Defense of Japan 1945 (Fortress 99) by Steven Zaloga

By Steven Zaloga

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Extra info for Defense of Japan 1945 (Fortress 99)

Sample text

This would have been the largest amphibious operation of the war; D-Day in Normandy involved 12 divisions. Once southern Kyushu was secure and forward airbases were in operation, the next stage was Operation Coronet, landing 25 divisions on the Kanto Plain around Tokyo on “Y-Day,” March 1, 1946. 7 and 4 million US casualties including 400,000–800,000 dead, more casualties than the US had suffered in the previous four years of war. Potential Japanese casualties were estimated to be in the 5–10 million range on the assumption that there would be widespread civilian participation in the hostilities.

Defense of Kyushu Japanese intelligence anticipated that Kyushu would be the most likely location for the initial American amphibious landing, and so defensive efforts were most extensive there. The defense of Kyushu was the responsibility of the 16th Area Army and by the summer of 1945 it included two armies, 15 divisions, seven independent mixed brigades, three tank brigades, and two fortresses. Owing to the importance of Kyushu, a subsidiary operational plan codenamed Mutsu-Go was developed, which outlined the tactical objectives of the various forces available on Kyushu.

Finally, the fifth line consisted of inland fortifications that were primarily intended to shelter large items such as tanks and trucks as well as stocks of fuel and supplies. Japan’s precarious economic predicament in the spring and summer of 1944 also precluded extensive field fortification work. Civilian levies were a mixed blessing because food rations had fallen to only about 65 percent of acceptable levels, and civilian laborers were often unable to carry out arduous field-fortification work.

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