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Old November 7th, 2012, 08:22 PM   #1

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Post Japan & Germany during WWII


Were Japan and Germany actual allies during the second world war, or did they just have the common enemy of the USA, and a similar plan of imperialism?

I mean they both wanted to take over the world, so wouldn't that have lead to them eventually going at war against each other?

or am i missing something, making this a stupid question?
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Old November 7th, 2012, 08:43 PM   #2

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They didn't want to take over the world. That was wartime propaganda from the Allies that still lingers on. For starters neither nation possesed anything near the resources required for a war of global conquest.

They were however seeking to establish empires in their respective corners of the world. Germany wanted 'living space' in Eastern Europe, and the Japanese were seeking control over raw materials from mainland Asia and the Dutch East Indies such as iron, rubber, and oil to help fuel its economy and industrialization.

They were officially allies, but there was very little cooperation between Germany and Japan compared to the Allied powers. Mostly that was because of geography.
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Old November 7th, 2012, 11:42 PM   #3

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I am going to hopefully assume this isn't for homework?

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Originally Posted by Currahee View Post
Were Japan and Germany actual allies during the second world war, or did they just have the common enemy of the USA, and a similar plan of imperialism?
First, i think it was an alliance of convenience. I think if it were a true alliance, including Italy, then they would have cooperated much more in synchronizing the foreign policy aims rather then doing what they thought they could for the countries, often without the knowledge of their alleged allies.

Second, the USA wasn't their main common enemy. That is our centric view of World War 2 history. Though the US was a future enemy to Germany, as far as Hitler was concerned, he wasn't that interested in taking on the US until he could reduce or destroy British power and above all else ultimately destroy the USSR. And the Japanese for the most part were split on warring on the US from the mid thirties on until December 7th of 41'. Before then, on one side there was the "anti-war with the US" Japanese who didn't want to take on US industrial and financial might, while on the other there were the "pro war on the US" Japanese who felt they didn't have any further option if they were to complete their conquest of China and the est of South East Asia. However, I think if any country would qualify for that role in both Japanese and German eyes, then it would have been the Soviet Union.

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I mean they both wanted to take over the world, so wouldn't that have lead to them eventually going at war against each other?
Immediately take over the world? Many find that preposterous, though i don't think it is as far fetched as it sounds if we think long term. But i think for their immediate concerns, they were more interested in dominating their regions first and then give a try for world dominance later. Several decades later perhaps and maybe at odds with one another if skillfully played by some world power?

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or am i missing something, making this a stupid question?
No question is ever stupid.
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Old November 8th, 2012, 12:36 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by dixoeileen View Post
That was wartime propaganda from the Allies that still lingers on.Click the image to open in full size.
What was?
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Old November 8th, 2012, 12:36 AM   #5

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Reluctant Allies: German-Japanese Naval Relations in World War II: Amazon.co.uk: Axel Niestle, Yoichi Hirama, Hans-Joachim Krug, Berthold J. Sander-Nagashima: Books
Reluctant Allies: German-Japanese Naval Relations in World War II: Amazon.co.uk: Axel Niestle, Yoichi Hirama, Hans-Joachim Krug, Berthold J. Sander-Nagashima: Books


This book might be of interest. I've not read it myself, but it's been on my wish list for a while now. I do know that the Germans and Japanese only ever fought together in one theatre during the Second World War; the Indian Ocean. This was done by the long range German U-Boats of the Monsun Gruppe.
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Old November 8th, 2012, 12:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Currahee View Post
Were Japan and Germany actual allies during the second world war, or did they just have the common enemy of the USA, and a similar plan of imperialism?

I mean they both wanted to take over the world, so wouldn't that have lead to them eventually going at war against each other?

or am i missing something, making this a stupid question?
The USA wasn't their only common enemy. The Japanese also attacked and conquered many of the British and French (and the resource rich Dutch East Indies) possessions in the Far East, attempting to penetrate as far as India. That took critical manpower and other resources away from the British effort in Europe and elsewhere.

And the other area in which direct cooperation would have been possible was in the USSR - the Germans wanted Japan to open up a second front against the Russians, but the Japanese didn't do so.

There was also some technology transfer - I believe the first Japanese jet fighter was based on the Me-262, and its engine was definitely based on the same one used in the German place.
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Old November 8th, 2012, 01:11 AM   #7

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Originally Posted by Naomasa298 View Post
The USA wasn't their only common enemy. The Japanese also attacked and conquered many of the British and French (and the resource rich Dutch East Indies) possessions in the Far East, attempting to penetrate as far as India. That took critical manpower and other resources away from the British effort in Europe and elsewhere.

And the other area in which direct cooperation would have been possible was in the USSR - the Germans wanted Japan to open up a second front against the Russians, but the Japanese didn't do so.

There was also some technology transfer - I believe the first Japanese jet fighter was based on the Me-262, and its engine was definitely based on the same one used in the German place.
One of the more interesting episodes of cooperation between the Axis was a shipment of 560 kg of uranium oxide sent from Germany aboard a U-boat, intended for use in Japan's atomic weapons program. The uranium never reached Japan however, because Germany surrendered while the submarine was still enroute. The submarine recieved the surrender order while still at sea, and the Captain turned the vessel around to Maine, where he surrendered to the US Navy.
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Old November 8th, 2012, 05:05 AM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scaeva View Post
One of the more interesting episodes of cooperation between the Axis was a shipment of 560 kg of uranium oxide sent from Germany aboard a U-boat, intended for use in Japan's atomic weapons program. The uranium never reached Japan however, because Germany surrendered while the submarine was still en route. The submarine received the surrender order while still at sea, and the Captain turned the vessel around to Maine, where he surrendered to the US Navy.
It wasn't intended for the Japanese atomic program, it was to be used as a catalyst in the production of synthetic fuels.

ps: to be used in an atomic bomb it would first need to be processed through a working nuclear reactor, which neither the Japanese or Germans ever had.
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Old November 8th, 2012, 05:25 AM   #9

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Currahee View Post
Were Japan and Germany actual allies during the second world war, or did they just have the common enemy of the USA, and a similar plan of imperialism?

I mean they both wanted to take over the world, so wouldn't that have lead to them eventually going at war against each other?

or am i missing something, making this a stupid question?
Germany wanted an Aryan Europe. Hitler called it lebensraum "living space" in which inferior populations would be exploited, marginalised, or simply removed.

Japan wanted an empire to supply its ambitions toward becoming a dominant industrial nation. Lacking the resources they needed, and ruled by a military junta that thought in terms of conquest, then achieving this by force was interpreted as a form of destiny.

Both nations were co-signees of a treaty (along with Italy) before the war. Germany supplied Japan with technology and late in the war U-boats travelled there carrying consignments of ore. I'm not sure what Japan did for Germany but I wouldn't doubt there were political advantages.

In any case both nations were enemies of the Soviet Union and thus co-operating to contain Russia was desirable for both states. Had both nations achieved their desires their strengths would have balanced the temptation to attack each other, but then, you would have to argue whether such ambition was practicable. After all, Japan was well aware that America would defeat them in a drawn out war due to their size and economic strengths, and only attacked Pearl Harbor to push them out of contention in one hit - a gamble they lost.

It is true that Germany had plans to invade America, both for their own ends and also to exploit the pacific war to their own advantage, but you have to view those with some caution. It was, like many ideas mooted in nazi circles, a pipe dream.
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Old November 8th, 2012, 05:29 AM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Currahee View Post
Were Japan and Germany actual allies during the second world war, or did they just have the common enemy of the USA, and a similar plan of imperialism?

I mean they both wanted to take over the world, so wouldn't that have lead to them eventually going at war against each other?

or am i missing something, making this a stupid question?

Where on earth did you get the idea that Japan wanted to take over the world, please, please, please drive it from your head.
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