In December of 1941, America was attacked by the Imperial Empire of Japan. Without doubt or hesitation, the United States responded. Putting the country on a war footing, they converted steel, auto, textile, and appliance manufacturing to make weapons, bullets, aircraft, uniforms, and ships. For example, it is still possible today to buy a firearm that was made by Singer Sewing Machines, IBM, Underwood Typewriters, or Rock-Ola, a manufacturer of jukeboxes.
In August of 1945, having already fought the war in Europe to a conclusion, America was poised for a land invasion of the Japanese home islands. There was a navy, army, and air forces the likes of which the world had never seen. Supply lines, bases, air fields, fleets of ships, all built and directed with the purpose of achieving unconditional victory.
The United States didn’t have any trouble determining who their enemy was. Finding ever more efficient ways to kill that enemy and eliminate that enemy’s ability to wage war was the goal, and America was goal oriented. Protecting American lives and property while destroying the enemy was a plus.
In the midst of this war, America developed a new weapon, and in an effort to spare the Army, Navy, and Marines the human cost of the invasion, America used it. Twice. This new weapon did not kill vastly more people than the firebombings that proceeded it, it just did it more efficiently, with one aircraft instead of four hundred.
The Japanese High Command finally decided to capitulate, but it is clear that if they had not, America would have just kept coming, killing, bombing, destroying, for as long as it took to reduce the Japanese to surrender. The Japanese signed documents agreeing to surrender unconditionally on the deck of the U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2nd, 1945, and as they did, there was a flyover of fighter planes. It looked like this: It took less than 4 years. That’s the kind of country the United States of America was.
There is no substitute for victory.
–General Douglas MacArthur