Japan in WW2

Mar 2019
1,804
Kansas
It does take a bit of “cheek” to suggest that WW1-era American GIs should stay behind to help sort out Europe’s problems. This is an admission that they couldn’t regulate their own affairs. Frankly, those people were probably right but didn’t have 20-20 foresight to know how Europe would evolve. I tend to doubt that the US could have done much post-WW1. The French were ‘feeling their oats’ and would not have paid much attention to US doufghboys teeling them what to do.

Post WW2, that mistake was not made again, but even then, there was plenty of chaos to go around.
The core problem was lack of respect. The Americans as with most other non European peoples were seen as smelly crass upstarts that were not from Europe. The Allies only wanted the Americans in the war because of all the shiny new toys they could bring.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,741
Why would Churchill even want to “favor the Vichyites”? DeGaulle was a difficult person, but he was not Vichy, and he was willing to fight, to take it to the enemy. He rightly figured that if France was to have any honor at all after the war, the French would need to fight the Germans and the defeat them French troops marched out of colonial Africa and joined the British in Egypt and took the war to the Germans.

Vichy was crap. It’s leaders expected (and hoped) that the Germans would defeat the British. I honor the French who stood up against the Boches. Vive la France!
Yes, and Churchill was the backer of the Free French, not Vichy. It took US power, and preference for Vichy, to come close to change that.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,741
The core problem was lack of respect. The Americans as with most other non European peoples were seen as smelly crass upstarts that were not from Europe. The Allies only wanted the Americans in the war because of all the shiny new toys they could bring.
The US was invited to stay and sort out a proper, lasting political settlement in Europe in 1918. But opted to go home and leave the entire matter instead. So then they had to come back and pay proper attention to in 1945, and stick around. Which, in the US analysis from 1945, would have been better if they had paid proper attention already in 1918. US isolationism was a poor choice.

Feeling sore due to some supposed deficient European attitude seems childish. It also completely misses he point.
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,641
San Antonio, Tx
The US was invited to stay and sort out a proper, lasting political settlement in Europe in 1918. But opted to go home and leave the entire matter instead. So then they had to come back and pay proper attention to in 1945, and stick around. Which, in the US analysis from 1945, would have been better if they had paid proper attention already in 1918. US isolationism was a poor choice.

Feeling sore due to some supposed deficient European attitude seems childish. It also completely misses he point.
Some posters in here may have been under the impression that the US was sort of “world power” in 1918. That’s hilarious. The US Army before WW1 was designed to fight border skirmishes with the Mexicans and it was virtually 100% (small as it was) designed to chase Mexican bandits on horseback, for God’s sake. The US Amy basically started at “O” in 1916. It’s tanks came from the British and the French. It’s aircxraft were either British or French. God only knows where their machine guns, rifles and bullets came from. In other words, the US had virtually no international presence in a military sense except for the US Navy which at least had a complement of recent battleships. The Curtiss Jennies flown by our Air Force did not cross the Atlantic.

In other words, the US Army was in no shape and not organized to be a long-standing postwar army; nor was there any desire to have a large, peace time army of occupation stationed in Europe - wasn’t that Europe’s job?. It was a mistake, but not one the US could have predicted any better than our European allies who, a short 20 years later, once again sank into the abyss.
 
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Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,741
Some posters in here may have been under the impression that the US was sort of “world power” in 1918. That’s hilarious. The US Army before WW1 was designed to fight border skirmishes with the Mexicans and it was virtually 100% (small as it was) designed to chase Mexican bandits on horseback, for God’s sake. The US Amy basically started at “O” in 1916. It’s tanks came from the British and the French. It’s aircxraft were either British or French. God only knows where their machine guns, rifles and bullets came from. In other words, the US had virtually no international presence in a military sense except for the US Navy which at least had a complement of recent battleships. The Curtiss Jennies flown by our Air Force did not cross the Atlantic.

In other words, the US Army was in no shape and not organized to be a long-standing postwar army; nor was there any desire to have a large, peace time army of occupation stationed in Europe - wasn’t that Europe’s job?. It was a mistake, but not one the US could have predicted any better than our European allies who, a short 20 years later, once again sank into the abyss.
It was less the size of the US army in 1919, but the size of the US economy that made it a potential force for stability on the European political landscape. (Consider how everyone, not least the other victors of the war, were in hock to the US thanks to plentiful wartime credits from the US.)

That, and the better prospects of the US army acting as an acceptably even-handed arbiter between the Germans and the French – rather than how the situation ended up, with France by default put in the position of providing the military muscle of the post-war settlement. Which wasn't a problem of the amount of muscle, but rather a combination of the attitudes of the French to the Germans, the Germans to the French – and the British and Americans effectively not accepting a situation where France would be free to enforce the post-war settlement by force, and so sabotaging the French.

Already before the Great Depression knocking over the politics of post-war Europe, the situation was a mess.

I've yet to see someone seriously fault the US post-WWII 1945 decisions to stay engaged – and that was based on the lessons learned from the decision to disengage in 1919.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,741
Childish or not are you arguing the attitude did not exist until at least WW2?
It's childish because it clearly is not important in the bigger picture of the stakes involved.

It only matters if one allows it to matter. Which would be childish.