Declassifying Operation Downfall

May 06, 2009

Dear Mr. Gregory,

With pleasure I read your article on-line, about Operation Downfall. I am alive today, because that invasion was not necessary, thanks to the a-bombs. I'm involved in a debate with others who are saturated with typical revisionist history, that the a-bombs were fully unnecessary, that they were dropped only to impress Stalin, etc.  You will know this problem.

In any case, there are many quotes from notables claiming the a-bombs were not necessary, but it is my contention few of them knew about Operation Downfall, which remained classified for many years. So now I am trying to find out when, exactly, declassification occurred. Do you know this date?

Thanks very much, and also thanks for your service to freedom in those difficult years.

All the best,

James DeMeo
Oregon, USA


No report that I can find gives the actual date of declassification of Operation Downfall documents.

All reports just say "  Now declassified documents." very frustrating!!

I am in complete accord with you, I would most likely not be here but for Truman taking the decision to use the Atomic Bomb, all the non user fraternity, no doubt, were never at risk in Operation Downfall.

Best wishes,


     AUTHOR Allen, Thomas B. / Polmar, Norman
     TITLE Code-name Downfall: The Secret Plan to Invade Japan - and Why Truman Dropped the Bomb
     PUBLISHER Simon & Schuster
     CITY New York, NY
     ISBN 0-684-80406-9

Tracing the progress of the Pacific Theater of World War II, this book concentrates on the strategy and tactics used by each side. It details the U.S. plans and preparations for Operation Downfall, a planned invasion of Japan that the authors believe would have been far costlier in human lives than the D-Day landings in France. The authors reveal that both the Japanese and the Americans considered using poison gas, and that both sides had been assembling troops and ships in unprecedented numbers prior to the dropping of the bombs. Throughout the book, they maintain that the use of the bombs to end the war was both necessary and moral and saved many more lives than it took. To support this opinion, they discuss the personal beliefs of important decision makers including Truman, MacArthur, Marshall, and LeMay, and draw on documents declassified in the 1990s.

This book may have the actual date of declassification of Operation Downfall documents, here it just indicates in the 1990's.


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