Saturday, July 5, 2014

GI body armor for the invasion of Japan

Trent Telenko has been doing a great series about all the things that we think we know about the War in the Pacific (particularly the planning for the invasion of Japan).  We think we know a bunch of things that are actually wrong.  His original research on these topics has been fascinating.  For example:
Why infantry body armor like the M12 is so disruptive for the established narratives boils down to one word — casualties. The deployment of 100,000 such vests would have reduced American infantry casualty rates from lethal artillery fragments in the invasion of Japan to roughly Vietnam levels. This means roughly 1/3 fewer combat deaths from artillery fragments and about an overall 10% to 20% reduction in total projected combat deaths. Depending on which of the historical casualty ratios you select for measurement, it means something on the order of up to 10,000 fewer battle deaths, in the event that the A-bomb hadn’t made the invasion superfluous.
The atomic bombs ended the war, but on August 9 we had detonated 3 out of the 4 that we had manufactured.  If the Japanese hadn't surrendered, we would have gone in anyway, and there was a lot of planning that had been done for this.  All of that got packed up into dusty filing cabinets and forgotten before the USS Missouri had weighed anchor from Tokyo bay.


Old NFO said...

That it did... and thankfully they never had to go in...

tweell said...

The Nimitz plan was becoming a viable alternative to the MacArthur invasion at that point, although it isn't talked about much. Nimitz didn't want any landings, no boots on the ground. We would instead destroy every ship, every factory, every train. Then we'd burn the crops in the fields. All done from the air.

He understood that Japan was already starving, and believed that eventually they would surrender without being invaded. It would have worked at the cost of starving millions of Japanese to death. Nuclear destruction was relatively benign in comparison.