a) Low opinion of USA
• Lack fighting spirit
b. Influential military command
• The public thought the
politicians were weak.
• The military had
brought Japan glory.
c. Japan was expanding in the
• USA exerting economic pressure
• Oil stoppage.
• Roosevelt’s demand for Japan to leave
mainland Asia (fall, 1941).
• Had to limit U.S. reach in the Pacific -
oil and rubber in Borneo and Malaya.
d. USA unprepared for war
• Pearl carriers out to sea?
• Pearl oil moved underground?
• Pearl radar - B17s inbound?
• Washington coder crackers - time zone
snafu in warning?
• SHIPS/PLANES REPLACABLE -
CARRIERS ARE NOT!
warned of waking the
(dated May 3, 1942) to
b) Massive economic/military
power of USA
• Once mobilized that is!
• Factories were safe across the Pacific.
• Images of Pearl + propaganda
galvanized the nation behind the
• Now the economic might could go far
c) Japan had only 10% of U.S.
• Japan had few resources (oil/iron).
• Difficult to replace capital ships.
• After Leyte Gulf the Imperial Navy
ceased to exist!
c) cont. Japan needed food
• Japan had only 3% of U.S. agricultural
• Had trouble feeding its people.
• Thus: since raw materials rare, factories
not the prime targets (they are dying by
themselves - TARGET CITIES.
• For every 40 factory bombs, 100 land
e) Island Hopping
• Attack main islands and isolate minor
ones - “left to wither on the vine.”
• Thus limit U.S. casualties (remember
• On the Asian mainland the British and
The famed Chindits - early special
forces often behind enemy lines.
Part of the Forgotten Army
The planners still feared an
assault on the “home islands”
g) Intelligence warned of
1 million + casualties
• This would be unacceptable to the U.S.
• The Manhatten Project was the answer.
• Why would the U.S. use the bomb
against Japan but rely on traditional
munitions for Germany?
• Historians agree it really was a foregone
conclusion - the USA was just too strong
economically with too much military
• It is a testament to the ferocity and
commitment of the Japanese fighters that the
war took as long as it did.
• Easier geography also would have sped the