In 1945, the Pacific War between the Empire of Japan and the Allies entered its fourth year. Most Japanese military units fought fiercely, ensuring that the Allied victory would come at an enormous cost. The 1.25 million battle casualties incurred in total by the United States in World War II included both military personnel killed in action and wounded in action. Nearly one million of the casualties occurred during the last year of the war, from June 1944 to June 1945. In December 1944, American battle casualties hit an all-time monthly high of 88,000 as a result of the German Ardennes Offensive. America's reserves of manpower were running out. Deferments for groups such as agricultural workers were tightened, and there was consideration of drafting women. At the same time, the public was becoming war-weary, and demanding that long-serving servicemen be sent home
Pearl Harbor Bombing
August 6 Hiroshima
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike bythe Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory, on the morning of December 7, 1941. The attack,also known as the Battle of Pearl Harbor, led to the United States' entryinto World War II
By August 1945, the Allies' Manhattan Project had produced two types of atomic bombs, and the 509th Composite Group of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) was equipped with the specialized Silverplate versionof the Boeing B-29 Superfortress that could deliver them from Tinian in the Mariana Islands.
August 9 Nagasaki
Hiroshima was the primary target of the first nuclear bombing mission on August 6, with Kokura and Nagasaki as alternative targets. The 393d Bombardment Squadron B-29 Enola Gay, named after Tibbets' mother and piloted by Tibbets, took off from North Field, Tinian, about six hours' flight time from Japan
Responsibility for the timing of the second bombing wasdelegated to Tibbets. Scheduled for August 11 against Kokura, the raid wasmoved earlier by two days to avoid a five-day period of bad weather forecast tobegin on August 10. Three bomb pre-assemblies had been transported to Tinian,labeled F-31, F-32, and F-33 on their exteriors. On August 8, a dress rehearsalwas conducted off Tinian by Sweeney using Bockscar as the drop airplane.Assembly F-33 was expended testing the components and F-31 was designated forthe August 9 mission.
39,000–80,000 killed Total killed: 129,000–226,000