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Once the war in Europe was over, did Britain make any preparations to join the U.S. in the expected invasion of Japan?


Gary Carlton

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Dear Mr. Carlton,

Seeing as the Royal Navy had had a contingent supporting the Okinawa campaign (Task Force 57), the British Commonwealth most certainly did plan to support the invasion of Japan.  Its planned force for the landings, Operation Olympic, consisted of Task Force 37: six fleet aircraft carriers accompanying Admiral William F. Halsey’s Third Fleet; Tiger Force, consisting of 480 to 580 Avro Lancasters modified for maximum range bombing or for fuel transport; and the Australian First Tactical Air Force, comprising 20 fighter and attack squadrons of the RAAF.

For the land campaign, Operation Coronet, the Americans would be backed by the Commonwealth Corps under Lt. Gen. Charles Keightley, consisting of the British 3rd Infantry Division, the 6th Canadian Infantry Division, and the Australian 10th Division.

This would have been Britain’s contribution to dealing with what remained of the Japanese forces, had Enola Gay, Bockscar and the Soviet army not beaten them to it.



Jon Guttman
Research Director
World History Group
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