By Brian Bond
Read or Download British and Japanese Military Leadership in the Far Eastern War, 1941-45 (Cass Series--Military History and Policy, No. 17) PDF
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Extra resources for British and Japanese Military Leadership in the Far Eastern War, 1941-45 (Cass Series--Military History and Policy, No. 17)
Why, then, could Tojo not disregard it? We can indicate the following points. The Meiji leaders who established the Independence of Supreme Command knew well the original purposes of the institution, so they did not hesitate to disregard it whenever they faced the situations irrelevant to it. In contrast with them, the military leaders in the Showa era were brought up with the institution. Their autonomy and prerogatives were guaranteed by it. Therefore they, including Tojo, were constrained by it.
Conclusions Britain’s grand strategy for the war against Japan had been part of Britain’s overall grand strategy for the Second World War. Britain used only a meagre portion of its resources and manpower in South-East Asia. All Britain wished to do in the theatre was to fight when opportunities arose, but not at the cost of the British war effort in Europe, North Africa and the Mediterranean. 66 The fact that Britain’s interest in the Far East was so clear cut, and did not go beyond certain countries in South-East Asia, had been an ongoing process.
However, events were overtaken by the successful testing of the atomic bomb during the Potsdam conference. Having encountered the fanaticism of the Japanese forces in Okinawa and the increasing use of suicide bombers (kamikaze), Churchill hoped that the atomic bomb would offer the Vision…of the end of the whole war in one or two violent shocks’, and that is what happened. 65 Japan surrendered unconditionally on 15 August 1945. BRITAIN’S GRAND STRATEGY 23 At the end of August, British troops were still on their way to Singapore by sea, and it was not until 12 September 1945 that Lord Mountbatten received the formal and unconditional surrender of all Japanese forces within his South-East Asia Command.