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Prelude to Downfall

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By late 1943, Japan's World War II military leaders had recognized the futility of their plans to seize and hold large areas of the Pacific as a means of winning a negotiated peace that would grant them their basic strategic objectives. Examining the situation realistically, Japan's military high command, called the Imperial General Headquarters, determined to fight off advancing American forces from within a strategic perimeter that would have to be much smaller than the far more ambitious defensive line stipulated in Japan's basic war plan.

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