tv U.S. War Against Japan 1944-1945 CSPAN January 6, 2019 4:35pm-5:57pm EST
♪ watchcer: you can archival films on public affairs in their entirety on our weekly saturdayeal america," at 10:00 p.m. and sunday at 4:00 p.m. eastern here on american history tv. announcer: next, villanova history professor mark gallicchio talked about his book, "implacable foes: war in 1944-1945", co-authored with world war ii veteran waldo heinrichs. it won the 2015 bancroft prize for history and diplomacy and examines grand strategy as well as the experience of the common soldier during the final bloody months of the war. the new york military affairs
symposium posted this 80 minute event. gallicchio, a history professor and chair of the history department at villanova university. he holds a ba from temple from pennsylvania state university, and a phd from temple university. he is author of several books on relations,st asian including "the african-american encounter with japan and china: "lack internationalism in asia, fascinating. that book one the society of historians of american foreign relations robert h farrow prize. his most recent book, co-authored with his mentor waldo heinrichs, "implacable
, 1944war in the pacific 1945." this was awarded the 2018 bancroft prize in history and pumice he. -- diplomacy. please welcome dr. marc gallicchio. [applause] prof. gallicchio: thank you, bob. i want to thank bob and the members for inviting me here today. thank you all for coming out. it is a real honor to be speaking to this group. tonight, i would like to talk about the final months of the pacific war, following the surrender of germany in may 1945. the title of this talk is intended to convey the connection between the strategy the u.s. pursuit in the war, the rise of war weariness on the homefront, and the impact that that domestic discontent had on
america's ability to achieve its objectives in the war. war weariness was more than a generalized mood of public tiredness with the war. ofing the spring and summer 1945, war weariness was manifested in specific actions and policies. it had the potential to undermine american strategy and wargames. there is my thesis. as with any sort of narrative, once you decide where you want to begin, you also have to decide what the reader or the listeners need to know in advance in order to make sense of what's coming. i'm going to step back for a second and start with american strategy. the u.s. strategy for global war was predicated on general george marshall's well-known axiom that a democracy cannot fight a seven years war.
nevertheless, the means chosen to prosecute the war unintentionally impeded the achievement of a timely victory in the pacific. reasons are lot of a lot of factors that contributed to that. the most obvious was the europe first strategy that the americans chose, which meant that victory in the pacific would have to wait. unconditional surrender was another. the policy of unconditional surrender. a timely conclusion to the war was necessary, but the war had to end incomplete victory over the axis powers. defeat had to be total. this would prove to be one of the more controversial policies of the war, but at the time it was announced, it was widely accepted by the military and the public as absolutely necessary. the unconditional surrender of believed, could only be achieved through an invasion of japan's home islands are the strategy of lock aid and
bombardment -- blockade m apartment would prolong the war and would likely result in a negotiated surrender, thus undermining the goal of unconditional surrender. another obstacle or impediment to a timely victory had to do political concessions that franklin roosevelt made when he mobilized the country for war. the war,in support for the u.s. gambled on mobilizing fewer divisions than originally planned. this would place less strain on the domestic economy, which would serve as the arsenal of democracy. army,would be smaller meaning fewer at home in the factories producing goods for war, but it would also imposed fewer restrictions on domestic consumption than would
otherwise have in the case. thus, it would encourage greater public support for the war. the u.s. army also planned to begin -- this is another concession -- partial demobilization once germany was defeated. those soldiers who had seen the most action in the mediterranean, europe, and the pacific would be sent home, while those who are less experienced would be sent to the pacific to complete the assault on japan. and redeployment would occur simultaneously. the discharge of troops and the simultaneous redeployment of troops from europe will occur at the same time. europe first, unconditional surrender, and concessions to the home front on mobilization or political choices that tipped the scales against the achievement of a timely victory in the pacific. . but u.s. forces also add to overcome physical obstacles not of their own making.
first was that the americans had to conquer distance waging war in the pacific. whoops, wrong one, sorry. aha, there we go. in for a second, give you an idea of the vastness of the pacific theater. trip into the pacific theater from the west coast took three times as long -- whoops. all of a sudden it is very sensitive. ok. took three times as long as the circuit in the atlantic did from the eastern seaboard to europe and back again. thus tying up shipping. ofmate, terrain, and a lack basis were other obstacles that the americans had to overcome. they had to build bases as they went forward. that meant they had to bring the
equipment and the manpower necessary to do that, which tied in theher shipping pacific. enemy.ere was the tenacious, well led, and american progress at any cost to force a negotiation settlement. 1944, the u.s. was going on the offensive in the pacific. american advances appeared to keep pace with allied progress in europe during this period. after the normandy invasion. . will just show you this these, you can see these are the lists of operations. increase and the action that was taking place. however,rope, individual victories did not result in the large-scale
surrender of japanese troops, or for that matter, the organized surrender of japanese troops, at all. there were a few practicing japanese resistance. the closer the americans got to the home islands, the more difficult the fighting became. by early 1945, the u.s. had reached the doorstep of japan. iwo jima in february, and then okinawa, then the philippines, landing 10 was resulting in the capture of -- or the liberation of manila in march 3 of that year. one of the controversies that operations these , in thek place philippines at the time, this is
the sixth army area and below .he line is the eighth army there has been ever since questions about why mcarthur was allowed to conduct operations -- torate basically all liberate basically all of the philippines. these operations were costly and debilitating to the troops. they depleted the manpower that would be needed for the invasion. mcarthur said all the philippines had to be liberated in part for political reasons, but he also could a sized admiral nimitz in the pacific for trying to take okinawa when mcarthur said he should have just taken the top third, which they could have used for the airfields and let the japanese come to them. this seemed to be contradicting argued --at we have
when i say we, i'm not saying the royal we -- i refer to aldo -- waldo heinrichs and and myself. general marshall let macarthur becausethese operations he realized the harbor at manila could not handle all of the troops and equipment necessary to stage for the invasion of japan, and that by conducting these other operations, macarthur would be taking control of the smaller port cities in the central philippines that might allow for the staging of individual divisions for the invasion. military be some purpose for that. as i said, these are all weakening the strength of those divisions. all of these operations of course were a prelude to downfall.
the invasion of japan, which was intended to take place in two stages. with the would be invasion of the southernmost island of q shoe kyuushuu. this was to hold the bottom third of the islands and the airfield to contain the plane for the second part of the operation would be near the tokyo area. that would take place in march of 1946 and this would be november 1 of 1945. all the troops for the invasion were already in the pacific coming from the sixth army and then from marine divisions in but many ofpacific the troops for the invasion of plane would be
redeployed from europe. is where things stood in spring of 1945, and then germany surrendered, triggering a partial demobilization. as i noted, concerns about the homefront had driven the decision to implement partial demobilization. the program, which was announced divide with substantial input from gis and reflected their belief that the rate of discharge should be based on a combination of factors, including an individual's length of service, exposure to combat, military valor, and battling obligations. the demobilization plan took the novel approach of treating gis as a political constituency. this is a point made by the historian michael perlman. the policy was an administrative nightmare.
in part from disregarding the fromll readiness of units which the individuals were discharge, the policy with announcement of a critical score required for discharge, the number of points you need to be discharged, served as an incentive in the wrong direction for the men in the pacific and the 3 million soldiers scheduled for redeployment. in other words, looking at that card, you can tell when you got the requisite number of points, you could be going home. partial demobilization commenced day, but so did redeployment. yes, i will. the army and air force is planned to redeploy 3 million soldiers and airmen from europe to the pacific. combat forces would go by way of the u.s., where they would spend 30 days on leave, and then they would regroup, pick up replacements, and put in eight
weeks training before heading to the second stage of the invasion of japan. george marshall was not given the hyperbole -- given to hyperbole, but he called redeployment "the greatest administrative and logistical problem in the history of the world." brian sommerville, the head of the army services of supply, succinctly captured the herculean scope of this effort when he compared a transfer of men and equipment from europe to the pacific to "moving all of philadelphia to the philippines." mind, this redeployment would be taking place simultaneously with partial demobilization. , withing germany's defeat the start of demobilization and
redeployment, public opinion showed a continuing commitment to winning the war against japan . support for unconditional surrender, and a recognition of the fairness of the armies demobilization scheme. the army conducted its own poles to make sure that the public was on board with it. at the same time, the flood of letters calling for the immediate return of loved ones from europe were discharged from stateside units. the expressions of dismay at the bloodletting on iwo jima and okinawa and the growing anxiousness over life after the war revealed an ambivalence in the public that might easily crystallize into more substantial presser -- pressure on the government. growingicans, the condition and the inevitability of japan's defeat and the horror pacific warmade the seem more repugnant and less
meaningful than the war against germany. i think that's not what we are used to thinking. we are used to thinking that the american public was insisting on revenge for pearl harbor and the war crimes, the atrocities that were committed during the war, but i think by this point, the early summer of 1945, with the bombing of japanese cities, and as i said, the concern over the rising costs of continuing the war against japan, whatever desire for revenge the americans had had now been somewhat blunted. they were willing to see japan bombed, but they were not willing to see the home islands invaded if it was going to be at a very high price. in fact, when pollsters asked the public if they continue to support unconditional surrender,
they would say they did, but when they said to you support an invasion of japan that will lead to heavy casualties? the percentage of the public that supported that dropped significantly. result, the public focus europee day shifted from to reconversion. that is economic reconversion. for reconversion, to reconversion rather, than to asia. as americans began the difficult transition to a civilian economy , political labor, media, and corporate elites pressed harder and more insistently for the elimination of wartime regulations in the economy. transformedis setting that the army, the pervasive arm of the government, became the principal target and scapegoat. this is what really surprised us. thatall had been concerned
there would be a dropping off of morel and enthusiasm for the war once germany was defeated, and it turns out that happened to be the case, but the other side was also a growing criticism of the which i think was less expected by marshall. here's a breakdown of some of those criticisms and the reason. why so much antagonism towards the army? that had been this article appeared and i want to say "life orphans of battle, talking about the plight of 18-year-olds soldiers who just arrived as replacements in the european theater. they were basically told to keep their socks dry, don't fall asleep on guard duty. of course, many of them were killed before their comrades and
unit got to know their names. there was a tremendous amount of dismay and concern. the public thought these young soldiers would not be put into combat immediately, but they had been. there rest the sense that the army had broken faith with the american public on this issue. commandre reports of failure in the italian campaign. then there was the work or fight bill in early 1945, which of the war department tried to push through congress and failed to get. basically, what they wanted to do was make anyone who left the war industry subject to the compelling them to stay in place. congress rejected that measure. you add to that the breakdown of the furlough system, the troops were not being rotated out of combat, certainly not getting any time to come home and the final campaigns of the war.
and hostility toward the military cast system, as it would called, which would eventually lead to the doolittle board in 1946, which would review a lot of the kind of military protocol and etiquette that the gis, basically the civilian army, or this army of civilians, complained about. all this led to the public phrase, in waldo's apt a foxhole perspective on the war , favoring willie and joe over the so-called rest hats. -- brass hats. all of this criticism was building. shortly after ve day, congress handed the army a stinking defeat by prohibiting the use of 18-year-olds in combat before they had received extended training. marshall had vigorously opposed the measure, but to no avail.
growingeat, along with obstreperous nests in congress and numerous leaks from congressional hearings that marshall attended, led marshall to let it be known that he was thinking of retiring in june of 1945. .e sort of threatened to retire the rumor got out put out by friends, basically. various senators urged him to on. they expressed their confidence in the general, but they could not stop criticizing the army, as it turns out. of course, contributing to these problems, surprisingly enough, was the process of demobilization itself. so the critical score was 85 points when it was announced.
this adjusted service rating system was in many ways and eminently fair means of discharging veteran troops and identifying those who should be called on to render further service. it was also an administrative nightmare, as i mentioned. cardis what a sample looked like. i don't know if you can read the tally, the different points. service credit, overseas credit. you got additional credit for being overseas. combat credit and parenthood. you got credit for each child up to three. the fourth one didn't get you anything. [laughter] as it turns out. which was actually a complaint, one of the complaints by congress. the program was subject to varying interpretation and
misinformation and error. in fact, dwight eisenhower decided that soldiers who served into theaters, mediterranean and europe, would be exempt from redeployment. he was already anticipating a ,rop in the score to 75 points so he started to take men out who had 75 points rather than 85. starsarding of battle illustrates the hidden difficulties of what would seem like a straightforward process of honoring combat service. an actual card, what it ultimately looked like. you can see it is filled out. the other one was a sample.
those are the battle stars on the campaign ribbon peered -- ribbon. you got points for those. the authorization of battlestars was an ongoing process. points were calculated and divisions slated for the pacific were cleared with men of over 85 points. the second division learned days before it sailed from europe, that it had been awarded to more -- awarded two more campaign credits which qualified for an additional 2700 men for discharge. same problem occurred in the fifth division, which unexpectedly lost 600 men. altogether, the belated awarding of stars exempted an additional 14,000 men in the european theater from further service.
there's a letter in may from general thomas handy, who was the deputy chief of staff to marshall, and he wrote to eisenhower. he begins by saying, "it sounds crazy but it is going to be really difficult to keep the war a priority from now on in the minds of the american people." then he went on to talk about, he said the awarding of battle stars was already creating a lot of controversy within the service. but now that those battle stars carry with them additional points and an opportunity to get out of service, it's only going to get worse. as a consequence. ok. in addition to stimulating a constant churning of manpower within divisions, the points system threatened to strip units of their most experienced personnel and leaders on the eve of climactic battles with japan. in addition to that, of course,
some of the people who were leaving who had been in service for a long time overseas were the company clerks. they were the ones who kept all the records and who knew everything about everybody service. of course, they were gone. which made it harder to find out how many points people had. ok. but this whole problem was particularly noticeable in the philippines, where already battle weary divisions were seeking to replenish troops lost in securing the islands in those campaigns i talked about. they were getting raw recruits from the u.s. in addition, the same unit scheduled for the first phase of the invasion of japan were about to lose as many as 23,000 veterans who had accumulated 85 points or more. general marshall complained , "we're losing our first team." the most experienced soldiers, right? although marshall had aimed for fairness in the discharge
process, he soon found found the army was under fire from critics at home who accused the brass hats of among other things , holding on to soldiers for menial tasks like housekeeping and lawn mowing. senators complained that the discharge process was too cumbersome and it should be replaced by a simple first in, first out process. of course, that would disregard where a person served and whether or not they saw combat. that is why it was regarded is -- regarded as unfair by the soldiers, but congress said this would be more simple in administering. why not lower the discharge age from 40? those concerned about the support payments to soldiers who had families said, why not let anyone with three or more kids out of the service? to cut the expense. these were all issues that were coming up almost as quickly as the demobilization process was underway.
the army was having trouble getting to the starting line for the invasion. by july, it was struggling to organize, train, and redeploy troops needed for the invasion. young draftees were being sent to replace soldiers lost in the battles in the philippines and okinawa and to fill in for people with high points headed home. the pressure on shipping in both directions created by simultaneous operations of both processes, redeployment and demobilization or discharge, as these pressures mounted, admiral chester nimitz doubted that the army would be ready for invasion by november 1. chief of naval operations also saw little chance of alleviating the shortage in shipping. and he unhelpfully reminded general marshall that there was an increase in the need for
shipping in the pacific "because of the system of point discharges." right. he sort of, he zinged marshall with that. so, the pressure on shipping became overwhelming. the army had insisted that redeployment to the pacific would be the top priority, but privately, staff officers concluded that the need to quell public criticism meant that in reality, demobilization was superceding redeployment. they flipped the priorities. further out, the prospect for demobilization looked increasingly bleak. president truman had confidently stated the army would discharge 2 million men within a year of v.e. day. even as the u.s. continued to fight against japan.
publicly, the army maintained that everything was proceeding as planned, but its internal projections showed that the army was falling behind schedule in getting men out the pacific in time for the invasion. in july, the war department announced it would hold to the two million men target but would postpone lowering the total points needed for discharge until december, a month after the invasion. throughout the summer, the army remained committed to demobilization and redeployment despite the lag in shipping and the growing evidence that the continental trunk lines would not be able to manage the redeployment of troops from the eastern seaboard to the west coast. this was another problem. the railroads had a lot of engineers, trained men and track repairmen had all been drafted into service. and the rail lines were wearing down. and owners were saying they
needed the release of those soldiers to repair, especially the trunk lines. that this was vital to war operations, that were necessary for the invasion of japan. ok. and then there was the issue of economic reconversion that i mentioned. anxiety about economic reconversion contributed to antagonism towards the army. when historians studied economic mobilization during the war, they tended to emphasize the battle waged between the new dealers and the pro business republicans in the roosevelt administration. this is the subject of bruce catton's account "warlords of washington." it's a major theme in the "magisterial arsenal of world war ii." so, there is this one theme of big business using the opportunity created by the war
to sort of move in in washington , and he talks about the connections that were made during the war that continue into the post war world between the military and big business, right? what eisenhower would come to refer to as the military-industrial complex. ok. but that's one theme that occurred. but as it turns out, big business certainly was the big winner when it came to supply and the military. as the war near conclusion, even big business began to assist on -- began to insist on the need to begin reconversion to peacetime economy. so, this is the part of the story i think that has been overlooked by historians, that nearly everyone on the homefront was concerned about the lagging pace of economic reconversion. labor, congressman, but also big business leaders. debates over when to begin economic readjustment had begun
in the fall of 1944 when it appeared the allies might defeat germany before the end of that year. the failure to cross the rhine briefly stifled that discussion. somerville and undersecretary of war robert paterson led the opposition to reconversion. the austere, principled, and unyielding patterson, who was also a practiced bureaucratic fighter, was anointed by time magazine as washington's number one warlord. and he sought to scotch any talk of reconversion and insisted on regimentation of labor to keep war industries humming. i have some pictures of the men. matt somerville. that is robert paterson, who would later become secretary of
war immediately after the war. squaring off against paterson were the civilians in charge of mobilization of the economy. the most important official in this group was the newly appointed fred vincent from kentucky. there, somewhat grainy photo. vincent and the staff of the office of what is now called war mobilization and reconversion, they added that "r" to the end in early 1945, grew critical of what they perceived as a army's exorbitant demands on the economy. how, they asked, could the army need as many men to fight the one front war against japan as it did to fight in the pacific and europe? why wasn't the army releasing more men? and doing a quicker?
somerville and patterson had answers for that. the distance involved in fighting a war in the pacific. the army and navy would be using, make greater use of air power in the war. they needed to employ overwhelming force against japan. there was a need for new equipment and supplies for troops entering the new climate. all of these reasons argued for the demands that the army continued to make on the economy. what this meant basically is that the army was, was consuming, you know, foodstuffs but also all sorts of materials that might have been used for consumer products on the homefront, and with this large army of over eight million men in uniform. all right. under pressure, occasionally
sommerville and patterson specific items, but that only seemed to demonstrate there was more fat to trim, right. vinson and his associates insisted that a restless public demanded a loosening of wartime restraint and increased availability of basic consumer items. demand for scarce goods was already creating a dangerous inflationary pressure on prices that the office of price administration was finding it difficult to contain. in early june, president truman announced the internal revenue service would be hiring 10,000 new agents to crack down on tax evaders and black marketeers. that gives you the indication of the existence of a black market. the strains on the economy. vinson and his associates were even more concerned that the war
would end before the economy was prepared to handle the flood of soldiers returning home and the workers thrown out of work by the shuttering of war industries. business did not have access to the materials, machinery, or the manpower needed to begin producing goods for the peace time economy. the war was not expected to end soon, it is true, but the reconverters argued that disaster loomed unless steps were taken immediately. conflict over reconversion spilled over into the conduct of partial demobilization and the awarding of discharges. they warned of problems with the railroads that would be needed to move troops across the continent. unless railway workers were given preference in discharge. the threat of coal shortages and -- shortages in the u.s. and europe led to calls for
furloughs of miners. patterson would not budge. he refused, he said, to break faith with the g.i.'s. he pointed to polls proving he had the support of the soldiers. bob patterson not only has a one track mind, complains a solid fuels administrator, the one track is just a short spur. [laughter] dr. gallicchio: it's sort of, underlying all of this controversy and criticism, i think was the structure of the government itself. roosevelt had created a coalition government in world war ii, placing the armed services really in the control of republicans. as i mentioned, bringing big business into the war. into controlling the mobilization for the war.
people like secretary of war henry stimson, robert paterson, had a mindset of national service that was based on sacrifice. this is what was expected of people after all in a democracy. on the other hand, it is safe to say that patterson and henry stimson had not suffered through the depression the way that many workers had. for millions of americans, the fear of unemployment after the war hovered over them like a dark cloud, especially as victory seemed imminent. raising concerns that jobs in war industries could disappear overnight. people began looking for a safe landing spot. the death of fdr also created a problem. democrats lost their leader. commander in chief contributed, i think, to the
fractious mood on capitol hill. an opening tow exert leadership over post war issues. robert half from ohio who had led the fight to put resurgence on 18-year-olds in combat, much to the dismay of general marshall, he singled him out for complaint in a letter. robert taft also wanted to priceate the office of administration, which was seen as this kind of invasive, annoying agency for a lot of people. which was sort of the most new deal like agency created by the war. truman did his best to replace fdr. he pledged his fealty to unconditional surrender and he gave his approval to existing military plans. truman quickly came to respect general marshall even though his wartime experience, truman's, has made him skeptical of the
other brass hats. we know what he thought of macarthur. of sommerville, he said he would give us an economy if he could. so, he was obviously skeptical of a lot of these men in uniform. but not marshall. on the other hand, truman also leaned on fred vinson for advice. i thought this was one of the more interesting discoveries we had in this book. he met with vinson regularly and eventually appointed vinson secretary of the treasury. truman did not realize it at first, but he would eventually find that marshall and vinson were pulling him in two different directions. marshall continued to focus on invasion, while vinson embraced the idea of siege with the freeing up of manpower and materials for the homefront. so, a siege seemed most conducive to the reconversion that vinson wanted to pursue.
fear over the cost of victory and worries about the pace of reconversion created a political environment in which public discussion of alternative war aims and modification of unconditional surrender were no longer taboo. former ambassador to japan, joseph grew, former president herbert hoover, the president's representative on the joint chiefs, admiral leahy, and vinson, all conservatives, grew, hoover and stimson republicans, argued for modification of unconditional surrender. this was an essentially conservative approach to war. the experience of the 1920's with japan, which stimson had
but also to some extent grew, and conservative skepticism about government led social change created doubts about the need or the efficacy of a thorough reconstruction of japanese society that would follow after unconditional surrender. basically, the experience of people like stimson in the 1920's was that japan had been a cooperative partner with the united states. this was a particularly placid period in american-japanese relations. and that you could get back to that relationship, they believed, without having to reconstruct japanese society from the bottom up, which is what was expected to happen following the policy of unconditional surrender. of course, you have to add to that the concern that they had, these men had, that a protracted war would also benefit the soviet union.
the longer the war went on, the soviet union would be able to take advantage of that, and move into northeast asia. their answer was to tell the japanese that the emperor could stay on the throne. they thought that was the one issue that was holding the japanese up from surrendering. he was, after all, mere figurehead, they argued. hoover was particularly adamant about this. he was convinced this was the case. scrape off the militarists and let the moderates, the people who had run japan in the 1920's, return to power. this was in many ways a sophisticated view. mistaken about the emperor, but based on knowledge of japan and experience.
it was, i should note, also disdainful of public opinion, which is not surprising. the men who were making this case were all sort of from the various professions, elite professions, and i think stimson was the only one who had run for office. he had lost. well, other than hoover. we know how well he did. but it should be noted that a growing number of citizens were actually coming around to this view, writing the president and urging him to compromise with japan. i think it was easier for citizens to sort of write these letters to the state department and president because they did not have to worry about being accused of being appeasers. people in power, congress, a lot of republican congressmen
eventually signed off on this idea of modifying unconditional surrender, but they were wary in approaching the subject, because they did not want to be labeled as appeasers or such. opponents of modifying unconditional surrender argued that the rot in japan's system went deeper than the militarists. a full scale occupation following unconditional surrender would be necessary to transform japan. they ridiculed the conservatives as emperor worshipers. and said they were playing into the hands of the japanese, right, by calling on modification of unconditional surrender. there's an excellent cartoon that appears in "the washington post" that shows the character of the typical congressman, big belly, floppy hat, carrying a sign saying "we might as well face it.
we are going to have to fight the russians sooner or later." on the other side of the street headed in the other direction is a character of the japanese officer with the glasses and protruding teeth. he's got a sign saying something like, "honorable sons of heaven wait for american and russia to have falling out. this will be a big opportunity for us." the caption is, we're both working the same side of the street. so, they sort of identified, the cartoonist identified that those people calling for unconditional surrender, they understood a lot of that was animated by this fear of russia as much as anything else. ok. truman, on the other hand, post -- opposed modification of unconditional surrender, because he believed the emperor was as guilty as hitler and mussolini. that was not quite true. but he had a better appreciation
for hirohito's role in the war than did hoover and the others. grew, stimson and the others worked to pressure truman in the issuing of a warning to japan, the so-called potsdam proclamation, that would include a promise they could keep the emperor. they did this through a kind of bureaucratic guerrilla warfare, which included leaks to the press. in early july, as truman headed towards the conference outside berlin with churchill and stalin, the public was told to expect him to issue an ultimatum to japan. it turns out, of course, truman struck that clause promising the japanese they can keep the emperor from the potsdam proclamation and then he issued the warning. so, to recap at this point, growing difficulty with redeployment and replacement of
high point men, congressional and public dissatisfaction with demobilization, congressional and administrative frustration with the slow pace of economic reconversion, all of which was being manifested in anger towards the army and accounts of the army's policy. then in the summer of 1945, at the 11th hour, so it would seem, army intelligence was shocked to discover that the enemy had reinforced an area, drawing troops from manchuria, north china and raising new divisions at home. which they were not expected to do. and this is one of the intelligence maps.
the new deployment of japanese strength. by late july, it was clear that the defenders would have a significant numerical advantage over the attackers. the quality of these troops was not revealed in the intelligence but there was reason to doubt these were not all crack troops. nevertheless, the heavy damage inflicted by waves of, cozzi bynes and -- inflicted kamakazi planes foreshadow what lay ahead. over 26,000 non-battle casualties for the army and marine division scouted for the invasion of japan required extensive infantry replacement and reconstruction of units. and so it went. as truman departed washington for the wars last summit, congressman, even those friendly to the administration like lyndon johnson, called for swift
-- the swift discharge of troops and relaxation of wartime controls. while letters from irate servicemen filled congressional mail bags, officers and the pentagon tracked the lengthening japanese order of battle. in mid july, while truman was at potsdam, fred vinson cabled the president tries to warn that the army's plan for the invasion of japan were impeding reconversion and courting economic catastrophe. vinson's advisory board comprised of leaders in civilian economy prepared for a showdown with the president and the joint chiefs when they returned home. at the same time, the new intelligence about the buildup led the navy to call for a meeting to reevaluate the prospects for invading japan.
meanwhile, radio tokyo whispered seductively the softening of unconditional surrender might bring japan's warlords to the table. american strategy had been thrown in turmoil by the japanese. delay or cancellation of the scheduled invasion seemed possible. the way was open for alternative strategies and altered war aims, with modification of unconditional surrender and a siege being the most likely choices as opposed to finding new sites for an invasion. the army, it seems, had taken on too much, harboring too many contradictions. it had occupied germany, and discharged too many soldiers, redeployed millions in the pacific, all while maintaining wartime controls, resisted by an increasingly vocal opposition in high places. and then, on august 6, the u.s.
exploded an atomic bomb over hiroshima. a second was detonated above nagasaki on august 9. the japanese indicated a willingness to surrender on august 10. japan agreed to surrender on the 14th. so, it happened that the use of the atomic bomb cut short a growing debate over the war's purpose, and in producing a swift decision where none had itms likely, it am scared -- obscured for years the extent to which american strategy had been unhinged by japanese resistance at home. i'll leave it there. [applause] >> we come to the question of how long can an electoral
democracy fight a war that -- people just get tired, and it's not like now. we have ongoing wars, but we have a volunteer military. so, it -- that takes it out of the political realm. but now, i did research on the army air force pulling units back from europe to go to the pacific. morale was awful. >> yeah. especially in the air force. >> alcoholism, suicide. the only real, the only infantry division that was pulled completely out of europe was the 84th. 84th, the rail splitter's?
dr. gallicchio: the 86th, waldo's division. my co-author. >> anyways, uh, their morale was absolutely awful. you also have the issue of the national guardsmen who were called up in 1940. my father among them. and they just wanted to go home. and this points system allowed them to go home in great numbers. so you would have a unit with a company clerk who didn't know what an index card was. so, it's a problem -- no, i'm up on a soapbox. and i acknowledge the problem.
anyway, army-air force units and i researched headquarters in orlando, the, the morale was god awful. and anyway, uh, well, it failed as a question. i'm going to let it stand as a comment. and hand it off to some more erudite person. >> i have two questions. number one, you mentioned that general marshall was threatening to resign in 1945? it seems as though that he -- that perhaps he has been making a habit or had been making a habit of that. if it looked like he was not going to get his way, he would threaten to resign.
i'm referring to 1948, 1947 where he threatened to resign from the truman administration if israel was established as a state. and the second comment or question, you mentioned how congress wanted young men, 18 years old, that age, not to go into the military or to be pulled out. i was at the vietnam exhibition at the new york historical society, and for political reasons, they instituted the draft because it would be younger people being drafted as opposed to those in the reserves and the national guard.
and according to the exhibit, the people in the national guard and reserves were older and more likely to vote. so, if they were sent over to the vietnam, they might be more likely to vote against the administration. dr. gallicchio: um, no. other than, the case of the 18-year-old was that they really wanted these soldiers to get more extended training for combat before they were thrown in willy-nilly as replacement. and that was the big issue for them. yeah. >> thank you for your most excellent talk. how widespread was the realization that an invasion of the home island would result in absolutely horrific american casualties?
and numerically far worse than anything america had suffered before. and that if you did not make that 85 number, you might be sent to your death, certain death. the first day of the somme all over again. you can easily imagine one million dead americans, not captured, not wounded, in the invasion. how did that affect people? dr. gallicchio: well, it was, i think it was widely known. and one of the problems with this announcement that the army made that it would lower the critical score in december is that it meant there would be soldiers and marines who could look at their card and see that that on the eve of the invasion they had accumulated enough points to go home, but that
under the lowered score, but they would have to go through the invasion first. i can't imagine that's, that would've been good for morale. i can't imagine what that would've felt like for these soldiers. i mean, on the other hand, you know, there were predictions to go back to the point you made about morale. there were predictions, i think the army's top psychologist was quoted as saying he thought there was going to be mass desertion when the troops came back home. and some officers talked about that. there were complaints. the 86th division, they complained when after the bomb was dropped, they thought, ok, they had regrouped and they had headed up to san francisco and they figured, we are not going to go now. the war is over. the next thing they saw was the golden gate bridge and they were headed across the pacific. and so, they were kind of dismayed at that.
so, i think some of these concerns may have been exaggerated, but there was definitely a sort of widespread sense of unease about what lay ahead, there is no question. >> can you talk a little bit about the thinking behind demobilization after germany surrendered? was there an overconfidence those troops would not be needed to win the war in the pacific and/or was the atomic bomb already factored into that decision even though it had not been tested yet? if things did not go well they would have to re-mobilize. dr. gallicchio: well, i think what they concluded was that they would have sufficient manpower, once they redeployed troops. they were continuing to draft, draft calls on a monthly basis. i think they felt that they would have sufficient numbers for the invasion, but there was also this idea that for those people who had fought their way
across europe, they had done their service and there ought to be some recognition for that. again, the feeling would be for those people who would been in the war longest, they would be rewarded by discharge. i think it was this political decision as a way of acknowledging service and, um, showing people that you could get out of the service. i don't think the atomic bomb factored into it. i haven't seen that. it seems plausible. marshall certainly was not calculating or counting on the atomic bomb. he believed that the united states had to kind of maintain this full pressure on japan, that any sign of let up or weakening would only convince the japanese that that they just
needed to hang on a little bit longer. and the japanese, i mean, there, one of their main sources of intelligence was reading american newspapers. you can see the americans were reading what japanese diplomats were saying about the mood in the, in the united states. and that was, i think, encouraging to the japanese militarists to continue the war. so, yeah. >> for the japanese decision to surrender, perhaps the more important issue for that was the soviet entry in the invasion of manchuria, which included the soviets mediating apiece, which they had hoped for. so, and of course, the fear that well, the soviets could be landing on japan. their history of killing their own czar. so, what are they going to do to the emperor?
i wonder if you came across anything about the americans factoring that in? or thinking the soviet entry was going to be part of their planning. dr. gallicchio: well, yeah. they were certainly counting on the russians. in fact, that is one of the leaks that upset marshall is that he was asked by congress about soviet entry into the war. he said, we don't want any speculation about that because we do not want the japanese to attack before the russians are ready. n came out of the meeting and said, we may not need as many troops in uniform because the russians are probably going to come in at some point. marshall blew his stack, understandably. there is no question soviet entry into the war was a big factor and weighed heavily on the japanese. historians argue which was more important, the atomic bomb or
soviet entry. i just think you cannot disentangle them. at least, i have not been able to, to decide which was most important. i think i would lean towards the atomic bomb. but i mean, they happened in such rapid succession. yeah. i hope that answers your question. >> thank you very much. when germany was defeated, americans thought the war was now coming to an end. i say that because there was an -- there was never an attitude on the part of the public, in congress, the politicians, that we were fighting two different wars. one land war and one island war. and the planners in the military and among the politicians never thought about this whole thing that way. one war was over but the other one was still there. dr. gallicchio: yeah, well, that was -- i think marshall had frank capra make these films and
wond to t one down, to go." don't forget, there are still japan. certainly there was less attention to the pacific theater. to this day, i think people know a lot more about the war in europe. the historian ron specter made the observation, when they did the revival of "south pacific" on broadway, one of the set pieces was a map of the pacific, ostensibly meant to be a part of the map room and officers quarters. that was really there for the audience so they could get an idea of where everything was they were talking about. you know. yeah. so, anyway, i think you are right. >> thank you. when planning for war, one not only has to win the war, but also the peace. there is a saying that all wars
are bankers' wars. some historians consider world war ii was an extension of world war i, a continuation. you said the allies had a policy of totally defeat an unconditional surrender of the axis. to what extent was that driven by the desire to set up a bretton woods type of economic system after the war which harry dexter white was starting to plan from at least 1941, maybe before. to what extent was that policy driven by a longer-term strategy of winning the peace thereafter by establishing an economic incentivizewould warfare? dr. gallicchio: i don't know if the connection was explicit, but i think the understanding was that to create a sort of liberal post-war order in which democratic free market societies would thrive, that germany and japan, the sort of fascism and
authoritarianism that existed there would have to be uprooted. and democracy, representative government encouraged. so, i think that's, you know, what sort of was the animating spirit behind unconditional surrender. there were a couple of reasons for that policy. one was to assure the russians that the united states was not going to make a separate peace with the germans. another was that it, you know, the republicans had criticized woodrow wilson at the end of world war i for not insisting on a policy of unconditional surrender. in fact, theodore roosevelt was one of the people most adamant about that. and roosevelt was assistant secretary of the navy then. he certainly remembered that. and unconditional surrender then was also for domestic political politics.
it was also intended to assure the liberal public that the united states wasn't going to be negotiating with people like admiral darlan again in north africa. the french general, the head of the vichy government. i think there were a lot of reasons for the announcement of the policy, but certainly the expectation that different kinds of governments were needed to reconstruct the world order. you had to start with japan and germany. >> yeah, i just want to add the fact the soviets had already taken sac lend island before the end of the war. they wiped out the japanese garrison. they were ready to invade. ready to invade the northernmost they were gettingready to invade the northernmost part of japan but i also want to say i was a grunt in vietnam -- we had one
guy i remember. he re-enlisted to be in the field. he liked being out there. division,ring, in my 101st, they were getting replacements, getting ready to ship over, to move over japan. i am wondering if you looked at any of the reenlistment ranks. because people, there are guys who wanted to be there and continue with the war. dr. gallicchio: you know who definitely wanted to get into war with japan, drew pearson reported a number of generals wanted to, chief among them general patton. i think that sort of reinforced this, you know, gap between the officers and the enlisted men, most of whom wanted to go home. it is interesting. a guy named charles bonefield
became a general and eugene, a japan specialist in the foreign service, both of them said at different times there was a poll taken of servicemen in the summer of 1945 that said they were, would like to see the policy of unconditional surrender changed, that they didn't think it was necessary to oust the emperor. i've never found any evidence of that poll. the only poll i found was one that was conducted on state side soldiers who had, many of them had accumulated almost enough points to be discharged. and basically they said, they supported the policy of unconditional surrender. but they also said they should be discharged now. they shouldn't have to go to the pacific. [laughter]
dr. gallicchio: so, that's the evidence that i have come across right now. that would be an interesting question to see what the reenlistment rates were. thank you. >> um, having spoken to canadian veterans who were gearing up to for the invasion in japan, and there was apparently substantial relative to the population of canada, substantial canadian forces involved. you also had australian forces that could be utilized. and you had the british, who were in cbi. who were as weary as they were from extremely bitter fighting. and the british pacific fleet was already on the scene. to what extent were british and commonwealth forces figuring into the equation? dr. gallicchio: well, macarthur didn't really want their help. [laughs]
to put it mildly. he thought it would just be an unnecessary complication. that is the way he viewed it. interestingly, you know, after the war ended almost immediately this demand, really up for to -- really uproar to bring the boys home began in the united states. but also in britain as well, there were, the british government was under tremendous pressure to bring troops home. after japan surrendered. but most of the british troops were going to be used in the operation to recapture malaysia and singapore. that's what they were being planned for. the southeast asian command, right, which the americans said the initials stood for save england's asian colonies. that's mainly what they were --
yeah. >> i was wondering in, in germany, there was the nuremberg trial. a feverish effort to find nazis and war criminals. correct me if i am wrong, but it did not seem like there was that much intensity in japan to find as many war criminals, like bird who was torturing american troops. things like that. was there a reason for that? or was there not a stomach for that as much as there was in europe? dr. gallicchio: well, i mean, the famous case was a trial and execution in the philippines. and tojo. i forget the number. it is a relatively low number of high level japanese officials who were executed. to a certain extent -- the big fish was, of course, the emperor.
and there the australians, the british and the russians were in in agreement that he should be considered a war criminal and put on trial. it was macarthur who scotched that with the support of the american government. he argued that japan would become ungovernable if they were to put the emperor on trial. the emperor actually was thinking that he would have to step down from the throne and leave it to one of his kin. and macarthur apparently convinced him not to at that time. so, yeah, part of this was american policy. macarthur's decision that in order to enact the occupation policies, he would need the cooperation of the japanese. the most egregious example has to do with this unit 731 that operated in manchuria, the biological chemical warfare.
and the americans made agreements with the officers in that unit to exempt them from prosecution in order to get the, whatever information they had gotten from the horrific experiments they conducted. and that really is the sort of kind of beyond the pale example of that. anyway. >> thank you for your interesting presentation. my question is about at the end of the war, you said japanese side to surrender -- was there some kind of indirect talks or messages from the united states or the officials, the emperor
may be ready to surrender? in other words, some kind of modification of the unconditional surrender? dr. gallicchio: that is a good question. i have not found anything. truman was really adamant about this. he didn't want to make any promises about the emperor. but the decision they made, the reply they made to the japanese might have been interpreted as saying that the emperor would remain on the throne, because what they said was, the japanese on august 10 had said somebody -- said something to the extent of, we will agree to surrender as long as the prerogatives of the emperor remain in place. and the japan specialists said, those prerogatives are all embracing. you can't allow that to happen. so the response of the americans was, the emperor's ability to exercise his authority will be
subject to the supreme commander of allied powers. so, that statement implied that at least in the short term, the emperor is going to be there. so, that was kind of an overt communication, i think. i'm not aware of any back channel, that sort of communication. but that may have been sufficient. thank you. >> any idea as to why the japanese were caught so flat-footed against the russians? there was a massive buildup there. the japanese seemed not to have noticed. dr. gallicchio: they did. they were -- and americans were watching this right through the japanese diplomatic traffic. they they reported on japanese concerns and worrying about the buildup and like that was taking place. there really was not very much they could do about it.
the japanese government remained, held on to this really misguided belief that they might be able to get the russians to help them negotiate an end to the war. the fact that the russians were not signatories to the potsdam proclamation suggested maybe the russians are not going to be involved at least for a little while. so, that might've misled them. but the success of the russian invasion had a lot to do with just russian military skill and their ability to launch this massive offensive on a broad front. >> thank you very much. [applause] dr. gallicchio: i greatly enjoyed it.
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