In the spring and summer of 1945, the United States and Imperial Japan were rushing pell-mell toward a confrontation of catastrophic proportions. World War II's sudden and unexpected conclusion after atom bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki masked the fact that the United States had already commenced the opening stages of Operation Downfall, a series of land invasions on the Japanese Home Islands that U.S. Army planners and senior leaders calculated would cost anywhere from 250,000 to 1 million American casualties during just the initial fighting.
The Maximum 'Bloodletting and Delay'
Based on years of original research, Hell to Pay: Operation DOWNFALL and the Invasion of Japan, 1945-1947, a new book out this month from the Naval Institute Press, examines the true projected cost of an invasion of the Japanese Home Islands.
By D. M. Giangreco