Effects Of Japanese Defeat In The Pacific

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Japanese defeat in the Pacific was a result of a far superior American military and industrial apparatus coupled with the disillusioned home front and ineffectual strategy and planning on Japan’s part. Japanese strategy was a complete blunder, poorly executed and insufficient for a lengthy war with the United States. Moreover, many leaders of the Japanese Empire were either disillusioned or ‘self-willed militaristic advisers’ (Potsdam) who ultimately brought Japan to utter destruction exacerbated by the use of the atomic bomb in 1945 which all but forced Japanese surrender and subsequent Allied victory. However, while these factors were significant to Japan’s defeat, it was America’s strategy in practice, exploiting an immense ‘war potential’ …show more content…
The use of the air force in strategic bombing runs was key in dealing ‘heavy blows at the foe’s wartime economy’ (Kennedy). The movement away from precision bombing which was ‘proving relatively ineffective for the defeat of Japan’ (Spector) towards low-altitude attacks using incendiaries in March 1945 meant that American bombing offensives became increasingly effective such that by the end of the war ‘43.46% of 63 major Japanese cities had been laid waste [and] 42% of Japan’s industrial capacity had been destroyed’ (Willmott). To add to this, Japanese cities were particularly susceptible to firestorms as they were made from wood and paper. This was explicitly the case during the Tokyo raid of March 9, 1945, where ‘more than 83,000 people died in the flaming holocaust [and] another 41,000 were injured’ (Spector). Additionally, Willmott suggests that the realisation of Japan’s inability to resist American intention was a major factor in the progressive demoralisation of Japanese society in the course of 1945 evident through ‘absenteeism rates [of] 80% in major industrial enterprise’. As a result of effective bombing strategy, the Americans were able to ‘cripple Japanese industry and shorten the war’ …show more content…
Submarines were used expertly in forcing a blockade on the Japanese homeland. Wiest and Mattson summarise that American submarines would stalk Japanese merchants in the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan. This, coupled with dropped mines throughout the Inland Sea ‘inflicting hundreds of tonnes of shipping losses’, had the effect of depriving Japan of food and raw materials including petroleum products which threatened to incapacitate the drastically reduced Japanese Navy as ‘Japan’s access to mainland Asia was practically non-existent’ (Wiest and Mattson). While America aggressively preyed on warships and transport vessels in ‘wolf-pack patrols’, Wiest and Mattson argues that ‘the failure of the Japanese to develop an effective convoy system enabled these underwater predators to strike with impunity’ suggesting Japan’s defeat was partly due to the inability of the Japanese to effectively counter against American submarines allowing ‘American warships to tighten their gauntlet around Japan’ (Wiest and Mattson). This is furthered by Tojo, who according to Wiest and Mattson, ‘cited American submarine strategy as a crucial factor in the defeat of Japan’. America’s strength in naval warfare was a largely critical aspect in victory as it assisted destroying ‘Japan’s war making power’

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