AUTHORSkates, John Ray
TITLEThe Invasion of Japan: Alternative to the Bomb
PUBLISHERUniversity of South Carolina Press
CITYColumbia, SC

This book documents Operation Downfall, the planned invasion of the Japanese home islands during World War II, and disputes many of the beliefs that have grown up around it. It asserts that casualty estimates that were used to justify the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were misleading and that actual casualties would have been far fewer. In explaining the planned invasion, the author discusses redeployment of troops from Europe, naval blockade, and the possible use of chemical weapons. Also included are detailed descriptions of the two phases of the assault (operations Olympic and Coronet) and their planning, as well as information about Japanese defense forces. Skates claims that the decision to drop the atomic bombs was more closely tied to the Allied policy of unconditional surrender than to a direct comparison of the advantages of invasion versus atomic bombing.

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