US what do they teach you about WW2

Discussion in 'History' started by Asguard, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. AlexG Like nailing Jello to a tree Valued Senior Member

    The Japanese occupied Attu and Kiska islands in order to control the great circle air route from the US to Japan. Korea has been a traditional enemy of Japan for centuries, and Manchuria was the invasion route from Russia. These were all measures to secure the home islands, but what Japan wanted was control of the eastern Pacific.

    At no time did Japan ever think they could invade and control the US.
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. NCDane Registered Senior Member

    Plausible, but a citation would be nice.

    Totally incorrect.

    No Korean state ever took any independent aggressive action against Japan.
    They had no choice but to assist the Mongols in the 13th century. The 16th
    century invasion of Korea by Japan was unprovoked.

    Furthermore it was Japanese piracy which was was the scourge of maritime
    East Asia for centuries.

    A Japanese army concentrated along Korea's northern border would have been
    better protection than one strung out all over huge Manchuria. Furthermore, if
    the Japanese were really so worried about Russia they would not have diverted
    over a million men to war in the rest of China. Events of 1937&ff showed that
    Japan was concerned with imperial enrichment at China's expense rather than
    with a buffer against Russia.

    Japan's grand strategy was to create a forward defensive perimeter in the Pacific
    along the lines of the Aleutians-Midway-New Guinea/?north Australia, and hope to
    inflict enough casualties on assaults against it to make the US lose the will to continue.
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Everybody wants to rule the world.
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Oh, that is an interesting rewrite of history and a very illogical and contradictory statement. Attu and Kiska Islands were and are American lands that were remote and unoccupied and invaded and occupied by Japan. The only military advantage those islands offered Japan was as a launch platform for further invasions of Alaska. Japan also forcibly and militarily invaded, occupied and controlled the Philippines and a number of Pacific Islands that were possessions of The United States.

    The Nazi’s also used the “security” excuse to invade their neighbors too (e.g. Poland, Austria, Soviet Union, etc.). It doesn’t justify the use of force, especially considering there was no threat. Attu and Kiska were remote unoccupied islands. The only military reason for invading and occupying those islands was to give Japan a launching off point for further expansion into Alaska.

    Korea has never invaded or harassed Japanese trade. Whereas Japan has pirated Korean trade and invaded Korea many times, so to excuse Japan’s invasion and occupation of Korea is kind of like excusing a serial killer and absolving him/her of all guilt for his/her crimes. Your claim translates to basically this; Japan has always invaded Japan so why not continue the practice.

    You say Japan wanted to secure the home islands, secure them from whom? They were not threatened by any of the countries they invaded. That is a fact.
  8. mathman Valued Senior Member

    The occupation of the Aleutian islands by Japanese forces was primarily to divert American attention away from the principal objective, Midway island, which could then serve as a jumping off point to Hawaii.

    The loss of four carriers by the Japanese at Midway ended that idea. Eventually the Japanese abandoned the Aleutians, since the occupation had no further use.
  9. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    After Japan lost the battle of Midway, Japan reinforced its troops on Kiska and Attu rather than withdraw them. Japan didn’t give up and withdraw from the Aleutian Islands until they were forced off Attu by American & Canadian troops and resupply of its troops on Kiska was made nearly impossible by US naval forces and an American invasion of Kiska was only hours away.

    “World War II (1939–1945)[edit source]
    See also: Operation Cottage and Aleutian Islands Campaign
    The Allied invasion of Kiska, August 15, 1943
    The Japanese No. 3 Special Landing Party and 500 marines went ashore at Kiska on June 6, 1942 as a separate campaign concurrent with the Japanese plan for the Battle of Midway. The Japanese captured the sole inhabitants of the island: a small U.S. Navy Weather Detachment consisting of ten men, including a lieutenant, along with their dog. (One member of the detachment escaped for 50 days. Starving, thin, and extremely cold, he eventually surrendered to the Japanese.) The next day the Japanese captured Attu Island.

    The military importance of this frozen, difficult-to-supply island was questionable, but the psychological impact upon the Americans of losing U.S. territory was tangible. During the winter of 1942–43, the Japanese reinforced and fortified the islands—not necessarily to prepare for an island-hopping operation across the Aleutians, but to prevent a U.S. operation across the Kuril Islands. The U.S. Navy began operations to deny Kiska supply which would lead to the Battle of the Komandorski Islands. During October 1942, American forces undertook seven bombing missions over Kiska, though two were aborted due to inclement weather. Following the winter, Attu was liberated and Kiska was bombed once more for over two months, before a larger American force was allocated to defeat the expected Japanese garrison of 5,200 men.

    On August 15, 1943, an invasion force consisting of 34,426 Allied troops, including elements of the 7th Infantry Division, 4th Infantry Regiment, 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment, 5,300 Canadians mainly the 13th Canadian Infantry Brigade from the 6th Infantry Division with supporting units including two artillery units from the 7th Infantry Division, 95 ships (including three battleships and a heavy cruiser), and 168 aircraft landed on Kiska, only to find the island completely abandoned. The Japanese, aware of the loss of Attu and the impending arrival of the larger Allied force, had successfully removed their troops on July 28 under the cover of severe fog, without the Allies noticing. Allied casualties during this invasion nevertheless numbered close to 200, all either from friendly fire, booby traps set out by the Japanese to inflict damage on the invading allied forces, or weather-related disease. There were seventeen Americans and four Canadians killed from either friendly fire or booby traps, fifty more were wounded as a result of friendly fire or booby traps, and an additional 130 men came down with trench foot. The destroyer USS Abner Read hit a mine, resulting in 87 casualties.

    That night, however, the Imperial Japanese Navy warships, thinking they were engaged by Americans, shelled and attempted to torpedo the island of Little Kiska and the Japanese soldiers waiting to embark.[4] Admiral Ernest King reported to the secretary of the Navy, Frank Knox, that the only things that remained on the island were dogs and fresh brewed coffee. Knox asked for an explanation and King responded, "The Japanese are very clever. Their dogs can brew coffee."[5]”
  10. OriginalBiggles OriginalBiggles, Prime Registered Senior Member

    quinnsong #79 writes: "I highly recommend Red Star Over China about the birth of the Communist Party in China."

    I've had this book in my history collection for many years. The author is respected journalist Edgar Snow who actually lived with the communist revolutionary armies and interviewed Mao tse-dong over a period of several months. He also wrote China's Long Revoution and Red China Today, which I have. Some years ago his wife reprinted his work in one volume, at least that's what I briefly read somewhere.

    It's a shame that your education system omits significant history by not telling the full story. Russian contribution to Germany's defeat was of great significance and involved huge sacrifice in the civilian population and the military. Russia had an almost endless supply of men who could be turned into soldiers. Russia also had a very efficient espionage system in Germany and Stalin was certainly aware of Hitler's intentions as to Operation Barbarossa.

    If, in Japan, the "Strike North" faction in the war cabinet had been able to prevail, then it would have invaded and occupied Siberia as they did late in WW1. It is very likely that, fighting on two fronts, Russia would have been defeated and subject to a divided administration as Germany was in WW2. This would have placed the WW2 Allies in Europe in a parlous position with Germany and Japan most likely in the driver's seat as dictators of boundary distributions and other settlement terms. The USA would still be largely against intervention and maintained ostensible neutrality although it would very likely have assisted Russia as it did Great Britain before Pearl Harbor. But of course that's all just a "what if......." situation.
  11. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    It is interesting to speculate what would have happened if Japan had not attacked US forces in the Pacific. I think it is likely a good part of Russia and China could be speaking Japanese today. I don’t think it would have changed things much for Germany as Germany had two critical and fatal problems, a serious command and control problem with Hitler and the logistics involved in supporting its rapid expansion. The Allied powers, and more specifically the US, unlike the Axis powers had manufacturing and agriculture assets that were not vulnerable to enemy attack.
  12. OriginalBiggles OriginalBiggles, Prime Registered Senior Member

    joepistole writes #109: "The Allied powers, and more specifically the US, unlike the Axis powers had manufacturing and agriculture assets that were not vulnerable to enemy attack."

    So, do you think the USA would have entered the war without an attack on Pearl Harbor? The American public, while very sympathetic to Britain's plight, was still very anti-interventionist. The furnace-like diplomatic atmosphere between Japan and the USA in Washington before the outbreak of war would have been little more than a cosy warmth. There would have been no attack on Malaya and the Philippines. Taiwan would have still been Chinese territory and best of all, Douglas MacArthur would have remained governor of a peaceful Republic of the Philippines and achieved the mediocrity and anonymity he deserved.
  13. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    It's a good question. I don't know the answer. No one does. But I don’t think Germany was capable of militarily taking the UK. And as long as that was the case, the US would have continued to supply the UK which I think eventually would have drawn the US into more conflict and eventually the war against the Nazi’s.
  14. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    I visited a holocaust museum last year. Probably one of the best museum tours I've ever taken. Think we have all learned to varying degrees, the ''general'' American sentiment about the Holocaust during WWII, but not to the extent that was conveyed to me, during the tour. To say it was sobering, would be an understatement.

    I thought I'd post this link here, as it's pretty insightful as to some of the real sentiments that Americans felt during/about the Holocaust and the Nazi regime.
    I'm going to purchase this book; looks to be quite a good read.
  15. OriginalBiggles OriginalBiggles, Prime Registered Senior Member

    I'm inclined to disagree with you on this. A reading of how Roosevelt saw the changes being wrought by WW1 & WW2 will reveal that he opposed nearly everything that Churchill stood for. Even at the various conferences [Cairo, Tehran, Yalta, Potsdam] he trod a careful path regarding the aftermath and agreed with Churchill, somewhat reluctantly I think, that Germany be defeated before all resources were brought to bear on Japan. Both he and Churchill were strong in their belief that Russian forces had to be stopped before they occupied the whole of Germany. Although there was agreement between the leaders to that effect, no one trusted Stalin.

    Quite frankly, I think FDR was prepared to negotiate a settlement in both areas of war to provide for independence of all colonial and occupied territories. The unpreparedness of the Philippines at the outset demonstrated that as a forward naval and air base it gained no advantage to the Allies fighting the Pacific war. I think he realised this. Especially when the vulnerability of Hawaii was so graphically demonstrated. I think FDR would have done everything short of putting American lives on the line to help the European Allies.

    BTW, someone in this topic wrote "something something something history something something something doomed...." I think the writer was paraphrasing the Spanish-born USA philosopher George Santayana, who observed: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." There's very little one can add to this genius of prescience. We observe its veracity being confirmed every day of our lives.
  16. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Well I think the Lend-Lease Act, formerly known as “An Act to Further Promote the Defense of the United States” which was passed 9 months prior to the US entry into the war ended any pretense of US neutrality by providing financial and material support the nations allied against the Axis powers. So I think it was only a matter of time before Hitler would have declared war on the US.

    I agree in that I don’t think FDR wanted to go to war. But in the end, I don’t think the Axis Powers (less Japan for the sake of speculation) would have given him much choice in the matter regardless of what Japan did or did not do. As you noted Japan and Germany were not very good at working together and coordinating their war efforts which was a good thing for the rest of us.
  17. Ghostwriter Registered Member


    I cannot recall that it was ever taught that the US was against Russia (Soviet Union). That said, I do not recall much being said in the way of the Soviet and Germany battles either. As for Churchill, I believe he was mentioned.

    High schools today are too involved with the PC version of history to discuss some of the true factions and events as they were.
  18. river

    What does the US teach about the business side of WW2 ?

    Banks and private investors etc. ?
  19. OriginalBiggles OriginalBiggles, Prime Registered Senior Member

    joepistole writes: So I think it was only a matter of time before Hitler would have declared war on the US.
    Hitler and Mussolini declared war on the USA on 11 December 1941. the Tripartite Agreement bound the Axis powers to do this upon the USA's declaration on Japan. But allowing that Japan did not attack the USA, we must presume that no such declarations were made.

    The Soviet counter-offensive began in the winter of 1941 on the Soviet western front and so began the German retreat. As I wrote before, the Soviets had an almost unlimited supply of manpower and a rapidly increasing arms supplies from the Atlantic convoys. But domestic
    production would have been almost non existent

    Germany had a huge supply line thanks to Stalin's scorched earth policy and nearly half of its entire war effort committed to subduing the eastern territories. That left a little over half to subdue and defend western Europe.

    Had Japan not struck south it would certainly have struck north into Siberia and into Soviet Mongolia from Manchukuo [Manchuria]. Stalin would have been forced to fight on two fronts and he would have had no recently moved industry in his east.'

    Stalin had a neutrality/non-aggression pact with Japan signed April 14 1941 in force.
    But we must presume that the Japanese would have attacked on or around the same time as the Germans did or else they would be attacking in the middle of the Russian winter if they delayed until 7 December 1941. Would they have delayed a year to 1942?

    What would it have meant to the USA and the rest of the world to be dealing with a Soviet Union administered by Germany and Japan and the whole of Europe administered by Germany?

    This hypothetical outcome, thought through in this short post, leads me to the inevitable conclusion that the USA would have entered the war in order to preserve as much of the status quo as possible in Europe and in addition come to the Soviet Union's aid with hugely increased supplies. Perhaps even troops despite the Soviet's enormous manpower availability.

    There is one bugbear in this scenario. the USA would be forced to call upon Japan to cease hostilities or face a declaration of war. Would this have been allowed by Congress?

    So, Joe, there you have it. I've convinced myself that you are probably right in your assumptions. Thankyou for this exchange. It compelled me to research on so many preconceived ideas that I rewrote sections of this several times. And there's a lot of the story that I could have written but decided brevity was to be my guide. I trust it's not too disjointed for it to seem logical.

  20. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    Not quite. Both sides had the same initial idea, which was to buy some time to prepare for a war both knew was on the cards.
    The Soviet Union ran out of it when Germany invaded.

    Well that's interesting. Your claim is that educational standards in the USA with regard to WW2 are biased in favour of America, and that they tend to ignore everything other than what was specific to American involvement, but when it comes time to declare an "official" start to the war you use the European (and by extension, Australian) standard which completely ignores the Japanese Manchurian campaign (along with everything else happening around the world at the time).
    Particularly with regard to the Japanese-Russian conflict having an immense and largely unrecognised influence on the eventual unfolding of events in World War 2 - so much so that it really should be included as part of the whole shebang.

    Why don't you go ask the Russians or the Japanese when they think World War 2 started. You won't hear September '39. In fact, you might find they barely know what World War 2 even was. That the Russians still refer to it as the "Great Patriotic War" should go some toward enlightening you as to what their perceptions of it all were.

    As to the topic, the Americans are probably going to teach more toward how the war affected the USA rather than go into the whole subject in its entirety, which would be rather difficult, given the scope of the thing.
    The Russians are going to focus almost solely upon events from 1938 onward, and ignore most of the European conflict. I think you'll find that, if you do venture into forums dealing with the subject, you'll find that the Russians are every bit as biased towards their own country's involvement as the Americans are, and that includes the belief that everyone else involved was merely a footnote.

    In Australia, we celebrate a small failed invasion of Turkey in WW1 every year which no one else really gives a fig about other than historical purists. We do that for historical reasons; that invasion went a long toward forging our own sense of national identity.
    The British and French, however, would barely know that it even occurred, despite the fact they were more involved in that than Australia was. For them, it's a footnote. A failure no one really wants to talk about.

    Teachers teach a curriculum which is, in the main, aimed toward a greater understanding of their own country's history, and some other points of interest which may have contributed toward it.
    There isn't any shame in that. Those who want to know the bigger picture, go on and find out for themselves. You might want to do that yourself, rather than using small points to further your own interests.
  21. quinnsong Valued Senior Member


    Then it should be called Australian History, American History, etc... But when it is called World History I would expect for WWII to be taught from the aspect of all countries involved. Nationalistic pride is a great morale booster but students at the high school level( in my day) needed and should have received a world view and not just a patriotic view. Teaching World History in an objective fashion would have in the least given me a better grasp of the political and economic interests of each country involved, instead of a good guy/bad guy curriculum which only promotes more flag waving and ignorance.

    The Net has changed this and that is a good thing.
  22. river

    If you dig deeper you find that business supported and financed both the Germans and Russians

    They made money and lots of it

    Same as cheny did with the gulf war

    The military complex
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
  23. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    Nobody needs to "dig deeper" (in the context of this thread) regarding the financial gains made by various organisations in various countries during WW2. While not qualifying as common knowledge, it has been explored elsewhere.

    The headline was what kids are taught about it.
    If it were up to me, your post would have been deleted. Without the courtesy of explanatory comment.

Share This Page