Operation Olympic background.
Background. Operation Olympic was the first part of the Invasion of Japan planned for 1 NOV 45. Plans were well advanced with forces and materiel being forward deployed when the Japanese surrendered in August '45. The U.S. 6th Army was assigned the task of taking the southern portion of the Japanese island of Kyushu, the last stepping stone before invading the main island of Honshu in the Spring of '46. In July and August prior to the end of WW2 U.S. intelligence had determined that Kyushu would have many more Japanese Divisions than previously known. There would be an almost 1:1 ratio between the Allied assault force and the island defenders - hardly a recipe for success. Post war interviews found that the Japanese had figured out the Allied next logical invasion area and were in the midst of preparing Kyushu for a supreme suicidal showdown to bleed the assault white. Thousands of aircraft and their pilots were waiting to kamikaze into carrier decks and troop ships as the invasion fleet neared. At this stage in the war Japan only had submarines and small surface craft left from its once proud Navy and were creating small speed boat sized craft with explosives strapped to their bows - again the intended targets were the Allied troop transports. The Japanese situation on the ground was grim. The Army was starved of fuel, ammo and equipment thanks to the incessant bombing of the U.S. B-29s and successful submarine blockade of all shipping to Japan. Many Tokko 'Special Attack' units were created from the peasantry and poorly armed militias. The battle for Ariake Wan was, for both sides, going to be the defacto main effort of the largest amphibious assault in history. U.S. success in the Ariake area would unhinge any Japanese reinforcements, isolate the forward defenders and ensure the success of landings at other invasion beaches.
Culminating clash of armor during the battle of Kursk in 1943 between the German vanguard of the SS Panzer Corps and the Russian 5th Guards Tank Army. Participate in one of the largest tank battles of WW2!