August 10th, 1945 (FRIDAY)
MANCHUKUO: Soviet forces have advanced 120 miles since declaring war on Japan.
KOREA: A Soviet Yak-9 of 50 ORAP claims a Kawanishi H6K 'Mavis' flying boat over Najin, northeast Korea.
A defensive gunner of a 37 ShAP Il-2 claims an A6M Zero. (Mike Yared)
JAPAN: The Japanese Imperial Conference begins just prior to midnight.
After much discussion by various cabinet members, they are still unable to make a decision. At 2:00 am, PM Suzuki addresses Hirohito and asks, "Your Imperial decision is requested as to which proposal should be adopted, the foreign minister's or the one with the four conditions."
This was the first time in recorded Japanese history that the Emperor had been asked to make a decision. The military had expected the conference was for discussion and would then disperse. Now, the living god whose every command they had sworn to uphold was about to speak.
"I agree with the foreign minister." is the beginning of his answer. He then reviews events of the past several months. Then he goes on: "Some advocate a decisive battle in the homeland as the way to survival. In past experience, however, there has always been a discrepancy between the fighting services' plans and the results."
The military had demanded death before dishonour for Japan. Hirohito, the God-sent Ruler of the Great Japanese Empire (his official title) favoured dishonour, if need be, as the price of life for his countrymen and survival of Japan.
At 3:00 am the cabinet meeting is resumed. The Emperor's decision is ratified. At 7:00 am General Yoshizumi, Chief of the Military Affairs Division of the War Ministry goes to the foreign ministry to derail sending the notice of the decision, he is too late.
During the day, the military are working at cross purposes. The Senior Officers are trying to comply with the Emperor's decision. The junior officers are confused, disillusioned and ready to revolt.
The conditional Japanese acceptance of the terms of the Potsdam Declaration is announced on Japanese Radio.
The Japanese radio announces the Japanese desire for peace and US Army Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific (USASTAF) limits operations to precision missions. 104 Twentieth Air Force B-29s fly 2 missions against Japan without loss.
- Mission 323: During the day, 70 B-29s, escorted by 2 groups of P-51s, bomb the arsenal complex at Tokyo; 3 others hit alternate targets.
- Mission 324: During the night of 10/11 August, 31 B-29s mine Shimonoseki Strait, Nakaumi Lagoon, and waters at Sakai and Yonago, Japan and Wonsan, Korea.
US and British battleships bombard steel works at Kamaishi.
- 80 B-24s, 118 B-25s, and 220+ P-47s and P-38s of the US Far East Air Force (FEAF) pound the Kumamoto area; 20+ B-24s bomb the Oita area; 39 P-51s provide cover over both targets; nearly 40 B-25s attack destroyers, cargo ships, and small vessels during a shipping sweep between Kyushu Island and Korea; P-47s bomb Sasebo Harbor; and P-51s hit various targets of opportunity on Honshu and Kyushu.
- Carrier-based aircraft from the RN's Task Force 37 and USN's Task Force 38 attack shipping, airfields and railways in the Hokkaido and northern Honshu area; they claim the destruction of 720 aircraft on the ground.
Participating in this attack, are Corsair Mk IVs of the RCN's No. 1841 Squadron in HMS Formidable.
COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILIPPINES: Japanese prisoner of war, Second Lieutenant Minoru Wada guides a USMC formation of PBJs (B-25 Mitchells) and F4Us (Corsairs) onto the headquarters of the 100th IJA Infantry Division commanded by General Harada, at Upian, Mindanao Island. (Gordon Angus MacKinlay) from Time magazine. More...
HMCS Uganda arrived Esquimalt for refit.
HMC ML 051 paid off.
U.S.A.: Dr. Robert H. Goddard, the father of modern rocketry, dies in Baltimore, Maryland, at age 62. On 16 March 1926, Goddard launched the first liquid-fuelled rocket at Auburn, Massachusetts and on 8 March 1935, he was the first to launch a liquid-propellant rocket that attained a speed greater than that of sound. Between 1942 and 1945, he was Director of Research, US Navy Department, Bureau of Aeronautics developing jet-assisted takeoff and variable-thrust liquid-propellant rockets, at Roswell, New Mexico and Annapolis, Maryland. He also served as a consulting engineer with the Curtiss-Wright Corporation at Caldwell, New Jersey, between 1943 and 1945.
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