Image of a US Marine Corp observation plane flies over the ruins of Naha, Okinawa.

World War II in the Pacific: No Surrender

Part three of the three-part series World War II in the Pacific aired last night on the American Heroes Channel.

And it went just about as well as the other two episodes, WWII in the Pacific – Island Warfare and WWII in the Pacific – Waking the Beast.

Again we see this documentary obsessively portray WWII Japan as “fanatical” and a “suicidal enemy”. Again we see a fundamental misunderstanding of Japanese culture and history at the time. That misunderstanding is what leads people to think of WWII Japan as fanatical and crazy. We also see Japanese soldiers portrayed as stereotypes, as nutjob Bushido followers, as your modern samurai. This one-sided, stereotypical, aspect is probably the most annoying part of the entire World War II in the Pacific series.

World War II in the Pacific: No Surrender also follows the little film trickery of the previous episodes. So in the commercials and opening credits World War II in the Pacific makes it sound like the entire episode will be in color… NOPE. Maybe 60% of each episode is color footage, while the rest is in black and white. They further try to obfuscate that fact by including the black and white footage in the middle of each section of the episode, while placing the color footage near the commercial breaks. A small annoyance, but still.

And continuing with the footage, World War II in the Pacific: No Surrender like the previous episodes, makes use of a lot of World War II in Color footage (an older but much better documentary).

World War II in the Pacific: No Surrender shows the very last portion of the war in the Pacific. In this episode you’ll see:

  • The end of the successful island hopping strategy (June, 1944).
  • General George C Marshall‘s blockade, bomb, and starve strategy to force Japan’s surrender.
  • Curtis LeMay and his carpet bombing strategy of mainland Japan.
  • The introduction of the B-29 Super-fortress, the product of a $3 billion development program to create a long range bomber.
  • The bombing of the Iwata Steel Works in Japan.
  •  Curtis LeMay comes up with a new carpet bombing strategy, this time using napalm. (The show makes no mention of the disgusting amount of Japanese civilian lives this strategy cost)
  • The 1945 invasion of Iwo Jima.
  • The April 1945 invasion of Okinawa.
  • The dawn of the nuclear age with the Manhattan project.
  • What the Manhattan project led to… the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  • Japans surrenders and MacArthur is placed in charge of Japan.

Other episodes in this series:

WWII in the Pacific – Waking the Beast

WWII in the Pacific – Island Warfare


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World War II in the Pacific: No Surrender Article by Jordan Wunderlich is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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2 thoughts on “World War II in the Pacific: No Surrender

  1. Exactly what strategy (other than carpet-bombing with napalm) would you
    recommend to end WW2? The only other strategy was the atomic bomb,
    which was not available yet, and we got criticized for using that as well.

    Japan should not have started the war, and they should have ended it
    long before 1945. All the US did was end a war which was taking a
    terrible toll on civilians (like 100,000,000 of us). I am still suffering
    needlessly from WW2.

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