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Old December 15th, 2012, 03:16 AM   #111

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Originally Posted by Naomasa298 View Post
When did Germany ally with Japan?

Prior to that, Germany had been on the side of China against the Japanese, which could have left the US in an interesting position in the Far East, fighting against Germany in Europe but with them in Asia.
It was in 1938 that Hitler decided that Japan would be a more useful ally to Germany than China.

ps: While Germany had no treaty with Japan which compelled them to go to war with the USA, Hitler had privately promised them from mid 41 that if they did attack the USA he would also declare war on the USA.
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Old December 15th, 2012, 03:16 AM   #112

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Bigotry aside, this argument has one enormous hole. There was no guarantee that Germany would declare war on America in the event of hostilities between the US and Japan. In fact, the tripartite pact only specified that the parties should come to the aid of each other IF they were attacked, not if they were the attacker. So if such a calculation (pick a fight with Japan so Germany will declare war) proves unfounded in 1941, America then has a war with Japan (whom they didn't want to fight) and peace with Germany (whom they did). You're living in a house of cards.
I have heard that that some American soldiers(at least at first) were upset at fighting against Germany. They enlisted to fight Japan.

So it seems like a legit argument that war with one didn't mean war with the other.
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Old December 15th, 2012, 03:56 AM   #113

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Hitler had been trying to get the Japanese into the war almost from day one. He relied on the fact that Japan wanted to expand and had already done so. The wars in Manchuria before WW2.

The Japanese had something the Germans did not: one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, most modern and well trained navies in the world. It is plain that such a navy was an extremely serious threat to the British, destroying access to their eastern empire. Germany's deep water surface fleet was tiny by comparison.

It is a mistake by many historians to see WW2 as two separate wars: one in the east, one in the west. Japan could have been a threat to Russia, with obvious implications for their war effort and hence that of the western war.

The Japanese, however, remained largely unconvinced by Hitler's arguments and had their own agenda. However, when one European power after another was invaded by Germany, their eastern empires and colonies were up for grabs. This proved too much to resist for the Japanese.

Hitler, of course, realised the impact this would have upon the British, and was probably opposed to Japan's plan to give America a warning at Pearl Harbor.

Yes, many Americans were dismayed by the fact that they would be expected to fight the Germans. In areas like America's "midlands", people of German origin in some towns were some 70% of the population. Plus, of course, there were memories of WW1.

Heidi does have a point in that, seen objectively, America's actions when looked at from a neutral point of view could easily be seen as "Pro British" and "Anti-German" in the couple of years prior to her entry into the war: lend-lease, gifts of weapons, financial embargoes and deals, and the extension of US territorial waters almost as far as Iceland certainly favoured the British and caused severe problems for the Germans.

(As a Brit, I'm not complaining )
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Old December 15th, 2012, 05:47 AM   #114

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The Japanese had something the Germans did not: one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, most modern and well trained navies in the world. )
Both the USN and RN were larger in terms of numbers, but in the naval aviation field she was more powerful and at the start more skillful than either the USN or RN. However the Japanese navy had a major flaw, one that is often overlooked, it had very few anti-submarine warfare vessels and the level of equipment and training was pitiful. When the US submarine fleet went on the offensive the Japanese merchant navy would quickly pay the price for this error.
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Old December 15th, 2012, 06:19 AM   #115

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Hitler had been trying to get the Japanese into the war almost from day one. He relied on the fact that Japan wanted to expand and had already done so. The wars in Manchuria before WW2.

The Japanese had something the Germans did not: one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, most modern and well trained navies in the world. It is plain that such a navy was an extremely serious threat to the British, destroying access to their eastern empire. Germany's deep water surface fleet was tiny by comparison.

It is a mistake by many historians to see WW2 as two separate wars: one in the east, one in the west. Japan could have been a threat to Russia, with obvious implications for their war effort and hence that of the western war.

The Japanese, however, remained largely unconvinced by Hitler's arguments and had their own agenda. However, when one European power after another was invaded by Germany, their eastern empires and colonies were up for grabs. This proved too much to resist for the Japanese.

Hitler, of course, realised the impact this would have upon the British, and was probably opposed to Japan's plan to give America a warning at Pearl Harbor.

Yes, many Americans were dismayed by the fact that they would be expected to fight the Germans. In areas like America's "midlands", people of German origin in some towns were some 70% of the population. Plus, of course, there were memories of WW1.

Heidi does have a point in that, seen objectively, America's actions when looked at from a neutral point of view could easily be seen as "Pro British" and "Anti-German" in the couple of years prior to her entry into the war: lend-lease, gifts of weapons, financial embargoes and deals, and the extension of US territorial waters almost as far as Iceland certainly favoured the British and caused severe problems for the Germans.

(As a Brit, I'm not complaining )
All that is true. But having a policy of assisting a belligerent short of war and actively manipulating another into firing the first shot are two entirely different things. Other than questionable attribution of motivation, there is no primary evidence that indicates that the Roosevelt administration actively fomented a crisis to maneuver Tokyo into attacking.
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Old December 15th, 2012, 06:20 AM   #116

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Originally Posted by redcoat View Post
Both the USN and RN were larger in terms of numbers, but in the naval aviation field she was more powerful and at the start more skillful than either the USN or RN. However the Japanese navy had a major flaw, one that is often overlooked, it had very few anti-submarine warfare vessels and the level of equipment and training was pitiful. When the US submarine fleet went on the offensive the Japanese merchant navy would quickly pay the price for this error.
Actually, it took almost 2 years for the American subs to begin having an impact. The torpedoes with which they started the war were horrible.
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Old December 15th, 2012, 07:40 AM   #117

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All that is true. But having a policy of assisting a belligerent short of war and actively manipulating another into firing the first shot are two entirely different things. Other than questionable attribution of motivation, there is no primary evidence that indicates that the Roosevelt administration actively fomented a crisis to maneuver Tokyo into attacking.
I'm not implying that If Roosevelt was trying to provoke Japan, then surely US defences in the Pacific would have been forewarned. Pearl Harbor came as a shock to everyone, although Japanese and American tensions over Asia existed well before the war, and were a major spur for the huge expansion of the US Navy and the "Two Oceans" expansion plan. As the US ambassador told his Japanese counterpart immediately after Pearl Harbor: "we will grow stronger and you will grow weaker". Pretty much what happened. Anyone could see that, which makes Japan's attack all the more surprising and a severe miscalculation Yamamoto himself privately admitted. The attempt to neutralise rather than defeat the US Pacific Fleet was a gamble which failed.
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Old December 15th, 2012, 07:57 AM   #118

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I'm not implying that If Roosevelt was trying to provoke Japan, then surely US defences in the Pacific would have been forewarned. Pearl Harbor came as a shock to everyone, although Japanese and American tensions over Asia existed well before the war, and were a major spur for the huge expansion of the US Navy and the "Two Oceans" expansion plan. As the US ambassador told his Japanese counterpart immediately after Pearl Harbor: "we will grow stronger and you will grow weaker". Pretty much what happened. Anyone could see that, which makes Japan's attack all the more surprising and a severe miscalculation Yamamoto himself privately admitted. The attempt to neutralise rather than defeat the US Pacific Fleet was a gamble which failed.
Sorry if I came off a bit strident. But some could take your post as a justification for the Roosevelt-maneuvered-Japan-into-attacking-Pearl-Harbor-so-he-could-get-a-war-with-Germany hypothesis.
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Old December 15th, 2012, 08:14 AM   #119

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Well, for my own part, I fail to see how war with Japan was necessary IF Roosevelt really wanted a go at Germany

The Roosevelt-maneuvered-Japan-into-attacking-Pearl-Harbor-so-he-could-get-a-war-with-Germany hypothesis seems a bit tortuous to me.

Yes, Hitler wanted Japan in the war, but both Germany and Japan underestimated America. Hitler declared war on the USA in order to encourage his Japanese allies: the Japanese attacked at Pearl Harbor to neutralise the American Pacific fleet, and then they'd retreat behind their "perimeter fence" and hope that their and the Nazis' belief that Americans had no stomach for war was true.

It is my belief that even if Charles Lindbergh had somehow become president, Japan's ambitions in the east and the temptation of all those up-for-grabs former European colonies and conquests would have led to confrontation between Japan and the USA.
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Old December 15th, 2012, 09:22 AM   #120

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Well, for my own part, I fail to see how war with Japan was necessary IF Roosevelt really wanted a go at Germany

The Roosevelt-maneuvered-Japan-into-attacking-Pearl-Harbor-so-he-could-get-a-war-with-Germany hypothesis seems a bit tortuous to me.

Yes, Hitler wanted Japan in the war, but both Germany and Japan underestimated America. Hitler declared war on the USA in order to encourage his Japanese allies: the Japanese attacked at Pearl Harbor to neutralise the American Pacific fleet, and then they'd retreat behind their "perimeter fence" and hope that their and the Nazis' belief that Americans had no stomach for war was true.

It is my belief that even if Charles Lindbergh had somehow become president, Japan's ambitions in the east and the temptation of all those up-for-grabs former European colonies and conquests would have led to confrontation between Japan and the USA.
Agreed on all points.
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