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Operation Coronet

   
 

Operation Coronet


Japan surrendered in August 1945 after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and after Russia had joined the war against Japan. As a result, the planned invasion of Japan, Operation Olympic and Operation Coronet became unnecessary.

Even today, more than 60 years later, scholars still debate the morality of the atomic bombings, and the historical issue of whether Japan would have surrendered anyway without the atomic bombings.

Atomic cloud over Hiroshima
Operation Coronet was the name of the Allied plan for invasion of the Kanto plain near Tokyo, scheduled for Spring 1946.

Operation Coronet was planned as a follow-up to Operation Olympic, which was the planned invasion of Kyushu, the southern-most Japanese island. Operation Olympic was scheduled for November 1945.

Neither Operation Olympic nor Operation Olympic, ever took place because Japan surrendered in August 1945, immediately following the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the USSR's declaration of war on Japan and invasion of Japanese-occupied Manchuria.

It is very hard to estimate how many casualties (both Allied and Japanese) would have occurred had Operation Coronet gone ahead. A number of authorities have produced casualty estimates for Operation Olympic, or for Operation Olympic and Operation Coronet together (Downfall), but few have produced separate estimates for Operation Coronet alone. The only serious separate Operation Coronet casualty estimates that I am aware of, is one produced by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff in April 1945. They estimated, in Operation Coronet that the US would suffer 744,000 wounded, and 158,000 dead - but did not speculate as to Japanese casualties. All that can be said for certain, is that both Operation Olympic, and Operation Coronet, had they gone ahead, would have been very costly in terms of both Allied and casualties, and in retrospect it is very fortunate that they did not proceed.


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