Suggested Answers Re Context of World War II

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Suggested Answers Re Context of World War II

Post by johnkarls »

Question 1

When did Japan’s “Rape of China” begin?

Answer 1

In 1931, Japan invaded Manchuria and set up a puppet government to facilitate the rape.

For anyone unfamiliar with Chinese geography and history, the western part is not really Chinese since it comprises Tibet and Chinese Turkestan (aka Sinkiang Province). The eastern part is usually divided into North, Central and South – with Manchuria comprising the northern third. In 1644, the Manchus of Manchuria overthrew the Ming Dynasty and ruled all of China as the Qing Dynasty from 1644 until 1912.

In 1937, Japan continued its rape by invading and occupying most of Central China.

Question 2

How long after World War I did France continue its periodic invasions of Germany to plunder physical assets and bring them back to France under the excuse of war reparations?

Answer 2

France invaded the Ruhr (Germany’s industrial heartland) in 1921 and invaded it again in 1923 following which France continued to occupy it until 1930.

From a German perspective, this was galling because World War I was touched off by the assassination by a Serb of the first in line to the Hapsburg throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire which had ruled Central Europe for many centuries. Unfortunately, Serbia was aligned with Russia which was a member, with France and England, of the “Triple Entente” alliance. Accordingly, before leaning on Serbia, the Austro-Hungarian Empire sent a telegram to its ally, Germany, to provide a “heads up” of what was going down and the German Emperor replied that the Hapsburgs should do what they saw fit as a result of the assassination. Unfortunately, Russia declared war on Austro-Hungary for leaning on the Serbs, and France and Britain followed suit.

Most Anglo-American historians cite the German support for its allies, the Hapsburg Empire, as the cause of World War I. However, if they were honest, they would have to admit that there continues to be widespread speculation that Castro was behind the assassination of President Kennedy. And that if it had become known during the 1960’s or 1970’s that this was true, there would have been irresistable public pressure for a U.S. invasion of Cuba. However, Cuba was allied with the Soviet Union so the U.S., before leaning on Castro, would undoubtedly have provided a “heads up” to NATO of what was going down and would have expected its loyal allies to reply that the U.S. should do as it saw fit regarding Castro.

Anglo-American historians who blame Germany for its loyal support of the Hapsburg Empire following the assassination, always refuse to comment on whether NATO would have been to blame for World War III for its loyal and legally-required support of the U.S. in leaning on Castro if it had come to light that he had assassinated Kennedy.

Question 3

What was “The Phony War”?

Answer 3

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain went to Munich where he achieved on September 29, 1938 “peace in our time” (as he called it) which comprised acquiescence in the pending Nazi invasion and occupation of Czechoslovakia, provided it was Nazi Germany’s last invasion of another country.

Less than a year later, Nazi Germany invaded Poland and on September 3, 1939, Britain declared war on Germany. However, neither Germany nor Britain seemed to want to fight each other, so very little happened for the next 8 months until May 10, 1940 when German invaded France and the low countries (ending 6 weeks later with the French surrender on June 22nd).

Question 4

Did “Lend Lease” enacted on 11 March 1941 which was 9 months before Pearl Harbor, constitute an “Act of War” under international law? In this regard, was it similar to Woodrow Wilson’s unconscionable and clandestine shipping of war materials in the holds of passenger ships to Britain before our entry into World War I?

Answer 4

Yes. Yes.

Question 5

What action taken by Roosevelt caused Japan to attack Pearl Harbor? Was the action taken by Roosevelt, like Lend Lease, an “Act of War” under international law?

Answer 5

In July 1940, 17 months before Pearl Harbor, the U.S. applied an embargo on the sale of aviation gas, lubricants and scrap metal to Japan and in September 1941, the U.S. cut off all of Japan’s access to crude oil and refined products. To regain access to oil supplies, Japan resolved to attack the Dutch East Indies (which became Indonesia) where Chevron and Texaco had been producing substantial amounts of oil for many years and from which Japan had been receiving virtually all of its oil supplies – but attacked Pearl Harbor first rather than fatally expose their flank to the U.S. Pacific fleet.

Unlike supplying a “combatant” nation, international law permits a “neutral” nation to refuse to supply a “combatant.”

Question 6

What was the greatest similarity between Franklin Roosevelt and Stalin?

Answer 6

Both recognized that patriotism following a foreign attack was essential to rouse their respective nations to fight. Indeed, during the 1940 U.S. Presidential election, Wendell Willkie (Roosevelt’s Republican opponent) threatened to overwhelm Roosevelt by claiming that Roosevelt was a warmonger. And Stalin was hated for, among other things, killing more than 50 million Russian peasants during the forced and largely unsuccessful collectivization of Russian farming.

Both succeeded. America viewed the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor as unprovoked. And Hitler’s attack 18 months earlier on Russia produced what is known in Russia as “The Great Patriotic War.”

Question 7

What was a second great similarity between Franklin Roosevelt and Stalin?

Answer 7

Both led teams of superb industrial organizers who were able to transform their respective economies into unimaginable war-production machines.

Question 8

Similar to American isolationist public opinion caused by Woodrow Wilson's maneuvering the United States into World War I with which Franklin Roosevelt had to deal, was there another important policy of Woodrow Wilson that Eleanor Roosevelt had to combat?

Answer 8

Yes – racial segregation.

The “Gentleman from Georgia” who served as President of Princeton University and Governor of New Jersey before becoming President of the U.S., segregated the U.S. armed forces with an Executive Order and transformed the Democratic Party into the party of segregation by appointing segregationist judges to the U.S. Supreme Court (a practice followed by Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman). Incidentally, this made Princeton “the best school in the South” in the sense that its graduates could return to Southern Society. And made the “Solid South” the backbone of the Democratic Party until, in the wake of Lyndon Johnson’s civil rights legislation, Richard Nixon was able to detach the “Solid South” from the Democratic Party and attach it to the Republican Party.

Question 9

In "The Arms of Krupp" one of William Manchester's principal theses is that virtually all wars are decided on the basis of superior technology (e.g., Hannibal's elephants, superior German artillery in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1) and that it is only the extremely rare war (such as the American Civil War and World War I trench warfare) in which neither side has superior technology so that the result is a "meat grinder" killing millions of soldiers. How does Manchester's thesis apply to World War II?

Answer 9

It applied in many respects, including the early Nazi “blitzkrieg” (“lightening war”) success with their tanks and the early Japanese success with their superior “Zero” fighter aircraft. And, of course, the Pacific War ended with dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Incidentally, President Truman is often blamed for the decision to drop the atomic bombs. But let’s put aside for a moment the ethical debate over whether the two atomic bombs saved as many as 7 million lives if Japan had fought until the bitter end. Because Franklin Roosevelt is the hero of this month’s focus – and it would be interesting to consider how President Truman happened to have two atomic bombs at his disposal only 3-4 months after taking office and to consider what Franklin Roosevelt, who ordered the development of those atomic bombs, planned to do with them.

Question 10

How did Franklin Roosevelt treat Charles de Gaulle and why?

Answer 10

Both Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill treated Charles de Gaulle like leprosy.

Which is incomprehensible from both FDR’s and WSC’s viewpoint. After all, during the few weeks after the Nazi invasion of France before its fall, Churchill had implored the French to fight to the bitter end and, if France were conquered, to continue fighting from France’s African colonies – even offering every French person British citizenship (which, incredibly, Churchill thought would inspire them to continue fighting!!!)!!! And FDR certainly befriended everyone else who would fight Germany or Japan, including Stalin!!!

Charles de Gaulle was Defence Minister when France surrendered. But he was stranded in London where he had been arranging for more war supplies. As the only Cabinet Member who did not surrender, he began broadcasting to France as the leader of what he called the “Free French.” And he did exactly what Churchill had wanted, leaving within weeks for Dakar from which he quickly captured control of French Senegal and then the rest of France’s African colonies. On the D-Day invasion of Normandy, he headed the largest allied army = 7 MILLION “Free French” from the African colonies!!! Indeed, Eisenhower apologized repeatedly and profusely (but indirectly) to de Gaulle that Roosevelt had ordered him not to communicate with de Gaulle – and made clear to de Gaulle that without his cooperation as leader of the French Underground, no allied invasion of France could succeed and that Franklin Roosevelt was an ass in this regard!!! (de Gaulle accepted Eisenhower’s apologies and permitted Eisenhower to coordinate with the French Underground through one of de Gaulle’s underlings.)

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Re: Suggested Answers Re Context of World War II

Post by BillV »

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: Further to WSC's Destruction of the French Fleet
Date: Wed, December 9, 2009 5:11 am

Dear Bill,

I don't know why I can't resist hitting "send" before proofing an e-mail!!!

Re your claim that if CdG controlled the French African colonies (which,
as noted a few moments ago, was yet to come), it would not have been
necessary for WSC to issue his ultimatim that the French fleet immediately
sail for England or be sunk, you are overlooking the facts as described.
CdG was stranded in London when France fell and the French fleet was still
located in France under the control of Admiral Darlan who was part of the
government that had surrendered.

Incidentally, it would be very interesting to conjecture whether WSC would
have refrained from destroying the French fleet if Admiral Darlan had
responded to WSC's ultimatim to sail to England immediately or be sunk,
with the following message: "I hear CdG is headed for Dakar to continue
the fight from the French colonies so, sorry, I am setting sail for Dakar
rather than England. Regards, Darlan"

Your friend,

John K.

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: Re: WWII answers
Date: Wed, December 9, 2009 5:01 am

Dear Bill,

Thank you very much for your e-mail.

No. 3 was an explanation of why it was called "The Phony War" -- which is
why it said "very little" rather than "nothing".

No. 6 re 50 million, we've had this dispute before. I’d be happy to
re-recommend several good Stalin bios and many of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s
works starting with “Gulag Archipelago.”

No. 6 re 6 months (vs. 18 months) - thank you!!! Flying along at Mach 3,
I remembered June but forgot the year.

No. 7 "Gentleman from Georgia" - we've had this dispute before also. Wilson
lived for most of his childhood in Georgia. Following his undergraduate
studies and one year at U/Va Law School, he returned to Georgia where
he was associated with a law firm for 4-5 years. His first wife was from

No. 7 re pre-Wilson, Republican Party was "Party of Lincoln" and the
Democratic Party was nothing more than the way for Southern Whites to
register their protest. Wilson's actions transformed it from cartilage
into "the backbone"!!!

No. 7 re responsibility, no quarrel -- but that is not relevant to what
was said which was that "in the wake of Lyndon Johnson's civil rights
legislation, Richard Nixon was able to detach...and attach..." I think
you're being "soft on Nixon"!!!

No. 7 re continuing solidity, only claimed it was "solid" following Nixon
(vs. forever).

No. 10, all facts come from each of several bios on Chas de Gaulle that I
could recommend. Incidentally (A) WSC's ultimatim re the French fleet
came on the heels of the French surrender and had an extremely "short
fuse" because WSC knew that the Nazis would be able to take control and
begin moving the French fleet within a matter of days -- so WSC's
destruction of the French fleet occurred about the time Chas de Gaulle was
arriving in Dakar; (B) yes, there were French colonies on the African
coast of the Mediterranean that Hitler captured from Chas de Gaulle (there
was no claim that after the fall of mainland France, CdG was not forced to
retreat another inch) and CdG's army would have been very helpful in
pushing Hitler back out of North Africa if FDR/WSC had not been such
assholes (despite which WSC is still my all-time hero, having read
everything ever written by him and most everything ever written about
him); (C) if you doubt the CdG bios re largest allied army, what is your
figure for the size of the Russian army? (you correctly interpreted the
claim of the CdG bios that the Russian army was smaller than 7 million at
the time of the D-Day invasion so I won't quarrel that what was said can
be interpreted as the size of various Allied armies participating in the
D-Day invasion).

Thank you for your interesting and, as always, stimulating points.

Your friend,

John K.

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: WWII answers
From: "Donna Vogel" <>
Date: Tue, December 8, 2009 9:27 pm
To: "" <>

Dear John, here are my expected picky disagreements with your answers. #3:
Very little happened? Norway, Battle of Narvik. #6: Stalin killed 50
million peasants in collectivization. That's too high. More like Mao's
number. Hitler's attack on Russia (USSR) was six months before Pearl
Harbor. #7: Gentleman from Georgia? Maybe; born in Staunton, Virginia
and raised in Va., Ga., and the Carolinas. The solid Democratic
segregated south preceded T. Woodrow Wilson's presidency. LBJ (whose
civil rights legislation you mention) more than RMN is responsible for
turning the Democratic solid south into a (nearly) Republican solid south.
#10: de Gaulle didn't control the rest of France's North African
colonies. If he did there would not have been the the attack on the
French fleet at Oran or the November 1942 North African invasion.
Largest allied army was 7 million Free French? Hardly; any Russian (and
the non-gentleman from Georgia, Stalin ) would take offense at that
"largest" claim. See you tomorrow. Bill

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