This Thursday brings the upcoming anniversary of Victory in Japan. August 15, 1945 was the day that the Japanese Empire announced their intention to surrender to the Allied Powers, agreeing to surrender unconditionally after the devastation wrought by the atom bombs that had been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki just days earlier on August 6th and 9th, respectively.
Victory in Japan was jubilantly celebrated by millions of people around the world, but it was especially good news for American G.I.’s in the Pacific who thought they were just days away from being sent in on a ground invasion of the Japanese mainland. That potential battle, codenamed Operation Downfall, was expected to cost countless lives, but the invasion never came. Japan surrendered after the atom bombs dropped.
Consider the following estimates of the terrible cost of human life if the war had not ended abruptly as history showed.
A Study by the Joint Chiefs of Staff estimated a 90 day campaign costing 456,000 casualties. If the battle took another 90 days estimates rose to 1.2 million casualties and 267,000 Americans dead.
Admiral Nimitz and General MacArthur both had their staff teams predict 30-day estimates. Adm. Nimitz’s staff estimated 50,000 US casualties in one month while MacArthur’s staff estimated 23,000.
One independent study commissioned by the War Department estimated anywhere from 1.7 to 4 million casualties and up to 800,000 dead. The same study also predicted up to 10 million Japanese casualties, both military and civilian.
The expectations of losses were so great that over 500,000 purple hearts were already manufactured and prepared for invasion at the time the war ended. The surplus was so great that even to this day there are still 120,000 of those original Purple Heart medals still stockpiled.
Today, we remember the achievements and sacrifices of the American Military. The 1.7 million dead and wounded Americans who fell in WW2 in battles across the Pacific, in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Today’s Armed Forces carry on their legacy in Afghanistan in our 10+ year campaign to defeat radical Islam and protect the homeland.
This week thank someone serving in Afghanistan by sending a care package. Each package will include special Custom Roasted “Freedom Blend” Coffee, Open Ranch Premium Beef Jerky, Gatorade, Ronald Reagan Candy Diplomacy Jelly Belly Beans, Oreo Cookies, Hoo-Ahh Field Towels and many other great items. The most important being a personal note from the sponsor.