Did Japan Surrender Unconditionally? An Explanation of the Success that Japan Achieved at the End of the Second World War

The book describes the severe consequences of going after an ‘unconditional surrender’ during WWII. Instead of intimidating the enemies, it infuriated them, and created an insurgent effect and ill-will that made picking up the pieces after the war all the more difficult. Whether or not Japan actually agreed to an unconditional surrender is contested in this book, precisely because Japanese leaders did not want to completely submit to outside influence after the war in a “Super Versailles” like scenario that would hold back progress indefinitely.


“The strength of this paper stands in how many facets of the problem it faces, how many changing situations and how many uncertainties reside in the crystal ball of prediction, and what in the world we mean when we say we must ‘win’ a war.”

-George Simson,
University of Hawaii

Table of Contents

1. Foreword by George Simson
2. Beams and Motes
3. Roosevelt’s Allies: Muted Opposition
4. A Short History of Unconditional Surrender
5. The American Experience in the Second World War: Negotiating Unconditional Surrenders
a. Fascist Italy: A Lost Opportunity
b. Nazi Germany: Once Again, Is a Collapse a Surrender?
6. Imperial Japan: Searching for Terms
7. Imperial Japan: Finding Conditions
8. General Marshall’s Concerns
9. Roosevelt’s Persistence: The Lesser Evil
a. The Domestic Politics of Unconditional Surrender
b. The Tragedy of Poland
c. The Tragedy at Home
10. The Politics of the Potsdam Ultimatum
11. References
12. Index