Race to Victory: WWII Pacific
It's May 8th, 1945. Nazi Germany has just surrendered, ending nearly six dark years in Europe. VE-Day celebrations erupt amid the citizenry of war-torn nations. But in the Pacific, the troops' reaction is muted. Europe may as well be the moon. American troops on Okinawa are in the midst of one of the bloodiest battles of the entire war. Japan shows no sign of surrender. It will be exactly 100 more days to VJ-Day, and it will include some of the most tumultuous and significant days of the 20th Century. The rules of war are in tatters; both sides use the most brutal tactics to kill as many of their opponents as possible. For America, those tactics include fire – napalm from tanks, and firebombs from planes. The Pacific Theater is burning. The war is not waning. The death tolls are rising on all sides. The public is distraught that a war clearly going America's way continues to claim thousands. Yet Allies begin planning the biggest operation of the entire war: The 2-million-man invasion of Japan itself. Planners estimate the fighting could rage into 1947. But a handful of scientists are testing a brand new super-weapon. Truman makes the ultimate decision, and a new horror is unleashed upon the world. Japan's emperor finally capitulates. These are days of radical change, as nations run headlong into each other and spark destruction the globe has never witnessed. When the end finally comes, VJ Day finishes the party that VE Day started. The world is at peace -- and profoundly different. The century pivots at this moment. These handful of days will create the path for the world to follow for the next 75 years -- and counting.