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Does OZ owe it's freedom to the US?

Discussion in 'War in the Pacific' started by Ken The Kanuck, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Funny that this "biased" "unreliable" media is talking of an explosion in the Pacific...Seems pretty reliable to me.

    As Opana has pointed out, they were well involved. However, the British had little to offer in the way of trained reinforcements across the board, and the US was not that much better off. A few months one way or the other was not going to affect the outcome of Japan's opening moves. The allies had too few ships, aircraft, men, supplies, etc. on hand, enroute, or planned, and far too much ground to defend.
     
  2. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I knew I didn't IIRC.
     
  3. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I'm certain he discussed it with Ugaki too, possibly as early as Novemeber, 1940, but sourcing that has proven problematic. The earliest the PH Attack was seriously discussed was with Fukudome, and the planning begun with Onishi.
     
  4. Aussiegoat

    Aussiegoat Member

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    I couldn't agree more. I was just making the point that FDR's decisions were not made with the security of the British Empire as his foremost concern.

    And I don't think Australia gave 1 thought towards American interests when entering WW2. In 1939 Australia was still Commonwealth focused and was only interested in supporting the 'motherland'.
     
  5. Aussiegoat

    Aussiegoat Member

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    How does hastening an attack on the Philippines improve its position? If Japan attacked the DEI and Malaya, they could have still joined the fray then. Had they bided their time, their position would have improved daily and they could have attacked Japan on their terms, rather than give Japan the initiative. I know you and others have pointed out American reluctance to fire the first shots, but I'm certain no one would have questioned them doing so in this scenario.
     
  6. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    If Japan had not attacked the US directly, it is highly unlikely that FDR could have garnered enough popular support in Congress to get a declaration of war approved.
     
  7. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The Embargo was about forestalling an attack on Malaya and the DEI. With Malaya and the DEI captured, the Philippines are cut off, and the US position in the Philippines is weakened, not strengthened. Further, FDR saw the war not as a European war, but a global one as evidenced by his January, 1941, letter to Ambassador Grew. England was sustained by what raw materials were brought in from her overseas colonies, and the loss of some or all of those colonies to the Axis Powers would negatively impact Britain's ability to successfully wage the war. Also, it would materially benefit the Axis Powers if these colonies could be captured. Hence, it was in the US's best interest to prevent that from happening.

    The US and UK were absolutely not going to fire the first shot, no matter the provocation. This is evidenced by the writings of FDR and others. They did not even attack the Japanese invasion convoy as it sailed to Malaya, despite knowing it's location through air reconnaissance. FDR did try and maneuver the Japanese into firing the first shot, by having the USS Isabel scout the Japanese invasion force, but the Japanese did not take the bait.

    Finally, the US knew that it could not fight a war on it's terms until at least 1943, and they also knew via MAGIC that Japan was not going to wait that long. As such, the US military, most noticibly Admiral Stark, believed that we could fight a defensive war until such time as we could go all in. The advantage being that Japan could bleed her military against Allied defenses, while the Us continued to build up it's strength.
     
  8. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    His cabinet agreed, unanimously, twice in 1941.
     
  9. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    And
    The Japanese thought so too. This was one of 12 questions the Emperor put to Tojo on October 18, 1941..
    Could Japan limit it's strike to only Malaya and the DEI. Politically, they could limit their attacks to Malaya and the DEI without much overt US interference. However, the Japanese militarist were unwilling to accept the operational risks involved with leaving the Philippines sitting astride the sea lane between the SRA and home. Thus, Tojo made the decision to strike the Philippines.

    Again, embargo or no embargo Japan was going to strike.
     
  10. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I misread USMCPrice's post. The two cabinet unanimous opinions were that he COULD get a declaration of war through Congress if the Japanese attacked British and/or NEI areas but NOT the US territories. The one I remember clearly was on July 5th. Stimson recorded that one in his diary entry of July 7th. (He was an indefatigable diarist, but he didn't always enter his notes the day he made them.)
     
  11. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The two I am familiar with were on November 17, 1941, and the second was a War Cabinent meeting on November 28, were they thought they could get a DOW against Japan if she attacked Malaya and the DEI.
     
  12. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    You can see Stimson's diaries, in microfiche, at Purdue. Enter the "Undergrad Library" building, go down the stairs, enter the library, turn right at the desk and right again at the next corner. Five rows of cabinets along you turn left and go down four cabinets. You want the second one. Boxes are dated.
     
  13. Takao

    Takao Ace

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  14. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    And just because the cabinet thought they could push it through didn't make it so. They're also the bunch that thought Japan would compromise if Japan's assets were seized and a complete oil embargo implemented. Harold Ickes for one. A month before Japan went into Indo-China, Ickes thought a complete oil embargo should be implemented; "Ickes recommended to the President that shipments of oil to Japan be stopped immediately. In a brief reply that skated on the edge of sarcasm, FDR said, "Please let me know if this would continue to be your judgment if this were to tip the delicate scales and cause Japan to decide either to attack Russia or to attack the Dutch East Indies."
    The US Ambassador to Japan, John Grew had warned that Japan would likely go to war with the West in the event of a complete embargo. He even reported that there were Japanese plans to attack Pearl Harbor, though his report was discounted.
    And why did Japan initially invade Indo-China? It was to cut the Kunming-Haiphong railroad, over which US military aid to China was passing. I would say that military supplies being shipped by a supposedly neutral nation, through another supposedly neutral nation provides sufficient provocation for the belligerent involved in the war, whose enemy is receiving said support, to take action.
     
  15. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Really? The guys who ran the country didn't know what they were talking about?
     
  16. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Ickes was always a hardliner towards Japan, so was Morgenthau, and to a point, Stimson and Acheson.

    You should include the next two paragraphs of the quote to give context...
    When Ickes argued the case, the President pressed his own point of view. He said that a knock.down, drag.out fight was taking place in Tokyo. Japan's leaders were trying to figure out which way to jump—whether to invade the Soviet Far East or the South Seas or whether to "sit on the fence and be more friendly with us." The decision was anyone's guess, "but, as you know," he told Ickes, "it is terribly important for the control of the Atlantic for us to keep peace in the Pacific. I simply have not got enough Navy to go round—and every little episode in the Pacific means fewer ships in the Atlantic." 2

    Once Japanese troops began moving into southern Indochina, however, a new situation was created. 3 The President consequently changed his mind about the way to react. He first suggested that Japan join with the United States and other powers to treat Indochina as a neutralized country in the nature of a Far Eastern Switzerland (an idea to which Tokyo proved to be unresponsive); Roosevelt then sent a message in a language everyone could understand: Overnight, he froze all Japanese assets in the United States. 4Although he did not reveal his intentions, his order was soon processed through lower levels of bureaucratic consultation into a full trade embargo, thus stopping the shipment of oil to Japan. 5


    Cutting the Kunming-haiphong railroad was one of the objectives of the 1940 invasion, and it did so successfully. So this excuse does not hold for the conquest of the rest of Indochina in 41. Further to the point, how much military supplies were being sent to China at the time...Not much. Most of China's military supplies had been coming from the Soviet Union. IIRC, for the most part, those US supplies were tied up in warehouses in the US as China was having great problems trying to find shipping to carry such to Asian ports.
     
  17. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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  18. Takao

    Takao Ace

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  19. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Thanks, Otto! ;)
     
  20. Aussiegoat

    Aussiegoat Member

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    When did Tojo make the decision to strike the Philippines? Before or after the embargo was placed? Is there any indication the Japanese intended to attack the US at the same time they did DEI and Malaya prior to the embargo?

    Really - this is the first I've heard of this. My understanding was that the Isabel was actually tasked with a reconnaissance of French Indochina and report on any shipping movements; not that it was specifically directed to shadow the invasion convoy. Did the US even know the invasion convoy was on its way? I have seen no evidence that FDR wanted the Isabel to be fired upon.
     

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