Discussion in 'History' started by Omega133, May 19, 2010.
One last comment:
We shouldn't be involved in them
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But your "over there somewhere" is in fact "over here somewhere" as far as I'm concerned.
And afaic again, the linked article is a testimony to British timidity and incompetence glossed over by patronising put-downs of Australian, NZ and South African contributions.
Australia had no good reason nor obligation to welcome the BPF which had been for all intents and purposes the BIOF [the British Indian Ocean Fleet]ensconced in safe harbours in Sri Lanka and Madagascar and engaging in heroic battles against the naval superpowers that rim the Indian Ocean. The logistical and technical arguments resorted to by Britain in order to avoid early clashes with the IJN makes the deployment of Prince of Wales and Repulse all the more a contemptible and futile sacrifice of brave ships and seamen.
Adm.Ernest King USN CIC was not an alleged anglophobe, he was a confirmed card-carrying anglophobe with legitimate reason to be so in some respects, even though his attitude cost his own nation thousands of seamen and dozens of merchant ships. It should be expected though that an officer of his calibre and rank would put aside his bias.
Unfortunately, Admiral Sir Bruce Fraser arrived in Sydney on 10 December 1944 under the mistaken impression that Australia had asked for the BPF and promised to provide for its needs.
It was unfortunate that Adm.Fraser arrived in Sydney at all. But it's typical that the Poms thought that the colonials would welcome their presence after all the tough work had been done and so they could take charge and take all the credit.
In April 1945, Fraser publicly criticised the Australian government's handling of waterside industrial disputes that were holding up British ships. The government was shocked and angered, but agreed to allocate £6,562,500 for BPF naval works. Fraser was not satisfied. On 8 August 1945 Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Clement Attlee felt obliged to express his regret for the misunderstandings to the Australian governmen
Australia has three divisions, 6th, 7th and 9th, fighting for British interests in North Africa and the ME, hundreds of our airmen are flying fighters and bombers in Europe, the 8th div fought against the Japs all the way down the Malay peninsula and was captured in Singapore to spend the rest of the war in Changi POW camp. Their commander, Lt.Gen. E.Gordon Bennett, escaped to Australia and was crucified by his superiors for deserting his men. His vast experience in jungle warfare against the Japs was wasted [but that's another story]. In New Guinea we were forced to send battalions of troops with only three weeks of training into mountainous jungles to fight experienced Jap troops. These "Choco's" [called Chocolate Soldiers by their more experienced fellow soldiers] fought a month of murderous slow retreat until relieved by more experienced forces just north of Port Moresby.
Britain had made it clear that we were on our own, that if the IJN invaded us in mid 1942 [which Lt.Gen.Tomoyuke Yamashita wanted very much to do but was ordered not to by Gen. Hideki Tojo because he was intensely jealous of Yamashita's brilliance and popularity. (but that's another story too)], they would take us back after winning the war in Europe which in mid 1942 had no end in sight. The world was aware of IJA atrocities against civilians, especially Chinese and Caucasians, so the prospect was not a pleasant one.
It was somewhat presumptuous of the BPF to expect Australia would welcome them with open arms when all the heavy stuff had been accomplished and Japan all but defeated. It peeved them when at their command Australians didn't jump fast enough or high enough or didn't cater to their every whim. The waterside workers especially would not stand for it.
Between Sep 1939 and Dec 1941 Churchill had connived at and begged the USA to enter the War in Europe on the Allies' side, yet he turned on a tantrum when Australia accorded temporary allegince to that great power also.
The BPF was a grandiose paper tiger that accords little credit to the First Lord of the Admiralty or his coat-tail tuggers.
USN Commanders demonstrated great magnanimity toward this fleet that roared into battle as the smoke was clearing.
Hence my quote marks - I was being tongue in cheek.
Oh dear. The biggest battle we had in establishing and operating the British Pacific Fleet was with America.
Politics aside the fact remains that there was, as stated, a British presence in the Pacific.
(And yes, we Brits [but not only we Brits] fucked up a number of things politically with regard to international relationships during the war - a tradition we continue to this day).
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Okay, okay, you said World War I, I thought World War II, my bad. You are right, they did fight against the Red Army in the civil war.
That, however, was not the only nor the main purpose for the incursion. Japan wanted a large slice of Siberia and Manchuria [and probably some of Mongolia] as part of a prospective empire. The Allies did not view Japan as a compliant or co-operative member. They knew what her pretensions were and thwarted them at every turn in the peace and settlement negotiations. Russia had been an Ally as well.
In World War II, they attacked the USSR and they beat them back, thy then gave up Siberia.
I beg to differ here. Russia declared war against Japan as of midnight 8 Aug 1945. Three Russian armies took all before them. The IJN's Kwangtung army had been depleted of its materiel and best troops to shore up defenses in the island approaches to Japan. Stalin was anxious to have a prominent seat at the Pacific War peace table as he had at the previous conferences, though his motives here are questionable. He and his foreign minister, Molotov, apparently assumed that the wording in the Potsdam Peace terms concerning the Kurils automatically gave Russia sovereignty over them. Such turned out not to be the reality. But Russia occupied them anyway.
So it seems that revenge, a share in the administration of an occupied Japan with a division of territory as occurred in Germany and the nurturing of a nascent Japanese Communist Party were probaby the principal motives.
MacArthur ensured this did not happen and thus also ensured the gratitude of almost every stratum of Japanese society.
All through WW2 Russia maintained several armoured divisions along its border with Manchuria. Occasional flare-ups were impossible to avoid but are not of historical significance.
In World War II, Manchuria was not used with China's permission,
Of course it wasn't.
it was invaded and a puppet government and Emperor was installed.
The conquered territory was named Manchukuo. Its capital was Harbin. The last emperor of China, Pu Yi, was installed by the IJA as Kangde Emperor of Manchukuo between 1934 and 1945. An interesting historical footnote arises from here; Pu Yi had a brother Pu Jie who married a cousin of Hirohito, Princess Hiro Saga
There was no large rebellion,
I'm surprised you feel the need to keep repeating this. I have not written that there was.
Secret societies and loose groups of concerned individuals had been whispering about how to end the war since the Battle of Midway, but moreso especially as Iwo Jima fell and Okinawa was subsequently invaded
The Kempeitai, Japan's military secret police and counter-espionage service, was numerous and ubiquitous. Thousands of Japanese citizens were imprisoned without trial, tortured and even killed for daring to think of anything but total victory.
In the days following the plutonium bomb being dropped on Nagasaki, the emperor himself began expressing, in joint cabinet meetings, the necessity of seeking a negotiated peace before unconditional surrender was forced upon the nation. The cabinet was evenly divided.
Many young army officers, fanatical, full of fervent patriotism, determined that the emperor was receiving bad advice [a common convenient excuse in Japan for disobeying the emperor's wishes]. They were supported by many higher army, navy and airforce officers and government officials. There was much turmoil and several high ranking IJA officers, who refused to support the rebels, were assassinated, as were several prominent politicians. These "Young Turks" as they were dubbed threatened the life of any who failed to support them in continuing the war. Plans were conspired in to occupy the emperor's palace and kill his advisors. As well they planned to occupy the NHK radio building and prevent the recording and broadcasting of the emperor's message to his people announcing the surrender. Japanese-written history attests that the situation was touch and go whether the emperor's message went over the air or whether a message went out exhorting every listener to continue the war and be prepared to die for the emperor and the Homeland.
Quite a few of those deeply involved in the war, militarily and politically, plus many ordinary citizens, committed hara-kiri from their sense of shame.
Documentation supporting the veracity of these events is undeniable.
but you are right about it being one of the most important days of Japan's history, the transformation from an Empire to a democracy.
Not from the Japanese POV it wasn't. Democracy was the last thing on their minds. Surviving the revenge of a cruel conqueror was uppermost. When no brutal revenge was exacted and the emperor treated with respect, the Allied occupation was virtually hassle-free.
They said that they have to go to the ceremony with their heads held high, because it is not the end, but the beginning of a new Japan.
This statement seems a little out of congruency with the rest of your post. Are you referring to the the signing of the surrender documents aboard USS Missouri?
They obviously did so because it involved their national interests.
Pu Yi was technically not the last emperor of China, but of Qing Dynasty.
Yeah, many people committed seppuku after the surrender.
Of course it wasn't from their point of view, they wanted a vast and powerful empire, they never even dared to think about democracy before, it was "The Emperor is Japan, and Japan is the Emperor,".
Yes I was referring to the signing of the surrender documents.
Pu Yi was technically and in fact the last emperor of China.
The presumption of "Biggest Man" Yuan Shih kai declaring himself emperor of China is historically incorrect.
He was the commander of the Manchu armies at the time of the 1911 revolution in southern China which was in opposition to the Prince Regent conceding to foreign financing of railways in the Yangtze Valley. He was appointed Prime Minister and charged by the Prince Regent [who ruled in the name of the infant Pu Yi] to negotiate with the rebels. Yuan bided his time, gauging the likelihood of the success of the revolution and at the same time raising the terms for his action until the frantic Prince Regent agreed to abdicate his office.
Meanwhile, Japan's army chief, Aritomo Yamagata, was seeking to shore up his nation's complicated machinations for increasing influence in China and saw "Biggest Man" Yuan as the means to his end. Yamagata, a powerful influence in government, was nevertheless in the minority usually for his far-sighted policy of preferring a partnership with Chinese agreement rather than subjugation and exploitation. An increase in migration from Japan had prompted anti-immigration legislation in the USA and the British dominions and the Kaiser's oft-uttered warnings argainst the "yellow peril" had convinced Yamagata that the coalition of the East Asian peoples against a threat of industrial and technological domination by European powers made it essential that Japan and China join forces against a common enemy. He saw a politically reconstructed China as a constitutional monarchy. But Yuan saw his chances of success better placed with the rebels.
These plans were put on temporary hold when a newly-returned Sun Yat sen declared a Chinese Republic at Nanking on New Year's day 1912 and assumed the office of president.
This had the affect of prompting a threat of invasion from Japan to support the Manchu throne. Both Sun and Yuan had no illusions about Japanese offers of finance and industrial assistance, the threat brought the two statesmen together with an agreement that Sun would relinquish the presidency if Yuan agreed to the abolition of the throne. On Feb 12 1912 Sun resigned and Yuan was installed as president by the National Council in Nanking. At the same time the boy emperor Pu Yi announced his abdication.
However, Sun saw his best chance of power with the Japanese and his somewhat fawning predilection for them created a rift. Yuan triumphed politically through bribery as well as it becoming common knowledge that Sun had agreed to cede all Manchuria to Japan for a price of 20 million yen. The latter fled to Japan with some of his Kuomintang party stalwarts, among them a young Chiang Kai shek.
While Sun was lavishing further railway concessions in Manchuria and northern China upon Japan, Yuan consolidated his position on Oct 10 1912 by being elected president by the National Assembly for the next five years. He arrested the Kuomintang members of the Assembly, proscribed the party, dissolved the Assembly and replaced it with his own Political Council. During this turmoil Sun was conceding more and more of China financially and geographically, to Japan for military support to overthrow Yuan. But WW1 in Europe intervened.
By dint of the Anglo-Japanese Treaty, Japan was a member of the Allies against the Central powers. It exacted a heavy price for official signatures on this piece of paper, firstly by occupying the German Caroline, Mariana and Marshall island archipelagoes [a task which the British Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey, had allotted to the Australian Navy. It gives pause to wonder what the First Lord of the Admiralty, Churchill, had to say about this] and simultaneously rushing to occupy the German treaty port in China of Tsingtao and simultaneously occupying the entire Shantung Peninsula on which that port stood. Shortly after 12 Nov Japan's infamous "Twenty-One Demands" were served on Yuan. After considerable modification, they were signed into affect on 25th May 1915
In Dec 1915 Yuan's eldest son proposed a reconstitution of the Chinese throne with his father as emperor, setting up an organisation to press for home and foreign approval. None of the powers was enthusiastic so the inauguration was postponed for two months.
Yuan's strategy was met with widespread disapproval and Japan supplied everything short of participating troops to the anti-Yuan groups who marched against him. The war-lords who commanded Yuan's armies might not be republican idealists but neither were they prepared to serve under a new imperial dynasty. Province after province rebelled to the point that on 22 Mar he was persuaded to abrogate the proposed monarchy. The disappointments proved too much for him, for he died 6 June 1916 of uremia brought on by nervous prostration at age 56, never having been installed as emperor.
Pu Yi was not the Emperor of China, but the Qing Empire, he was exiled from the Republic of China.
Um, If Albert einstein remained under german control.
Japan would have lost without the A-bomb, but it would have too longer and more lives. But if Einstein worked for Germany, that would have been a different story...but he wouldn't.
Szilard had published (and patented) the theory behind it in (IIRC - it's in this thread somewhere) 1933.
If Boeing didn't exist, the allies would have lost.
Can you be more specific please?
When was a republic declared in China?
Was it a legitimate declaration?
When was the exile imposed, by whom and with what authority?
To where was Pu Yi exiled?
Perhaps you are referring to events that occurred because of the Communist triumph and Mao's declaration of the Peoples' Republic of China.
You claim Pu Yi was not considered Emperor of China but only of the Qing Empire. How and why do you differentiate between the two?
I'd appreciate your providing more detail. The whys and wherefors are important in understanding others' points of view.
More to the point about the Emperor.............
I quote from the 1977 Penguin edition of RED STAR OVER CHINA by Edgar Snow.[pp.568-9]
Pu Yi abdicated from the throne of the Ch'ing dynasty in 1911 when the ancient empire collapsed and the first republic was established. He was then five years old. After a brief attempt at restoration by militarists, he fled in 1915 to the Japanese Concession of Tientsin.
In 1934 he left Tientsin with Japanese officers who installed him in occupied Manchuria as puppet emperor of the puppet empire of Manchukuo. In 1950, he was seized by the Russians during their occupation of Manchuria. In 1950 [sic] he fell into Chinese Communist hands. After a long period of "thought remoulding" he was a common gardener in the Botanical Institute when the author met him in Peking in 1960.
By 1965 he was a member of the academy of history, working in the archives of his imperial ancestors and held a seat in the CPPCC [Chinese Peoples' Political Consultative Conference]. He had divorced his several imperial brides and, for the first time, married a woman of his own choice, a Chinese nurse. He had also written an interesting autobiography, From Emperor to Citizen Peking 1965 [Last Manchu NY 1967]. He died in Peking of cancer in 1967.
There is a minor conflict in the year of Pu Yi's abdication from the Q'ing throne, otherwise Snow is probably accurate.
Oh dear. The biggest battle we had in establishing and operating the British Pacific Fleet was with America.
Indeed. I see tongue in cheek here as well. Neither Adm. King nor MacArthur wanted anything to do with the BPF.
The only naval battle the British fought almost on their own in the Pacific Theatre was the inexcusable debacle with Prince of Wales and Repulse. I say "almost" because the an Australian destroyer Vampire was in that "flotilla".
Admiral Tom Phillips must have known he was on a suicide mission.........one of utter futility. Phillips would have been very, very aware, as a naval man, of the astounding success of the modern IJN torpedo bombers at Pearl Harbour. One was entitled to expect national a leader like Churchill, with the informational and intelligence resources of an entire nation at his fingertips, would have been dimly aware that air superiority was a severe limiting factor on heavy ships of the line. Good heavens, POW was a brand spanking new battleship, not even fully fitted out and had done almost no trials at sea before she was ordered to accompany Hood in an attack on Bismarck and Prinz Eugen. Hood was sunk within minutes of engagement but POW acquitted herself reasonably well, scoring three 15" shell hits on Bismarck, but taking significant damage herself
All the King George V class battleships had inadequate air conditioning and POW also suffered from never having run-in sea trials. She was dogged by continued equipment and gun turret failures. Although she performed well in Operation Halberd in the Mediterranian as escort to a supply flotilla relieving a beleaguered Malta. Here, her anti-airgraft gunnery against Italian air torpedo and bombing attacks proved adequate. The aircraft were most likely the SM79 adaptation of a very fast passenger plane. It was slower, ill-eqipped with specialised instrumentation and the crews had little tactical training on low level attack. They were a poor example by which to form expectations of future similar attacks.
When, as the flag ship of Force Z, she went to Singapore, POW's radar was inoperable.
It is a lucky stroke indeed that the British carrier Indomitable ran aground on 3 Dec 1941 in the West Indies off Jamaica, for she too had been allocated to Force Z. The carrier was at Norfolk USA shipyards inside a week and was under way twelve days later, probably 22 Dec. Given her range of 11,000 nm @ 14 knots she had about 44 days to sail east via the CGH into the Indian Ocean and to reach Singapore before its surrender. On her way to the Eastern Fleet at Trincomalee, Indomitable was diverted to Sudan to load 50 Hurricane fighter aircraft for delivery to Singapore which was expected to arrive sometime in late January 1942. As General Percival surrendered to Lt.Gen. Tomoyuke Yamashita on 14 Feb 1942, one is entitled to be astonished as to why Indomitable, accompanied by the BEF, did not deliver.
My observation; The Japanese had occupied French Indo China and had significant naval and air forces based there. The inevitable conclusion to be drawn is that the British Eastern Fleet, at that particular time, with probably 3 carriers, 2 battleships, ? cruisers etc, etc, etc, plus the extra 50 Hurricanes, felt inadequate to the task of attempting to relieve Malaya and Singapore when it was obvious very early in the conflict that the much vaunted Singapore defences were proven to be inadequate. It seems even more astonishing in the light of the clear demonstration of air superiority being so vital to the enemy's successes.
As General Yamashita moved south of KL he was desperate for supplies of all kind, especially ammunition. Manpower-wise he was hugely outnumbered by the Commonwealth forces. Cutting off his supply chain with such a fleet and airforce may not have been a cake-walk, but with air and naval support the ground troops probably would have stopped the IJA advance.
From the Wikipedia article on the Okinawa campaign, Operation Iceberg.
Although Allied land forces were entirely composed of U.S. units, the British Pacific Fleet (BPF; known to the U.S. Navy as Task Force 57) provided about a quarter of Allied naval air power (450 planes). It comprised many ships, including 50 warships of which 17 were aircraft carriers, but the British armoured flight decks meant that fewer planes could be carried in a single aircraft carrier, although the carriers were more resistant to kamikaze strikes. Although all the aircraft carriers were provided by the UK, the carrier group was a combined British Commonwealth fleet with British, Canadian, New Zealand and Australian ships and personnel. Their mission was to neutralize Japanese airfields in the Sakishima Islands and provide air cover against Japanese kamikaze attacks.
The British Pacific Fleet was assigned the task of neutralizing the Japanese airfields in the Sakishima Islands, which it did successfully from March 26 until April 10. On April 10, its attention was shifted to airfields on northern Formosa. The force withdrew to San Pedro Bay, [Leyte, PI] on April 23. Although by then a commonplace event for the U.S. Navy, this was the longest time that a Royal Naval fleet of that size had been maintained at sea.
[my remark; Note no mention of the great help given by the USN in fueling the BPF. It must have frustrated the USN enormously that the British ships were designed to refuel at sea bow to stern whereas the USN did it side by side. British fittings were inadequate to the task as well and much oil went into the sea]
On May 1, the British Pacific Fleet returned to action, subduing the airfields as before, this time with naval bombardment as well as aircraft. Several kamikaze attacks caused significant damage, but since the British used armored flight decks on their aircraft carriers, they only experienced a brief interruption to their force's objective.
[my remark; Presumanly the return was to the Sakishima Islands. It seems the first attack by the BPF was inadequate if the job required a second bombardment. It is a certainty that with the might of the USN in proximity no replenishment of troops or armaments to those islands would have been possible.]
Politics aside the fact remains that there was, as stated, a British presence in the Pacific.
In the Western Pacific, if one compares the Sakishima Islands [a sideshow to the invasion of Okinawa], Taiwan [Formosa] and a few interludes at the western end of the NEI, almost in the Indian Ocean, with the efforts on land, sea and in the air of the Commonwealth and the massive USA effort, one treats the British effort with a pat on the head and a patronising "Well done."
Convoy work and tackling a few German raiders and submarines in the Indian Ocean is hardly worth writing home about...............oh yes, the BEF also invaded Madagascar.
I intended to mention in an addition to my post above that no reference is made to the second of the two main tasks of the BPF at Sakishima...........that of providing air cover against kamikaze. If BPF aircraft had shot down only one, the event would have been included in the Wiki article.
Most British ships had operable radar by that time.
There is a difference between Qing and China. Qing is a Manchu Empire that conquered China, originated not from Chinese Territory but from Manchuria. When Republic of China was established, Qing ended for a short period of time until it was revived as a puppet government by Japan.
Not much "hypothetical" about it. The allies were already suffering horrible and embarrassing losses before America got involved. The head of axis power, Japan and Germany, had the best toys and troops. At the outbreak of war in 1941, America was training with wooden guns and trucks dressed up like tanks.
Had the US failed to produce better planes and tanks, better ships and amphibious landing craft etc. Well, we'd all be speaking German and or Japanese right now.
The "bomb" didn't win the war, it ended it. Fact is, B29's unloaded far more.. no, UNGODLY amounts of ordinance on Japanese cities, killing many more than the A-bomb ever did. This new policy was implemented by Curtis LeMay. The Russians, for the most part, won in Europe. Had they not invented the T43 tank and moved operations far east out of reach of German bombers, they might have lost against Germany.
What saved us all in the end was distance. America was hard to reach. This allowed us to produce 24/7. Our carriers were spared at Pearl Harbor, and England granted us all the air fields we need to initiate day light bombing.
There's quite a lot that's hypothetical about it.
Not "the best toys".
Oh here we go....
Do tell. Put me in my place.
I'm sure you are all too aware of our M3 Lee being sooooo superior to the German Panzer 3, in North Africa. Right? The Jap A6m Zero. Oh, that overweight clunker. How DID they ever keep the pace with our superior F4F's and P40's? The BF109, boy there's a piece of shit! Good thing we only thought to produce a P51D years later. And those slugs they called troops. The Waffen SS, couldn't beat their way out of a wet paper bag. Could they?
Japanese marines? More slugs!
FACT: The axis so far outclassed us in every dept, it's nothing short of a miracle we pulled off any victories, much less won. And we wouldn't have had it not been for some Soviets keeping the Nazis busy in Russia. On Dec 7th, 1941.. feel free to show us all, all the superior crap we had in our possession. the Germans already had long range U-Boats at the mouth of the Mississippi after Pearl Harbor. And the Japanese had landed in Alaska.
The only reason we won, is because we have industrial might that is unmatched, and the raw resources to feed the machine. But we were as close to the word "inferior" as they get at the outbreak of war.
Separate names with a comma.