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MtHoodMan t1_jeg7gma wrote

I think one of the differences is how badly Germany lost vs Japan. Germany was broken, crushed, and occupied completely, and had no say in how their own country was going to be run going forward. Japan was also fully occupied, but not through outright conquest, but through an agreement to surrender in the face of overwhelming force. Japan still had a great deal of fight left in it when it surrendered, and infact still occupied a lot of territory in Asia. In essence, Germany had the Nazis beaten out of it, whereas Japan had to and still to this day has to contend with the fact that the militaristic nationalistic side of it never died, it just had to slink away for a few generations


ChristopherGard0cki t1_jegbmwe wrote

I don’t think this is accurate at all. Japan was 100% defeated militarily. They may have been able to kill a lot more people before the end, but there was zero doubt as to the outcome. The remaining Japanese military was a shell of its former self. Any punch they had left was just the sheer number of civilians they were going to enlist in suicidal last-stands. Plus the entire country was being starved out. They were no less defeated than the Nazis, and if japan wasn’t an island it probably would have happened much sooner.


MtHoodMan t1_jegfi2b wrote

I would encourage you to read the Operation Downfall wiki, specifically the Japanese defense of the islands section, Operation Ketsugo. I'm not disagreeing with you that the nation was beaten militarily, and they knew it, however they still had considerable military assets at their disposal. Their navy was heavily damaged but still useable for home island defense, and their airforce was still going to be a problem. By the time Okinawa was captured, Japan was already losing. That didn't stop Okinawa from being an absolute bloodbath for the Allied forces.

I would also add that Japan being an island is exactly why it wasn't beaten as badly as Germany. There's no denying that. Just by virtue of the differences of the theaters, Japan losing was never going to be as bad as Germany losing without a fullscale naval invasion.


ChristopherGard0cki t1_jeggiob wrote

Japan still had some hardware, yes. What they didn’t have was trained and experienced military personnel to operate said equipment. Nor did they have any fuel.


notrevealingrealname t1_jegmvny wrote

That being said, I feel like as Russia is currently demonstrating, lacking personnel and even equipment doesn’t mean you can’t make it a difficult fight for the opponent.


MtHoodMan t1_jeh3wym wrote

At the end of the day, they weren't beaten in a way that beat the nationalism out of them. Germany had Soviet and Allied Troops marching through their towns, their cities sieged, their industry completely toppled. It was clear they were losing. To many in Japan, the lack of an invasion meant it felt like they could still fight. Yes, their cities were bombed but they fought for over a year while that was the case. So when one day they were just told the war was over and that they had lost, it came as a shock. Many didn't hear about the nukes until weeks or months after the war had ended. All they had to blame was weak politicians and weak generals, not the fact that they, as a nation, had lost.


baggymcbagface t1_jeghxab wrote

I think it's less about military strength/defeat and more that the US wanted a strong East Asian ally in the face of China and Russia. Lots of institutions were allowed to continue and they didn't try to change things too much day to day for Japanese people. It paid off and Japan had crazy economic growth at the cost of keeping the good/bad parts of their culture intact.

Whether or not a bloodbath ensued before total surrender, I would wager the US was more scared of China/Russia at that point. But who knows, it's never one thing or another in history. Too many factors.


ChristopherGard0cki t1_jegi93r wrote

Yea, but the USA also wanted germany to be strong Central European ally against the USSR. The iron curtain literally ran straight through the country, so I don’t see how the USA would have had a different outlook in this respect.


baggymcbagface t1_jegltwh wrote

With Germany being partitioned into so many different zones and having the nation split in two by people who had a much closer relationship with Germany over centuries, I think they'd be a little more gung ho on trying to overhaul things (out of spite or revenge maybe) and things undoubtedly changed again when east and west reunited - lots of history between all the countries involved.

US and Japan, the relationship is much shorter and Japan was seen (before the war) as the most "civilized" Asian nation. Heck the US kind of didn't care when they were annexing Korea and going to war with Russia. US was a bit more self serving and didn't see any other country that could stand up to the communist bloc in Asia. In Europe, the UK and France could probably rebuild and be a good counter weight even if Germany didn't pan out 100%. Again, hard to pinpoint - interesting to think about why one country did a huge 180 and another just.. didn't lol.