Last Air Battles of World War II

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Last Air Battles of World War II

Post by koimaster » August 19th 2021, 11:32am

"Shoot them down in a Friendly sort of way"

Confusion reigned 75 years ago when Japan announced its surrender but pilots on both sides kept fighting.

World War II was a global conflagration that transcended geography and time itself—a fact best illustrated on the day the shooting stopped. In the Western Pacific on August 14, 1945, thousands of American airmen took off in wartime and landed in peacetime after midnight. Almost simultaneously, Allied and Japanese fliers fought and slew one another on August 15, mostly without knowing that Tokyo had agreed to surrender.

It had much to do with time zones.

Over the previous several days rumors and conflicting reports had skittered over radio broadcasts from Washington, D.C.: Japan was about to surrender; Japan was not surrendering. On the 10th, Tokyo had announced tentative acceptance of the Allies’ Potsdam Declaration calling for Japan’s unconditional surrender, provided that the emperor kept his throne. Meanwhile, the Japanese war cabinet remained divided over surrendering. The situation remained tentative, viscerally uncertain.

The U.S. Twentieth Air Force had destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki with atomic bombs on August 6 and 9, immediately followed by the Soviets’ declaration of war and invasion of Japanese-held Manchuria. As Japan reeled under the triphammer blows, millions of people anticipated Tokyo’s capitulation. Days passed in gnawing uncertainty. ... ACqW9B3rZA


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