My Witness: General Curtis E. LeMay
My Name: Alexander S.
Background: General Curtis Emerson LeMay was born and raised in Columbus Ohio where he later attended Ohio State University to study civil engineering. After graduating, he joined the US Army Air Corps as a flying cadet and was later commissioned as a second lieutenant in the regular army in 1930. He spent the next seven years in fighter assignment until he was transferred to bombers in 1937. Following the outbreak of World War II and the United States involvement in it after the attack on Pearl Harbor; LeMay, then a lieutenant colonel, set about training the 305th Bombardment Group and led them as they deployed to England in 1942, as part of the Eighth Air Force. Known for his bravery in combat, LeMay personally led several missions and aided in developing key defensive formations used by B-17s during missions in Europe. He was later transferred to the Pacific theater where he was placed in charge of all strategic air operations against the Japanese home islands. To this day he is credited with designing and implementing an effective and systematic strategic bombing campaign against Japanese cities. After the war, he initiated the Berlin airlift, then reorganized the Strategic Air Command (SAC) into an effective instrument of nuclear war. He served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force from 1961 until his retirement in 1965.
Connection to this Case: I am on the Defense side of this trial and I support President Truman as I played a key role in his decision to drop the atomic bomb. I believed that the Japanese atrocities had to be stopped and an end be put to the devastating war.
1. Japanese Imperialism and the nation of Japan was a great danger to the World and had to be stopped.
2. The war had been going on for far too long and had to be ended as soon as possible by taking any measures needed.
3. The Japanese where in a state of "all-out war" and where never going to surrender. Also, any other means of ending the war such as a mainland invasion of Japan would cost far more lives on both sides than the atomic bomb did.
Source #1- Estimate of the number of U.S troops needed for an invasion of mainland Japan.
United States of America. United States Army Forces. General Headquarters.Downfall-Strategic Plan for Operations in the Japanese Archipelago. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Downfall--strategic Plan for Operations in the Japanese Archipelago. :: World War II Operational Documents. 26 Jan. 2011. Web. 18 Apr. 2015.
Origin- United States Army Forces General Headquarters in the Pacific.
Purpose- Strategic plan that formed the basis for directives for operations to force the unconditional surrender of Japan by seizure of vital objectives in the Japanese Archipelago. Covers the directive itself. Also includes assumptions regarding both sides, operations (concepts, the employment and allocation of forces), and logistics (responsibilities, supply, evacuation, hospitalization, transportation, construction and control of installations and facilities).
Value of this source in preparation of my testimony- The end of the war seemed close only when considering the use of the bomb. All other methods would continue the American-Japanese war with no certain end in sight. This is why this source is of value for the Defense side
Limitations of this source in preparation of my testimony- One limitation to this source might be that it was biased towards the American side and thus the numbers might have been inflated to show a greater number of casualties.
Source #2- Japanese training for home defense in anticipation of American invasion of Japan
Hodges, Miles H. "The Final Assault on Japan (1945) - by Miles Hodges." The Final Assault on Japan (1945). N.p., 2014. Web. 18 Apr. 2015.
Origin- National Archives. 1945
Purpose- This source helps convey the message that Japan was in a state of "all-out war". It shows us how a mainland invasion of Japan would be a suicide mission and even the civilians would take up arms and fight the invaders, thus increasing the amount of casualties on both sides tremendously.
Value of this source in preparation of my testimony- This source shows us how dropping the atomic bomb was probably the best decision in order to end the war swiftly as all other means would of caused many more casualties.
Limitations of this source in preparation of my testimony- One limitation to this source is that it has a very narrow context and we cannot properly understand why and how this picture was taken.