Japan: Rising Sun Notes

for The U.S. War Against Asia
by William P. Meyers

Site Search

Also sponsored by Peace Pins

Popular pages:

U.S. War Against Asia
Barack Obama
Democratic Party
Republican Party
Natural Liberation


Page 16 of 20

Notes from The Rising Sun, The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire 1936-1945 by John Toland

Book Club Edition, Random House, New York, copyright 1970

Jose Laurel, President of the Philippines, who had secretly been charged by Quezon to pretend cooperation with the Japanese, now found Pan-Asianism irresistible,” asking how a billion East Asians could have been dominated by England and America. [574]

The Chinese government head of state, Wang Ching-wei (now Wang Jingwei), said: “In the war of Greater East Asia we want victory, in the construction of Greater East Asia we want common prosperity. All the nations of East Asia should love their own countries, love their neighbors and love East Asia. Our motto for China is resurgence of China and defense of East Asia.” [note the Wang’s Nanking-based government controlled more Chinese citizens than either Chang’s or Mao’s, and thus should be considered the de facto Chinese government in this era – WPM] [574]

The U.S. engaged in unrestricted submarine warfare against Japan as soon as the war started; the Japanese had not prepared for that. “Within six months American submarines had torpedoed so many solo merchantmen that the First Convoy Escort Fleet was established.” But only eight destroyers were assigned to escort service “out of sympathy for destroyer commanders, who detested the monotonous task of herding transports. In the first year of war 139 cargo vessels had sunk. There was a shortage of cargo ships. Even though there was a lack of materials for production in Japan, and a lack of food and ammunition at the front, more escorts were not provided until March 1943, and even then the total number of destroyers was only 16. Meanwhile, the U.S. improved its submarines. In November 1943 four non-battle worthy aircraft carriers were added to escort duty.  In March 1944 the convoy system seemed to be working, but after a few months the U.S. responded effectively with “wolf pack” raids. [600-601]

On February 23, 1944, Admiral Nimitz attacked the Japanese at Saipan, destroying many Japanese planes on the ground. With Saipan unsafe, on March 3 the Amerika-maru sailed from Saipan with 1700 civilian passengers, mostly women, children, and elders. It was sunk by torpedoes from American submarines on March 6, with all lives lost. [WPM: ironically, Amerika Maru means Japanese-American] [610]

After Saipan was lost, on July 18, 1944, Tojo announced he planned to resign and ordered the entire cabinet to resign with him. The defense of the Japanese homeland was high on the agenda. A leftist revolution was also feared. Army general Kuniaki Koiso was selected as the new Prime Minister, balanced by Yonai as Naval Minister. [658-661]

President Roosevelt wanted the Chinese army of Chiang Kai-shek to attack the Japanese in Burma, which Chiang was reluctant to do. On April 3, 1944 Roosevelt threatened to cut off U.S. military aid if Chiang did not follow orders. Two weeks later the attack was launched, but Chennault objected, fearing the Japanese would attack his air bases in China, but Stilwell overruled him. The Japanese did attack in China starting April 17, and Chiang’s troops fought poorly, even with U.S. air support. The Chinese invasion of Burma started in mid-May [766-769]

After criticizing Chiang to Roosevelt, Stilwell was told the U.S. did not plan to defeat the Japanese in China, but to mop them up after defeating mainland Japan. “Henceforth China would be, primarily, an air base from which to bomb the Japanese mainland with B-29’s.” [770-771]

On June 5, 1944 98 B-29’s were sent from India to bomb Bangkok, Thailand, as a test prior to attacking Japan. [771]

The first major air raid on Japan involved 92 B-29 Superfortresses on June 15, 1944, attacked the Imperial Iron and Steel Works at Yawata, Kyushu.

“Although the bombing raids had wrought drastic changes in the lives of the people in the Japanese homeland, their primary purpose – to obliterate all production facilities – had not been achieved.”

Continued page 17

III Blog list of articles