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What if Pearl Harbor not attacked?

 
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What if Pearl Harbor not attacked? - 2/4/2009 2:04:17 AM   
explorer2

 

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Thinking about new possibilities in World at War scenario:

In the real world, what conditions do you think would have needed to occur besides an attack on US soil/forces that would have caused US to enter war against Germany? Japan? IF Japan had not attacked the USA?

Possibilities?

a) Nothing short of direct attack on USA. At the time US populace was very isolationist, though Roosevelt wanted to enter a long time ago, he wasn't willing to go against popular sentiment. Nothing short of a direct attack would cause USA to enter the war against either side.

b) If UK invaded by Germany: Anglo-American friendship being enough to overcome isolationsism.
Enough to also cause declaration of war against Japan?

c) If Japanese succeeded in capturing Chungking (Chinese Capitol at the time)?

d) IF Japanese invaded Dutch East Indies?

e) If Japanese invaded Singapore?

f) Other events, besided being attacked, that would have brought USA into war against either Japan, Germany, or both?

My opinion: I think only direct attack would have brought USA in. Germany invaded most of western Europe and USA wasn't willing to go to war. Japan invaded China, Southeast Asia, and even fired on US forces in China once, and USA wasn't willing to go to war. THere were many who did want to, including Roosevelt, but until attacked, I don't think USA would have taken the big step.

What do you think?
(I'm trying to figure out whether to try to put some alternate possibilities in World at War scenario)
Thanks in advance for your opinions.

Post #: 1
RE: What if Pearl Harbor not attacked? - 2/4/2009 2:59:15 AM   
82ndtrooper


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I think what would have happened is we would have continued to supply england and hitler would have eventually told us to stop or else.

Americans dont like ultimatums or to be told what to do so we would have told him to piss off.

and he would have had his wolf packs attack more shipping and our navy in the atlantic untill it brought us into the war.

eventually they would have sunk a passenger ship or a major navy ship and that would have done it.


(in reply to explorer2)
Post #: 2
RE: What if Pearl Harbor not attacked? - 2/4/2009 1:18:16 PM   
henri51


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quote:

ORIGINAL: explorer2

Thinking about new possibilities in World at War scenario:

In the real world, what conditions do you think would have needed to occur besides an attack on US soil/forces that would have caused US to enter war against Germany? Japan? IF Japan had not attacked the USA



The US made it clear to the Japanese by means of an ultimatum that they would declare war on them if the Jaspanese didn't back down, which was the reason that the japanese attacked pearl Harbor, figuring that if they were going to have war, they might as well take the initiative. Of course it was more useful to US propaganda to make people believe that the Japanese attack came out of the blue without any reason at all.

The Japanese ambassadors to the US, Kurusu and Nomura, were treated to a series of American ultimatums that concluded, November 26, with the following order: "The government of Japan will withdraw all military, naval, air and police forces from China and Indo-China" as well as renounce the tripartite Axis agreement.

Henri

< Message edited by henri51 -- 2/4/2009 1:28:14 PM >

(in reply to explorer2)
Post #: 3
RE: What if Pearl Harbor not attacked? - 2/5/2009 2:38:43 AM   
Mike Dubost

 

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From: Sacramento, CA
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quote:

ORIGINAL: henri51

quote:

ORIGINAL: explorer2

Thinking about new possibilities in World at War scenario:

In the real world, what conditions do you think would have needed to occur besides an attack on US soil/forces that would have caused US to enter war against Germany? Japan? IF Japan had not attacked the USA



The US made it clear to the Japanese by means of an ultimatum that they would declare war on them if the Jaspanese didn't back down, which was the reason that the japanese attacked pearl Harbor, figuring that if they were going to have war, they might as well take the initiative. Of course it was more useful to US propaganda to make people believe that the Japanese attack came out of the blue without any reason at all.

The Japanese ambassadors to the US, Kurusu and Nomura, were treated to a series of American ultimatums that concluded, November 26, with the following order: "The government of Japan will withdraw all military, naval, air and police forces from China and Indo-China" as well as renounce the tripartite Axis agreement.

Henri


Since nobody else has responded to this bit of propaganda *, I will take up the guantlet.

The closest thing to the terms Henri has quoted that I am able to find are a portion of the terms of the proposed Basis of Agreement of 26Nov1941. Since this document did not contain any explicit or implicit threat of war if Japan did not agree by a set deadline, it cannot be called an ultimatum.

Based upon Samuel Eliot Morison's History of US Naval Operations in WWII, Volume 3 (The Rising Sun in the Pacific), the terms did not include renunciation of the Triparite Pact. They did include evacuation of Japanese forces from China and Indo-China, and Japanese recognition of the Chungking government. They also included a non-agression pact among the UK, China, Japan, the Netherlands, USSR, Thailand, and the USA. Furthermore, both Japan and the US would renounce extraterritorial rights in China and stablize the dollar-yen exchange ratio. The US would have resumed trade with Japan on a most-favored nation status with raw silk "on the free list" and unfreezing of assets. Refer to Page 77 of the aforsaid History of US Naval Operations.

Does this sound like an ultimatum to you? It does not to me.

The Japanese side on 20Nov1941 had stated their proposed agreement. Neither Japan nor the US would have moved forces into Southeastern Asi, Japan would have withdrawn from southern to northern Indo-China, the US and Japan would have "cooporated: in securing commodities for themselves from the Dutch East Indies, the US and Japan would unfreeze assets, and the US ould "supply Japan a rerequired quantity of oil" and stop hepling China. Refer to Page 73 of the aforsaid History of US Naval Operations.

This was considered a hardline proposal by the US Secretary of State, but not an ultimatum, anymore than the US proposal was considered to be one.

The two sides were too far apart for successful negotiations, I think, but that does not mean that the US gave any utlimatums.

Henri, if you have evidence to the contrary, please quote it or post a link to it so that we may evaluate the source.

* Edit: I should clarify that I do not specifically accuse Henri of knowingly posting propaganda, since he may be passing on mis-information received from others, but I do consider the term propaganda to be a fair characterization of the statement I am responding to. This is a strong statement, but I feel very strongly about this point.

< Message edited by Mike Dubost -- 2/5/2009 2:58:12 AM >

(in reply to henri51)
Post #: 4
RE: What if Pearl Harbor not attacked? - 2/5/2009 1:19:33 PM   
henri51


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mike Dubost

Since nobody else has responded to this bit of propaganda *, I will take up the guantlet.

The closest thing to the terms Henri has quoted that I am able to find are a portion of the terms of the proposed Basis of Agreement of 26Nov1941. Since this document did not contain any explicit or implicit threat of war if Japan did not agree by a set deadline, it cannot be called an ultimatum.



This question has remained controversial (I am not commenting on the more controversial question of whether the USA knew that Japan was going to attack Pearl Harbor), but it seems obvious to me that the US knew that there would be war with japan (which is why the Fleet was moved from San Diego to Pearl Harbor), and Roosevelt knew that the population would not accept war unless the Japanese attacked first. I am not passing judgment on whether this was good or bad, only on the propaganda that the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was a totally unprovoked surprise.

Historian Sheldon Richman wrote "The final question — about the provocations — is less controversial. Even adulators of Roosevelt now concede that he lied the nation into war. He had to, they say, because the American people were too shortsighted to support intervention. Hitler had refused to attack the United States, despite provocation. So, the President had no choice but as Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson wrote in his diary on November 25, "to maneuver them [Japan] into the position of firing the first shot."

By then there had already been much maneuvering. It consisted of the systematic strangulation of Japan. For a nation like Japan, with no natural resources and a desperate need to import its necessities, this had to lead to war."

As for withdrawal of the tripartirte agreement, item 9 of the US ultimatum (called a memorandum by the US - whose terms the Japanese were told were not negotiable) is clear enough:

"9. Both Governments will agree that no agreement which either has
concluded with any third power or powers shall he interpreted by it in
such a way as to conflict with the fundamental purpose of this
agreement, the establishment and preservation of peace throughout the
Pacific area. "

"Agreeing" clearly means renouncing the Tripartite Pact on the part of japan.What else could it mean?

I am not a defender of Japanese imperialism, but after more than 60 years, isn't it time to drop the propaganda and see the US-Japanese conflict for what it was, the collision of two imperialisms.I hope that you are not going to claim that the US support of Chiang-Kai-Chek in China had the purpose of supporting democracy in China or that the US wanted the Japanese out of Malaysia so that the US could support democratic regimes there?

Henri

"Lie all you can, something will always remain" (Voltaire)

(in reply to Mike Dubost)
Post #: 5
RE: What if Pearl Harbor not attacked? - 2/5/2009 4:43:26 PM   
Twotribes


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So let me get this right? We opposed the Japanese Invasion of China and wanted it stopped. BUT we should have kept selling to Japan the oil and raw materials they needed to conduct a war we disagreed with. Does that sum up the basic claim here?

It is our fault Japan attacked us cause we would not help them destroy China?

The reality is that Japan did not want war with us. They only saw it as required because of the Philippines. They intended to get all the resources they needed from SE Asia. However with us in the Philippines they could not risk us entering the war on the side of the Dutch and British on OUR terms.

Claiming we forced Japan to attack us is ignorant of the basic fact that as a free nation we are not obliged to aid anyone to conquer another Country nor are we compelled to sell them the tools and resources to accomplish that conquest.

Japan CHOSE their course of action. THEY chose to attack us. We never threatened to attack them. The reality is Roosevelt could not have gotten a Declaration of War against Japan any more then he could against Germany. And the Japanese knew that.

(in reply to henri51)
Post #: 6
RE: What if Pearl Harbor not attacked? - 2/5/2009 4:54:26 PM   
Twotribes


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Let me put it into current day situations.

The US gets a large chunk of its oil from Venezuala ( cant spell ). Using the logic that by the US refusing to sell oil and raw materials to Japan we FORCED them to attack us and thus are RESPONSIBLE for the war, if Chavez cuts the US off from his oil and we go to war over it, it will be HIS fault, not ours that the war occurred.

(in reply to explorer2)
Post #: 7
RE: What if Pearl Harbor not attacked? - 2/5/2009 4:59:04 PM   
Barthheart


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Errmmm... WOW!

What has any of this got to do with explorer's original question?

All three of you are way OT.

_____________________________

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming "WOW, what a ride!"

(in reply to Twotribes)
Post #: 8
RE: What if Pearl Harbor not attacked? - 2/5/2009 5:10:53 PM   
Hard Sarge


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"9. Both Governments will agree that no agreement which either has
concluded with any third power or powers shall he interpreted by it in
such a way as to conflict with the fundamental purpose of this
agreement, the establishment and preservation of peace throughout the
Pacific area. "

"Agreeing" clearly means renouncing the Tripartite Pact on the part of japan.What else could it mean?

do you have the pact ? it was a defencive pact, it only was to come into effect if one of the nations was attacked, it had no settings for help if the nation attacked someone else

so, agreeing to it does not denounce the pact

as it was, Hitler, by the Pact, did not have to DOW on the US when Japan started the war

to the first question, it wouldn't of been long before the US got into the shooting war, they were already in it, the Navy was in action helping the convoy system, and was attacking subs and being attacked in return




_____________________________


(in reply to Barthheart)
Post #: 9
RE: What if Pearl Harbor not attacked? - 2/5/2009 10:26:18 PM   
henri51


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Barthheart

Errmmm... WOW!

What has any of this got to do with explorer's original question?

All three of you are way OT.


My reply was to explain in response to the question that Pearl Harbor or not, the US would have been at war with Japan soon, and I don't think any serious historian debates that. Rooseveldt and those close to him certainly did believe it. Those who need to believe that the US did not follow a policy of provoking Japan into war (as admitted in Stimson's memoirs) are welcome to keep this along with their other religious beliefs.

Having said this, I am an admirer of Rooseveldt and I think that his policy was the right one, given the Congress's isolationalism and the inevitably of the war.

The USA is the greatest country in the World, but its greatest weakness is its tendancy to believe its own lies...

Henri

(in reply to Barthheart)
Post #: 10
RE: What if Pearl Harbor not attacked? - 2/5/2009 10:41:31 PM   
henri51


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Twotribes

So let me get this right? We opposed the Japanese Invasion of China and wanted it stopped. BUT we should have kept selling to Japan the oil and raw materials they needed to conduct a war we disagreed with. Does that sum up the basic claim here?


Please don't put words into my mouth. The US embargo on Japan and the freezing of Japanese assets in the US was in place long before the discussions reached a fever pitch, and no one claims that caused the war. The Japanese clearly understood that if they did not follow the US ultimatum, there would be war.

Of course it is unthinkable that if japan had not attacked, the US would have created a fake incident if necessary, because the US never does that, does it? (Shades of the Spanish-American War, the Gulf of Tonkin incident for the Vietnam War, the killing of babies in hospitals to justify the First Gulf War, the weapons of mass destruction to justify the second....)

Henri

(in reply to Twotribes)
Post #: 11
RE: What if Pearl Harbor not attacked? - 2/5/2009 11:28:48 PM   
Grymme

 

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cough cough... Grenada... cough cough

(in reply to henri51)
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RE: What if Pearl Harbor not attacked? - 2/6/2009 3:31:21 AM   
Mike Dubost

 

Posts: 189
Joined: 8/24/2008
From: Sacramento, CA
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: henri51

quote:

ORIGINAL: Mike Dubost

Since nobody else has responded to this bit of propaganda *, I will take up the guantlet.

The closest thing to the terms Henri has quoted that I am able to find are a portion of the terms of the proposed Basis of Agreement of 26Nov1941. Since this document did not contain any explicit or implicit threat of war if Japan did not agree by a set deadline, it cannot be called an ultimatum.



This question has remained controversial (I am not commenting on the more controversial question of whether the USA knew that Japan was going to attack Pearl Harbor), but it seems obvious to me that the US knew that there would be war with japan (which is why the Fleet was moved from San Diego to Pearl Harbor), and Roosevelt knew that the population would not accept war unless the Japanese attacked first. I am not passing judgment on whether this was good or bad, only on the propaganda that the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was a totally unprovoked surprise.

Historian Sheldon Richman wrote "The final question — about the provocations — is less controversial. Even adulators of Roosevelt now concede that he lied the nation into war. He had to, they say, because the American people were too shortsighted to support intervention. Hitler had refused to attack the United States, despite provocation. So, the President had no choice but as Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson wrote in his diary on November 25, "to maneuver them [Japan] into the position of firing the first shot."

By then there had already been much maneuvering. It consisted of the systematic strangulation of Japan. For a nation like Japan, with no natural resources and a desperate need to import its necessities, this had to lead to war."

As for withdrawal of the tripartirte agreement, item 9 of the US ultimatum (called a memorandum by the US - whose terms the Japanese were told were not negotiable) is clear enough:

"9. Both Governments will agree that no agreement which either has
concluded with any third power or powers shall he interpreted by it in
such a way as to conflict with the fundamental purpose of this
agreement, the establishment and preservation of peace throughout the
Pacific area. "

"Agreeing" clearly means renouncing the Tripartite Pact on the part of japan.What else could it mean?

I am not a defender of Japanese imperialism, but after more than 60 years, isn't it time to drop the propaganda and see the US-Japanese conflict for what it was, the collision of two imperialisms.I hope that you are not going to claim that the US support of Chiang-Kai-Chek in China had the purpose of supporting democracy in China or that the US wanted the Japanese out of Malaysia so that the US could support democratic regimes there?

Henri

"Lie all you can, something will always remain" (Voltaire)


I admit that this is tangential (spelling?) to the original post, but I think an evolution of discussion is allowed.

Even in my first post on this discussion, I said that negotiations were probably futile. I believe that absent some major event (such as US entry into and preoccupation with the European conflict), the US and Japan were heading for war.

However, I dispute the notion that the US sought to provoke a war. The Stimson diary quote as given above could bear the interpretation that the FDR Administration wished to avoid war but if war came, they wanted Japan to fire the first shot. A quick Yahoo search did not turn up any online version of the diary to check the context. In general, I am wary about using sentence fragments without context as evidence.

It is my contention that the State Department knew there was a risk of war (I assume they listened to the US ambassador to Japan when he told them so), but they were willing to engage in what was later called "Brinksmanship".

The statement that the Basis of Agreement was presented as a "take it or leave it" is not relevant to the question of whether it was an ultimatum or not. An ultimatum is effectively a Declaration of War with an escape clause. For example, "... unless we heard from them by 11:00 that they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland a state of war would exist between us." It is a fact that neither the US nor Japan treated the Basis of Agreement as an ultimatum. Otherwise, why would the FDR Adminstration discuss the possibilty of a personal appeal the Emperor as Head of State, or the Japanese bother with the well-known message on 7Dec1941?

The oil embargo is an interesting situation, actually. It is one of the many cases in which US actions were undertaken for a mixture of high-minded and "realistic" reasons. The History of US Naval Operations quotes a poll showing significant support for the embargo before it's imposition. This was due to the public's desire to not subsidize and implicitly support what was perceived to be unwarranted Japanese agression against China. Do not underestimate the moralistic impulse in the US. At our best, it makes us strive to live up to some VERY lofty ideals.

As for the statement that we were not supporting democracy in China, I did not claim that. It was not generally claimed to be the case at the time, even. At most, it was claimed to be supporting self-determination. However, US support for China was in accordance with the traditional "Open Door" policy. The US did not want to have any power control China. In fact, you will note that the Basis of Agreement proposed the MUTUAL renunciation of extra-territoriality. I cannot be proud of the US failure to unilaterally renounce it, but at least the US did not make claims for "concessions" where Chinese law did not run.

By the way, for your reference to Japanese out of Malaysia, did you mean Indo-China, or Siam?

Hard Sarge has already made my objection to calling Point 9 a renunciation of the Tripartite Pact. Honesty compells my to weaken my own case a bit, however, by noting that at the time (at least in Life Magazine), the Tripartite Pact was presented as being aimed against the US. I will point out that the language here sounds a bit like the "boilerplate" parts of an engineering services contract where they start talking about conflicts, conflict resolution, and "severability". It can be perceived differently, depending upon your incomming opiinion. I also will add that if the Tripartite Pact was incompatible with "the establishment and preservation of peace throughout the Pacific area", what does that do to your argument that Japan was provoked into war by a US ultimatum more than a year later?

Finally (yeah, at last, right?), I wish to take issue with the characterization of the US in 1941 as an imperialist nation. Not only did the US have no interest in aquisition of more colonies, the US was in the process of granting independence to the Phillipines.

In retrospect, my first post did have a bit too high a heat to light ratio. If the discussion becomes too OT, maybe we could continue by PM?

(in reply to henri51)
Post #: 13
RE: What if Pearl Harbor not attacked? - 2/6/2009 3:31:41 AM   
Tagwyn

 

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What lunacy haw run loose in Wonderland to include Henri in it's clutches! Was the USA prepared for war with Nazis or with Japs? We could not have defeated Mexico in 1941.

The original question was in interesting one. What would US have done if Japenese did not attack Pearl? FDR was very worried Britain would not survive and was reluctant to send armaments to Brits for fear they would end up in the hands of the Nazis. USA did not declare war when USSR was attacked. I believe (speculation) we would have begun to rearm and continue to be the "Arsenal" of democracy until it became apparend that Britian would not cave. Then we would have found some reason for declaring war on Hitler. The Germans could then throw thier entire military effort into the Eastern Front and driven the Reds out of the war. t

(in reply to Grymme)
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RE: What if Pearl Harbor not attacked? - 2/6/2009 1:14:11 PM   
henri51


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Mike, I respect your opinion and that of others here, and recognize that the question is still contgroversial.

The main difficulty here I think stems from my "realpolitik" point of view here that can be interpreted as judgmental . I already said that I think Rooseveldt did the right thing given the circumstances, and in no way do I consider the Japanese in WW2 as victims.

But anyway the bottom line with respect to this thread is that it seems clear to me that pearl Harbor or not, a US war with japan was inevitable (and some might argue - necessary) by that time. Whether or not the US at that time was a benevolent supporter of human rights and democracy is irrelevant.

Henri

If the Truth hurts, blame the truth...

(in reply to Mike Dubost)
Post #: 15
RE: What if Pearl Harbor not attacked? - 2/6/2009 3:47:48 PM   
bwheatley

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Twotribes

So let me get this right? We opposed the Japanese Invasion of China and wanted it stopped. BUT we should have kept selling to Japan the oil and raw materials they needed to conduct a war we disagreed with. Does that sum up the basic claim here?

It is our fault Japan attacked us cause we would not help them destroy China?

The reality is that Japan did not want war with us. They only saw it as required because of the Philippines. They intended to get all the resources they needed from SE Asia. However with us in the Philippines they could not risk us entering the war on the side of the Dutch and British on OUR terms.

Claiming we forced Japan to attack us is ignorant of the basic fact that as a free nation we are not obliged to aid anyone to conquer another Country nor are we compelled to sell them the tools and resources to accomplish that conquest.

Japan CHOSE their course of action. THEY chose to attack us. We never threatened to attack them. The reality is Roosevelt could not have gotten a Declaration of War against Japan any more then he could against Germany. And the Japanese knew that.


We certainly backed Japan into a corner by cutting off the supplies they needed to sustain their way of life much less their military actions. I would say it was a very well calculated action that was taken. Check out FDR that was on the history channel it talks about how Roosevelt was having secret correspondence with Churchill before he was even prime minister saying that the United States would get into this war and help the British.

(in reply to Twotribes)
Post #: 16
RE: What if Pearl Harbor not attacked? - 2/7/2009 2:39:45 AM   
Mike Dubost

 

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From: Sacramento, CA
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quote:

ORIGINAL: henri51

Mike, I respect your opinion and that of others here, and recognize that the question is still contgroversial.

The main difficulty here I think stems from my "realpolitik" point of view here that can be interpreted as judgmental . I already said that I think Rooseveldt did the right thing given the circumstances, and in no way do I consider the Japanese in WW2 as victims.

But anyway the bottom line with respect to this thread is that it seems clear to me that pearl Harbor or not, a US war with japan was inevitable (and some might argue - necessary) by that time. Whether or not the US at that time was a benevolent supporter of human rights and democracy is irrelevant.

Henri

If the Truth hurts, blame the truth...


I would say that war was almost inevitable. The US and Japan were clearly on a collision course, and only a major departure from events as they happened could have altered their course.

However, I can construct a low probability alternate timeline (ATL) that could have averted war even as late as November of 1941.

In Nov1941, the US military strongly urged the President and State Department to buy time to allow the US to prepare for war with Japan. They thought it was coming, but wanted to prepare more. Thus, the Administration prepared a "modus vivendi" which would have had Japan halt troops in place, withdraw into northern Indo-China, and draw down troops in northern Indo-China. In return, the US would resume oil sales on a month-by-month basis. The proposal was shared with other effected nations (UK, China, Australia, and Holland) through their ambassadors in Washington. None of them liked it, and China was strongly opposed to it. General Marshall "begged for this or any temporary agreement to save time" according to the History of US Naval Operations, Volume III. I think that should read "buy time", not "save time", but I quote it as it appears on page 75 of the book.

If we make this our Point of Departure (PoD), we assume that FDR took Marshall's advice, and that he coupled it with an idea he had been toying with around this time, and made it a personal appeal to the Emperor of Japan as Head of State. This is very unlikely, but for now, go with it.

We assume that Hirohito for some reason (flattered by the appeal and desiring to go down in history as a great man, perhapse?) accepts the appeal and compels Japanese compliance. Since it is not too different from the Japanese proposal of 15Nov, this one it somewhat plausible.

Given that the UBoat war was already causing friction with the US, and that Hitler had only been restrained by his Foreign Minister from sending out sabotage teams to the US, an incident occurs in the next few months. Maybe a team goes to the US and is "ratted out" by one of its own as happened in our timeline (OTL) in June of 1942. Maybe it is another USS Reuben James type incident in which, like the first, the US public never quite becomes conscious of the fact that the US ship was tracking the UBoat.

In either case, public outrage might cause the US to declare war on Germany in the spring or summer of 1942. Both the public outrage and the existing "Germany First" policy work towards focusing US eyes almost entirely on Germany. Japan might have decided to honor the Tripartite Pact, and might have broken it, in favor of keeping the US oil flowing, for now. Again, low probability, but suppose they broke the pact, what could Germany do about it? Zip point zilch.

In this case, the European War probably ends sometime in early 1945, since the Allies have only a bit more effective resources to throw into the battle (they would have to keep a fair amount in the Pacific detering Japan).

In the meantime, in OTL, the Japanese had an atomic bomb program. I recall reading that most of the files were destroyed prior to the arival of occupation troops, but they did have a test of some sort at the very end of the war. Suppose the ATL Japanese devote more effort to the bomb, since they no longer have a big war on hand. Maybe this results in a Cold War in the Pacific.

What do you think? I think this is a rather thin construct, but it does barely hold togther.

(in reply to henri51)
Post #: 17
RE: What if Pearl Harbor not attacked? - 2/7/2009 4:23:36 AM   
henri51


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mike Dubost
What do you think? I think this is a rather thin construct, but it does barely hold togther.


An interesting scenario. I agree that if war with Japan had not broken out when it did, the US would have been at war with Germany eventually - how soon is not critical, as long as they kept increasing Lend-Lease, which is all that had a significant effect before 1944 anyway (Africa and Italy were sideshows that had no decisive effects on the Eastern Front). There is no way that Roosevelt would have let Germany run loose in Europe, and even less that he would have allowed the Soviets to take over all of Europe (which is likely what would have happened without D-day (the Russians were already in Poland by D-day).

As for the delay you postulate, it would have strengthened the US more than Japan, so it is a question of whether or not Japan would guess that the US would be satisfied with Japan keeping what they already had (China in particular)- which would seem unlikely to me if I were Japan.

However if Japan believed that Rooseveldt was more worried about Germany and the Soviet Union than about China and the Pacific, they might have accepted such a deal, especially if they believed that the US could see them as a bulwark against communist expansion. In such a case, Eisenhower might have been more open to Patton's idea of attacking Russia, if Japan could be counted on to attack from the other end. In my view this would create intolerable tensions, although Churchill might have supported it, but as happened, he would have been thrown out as soon as victory over Germany was assured, and the US population would almost certainly strongly oppose such a move and as soon as possible elect a peacemaking President and Congress, finally leaving the USSR stronger than it was historically.

Of course we all know that small changes sometimes can make big differences in History, and that the best-laid plans of mice and men...

Henri

(in reply to Mike Dubost)
Post #: 18
RE: What if Pearl Harbor not attacked? - 2/9/2009 3:00:54 AM   
Mike Dubost

 

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From: Sacramento, CA
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quote:

ORIGINAL: henri51


As for the delay you postulate, it would have strengthened the US more than Japan, so it is a question of whether or not Japan would guess that the US would be satisfied with Japan keeping what they already had (China in particular)- which would seem unlikely to me if I were Japan.



Agreed that Japan might not have gone for the deal. However, historically at this time there was a faction in Japan including Admiral Yamamoto that argued against war with the US. Perhapse getting much of what they wanted strengthens this faction to the point that the cabinet deadlock occurs over starting the war rather than surrenduring? At this point, the emperor's vanity being flattered by the personal appeal, he comes down on the side of at least a delay, possibly. I regard this as one of the more plausible parts of the scenario. The issuing of the proposal is what I think is least plausible.

(in reply to henri51)
Post #: 19
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