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Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr Reader wrote : "Further, the decision to accept Soviet participation in the Pacific War released some 1 million Soviet troops to confront Manchuria and China in August of 1945, relieving the US of having to face any such Japanese troops so directed, from being in the Home Islands during 1946, the schedule date for US invasion to end WWW II." Whilst the Japanese were unaware of the (dubious) promise made by Stalin to Roosevelt at Yalta, in the February of '45 to enter the war against Japan within three months of the end of the war against the Germans. They were well aware of the large land and air forces retained in the Soviet Far East during the duration of the conflict against the Germans, equally the movement of men, equipment and munitions by both the trans-Siberian Railway, air and the movement of naval and merchant ships across the Arctic Circle from Murmansk/Archangel to the Bering Sea (supported by the entire available ice-breaker fleet) reinforcing the Far East was well known. The dropping of the nuclear device upon Hiroshima on 6th AUG according to Foreign Minister Molotov/Marshal Vasilevsky activated the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in the early hours of the 9th (both stating that it was the belief of Stalin that it meant the end of Japan "so get in fast to get the spoils of Manchuria"), Molotov at the same time Moscow (1700 local) informed Ambassador Sato Naotake who thought the Soviets were going to act as intermediatories for them with the Allied Nations at war with Japan. Professor Hatano Sumio, University of Tsukubo, gave details that the Kwantung Army in Manchuria, had in its 25 division equivalents some 267,000 men with another 143, 000 in reserve - these mainly the underage Class of '27, and '28 recruits (16-17 year olds some only called up ten days before the Soviet surprise attack) their training cadre and components of recruits from other Classes' previous rejected on medical grounds. These severely depleted divisions had been stripped of heavy weapons, all kinds of equipment and the best of their men for Japan's Home Islands defence. Even the divisional hierarchies were made up of elderly or physically unfit officers returned to service. Scattered throughout China there was a further 500,000 plus trained troops, in very lightly equipped 78 division/independent brigades acting as garrison/internal security units, a similar amount in other organisations, also various types of police type units, scattered over vast distances. Added to which the civilian colonists, civil servants etc as a Militia to reinforce these? In her various writings, Joyce C LEBRA (the author of the very useful 'Japanese Trained Armies in South East Asia.' Columbia University Press, New York, 1977.) gave details of the very substantial Chinese co-belligerent forces in China and Manchuria, many serving under Japanese divisions/brigades. Both Naval and Army air components there had in the main also sent their best equipment and men to mainland Japan before the AUG. Various sources give regular army throughout the Japanese Home Islands some 2,350,000 in 87 divisions/brigades, plus 250,000 Navy Special Garrison Force, plus 3.5 million Navy/Army Labour troops. Plus on paper 28 million civilian 'cannon fodder'. With the USN Submarine Service controlling both the Sea of Japan and Yellow Sea by the JUN/JUL, the chance of surface ships transversing both was extremely remote (this enhanced by USN aerial mining). While the East and West coastal rail systems in Korea by the same time were both barely functioning due to USN air and sea bombardment, and the activities of the nascent Korean resistance fighters. While the actual locomotive and rolling stock in Manchuria/Korea was in a appalling state, this in part due to Soviet sabotage activities through the (blackmailed) 'White Russian' community in Harbin, and the Chinese Communist Guerrilla Front in Manchuria. Even if the Soviets had not launched their surprise attack, logistically only a fraction of the Kwantung Army could have been brought to the Home Islands. And this with only a limited amount of support weapons. There was a substantial combat force, of well trained, manned and equipped divisions in Formosa (Taiwan today), but, this successfully blockaded by US sea and air forces. Whilst I am no fan of 'alternative history', in this thread why Japan did not enhance the surprise attack on the Hawaiian Islands by such as having the substantial submarine force off sinking ships off the US West Coast on the 7th DEC, and that night shelling the coastal towns to spread terror, or to have launched an sabotage attack upon the Panama Canal. Equally, the running ashore of a couple of old destroyers carrying a couple of hundred men each on Oahu, who would have divided into small 'attack' groups to create absolute mayhem, by attacking the civil population, burning buildings and other forms of destruction would have without a doubt created total confusion within the military and civil communities, and in Washington. In the 1920's and '30's both the Japanese Navy and Navy had carried out similar low level operations in China with great effect, and did so throughout WWII. Logic tells us that the three pronged amphibious attacks on Malaya, the Netherlands East Indies and the Philippines (to ensure the oil and protect the flanks), added to which the movement of troops from the Chinese garrisons, as well as the normal activities of the Japanese merchant navy, would have taken the bulk of the force. There just would not have been enough 'fast' liners/cargo ships able to have brought a landing force to the Hawaiian Islands, that would have been capable of taking control of Oahu and providing a basis for its defence. To which we must add; what if Nazi Germany, and Fascist Italy had not declared war upon the USA, but, instead expressed their horror and disgust at the events of 7th DEC. Could Roosevelt have brought the USA into the war against those two nations? There was much terror throughout the US civilian community in the early days. The concept of Lindbergh as the face of the America First Committee, supported by the German/American Bundists, and Italian organisations to bring influence to bear upon the Congress and Senate not to support Roosevelt, has a interest. It of course is all conjecture as the Japanese had also attacked the British Commonwealth, the Netherlands East Indies and the soon to be independent Philippines - so a case of one in all in!!! Also in this threat it stated a chap in the USN received special 'beach defence' training, this would on closer examination be found to be just the normal small arms training that the USN had given its men as a matter of course with the establishment of training depots post 1865. The pages of such as Naval Review and the USMC Gazette in the 1920-30's had constant articles and letters pro or nay regarding this, stemming from the interventions in Central America, the Caribbean, China and other places. The officer corps of the USN pushing the concept of the Naval Service can do anything, while the USMC officers pointing out the need for the navy to maintain its specialist training, and leave the specialist role of infantry fighting to professionals, while the USN had men who could 'just' fire a rifle their usage was in line of being security guards in static locations. In regard to the men of the River Gun Boat Squadron in China's rivers (again the '20-30's) they did receive additional training in such as the Browning Automatic Rifle, shotgun and Thompson SMG, and tactics relating to boarding vessels and providing defence for shore parties from detached men of the 4th Marines in Shanghai. The film mentioned re this, "The Sand Pebbles" (1968), starring Steve McQueen, does give a good representation of the situation in China in the mid-1920's. The book's author Richard McKenna (a former Yangtse sailor of the 1930's) to whom I wrote in 1963 having read the novel, wrote back to me stating that much of the novel had been based on the Wanhsien incident, when the Royal Navy rescued the captured vessel in a most horrific action, in which truth was and is far stranger than fiction. He stating that until the Panay incident the USN did not have any actions of import in the Chinese river system over those years, and that he had a immense data base on the US and the river gunboats of all other nations from the 1850's to the post WWII period, including much which he had had translated. Sadly, he died before he could respond to my next letter - aged 51 of a heart attack, he had 22 years in the USN. I would love to know what happened to the data base, probably producing methane gas in a landfill!!!! Old adage in many countries, the most dangerous weapon of war, a sailor with a rifle. To himself and his shipmates! Yours, G/. G.A.MACKINLAY Gordon Angus Mackinlay <email@example.com> ----- For subscription help, go to: http://www.h-net.org/lists/help/ To change your subscription settings, go to http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=h-war -----