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September 2, 1945, The End of the Pacific Theater, WWII

September 2, 2006

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After a long battle with an enemy that would fight to the death rather than surrender, Japan signed an unconditional surrender to end WWII in the Pacific Theater.

Unlike the battle in the European theater which had previously ended, the Japanese fought on even when the result was known to both sides. It was a greater honor to die fighting, and the ultimate dishonor was to surrender. The US had to make an ultimate statement to convince Japan of the futility of fighting on, that total destruction awaited them if they didn’t give up the fight.

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There was much happiness in the streets that it was over, but much work remained. The Allied forces occupied western Europe and Japan for some 10+ years (and still have a military presence) to help rebuild them and turn both into economic success stories as they embraced freedom, democracy and capitalism. I wonder if these lessons will be learned in the middle east?

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From → history, military

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