Historical Investigation

For what reasons did the Japanese military influence the United States of America to resort to the use of the atomic bomb?

Brandon Cornellius Clark

Word count: 1907

Historical Investigation

A. Plan of Investigation


        For what reasons did the United States resort to the use of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki instead of an invasion of Japan?

Method of Investigation

The original battle strategy of ending the war in the Pacific during World War II was a joint operation invasion of Japan, lead by the United States.  In previous engagements, the United States Marine Corps fought for each Japanese occupied island to gain control in the Pacific. In each battle, the Marines would fight against devoted Japanese soldiers who were willing to defend their positions until death, creating an immense challenge for the Marines. With the capture of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, the United States military forces would have the first stepping stones for the invasion of mainland Japan. But the United States would soon they miscalculated one thing: the determinism of the Japanese defenders. At the battle of Iwo Jima, almost all the Japanese defenders were killed in the battle, only leaving 100 of Japanese defenders alive. The battle for Okinawa eventually cost 49,000 American lives, and 110,000 Japanese casualties. To slow the advance of the Americans, the Japanese high command planned to emphasize kamikaze, suicide-piloted aircraft attacks on Allied ships. These accounts of the battle will show the evidence of the Japanese ferocity that will eventually influence the decision of the use of nuclear weapons on Japan.

B. Summary of Evidence

Inoguchi, R., & Nakajima, T. (1958). The Divine wind: Japan’s

Kamikaze Force in World War II. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval

Institute Press.        

Captain Rikihei Inoguchi and Commander Tadashi Nakajima were former officers of the Japanese Navy. These two eyewitnesses to actions surrounding the kamikaze operations provide many insights into the motivations and thoughts of both the leaders and pilots of the kamikaze units. They both served under Vice Admiral Ohnishi, who initiated Japan's first kamikaze attacks against American naval ship in the Philippines and the Pacific.

Sears, D. (2008). At War with the Winds. New York, New York:

Kensington Publishing Corporation

Former naval officer David Sears writes affectingly of the terror the “divine wind” campaign wrought on American sailors. Sears demonstrates the damage that the Imperial Navy suicide bombers wrought. That campaign, he observes, was a mark of having no other options, the American fleet having destroyed most of Japan’s and forcing “a stunning new ‘backs-against-the-wall’ paradigm for modern warfare.” Sears focuses on U.S. forces, though with considerable attention to the Japanese perspective of the matter. Sears does a particularly good job of bringing in the various voices of the fast-dwindling corps of American survivors of hellish engagements at Leyte and Okinawa, among other places. The horror of kamikaze steeled them—those who survived, that is, for the attacks took a terrible toll on American sailors, Marines and soldiers, which left “even the healthiest…veterans perplexed and embittered at a nation, culture, and people capable of devising such attacks.”

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Miller, E. (2007). War Plan Orange: The U.S. Strategy to Defeat

Japan, 1897-1945. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press

In this book, the author, Edward Miller, had wrote this book that presented the US planning for response to any Japanese aggression against the United States during the period between World War I and World War II. The operation name Edward Miller wrote about was called War Plan Orange. Ultimately, the conclusion was that War Plan Orange was successful more due to the limited options available to the planners than to any inherent brilliance in planning. The adjustments during the ...

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