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How would you have avoided the attack on Pearl Harbor?

Discussion in 'Pearl Harbor' started by OpanaPointer, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    You have either been "thrashed" by one to many breaking waves, or have spent too much time in the California sun...maybe both...

    Not once in this thread have I mentioned Congress or how warlike Congress was. You have apparently confused me with someone else.
     
  2. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    And did any of those papers, or any others, advocate for the United States to declare war? This would apply only to Germany and Italy prior to Dec 7, but the polls were asking the same questions with regard to Japan and getting similar % responses. If the American people didn't think we should intervene when Germany was fighting Britain, Russia, the Netherlands, etc., why would they feel differently about Japan fighting Britain and the Netherlands?

    Indeed, read the polls and the papers. The attitude towards Germany and Japan was the same, if anything Germany was the greater threat, and we were more involved in trying to contain German aggression, yet FDR still only dared ask for a declaration of war when we were actually attacked, against the party which actually attacked us.

    He firmly believed that we needed to participate in the war against Hitler. Dec 8 would have been the perfect opportunity to link Japan's action to the European war, but FDR - who knew the mood of the American people far better than any of us today - did not even try.

    How many hundreds of letters and editorials were in those papers? How many of them advocated that the US take the step of entering the war? I'd actually be surprised if there weren't a few saying "This really is our concern, we're practically in the war already, we should make it official", but we never see any cited, in conversations here, in books, anywhere.

    I have to correct myself - there was a poll asking whether we should enter the war:

    Interviewing Date 6/9-14/41
    Survey #239-K Question #4a
    If you were asked to vote today on the question of the United States entering the war now against Germany and Italy, how would you vote — to go into the war now or to stay out of the war?
    Go in.............................. 24%
    Stay out............................76

    So the next question would be, was this poll repeated later in 1941, and if so what were the results?

    The polls mean exactly what they say - people accepted that we would probably end up in the war somehow, and were even willing to support actions that made that more likely, but not to take the step ourselves.
     
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  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Well wiki notes at: Declaration of war by the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    It's also worth noteing that while we declared war on Germany and Italy the same day there were two seperate declarations. See:
    United States declaration of war upon Italy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_declaration_of_war_upon_Germany_(1941)
    Since the president is specifically in charge of foreign relations this suggest that a formal request is if not required certainly desired.
     
  4. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    A number of reasons.
    1) I think there was a general if not contempt at least disregard for the military competency of the Japanese by the population as a whole. Based on WWI the same cannot be said of the Germans.
    2) The US had been in a number of military actions in the previous 50 years that weren't elevated to the level of "war". I suspect that much of the population expected actions against the Japanese to fit this pattern. Indeed the AVG was a step in that direction.
    3) The US had been if not bombarded at least made aware of Japanese actions and atrocities in China for several years prior to 1941. This rather primed the pump.
    4) The polls indicate quite clearly that the US population saw that our interest conicided with a British victory. The general consensus as revealed by the polls was that Britain would prevale over Germany so there was no reason for the US to get involved. Adding the Japanese to the mix changes the equation. In the Pacfic at least if not in Europe as well.
     
  5. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    How do you avoid Pearl Harbour?

    Well, I would say that who-ever ordered those three fleet carriers out of the picture had achieved exactly that. Hindsight tells us that Naval strategy was given a considerable boost in favour of the carrier school when it was realised that these fighting units were really all that was available. So, I would say that the worst affects of Pearl Harbour WERE avoided by the historical result. In this manner have we turned a shocking defeat into a national asset. PH galvanised the nation and prepared it psychologically for the trial of strength to come. Following the British Imperial pattern of losing battles and winning wars, PH guranteed that FDR could take the country to war and be supported in this, rather than splitting the voters.

    The historical result WAS the avoidence of the worst case scenarios. Unfortunately, it cost many bluejackets their lives/health. Poor bastards. But, these terrible losses gave the nation one thing at least. A core of PH vets that are simply the most visable veterans on the planet, and some of the most loyal and patriotic people around.

    I'd say that winning the conflict and ending up with that incredible group of vets was a good result already.

    Long may we remember Pearl's veterans, alive and dead. Great Americans.
     
  6. OpanaPointer

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

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    Carronade, your question is too simplistic.
     
  7. OpanaPointer

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

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    I'm not sure how that works to avoid the attack.
     
  8. freebird

    freebird Member

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    Good questions Carronade, but since this thread is starting to drift off topic, I'll start a new thread - "US entry to WWII if no Pearl Harbor".


    As for my point "Why bring it to a vote", CT Burke wasn't talking about a declaration of war, but a meaningless "straw vote".
     
  9. CTBurke

    CTBurke Member

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    Identity Crisis?

    [Takao] >You have either been "thrashed" by one to many breaking waves....Not once in this thread have I mentioned Congress or how warlike Congress was. You have apparently confused me with someone else.<

    Well, you better take whomever is using your "Takao" moniker and give HIM a thrashing, or YOU have confused you with someone else.

    To wit:

    Post #101 ON THIS THREAD--->So, I would think that it require much less "provocation" to get a DoW against Japan than it would to get a DoW against Germany.<

    Just WHO do you think issues the DoW??? Congress. Gotta have a "war-like Congress" if you are going to issue a Declaration of War!!

    Then, there are the statements about "the United States", or US Government", or "Americans", etc. DOING SOMETHING. Is a welder from Podunk, Iowa going over to the Far East by himself to implement foreign policy AND pay for it himself?? Just "WHO" is this "United States" that is going to do something? And WHO is going to pay for it? Congress holds the purse-strings for ALL government spending.

    "Americans favor doing something to prevent a Japanese aggression.. #126"

    "the United states should risk war with Japan.. #126"

    "should the United States take steps now…#126"

    "strong favoritism amongst the American public, that war is necessary.. #126"


    Or do you think the US was run by a DICTATOR in the guise of the President who has all-encompassing powers to run foreign affairs as he sees fit and pay for it without the American Public and without Congressional representation ever entering the mix? The Congress of the United States *REPRESENTS* its citizens for the purposes of legislation that guides the policies of the nation as a whole. If it were true that "The US", or "Americans" favor war, then that belief should transmit to representatives and appropriate floor debate and legislation. If not, then the polls, etc. are just "hot air" and irrelevant.

    >Or is this just "wooly thinking", which is just to the right of "fuzzy" logic. # 126<

    Since this shoe fits, I guess you are wearing it!
    ............................

    [Freebird] >As for my point "Why bring it to a vote", CT Burke wasn't talking about a declaration of war, but a meaningless "straw vote". <

    I hardly think "meaningless". *IF* the American public was SO READY for war, as you believe/claim, then its representatives in Congress should mirror the public clamor and be "conflicted", vote-wise, whether to join the war RIGHT NOW or wait for developments. As Carronnade pointed out, the fact that a Congressional vote to enter the war was NEVER proferred on the floor of Congress flies in the face of "logic" that Americans were "champing at the bit" to commit to military action to "do the right thing" to actually prevent Japanese expansion. Congress is always coming up with "crackpot" legislation proposals that some constituency pressures the representative into taking onto the floor of Congress for a vote---they usually get voted down quickly and Congress moves on to the next issue. So, in my mind, if the issue of declaring war on Axis powers NEVER came up to a vote in Congress, it was NOT of sufficient concern/demand to the American public.
     
  10. OpanaPointer

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

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    Read the Congressional Record. About 7,000 pages on the period in question. We'll wait.
     
  11. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    Read the Congressional Record. About 7,000 pages on the period in question. We'll wait.

    Perhaps you could cite for us a few instances - or just one to start - of congressmen or senators saying we should enter the war. Frankly I'd be surprised if out of 531 there wasn't one, but we'll wait.
     
  12. OpanaPointer

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

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    I had the pertinent passages xeroxed and in binders, eleven of them, before I died back in '07. They were lost when my belongings were moved here from Indiana.
     
  13. CTBurke

    CTBurke Member

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    It *JUST* occurred to me that there are "international" members of this forum here, and with a name like "Takao" (a Japanese mountain), that perhaps he was NOT a product of American schooling. If so, I will apologize for that portion of our discourse related to the intracacies of American politics.

    If he WAS indoctrinated in American schools, then I suggest he take night classes in American Government that would make up for those classes he obviously slept through in High School.

    If not for Congress, who "converts" the "will of the People" to National policies? Wasn't the "Lend-Lease Act" itself a rather "war-like" action of Congress?

    PS--(lwd) the AVG did not go into action until around Christmas of 1941, "long after" the war started, not before (but of course, the planning, etc. was done in advance of the start of actual hostilities). Somewhat similarly, the "Eagle Squadron" was a "ruse" to get American fliers into the war against Germany.

    Minor point of fact re DoW's--I count ELEVEN declarations, not five. Those grouped under "WW II" have separate declarations for six different Axis nations.
     
  14. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I'm aware of that fact but it wasn't just planned prewar they were dispatched pre war and I beleive Chenault was already in China at the time. Indeed looking at Wiki Claire Lee Chennault - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia he was there before the shooting started in 37. And HISTORY: American Volunteer Group (Flying Tigers) makes it clear they were already in the Far East (Burma) by the Fall of 41.
     
  15. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The last time I looked, given that a nation has not already declared war on the US, the President has asked Congress to declare war. Congress has never taken it upon itself to declare a war.

    Last time I looked, the President & Congressmen/women are voted into office by their constituents, the American people, and if the President & Congress enact policies that go against the will of the people, then they will find themselves out of a job come the next election. So, while Congress may be able to declare war, if they want to keep their jobs, they will not do so unless they have the majority of the public in favor of such a war.


    A little history lesson for you, from http://www.justice.gov/olc/warpowers925.htm

    Please make note of the sentence, "On at least 125 such occasions, the President acted without prior express authorization from Congress."


    Thanks for breaking them in for me, those first few thousand miles must have been hell for you.


    Actually, a Japanese heavy cruiser, named after a mountain east of Kyoto, Japan.


    Indoctrinated is far from the term that I would use. Further, as I have shown earlier in this post, it would be yourself that is in dire need of the remedial class in American Government.

    One could say the same thing about President Roosevelt, take his radio address from September 11, 1941: "Shoot on sight" speech regarding attack on USS GREER

    of course, our ships will be firing in "defense" and not "offense", but the meaning is very clear that there will be shooting going on. I would have to say this is much more "war-like" than providing arms to a belligerent.

    Minor point of fact regarding your minor point of fact--SIX OF THE ELEVEN Declarations of War were in response to other nations declaring war on the United States, namely DoWs against Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania.


    While this distraction has all been fun and amusing, I would kindly suggest a return to the original topic before this interesting thread is "locked". If you wish to pursue this matter further, start a new thread.
     
  16. OpanaPointer

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

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    The Executive Branch asks for the DoW, the Legislative Branch votes on it. This even if the other side has declared. The laws are modified somewhat when war is declared, so Congress has to declare war regardless of the state of the hostilities extant.
     
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  17. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    WRT the American Volunteer Group(AVG),

    The planning began, IIRC, back in February, 1941, within the Department of the Navy, and the first recruiters for the AVG went out to various air stations some time during mid to late April, 1941.

    It is also worth noting that there was an AVG 2, that was recruited during the fall of 1941, and were to fly bombers - Lockheed Hudsons and Douglas DB-7s. The bulk of the AVG 2 personnel sailed on November 21, 1941, however, the Japanese attacks caused the ships to be diverted to Australia.

    There was also to have been an AVG 3, for which recruiting was to have begun sometime around the beginning of January, 1942.
     
  18. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Thank you OP,

    I hadn't really researched the DoWs against Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania.



    PS, I have just come across this: "Declarations of War and Authorizations for the Use of Military Force: Historical Background and Legal Implications" prepared by the Congressional Research Service http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/crs/rl31133.pdf
    should prove to be an informative read - when I can find the time to read it.
     
  19. OpanaPointer

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

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    From that document:

     
  20. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Didn't FDR not ask specificly for a Declaration or War, but to aknowledge that a 'State of War' already existed?
     

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