September 2, 2016
Women grabbed their children as the B-29's flew overhead. Bombs were seen falling from the aircrafts as people ran for cover. Huddling in their shelters, the fear of death surrounded them. As the sound of the engines disappeared into the distance, people emerged from their hiding places to find buildings still standing. There were no dead bodies lying around or any signs of destruction. Instead, the ground was covered in leaflets.
America was up against a fighting force that found honor in suicide missions. A culture that believed in personal sacrifice to bring about the collective mission. A military that routinely beheaded and/or burned captured enemy soldiers. World War II Japan was a secular ISIS and they were determined to fight until the last man standing. (see )
With the European conflict over, all focus was now on the Pacific campaign. The Allies were planning an all-out November attack on Japan that estimated upwards of 10 times the casualties as the Normandy Invasion. (see ) Those plans changed on July 16th with the first successful detonation of the atomic bomb.
President Harry S. Truman had a decision to make. He could continue to battle a country that had pilots willing to fly their planes directly into their targets or he could end the fight. (see ) That ending could potentially kill thousands of civilians, but so could a prolonged war.
With this new, devastating technology, Truman knew he had a weapon that could end the war now without the sacrifice of 100,000 Allied soldiers. As one leaflet explained, "A single one of our newly developed atomic bombs is actually the equivalent in explosive power to what 2000 of our giant B-29s could have carried on a single mission."
The Allies had presented the Potsdam Declaration, an unconditional surrender agreement, to the Japanese government in early July. The Allies warned “the inevitable and complete destruction of the Japanese armed forces and just as inevitable the utter devastation of the Japanese homeland” if Japan did not comply. By the end of the month, Japanese Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki had flatly rejected the terms of surrender. As with ISIS, the ends justified their means with civilian deaths a willing sacrifice.
The American military decided if they could not appeal to Japan's leaders, they would appeal to the common sense of its people. Flyers were produced warning Japanese citizens of the coming attacks and encouraging them to demand Japan end the war. The LeMay Leaflet read as follows:
NOTICE TO THE JAPANESE PEOPLE!
“Notice to the Japanese People! Evacuate the city immediately. What this leaflet contains is extremely important, so please read carefully. The Japanese people are facing an extremely important autumn. Your military leaders were presented with thirteen articles for surrender by our three-country alliance to put an end to this unprofitable war. This proposal was ignored by your army leaders. Because of this the Soviet Republic intervened. In addition, the United States has developed an atom bomb, which had not been done by any nation before. It has been determined to employ this frightening bomb. One atom bomb has the destructive power of 2000 B-29s. This frightening fact should be understood by you by observing what kind of situation was caused when only one was dropped on Hiroshima.”
“Read this carefully as it may save your life or the life of a relative or friend. In the next few days, some or all of the cities named on the reverse side will be destroyed by American bombs. These cities contain military installations and workshops or factories which produce military goods. We are determined to destroy all of the tools of the military clique which they are using to prolong this useless war. But, unfortunately, bombs have no eyes. So, in accordance with America's humanitarian policies, the American Air Force, which does not wish to injure innocent people, now gives you warning to evacuate the cities named and save your lives. America is not fighting the Japanese people but is fighting the military clique which has enslaved the Japanese people. The peace which America will bring will free the people from the oppression of the military clique and mean the emergence of a new and better Japan. You can restore peace by demanding new and good leaders who will end the war. We cannot promise that only these cities will be among those attacked but some or all of them will be, so heed this warning and evacuate these cities immediately.”
Still unwilling to give up so easily, Major Kenji Hatanaka led a military coup early August 15th. While some rebels took control of the imperial palace, others torched Prime Minister Suzuki’s home. The coup was extinguished within hours. Submitting to America’s terms of occupation, the Emperor took to the radio at noon and announced the country’s defeat. America immediately accepted Japan’s surrender. Hirohito called the atomic bomb “new and most cruel”, citing its use as the reason for Japan’s loss.
The official surrender ceremony took place on September 2nd in Tokyo Bay. The delay gave the Allies time to appoint representatives to be present. Just after 9 a.m. Tokyo time, the surrender agreement was signed on the deck of the Missouri, finally ending World War II.
Today, the United States denotes September 2nd at V-J Day (Victory over Japan).
Japan still refused to surrender to the Allied forces. They threatened arrest for those who did not immediately turn over the leaflets to the government. After showering millions of flyers on multiple cites, America made good on its threat. The Enola Gay dropped “Little Boy” on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. The bomb killed an estimated 70,000 people while devastating a 5-square-mile section of the city. After the attack, a group of Japanese leaders were ready to accept the Potsdam Declaration. Unfortunately, the majority refused to submit to an unconditional surrender.
The USSR joined the Allies and declared war on Japan two days later. More leaflets were designed and dropped on Japan, including:
America was not excited about dropping such destructive bombs on Japan, but they were fighting tenets and tactics parallel to that of ISIS. The Japanese, who had already suffered major setbacks, were determined to continue on with their war until all were decimated. This ideology cannot be compromised or negotiated with. It must be defeated. Those critical of America's actions must acknowledge Japan was determined to carry on even after the first bomb. Repeated warnings of a second bomb meant nothing to Japan's resolve.
Liberty, historical events like these are unsettling to those of us who appreciate and respect life and liberty. As much as progressives want to continually make America the bad guy, she still showed compassion for the Japanese people. The United States gave multiple opportunities for Japan to repent and stop the war on its own. In the end, evil had to be defeated.
I’ve written several letters on the evils and destruction of the WWII European conflict and now the Pacific. (see , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and ) As tragic and distressing as that period was, it is nothing compared to the devastating event still heading towards the world: Christ’s judgment at his 2nd coming.
Because of the sin brought to the world by the very first couple, it is doomed. God has dropped multiple written warnings on us of His pending Judgment Day throughout the Bible. As with Japan, He has also given us endless opportunities to surrender and submit, which we have denied and ignored. But take heart. That is not the end of the story. God has also prepared for us His quintessential escape plan. As with any war, blood has to be shed. This war’s blood was spilled 2,000 years ago by Jesus Christ. He took the punishment for all our transgressions and brought an end to the war Satan waged against us in the Garden of Eden. (see )
This does not guarantee we will not experience pain, suffering or hard times. It does ensure that when our time here on earth is over, believers will live in the world God always meant for us. There will be no sin. There will be no pain. There will be no war.
Let not your heart be troubled, Liberty. We must study history to learn from it and strive to do better. We must always pray in all situations to do what is God pleasing whether on a personal, group, or even national level. But remember, a perfect world here on earth is not our goal as it can never be achieved. Our true war is over, and guess what. Christ won. Victory is already ours.
That’s my 2 cents.
Overall, an estimated 70 million leaflets were deposited over Japanese cities warning citizens of the bombs and begging them to end the war to prevent any further attacks.
The Soviets and America attacked Japan on two fronts on August 9th. The Soviets overwhelmed Japanese forces in an attack on Manchuria while America dropped “Fat Man” on Nagasaki. These strikes finally convinced Emperor Hirohito that Japan had been defeated. He sent word to his government to work out a surrender agreement. By the end of the day, they consented to accept the terms of the Potsdam Declaration dependent on the future of the Emperor’s position.