Operation Majestic (ii)

'Majestic' (ii) was an Allied revised version of 'Coronet' (ii), the second stage of the US invasion of the Japanese home islands scheduled to land on each side of Tokyo on the south-eastern side of Honshu island on 1 March 1946 (1945).

The codename had originally been used for the planned 'Olympic' landings on Kyushu, the most southerly of the Japanese large home islands, for fear that the original codename might have been compromised.

'Majestic' (ii) was to have been launched on 1 November 1945 from an Allied naval armada that would have been the largest ever assembled. It was to have included 42 aircraft carriers, 24 battleships, and 400 destroyers and destroyer escorts. A total of 14 US divisions and one 'division-equivalent (two regimental combat teams) were scheduled to take part in the initial landings. Using Okinawa as a staging base, the objective was to have been the seizure of Kyushu’s southern portion, which was then to have been used as the staging point for the 'Coronet' (ii) landing on Honshu.

'Majestic' (ii) was also to have included the 'Pastel' deception scheme designed to convince the Japanese that the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff Committee had rejected the notion of a direct invasion of Japan in favour of an encirclement and bombardment of Japan on the basis of the capture of base areas in Formosa, along the cost of Chinese, and in the area if the Yellow Sea,

Tactical air support for 'Majestic' (ii) was to have been the responsibility of the US 5th, 7th and 13th Army Air Forces, which were to destroy Japanese airfields and primary transport capabilities on Kyushu and the southern part of Honshu, and to win and maintain air superiority over the beaches. The task of strategic bombing fell on the United States Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific, comprising the US 8th and 20th Army Air Forces, and the British 'Tiger' Force. The 20th AAF was to have continued its role as the main Allied strategic bomber force against the Japanese home islands, operating from airfields in the Mariana islands group.

Following the end of the war in Europe in May 1945, plans were also made to transfer some of the heavy bomber groups of the 8th AAF to air bases on Okinawa for the conduct of strategic bombing raids in co-ordination with the 20th AAF. The 8th AAF was to upgrade its capabilities by replacing its formations' from the current Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and Consolidated B-24 Liberator types to the B-29 Superfortress: the first of the 8th AAF’s groups received the B-29 on 8 August.

Before the main landings, the offshore islands of Tanega-shima, Yaku-shima and the Koshiki-jima islands group were to have been taken, starting from five days before 'Majestic' (ii). The 'Iceberg' invasion of Okinawa had demonstrated the value of establishing secure anchorages close at hand for those ships not needed directly off the landing beaches and also for ships damaged by air attack.

'Majestic' (ii) was to have been undertaken the US 6th Army at three points, namely Miyazaki, Ariake and Kushikino, and the 35 landing beaches were to have been named for automobile marques starting with 'Austin', 'Buick' and 'Cadillac' and ending with 'Stutz', 'Winton' and 'Zephyr'. The planners estimated that their three corps, one assigned to each landing, would outnumber the Japanese by approximately 3/1. Early in 1945, Miyazaki was virtually undefended, while Ariake, with its good nearby harbor, was heavily defended.

'Majestic' (ii) was not intended to take the whole island but only the southern third of it as this would provide the staging area and air bases for 'Coronet'.