On this day in 1945, members of the Japanese Imperial Guards failed in a coup against the Emperor, which they initiated because they wanted to fight on. We had slaughtered the Japanese after the Battle of Coral Sea in May, 1942, destroyed from the air all their major cities (except Kyoto) and, co-incidentally, had just obliterated the last oil refinery in Japan, the last target actually worth bombing. We had sunk all their ships, destroyed most of their aircraft and had nuked two cities and replacement bombs were set to be delivered in mid and late August. The Russians had entered the war and were wading through the remnants of the once proud Imperial Army. And these guys wanted to depose the Divine Emperor so as not to surrender.
Apparently cooler heads prevailed. That's the Emperor recording the surrender speech.
Labels: Attempted Coup, WWII history; Pacific theater