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Pastel: Deception in the Invasion of Japan

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Deception in the Invasion of Japan

  • by Dr. Thomas M. Huber
    • Combat Studies Institute, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Leavenworth, Kansas, 1988

In 1945, to end the Pacific War, American strategic plans foresaw an invasion of Japan's heavily defended home islands. Operations Olympic and Coronet, America's proposed landings on Kyushu and the Tokyo Plain, were the largest amphibious invasions ever planned. Although precluded by the war's end, preparations for both were extensive.


To gain the element of surprise, Washington and theater planners developed Operations Pastel and Coronet Deception, deception operations designed to convey to the Japanese a false story of where the actual assault landings would occur.


In this work, Huber reveals the contents, origins, and effects of these two comprehensive, coordinated deception plans as they related to the scheduled invasion of Japan.


  • Introduction

  • Responsibilities for Implementing Pastel Two

  • Contents of Coronet Deception

  • The Origins of Pastel

  • The Origins of Coronet Deception

  • The Likely Effect: Japanese Perceptions

  • Pastel Versus the Japanese Defense Plans

  • Pastel and Principles of Deception

  • Conclusion

  • Glossary

  • Notes

  • Bibliography

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