Whisker, James B., Professor Emeritus of Political Science, West Virginia University; John R. Coe, Parkersburg, West Virginia Schools (retired)
When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and other Western positions in the Asia-Pacific World in December 1941, it was unprepared to go to war with the United States and the Western Democracies generally and even realized it could not win. Its navy and air force were impressive, and its army could battle impressively against China, but Japanese small arms were terrible. Japan’s tanks could not compete with their opposite numbers. The Empire’s logistical base was undeveloped for modern warfare. While the Allies could produce large numbers of trained pilots, Japan produced very few. When its elite airmen were lost at the Battle of Midway in June 1942, Japan could not replace them. At sea, Japan built battleships when it needed more aircraft carriers. The Japanese military never even attempted to win World War II by a simple and direct plan. Its planners consistently assumed that the enemy would do precisely what they assumed and countenanced no alternative analyses of facts.
Political Science, Asia, Pacific, Japan, American Studies, Japanese Empire, 20th Century Studies, World War II, War Studies, Pacific War, Military Science
July 15, 2020
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Japan's tanks could not compete with their opposite numbers. The Empire's logistical base was undeveloped for modern warfare. While the Allies could produce large numbers of trained pilots, Japan produced very few. When its elite airmen were lost at the Battle of Midway in June 1942, Japan could not replace them.Why was Japan so hard to defeat in WW2? ›
The Japanese bushido code of honor, coupled with effective propaganda which portrayed American soldiers as ruthless animals, prevented surrender for many Japanese soldiers.How did Japan lose to the US in WW2? ›
In August 1945, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As a result, approximately 120,000 civilians died. Japan formally surrendered in September 1945.Did the Japanese think they could win? ›
And although the Japanese government never believed it could defeat the United States, it did intend to negotiate an end to the war on favorable terms. It hoped that by attacking the fleet at Pearl Harbor it could delay American intervention, gaining time to solidify its Asian empire.What was Japan's mistake in World War 2? ›
One of the biggest mistakes the Japanese made was not destroying the smallest American ships in Pearl: our submarines. They survived and put to sea to destroy more Japanese tonnage during the war than the Americans lost at Pearl Harbor. And the biggest mistake of all? Underestimating the American public.Did Japan ever have a chance to win ww2? ›
Some argue that Japan had a chance to win the war, while others believe that their defeat was inevitable. In the summer of 1945, Japan's war leaders knew they were not going to win World War II. Opposing camps of historians generally agree on that, but little else when it comes to debating... VDOM DHTML tml>.Why did Japan really surrender? ›
Japan surrendered because the Soviet Union entered the war. Japanese leaders said the bomb forced them to surrender because it was less embarrassing to say they had been defeated by a miracle weapon. Americans wanted to believe it, and the myth of nuclear weapons was born. Look at the facts.What powers defeated Japan in WW2? ›
Together with the United Kingdom and China, the United States called for the unconditional surrender of the Japanese armed forces in the Potsdam Declaration on 26 July 1945—the alternative being "prompt and utter destruction".Why did the US want Japan to surrender unconditionally? ›
President Harry Truman believed unconditional surrender would keep the Soviet Union involved while reassuring American voters and soldiers that their sacrifices in a total war would be compensated by total victory. Disarming enemy militaries was the start; consolidating democracy abroad was the goal.What did the US do to finally defeat Japan? ›
Then, on August 9, the United States dropped a second atomic bomb over Nagasaki, ultimately killing approximately 70,000. Finally recognizing that victory was impossible, the Japanese government accepted Allied surrender terms without qualifications on August 14, 1945.
Japan had the best army, navy, and air force in the Far East. In addition to trained manpower and modern weapons, Japan had in the mandated islands a string of naval and air bases ideally located for an advance to the south.Did the US help Japan recover from ww2? ›
After the defeat of Japan in World War II, the United States led the Allies in the occupation and rehabilitation of the Japanese state. Between 1945 and 1952, the U.S. occupying forces, led by General Douglas A. MacArthur, enacted widespread military, political, economic, and social reforms.Why did Japan join Germany in ww2? ›
On November 25, 1936, a month after Germany and Italy entered into a treaty of friendship, Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan signed the Anti-Comintern Pact. In this pact, the two countries pledged mutual assistance in combating the threat posed by the Communist International.Why did Japan think they could take on USA? ›
By attacking Pearl Harbor Japan believes that it can severely cripple the U.S fleet and buy them time in the Pacific and Southeast Asia. So not only would they be able to launch their attacks without interference from the U.S they would also have time to dig in defensively and consolidate their gains.Why did the US defeat Japan? ›
It was determined that submarine blockade of the Japanese islands had brought economic defeat by preventing exploitation of Japan's new colonies, sinking merchant tonnage, and convincing Japanese leaders of the hopelessness of the war. Bombing brought the consciousness of defeat to the people.Does Japan regret World War 2? ›
Since the end of the war, Japan has profoundly regretted the unleashing of rampant ultra-nationalism and militarism and the war that brought great devastation to the people of many countries around the world and to our country as well" (Speech to the United Nations).Why was Japan refusing to surrender towards the end of World War 2? ›
The main reason Japan would not surrender was that it did not want to get rid of the Emperor, a seemingly non-negotiable term for the U.S.What was the main reason the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor? ›
By attacking Pearl Harbor Japan believes that it can severely cripple the U.S fleet and buy them time in the Pacific and Southeast Asia. So not only would they be able to launch their attacks without interference from the U.S they would also have time to dig in defensively and consolidate their gains.