Did Axis military personnel know the morality of their cause?

May 2019
149
Northern and Western hemispheres
Did military personnel from Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan see themselves as the bad guys (or even the good guys)? If they did then at what point in time did they come to that realization? There's a thread asking when did Germans realize they were the bad guys. However its likely to old to be opened up again so I thought I would make a new thread including the other main Axis countries.
 
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Mar 2019
1,983
Kansas
Did military personnel from Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan see themselves as the bad guys (or even the good guys)? If they did then at what point in time did they come to that realization? There's a thread asking when did Germans realize they were the bad guys. However its likely to old to be opened up again so I thought I would make a new thread including the other main Axis countries.
The Japanese definitely saw themselves as the good guys. They were convinced they were bringing an end to colonialism in the East Asia and the Western Pacific.
 
Sep 2017
771
United States
I think very, very few people ever see themselves as "bad" or "evil".

However twisted, self-serving, or delusional they are, people have their reasons.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,828
The convinced and dedicated Nazis in their own view certainly acted ethically and morally correctly on the basis of their own ideological conception of good and evil – the problem with them was never any lack of an ethical perspective, but the underlying assumptions behind it.

A lot of Germans were initially willing to fight to restore Germany's status in the world, unjustly lost in their opinion. Most Germans were willing to defend Germany as and when the war turned bad for it.