(E. T.s Note) The following is a brief synopsis of the rise and fall of the Japanese Empire that was published in the Johannesburg Sunday Times that E. T. deemed apropriate for
this date. The author was not identified.
THIS WAS REPORTED TODAY, AUGUST 11, 1945:
RAPID RISE AND FALL OF
THE JAPANESE EMPIRE
Nation That Turned On Its
SUNDAY TIMES, JOHANNESBURG, TRANSVAAL, AUGUST 12, 1945.
JAPAN'S admission of complete and humiliating defeat is now only a formality.
It is her first defeat since the American naval officer Perry awakened the isolated island nation in 1853 and set it off on the ambitious, course of Empire building.
Japan built slowly and patiently at first. Her victory in the Sino-Japanese war of 1894-5 gained her Korea. She became a world power by her success in the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-5. Japan was befriended by all the European nations. Germany taught her how to organize her armies. Her navy was modeled on the British navy. The Netherlands gave her battleships. From America she learnt industrial efficiency and mass production.
In the Great War Japan was on the side of the Allies. She helped to kick Germany out of Kiaochow in China, and at the end of the war was rewarded by the mandate over the Marshall Islands.
After the war Japan was all for peace and order, She was a member of the League of Nations. Then she got ambitious, she left the League because it would not approve of her unprovoked war on China and annexation of Manchuria. She flouted world opinion by waging a major war- on China She " accidentally " bombed British and American gunboats.
She joined the Axis when Hitler had rearmed Germany.
Below is a chronology of the Japanese war, but it tells little of the drama of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbour while her emissaries
Were in Washington. ostensibly to negotiate a peace pact; it cannot convey the treachery of Japans attempt to stab her former ally,. B r i t a i n , in the back while she was at death grips with Germany.
Japan won the opening rounds of her, fully-calculated war so easily that Tokyo was elated. She gained spectacular victories conquered Burma and Malaya, Singapore, the Philippines and in the Java Sea. But they were all won while British and American forces in the Far East were painfully thin.
From December 7, 1941, until the Battle of the Coral Sea in May, 1942 the first major Allied victory in the Pacific nothing was able to stem the Japanese tide. That, era was a gloomy period in the European war: Hitler's armies were advancing in Russia. Rommel was top dog in North Africa.
But Britain and America and particularly America were rushing reinforcements to the Pacific. As the Australians fought the Japs to a standstill in New Guinea and thwarted their plan to invade Australia, MacArthur, spurred on by his vow to avenge Corregidor, was building up a powerful force in Australia.
Once the Jap flood was arrested it started to recede. After the battles of the Coral Sea and Midway—both decisive American victories—the enemy navy was on the retreat. Jap air power was steadily destroyed After the Japanese naval disaster in the battle of Leyte, when the Japs risked powerful naval forces to try and interfere with Mac-Arthur's amphibious offensive against the Philippines, the Japanese navy retreated to "skulk in home waters.
Japan could only send suicide bombers against Allied task forces. Her . naval power, so formidable in 1941 was finally broken and her conception of empire shattered.
Meanwhile, Britain's Forgotten Army the 14th Army under General Slim—had fought and won the major land campaign of the Japanese war, reconquered Burma and reopened the Burma road to long-suffering China.
This is the sequence of events that brought airpower—and finally the atomic bomb—within striking distance of Japan, and forced the proud nation that had never bowed its head to sue for peace and ask for special favours for its " divine " Emperor before an Allied soldier had landed on its shores.