While I’m not a military historian by training, it seems fairly clear to me that the Soviet Union’s entry into the war did not constitute anywhere near as great a direct military threat to the home islands as did the ongoing US bombardment and pending invasion (as opposed to the very real threat the Red Army posed to Manchuria and the Korean Peninsula). What Soviet entry did do was immediately undermine the government’s agreed upon policy of seeking Soviet mediation to negotiate a settlement and thereby force, or at least facilitate, consideration of the Potsdam Declaration.
My summary: the entire Japanese strategy was based on killing enough Americans in the invasion to force a negotiated peace. The Japanese military was utterly committed to this, in part because it held the prospect of not only retaining the Emperor but retaining their control over the civilian government as well (the Japanese military could collapse a government at any time by withdrawing their Minister, which they controlled).
The general's 80% fall into the category identified by S.L.A. Marshall--they carry a weapon, but may not actually fire it, though Marshall's estimate (that no more than 15-20% of soldiers fired their weapons in WWII combat) yields a lower number in this group than the general mentions. His final 10% are the functional few. Nine of them load, fire, and maneuver; but the last one stands out. This is the one who thinks and fights, i.e. functions at full capacity.
Yes, modern warfare only has a fraction of those involved actually taking part in close combat. But in the end, it takes boots on the ground to go in, neutralize the opposition, and hold the ground. No, there's no need for beserkers in planes, or running drones, or firing artillery, launching missiles, or cyber warfare. The infantry still exists and will always exist, and men going up against each other to kill and destroy will remain an uncivilized horror. The training to prepare men for that must remain intense, and in those units both soldiers and professionals (e.g.
I shared this post on FB, and found that suggesting the 'warrior cult' was dysfunctional for a democracy instantly led to claims that I couldn't 'get it' since I am not a combat veteran. I served as a Marine grunt, but I still 'can't know'.
H-War Book Reviews
Alexander Watson. Ring of Steel: Germany and Austria-Hungary in World War I. New York: Basic Books, 2014. 832 pp. $40.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-465-01872-7.
Reviewed by Matthew Lungerhausen (Winona State University) Published on H-War (June, 2018) Commissioned by Margaret Sankey (Air War College)
Printable Version: http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showpdf.php?id=49520
David R. Morse. Kissinger and the Yom Kippur War. Jefferson: McFarland, 2015. 216 pp. $35.00 (paper), ISBN 978-0-7864-9864-2.
Reviewed by Kenny Kolander (West Virginia University) Published on H-War (June, 2018) Commissioned by Margaret Sankey (Air War College)
Printable Version: http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showpdf.php?id=47671
Jonathan Wyrtzen. Making Morocco: Colonial Intervention and the Politics of Identity. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2016. Illustrations, maps. 352 pp. $45.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-1-5017-0023-1.
Reviewed by Kristin Hissong (Air University, Air Force Culture and Language Center) Published on H-War (June, 2018) Commissioned by Margaret Sankey (Air War College)
George E. Melton. From Versailles to Mers el-Kébir: The Promise of Anglo-French Naval Cooperation, 1919-40. Washington, DC: Naval Institute Press, 2015. 288 pp. $42.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-1-61251-879-4.
Reviewed by Bradley Cesario (Texas A&M University) Published on H-War (June, 2018) Commissioned by Margaret Sankey (Air War College)
Phil Porter. The Soldiers of Fort Mackinac: An Illustrated History. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2018. 196 pp. $39.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-1-61186-281-2.
Reviewed by Gregory Michna (Arkansas Tech University) Published on H-War (June, 2018) Commissioned by Margaret Sankey (Air War College)
Printable Version: http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showpdf.php?id=52301