Still Russia was a favorite to win the 1905 war.
Well, they were in the European press. Nobody in Europe knew a thing about Japan in 1905. It was only fifty years since their society had been opened to the West, and Europe hadn't fallen over themselves learning.
Similarly, one could argue that (except for steel and oil) Japan didn't look all that bad against the US in 1940, with stats from 1938, and if someone started to jump up and down with predictions of doom and how these stats didn't show the real picture -- that guy would be fried.
Yeahbut, as I said, there were a lot more negative statistics against Japan than steel and oil. But just on those two, their position was hopeless. The US had twice the population, plus all of the Commonwealth nations, some of SA, much of China as allies. Japan had two strong allies thousands of miles and ten cultures away, plus some unreliable, self-interested local sycophants. They were the mafia, not leaders of a strong coalition. Cultural blindness prevented them from seeing how weak they were, not stats.
My point is: after the war ends everybody has smart arguments on why one side had no chance. But before it starts, it takes a very, very, but very courageous politician to argue the country will lose. On the first day of war politicians and generals always say their country will win.
Quote from that classic movie, "War Games": "The only way to win is not to play." If Japan had stuck to the local area and not attacked US, Malaysia, the DEI, they might have been allowed to hold and bleed China for many years, or forever. The US populaiton had not been prepped to fight them. We had been prepped to fight in Europe all through 1940 and 1941. (USS Reuben James anyone?) Cultural hubris got the Japanese into the war, not necessity. Yes, we embargoed scrap metal and oil. They could have adjusted, with a lot of short-term pain. Their pride wouldn't let them.
< Message edited by Bullwinkle58 -- 7/27/2010 5:14:04 AM >