Someone else knew about “Operation Orient” in Washington, Ambassador Oshmima’s message home were being decoded and read. In Toyko, Prime Minister Tojo and the Japanese government were cautious about accepting Operation Orient. The army was still smarting from its defeat in Manchuria. The imperial navy favored seizing the oil rich European colonies in Asia but believed America would intervene. They decided the first priority was to cripple the American Navy’s ability to stop them.
The Nazi attack petered out by January. When it finally ended, the front lines were almost the same as they had been in December. But the Battle of the Bulge cost Hitler nearly a quarter of a million men, a big chunk of his armor, and all hope of defending Germany against the coming attacks from both east and west. The American airborne’s last hurrah in Europe came on March 24, 1945. That day, paratroops and glider infantry of the 17th Airborne landed near Wessel, Germany. It was the biggest Allied airborne operation of the war. With nearly 1700 transports and tow planes, and over 1500 gliders, it took almost 3 hours to land all the men.