from Hokkaido anyway without passing through American minefields.
 
This sounds like America would soon start mining the areas closest to the Soviet Union, to slow down any invasion by Stalin.

So you'd see Japan getting fought over by American and the Soviet Union. america is hesitant about taking losses, but the Soviet Union has to deal with masses of minefields.

Japan soon becomes the first battlefield between American and the USSR. We've seen what happens to a nation that becomes a battlefield for other countries, not good.

You also have China wanting to take back Manchuria from te Soviet military, so there could be another war there pretty soon. American factories supplying Chinese soldiers to fight Russian troops. A land war in Asia.

Subscribed.
 
Since i have read Death is lighter than a feather about a possible operation Downfall i am excited to read your version of that operation
 
Wasn't Japan's economy due to collapse in a few months by August 1945? I can't see an early Vietnam if the whole country just falls apart and the Americans move in to pick up the pieces.

I could see Japanese holdouts having to be demolished in China and elsewhere in Asia, though.
 
is this an extension of the conversation on the thread Soviet Invasion of Honshu?:D very interested in how things will turn out. hope you consider the option of Korea not being invaded by the Soviets. IOTL, there was a plan to send the Korean Independence Army (under Korean Provisional Government), which was based in China, to Korea on August 20. paratroopers were to land on the Korean Peninsula from US aircraft. objective was i) gather military information and ii) bring the population into militias. The US was going to request the USSR acknowledge the authority of the KPG (not the Communist puppet gov't) over all of the Korean peninsula if the first objective was successful. If the Soviets decide they can't go into Korea, they would probably have more supplies to send into the plan for attacking Hokkaido and Honshu- as we have considered in the WI thread.
 
Kyūjō

*** OFFICIAL TRUMAN ANNOUNCES JAPANESE SURRENDER ***

~ Times Square News Ticker, August 14th, 1945

Why have so many of us swallowed our tears and died? It is easy to complain about the way things have turned out now, but we all did it out of love for Japan, in the firm belief in our final victory.

~ Korechika Anami



Like many other coup d'état’s in Japanese history, the roots of the Gigun regime can be found in the agitations and patriotic delusions of young officers. Brought up to revere the Emperor and trained in the knowledge that only they could crush his enemies, the concepts of democracy and civilian government were contemptuous at the best of times, when those same institutions announced their plans to accept defeat and surrender for the first time in Japanese history, some sort of incident had become all but a certainty, though with the Emperor’s personal intervention in favour of the surrender, any hope of success seemed a bleak.

It would be the personal intervention of General Korechika Anami, the Japanese War Minister and de facto head of the Armed Forces, that would prove pivotal in transforming what might have been an isolated incident into the final subjugation of the last pretences of Japanese civilian government. Whilst it was no secret to anyone that Anami continued to believe that Japanese independence could be largely preserved in the wake of a decisive battle on Japanese soil, however his reverence to the Emperor seemed to indicate that he would acquiesce to the sovereign’s decision to back unconditional surrender. What made him discard this sworn duty to obey the Emperor is subject of some dispute. A minority argue that Anami himself at this time had been overcome with delusions of grandeur and wished to execute the Royal Family and re-establish the Shogunate, using the legitimacy of a crushing victory against the Americans to do so. Other have ascribed it to one of the coups lead perpetrators, Kenji Hatanaka, a man known for his silver tongue and literary talent, the story goes that he made such a rousing case in favour of ignoring the Emperor’s wishes and strengthening his own belief in the decisive battle by regaling him with poetry of the glorious victories of the Russo-Japanese War. The general consensus however ,is that Anami’s actions can be attributed to a fatal misreading of the Allied ‘Potsdam Declaration’ of July 26th. Whilst post-war sources have shown that the Allies had little enthusiasm for putting Emperor Hirohito on trial, their failure to mention this, and their stated aim of "eliminating for all time the authority and influence of those who have deceived and misled the people of Japan into embarking on world conquest" led Anami to conclude that the Allies planned to entirely restructure Japanese society, much like they were already doing in Germany, and that the Emperor had been misled about this fact by the ‘cowards’ in the Peace faction of the Supreme Council, individuals that he would now move against.

On the Morning of August 15th, with Japan’s intent to surrender already broadcast to the Allies through the Swiss and Swedish embassies, the Japanese people heard a different announcement. Prime Minister Suzuki Kantarō had launched a coup in the early hours of the morning in conjunction with secret negotiations with the Allies for him to replace the Emperor as sovereign and rule an occupied Japan as their puppet, however the vigilance of the Japanese Armed Forces, and the conviction of the Japanese people had stood in his way, the Emperor was now safe, and Suzuki was under arrest awaiting trial with his fellow co-conspirators, the new Government under Prime Minister Anami would now oversee the war to its victorious conclusion.

To the Allies the message was brief, reiterating the former Japanese peace terms, including the retention of the Emperor, no occupation of the Home Islands, and that only the Japanese would be responsible for disarmament and war crimes trials. With the Emperor under what was in essence house arrest, and the peace faction in the process of being purged from the highest echelons of Japanese society, the hope of peace which had seemed so assured the previous day now appaeared to be a pipe dream.

In America, the unenviable task of telling the American public that the war was in fact not over fell to a dismayed President Truman who made his best efforts to relay to his own sadness to the American people but also his resolve to see the war through to a conclusive end. On the streets the sorrow quickly turned to anger, Japanese-Americans who had only been allowed to return to their homes a few months beforehand, along with people of East Asian appearance, now found themselves vulnerable to a wave of hate attacks by American servicemen and civilians who were often still drunk from their celebrations of ‘victory’. From outside the White House, the people gathered, many of whom having been there the previous day to cheer the President, now demanding blood. As the new Anami regime appeared silent to any appeal to reason, it appeared they would get their wish.
 
Last edited:
Top
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top