World War II
On the 8th of May Nazi Germany finally surrenders and Italy and all other members of the Axis powers having already surrendered many look forward to the end of the war. There is only one enemy left on the other side of the world to the main fighting Japan.
Throughout mid 1945 there is much discussion about the best method to end the war. Much of the navy believed in simply starving Japan into surrender while the Army wished an invasion.
In the end the President ruled for an invasion of Japan and they created Operation Downfall.
The USSR invaded Manchukuo or Manchuria in August and the conflict ended in September after a rapid victory. This causes the US to decide the war has to end before the Soviets can gain more territory.
The United State's plan is to take the southernmost island of Kyushu though not all of it but just as a staging point for a later assault on Tokyo itself to bring an end to the war before the end of 1947. They envisioned landing on 35 invasion beaches named after American car companies. They planned to land in Miyazaki, Ariake and Kushikino.
Operation Olympic was to take Kyushu. It would involved the largest amphibious plan to date containing over 40 aircraft carriers and hundreds of other ships of all sizes. They also developed a elaborate deception to convince the Japanese they merely meant to blockade Japan by creating fake plans to invade islands around the Yellow Sea and China. The Japanese High Command of course did not take the bait.
Part of the plan entailed seizing three islands to use as anchorages and air bases. Tanegashima, Yakushima and the Koshikijima Islands were the intended targets for staging points. They attacked on the morning of the 12th October while MacArthur was asleep waiting to be awarded a promotion.
As the sun came up at 8:00am, three American divisions were coming ashore after a heavy bombardment to soften up the beaches. As the troops came ashore on the beach they found little opposition but many of the veterans of the island hopping knew in land there would be much worse opposition. As they advanced on the main city Nishinoomote they found much sterner opposition within the city. Every house was a fortress. The Navy leveled the entire city leaving just rubble but this simply made it harder for the US to take with movement almost impossible and a large amount of cover. While the rest of the island was secured within two weeks after the port of Shimana fell and American armour arrived in support. The city would not be finally declared free of enemy fighters until December.
The Americans landed on the south shores of the island and must now fight their way up the mountains and woods. Again the beach landings went well but they had dug deep into the mountains like rats. Each fortress had to be individuality stormed or they could try and rely on inaccurate bombardments. With no armoured support the going was slow. Each peak had to be taken and held against crazy suicidal counter-attacks. The town was taken in two days on the 28th October to the 29th. Most of the island was under Allied control by Mid November.
This is an island chain which makes up three islands. The initial American landings went poorly but as usual as they advanced further in the fighting became progressively more vicious. In the end all three islands are taken and turned into bases.
Battle for Kyushu
The IJN was a shadow of its former self but it would not give up. The remaining fleet was 23 destroyers and 46 submarines backed up by hundreds of smaller submarines. As the American fleet approached the IJN launched out to sortie. While in the skies above the 5th air fleet attacked, the IJN moved to attack. Most of the US aircraft carriers were either busy defending against Kamikaze or being prepared to bombard the landing beaches. The 23 destroyers as they steamed forwards to engage found themselves struggling to attack the support vessels as they were blocked by the American capital ships. 16 destroyers were sunk by the USN before the IJN broke off.
Under the surface the battle was far more in Japan's favour. As the American capital ships were to distracted by the frenzy of destroyers. The submarines streamed through to find the vulnerable heart or the transport ships. As they dove straight into them opening fire most of the transport fleet scattered trying to escape before the American fleet could fall back to engage in anti-submarine duties. Isolated transports would suddenly rock and then list as they sunk. The scattering of the transport fleet puts the invasion plan four hours behind schedule and therefore they have to delay it until the next day due to tides. 53 transports are sunk or immobilized.
In airfield and just fields all over Japan, pilots were doing their final death rites as they only had enough fuel for a one-way journey. American assessment by intelligence were very low with over 5,000 aircraft assigned to Kamikaze operations.
The first wave flew towards the American fleet. The Americans had a large number of aircraft based on the Ryukyu islands. They were being sent out on constant patrols to try and always be ready to defend against Kamikaze assaults. Japanese and American air fleets clashed desperately as the Americans tried to hold off the Kamikazes. Throughout the 1st November the Japanese air force was decimated as wave after wave bloodily cut its way through the Big Blue Blanket as the American defence was nicknamed. As the sun set over Japan the Japanese air force was no more but 342 ships were destroyed or out of action.
Landings go well early on. This was the least well defended of the landing zones. As the allies flattened most of the city by air and naval not having learned lessons from Tanegashima. While all their beaches were a success and as they advanced in land they were slowed down although not stopped by opposition forces. With one already battle damaged from at sea corps landing in they still had numerical superiority although due to the losses parts of the plan had to be changed and improvised and continued to go ahead with Operation Olympic as scheduled. All their beaches had landed and by the 3 November all of the landings beaches had linked up and started to try and push up into the island.
This was the worst landing. A landing on Ariake had been expected and so that was where the heaviest preparations had been made and the most troops stationed. They had to take a port and the surrounding area but in the end they would be divided into two separate groups when the Japanese and would never take the whole of Ariake due to lack of time and troops.
Two beach invasion forces were totally destroyed to the man. On Ford beach the US force landed and advanced inland to take a hill. The hill had already been chewed up by bombardment but the Japanese had been nothing but through in their deep fortifications. Deeply embedded the US troops from Ford beach were sent in to try and root the Japanese out of their tunnels. The troops were eventually forced to concede their objective after a frontal assault then followed by another bombardment followed by another assault all failed to take the subterranean redoubt. This was followed up at night as other US forces were pinned to the beaches with Ford beachhead receiving a massive night counterattack by the Patriotic Citizens Fighting Corps. With not enough warning