Japan in WW2

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,469
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Lol. Love me some propaganda tourist attractions.
The most disturbing thing was the line of primary school children singing happy primary school songs and saying "haro, haro" to tourists who passed them. They were on their way to the shrine, and were dressed in 30s style black uniforms, presumably heading towards "indoctrination for kids".

Yamato-damashii ain't dead.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,891
One can rely on about 20% of the population of any country to be political morons. Danger lies more in how that gets expressed.
 
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Sep 2016
41
France
There is no clause in Versailles that forbids either Germany or Britain from signing a treaty.
But the treaty of Versailles also prevented Germany to build a strong navy, both Germany and the UK had signed the treaty of Versailles. So by what rights could the UK discard the limitations agreed at Versailles without consulting its allies ? At the Stresa conference, Italy, France and the UK had agreed to oppose against any repudiations of the treaties. The UK betrayed both France and Italy. Many British might not like to hear it, but their country bear its fair part of guilt in the german rearmament.

Betrayed?
How is Britain obligated to defend France, if the French are incapable of doing so?
Maybe British are bad at geography, but France shares a direct border with Germany, I know the British were protected by the sea, but they should have taken it into consideration. The French did what they could to defend their country, mobilizing more than 5 millions men. British might also be bad when it comes to demography, so here is the thing : France had a population of 40 millions, Germany about 70 millions. France couldn't defeat Germany alone, and contrary to what happened during WW1, the Germans weren't fighting a two-fronts war in 1940. The British had sent millions of men in France during WW1, surely they should have realised what kind of sacrifices were needed to defeat Germany. Where were those men in 1940 ? The British only sent 500 000 men, for a country with roughly the same population as France, it's quite pathetic. So yeah, you can claim France should have defended itself, losing, again, millions of men in the process, but in the end, it was in the british interest to prevent the collapse of France.
 
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robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,207
Lisbon, Portugal
The most disturbing thing was the line of primary school children singing happy primary school songs and saying "haro, haro" to tourists who passed them. They were on their way to the shrine, and were dressed in 30s style black uniforms, presumably heading towards "indoctrination for kids".

Yamato-damashii ain't dead.
Since you are pretty familiar with Japan, how much of the population there feels "nostalgia" with the militarist period? How aware is the Japanese public as a all that in that period Japan made terrible mistakes with their foreign policy and should not try going on that road again?
 

robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,207
Lisbon, Portugal
the original Bushido code was for Samurai, which were relatively few in number and required years of training to achieve warrior status.
the mass forces in WWII precluded such values and philosophies. they mass produced soldiers with a veneer of 'warrior virtue'.
The thing that we really should know is that the "bushido" is a 19th century invention. It's a mythologized and bastardized idea of an Edo period idealization of Samurai behavior.
There was never a standardized and codified set of rules in the Samurai era. There was certainly unwritten codes of behavior - and since the Edo period some written ones - that a Samurai should ascribe to (just like medieval knights and other privileged classes in pre-modern Europe), but it was not an obligation per se, and it was mostly an ideal rather than a requirement.

Many of those set of rules weren't uniquely Japanese, neither the Samurai were uniquely "honorable" compared with other pre-modern warrior and privileged classes in other cultures. In fact most of those rules were copied from Neo-confucian and Buddhist Zen philosophy coming from China and Korea, with the difference that Japan was a far more martialized society than China and Korea were in the early modern period.

What happened in early 20th century Japan was something unparalleled in Japanese history. And that stems from a toxic mixture of Prussian militarism, bastardized "Bushido", religious Shinto and Buddhist Zen fanaticism, modern imperialism, social Darwinism and Fascism.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,891
But the treaty of Versailles also prevented Germany to build a strong navy, both Germany and the UK had signed the treaty of Versailles. So by what rights could the UK discard the limitations agreed at Versailles without consulting its allies ? At the Stresa conference, Italy, France and the UK had agreed to oppose against any repudiations of the treaties. The UK betrayed both France and Italy. Many British might not like to hear it, but their country bear its fair part of guilt in the german rearmament.
Problem of hindsight.

The US went home in 1918. Already then the French in particular were requesting the US to stick around to sort out the European post-war order. The US did not. The fact that it stuck around and did it properly after 1945 is in itself a kind of admission that this was a mistake.

So that left the European victors to sort things out themselves. However the UK drew down its forces to peace-time levels quite quickly, relying on the RN, as it was accustomed to.

Effect? The role of enforcer and policeman for the entire post-WWI political order in Europe fell to the French pretty much by default. The post-WWI peacetime strength of the French army was still 1,5 million men.

OK. That could still work, if the division of labour and the French being trust into this role was at least tacitly accepted, and the French allowed to put their weight about.

Except now there was the 1923 occupation of the Ruhr, over Germany not coughing up the dough agreed in the settlement. So the rather massive French army invaded and took control. No problem with that so far. Except then comes the political fall out, and France is now the fall guy and British and US political support of Germany forces France to abandon what it's doing and bugger out of the Ruhr by 1925.

And certainly the French were being beastly, and poor Weimar republic Germany was put upon and by and large every bit as respectable a republic as the French at the time. I.e. it's not difficult to relate to the sympathy from the British towards the Weimar republic, and antipathy for the obvious French high handedness.

Except now we have a situation where the victors of WWI have fallen out between each other, and the power propelled into the after all rather thankless role of enforcer gets in turn nerfed in that role by its former allies. Which opens the question, if France is not going to be allowed to be the muscles of the post-war situation, what is everyone going to get up to instead?
 

robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,207
Lisbon, Portugal
Have always admired the courage of the Kamikaze pilots .However, they were also given drugs to help overcome their terror.
Why you should admire them? Do you admire today's Islamic suicide bombers as well?
 
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Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,469
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Since you are pretty familiar with Japan, how much of the population there feels "nostalgia" with the militarist period? How aware is the Japanese public as a all that in that period Japan made terrible mistakes with their foreign policy and should not try going on that road again?
I'm afraid I haven't really spoken to that many Japanese in Japan to be able to judge that. Invariably, the Japanese outside Japan don't view that period the same way as older Japanese might. I've met one or two individuals certainly trended in that direction - I was even invited to a gathering of a semi-nationalist society, although I didn't go. Even though it wasn't a longing for the militarist period, there were certainly elements of it.

I've seen the black vans broadcasting speeches (or rather, rants) about how Japan has become weak and needs to be strong again. I know the police are generally quite embarrassed about them, but can't do anything unless they break the law, so they're usually measuring the noise level to see if they're breaking noise ordinances, and if they are, they can then move then on.
 
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aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,813
USA
Problem of hindsight.

The US went home in 1918. Already then the French in particular were requesting the US to stick around to sort out the European post-war order. The US did not. The fact that it stuck around and did it properly after 1945 is in itself a kind of admission that this was a mistake.
This doesn't really compute well for my American brain.

What exactly was the American Expeditionary Force supposed to do in Europe in the post WW1 period?

What units needed to stay? What bases would they be located at? What local forces would they ally with? Which civilian govt of the French, Belgian, Dutch, or British was going to be fully onboard with a full time American garrison force inside their nation, permanently? How are US presidents supposed to sell it to Congress and the American people? Keep the draft going indef, like during the Cold War?