More things I didn't know


February 9, 2003, 11:29 AM
I've been reading a newly published book "America Attacks Japan, The Invasion That Never Was".

It covers the process of the invasion planning meetings that went on prior to the end of the war in the Pacific. I've read a lot of WW II history & this book covers a lot of new ground for me. I'd no idea of the huge amount of political screwing around that was going on then.

There are some glaring typographical errors in the book. In a nonfiction work, I always worry that if the author didn't take the time to check over his galley proofs maybe he didn't spend enough time checking his material.....

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February 9, 2003, 11:51 AM
Ah, revisionist history :cuss: :banghead: :scrutiny:

February 9, 2003, 01:11 PM
I don't know that I'd go so far as to call this book revisionist. Tim Maga talks about people with a range of ideas on how the invasion/postinvasion business was going to be handled.

Since I hadn't read anything before that discussed how the Presidio Group and the Hot Springs conference worked, I'll have to find some other viewpoints before I make any evaluations.

February 9, 2003, 01:28 PM
Things to keep in mind are that Americans in general didn't know about he A-Bomb before August 6, 1945, and neither did the media, nor the military in general.

Secondly, the Japanese culture was not understood (and mostly still isn't) by the same groups in the U.S. MacArthur had a pretty good vantage point plus the time to think about them spiced with the experience of confronting them in war.

Invasion and a subsequent military victory over Japan were uncharted territory for American "thinkers" at the time, and with the notable exceptions of Cyrus the Great, MacArthur, and Marshall, planners of what to do with conquered peoples come up very short in the "Good Plan" retrospective accolades.

Mike Irwin
February 9, 2003, 02:41 PM
Here's a little tidbit that I found interesting...

In preparation for Operation Olympic, the overall name for the invasion of the Japanese Home Islands, production of medals, particularly Purple Hearts, was scaled up dramatically.

While production was stopped when the war ended, there were so many Purple Hearts on hand that ones struck in 1945 were awarded to soldiers wounded in Operation Desert Storm.

I just finished Crusade in Europe a few days ago, which is Eisenhower's book on his time as commander of US forces from the beginning of the war until he became Army Chief of Staff some months after the war ended.

Political considerations occupy a large part of the book. There's no way you can get around politics in something like this, especially in an invasion of Japan given that the Soviet Union is so close to the Japanese home islands.

I've not read the book, but I think I'm going to look for it.

As for the glaring typographic errors, you can't place all the blame on the author. I've met quite a few authors who simply can't spell worth a damn.

Standing Wolf
February 9, 2003, 09:44 PM
Speaking strictly as a guy who's made his living as a writer and editor since 1966: it's impossible to proofread one's own work 100% accurately; it's inexcusable for publishers to print books with more than a very few typographic errors.

Mike Irwin
February 10, 2003, 12:03 AM

I do the same thing as you, but you've been doing it since just after I was born... :D


I find that I can catch my spelling errors no problem, but you're right, editing yourself is an exercise in futility.

Having read "Crusade in Europe," I can say only one thing about Ike.

He needed an editor. BAD.

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