The Unz Review - Mobile

The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection

A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 Eric Margolis Archive
Japan's "Nobility of Failure" in 1941

Email This Page to Someone


 Remember My Information



=>
shutterstock_104227379

Seven decades after Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor some truth is finally beginning to emerge from the miasma of propaganda that still clouds our vision of World War II.

It seems clear by now that President Franklin Roosevelt’s White House knew from deciphered codes that Japan was planning an attack on America’s key naval base in Hawaii. Shamefully, the senior US Navy and Army commanders at Pearl Harbor were not informed of the impending attack. The US Navy’s three aircraft carriers were coincidentally moved far from harm’s way before the attack, leaving only obsolescent World War I battleships in port as sitting ducks.

Roosevelt was eager to get the United States into war against Germany at all costs. But Americans wanted no part of Europe’s war, recalling how British propaganda had deceived America into World War I. The single largest ethnic group in America was of German origin. In the 1880’s, my native New York City was the third most populous German city on earth after Berlin and Hamburg.

Roosevelt, whose sympathies lay far to the left in spite of his patrician background, understood that only a surprise attack would provoke Americans into war.

At the time, the US supplied 80% of Japan’s oil, 100% of its aviation fuel, and much of its metal. Roosevelt demanded Japan vacate China that it had invaded, or face an embargo of these vital strategic materials on which Japan’s industry depended. Japan’s fascist military government refused, as Washington knew it would. A US embargo ensued.

Japan had a one-year strategic reserve of oil. Its stark choice was either run out of oil, fuel and scrap steel over 12 months or go to war while it still had these resources. The only other potential source of oil for Japan was the distant Dutch East Indies, today Indonesia.

In 1991, then US President George H.W. Bush claimed that the US had a right to go to war with Iraq to assure its supply of oil.

Japan’s leading naval strategist, Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto, gloomily predicted before Pearl Harbor that Japan was going to war for oil and would be defeated because of it. He was absolutely correct. America was ten times more powerful than Japan and had a huge industrial capacity.

It was a suicidal war for Japan in all aspects. Japan’s powerful army, deployed to occupy China and perhaps fight the Soviet Union, cared nothing for the Pacific. By contrast, the Imperial Japanese Navy had no interest in China. Its goal was conquest of the oil-rich Dutch East Indies, British-ruled Malaya, French-ruled Indo-China and the US-ruled Philippines and Pacific territories. Making matters worse, Japan’s navy and army ran separate wars, without any coordination, unified industrial policy or common strategy – in short, two different wars for a nation that was not even up to one conflict at a time.

Japan claimed it was waging a crusade to ‘liberate’ Asia from Western imperial rule. But few Asians bought this argument due to the brutality and arrogance of their Japanese occupiers.

Looking back, it was indeed an old-fashioned imperial war: the Japanese Empire versus the American, British, French and Dutch empires. The last empire, the Soviet Union, did not get involved until its smashing victory against Japan’s Kwantung Army in 1945, one of WWII’s greatest campaigns but now totally forgotten.

Why did the Japanese, an intelligent, clever people, think they could defeat the US and its allies? My view after long studying this question is that Japan’s militarists, boxed into a corner by Roosevelt’s crushing embargo, had to chose between a humiliating surrender to the US and giving up China, or a suicidal war.

Japan’s samurai culture that infused its armed forces saw surrender as the ultimate shame. Death in battle was preferable to surrender and the only honorable course for warriors.

Japanese militarized society had a belief in the ‘nobility of failure’ that was unknown to other peoples.

For Japan’s warriors, the highest glory and honor lay in choosing to fight a battle against greatly superior forces in which defeat and death were clearly inevitable. This was the ultimate expression of the knightly code of ‘bushido’ that guided Japan’s warrior caste.

By June, 1944, Japan’s imports of strategic material and food were cut off by US submarines. Half its cities were burning. The population was starving. Meanwhile, the US was assembling its atomic bombs.

In a final act of folly, right after Pearl Harbor Adolf Hitler declared war on the United States, presenting Roosevelt, whose government had numerous high-ranking Soviet agents, the war he had so long wanted.

(Reprinted from EricMargolis.com by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: History • Tags: Pearl Harbor, World War II 

173 Comments to "Japan's "Nobility of Failure" in 1941"

Commenters to Ignore
...to Follow
Endorsed Only
[Filtered by Reply Thread]
  1. Given the fact that we had cracked the Japanese code, it is almost impossible to believe that FDR didn’t know that an attack was imminent and that Pearl would be the likely target. Churchill and the Brits heaved a collective sigh of relief at the news. Both countries got what they wanted. The rest, as they say, is history.

    • Replies: ,
    Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  2. “Roosevelt was eager to get the United States into war against Germany at all costs.”

    Eric, why didn’t you offer us an explanation or give reasons why Roosevelt wanted America to go to war with Germany and Japan? Explaining the “why” would have been more enlightening then the “how”

    Allow me to try this for you.

    1. American elites has always had imperialist ambitions; it only needed an excuse to motivate it’s isolationist populace.

    2. Churchill knew England would be defeated by Germany unless he got American help so he made a deal with Roosevelt. The price was England would give up it’s empire after the war was won and thereby expand American business interests.

    3. Winning WW1 was very profitable for American business. Fighting WW2 would boost the moribund American economy and transfer the last of the imperial English treasure, gold, into Fort Knox.

    4. American business had huge financial investments in the British economy at stake and if England lost the war the Americans would their investments.

    So it was never about “defending democracy and freedom” it was about getting rich and expanding the American empire , to wit,gaining all the present day military bases in the Pacific and Europe. It offered America a chance to become a Superpower.

    • Replies: , ,
  3. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    “Japanese militarized society had a belief in the ‘nobility of failure’ that was unknown to other peoples.”

    Germanic mythology and Nazi Gotterdammerung.

    And Muslim Jihadis.

    http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/mythology/section13.rhtml

    • Replies: ,
  4. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    “Churchill knew England would be defeated by Germany unless he got American help so he made a deal with Roosevelt. The price was England would give up it’s empire after the war was won and thereby expand American business interests.”

    No, Hitler wanted a peace deal with UK and didn’t want the British Empire. He wanted Anglos as friends.

    Churchill was funded by rich Jewish oligarchs, and the British elites found the Nazis to be vulgar and crude. Nazis didn’t play by the ‘rules’ — even the semblance of rules in ‘good sports’ manner — , and this meant the Germans, as bad dinner guests, had to be opposed.

    • Replies: , , ,
  5. Ok then, but Churchill did not want to surrender to or be friends with Germany, he was already at war with Germany and he was against German Fascism. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor were Nazi sympathizers.

    • Replies: ,
  6. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    “Eric, why didn’t you offer us an explanation or give reasons why Roosevelt wanted America to go to war with Germany and Japan?”

    As Japan and Germany were willing to cut a deal with US/UK, the imperialist vs imperialist argument isn’t entirely compelling.

    After all, it was the USSR that was ideologically opposed to imperialism/capitalism whereas Fascists and Nazis were more than willing to come to terms with Anglo/French imperialists and with American Power. And Japan wanted dominance in China and was willing to do business with the US in all other areas. Even in China, the aggression wasn’t entirely Japanese. The big war with China was triggered in part by Japanese aggression but also by Chinese resolve to unite KMT and Communists and repel Japanese from the the North, even Manchuria.

    So, why did FDR go against Germany and Japan.

    Though no communist, he was ideologically on the Left and felt even the commies at least meant well. Also, socialist ideas were fashionable among the educated classes back then.
    While both commies and fascies could be brutal, commie violence was seen as a means to an end whereas fasci violence was seen as an end in and of itself. Commies were crusaders with utopian vision whereas fascies were gangsters with tawdry vision of thug domination. Commies spoke of all humanity and justice, fascies spoke of supremacy and domination.

    It’s like in Woody Allen’s movies, there is thee Jewish commie, Jewish gangster, and Jewish enterpriser. Commies are intellectual and idealistic but naive about reality. Gangsters know reality and power but are thug scum. Enterprisers use bits of idealism and power to generate profits.

    Given America’s ideological underpinning despite its race-ist history, FDR the progressive felt closer to the Left. Also, despite the slavery, Americans took great pride in having a great war to end that moral blight.

    Also, as the American Right was ‘isolationist’ and/or pro-German, FDR found himself on the other side. It’s just how politics works.

    There was also the Anglo-brotherhood factor. Since UK was at war with Germany, American Anglos felt drawn to UK… just like German-Americans felt closer to their motherland.

    But FDR had love/hate relations with the UK. On the one hand, England was the mother country of Anglo-America. But US was founded in rebellion against Anglo monarchy and arrogance. So, FDR didn’t like Churchill referring to Hindus as ‘wogs’ and cracking jokes about the bunners.
    And FDR even saw America’s long-term responsibility as helping liberate the dark folks from British domination. Was the US using anti-imperialist rhetoric to carve out their own empire at the expense of the Brits and French? Yes, but there was also some genuine idealism that went back to Wilson.

    Ironically, FDR saw Churchill somewhat like Churchill saw Hitler.

    Hitler’s crudeness was offensive to the Brits who practiced supremacism with loftier rhetoric.
    Brits saw themselves as carrying the white man’s burden even as they rode on the backs of darkies. It made them feel noble and principled. But then, Hitler came along and shouted, “Hey, I admire you great British for ruling over those inferior wog morons.” Hitler’s declarations gave the game away.

    Likewise, Churchill understood that the US had become a great Imperial Power. But the American Narrative saw itself as a friend of all oppressed folks. So, when Churchill wink-winked to FDR that both sides were about dominating the darkies, FDR took umbrage at that.
    It’s like modern day prog elites love power and privilege, but if you point this out, they get all flustered and angry and make more proggy sounds.

    In the end, the ONLY way to justify imperialism was to make it mutual: Invade/Invite. The US can invade and intervene anywhere with hard and soft power, but the darky folks get to demographically swamp the West. The only winners are the interconnected elites everywhere.

    • Replies:
  7. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    Face matters a lot in politics. And face & sense and sensibility mattered a lot to the British back then.

    Brits, in good faith, helped broker a deal for the Germans after very bad behavior by Hitler in taking Czech-land.

    Brits put a lot on the line in doing so.
    By British sportsmanship rules, Hitler should have reciprocated. Instead, he didn’t regard the nice gesture with warmth and grace but with cynical contempt for weakness.

    If Hitler had understood British mindset better, he could have avoided war with Britain.
    As much as he admired British power, he didn’t get British mentality. Mentality matters, especially in a manner-centric nation like UK.

    Hitler acted too much like Norman Mailer here. (He crossed the line):

    Brits understood that Germans had problems with their Eastern neighbors.
    But the things Brits intervened in good faith to arrive at some compromise, and Hitler agreed to the terms.. and then stepped all over it.
    Thus, Hitler not only alienated his Eastern neighbors but made the Brits look very naive and foolish. Brits like to think of themselves as smart and refined, not naive and foolish.

    It’s like how Mailer not only pisses off Vidal but the other two guests who’d been neutral.

    • Replies:
  8. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    I think the Nobility of Failure narrative only really took hold when Japan began to lose the war. But same happened with Germany. As the war become unwinnable and Allies were closing in from all sides, Hitler’s new narrative was Germany must be destroyed. It was the last redemption for Germans for having failed the Fuhrer’s vision.

    Japan didn’t go for Nobility of Failure until the war began to go bad with US.

    Japanese took on easy targets, like other Asian nations. It made nice with US and UK for the most part. Its war with Russia was risky, but Russia was backward compared to other white powers. Also, it was difficult for Russia to send supplies, soldiers, and warships all the way to the Far East. So, it was doable, and Japan did get better of the war even though there was no decisive victory.

    Japan miscalculated with the US, and it over-estimated Germany’s possibility of winning over USSR. Many people thought USSR wouldn’t last a year in 1941 as German advance was so fast and dramatic. Many thought it’d be a matter of time before Moscow falls.

    And since Japan’s only reason for attacking Pearl Harbor was to cripple American power in East Pacific, it didn’t realize how extreme the backlash would be and how Americans would turn it into a Race War. Even though most Japanese knew America could win the war with Japan, they thought US wouldn’t bother since it’d be too much trouble. And they failed to realize how much FDR wanted Japan to attack because he wanted a green light to enter the war. Too many Japanese elites were too trapped in their own culture to empathize with other nations and cultures.

    Margolis is wrong to underestimate the connection between Japanese navy and Japanese military. The aims of the Japanese military in China cannot be understood apart from the aims of Japanese navy and vice versa. The control of seas was a means to control the Asian continent.
    Japan’s role in China was complex because, on the one hand, it was aggressive and wanted more land. But in another way, it was defensive because Chinese began to unite and wake up and demand Manchuria back. Indeed, it was the Manchurian issue that finally united KMT and Communists. Chiang’s priority had been to wipe out the communists and then take on the Japanese sometime in the future when China was more developed.
    But he was held hostage by a Manchurian general in exile who was angry that Chiang was fighting fellow Chinese(commies)than the Japanese in Manchuria. Indeed, commies had manipulated the Manchu general in feeling this way.
    Under capture, Chiang explained to the guy his grand strategy. The general apologized to Chiang and let him go… but Chiang then decided to follow through. He ended the war on commies and called for mutual struggle against the Japanese… and this meant China wanted Manchuria back.
    So, Japanese war with China was as defensive(of Manchuria) as offensive(grab more territory in the north).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xi’an_Incident

    • Replies: , ,
  9. Not mentioned here is the interesting fact that the architect of the oil embargo against Japan was Harry Dexter White, one of Stalin’s numerous agents in the Roosevelt administration.

    In a book entitled Operation Snow, John Koster suggests that the Soviets, working through White, manoeuvered the U.S. and Japan into war with each other, with the ultimate aim of regaining what Russia had lost in the Russo-Japanese war, and perhaps more. To use FDR as a cat’s-paw in this was an ironic (and, Koster suggests, intentional) twist, since the Russo-Japanese war had ended in a peace brokered to Russia’s significant disadvantage by FDR’s kinsman Theodore Roosevelt. Revenge is a dish best served cold.

    The Soviet Union, although at war with Germany and Italy, remained neutral toward Japan until after the war in Europe had been concluded, and indeed was intriguing with local anti-British insurgents on the frontiers of India (as also was Germany). Germany, as it had done in World War I, sought to stir up Britain’s Asian subjects against it; the Soviets were still playing the Great Game their Tsarist predecessors had pursued since the middle nineteenth century. Some of the local partisans fighting the British accepted aid from both countries, e.g., the faqir of Ipi.

  10. FDR had American ships attacking German U-Boats three months before Pearl Harbor.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/05/29/when-the-u-s-went-to-war-before-pearl-harbor.html

    http://militaryhistorynow.com/2013/01/09/the-war-before-the-war-americas-pre-pearl-harbor-involvement-in-ww2/

    http://ww2cartoons.org/sept-1941-roosevelt-orders-navy-to-shoot-on-sight/

  11. An excellent overview Mr. Margolis. The “surprise” attack at Pearl Harbor is a great American myth, followed by a lone gunman killed JFK, and 19 crazy Muslims did 9-11.

    As to this odd comment by Anon:

    “There was also the Anglo-brotherhood factor. Since UK was at war with Germany, American Anglos felt drawn to UK… just like German-Americans felt closer to their motherland.”

    The Anglos were Germanic people, as were the Saxons. In fact, most Englishmen are descendants of German immigrants. This is why Hitler didn’t want to fight the English, but they declared war on Germany, but not the Soviets who had invaded Poland at the same time.

    • Replies: ,
  12. General Short and Admiral Kimmel were both sacked for their negligence in preparing Hawaii for a surprise attack. Even if that was unjust one might have expected their version, proving that they hadn’t received sufficient warning, to have become widely broadcast sometime in the last 75 years.

    I thought the received version was that Japan’s evident hostility was known to be likely to lead to a surprise attack on Pearl Harbour and that the army and navy commander’s in Hawaii were expected to act on that view to ensure nothing too disastrous happened. That seems straightforward enough and leads to an inference of negligenve or incompetence on their part rather than Washington DC conspiracy involving presumably honorable soldiers like Marshall. Also part of the received version is the negligence or inadequate training of the officer to whom the first report of radar detection of a massive formation was made 40 minutes before the attack began. If he had immediately taken steps which led to US aircraft being off the ground and antiairraft gunners in place when the first Japanese planes arrived no one would think of accusing Roosevelt of being immorally ruthless and careless with American lives in order to get into the war.

    BTW, as I may have said elsewhere and may repeat, it is worth considering what Roosevelt might reasonably have envisaged as the consequence of letting a Nazi governed Germany, already showing contemptuous disregard for the lives of Jews and Slavs, become the dominant power in Eurasia and possessed of ballistic missiles, jet aircraft (and V1 bombs), and the atomic weapons of which Einstein had warned.

    • Replies:
  13. Eric Margolis, why do you say the Hawaii commanders were “shamefully not warned”? As they were sacked for not acting competently on the warnings they had – though Macarthur got away with his arrogant negligence in the Phillipines which adds a touch of mystery – what precisely are you saying was the more detailed and up to date information that they were “shamefully” deprived of? What difference would it have made if they had anyway taken adequate steps to ensure radar warnings were acted on immediately?

    See #11 on this and also on Roosevelt’s reasons for wanting to defeat Germany.

  14. Japan’s attack on the US makes more sense when considering the agreements, however flawed, that were being hatched between Germany and Japan during the second half of 1941. As things were heating up in the Atlantic, Hitler saw the potential wartime intervention of the US Navy as a potential disaster and wanted Japan at war with the US in the Pacific to draw off US naval strength. As the summer of 1941 wore on, Hitler started to assure Tojo that the Soviet campaign would be over in a matter of a few months at most; Germany would then be able to devote the full attention of the Wehrmacht to defeating the British in north Africa, with all its implications for Britain’s hold on the near East and India, declare war on the US, and wage an all-out campaign against Anglo-American shipping against fleets weakened by presumptive Japanese attacks in the Pacific, which would lead to the final defeat of Britain. That was the underpinning of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In November, the Japanese received assurance that defeat of the Soviets was imminent and they could execute their end of the plan. Ironically, about 36 hours before Japan was set to attack Pearl Harbor, the Soviets launched their Moscow counteroffensive that put the Germans on the brink of disaster. Had the Japanese paused to consider the implications of that – Germany tied down on the eastern front for the foreseeable future and the prospect of defeating Britain glimmering – they might have reconsidered whether it was the time for that move.

    • Replies:
  15. “By contrast, the Imperial Japanese Navy had no interest in China. Its goal was conquest of the oil-rich Dutch East Indies, British-ruled Malaya, French-ruled Indo-China and the US-ruled Philippines and Pacific territories.”

    I would have thought the smart thing to do would have been to attack the Dutch, French & British territories while avoiding an attack on the USA. This would have made it very difficult for the US govt to declare war on Japan.

  16. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    Read the extremely detailed discussion of ‘Revisionism’ regarding Pearl Harbor … http://www.unz.com/article/the-case-for-pearl-harbor-revisionism/

    The US wasn’t going to let Japan have its way in the Pacific. Thats a given.

    That Roosevelt provoked Japan — sure. It is more or less a fact.

    That Roosevelt withheld details of the attack to US military? A theory that I don’t believe.

    The attack itself was sufficient to push the country into war. Losing decisively wasn’t necessary. It would have been nice to have taken out the Japanese aircraft carriers and a lot of their planes. The US was just lucky its aircraft carriers (3) weren’t on the scene.

    The idea that Japan was going to lose as it did — was not assured. Japan, as well as Germany, had fantasies of a negotiated settlement long after it was clear they would lose militarily. There was always talk about A Separate Peace in Europe. I’m curious about the extent to which the US would have demanded total surrender outside the total global context in 1945. If all this seems so far fetched, consider how rapidly both Germany and Japan were rehabilitated and converted into Cold War allies. Most wars are settled without occupation and unconditional surrender. Like every War the US has engaged in since WW 2. Korea, Vietnam, Iraq.

    A lot of people thought the US was going to have to fight both Hitler and Stalin, and a reasonable case was made that we should have taken out Stalin first. Although now it is unthinkable. The reality was that most of the fighting and dying was done on the Eastern front. Russia did come out of WW 2 with a strong military, but the overall cost was devastating.

    • Replies:
  17. “But Americans wanted no part of Europe’s war, recalling how British propaganda had deceived America into World War I”.

    That turns out not to be the case. It is certainly true that Britain and France were desperate for American help in 1917. But that would have made no difference had powerful American interests not wanted the USA to go to war as well. Specifically, by 1916 Britain and France owed the USA so much money that the creditors feared losing it all if Germany won – as seemed quite likely. They launched one of the first and still most impressive propaganda campaigns (see the excellent book “Burning Beethoven” by Erik Kirschbaum and Herbert Stupp) which changed American opinions of the Germans from kind, decent, hard-working good neighbours to beastly nun-raping baby-impaling barbarians in just two years. One of Edward Bernays’ first triumphs.

    After the war, the US government insisted that all the debts be paid off in full. That led to Germany being wrung dry, hyperinflation and the Nazis, while also ensuring that Britain and France had no money to rearm – thus making WW2 inevitable.

    Incidentally, the UK paid the last instalment of its debts to the USA from WW2 in 2006.

  18. Why did the Japanese, an intelligent, clever people, think they could defeat the US and its allies? My view after long studying this question is that Japan’s militarists, boxed into a corner by Roosevelt’s crushing embargo, had to chose between a humiliating surrender to the US and giving up China, or a suicidal war.

    It was not clear then that the US would respond with total war to unconditional surrender, across the entire Pacific. Many Japanese leaders must have hoped that the US regime would be unsuccessful in motivating their population for such a war or would be willing to come to a suitable peace deal after a bit of fighting.

    The Japanese underestimated both the power of the US, and the sheer murderous aggression and greed of its ruling elites, and their propaganda capabilities. Militarists do this time and again when faced with groups who successfully cloak their brutal self interested ruthlessness under fine and noble “humanitarian” words, which militarists misinterpret as weakness.

  19. And since Japan’s only reason for attacking Pearl Harbor was to cripple American power in East Pacific, it didn’t realize how extreme the backlash would be and how Americans would turn it into a Race War. Even though most Japanese knew America could win the war with Japan, they thought US wouldn’t bother since it’d be too much trouble. And they failed to realize how much FDR wanted Japan to attack because he wanted a green light to enter the war.

    I agree with this.

    Too many Japanese elites were too trapped in their own culture to empathize with other nations and cultures.

    A failing far from exclusive to Imperial Japan. Indeed, you could attribute much of the support for the US sphere’s neocolonial wars in the middle east over the past couple of decades to this kind of error. They listen to the tiny minorities of west-struck metropolitans and treasonous subversives in places like Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, that do most of the talking to US sphere reporters, and think there’s a massive groundswell of frustrated Jeffersonians and liberal democrats just waiting to be “liberated”.

  20. Maybe there should be an axiom that ‘nothing breeds military failure like easy early victories’!

    Both Germany and Japan were not prepared for the long war their early victories set them up for. The Japanese expected to grab the Dutch East Indies, Burma, The Philippines and then hunker down and fortify their Pacific Empire in the 18 to 24 months window they assumed it would take for the US to recover and build up its forces enough to go on the offensive.

    The assumption was that Japan could:

    A. Supply its industry and stockpile enough strategic materials from conquered territory to survive the expected American counterattack by:

    B. fanatical resistance that inflicted such heavy casualties on US forces the US would negotiate a favorable war settlement for Japan.

    However, the ease with which Japan’s forces overran SE Asia and the Western Pacific encouraged them to extend their perimeter to include The Solomon Islands, Port Moresby, The Aleutians and Midway! Rather than taking advantage of US weakness by hardening their perimeter into Iwo Jima style redoubts they pushed on with offensive operations at Midway and the Battle of the Coral Sea.

    We can never know what might have been had the US suffered Iwo Jima level casualties in 1943 instead of 1945 when Germany was on the ropes and B-29′s over Tokyo but the public reaction to the violence at Iwo was not favorable despite the hoopla over the flag raising on Suribachi. The fact was the Marine Corps stopped announcing casualty figures two weeks into the six week fight for Iwo Jima and there were calls for the conduct of the Pacific war to be removed from Navy command and turned over to the Army under MacArthur due to the heavy losses.

  21. Roosevelt was eager to get the United States into war against Germany at all costs.

    Timothy Naftali said the same thing on a Dec 7 2016 C Span program dedicated to commemorating Pearl Harbor: “Roosevelt wanted to get the US into war against Germany.”

    It took Japan’s (provoked) attack on USA to satisfy that urge.

    In other words, there was no casus belli between the USA and Germany from 1933, when FDR and Hitler came to power, and Dec. 11, 1941. If there had been a cause for a US war on Germany, there would have been no ambiguity, no “failure of leadership”: FDR would need only to spell out to the American people what Germany had done to the USA that demanded a legitimate military response.

    So exactly WHY did FDR want a war against Germany at all costs?

    In the huge historiography of WWI, the bulk of it involves discussion of who started the war and why.

    The even larger historiography of WWII amounts to a continuation of the anti-German propaganda begun by the British (see Ron Unz’s “American Pravda: . . .The British Spies,” http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-alexander-cockburn-and-the-british-spies/ and Dr. Stephen Sniegoski, “The conquest of the United States by Britain,” http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/mahl.htm ) –to the extent that the propaganda was not a continuation of WWI anti-German atrocity propaganda — and zionist Jewish leaders in the USA, Britain, and Palestine, but very little if any WWII history takes an objective approach to who started the war and why. Patrick Buchanan’s “Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War The Un http://www.unz.org/Pub/BuchananPatrick-2008 is one exception to the dominant historiography.

    Thus, we have Robert Cohen confidently claiming:

    Holocaust denial will remain a fringe issue. The documentation is secure in its veracity and overwhelming in its volume. If anything, today’s school children are in danger of thinking that Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin went to war against Hitler because of what was happening to the Jews.http://mondoweiss.net/2015/01/auschwitz-revisited/#sthash.RJw9aLH3.dpuf

    So precisely what was “happening to the Jews” in that period when FDR was so determined to wage war on Germany that he engaged in a provocation of Japan that resulted in the sacrifice of 2,403 US men and women and several obsolete ships at Pearl Harbor?

    Shouldn’t the patterns, power bases and personalities in the chain of cause-and-effect of World War II be researched, reported to the American people, and called to account with as much thoroughness as pertained re World War I?

    note to Rurik: any similarities to 9/11? Prof. John Dower saw several lines of comparison and discussed them in his book, “Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, 9/11, Iraq” https://www.c-span.org/video/?296186-1/words-john-dower

    • Replies: ,
  22. { A theory that I don’t believe.}

    Someone wrote a book arguing that the theory was in fact – fact.
    One man’s opinion for sure, but a well researched effort.

    https://www.amazon.com/Day-Deceit-Truth-About-Harbor/dp/0743201299

    {In Day of Deceit, Robert Stinnett delivers the definitive final chapter on America’s greatest secret and our worst military disaster.
    Drawing on twenty years of research and access to scores of previously classified documents, Stinnett proves that Pearl Harbor was not an accident, a mere failure of American intelligence, or a brilliant Japanese military coup. By showing that ample warning of the attack was on FDR’s desk and, furthermore, that a plan to push Japan into war was initiated at the highest levels of the U.S. government, he ends up profoundly altering our understanding of one of the most significant events in American history.}

    • Replies:
  23. Seven decades after Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor some truth is finally beginning to emerge from the miasma of propaganda that still clouds our vision of World War II.

    While this is one of Margolis’ better pieces, it’s pretty obvious that old propaganda dies hard. Let me be clear about this; there was no surprise involved. Since there was no surprise, then it’s irresponsible to continue, after 75 years, to call it one.

    Anyone surprised by the attack had not been paying attention and was probably living under a rock at the time.

    Not only had there been numerous, if not countless, newspaper and magazine articles predicting war with Japan after WW1, but some of them were as accurate as they were specific. For example, in 1924 (not 34), Brigadier General William “Billy” Mitchell went on an inspection tour of the Pacific. In his resulting 323 page report he predicted war between Japan and the US, and a Japanese strike on Pearl Harbor and Clark Field in the Philippines. Mitchell’s predictions were only 25 minutes off in regard to Pearl Harbor and two hours in regard to Clark Field.

    Furthermore, the “Allies,” 3 months prior to the attack on Pearl, subjected neutral Iran to the “Mother” of Pearl Harbors. It was not a hit and run strike like the one on Pearl; it was a totally unprovoked surprise attack, invasion, and occupation.

    That’s right; 3 months prior to Pearl , the “Allies” surprise attacked neutral Iran (Persia) then occupied it for the duration. They sunk its entire navy, confiscated Iran’s oil refineries and resources, and established the Persian Corridor through which the US supplied the Red Butcher, Stalin, with enough war material to supply 60 Soviet divisions. By that time he’d already slaughtered millions of his own, and was a huge threat to both Japan and Germany.

    Never forget that in many ways the attack on Pearl was an early 9/11.

    • Agree: CK
    • Replies: ,
  24. No, the USSR invaded Polish territory more than two weeks after Germany did. The Polish state had effectively ceased to exist by that time, and many, including Churchill, cheered the Soviet advance as limiting the advance of the Germans.

    • Replies: , ,
  25. I do not believe the Japanese decided to go ahead with Pearl Harbor because they were sure that Germany had defeated the USSR. That would have shown a criminal level of gullibility on the question.

    • Replies:
  26. Mr. Margolis,

    That is the very good article.

    Japanese militarized society had a belief in the ‘nobility of failure’ that was unknown to other peoples.

    Maybe at the time, although there are other examples in history, sure, it is magnified by us.

    Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Oda Nobunaga, formed the base of the Tokugawa shogunate, but Toyotomi, in particular, was betrayed, all possible heirs destroyed.

    I have prayed for Oda, his wife, mistress, and other relatives at the tombs.

    Under the Tokugawa, some regions also had their failed rebellions, mainly north-west, only have vague knowledge of them, but, in the same way, people still remember.

    Glorious failure traditions in those places, too.

    At the time of the wars leading to the Meiji reformation, the Bosihin war may have crucial. The 19 young samurai who killed themselves there, based on a misinterpretation of the situation, are a kind of cult. I have prayed for them, too.

    Finally, to avoiding the 30,000 word essay that I could be writing, Saigo’s rebellion. I am never sure that the statue in Ueno park is really suitable.

    Mr. Margolis, thx for a perceptive brief essay.

  27. That is an outright lie. No Pole cheered the Soviet invasion of Poland, and the Soviets slaughtered lots of Poles. Check any source for the truth, Wiki for example:

    “The Soviet Red Army’s invasion of Eastern Poland on 17 September, in accordance with a secret protocol of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, rendered the Polish plan of defence obsolete.[17] Facing a second front, the Polish government concluded the defence of the Romanian Bridgehead was no longer feasible and ordered an emergency evacuation of all troops to neutral Romania.[18] On 6 October, following the Polish defeat at the Battle of Kock, German and Soviet forces gained full control over Poland.”

    Churchill might have cheered since it freed him of his unrealistic promise to send troops to defend Poland.

    • Replies: ,
  28. You are completely clueless and weaselly. I wrote “Many cheered” not “many Poles cheered”, as you are well aware. By the 17th Warsaw was about to fall and the Poles had no troops anywhere resisting seriously. Churchill gave the reason I mentioned in a speech in the house of Commons, not the one your ignorant brain just dreamed up.

  29. Let me be clear about this; there was no surprise involved.

    I think almost everyone on the US side was surprised by the Japanese’ ability to use torpedoes inside Pearl Harbor, certainly Kimmel was, and Roosevelt seems to have been.

    The Japanese development of those shallow(er) water torpedoes may well have been the key to their decision to strike East rather than West. Other than the one unlucky bomb down the stack of the Arizona, the torpedoes were the main agents of destruction. Short grouped his aircraft to defend against sabotage.

    • Replies: ,
  30. Stinnet wrote an outstanding book. He was a former WW II naval officer in the Pacific and a retired reporter for the Oakland Tribune who spent years researching his book, including many days sifting through things at the National Archive. After his book was published, some of the material he cited at the Archive was removed from public access. The attacks by the establishment on Stinnet were ruthless. Stinnet was furious that some critics didn’t understand how Japanese messages dated Dec 8th could have been sent before Pearl Harbor (read about the international date line if you are confused.)

    He proved that Naval Intelligence knew that a fleet with six carriers had left Japan and steamed toward Hawaii. Critics say that is impossible since the Japanese fleet sailed with strict radio silence. But as in all big fleet operations, things get confused and some urgent messages were sent and intercepted.

    One reason Stinnet is hated was because he proved our Admirals knew exactly what the Japanese Admirals were planning throughout the war, which made victories easier. In the battle of Midway for example.

  31. {That is an outright lie. No Pole cheered the Soviet invasion of Poland, }

    Well, [5371] _didn’t_ write that Poles cheered: wrote ‘…many, including Churchill…’. Don’t know who the ‘many’ are, but I doubt it meant Poles.
    And relying on Wiki for reference on controversial subjects is not good policy: it is filled with misinformation and disinformation by all sides of a sensitive issue.

    Not an expert on what Soviets did to Poles and I know Putin officially acknowledged Stalin’s crime at Katyn*, but fact remains that Nazis murdered about 3 million Poles, aside from Jewish-Poles, and when Poland and other Eastern European countries were Sovietized after 1945, how many millions of Slavs were murdered by the Soviets?

    If Nazis had defeated the Red Army, how many Poles would be left alive today?

    —-
    * http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/remembering-the-katyn-massacre-putin-gesture-heralds-new-era-in-russian-polish-relations-a-687819.html
    {Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin bowed his head in honor of the thousands of Polish officers who were murdered in Katyn. Then he dropped to the ground for a moment and knelt over the graves of the dead.}

    • Replies: ,
  32. “The Duke and Duchess of Windsor were Nazi sympathizers.”

    So what? What you are conditioned to think happened did not, could not.

    Your premise is easily shown to be wrong.

    aka: garbage in, garbage out.

    There were the ‘Nazis’ with the mythological ’6M Jews, 5M others, & gas chambers’ and there were the ‘Nazis’ without the mythological ’6M Jews, 5M others, & gas chambers’are scientifically impossible frauds.

    see the ‘holocaust’ scam debunked here:

    http://codoh.com

    The ’6M Jews, 5M others, & gas chambers
    No name calling, level playing field debate here:

    http://forum.codoh.com

  33. Dr. Andrew Joyce’s extensive review of David Cesarani’s “Final Solution: The Fate of the Jews, 1933 – 1949:”

    http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2016/04/review-of-david-cesaranis-final-solution-the-fate-of-the-jews-1933-49-part-four-of-five/

    The carving up of Poland was welcomed by Jews who, as Cesarani states, “looked upon the Bolsheviks as redeeming Messiahs.” One contemporary Jew wrote “When the news reached us that the Bolsheviks were coming closer to Warsaw, our joy was unlimited.” Jewish interests were of course divergent from yet another section of the population – the Poles themselves. Cesarani notes that ‘this was not how the Poles saw it, least of all when the Soviet occupation authorities unleashed their own terror.” Noting the split in interests and war aspirations of the divergent populations of the newly conquered territory, it was Heydrich who advanced the first logical step to maintaining some semblance of stability — the segregation of the populations.

    According to Joyce’s review, Cesarani devotes significant material to describing the activities of Jewish partisans who acted against the Wehrmacht, killing ethnic Germans in Poland as well as German soldiers as well as spying for the Bolsheviks.

    The snippet quoted, and the underlying theme of Joyce’s review, which is that “ethnic tensions reached a high-pressure stage,” comports with part of the argument Timothy Snyder makes in “Black Earth;” namely, that by disrupting the Polish government and state stability, Germans unloosed constraints on both Polish Jews and Polish non-Jews: according to Joyce, Cesarani says that unleashing Polish Jews meant that that group felt free –and enjoyed Bolshevik support — to attack Polish (and ethnic German) civilians and the German military; while Snyder argues that the shattering of the Polish state unleashed Polish Jew – vs – Polish non-Jew violence.

  34. “but fact remains that Nazis murdered about 3 million Poles, aside from Jewish-Poles”

    No they didn’t and you have no proof for such laughable Zionist propaganda.

    see that and the ‘holocaust’ scam debunked here:

    http://codoh.com

    The ’6M Jews, 5M others, & gas chambers
    No name calling, level playing field debate here:

    http://forum.codoh.com

    See the ’6,000,000 Jews’ lie and the laughing Mexican:

  35. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    The difference being that Persia was incapable of defending itself, whereas the U.S. was not.

    The invasion and semi-partition of Iran affected the U.S. about as much as the invasion and outright partition of Poland, or the invasion of Iceland, or the invasion of Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia etc.

    • Replies: ,
  36. You are profoundly uninformed, indoctrinated.

    The Germans and the Soviets agreed to the specific lines when they decided to divide Poland. Actually the Soviets got 60% of the land, most of the people, most of the Jews. Oops.

    “Limiting the advance of the Germans” excuse doesn’t hold water and makes zero sense since the Germans could have easily taken ALL of Poland before the Soviets invaded from the east, but they didn’t.

    Yours is just another failed excuse as to why the ‘Allies’ didn’t declare war on the Soviets, which they should have if they were true to their stated pronouncements.

    facts:

    - USSR invaded Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, invaded & annexed parts of Romania, invaded Iran, invaded northern Norway and the Danish island of Bornholm, yet the ‘Allies’ did nothing.

    - Poland invaded and annexed parts of Czechoslovakia, held large parts of German territory, was engaged in atrocities against German civilians. Yet the ‘Allies did nothing.

    Want to debate?
    Go to:
    WWII Europe / Atlantic Theater Forum

    http://forum.codoh.com/viewforum.php?f=20

    • Replies: , , , ,
  37. In addition, here’s the truth about the German ‘invasion’ of the communist USSR:

    ‘Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack’

    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=7999

    Debate this and all aspects of WWII plus the so called ‘holocau$t’ at:

    http://forum.codoh.com/

  38. The difference being that Persia was incapable of defending itself, whereas the U.S. was not.

    It may be true that USA was more “capable of defending itself” than Persia was, but the more salient fact is that the USA was not threatened with any German act that required it to “defend itself,” while Persia, demonstrably, was threatened by Allies.

    To the fact of Persia’s “inability to defend itself,” it might also be noted that Persia was seriously weakened by mass starvation — the loss of 40% of its population — as a result of British occupation of Persia in World War I.

    The Great Famine & Genocide in Iran: 1917-1919 2nd Edition
    by Mohammad Gholi Majd

    https://www.amazon.com/Great-Famine-Genocide-Iran-1917-1919/dp/076186167X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1481480170&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Great+Famine+%26+Genocide+in+Iran%3A+1917-1919

    In this, Persia shared similar suffering and demographic threat that Germany did during the same war, at the hands of the same blockading force, the British.

    It is further noteworthy that, based on Edwin Black’s cavalier treatment of the death by starvation of 800,000 German civilians in WWI, it seems unlikely that Jewish persons in Germany were among those 800,000 dead women, children and old men. (see Transfer Agreement, Edwin Black, p. 21 )

    • Replies:
  39. Your comments are correct, but I don’t see what that has to do with the fact that supposedly everyone was surprised by the attack on Pearl, yet the Allies themselves did something very similar 3 months prior.

    I know that the Allies like to think of themselves as chosen, special or anointed or whatever, but to think they were the only ones who could attempt a surprise attack is something “special” alright.

  40. Careful reading seems not to be something you are capable of. I stated correctly that the Soviet advance was widely seen in that light at the time, not that it was done against the Germans’ will or it excused someone else from doing something different. If you really know of any statements by the allies (who between May 1940 and June 1941 consisted in Britain alone) that they would go to war with anyone in the world who invaded anyone else, please inform historians of the fact. It will be a valuable addition to their knowledge.

    • Replies:
  41. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    the allies

    The Poles were Allies, no? So were Greece and Yugoslavia and various governments in exile.

    Minor quibble: France collapsed in June, not May.

    The question regarded Britain’s commitment, not to all nations under the sun, but to Poland specifically.

    Geez. And I used to like Churchill. It seems the more I hear from his supporters, the less likeable he turns out to have been.

    • Replies:
  42. So IOW, I refuted your silly high school excuse that Churchill was worried about a further German advance in Poland and now you wish to distract from the fact that both the British & French pledged to protect Poland from invasion by anyone while ignoring the communist Soviet invaders.

    You further the ignore the various stated rationales for war with Germany.
    Because they were supposedly ‘invading’ countries while the Soviets truly did invade so many, like:

    Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, invaded & annexed parts of Romania, invaded Iran, invaded northern Norway and the Danish island of Bornholm.

    You also ignored the fact that Poland invaded and annexed parts of Czechoslovakia, held large parts of German territory, was engaged in atrocities against German civilians.

    You stand corrected.

  43. A government in exile scarcely deserves to be called an ally, and neither Greece nor Yugoslavia was at war with Germany until it attacked them in the spring of 1941.
    The Dunkirk evacuation started already in May, the game was up by then.
    Britain had given a guarantee to Poland alone, insofar as Poland still existed. My previous interlocutor seemed unaware even of the first part of this statement, you only of the second.

    • Replies:
  44. Scripted Reality says: It was scripted reality

    The Amercan People were not interested to go to War again.Because WW I was just 2 decades ago.

    Germany was very successful after it has lost the war and the dictated shameful Versailles Treaty.
    This Versailles Treaty became target #1 from all Germans – from the Left till to the far Right.They did fight each other in streetfights – but in this case they have had the same opinion.
    Imagine the US would have lost one third of its territory and had to pay till 1989 (yes 1989) 70 years of reparations.

    Japan was set under pressure with the oil-embargo.The Japanese code was deciphered.

    Sometimes to reach an aim you have to go not directly from A to B.This time it went over C (Japan).

    Sounds crazy.but the main goal was to destroy the successfull German Economy who was INDEPENDENT from Wall Street and foreign currencies.

    Germany did do Business without Dollar’s like “give me commodity for machines” etc. , dealing without foreign currency.After Hitler came to power in 1933 he did reduce unemployment to simply ZERO in only 4 YEARS!Roosevelt was under pressure to do the same with his (?) New Deal.

    If Germany had more time and was more successful the former Colonial Superpowers Great Britain and France would have lost their Empires.Because of the booming German Economy and the new technologies in machines,planes,organizing,producing,social things for workers like vacation, healthcare,working-conditions,etc.
    (Great Britain did not allow German “Strength through Joy” ships to dirive to English Harbours.What should an English worker think at this time when he sees simple German workers traveling with a cruising ship on vacation?).

    These economic successful things were the reasons that GB and F did support Poland who has had former German Territories under its control – including millions of Germans.They did Poland promise to support – but nothing happened.Although a Polish General Ridz-Smigly did dream from “marching and playing Music under the Brandenburg Gate”….

    By the way: Great Britain and France did declare war on Germany on September 3rd , 1939.
    Germany never declared war on them.This was the lesson from WWI and the Versailles treaty.

    By the way, the US also never declares war.There are “armoured conflicts” only.Because otherwise a lot of American Generals and Politicain would face Nuremberg too (theoretically).

    So Japan did attack Pearl Harbour and this was the expected step.The US was not so innocent as it seems.As a “Neutral State” it did deliver a lot of weapons to GB and it did attack in international water German ships and submarines, it did sanctions and Boycott etc.

    So when there is a war going on in Europe and Asia why ´there is nobody in Washingon”on the phone”???
    Who did give the order to remove the Air-Carriers? Why did they not have protection?

    Instead the Politicians playing Golf and uninformed Admirals are claimed “guilty”…

    So Hitler did declare “attacks on the Americans” (not War).His partners did play their own game.Italy did attack Yugoslavia ,the Balkan , Greece and North African States.To avoid their failure Germany was forces to support Italy on all this places and did lose important part of time for the war with Russia and did stuck in the Russian winter.
    Japan did NOT attack Russia from the East so these Russian Troops could be moved to the fight with the Germans.
    General Franco form Spain did not close Gibraltar (instead he did send his Division Azul -Blue Division on the Eastern Front) – so the British Troops did advance in Northern Africa – maybe this was the reason he was allowed to stay in power until his death in the 70′s.

    With such allies Germany only could lose, including his limited ressources like oil from Romania (the Germans have made their oil out of coal a new unique way at this time).

    By the way “Uncle Stalin” did send his Minister Molotov with a map to Berlin in 1940 and he wants to have Eastern Europe, including the Romanian Oil-Fields.A lot of Russian troops were ready to attack these oil-fields.
    So it is a kind of the same game like Roosevelt did.Without Romanian Oil Germany would have had a huge problem.In the end mass-murderer” Uncle Joe” became “his” new territories.

    So everybody knows the end of the story.The Allies did win the War and GB and F lost their Empires.

    Cui bono? Who did take profit from? The USA became the new Superpower #1.
    Irony of History – France and Britain did lose their Empire/Colonies and had a huge debt.
    Playing World-Power #1 is very expensive.Even Mr.Trump does recognize this.

    But nothing is eternal.The Earth is a Challenge Cup.The next competitors are ready: China and Islam.Also the “Demographic Bomb” in the West who is imploding.

  45. They should not have been surprised, the British fleet had already used the technique when they crippled the Italian fleet in a surprise night attack on the Italian fleet at Taranto. The British Navy installed break away wooden fins on their air dropped torpedoes which prevented the torpedos from plunging into the harbor bottom. The Americans, who were active allies of the British and were already engaged in naval warfare against Germany, must surely have been aware of it as well, but probably didn’t think it likely the Japanese would have the nerve to strike at Pearl Harbor.
    Witnesses thought the Arizona bomb went down the smoke stack but it actually penetrated the deck above a powder magazine and penetrated several decks. Some of the smoke and flames from the exploding magazine escaped through the smoke stack. The Japanese were counting on the fleet being moored so they worked out a tactic for using level bombing that would not have worked with moving ships. They converted 1700 lb armor piercing battleship shells to aerial bombs carried by Kate torpedo bombers. They then worked out exactly how far the bombs would travel horizontally when dropped from pre-planned altitude and speed, and walked the bombs in. This would have been of little benefit in a mobile battle but adequate for sitting ducks.

    • Replies:
  46. In “To Kill a Mockingbird ” Harper Lee’s elderly woman dying of cancer expresses exactly the same thing, articulated by Atticus Finch. A not uncommon idea.

  47. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    The “game” was not up at Dunkirk, though the British evacuation, despite being mostly justified, didn’t much help things. The course of the war through June depended on internal politics. You could say that France lost any realistic chance of long-term survival in May, but then you’d have to insist that the war was over in June of ’44, or even sometime in the previous year or two, because the Axis had no chance of long-term survival.

    Greece was attacked in October, leaving about four months, when, not counting the Commonwealth or the governments in exile, Britain fought alone.

    The Poles pulled more than their weight militarily after their homeland had been overrun, and do in my opinion deserve to be called ally. How did you get to the period after the fall of France anyway? You were discussing the Soviet invasion of Poland, which the Poles (obviously) protested, and which they called upon London to resist. Now, the Brits and French had enough to deal with already, and I don’t mind their backing out, but I do mind their boasting of the fact, which is what Churchill seems to be doing in the quotation you gave.

    • Replies: ,
  48. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    Kindly explain how Germany could have taken all of Poland before the Russian invasion on 17/9 if the Germans were busy fighting a Polish counteroffensive and hadn’t even taken the capital.

    • Replies: ,
  49. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    Military history is jam-packed with examples of commanders who were completely deceived by surprise attacks. Some of them were good commanders who were out there in the field and who should have been sufficiently aware of the potential for a surprise attack. Hindsight says they should have known better, but they didn’t. The sort of temperament that makes you confident enough to be a general also tends to make you discount warnings and assume you have already taken enough precautions to defend yourself. This is a common human error that has been repeated umpteen times over the centuries. No commander likes to be taken by surprise. It makes him look like an idiot, and it has ended a heck of a lot of military careers in utter disgrace.

    Do I think FDR was aware that the Japanese might potentially attack American territory somewhere? Yes.

    Do I think he thought the Japanese would attack Pearl Harbor specifically when they did and in the manner they did? No way.

    I don’t think he had a vaguest idea the Japanese could pull off something that audacious. For that time period, it was one heck of a daring attack. FDR undoubtedly thought they’d attack US territory in a much more logistically sensible spot for them. For example, the Philippines would have been a more probable target, since those islands are all the way over on the other side of the Pacific Ocean near Japan.

    If FDR knew about the attack yet still wanted his pretext for war, yet nonetheless avoid looking like an idiot, all he had to do was tell the ships at Pearl Harbor to head out to sea and prepare for battle, get his planes armed and in the air and send out scouts. He could have had the shore lined with cameramen and newsreels. Then, as the Japanese approached, he could have let them take out a single US airplane to prove to the densest person that the Japanese intent was hostile, and then gone and attacked them. There would have been plenty of combat, wrack, and ruin to record that he could have used to prove to the American people that the US was under attack, and which could easily be used to persuade Congress to pass his declaration of war without losing his entire freaking fleet and nearly all his planes in the process.

    Frankly, the idea the FDR ‘knew’ Pearl Harbor was going to be attacked is claptrap. He got caught with his pants down, fair and square.

    There is a disgraceful lack of reality checking and common sense in the conspiracy theorists around here. You always assume the man at the center of your ‘conspiracy’ is omniscient, and his planning and actions have no flaws. You assume everything that happens is always in accordance with his plan. This is idiotic. It’s on par with the cretinous liberal conspiracy thinking that the Russians won the election for Trump.

    • Replies: ,
  50. “…why didn’t you offer us an explanation or give reasons why Roosevelt wanted America to go to war with Germany…”

    We were taught that he was desperate about the inability to break the depression and cynically knew war of that scale would do the trick. As many note, a European war was not a popular idea, hence the ‘engineering’ done in the Pacific to provoke the Japs and get Americans willing to die for nothing.

    • Replies:
  51. Fwankly, Fwed, if you want to torpedo my claim, you’ll need to provide some credible evidence.

    On the other hand, I believe the Pope at the time was not only surprised, but shocked to hear that due to heavy perspiration, Japanese Ace Itchi Sakai, paused for a couple of moments to scratch his sack a couple of times. That proves that war is Hell, and there’s not a shred of doubt about it! ;)

    • Replies:
  52. It actually was surprisingly common in antiquity too.

    One example from Josephus is long siege by the troops of the Roman Empire which led to the mass suicide of the Sicarii rebels and Jewish families of the Masada fortress.

    Another example from relatively recent times is the mass suicide of women from Souli and their children during the Souliote War of 1803, near the village of Zalongo in Epirus, Greece. There is a monument there commemorating the women which I recently saw only from the road due to time constraints unfortunately.

    • Replies:
  53. japan had no chance. we the usa wanted the pacific too, it’s ambitions were doomed to fail from the start.

    if japan were as big as china, it would have a huge chance, almost a guarantee. but it is japan.

    size does matter, bigger = more resources + manpower. still a good try.

  54. Good points.

    As I’m sure you know, the Brits have a long history of blockades and also starvation. Apparently tens of millions of Indians starved during the Brit Raj, and probably about a million Irish to name just two of their better known crimes.

    • Replies:
  55. What if the tinfoil hat is made of heavy-duty Reynolds wrap, not the cheap stuff?

    Consider –
    British Historian Jeremy Black argues that the west’s war against Bolshevism (the Cold War) started in 1918 and lasted until 1989; the quest to defeat Bolshevism was THE major challenge to FDR and other western allies. WWII was an “interlude” in this war against Bolshevism.

    Why did FDR & Churchill break off the campaign against Bolshevism and turn against Germany?

    Why did FDR & Churchill partner with the ideology and leader on whom they had earlier waged war?
    For the same reason the USA allied with Saddam and then turned against him and made Iraq the “keystone” of the war on terror.
    The US/West used Saddam to harry Iran because Iran had removed itself from its position as a buttress against Bolshevism; when Iraq had served its purpose, Saddam was eliminated and Iraq was “Morgenthaued.”

    Herbert Hoover spent a decade or more penning 900 pages about why FDR should have let Hitler and Stalin fight each other to exhaustion.

    I think that’s basically what FDR had in mind — Hitler was supposed to destroy Bolshevism and Stalin was supposed to destroy Germany.

    Stalin out-smarted and out-lived FDR.

  56. Sicario, incidentally, is a survival in Spanish of Sicarius, and means “hit man” or “hired assassin”.

    In Latin the sicarius was literally a “dagger man”, carrying a “sica”, an Illyrian blade, thus an assassin, but the word also became synonymous for murderer.

    Kazantzakis, as one recalls, follows one tradition that Judas was a Sicarius, that is, a member of the anti-Roman Zealots. In fact the name “Iscariot” may be a corruption of Sicarius though some argue for “man from Kerioth”.

  57. Roosevelt, if he had a little more patience, could have gotten us into war with Germany the same way Wilson did in WW1, in fact he had already started to do just that before Pearl Harbor, with the Reuben James incident, etc. If he had limited himself to provoking Germany, and then concentrated all our resources on defeating the Nazis, a lot of American and Japanese lives could have been saved.

    • Replies:
  58. They were indeed gullible. Hitler had sold the Japanese on the notion that Germany’s war on Atlantic shipping would help them win when in fact Germany lacked the naval strength to gain a decisive advantage in the Atlantic and he knew it. If that looks like a cynical way to treat an ally, the Germans and Japanese were cynical allies. Germany looked on Japan in China no more favorably than anyone else did. They were just keeping quiet about it until the right time.

    The smart move for Japan would have been to move directly on the Dutch East Indies for the oil and present the Anglo-Americans with a fait accompli. The Anglo-Americans might not have liked such a middle finger in their faces, but might have tolerated it in the light of the more urgent situation developing in the Atlantic. The IJN was quite well equipped to defend the western Pacific should the Anglo-Americans respond belligerently.

  59. As is typical of conspiracy debunkers, you are poorly informed and have read little. A Japanese attack against Pearl Harbor was widely discussed, and even war gamed. Here is a short summary from Wiki that includes proper footnotes to sources.

    A mock air attack on Pearl Harbor during war games in the 1930s was judged to have been a success.[109] Shortly after taking office, Navy Secretary Knox wrote an overview memo which specifically noted the possibility of an attack at Pearl Harbor. However, neither observation led to formal policy recommendations to forestall such an attack. Admiral James O. Richardson, who was fired by President Roosevelt for complaining about the President’s order to station the Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor,[110] blamed the President for the “initial defeats in the Pacific” as “direct, real and personal.”[111] Richardson believed stationing the fleet in Pearl Harbor made the ships extremely vulnerable against attack and provided a poor and unstrategic defense.[112]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearl_Harbor_advance-knowledge_conspiracy_theory#Perceived_threat_to_Pearl_Harbor

    One might an expect an apology, but class is rarely a trait found in an arrogant anon debuker.

    • Replies:
  60. Hitler should have reciprocated by helping the British to become the colonial master again in the New England on the new discovered continent. the British will be appreceate such offer very much and be very gradeful.

    Hitler will be even more popular among his neighbours if he organizes a hunting club of the old colonal masters like the French, Spanish, etc. to take their lost colonies on the new disovered continent back. Pity Hitler did not understand the mentality of the imperialists on the old contiment of Europe, he missed the boat and ended up get killed.

  61. “You always assume the man at the center of your ‘conspiracy’ is omniscient…”

    Roosevelt had a lot of military and diplomatic people, including cryptologists, to advise him about Japanese intentions. Someone was prescient enough to send the aircraft carriers away, but not the battleships.

    “There is a disgraceful lack of reality checking and common sense in the conspiracy theorists around here.

    What is the level of reality checking and common sense of those who believe, or at least profess to believe, the official line?

    • Replies:
  62. Your case involves not refusing to sell oil and other necessities to Japan. The consequence of that, even assuming that the imperialist ambitions of Tojo didn’t lead to Japan attacking Malaya, the Dutch East Indies or Indo China, would have meant the brutal rape and slaughter of millions more Chinese. Preventing that mattered to at least some Americans and gave a genuine tincture of morality to US policy. Would you have been happy to let Japan have its way in the Greater East Asia Coprosperity sphere?

    Come to think of it, might not an unfettered Japan have attacked the Soviet Union instead of the United States and brought about Soviet collapse before the US could intervene?

    I recall reading that Hitler’s declaration of war on the US was the result of his confidence that the Japanese would quickly defeat the US. He is reported to have exulted over the Pearl Harbour attack and said that Japan hadn’t lost a war in 1000 years! Also a recent doco on Tojo showed him predicting that the US would be defeated by mid 1942 and that would have been the view conveyed to Hitler. Midway ended that wishful thinking of course but my point is that Japan might have had a free rein for a long time before Hitler was provoked into declaring war on the US if it weren’t for Pearl Harbour.

    • Replies:
  63. Even though most Japanese knew America could win the war with Japan

    This is surly an American Victor’s revisionist narrative of history to gloss over themselves by degrading the Japanese low in intellegence, beastly like, suicidal and adoring the American like living God. This narrative only appeared in Hollywood movies and Japanese has never admitted it.

    Japanese has been winning wars against the White all along since Meiji restoration until it lost in the Midway, otherwise Japanese was correct all the time including beating the British in Malaysia, Singapore, HK, Burma, etc., the American in the Philippines, the French in IndoChina, the Dutch in Indonsia, etc. Japanese was confident they could kick the White out of Asia including India and replace the White as the master of Asia.

    Reading your narrative on Chinese war against the beastly fascist Japanese like reading Harry Potter. Perhaps this is the common narrative on Chinese war against Japanese aggresson in the West, they want to write others’ history for others so that they always can white wash their ugly past and gloss over themselves by claiming credit where credit is not due.

    • Replies:
  64. Are you denying that Kimmel and Short were gravely incompetent and negligent in their training of personnel and preparations given the well canvassed possibility of a Japanese surprise attack? Was the President not entitled to expect that the relatively newfangled radar which had helped see off the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain 15 months earlier would be competently used?

    • Replies:
  65. As a side note, the Soviets were under orders not to engage Polish army units unless they were fired upon and kept a way free for them to retreat to Romania. Polish soldiers who got stranded in Soviet-held areas were considered internees, not POWs, until the PGIE declared war on the Soviet Union in December 1939.

  66. Was Roosevelt not entitled to expect competence by Kimmel and Short in preparing for a surprise attack? Wouldn’t he have known of the way radar helped win the Battle of Britain and assumed some equal level of competence in his admirals and generals who also knew about its successful use?

  67. Put simply, for Britain and France to wage war on the Soviet Union while at war with Germany would have been strategically fatuous. I’m sure Hitler would have loved to have British and French armies fighting the Soviets in eastern Europe until the survivors could get creamed by the Wehrmacht. June 1940 and July 1941 all rolled into one.

  68. British rules of the game are funny though, in that if you follow the rules the British win. If you are winning, the British think you’re breaking the rules.

    Anyway, Perfidious Albion certainly lived up to its nickname in the WW2 period. Not only did their garauntee to Poland make the German invasion far more likely, Churchill also tried to attack the Soviets at the end of the war and had his general staff draw up “Operation Unthinkable”.

    Fuck those guys and their snobby “manners”. It’s just a cover for English piracy.

    • Replies: , ,
  69. Simple. Polish resistance was minor well before 9/17, the Germans could have easily swept up the rest of Poland before the Soviet invasion.

    But more importantly, if the Germans had wanted all of Poland then they would have planned and attacked accordingly from the beginning, but as I said and you ignored, they made an agreement with the Soviets who got 60% of the land, most of the population, and most of the Jews by far.

    • Replies:
  70. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    You’re arguing with Waldheim Wally the Nazi nut?

    He suffers from Nazitis. He’s rabid.

  71. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    “USSR invaded Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, invaded & annexed parts of Romania, invaded Iran, invaded northern Norway and the Danish island of Bornholm, yet the ‘Allies’ did nothing.”

    USSR would not have made the move against Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania if not for German overtures to divvy up the territories between them. Stalin was not the initiator of the aggression. Stalin feared Hitler and figured it was better to play along than confront Hitler. He took those lands as buffer states. Of course, Stalin failed to see that Hitler was setting him up for ‘keep your friends close but your enemies closer’.

    Also, USSR would never have taken all of Eastern Europe if Germans hadn’t attacked first and then lost, thus creating the space for Soviet invasion.

    So, enough with your Nazi crap.

    • Replies:
  72. Operation Unthinkable never made it beyond conceptual study and was rejected as too risky. As background to Operation Unthinkable, Churchill in the last years of the war was obsessed with undoing the framework of the Tehran Conference that left a security buffer for the Soviet Union. Roosevelt kept him in line and Truman didn’t, resulting in the Cold War. The most concrete move on the part of the Brits to undermine the Tehran framework was to insist on Operation Market Garden. It was sold as a quicker way to defeat Germany when it really wasn’t. It was a way to put the Commonwealth forces in a position to advance across the plains of northern Germany to the Baltic and pre-empt a Soviet advance into eastern Germany. Bernard Montgomery would later admit, albeit somewhat downplaying, those considerations. He also admitted that projection of British power into eastern Europe was one of the objectives of the Italian campaign, which was supposed to be the gateway to a campaign into the Balkans. The strategic muddle that was the Anglo-American war effort through 1943 into early 1944 was largely a product of putting Churchill’s imperial ambitions above the task of defeating Germany in the most expeditious way possible.

    • Replies:
  73. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    “British rules of the game are funny though, in that if you follow the rules the British win. If you are winning, the British think you’re breaking the rules.”

    No, while the Brits certainly wanted an upperhand and advantages, they didn’t play zero-sum game. After all, the Brits were more than willing to share with the French and Japanese.

    Brits were willing to play middleman between Germans and others. And if anything, Hitler was allowed to get away with very bad behavior when he took Czech-land. I mean Sudetenland was one thing cuz it had mostly Germans. But Germans had no right to take Czech-land. But UK negotiated a deal out of good faith, and its face and pride depended on Hitler keeping the deal.

    But Hitler soon violated the agreement. Hitler was playing a zero-sum game. In fact, he even violated the agreement with Stalin and tried to take all of Russia and reduce Slavs to slaves or millions of dead bodies.

    So, while Churchill was no saint and UK had its dark sides, Hitler was the loony who didn’t know when to stop. He wanted it all. He embarrassed the British by breaking the agreement, and he angered Soviets by invading and killing millions.

    Brits were playing for 60/40 advantage.

    Hitler was playing for 100% victory in the East. Too much of a gamble and too damn bloody bloody.

    • Replies:
  74. Of course the Germans made an agreement with the Soviets over Poland. Otherwise, they would have found themselves at war with the USSR, Britain, and France at the same time. You really didn’t think Hitler was just playing Santa Claus to the Soviets, did you? BTW, the “Polish” land that the Soviets gained was repatriated Belorussian and Ukrainian land seized by Poland in the 1919-1921 Polish-Ukrainian and Polish-Soviet wars. The repatriation of those lands was ratified by the Tehran Conference, and Poland compensated with annexation of German territory.

  75. Hi Eric,

    Some years ago while working on a degree at McGill in business, I happened across archive copies of Canadian Business magazine, which sadly ceased publication only last year. I pulled out the copy for January, 1942, and found an article talking about the prospects for the war with Japan that Canada was suddenly involved in as well as the US. The authors of the article were very calm and confident about the prospects for the war, even at a point in time when Japan was snapping up islands and sinking Allied ships with casual efficiency, and even lobbing a few shells at Vancouver Island.

    The authors pointed out that Japan’s total steel production was inferior, not only to the United States, but to Canada alone. The authors went on to cite a list of strategic requirements for war, and the pitiful relative resources the Japanese would be able to muster, and concluded that the Japanese simply had no chance whatsoever to win this war they’d started.

    It’s too bad this calm confidence on the part of some of Canada’s business elite didn’t extend to the civil authorities who were not so certain, at least to measure by their disgraceful decision on the internment of Japanese-Canadians.

    Sometimes the business people have it right.

  76. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    The neo-imperialism of homomania.

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2016/12/10/commentary/sex-marriage-sparks-culture-war-taiwan/#.WE5IJdQrK4Q

    Btw, if prog imperialists push ‘same sex marriage’ today, will ‘same family marriage’ or incest marriage be the thing tomorrow? Decadent degenerate neo-imperialist filth.

    Wherever the US spreads its power, it pushes homomania as the new religion. It is the new crusade.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZX2gWkfuMb4

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mx457T7iWMA

    Taiwan, along with Japan and South Korea, is a puppet whore of arrogant Western imperialists who claim to be superior, ‘more evolved’, and more advanced morally. These western imperialist don’t respect the values or morals of other civilizations. Instead, they think other cultures exist only to follow and obey America..

    Other nations don’t tell Americans to follow their way, but arrogant ‘exceptional’ and ‘indispensable’ Americans think their values and culture is superior to all else. They go all over and say YOU BETTER IMITATE US AND HAVE GAY MARRIAGE BECAUSE WE ARE MORE EVOLVED THAN YOU. Arrogant.

    It is cultural and moral invasion & imperialism. Ugly Americanism push a moral supremacist argument. As the US is now ruled by Glob elites who favor homos as the holy elite minority, they think they have the right to spread homomania all over the world.
    The whole world should associate marriage with homos who do fecal penetration.

    Russians, Chinese, Iranians, and Indians are respecting of other cultures. Russians don’t push/force their values and culture on others. China doesn’t either. India doesn’t push Hindu values on others. Iran doesn’t push Islam on non-Muslim nations.
    But globo-America pushes its decadent homomania and rap ghetto culture on all nations. US also invades and destroys nations like Iraq, Libya, and Syria. US also instigated the neo-nazi coup in Ukraine and then pushed homo parades on the nation. Vile neo-imperialism that uses sodomania as its cultural proxy.

    Btw, are Taiwanese-Asians are so lacking in moral and cultural confidence that they feel the need to imitate the worst decadent excesses of the West that has gone crazy with hedonism and shit culture? Do Taiwanese really swallow the Ugly American Homo Bullshi* that it is ‘more evolved’ to praise penises-penetrating-anuses and men cutting off penises to get fake pussies? That is ‘more evolved’?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9M0xcs2Vw4

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RM0uvgHKZe8

  77. Operation Unthinkable was called such by the British general staff because they deemed it virtually hopeless. Nevertheless Churchill wanted those plans drawn up, displaying a willingness to stab his erstwhile allies in the back at first opportunity that neither the US nor the USSR did.

  78. What about the thrashing the Japanese got from the Red Army in 1938? The Soviets were predominantly white.

  79. One Teutonic temper tantrum does not compare with literally centuries of British malignancy. From supplying weapons to various bandit tribes on Russia’s southern border, to inventing concentration camps to inter Boer civilians during the Boer war, to invading the new found USSR because reasons, to intentionally firebombing civilians in Germany, the British have never found an action too cynical if it advanced their interests. Let’s not forget cute things like facilitating the Irish potato famine. Nor have they failed to dress any of this up in the most moral and progressive colors.

    The only thing that has curtailed them at least somewhat is the post WW2 slide into weakness and irrelevance.

    • Replies: , , ,
  80. read

    Day of Deception by Stinnert

    The Grand Alliance by John Charmley.

    basucakky Rooseveldt provoked and inticed the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbour as a means to get Anerica into the war. His main interest was the war in Europe.

    3 months before Simpson, the secretary for war wrote to Roosevedt saying the Japanese must be prvoked into attacking PearlHarbour. He wrote back this had already been arranged.

    That lunch time Cordell Hull, the secretary of state, was found drunk on a park bench. A Parks policeman approached three members of the administration going for a walk. The girl member then realised the piece of paper in his hand was a copy of the signal PearlHarbour had been attacked. he had assumed the negotiations would succeed and wasnot in on the secret.

    The Rooseveldt account has been questioned for years, with numerous books, beginning with The FinalSecret of Pearl Harbour in 1948.

    They had calculated the waters of pearlharbour were too shallow for torpedo bombers, as had happend with the British attackon Taranto, because the torpedoes plunge then come back up to their running depth. But the Japaene had fitted large fins to them.

    Also noone knew about the Zero fighter, so it waws calculated the war would be confined to the NW Pacific.

  81. Greece was not at war with Germany, the power we were discussing, until April 1941. In asking the British to gratuitously go to war with a great power for a state which no longer existed, the Poles were continuing to live in the fantasy world which they had inhabited since the beginning of the crisis.

    • Replies:
  82. What was Roosevelt’s view of the consequence for the US if Nazi Germany under Hitler was in control of the whole of Europe and much of Eurasia and it had developed the atomic. Bombs he had certainly been warned about as well as ballistic missiles, V1s and jet aircraft?

    Perhaps a bit like Netanyahu’s unwillingness to think the best of and take a risk with a nuclear armed Iran?

  83. You write as if you think your opinion, and therefore the reasons behind it, carry some weight. So would you be so good ss to explain why the guarantee to Poland made Hitler’s invasion of Poland more likely? Are you suggesting that Hitler would have given up on Danzig and on advancing his army to a border with Soviet controlled territory?

    • Replies:
  84. You can help people defend themselves (we do it all of the time) without losing massive numbers of your own young men at places like Tarawa or Iwo Jima. Or Khe San.

  85. At one point either Kimmel or Short was either ordered not to put forces on alert or reprimanded for doing so and ordered to stand down, because doing so allegedly provoked or would provoke the Japanese.

    • Replies:
  86. When you say “most Englishmen are descendants of German immigrants” have you taken account of such research as Professor Brian Sykes’s. DNA Map of the British Isles? That may have concentrated on mitochondriaĺ DNA )(I don’t know) but gives a negligible place to Anglo-Saxons behind Celts, Vikings, Middle Eastern farmers and even Romans.

  87. The Soviet Union,, from birth to death, continually declared its intention to export revolution throughout the world.

    • Replies:
  88. Detail please. As Kimmel and Short were sacked it doesn’t strike me that they produced any very convincing excuse such as you suggest.

    Your alternative formulatlion makes nonsense of your case. Were they instructed never to upset the Japanese by doing anything which Japanese spies could report as warlike moves against the Japanese? When and by whom?

    No, not plausible and anyway what was required on the morning of 7th December was not a command to be alert and ready but an order to scramble all aircraft and man anti aircraft guns as soon as the radar scan had shown that an attack was imminent.

    As to the alternative formulation it sounds ridiculous. Are you saying that they were on some known occasion reprimanded for giving instructions as to how long their airmen were allowed for getting their armed and fuelled aircraft into the air and their naval gunners how much watning they might expect of an attack?

    • Replies:
  89. People with your primitive tribal prejudices usually fall into displaying their ignorant malice by saying something absurdly wrong. “Facilitating [obviously you mean deliberately] the Irish potato famine” is sheer nonsense. Clearly in those pre-socialist days and before the repeal of the Corn Laws famine relief was inadequate but that’s a different matter.

    • Replies: ,
  90. Apart from sheer malignant prejudice why do you call what you know so little about as to say “apparently” “crimes”?

    In fact the Brits by introducing railways to India did much to prevent famine in a country with an exploding population which, historically had suffered devastating famines about every 60 years as students of climate might tell you. As with the Irish famine it is anachronistic even to accuse presocialist governments of gross neglect when people suffered from malnutition before about 1900. What do you retrospectively expect? Food stamps?

  91. The British garauntee made the Poles intractable. Hitler sought the end of political the repression of Germans in a German city which had been transferred to Poland after WWI.

    Basically, if the Poles gave Gdansk/Danzig back, which they probably ought to have both on moral and practical reasons, the war would have been avoided.

    • Replies:
  92. Germany didn’t have to declare war on the US, just as Japan didn’t declare war on the USSR. The Tripartite Pact was defensive in nature. Iirc the Japanese fleet had broken radio silence en route to Pearl Harbor, FDR just understood the importance of being seen as the righteous, aggrieved party, like Wilson, McKinley, and Lincoln before him.

  93. The English official in charge of relief made this juicy statement: “The judgement of God sent the calamity to teach the Irish a lesson”. You can read Wiki article for more details

    • Replies: ,
  94. The game was almost certainly up at Dunkirk.

    By May 24 Guderian’s tanks, driving up the Channel from Abbeville, had captured Boulogne and surrounded Calais, the two main ports, and reached Gravelines, some twenty miles down the coast from Dunkirk. The front in Belgium had moved southwestward as the Allies attempted to detach themselves there. By the 24th, then, the British, French and Belgian armies in the north were compressed into a relatively small triangle with its base along the Channel from Gravelines to Terneuzen and its apex at Valenciennes, some seventy miles inland. There was now no hope of breaking out of the trap. The only hope and it seemed a slim one, was possible evacuation by sea from Dunkirk.

    It was at this juncture, on May 24, that the German armour, now within sight of Dunkirk and poised along the Aa Canal between Gravelines and St. Omer for the final kill, received a strange – and to the soldiers in the field inexplicable – order to halt their advance.

    It was the first of the German High Command’s major mistakes in World War II and became a subject of violent controversy, not only between the German generals themselves but among the military historians, as to who was responsible and why.

    • Replies: , , ,
  95. Whether or not they “should” have been surprised by the torpedoes there was considerable evidence that they were. IIRC Kimmel’s failure to effectively deploy torpedo nets was part of the case against him.

    Prange’s book is against the “revisionists” as I understand it, but he makes mention of how disturbed FDR was on the night of the 7th. I think the preponderance of evidence is that FDR maneuvered the Japanese into striking and probably knew a lot more about timing, but the way Prange describes him he seems (to me) more like a man who miscalculated than a man who was caught unawares. It was as though the Japanese were capable of far more destruction than he believed possible, and I think it is fair to assume that his estimation was based on advice he was getting.

    At Taranto the Brits were using slow biplanes (Swordfish, less than 1/2 the speed of a “Kate”) and, according to Wikipedia, had rigged up a wire drum system to keep the torpedo’s noses up. I don’t think it is logical at all that the Brits would have shared their method, certainly not at a level that would have been disclosed to line officers, nor that the method would have worked in a faster “Kate.” Prange goes into a lot of detail about the wooden fins being a Japanese innovation – Wikipedia agrees. People may argue forever about whether or not the US Navy “should” have been surprised by the effectiveness of the Japanese torpedoes, but it seems pretty clear they were.

    I stand corrected about the bomb down the stack.

    • Replies: ,
  96. Your capacity for reasoned argument is pitiable. A. What has that alleged utterance got tp do with your loose blather about “facilitating” the famine?
    B. There was no such person as “the (sic) English official in charge of relief”.

    • Replies:
  97. from “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” by Wm. Shirer
    p. 654 in on-line version.

    fify Sam.

    Next time consider citing the source of your cut-n-paste..

    • Replies:
  98. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    Largely true, but you haven’t read my first paragraph very carefully.

    Anyway, some credible historians would contest even that much:

    http://wih.sagepub.com/content/14/2/219.abstract (regret the paywall but the abstract should give the general idea)

    and Churchill and others were pushing for continued resistance, incl. at the very worst a fighting retreat to Africa.

    By the way, if you don’t write professionally, you ought to.

    • LOL: SolontoCroesus
    • Replies: ,
  99. I understand your reasoning but the possibility that Hitler would have dropped his lebensraum project is contrary to everything known about him. If Poland did cede Danzig under threat presumably the next demand would be free passage of German troops within Poland ostensibly so that they could travel to Danzig at will. Then ships would land tanks and artillery in Danzig and storm troopers would make a night dash across Poland with much the same result as in June 1941.

    • Replies:
  100. Not trying to torpedo your claim, just to modify it a bit.

    See my reply to Alfa158, above (Dec 12, 4:09 pm GMT).

    I think FDR wanted an incident and got a near-catastrophe. What might have been something the old boys would have discussed with a nudge and a wink turned out to be something that had to be denied at all costs.

  101. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    Considering your examples of Poland and France, you seem to believe that when a nation has been invaded and has suffered a major military defeat it has ceased to exist. This is, to say the least, an unorthodox interpretation.

  102. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    Ah. I should have guessed it was Shirer.

  103. Yes, I should have. The events however, were the events and indisputable. Do you dispute them.

  104. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    “One Teutonic temper tantrum…”

    Germans were brutal in Namibia.

    Germans colonized Polish lands.

    Germans, along with Russians, instigated WWI.

    The temper tantrum of WWII ended up killing 50 million.

    “literally centuries of British malignancy”

    Foreign policy has always been dirty business, and UK was no different.
    But Brits devised ways of compromise. They were better at carrots and sticks.

    It’s like the coins in Noble House.

  105. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    But Stalin prevailed over Trotsky and focused on matters in the USSR.

    Stalin used communists to destroy other leftists in Spain.

    He was reluctant to deal with Mao.

    He distrusted foreign communists.

    He didn’t even trust his own agents, esp those who’d been abroad.

    • Replies:
  106. Thanks for the Sagepub link. History, particularly the interwar period leading all the way to the creation of the Eurozone is my present endeavour, so anything you send my way in that regard is appreciated.

  107. Alfa158,

    I should add that if you have a source about Taranto and wooden fins on British torpedoes, I will be pleased to see it and will then consider standing corrected on that point.

  108. [So exactly WHY did FDR want a war against Germany at all costs?]

    For all the reasons which have traditionally driven any great nation to come to the aid of her allies, especially when the acts of the enemy had been on full display for a good six years.

    Do you have night sweats when your dreams of a total massacre of British lads at Dunkirk fail to appear?

    • Replies:
  109. He distrusted foreign communists.

    He didn’t even trust his own agents, esp those who’d been abroad.

    My goodness! It sounds as though he might have been paranoid. ;-)

  110. The Irish genocide was a slow motion event. Cromwell sent the defeated Irish to the glacier swept bare rock area of Ireland to purposely starve. The Irish jury-rigged fields of peat and seaweed to grow the highly nutritious new-arrival potato. When the potato blight occurred there was no replacement crop and Cromwell’s plan was belatedly effected.

  111. Tanks did well in the blitzkrieg attack mode. However, as Guderian tried to tell Hitler before Kursk, they don’t fare well against artillery. Thus Hitler may have viewed the English naval forces offshore as a substantial threat to his panzers.

    Or maybe he set out to defeat France and hoped to befriend England.

    • Replies:
  112. I said state, not nation.

  113. Sam Shama, SJW.

    One can almost see you puffing out chest, thumping, harumphing.

    That “ally” stunt worked well for Poland, didn’ it?

    As for FDR coming to the aid of his ally Churchill/ the British — the men loathed each other; FDR was intent on dismantling the British empire & succeeded; Churchill likely danced a jig when US sailors died in Hawaii: Churchill was intent on maintaining mastery of the seas.

    As for night sweats — why is it you refrained from pasting the final sentences of the paragraphs you clipped: afraid it might make Hitler and NSDAP look less-than demonic?

    . . .as to who was responsible and why. We shall return to that question in a moment in the light of a mass of material now available. Whatever the reasons for this stop order, it provided a miraculous reprieve to the Allies, and especially to the British, leading as it did to the miracle of Dunkirk.

    Where I come from, those who “provide miracles” are usually deemed to be angelic; counted among the good guys.

    • Replies: ,
  114. [Thus Hitler may have viewed the English naval forces offshore as a substantial threat to his panzers.

    Or maybe he set out to defeat France and hoped to befriend England.]

    Haider’s diaries do confirm Guderian’s concerns. Befriending England was quite likely at the core of Hitler’s plans from the very outset, as he went about taking the succession of smaller countries in a piecemeal fashion, each conquest followed by yet another re-affirmation (including Bundestag speeches) of his peaceful intentions.

  115. [One can almost see you puffing out chest, thumping, harumphing.]

    Hahahahaaa. Funny how projection works.

    Your ultimate point being exactly what? That Hitler on account of his act of “gentlemanly grace” toward an opponent nearly on the canvas, expect reciprocity? That was a possibility likely absent in the calculations of a more astute leadership than you would’ve preferred. British and American leadership, Jews included, weren’t about to oblige.

    Dream on.

    • Replies:
  116. so what you are saying, Sam, is that “Americans, British, and Jews included” would have preferred ” a total massacre of British lads at Dunkirk.”

    not surprised — heck, it’s not like Jewish blood was in peril — just surprised you’d admit it.

    • Replies:
  117. I think the Japanese had another alternative. Get out of China and stop slaughtering people left and right. Hitler, same.

    And yes, Stalin was a murderous bastard too. So was King Leopold.

    The Soviets, Nazis, imperialist Japan, all gone now. Good riddance. People clapping themselves on the back for realizing WWII and the cold war, and the motives of the allies weren’t just about freedom and apple pie, borscht, brie and Sunday roast beef are like 9 year olds breaking it to 6 year olds there isn’t a Santa Claus.

    I’m teasing. Somewhat.

    • Replies:
  118. What you inserted within the quotation marks is not what I wrote nor intended; possibly yet another example of a Freudian slip resulting from the turbulence inside your head.

    No; Allied leadership wasn’t about to indulge your man with a reciprocal error: he had shown his hand with quite enough clarity.

    This is your cue to go off the deep-end once again about Jewish bankers and rabbis.

    • Replies:
  119. [People clapping themselves on the back for realizing WWII and the cold war, and the motives of the allies weren’t just about freedom and apple pie, borscht, brie and Sunday roast beef are like 9 year olds breaking it to 6 year olds there isn’t a Santa Claus.]

    LOL. Very nicely put.

    • Replies:
  120. It was at this juncture, on May 24, that the German armour, now within sight of Dunkirk and poised along the Aa Canal between Gravelines and St. Omer for the final kill, received a strange – and to the soldiers in the field inexplicable – order to halt their advance.

    I have no knowledge of Dunkirk other than what I have seen on TV, but one documentary argued that Goering convinced Hitler to allow him to destroy the Expeditionary Force with the Luftwaffe (as a show of might and ability), and Hitler agreed. This did not happen for reasons of ability, weather, logistics, timing, or whatever.

    At any rate, you seem to have studied Dunkirk, do you have anything to offer about this theory?

    • Replies:
  121. There absolutely was, Traveylan was his name. The British facilitated the famine by
    -failing to stop exports of food from Ireland, despite having used that precise solution in the late 1700s to good effect, that is it collapsed food prices making it affordable.
    -structuring aid such that Irish peasants had to choose between dispossession and starvation
    -Placing the burden of food relief of tenants on the landlords, who promptly expelled their tenants rather than feed them. The laws were totally on the side of landlords
    -Enforcing “Corn Laws” that is prohibition of grain imports, despite knowing about the famine.

    So far it is you who is terrible at arguing, insulting your opposite is not an argument

    • Replies: ,
  122. Perhaps. It is speculative though. The British garauntee ensured war however. Neither was Poland a saint in all of this. Poland had taken Chech lands when Hitler invaded that country. Poland preyed upon Russian and German lands in the 20s when the two were weak. The British however were playing their typical continental game – keep any one power from getting too big.

  123. Sounds sensible and plausible to me. That’s almost summa cum laude on some of these threads where the emissions sometimes seem to emerge from the old codgers’ armchairs powered by alcohol and 50+ year old prejudices.

  124. Well now you are beginning to make sense though not to justify anachronistic words like “crimes”. My first Australian ancestor being an Irish Catholic convict/rebel doesn’t stop me recognising that, as empires go, Britain’s was about the best that could be hoped for, at least when reaching beyond Europe, and maybe the best ever till America created the Marshall Plan and benefited the world (except Iran and the Soviet Union) greatly till the Vietnam War was stuffed up.

    I attribute that to a kind of Maslow hierarchy. It is hardly novel to remark on Britain’s educated upper middle classes being in control and also rich because of the agricultural then industrial revolutions (and a bit of good and bad overseas trade) AND secure because Britain was an island nation with a powerful navy. Add in the better Christian endeavours of Wesleyans and other non-conformists, and, within the Anglican tradition, evangelicals like the great Wilberforce and you can see why Britain was, relatively speaking, a force for good and progress towards what, if we don’t allow high fertility Africans, Pakistanis and Arabs to destroy it, is a beatiful modern world in which the “smart fraction” at least can expect to live long and fulfilling lives only matched by about 1 per cent in the 18th century.
    Definitely not a racial thing because 100 years after the British parliament impeached Warren Hastings for mistreating Indians American whites were still massacring Native Americans.

    As I have raised what might be called structural issues and explanations for Britain’s times of success and relative beneficence it would be interesting to speculate about structural changes that would save us all from the worst of America with some greater probability than now seems likely. I would recommend the extension of Congressional terms to four years and Congress forcing something like a Westminster system on the increasingly imperial presidency. Plus of course solving the problem that only big money forms a counterweight to the poison of identity politics. At least the US doesn’t have compulsory voting as in Australia which would be disastrous in the US and needs the kind of immigration program Australia has and high minimum wages to survive that almost universal phenomenon today: the 200 per cent coverage of the sense of entitlement. (Allow me a sympathetic cheer for the Amish, Mennonites etc).

    • Replies: , , ,
  125. Agree.

  126. This is the Internet, not academia, and I haven’t quoted scholarly sources and neither have you. There were orders from above limiting what military and naval forces in the Hawaiian AO could do. The fact that Kimmel and Short were sacked doesn’t prove your case. Military justice is to justice as military music is to music.

    • Replies:
  127. You might reconsider your own tribal prejudices.

  128. Agree.

  129. Did I say “crimes”? I don’t recall that I have. The word certainly is not anachronistic though. I asserted that the English live up to their nickname of Perfidious Albion. And also, correctly, stated their malignant influence over the centuries. You sir have instantly responded with babbling insults and now this atrocity of an rambling overlong post. Suffice it to say that I don’t share your rosy view of the English Empire. It’s not the dastardly plotting that nauseates me though, it’s the cloying moralizing, the doublethink that holds that the English always act morally and for the greater good, and simultaneously engages in deceit and cynical manipulation.

    • Replies:
  130. Sam Shama @ 116:

    “Your ultimate point being exactly what? That Hitler on account of his act of “gentlemanly grace” toward an opponent nearly on the canvas, expect reciprocity? “

    John Kerry- Desperately seeking a Hitler moment –

    “U.S. Secretary of State Kerry is down to begging the Russians to let some of his friends escape: Kerry urges Russia to ‘show a little grace’ and allow Aleppo evacuation.”

    Moon of Alabama http://www.moonofalabama.org/2016/12/syria-roundup-government-liberates-aleppo-in-revenge-isis-retakes-palmyra.html

    ——–
    re:

    “What you inserted within the quotation marks ["“Americans, British, and Jews included” would have preferred ” a total massacre of British lads at Dunkirk.”] is not what I wrote nor intended; possibly yet another example of a Freudian slip resulting from the turbulence inside your head.

    . . . or your attack of amnesia while driving from 109 to 119.
    Corrie Ten go Boom.

    • Replies:
  131. You seem to have walked off the set of “Downton Abbey,” your one “Irish Catholic convict/rebel” ancestor notwithstanding.

    • Replies:
  132. Well defined.
    After all, the British Empire brought the world into the Modern World .
    Take a look at those countries which were part of it and those unfortunate to miss the boat.
    The latter marked without exception by decline and turmoil.
    Especially in the Far East and on the Dark Continent ….

    • Replies: ,
  133. Immediate agreement that the sackings (which were executive actions presumably rather than judicial) don’t definitively prove anything but I would expect their excuses to be well ventilated within the 75 years after Pearl Harbour if they were any good.

    Presuming that Roosevelt contemplated the much talked of attack on Pearl Harbour with equanimity and even hope it seems very likely that he believed, on professional advice, that the Japanese would get a bloody nose for very little gain and that torpedoes would not be dangerous in the harbour. If that was so he may be considered to be engaging in a far from unprecedented military tactic against an existing enemy (anyway, one that became a fully fledged enemy by falling for it). Suppposing a troop is sent down a canyon to draw fire and expose the positions of the enemy, casualties will be expected and even the troop commander might not be told that it is actually the kind of weapon the enemy is using that is the major point of the exercise.

  134. That fails as an answer for obvious reasons but also because it wrongly presumes that I, much closer to Anglophile than you, am familiar with Downton Abbey of which I have only ever watched about 10 minutes. What is it with you Hibernian grudge bearers?

  135. Sorry it was Jacques Sheete who used the word “crimes” in expounding much the same prejudices as you. You seem to suffer from intellectual short-windedness if you find my attempt to flesh out a more nuanced view of the British Empire unacceptably long winded in contrast to FitzGetty’s view which also shrewdly observes the chippiness often and currently displayed by those who espouse primitive ahistorical prejudices like yours.

    I take it that you have been made to feel small by people with an upper (and upper middle) class English accent, confirmed by your curious expression “English Empire”. Perhaps you would feel comfortable with Glaswegians who prospered in the Empire, not least from slavery. And why not those with one of the northern accents from Liverpool?

    At least you seem old enough to be free of the postmodern /relativist fashions which would hardly give credit to the English/British for abolishing suttee in India and the slave trade generally.

    • Replies:
  136. Churchill likely danced a jig when US sailors died in Hawaii: Churchill was intent on maintaining mastery of the seas.

    Don’t be ridiculous. The days between December 7 and December 11, when Germany declared war on the US, were tense ones on Downing Street. Japan was on the move against Britain as well, and the strategic counterforce of the US Fleet in the western Pacific was sorely missed. The Prince of Wales and the Repulse were sunk in the South China Sea on December 10. There was concern that being so riled up over Japan would divert US attention from Germany, which was the far greater threat to Britain. In the actual event, Germany’s declaration of war rendered those concerns moot. There was, in fact, subversion of the Germany First policy driven in part by US rage towards Japan.

    Whatever the reasons for this stop order, it provided a miraculous reprieve to the Allies, and especially to the British, leading as it did to the miracle of Dunkirk.

    Where I come from, those who “provide miracles” are usually deemed to be angelic; counted among the good guys.

    That “miracle” was mostly bad politics between the Luftwaffe and the Wehrmacht. Goering sold Hitler on the idea that the Luftwaffe could wipe out the beachhead and that giving that glory to the Luftwaffe instead of the Wehrmacht would show the questionably loyal Wehrmacht generals who’s the boss. Goering hadn’t figured on the wherewithall of the British-based fighter force being so superior to the one he encountered in France.

    • Replies:
  137. That’s pretty much it. It was a way of putting the Wehrmacht generals in their place. The RAF they encountered over Dunkirk was not like the one that accompanied the BEF, to their unpleasant surprise.

  138. The paradox of the Anglosphere: exponents of the scientific natural philosophy and the liberal social philosophy that have been so fruitful for elevating humanity, but boy does running an empire undermine those liberal ideals. At least we provide those on the butt end of our excesses some philosophical and moral underpinnings for resistance.

  139. Maybe your post is just rambling and I’m not terribly motivated to read through it, especially since you took a haughty and insolent tone with me. I’m also confused about why I should feel inferior to someone because of their accent. I understand feeling inferior because of the things people say, but to feel inferior because of an accent?

    You know, looking and sounding the part doesn’t make you a member of a hereditary upper class. I’ve used the term “English Empire” because the English are its true architects. If we say “British”, we must include the Scots and the Welsh. Who are conquered peoples of the English. At least such is my understanding of England’s history.

    • Replies:
  140. India and Pakistan were both part of the British Empire. They both seem thoroughly terrible to live in, and far worse than countries that were never part of the Empire, such as France, Germany, Italy, China, Japan, South Korea, frankly, Iran seems better off than either of those two.

    • Replies: ,
  141. I didn’t use the word “inferior” though “made to feel small” doesn’t cover the range of bristling or other adverse reactions I have observed to some of the confident upper class English voices I have heard and observed others react to in England and elsewhere. If you are born and bred American I wouldn’t expect you to react in a class based way as a boy with a Midlands accent might to an Old Etonian or equivalently “posh”voice that proclaims “I am upper class and you are not”. But if you were, for example, a 70 year old American of Irish Catholic descent who still nurtures the anti-English views that are quite obsolete amongst the Irish I can imagine you bristling at the voices of those English you would associate with arrogance and the ancient treatment of the Irish as ignorant peasants or second class Brits at best. A minority of Indians preserve some resentments of the British(not all well grounded in fact) but I wouldn’t expect that the flavour of English accent would matter much.

    You have BTW led me to look at the Wikipedia article on Perfidious Albion. Its modern use seems to be one of France’s few wins against the Brits as some journalist in Paris used it in 1793 to express the disapointment of the Jacobins that the British no longer supported the Revolution when it turned gratuitously homicidal. So everyone upset by the richest most powerful country got the use of a handy catch phrase adaptable even by supporters of the Irgun…

    Does it take subtlety to be Perfide? If not America would seem to be well in contention at least from its junking Woodrow Wilson’s support for the League of Nations. Letting down the Vietnamese is the really big one but the apparent giving of the green light to Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait shouldn’t be omitted and I recall the Deputy Director of MI5 (who had been a POW with my father) making clear how much the British resented Eisenhower and Dulles pulling the plug on the Suez adventure. So I am inclined to think that any justice in the Perfidious Albion jibe derives from something close to being a virtue. It has been nicely said that “hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue”. Similarly Britain may have been more assiduous than other great powers at attempting to maintain a reputation for honesty and not breaking promises or telling lies lightly. Thus subtle careful words lead readily to accusations of bad faith.

    • Replies: ,
  142. Your obstreperous attitude toward what I wrote is matched only by your apparent, but likely willful obliviousness of the circumstances bearing on Dunkirk; Hitler’s smouldering anger and frustration at being continually rebuffed by the British (and allied) leadership in not recognising him as an equal in the European political and colonial theatre; his admissions to the same effect to the roving Dahlerus, etc.

    Not everything you read is written with an eye to besting an interlocutor.

    @Another Fred

    Sorry to reply late, but Thirdeye graciously provided the needful. Hitler had been opposed by his general staff on a number of occasions, starting with Beck in the weeks preceding the Sudeten campaign which he – Hitler – skillfully neutralised and suppressed from dissemination to the Allies. Had the Allies known of this internal discord, the turn of events which followed might have been quite different. Similarly, the Fuehrer’s decision to halt at Dunkirk (although the military action was the opposite in effect to that which was advised by Beck back in ’38) was sold to a gainsaying general staff as a necessity for political expediency.

  143. Hypocrisy is also incredibly annoying. Especially if the hypocrite is found out but carries on.

    The US is basically England 2.0. Larger, more powerful, better protected, markedly similar in foreign adventurism. Bolder lies.

    You’ve admitted the veracity of the label. Subtle, careful words? Sounds like you’d better read the fine print. Churchill’s desire to immediately attack the USSR once the Germans were knocked out was not part of a carefully, subtly worded communique he sent to Stalin.

    Isn’t this careful subtle wording essentially a way to misdirect? A way to deceive without saying untruth, thus not carrying legal liability for lying? If you don’t understand this, it is you who should feel inferior when you hear an eatonian accent.

    • Replies:
  144. Most of those nations that thrived outside of the Empire (not so sure about Iran) did so by adapting British-rooted social and economic philosophy to their own cultural and historical circumstances. Yes, even China and Japan. The legacy of British colonialism is essentially a scapegoat for the problems rooted in the Hindu culture of India. Now that Modi is determined to rule India with his head up his Hindu ass, India’s prospects have taken a turn for the worse.

    * * *

    We seem to agree about Britain and Poland. Interwar Poland thought they had a sugar daddy for their national ambitions while they were just a pawn in Britain’s Great Game against Russia, and a sacrificial pawn in Britain and France’s opening gambit against Germany. The circumstances of the Polish Corridor crisis, which had been festering since the days of Weimar Germany, were completely different from the circumstances of the Sudeten crisis, which was largely a contrivance of Nazi Germany. Poland still has trouble with the notion that their national well-being depends on relations with Russia and/or Germany, and that support from Anglosphere powers is way less important.

    One of Hitler’s first foreign policy moves was to seek a resolution of the Polish Corridor issue in the context of an anti-Soviet alliance with Poland. It was a better deal than what the British offered Poland and the Polish were foolish to rebuff it. Poland might not have liked the prospect of becoming a vassal state to Germany like Hungary and Romania ended up being, but it would have been a lot better for Poland than what ended up happening.

    • Replies: , ,
  145. “white powers”

    Lmfao gtfo

  146. I’m interested in the vehemence with which you express your views on the current subjet matter since I don’t detect the intimate familiarity with aspects of Britain that I acquired by five years residence in youth and subsequent short visits including one where a friend included me in a lunch at his and his family’s boutique bank where the other seven guests or partners were….. Old Etonians (and I note that your spelling “eatonian” suggests a glancing acquaintance only with such very fashionable Belgravia addresses as Eaton Place). Mind you it wasn’t as though young Candide wasn’t warned about upper/upper middle class Brits. One slightly older Australian travelling companion with some upper class English relations used to like quoting a farmer cousin who said that the interest a genial Englishman showed in you was probably all about selling you a bull!

    On the social or personal side I suspect that the great divide is a 20th century one before which Englishman of the lowest class might borrow from Imperial power an uncouth sense of superioriy over foreigners and darkskinned ones in particular and there was a more nuanced equivalent in the upper classes towards Americans not least. It is of course amazing what confidence relative affluence can give. There was an ordinary English person’s reaction to well paid Americans in wartime Britain that they were “over paid, over sexed and over here”. (Lucky the US army no longer billets soldiers on the locals even if it is because Afghams and Iraqis don’t serve corn flakes for breakfast).

  147. I didn’t use the word “inferior” though “made to feel small” doesn’t cover the range of bristling or other adverse reactions I have observed to some of the confident upper class English voices I have heard and observed others react to in England and elsewhere.

    I grew up in the “Buckle of the Bible Belt” (Jim Crow Alabama), but I never heard the word “boy” used with the bite I heard from an Englishman to an Asian in Oman.

    The English have much to be proud of. It is just human nature that some will take it too far.

    So it goes. Mercy to us all.

  148. Nice article. The best book I have read recently on WWII is called “Wages of Destruction” by Adam Tooze. It covers the German war economy. Also, if you want an inside view of the Japanese navy during the war I suggest: “Japanese Destroyer Captain” by Tameichi Hara. Little did he know that eventually all those Japanese ships, including his own, would be turned into hot anime chicks in a browser game.

  149. You need to make distnctions between Pakistan and India – but then I should hasten to add, also between different parts of India which contains within it all the variety of Europe moderated only by universal ability of the educated to speak English and common institutions across India inherited from the Raj. Pakistan may suffer uniquely from the problems of Islam but it also was (unlike the former East Pakistan, now Bangladesh) late in receiving the modernising influences of British rule.

    I recently travelled to India for the first time in many years and decided that either Bangalore or Mysore would be excellent places for comfortable retirement if one needed one’s finances to be aided by cheap everything, including modern medicine. And how about having a taxi at beck and call for over 7 hours for $35? So the drivers are poor? Maybe but it only cost me $7 to buy a very tasty dinner for me and my driver during a 17 hour expedition to Mysore…..

  150. Just pour amuser: how come garçon survived as the word for summoning a waiter in France?

    • Replies:
  151. Pure BS.

    The overwhelming majority of countries that were plundered by the british pests are still poor as hell.

    As 1rw said, plenty of countries which ‘missed the boat’ are doing quite well.

    • Replies:
  152. Must mostly agree with your comments. India and Pakistan suckin spite of rather than because of colonization by the Brits. Though it would be foolish to believe that the colonial era was all roses.

    Poland was run by fools in the ’30s just as it is run by fools now. Friendship with one’s powerful neighbor is far more secure than being the pawn of a powerful neighbor’s distant rival. Poland in ’39 and Georgia in ’08 show the worth of Anglo assurances.

    I must draw a line on the notion that everyone who succeeds does so because they adopt English ways to some degree or other. It is certainly at least partially true. However it is not true to the point that feeling like England is the best ever can be truly justified. English ways are best suited to England, and other countries adopting them ought to be careful. Germany and Russia, and other land powers cannot afford foreign military adventurism because their neighbors are able to return the favor in kind. The disregard the English upper class showed and shows to this day for the common man is not an admirable trait.

    • Replies:
  153. More considerations on Polish-British and Polish-German relations between the wars.

    As of 1934, Poland was no doubt swayed by an erroneous perception of what Britain could actually deliver for them in deciding to stay aligned with Britain rather than Germany. They had been promised that they could have it all – the Danzig Corridor and support for their eastern territorial ambitions in the sweet bye-and-bye when Britain was again ready to move into high gear against the Soviet Union. What they failed to consider was that what worked in 1919 was increasingly unlikely to work coming up on 20 years later, with the Soviets developing industrial and military might and a resurgent Germany breathing down their necks. There are also unanswered questions about how Germany and Poland, as two territorially ambitious powers coveting much of the same territory, would have resolved their inevitable conflicts. If such conflicts broke out into war, Poland would probably have ended up as the same roadkill they were in 1939. In any event, Poland in 1939 had no realistic choice but to concede to the German demands then decide whether they were going to be a vassal state to Germany or the Soviet Union.

  154. Just pour amuser: how come garçon survived as the word for summoning a waiter in France?

    I have no knowledge of it, but I would hazard a guess that it has something to do with the attitude or intonation, much as blacks will call each other “niggah” as a term of endearment.

  155. Aren’t you that FOOL who, only a few months ago, insisted that the Germans had shot the Poles at Katyn?
    Then, I stated:
    “Thirdeye, what a handle, eh?
    You could have had 10 eyes and u’d still be blind, you shameless little liar.”

    So, besides making things up, you are some sort of anglo supremacist, are ya?

    Britain is one of the most criminal states in modern History. Possibly the one other country which can rival ZUSA in terms of warmongering, disregard for international law & sheer criminality…

    Given that it has lost its Empire more quickly due to the 2 world wars for which perfidious Albion itself was largely responsible for bringing about, in its quest to destroy Germany, it does so now as Zusa’s junior partner in crime.

    Right now it is busily involved( as zusas junior) with Saudi Barbaria’s criminal war on Yemen, with the pathetic Saudi criminals bombing civilians from the air while getting their butts kicked by the houthis on the ground.
    There was Libya b4 that… and Iraq, what a mess, Afghanistan, the list goes on…

    Perfidious Albion and France, under Zusa, have also done their very best to illegally support islamic terrorists in Syria, in order to overthrow Syria’s government.

  156. Take your Katyn argument up with the Polish forensic archaeological team that found evidence of purported Katyn victims buried in definite SS mass graves in the Ukraine, and with the forensic document analysts who determined that the “Beria memo” from the Soviet Archives was an early post-Soviet era forgery. Document forging to screw political rivals and falsify history was a common Soviet-era practice that continued into the post-Soviet era.

    Yeah, the British are bad, bad people so nothing they did was ever good. Not their contributions to science, technology, or social philosophy that progressed humanity over much of the world.

    It’s frankly embarrassing to admit that I agree with a blithering moron such as yourself over what the Anglo-American-Israeli-gulf Wahhabi axis has been doing throughout MENA.

    • Replies:
  157. However it is not true to the point that feeling like England is the best ever can be truly justified.

    Everybody knows that ‘Murica is the best ever! /jk

    I wouldn’t say that adapting modern Western systems – in which Britain’s influence was huge – necessarily means adopting British ways. The Japanese, when confronted with the unavoidable prospect of dealing with the West, studied and adapted them in a very deliberate and systematic ways, while giving them their own cultural imprint. Imperial Japan was spectacularly successful at transforming from a feudal society based on agriculture and handcrafts to an industrial society within a couple of generations. Of course they adopted one of the less savory aspects of the modern West, imperialism. The Nationalist movement in China was driven largely by intellectuals familiar with modern Western concepts and systems. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen was a Christian who spoke English. The rise of China in the post-Mao era has been served by the “Communists” helping themselves to what they find handy at the smorgasbord of Western economic ideas. If a non-Western culture can take Western ideas and make local improvements on them, good for them. Maybe it will be the West’s turn to watch and learn.

  158. Hitler wanted a peace deal with the U.K.??? Sure, just like the one with Russia. Peace treaties and alliances are merely temporary accommodations to be broken as soon as they are no longer beneficial.

    In truth, this was an imperial war fought for all the typical imperial (economic and psychotic) reasons — power, wealth, greed, ambition, and the glory of world domination — forced on the world by competing elites of all the imperialist and want to be imperialist nations — Germany, Japan, Italy, Great Britain, Russia, and the US. France as an imperial power would have been there as well, but it’s people were too war weary to be tricked or motivated into fighting another imperialist war by and for their elites. Hence they were forced to surrender after only 6 weeks. Roosevelt and our imperialist minded elites looking and hoping and even taking part in creating a good reason to enter the war—you bet they were!

  159. To a certain degree, I believe that Roosevelt was a traitor to his class. I think he hated imperialism and all these imperialist powers, including the British empire, and that he saw a late entry into the war as a way to smash all of them while they were all weak and we were strong; and then the U.S. would be in position to dictate terms to them. And all of this came true. Then Roosevelt weakened and died, his successor Wallace was kicked to the curb, and an incompetent Truman was elevated from obscurity to the presidency. And then, as the psychopathic imperialist-minded elites regained control of the levers of power, we became them.

  160. There is no Katyn argument, you idiot. It’s mind boggling that at the end of 2016, some cheap ass propagandist such as yourself is still trying to pin Katyn on the Germans, when numerous official Russian outlets have already conceded the point the Poles were murdered at Katyn and other locations by the NKVD.
    Worse yet; the zamericans and brit pests knew it too!
    WWII massacre: Memos show US cover-up of Stalin’s Katyn slaughter
    https://www.rt.com/news/katyn-massacre-documents-usa-816/

    blindAsHell goes: ‘the British are bad, bad people so nothing they did was ever good.’

    I never said that, you are putting words into my mouth, like the sad little weasel you are;
    What I basically said was that modern Britain was and continues to be a war mongering, treacherous, rogue state… and this is very easy to demonstrate.
    Also, the imperial looting made many of those contributions you mention possible.

    • Replies:
  161. The overwhelming majority of countries that were plundered by the british pests are still poor as hell.

    True dat. Just look at all the deeply impoverished nations of the Indian subcontinent and Africa that were once ruled by the brits.

    Much worse: look at what happened to the aboriginal populations of Australia and Canada.

    The British Empire was very, very good…..for the brits.

    • Replies:
  162. Thanks. I came back a few days later to see if anyone had replied. I thought maybe I’d get some abuse.

  163. You are mixing up very different cases, so different that they can hardly support a single case you might want to make. People like the Australian Aborigines have little in common with Indians, most Africans or even Native Canadians or Maoris, with the one exception that all the recent hunter gatherers suffer severely from not having thousands of years of alcohol use. There are indeed indigenes in India, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Malaysia who might envy the greater longevity Australian Aborigines have achieved since 1788 (though notably less than that of the average Australian). And there are pygmy negritos in several countries including Australia who are different again.

    What happened to “the aboriginal populations of Australia” – odd that you don’t mention the deliberately genocidal efforts of the promoters of “manifest destiny” – was largely the inevitable result of exposure to Eurasian diseases and a culture, especially in Australia, which gave them almost nothing which would help them leap thousands of years into the fast changing modern world. By the time Europeans started to settle Australia the evangelical Christianity which did so much to get rid of slavery was strongly influential amongst the colonial governing officials but – to acknowledge reality and to avoid anachronism one should recognise that Malthusian reproduction continued to prevail even in white European populations so that some of the clashes which had happened on advancing frontiers for thousands of years continued to happen. Nothing “British” about that: just residually primitive human. The Indian case is enormously complicated by the huge surge in population growth which at least coincided with British intrusion. I am reminded of the blindness of most of those who bemoan what the industrial nations’ CO2 emissions threaten for low lying Pacific Islands like Tuvalu. Their real problem is population explosion since Europeans first introduced elements of modernity.

  164. Britain isn’t powerful enough to be a “war mongering …. rogue state”. Even when deluded and deluding ponces like Blair commit Britain to bit parts in American martial follies its forces are underequipped and dependent on American forces for evven their half decent performances. Historically Britain was mostly cost effective in warfare that mattered but hardly watmongering, even before 1914, despite a few fits of imperial excitement as in the Sudan and Rhodes and Jameson. generated hostilities with the Boers. Remember that Britain (and the American colonies of course) uniquely lacked a permanent standing army even when it was gearing up to oppose the French revolutionaries and Napoleon. Navies alone don’t support warmingering.

    • Replies:
  165. Actually Napoleon assembled an excellent army to attack Britain. His plan to attack Britain bogged down in his attempt to build a navy (and in Egypt). Trafalgar put an end to the invasion of England plans. So, having assembled his Excellent Army, he attacked Russia. Rather like someone else after Operation Sea Lion.

    • Replies:
  166. Yes, indeed, if that was your point, Napoleon *was* a warmonger [sorry, btw, for all the irritating little typos in my last effusion]. One could say that conscription for armies implies warmongering by one’s own country or neighbours whereas Britain’s press gang for the navy was just enthusiasm for sailing.

  167. Clearly, 500 years of British Empire (Cabot discovering America in 1497 to Hong Kong in 1997) has left the world poorer. more lawless and more prone to violent solutions than it was in 1496. Pigs have wings too.

  168. There was virtually no RAF protection for the Dunkirk evacuation. The army term of contempt for the airforce “Brylcreme Boys” dates from a letter issued by a General suggesting that the troops refrain from using such a term.

  169. For those much more informed than I am, I have one key question about the often invoked theory that the attack on Pearl Harbor was a Machiavellian plot of Roosevelt’s to draw America into the war against Germany:

    How could Roosevelt have known with reasonable certainty in 1941 that a Japanese attack on the U.S. would cause Germany to declare war on the U.S.?

    The Tripartite Pact involving Germany and Japan does not appear to be relevant here as the answer. The Tripartite Pact required Germany to support Japan militarily only if Japan were attacked. With Pearl Harbor, of course, Japan was the attacker, not the attackee. Hitler’s declaration of war on the U.S. after Pearl Harbor seems like a completely insane, unforeseeable, and highly unlikely event, that only then drew the U.S. into war against Germany.

    • Replies:
  170. Agree that Hitler’s action was at best fortuitous from Roosevelt’s view. However any war would justify the fast battle fleet under construction and require martial law and conscription. Hitler’s reaction was just mana.

Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone



 
Remember
My Information
Why?

 Email Replies to my Comment

Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter

Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Eric Margolis Comments via RSS
Personal
Classics
Bin Laden is dead, but his strategy still bleeds the United States.
Egyptians revolted against American rule as well as Mubarak’s.
“America’s strategic and economic interests in the Mideast and Muslim world are being threatened by the agony in Palestine, which inevitably invites terrorist attacks against US citizens and property.”
A menace grows from Bush’s Korean blind spot.
Far from being a model for a “liberated” Iraq, Afghanistan shows how the U.S. can get bogged down Soviet-style.