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Rising Sun*
03-07-2012, 07:14 AM
Something I wasn't aware of until just now.


The formal surrender of the Japanese Imperial Government, the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, and all Japanese and Japanese-controlled armed forces wherever located, was signed aboard the battleship USS Missouri (BB-63) at 0908 on 2 September 1945. Looking down upon the ceremony, to present a reminder of an earlier occasion on which Japanese truculence had been humbled by American sea power was the American Flag which had flown over Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry's flagship USS Mississippi (Sidewheel Steamer) when he steamed into the Bay of Yedo (Tokyo Bay, as it was known after 1868) in 1853. http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq69-1.htm

Perry humbled Japanese 'truculence'?

The 'truculence' was simply Japan wanting to exercise its perfect sovereign right to control its borders and trade.

Perry 'humbled' it only by belligerent 'gunboat diplomacy' solely in the interests of American exploitation of Japan for America's benefit.

The American arrogance in the quote reflects a distorted American view of history, while the organisation and calculated insult to Japan in triumphantly flying Perry's flag over the surrender ceremony suggests that for some levels of the American leadership the victory over Japan was merely another step in reinforcing American military power over Japan for nearly a century rather than just the conclusion of the Pacific War.

Flying Perry's flag at the surrender is a small event but hugely symbolic. I find it quite repugnant. To the extent that it reflects unchanged American belligerence towards and contempt for Japan in the ninety or so years between Perry's assault on Japan and the end of WWII, I can see why the Japanese were justifiably hostile to America and why some Japanese then thought and still think that America brought the Pacific War on itself.

Admiral Yamamoto is reputed to have said that he joined the IJN "So I can return Perry's visit." e.g. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2199&dat=19430521&id=fSVdAAAAIBAJ&sjid=wVoNAAAAIBAJ&pg=2845,4009611 Given the contempt for Japan shown by flying Perry's flag over the surrender ceremony, I can understand his position.

muscogeemike
03-07-2012, 09:39 AM
Of course you are right - the arrogance and general ignorance of US citizens (re: history) has been discussed in other threads.

Few Americans realize that the US has been involved in Asia for a long time.

A few years after Perry, 16 July 1863, the steam Frigate USS Wyoming engaged several rebel Japanese vessels in the Battle of Shimonoseki Straits in Japan. Cpt McDougal sank two Japanese ships and damaged another.

The RN was also involved in this event, William Seeley, an American serving as an ordinary seaman with the RN received the VC for actions during this action. The first American to receive the VC.

The United States expedition to Korea or Shinmiyangyo or simply the Korean Expedition of 1871 was the first American military action in Korea. It took place predominantly on and around the Korean island of Ganghwa. The reason for the presence of the American naval force in Korea was to support an American diplomatic delegation sent to establish trade and political relations with the peninsular nation, to ascertain the fate of the General Sherman merchant ship, and to establish a treaty assuring aid for shipwrecked sailors. When Korean shore batteries attacked two American warships on June 1, 1871, a punitive expedition was launched ten days later after the commanding American admiral failed to receive an official apology from the Koreans. The isolationist nature of the Joseon Dynasty government and the assertiveness of the Americans led to a misunderstanding between the two parties that changed a diplomatic expedition into an armed conflict. On June 10, about 650 Americans landed and captured several forts, killing over 200 Korean troops with a loss of only three dead. Korea continued to refuse to negotiate with the United

American history books rarely point out the LTC Geo. Custer was, in fact, invading another country when he was destroyed; or that the US Military was suppose to be protecting the Sioux lands from just such an invasion.

Very few Americans know that the great and famous Hunk papa Sioux War Leader Crazy Horse (yes the same Crazy Horse that defeated Custer) was a US Army Sgt.

Four months before his death he enlisted in the Army as a scout and was awarded the rank of Sgt.
This item is found in an excellent book, Fort Robinson and the American West (Nebraska Press, 1999) by Thomas R. Buecker, curator of the Nebraska State Historical Society’s Fort Robinson Museum. Other books that corroborate this fact are the two volumes of the Interviews of Eli S. Ricker (Nebraska, 2005), and the most outstanding account of the warrior chief’s life, Crazy Horse, a Lakota Life, by Kingsley M. Bray (Oklahoma Press, 2006).


“Custer was a pussy.” Sam Elliot as SGM Basil Plumley, We Were Soldiers

MJ1
03-07-2012, 10:23 AM
Mike you should move to Japan.

Sun you shouold talk to a few survivors of the Jap POW camps or Vets of the Kokoda or mabe a few Chines could tell you about 300.000 murdered people in Nanking. You are beyond stupid.

tankgeezer
03-07-2012, 10:56 AM
*******

muscogeemike
03-07-2012, 12:36 PM
*******

As I was

muscogeemike
03-07-2012, 03:55 PM
Mike you should move to Japan.

Sun you shouold talk to a few survivors of the Jap POW camps or Vets of the Kokoda or mabe a few Chines could tell you about 300.000 murdered people in Nanking. You are beyond stupid.

I guessing you mean son, if so I very much doubt you are that much older than me. And if your icom is meant to imply you are a VN vet - well so am I. I’ve been to Japan, for two years. I wouldn’t want to go back. I don’t, in any way, intend to defend Japan or what the Japanese did in WWII, I merely pointed out that the US was involved in Japanese affairs long before Pear Harbor and that far too many Americans are ignorant of our own history.

The “day of infamy” was anticipated and our response was (at command levels) pathetic.

Never take what a teacher, or TV, or “experts” (and I am no expert on anything) at face value; in my opinion most Americans (probably most people) rely on movies and preachers for their information.

forager
03-07-2012, 08:39 PM
[QUOTE=

Admiral Yamamoto is reputed to have said that he joined the IJN "So I can return Perry's visit." .[/QUOTE]

That went really well for him.....

Like with the bombs-it is foolish of to assess 1945 thinking with our 2012 views.

Rising Sun*
03-08-2012, 07:09 AM
Sun

muscogeemike: It may be conceit on my part, but I think that that comment was addressed to me.



you shouold talk to a few survivors of the Jap POW camps

I have. They didn’t talk about it much outside their own circles when I knew them a few decades ago.

None of them volunteered any opinions about America flying Perry’s flag at the surrender ceremony. Possibly because, like me until about 24 hours ago, they were unaware of it.



or Vets of the Kokoda

I have, along with veterans of the wider New Guinea and related campaigns.

None of them volunteered any opinions about America flying Perry’s flag at the surrender ceremony. Possibly because, like me until about 24 hours ago, they were unaware of it.




or mabe a few Chines could tell you about 300.000 murdered people in Nanking.

Yes, I am aware of that. And of the Sook Ching massacres and many other atrocities by Japanese against Chinese, and others, before and during WWII.

I haven’t seen any opinions by Chinese about America flying Perry’s flag at the surrender ceremony.

I am also aware that Japan’s incursion into China was in part an expansionist move to exploit China which challenged much earlier European and American incursions into China to exploit it for their purposes. The Japanese moves into China reflect the same sort of European and American arrogance and belligerence which saw Commodore Perry force Japan into trade with America for America’s benefit, following similar European, primarily British, conduct in China. And elsewhere in preceding centuries.

There is more than a little irony in FDR presiding over most of the Pacific War which in one respect was a contest between America and some European powers on one hand and Japan on the other to exploit China, which went back to FDR’s maternal grandfather profiting magnificently more than a century before from the opium trade with China, at China’s economic and social expense, which gave FDR the financial resources which helped him to become President.



You are beyond stupid.

Quite possibly, but you haven’t offered any evidence in support of that assertion or otherwise attempted to put forward a rational, or any, argument against my first post.

The experiences of POWs under the Japanese; veterans of any combat with them; or civilian victims of Japanese atrocities which you cite have nothing to do with understanding the larger picture of relations between the combatant nations before, during and after the war. Instead, perhaps you could focus on what I said in my first post.

You might consider that if Perry had not applied duress to Japan to force it to engage with America for America’s sole benefit, then Japan would have remained in splendid isolation and the Pacific War would not have occurred.

You might also like to consider why it was so terribly wrong for Japan to engage in expansion by war into China in the 1930s when European powers and America had been doing it for the previous century and had pretty much brought China to its knees in the process.

I remain of the view that flying Perry’s flag at the surrender ceremony was a carefully calculated and quite unnecessary insult to Japan, implying that America could always dictate to Japan what Japan must do and that the Japanese people who had inhabited their islands from time immemorial, unlike the Americans who had occupied America for only a few hundred years, were not entitled to determine their own destiny.

My experience of all nationalities is that none of them receive such contempt well; that it merely prolongs ill will; and provides a rallying point for those disposed to avenge what they see as past injustices.

Or perhaps you as an American if America had been defeated by Japan in WWII would not be upset by, something along the same humiliating lines, American commanders being forced to sign the instrument of surrender on the Yamato with the Yamato flying the USS Arizona’s flag, just to rub in the defeat?

As a general position I prefer Churchill’s view “In war, resolution; in defeat, defiance; in victory, magnanimity.”, albeit in Japan’s case in WWII as sternly modified by the Australian commander Gen Blamey on receiving the surrender of the IJA Second Army on Moratai:


“In receiving your surrender I do not recognise you as an honourable and gallant foe, but you will be treated with due but severe courtesy in all matters.

I recall the treacherous attack on Australian ally, China. I recall the treacherous attack upon the British Empire and upon the United States of America in December 1941, at a time when your authorities were making the pretence of ensuring peace between us.

I recall the atrocities inflicted upon the person of Australian nationals as prisoners of war and internees, designed to reduce them by punishment and starvation to slavery.

In the light of these evils I will enforce most rigorously all orders issued to you, so let there be no delay or hesitation in their fulfilment at your peril.

The Japanese navy has been destroyed. The Japanese merchant fleet has been reduced to a mere fraction.

The Japanese armies have been beaten everywhere and all that remained for them was to await their total destruction.

Japanese cities lie in waste and Japanese industry has been destroyed.

Never before in history has so numerous a nation been so completely defeated. To escape the complete destruction of the nation, the Emperor of Japan has yielded to the Allied forces, and an instrument of total surrender has been signed in his name. He has charged you to obey the orders which I shall give you.

In carrying out these orders the Japanese army and navy organisation will be retained for convenience.

Instructions will be issued by the designated Australian commanders to the commanders of the respective Japanese forces, placing upon you and your subordinate commanders the responsibility for carrying out your Emperor's directions to obey all orders given by me to you.

You will ensure that all Allied personnel, prisoners of war or internees in Japanese hands are safeguarded and nourished and delivered over to Allied commanders. You will collect, lay down and safeguard all arms, ammunition and instruments of war until such time as they are taken over by the designated Australian commanders. You will be given adequate time to carry this out.

An official date will be named and any Japanese found in possession, after that date, of any arms, ammunition or instrument of war of any kind will be dealt with summarily by the Australian commander on the spot.”

That seems to me to be satisfactory in the circumstances and sufficient to let Japan know it had been beaten and that it could not expect more than the minimum treatment in view of its past conduct.

Gratuitous and irrelevant insults like flying Perry’s flag could add nothing positive to such a statement from the Allied viewpoint but could light a, or fan an ancient, fire, as represented by my earlier quote attributed to Admiral Yamamoto, of longstanding resentment in a beaten people, to no good purpose from the Allied viewpoint.

Anyway, given the way MacArthur went on to protect the Emperor and America later went on to protect various Japanese war criminals from their just desserts at the end of the 1940’s as America sought to enlist Japan to join it in a common cause against communists in China and the USSR, all that flying Perry’s flag could have achieved was to interfere with American collaboration with its former enemy only a few years after the bitter Pacific War had ended.

MJ1
03-08-2012, 12:06 PM
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

leccy
03-08-2012, 01:09 PM
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Typical style of reply by someone who will defend any action by their country and not accept repercussions that happen because of those actions, instead they will claim that all enemies should be cowed and humiliated. Never thinking that maybe, just maybe their actions in the past actually caused trouble later on for them.

The whole might is right attitude I see with some people especially in the US (mostly by those claiming to be EX US Forces and mostly USMC) does not endear them to other countries and causes problems far beyond the local action they are taking.

MJ1
03-08-2012, 01:53 PM
Typical style of reply by someone who will defend any action by their country and not accept repercussions that happen because of those actions, instead they will claim that all enemies should be cowed and humiliated. Never thinking that maybe, just maybe their actions in the past actually caused trouble later on for them.

The whole might is right attitude I see with some people especially in the US (mostly by those claiming to be EX US Forces and mostly USMC) does not endear them to other countries and causes problems far beyond the local action they are taking.

Hmmm. Well that is why you have the freedom to print the drool you post today. Get over it.

tankgeezer
03-08-2012, 03:06 PM
MJ1, I must remind you that polite discourse is expected of all members of these boards. Your adherence to that ideal is appreciated. You may consider this a moderator notice.

MJ1
03-08-2012, 03:26 PM
OK but it should be a two way street. Insult my country your insulting me.
Cheers

muscogeemike
03-08-2012, 04:18 PM
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Ladies and Gentlemen - here we have a prime example of the US Education System.

tankgeezer
03-08-2012, 05:01 PM
[QUOTE=MJ1;183253]OK but it should be a two way street. Insult my country your insulting me.
Cheers[/QUOTE
It goes all ways, keep sharp talk in PM's, not on the boards.This goes for everyone. Defaulters will be placed in the care of our part time Beadle, Sister Mary Knuckles, of Our Lady of perpetual Inquisition convent. ;)

Rising Sun*
03-09-2012, 03:15 AM
Hmmm. Well that is why you have the freedom to print the drool you post today. Get over it.

Such comments are unhelpful and invariably ill-informed.

Britain is not free today solely because of America's effort against the Nazis but also because:

1. Britain stood up to the Nazis by itself for two years before America entered the war.
2. The Soviets stood up to the Nazis for some months before America entered the war and for several years afterwards, and bore the brunt in fighting and casualties of exhausting the Nazis.

Rising Sun*
03-09-2012, 03:17 AM
OK but it should be a two way street. Insult my country your insulting me.
Cheers

The irony of complaining about a non-existent insult to America in a thread about an unnecessary insult to Japan is completely lost on you, isn't it?

navyson
03-09-2012, 10:41 AM
I never knew about this either. Definitely not in the history books I had. What I wonder, but couldn't gather from the article, is if the Japanese even knew of this themselves back then.

Rising Sun*
03-09-2012, 04:37 PM
I never knew about this either. Definitely not in the history books I had. What I wonder, but couldn't gather from the article, is if the Japanese even knew of this themselves back then.

From an interview with the USS Missouri's captain.


The only special flag that was there was a flag which Commodore Perry had flown on his ship out in that same location 82 years before. It was flown out in its glass case from the Naval Academy Museum. An officer messenger brought it out. We put this hanging over the door of my cabin, facing forward, on the surrender deck so that everyone on the surrender deck could see it. It was facing the Japanese. This was a thirty-one-star flag, that’s all the states we had at that time.

I imagine that the Japanese looked at that when they came up. Since I was behind them I can’t be sure.

Q: I wonder if they recognized the significance?

Adm. M.: They did later, they didn’t then.
http://www.ussmissouri.com/sea-stories-mo-captain

According to various internet comments, MacArthur was Perry's cousin and MacArthur ordered the flag to be flown from the US and displayed at the surrender.

muscogeemike
03-09-2012, 07:08 PM
Thanks. I find details such as these to be historical and culturally relevant - to bad some on this on this thread are so narrow minded.

Rising Sun*
03-09-2012, 07:36 PM
Thanks. I find details such as these to be historical and culturally relevant - to bad some on this on this thread are so narrow minded.

Apparently the Missouri was anchored at the same spot as Perry's ship.

It's reminiscent of Hitler forcing the French to sign their surrender in the same railway car that the Germans signed their surrender in WW1, but there is no parallel between that action and the Perry/Missouri events.

Rising Sun*
03-10-2012, 06:18 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v130/montereyjack/11d39a79.jpg


5969

........

Rising Sun*
03-10-2012, 06:19 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v130/montereyjack/4c720824.jpg

.......


5970

Rising Sun*
03-10-2012, 07:22 AM
See page 8 at http://books.google.com.au/books?id=1xZ8PXYfHW0C&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false for a modern Japanese view which supports what I inferred about Perry's flag at the surrender ceremony being interpreted by Japanese to tell Japan that it must dance to America's tune as it had from Perry's time.

It's interesting that the US complained at various times between Perry and 1941 that Japan was unfair in its trade practices. Talk about the biter bit!

Nickdfresh
03-10-2012, 12:33 PM
@ MJ1,

Posting random, meaningless pic's is called spamming. Please don't do it...

muscogeemike
03-10-2012, 01:06 PM
@ MJ1,

Posting random, meaningless pic's is called spamming. Please don't do it...


I realize it is your task to monitor us and I‘m sure you know this - but, unfortunately, your notice of MJ1 is really all he wants.

forager
03-18-2012, 05:24 PM
I think he meant me.
I just got a private msg accusing me of being a slobbering preteen. I wish...
I had a couple friends fathers who did the Bataan March.
Grew up surrounded by WW1 And WW2 vets. Began reading history long ago and continue.
I have been to Japan, but choose to live here in the USA.

muscogeemike
03-18-2012, 05:48 PM
Condider his insult a badge of honor - you have an objective and open mind.

tankgeezer
03-18-2012, 06:08 PM
PM's are open range for the most part, so if there is anything salty to be said, everyone should confine it to that venue please. blocking of members is allowed in your user cp's, a useful option. Should troubles persist, the thread will be locked for as long as needed.
I will remind everyone that there are rules here, and all are expected to abide by them, if not the rules of common courtesy. Serious violations of user rules,as well as spam, trolling, etc. may be instantly reported by clicking the triangular icon at the lower left of the offending post.
I hope this will be received in the spirit intended, so everybody can enjoy their time here. ( besides, Sister Knuckles has a whole box of rulers.;) )

MJ1
03-18-2012, 08:02 PM
PM'a are public because you need moral help? I did not start this. Have a nice day.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v130/montereyjack/2d846173.jpg

tankgeezer
03-18-2012, 09:42 PM
PM's are not "public" only those sending, and receiving can view them. You may be mistaking the visitor message for the PM. At any rate, as I said, if anyone, anytime, has a bone to pick about something,, pick it via PM, not on the boards. Mj, not sure of what you mean by your last post, nor do I care much who if anyone started anything. It all stops now. you all take some time to think about it. This thread is closed for 24 hrs.

leccy
03-20-2012, 03:44 AM
PM'a are public because you need moral help? I did not start this. Have a nice day.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v130/montereyjack/2d846173.jpg

Actually I will thank a teacher who may or may not have been a veteran, that part does not matter.

The requirement to humiliate and denigrate a beaten foe has gone back centuries and just leads to further resentment and problems later on. A few thoughtless actions can have far reaching consequences that are often overlooked as catalysts for future conflicts because one side, is so sure they are right and that they can never be wrong.

The ignorance and consideration of them to foreign local customs and traditions, the natives way of life are nothing to the belief that they are bringing a better way of life (they must be as its their way of life), even though it is backed by a show of force or force itself, is only overshadowed by their total disregard for any consequences that happen to them years down the line.

Rising Sun*
03-20-2012, 10:24 AM
I did not start this.

What, exactly, is 'this'? Who started it? How?




http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v130/montereyjack/2d846173.jpg

Your simplistic, uninformed, chauvanistic, breast beating American sloganeering is becoming tiresome, as is your childish preference for posting pointless pictures instead of engaging in rational, or even any, discussion.

So far as WWII goes:

1. The Soviets paid by far the greatest price in blood in fighting the Nazis and made a major contribution to the Pacific war by holding large numbers of Japanese troops against them in Manchuria, and at a critical point by their stunning advance around the time the atomic bombs were dropped which encouraged Japan to surrender to avoid being conquered by the Soviets. Without the Soviets, the Nazis would have triumphed in western to middle Europe and the Pacific war would have been a lot harder for the Allies. And the English speaking Allies might well have been forced to terms with the Axis.

2. If the British hadn't fought the Nazis for a couple of years before America overcame its isolationism and was forced into the war by Pearl Harbor and Hitler's idiotic declaration of war on America, Western Europe and much of eastern Europe, the Baltic states, parts of Scandanavia, the Balkans, North Africa, and who knows what else would have been held by the Nazis. And America could not and would not have dislodged them without the British and especially the Soviet efforts which actually occurred.

3. The Chinese are customarily overlooked for their contribution to victory over Japan, but without the, albeit somewhat disorganised and erratic and often corrupt, Chinese effort Japan would have been able to deploy considerably more forces in its Pacific thrust and defence.

4. Not the least of the consequences of the Soviets and Chinese holding Japanese forces in China was that Japanese intentions of invading Australia, in part to deny it to America as a base for what became MacArthur's thrust from Australia through Papua New Guinea to the Philippines, could not be carried out.

5. Nobody with any wide and serious understanding of WWII, which you seem to lack, would deny that America's involvement was the tipping point in favour of the Allies, primarily because of America's massive industrial capacity which apart from equipping its own forces also fed the British Commonwealth and the Soviets with materiel to enable them to fight the Nazis and Japanese.

6. Nor would anybody with any wide and serious understanding of WWII denigrate the sacrifice of American service people, but nor would anyone with that wide and serious understanding pursue your line of attributing the world's current freedom from fascism exclusively to America.

7. To the extent that the American flag and the simplistic slogan in your last post represents the freedom from fascism which veterans of WWII secured, you are perfectly correct. Except that, in simple numbers, the veterans who lived, and vastly more service people and even more civilians who died, in that pursuit were Soviets and Chinese.

8. So, as a man committed to honouring the service of veterans in defence of the freedom from WWII fascism which we now enjoy, why don't you put up WWII Soviet and Chinese flags with suitable slogans acknowledging the fact that their dead and veterans are the ones who, at least as much as any Americans who served, allow you to put up your chauvanistic little pictures expressing contempt for everyone who isn't one of the small proportion of ignorant Americans whose arrogant contempt for the rest of the world give the rest of your fine and intelligent countrymen a bad name?

Or would you rather just put up another pointless picture or a line of zzzzzzzzzzzzzz or some other equally infantile response which demonstrates you inability to participate meaningfully in a discussion of history?

muscogeemike
03-20-2012, 12:46 PM
We in the US, and I don’t especially like referring to us as just Americans - America includes all of N., Central, and S. America - are largely taught from birth that our country is the center of the known universe.

It is good for us to be proud of our country, but unfortunately most of our citizens know only what they are taught in our schools, and that is very limited.

Relatively few read or study anything objective about the rest of the world and its history. They certainly don’t try to connect the threads of how all actions of all countries influence all of us.

This limited view is seen across all generations but, I think, is especially prevalent in the “Greatest Generation” (those who experiences WWII) and the “baby boomers” (those born of the “Greatest Generation”). For the most part, I believe, their view of world history comes entirely from the media of the time - which was very narrow in its perspective.

Historians have long known that most veterans of WWII base their views almost entirely on the newspaper, radio and magazine headlines of the time. Of course these headlines were subject to censorship and are, at best, misleading and rarely give the large picture.

This even applies to veterans of later conflicts - visit any VFW or American Legion and listen to the “war stories” told. If you know history you know that a lot of what they say is BS. They believe their stories, they have told them for so long and so many times, they are now truth to them. But this has always been the case and since they are veterans they are rarely questioned. I cannot count the letters I have written to newspaper reporters who write articles using these veterans as sources and never check to verify their stories.

A good example of this is several threads on various sites about the first Sergeant Major of the US Army (SMA), William O. Wooldrige, who died and was honored last week. This man was the subject of a Senate investigation and, with several others (including one Brig. Gen), was central in a ring of corruption going back, possibly, to WWII and certainly during VN. By his own testimony he was involved in this and made a great deal of money. Most authorities believe he was allowed to retire “for the good of the service” and keep his benefits and thereby did not implicated other more higher ranking soldiers.

This is in line with a report of an Army CID investigation which revealed that in 1943 Wooldrige was convicted by Courts Martial of theft and had at least twice gone AWOL. All this was not in the records that were presented to the board which recommended him for SMA. The General who was largely responsible for this omission was even named.
Yet still soldiers from this era hold him up as an example for the US Army’s NCO Corps. Because of his war record (he was part of the Normandy landings and fought across Europe) they refuse to hear the truth - because if he was not the hero they were led to believe he was then what other memories they have might be false?

This historical ignorance is also seen in the last few generations, who are taught practically nothing of world history. Text books are closely monitored by people representing various ethnic, political, cultural and religious groups - anything they don’t agree with doesn’t get in the books. Then, truthfully, there is a lot of history, all of it can’t be taught in the time allotted.

Even in college history is not stressed and is often structured to support the professors views. The books the students use are dictated by the professor and are sure to support him; and students are not encouraged to read further.

All of this applies, I think, to every country in the world. Each country elevates their own place in history.

So our arrogance is of our own making and will not change until all people become more historically educated and I don’t ever see that happening. People absolutely believe what they want and no amount of facts are going to change their minds, like I said - if this thing is wrong then what else is wrong?

I was told a long time ago that if you always consider that at least 60% of all people are stupid, and 90% of the rest are apathetic, everything will make more sense.

“History is, by and large, a record of what people did, not of what they failed to do.” Edward Carr

Rising Sun*
03-21-2012, 10:01 AM
We in the US, and I don’t especially like referring to us as just Americans - America includes all of N., Central, and S. America - are largely taught from birth that our country is the center of the known universe.

I don’t have any experience of the US education system but if that is the way it works it doesn’t, as we say down here, make the US Robinson Crusoe (in case you don’t use this phrase, translation = alone).


It is good for us to be proud of our country, but unfortunately most of our citizens know only what they are taught in our schools, and that is very limited.

There are examples outside the USA which don’t reflect well on the education systems of other countries, from the sanitised and distorted view of China and WWII presented in Japan to the even more bizarre and further removed from fact period around the 1980s down here where some secondary school textbooks and teaching programs referred to our soldiers as, and I kid you not, ‘harm workers’.


Relatively few read or study anything objective about the rest of the world and its history. They certainly don’t try to connect the threads of how all actions of all countries influence all of us.

This limited view is seen across all generations but, I think, is especially prevalent in the “Greatest Generation” (those who experiences WWII) and the “baby boomers” (those born of the “Greatest Generation”). For the most part, I believe, their view of world history comes entirely from the media of the time - which was very narrow in its perspective.

Historians have long known that most veterans of WWII base their views almost entirely on the newspaper, radio and magazine headlines of the time. Of course these headlines were subject to censorship and are, at best, misleading and rarely give the large picture.

This even applies to veterans of later conflicts - visit any VFW or American Legion and listen to the “war stories” told. If you know history you know that a lot of what they say is BS. They believe their stories, they have told them for so long and so many times, they are now truth to them. But this has always been the case and since they are veterans they are rarely questioned. I cannot count the letters I have written to newspaper reporters who write articles using these veterans as sources and never check to verify their stories.

I think it’s the same everywhere.

Down here what I flippantly refer to as ‘the fascist press’, being the Murdoch / News Limited newspapers and their ilk can always be relied upon to present a local line not all that far removed from the simplistic chauvinism I challenged in MJ1’s posts.

The articles in those papers often provide the talking points for talkback radio and the the shockjocks who passionately express opinions about matters upon which they are hopelessly ill-or-un-informed to encourage even more passionate and uninformed responses from their ignorant audience.

A recent example which annoyed me is the spectacularly uninformed commentary inspired by the recent anniversary of the main Darwin bombing in February 1942, which was repeatedly and, I thought conceitedly and disrespectfully, referred to as ‘Australia’s Pearl Harbor’ which was not a term I recall hearing before. Maybe I missed something that the fascist and even non-fascist press and shock jocks got onto, but although the same Japanese carrier forces and planes were involved as in Hawaii I don’t think that about 250 deaths and the loss of some minor ships and damage to a pretty primitive frontier township to reinforce the invasion of Timor rank in any way with the damage inflicted on Pearl Harbor in reinforcing the Japanese assaults on Singapore, the Philippines, and the Netherlands East Indies and, more importantly, the significance of Pearl Harbor in bringing the US into the war and what happened to Japan from then on. Or maybe I missed the bits where Australia designed and built Superfortresses; captured Tinian etc; Curtis Le May was actually an Australian commander using Australian planes to subjugate Japan; and Australia built the atom bomb.

I am not denigrating my own country by these comments, but I do denigrate the idiots who lack the knowledge to put the bombing of Darwin into its proper perspective in the whole scheme of WWII, which is that it was very, very small beer compared to what happened elsewhere. Although considerably more than happened to the US mainland from Japanese assaults, even including jetstream balloons setting fire to the odd tree in Oregon.


A good example of this is several threads on various sites about the first Sergeant Major of the US Army (SMA), William O. Wooldrige, who died and was honored last week. This man was the subject of a Senate investigation and, with several others (including one Brig. Gen), was central in a ring of corruption going back, possibly, to WWII and certainly during VN. By his own testimony he was involved in this and made a great deal of money. Most authorities believe he was allowed to retire “for the good of the service” and keep his benefits and thereby did not implicated other more higher ranking soldiers.

This is in line with a report of an Army CID investigation which revealed that in 1943 Wooldrige was convicted by Courts Martial of theft and had at least twice gone AWOL. All this was not in the records that were presented to the board which recommended him for SMA. The General who was largely responsible for this omission was even named.

Yet still soldiers from this era hold him up as an example for the US Army’s NCO Corps. Because of his war record (he was part of the Normandy landings and fought across Europe) they refuse to hear the truth - because if he was not the hero they were led to believe he was then what other memories they have might be false?

Interesting.

Not something I knew about but I’ll be interested to follow it up.

It opens up a much bigger topic about financial corruption in war, whether from simple looting of the enemy forces or civilians on any ground over which armies move, to more sophisticated manipulation of finances or diversion of money from its intended sources. Then there are the black market opportunities of occupation forces in Germany or Japan, or the forces in Korea and Vietnam which although not occupation forces were still relatively well supplied with tradeable goods. I doubt that the average grunts got much opportunity for such things unless they stumbled on a cache of hidden Nazi gold in a remote salt mine, but quartermasters, paymasters and their ilk were well placed to profit from the black market. As were pilots and aircrew, and perhaps to a lesser extent ships’ captains and their crews, who could move assets and money.

I have heard anecdotes, invariably unable to be verified, of thefts and frauds by US officers or NCOs in WWII and Vietnam which set them up handsomely in civilian life, but I wonder if they’re just myths or at best based on a handful of real cases.


This historical ignorance is also seen in the last few generations, who are taught practically nothing of world history. Text books are closely monitored by people representing various ethnic, political, cultural and religious groups - anything they don’t agree with doesn’t get in the books. Then, truthfully, there is a lot of history, all of it can’t be taught in the time allotted.

I don’t think there is any subject here which looks at world history, nor is it probably one which could be taught in the modern education system run by managers who are to education what accountants are to car production.

The absence of such a useful but vague subject is probably not a consequence of anything much more than the malign influence of the educational bureaucracy (i.e. intelligent but uninspired people called managers who aren’t and probably couldn’t be teachers yet who determine what teachers should teach so that it can be measured by people who aren’t teachers to see whether or not the bureaucrats get their bonuses for statistically improving teaching to decide which schools get money for improving on the tests – which some teachers manipulate by ensuring that dumb kids don’t do the tests, which suggests that some teachers should become managers) .


All of this applies, I think, to every country in the world. Each country elevates their own place in history.

Definitely.

It would be unrealistic to expect anything else.


So our arrogance is of our own making and will not change until all people become more historically educated and I don’t ever see that happening

I’d suggest that the arrogance the US has displayed in various events over the past century and a half, and Britain for much of the same period and much earlier (including colonising eastern parts of what is now the USA) and the colonial expansion of other European countries during the same or earlier periods, was not a consequence of the lack of historical education of the masses but of the acquisition of the power by the elites to make their conquests possible.

Unless, as is entirely possible, China stuffs it up by another event like the Cultural Revolution, China will in the not too distant future be the nation expressing arrogance acquired through superior power.

When we look at the history of the world and the way China was exploited and mistreated in the past couple of centuries by the West, notably but far from exclusively the British, we had better hope that the sort of nationalistic triumphalism and contempt for other nations expressed by MJ1 is not emulated by China. But, given the way the West has treated China in the past and the way China looks likely to dominate the future, if I was running China I’d be looking to give MJ1 some respect for the Chinese flag.

Laconia
04-03-2012, 09:45 PM
An unnecessary insult? I don't think it was an insult at all. The real insult was being defeated by the fat and lazy Americans that the Japanese didn't think would have the will to fight. The real insult was the plethora of American warships that were that very day sitting in Tokyo Bay flying their victory pennants. The real insult was the technical expertise that exploded not one, but two nuclear bombs over two Japanese cities. A littlg flag flown by Admiral Perry many years earlier now an insult? Spare me.

leccy
04-04-2012, 05:14 AM
Laconia

If Perrys flag was not there to rub salt in the wounds and show that the US has been pulling the strings for Japan since the US forced open trade then why was it there.

What purpose did having a flag nearly 100 years old serve other than to remind the Japanese that the US forced them to enter the outside world instead of keep to their isolationism. It was not of the current style lacking some important stars so just what was it there for?

You add another real insult in your post by not mentioning any other nation than the US that contributed to the defeat of the Japanese. Typical of many international (but English language based) forums where US citizens forget that they are not the only people in the world.

Rising Sun*
04-04-2012, 08:07 AM
An unnecessary insult? I don't think it was an insult at all.

As you don't think it was an insult, could you explain why it was there? Especially when it had nothing to do with the hostilities concluded at that point?



The real insult was being defeated by the fat and lazy Americans that the Japanese didn't think would have the will to fight.

You seem to be confusing modern fat Americans with the lean men who fought WWII, in all nations.

As for not having the will to fight, could you point to contemporary Japanese documents which express that view as a war strategy as distinct from, say, 1) Yamamoto's and others' recognition of the superior industrial and military capacity of the US which would defeat Japan in a long war and 2) Japan's 'strategy' of taking ground and hoping that the Allies would allow Japan to hold it?


The real insult was the plethora of American warships that were that very day sitting in Tokyo Bay flying their victory pennants.

I was under the misapprehension that these ships were there to recognise the surrender, not to deliver an insult. Could you point to contemporary American documents which demonstrate that the purpose of those ships was to insult Japan?


The real insult was the technical expertise that exploded not one, but two nuclear bombs over two Japanese cities.

That expertise was not by any means exclusively American, nor were the bombs developed to insult Japan but to conquer Germany. However, if I have misunderstood the history on that, I welcome your detailed correction.


A littlg flag flown by Admiral Perry many years earlier now an insult? Spare me.

So, why was this precious relic dragged half way around the world and displayed so that the surrendering Japanese faced it? Was it a celebration of Japan's independence in the face of Perry's American gunboat diplomacy to drag Japan into trade with America for America's benefit? Spare me!

Cojimar 1945
04-05-2012, 04:47 PM
The Japanese atrocities in China certainly seem reprehensible. However, European nations were doing rather nasty things to the Chinese from the 1800s onwards. Why should European nations be given a pass on their behavior towards the Chinese? I don't see how one can be objective and decry Japanese treatment of the Chinese while ignoring the activities of other western nations.

Laconia
04-06-2012, 02:16 PM
Laconia

If Perrys flag was not there to rub salt in the wounds and show that the US has been pulling the strings for Japan since the US forced open trade then why was it there.

What purpose did having a flag nearly 100 years old serve other than to remind the Japanese that the US forced them to enter the outside world instead of keep to their isolationism. It was not of the current style lacking some important stars so just what was it there for?

You add another real insult in your post by not mentioning any other nation than the US that contributed to the defeat of the Japanese. Typical of many international (but English language based) forums where US citizens forget that they are not the only people in the world.


If you consider Perry's flag a big insult fine. I just think in the whole scheme of things one such flag flying was no big deal. Of course the U.S. was an imperialist power in the Pacific, that cannot be denied.

As for your second statement, while others were "in the fight" and we were grateful that they were, by and large it was an American show. Of all the naval ships in the Pacific zone of battle, how many were U.S. warships and how many were Allied? I'd bet that 90 to 95 percent were American. And I'd bet that the greatest amount of other weapons of war (material and soldies/sailors) were either American or American produced. I'm not trying to arrogant here, just trying to be factual.

Laconia
04-06-2012, 03:05 PM
As you don't think it was an insult, could you explain why it was there? Especially when it had nothing to do with the hostilities concluded at that point?




You seem to be confusing modern fat Americans with the lean men who fought WWII, in all nations.

As for not having the will to fight, could you point to contemporary Japanese documents which express that view as a war strategy as distinct from, say, 1) Yamamoto's and others' recognition of the superior industrial and military capacity of the US which would defeat Japan in a long war and 2) Japan's 'strategy' of taking ground and hoping that the Allies would allow Japan to hold it?



I was under the misapprehension that these ships were there to recognise the surrender, not to deliver an insult. Could you point to contemporary American documents which demonstrate that the purpose of those ships was to insult Japan?



That expertise was not by any means exclusively American, nor were the bombs developed to insult Japan but to conquer Germany. However, if I have misunderstood the history on that, I welcome your detailed correction.



So, why was this precious relic dragged half way around the world and displayed so that the surrendering Japanese faced it? Was it a celebration of Japan's independence in the face of Perry's American gunboat diplomacy to drag Japan into trade with America for America's benefit? Spare me!


Ok, I've thought about this a little more and I've had a change of thinking. You said it was an "unneccessary" insult. Let's agree it was an insult, I say so what? and Why not? After all the horrendous things the Japanese forces did to Allied soldiers and the people of the lands they conquered, they had it coming. So we flew a flag, big deal? Of all the things we as victors we could have done to the Emporer or the Japanese people at large, sticking Perry's flag in their faces was quite tame. Besides, I bet that the Japanese didn't even know it was there, and if that was true, it wouldn't have been an insult at all.

And by the way, this was your original quote:

"The formal surrender of the Japanese Imperial Government, the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, and all Japanese and Japanese-controlled armed forces wherever located, was signed aboard the battleship USS Missouri (BB-63) at 0908 on 2 September 1945. Looking down upon the ceremony, to present a reminder of an earlier occasion on which Japanese truculence had been humbled by American sea power was the American Flag which had flown over Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry's flagship USS Mississippi (Sidewheel Steamer) when he steamed into the Bay of Yedo (Tokyo Bay, as it was known after 1868) in 1853."

I read a "reminder of an earlier occasion". Where are your contemporay documents that specifically state that this act was a deliberate "insult". Something from General McArthur perhaps? Admiral Nimitz? Halsey? Or are you just extrapolating?

I believe the Japanese as a whole looked upon the democracies as weak and ineffectual. Diplomacy was the order of the day for us, we never lifted up one hand against them for their invasion of China. They knew our military was in a weakened state and it was only when the American oil embargo was finally enacted that they were starting to see we meant to do something different. Those officers who had been to America knew our potential, but their leadership still thought that no one could match the "Bushido" fighting ethic.

As for the ships, yes they were there to ensure the surrender, but I maintain that they and the atomioc bombs were the ultimate insult. The great Japanese military forces had been utterly defeated and here we were on their doorstep.

As for the atomic bombs, they were developed primarily for Germany, but with them deafeated and the prospect of a full scale invasion of Japan entailing enormous casualties the atom bombs were the perfect weapon against an island nation whose soldiers fought to the death. Insults were not intended by them or our ships, but rather the end result, if we are talking about what is or is not an insult. Think of it, a people who go to war as only a last resort defeats a warrior nation? I think that was quite the insult in itself.

pdf27
04-06-2012, 03:24 PM
Of all the naval ships in the Pacific zone of battle, how many were U.S. warships and how many were Allied? I'd bet that 90 to 95 percent were American. And I'd bet that the greatest amount of other weapons of war (material and soldies/sailors) were either American or American produced. I'm not trying to arrogant here, just trying to be factual.
So far as the seabourne forces go, that's pretty accurate. Blame for that is somewhat divided though - the British didn't really have suitable forces available until early 1945, while the US side did their best to keep the British out. King had to be directly overruled by Roosevelt , and in his memoirs Halsey wrote "it was imperative that we forestall a possible postwar claim by Britain that she had delivered even a part of the final blow that demolished the Japanese fleet.... an exclusively American attack was therefore in American interests.". Even at that the BPF was planned to be something like 25% of Allied airpower for Downfall.

I'm having trouble working out what the US ground strength was in the Pacific - looks to me to be of the order 200,000-400,000, but I don't have any decent books so can't tie it down better than that. I will say that those numbers look pretty small to me so I'm probably missing something major.
The British/Commonwealth/Empire 14th Army in Burma hit almost a million men by 1944. Chinese Nationalist forces peaked at about 6 million.
The difference being that China and Burma were major land areas where massive force could be brought to bear on major Japanese armies. The US island-hopping campaign by it's very nature never had that opportunity until it got to Japan proper - and so massive land forces appear never to have been employed.

Laconia
04-06-2012, 03:30 PM
So far as the seabourne forces go, that's pretty accurate. Blame for that is somewhat divided though - the British didn't really have suitable forces available until early 1945, while the US side did their best to keep the British out. King had to be directly overruled by Roosevelt , and in his memoirs Halsey wrote "it was imperative that we forestall a possible postwar claim by Britain that she had delivered even a part of the final blow that demolished the Japanese fleet.... an exclusively American attack was therefore in American interests.". Even at that the BPF was planned to be something like 25% of Allied airpower for Downfall.

I'm having trouble working out what the US ground strength was in the Pacific - looks to me to be of the order 200,000-400,000, but I don't have any decent books so can't tie it down better than that. I will say that those numbers look pretty small to me so I'm probably missing something major.
The British/Commonwealth/Empire 14th Army in Burma hit almost a million men by 1944. Chinese Nationalist forces peaked at about 6 million.
The difference being that China and Burma were major land areas where massive force could be brought to bear on major Japanese armies. The US island-hopping campaign by it's very nature never had that opportunity until it got to Japan proper - and so massive land forces appear never to have been employed.

You make a good point on the land forces numbers. Yes, if I recall Commonwealth forces were large, probably more so than the Americans. Would like to see the actual figures as to the numbers.

pdf27
04-07-2012, 02:46 AM
To an extent it's missing the point anyway - the war was fought by an alliance, and the Commonwealth/Empire could divert forces to the Far East because the US had shifted a lot to Europe. The Indian Army could get to Burma more easily than Europe, while the US could get to Europe more easily than it could to those areas of the Far East where there were major Japanese forces.

Rising Sun*
04-07-2012, 10:30 AM
Ok, I've thought about this a little more and I've had a change of thinking. You said it was an "unneccessary" insult. Let's agree it was an insult,

Agreed.



I say so what? and Why not? After all the horrendous things the Japanese forces did to Allied soldiers and the people of the lands they conquered, they had it coming. So we flew a flag, big deal?

The significance is not in displaying (it wasn't flown) Perry's flag but that the flag represented a previous armed assault on Japan which was not justified by anything Japan did. Perry's assault was motivated purely by America’s desire to force Japan to open itself to trade with America. Not that America was alone among Western powers in that pursuit at the time, but it was the only one which achieved it and purely by force of arms, albeit without bloodshed.

Given Perry's example of bullying American military power exercised against a weaker nation for its own benefit, what was wrong with Japan exercising its power against weaker nations from Korea to China and then its expansion in what became the Pacific War?

There is a great and sad irony, obviously lost on those responsible for it, in displaying Perry’s flag to humiliate the Japanese at the end of their unsuccessful expansionist war when it represented exactly the same sort of conduct by America which brought Japan into the international arena and led directly to the Pacific War.


Of all the things we as victors we could have done to the Emporer or the Japanese people at large, sticking Perry's flag in their faces was quite tame.

I don’t see it that way when one considers that Perry’s flag represented an earlier American assault upon and subjugation of Japan, but one which was without the moral and legal justification which attended the surrender of Japan in 1945. Displaying the flag to insult the Japanese in 1945 strikes me as ill-informed and misplaced triumphalism, designed to humiliate Japan to no good purpose with the risk of becoming an unnecessary focus for resentment towards the victor.

As for what ‘we as victors’ could have done to the Emperor:

1. Assuming that ‘we as victors’ refers to Americans, other forces fought and suffered losses in that war, notably the usually forgotten Chinese.
2. The Americans, as distinct from the other forces who also fought the Japanese, chose not to try the Emperor as a war criminal but instead airbrushed history and presented him as the pawn of the militarists when he was fully involved in all aspects leading up to and during the war.
3. Sticking Perry’s flag in Japanese faces was indeed quite tame compared with America’s disgraceful actions in not prosecuting the Emperor; not prosecuting the vile ****s who ran Harbin but instead protecting and using them for their knowledge of bacteriological warfare etc; and, with a degree of British support, abandoning prosecution of Japanese war criminals towards the end of the 1940s when American and British interests dictated that the stout anti-communists in the militarist ranks of defeated Japan were exactly the sort of Allies they wanted to confront the communists in China and the USSR; and generally in allowing the same bastards who ran Japan before the surrender to run it afterwards and pretty much avoid the war guilt and related consequences forced upon the Germans whose conduct overall was about on the same bestial level.


Besides, I bet that the Japanese didn't even know it was there, and if that was true, it wouldn't have been an insult at all.

See #19.


And by the way, this was your original quote:

"The formal surrender of the Japanese Imperial Government, the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, and all Japanese and Japanese-controlled armed forces wherever located, was signed aboard the battleship USS Missouri (BB-63) at 0908 on 2 September 1945. Looking down upon the ceremony, to present a reminder of an earlier occasion on which Japanese truculence had been humbled by American sea power was the American Flag which had flown over Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry's flagship USS Mississippi (Sidewheel Steamer) when he steamed into the Bay of Yedo (Tokyo Bay, as it was known after 1868) in 1853."

I read a "reminder of an earlier occasion". Where are your contemporay documents that specifically state that this act was a deliberate "insult". Something from General McArthur perhaps? Admiral Nimitz? Halsey? Or are you just extrapolating?

See #19


I believe the Japanese as a whole looked upon the democracies as weak and ineffectual. Diplomacy was the order of the day for us, we never lifted up one hand against them for their invasion of China. They knew our military was in a weakened state and it was only when the American oil embargo was finally enacted that they were starting to see we meant to do something different. Those officers who had been to America knew our potential, but their leadership still thought that no one could match the "Bushido" fighting ethic.

As for the ships, yes they were there to ensure the surrender, but I maintain that they and the atomioc bombs were the ultimate insult. The great Japanese military forces had been utterly defeated and here we were on their doorstep.

As for the atomic bombs, they were developed primarily for Germany, but with them deafeated and the prospect of a full scale invasion of Japan entailing enormous casualties the atom bombs were the perfect weapon against an island nation whose soldiers fought to the death. Insults were not intended by them or our ships, but rather the end result, if we are talking about what is or is not an insult. Think of it, a people who go to war as only a last resort defeats a warrior nation? I think that was quite the insult in itself.

I think we may be at cross purposes in our use of the term ‘insult’.

You seem to me to be using it similarly to the medical use when an injury or infection etc is referred to as an ‘insult’ to the organ or body, but the events you refer to as other insults are to me just part of the necessary course of the war.

I am using ‘insult’, so far as Perry’s flag is concerned, in the sense of an act calculated to offend and or humiliate the target of the act, being Japan. I see everything else up to that point as just a necessary part of defeating Japan.

But the presence of Perry’s flag was an unnecessary part of the surrender ceremony and served no good purpose.

Rising Sun*
04-07-2012, 10:44 AM
As for your second statement, while others were "in the fight" and we were grateful that they were, by and large it was an American show. Of all the naval ships in the Pacific zone of battle, how many were U.S. warships and how many were Allied? I'd bet that 90 to 95 percent were American. And I'd bet that the greatest amount of other weapons of war (material and soldies/sailors) were either American or American produced. I'm not trying to arrogant here, just trying to be factual.

It depends upon the part of the war you're talking about, and whether you want to focus on fighting surface ships or the whole picture.

The American naval forces were the major part of the pivotal Battle of the Coral Sea; Guadalcanal; and all of Midway. And of the American advances in 1944-45.

However, what seems generally to be unknown or ignored is the contribution made by the Dutch with the naval and merchant forces they withdrew to Australia. I and others have posted on it in a thread or three in this forum, but without the Dutch merchant ships supplying the troops the initially primarily Australian but increasingly American effort in Papua New Guinea 1943-44 which paved the way for MacArthur's advance could not have occurred. The Dutch also took surface ships and submarines which they based in Australia and were used against the Japanese. I can't find the relevant threads at the moment.

Rising Sun*
04-07-2012, 11:05 AM
You make a good point on the land forces numbers. Yes, if I recall Commonwealth forces were large, probably more so than the Americans. Would like to see the actual figures as to the numbers.

I don't know the numbers and it would depend upon which part of the war against Japan one was looking at.

I can't comment on the BCI theatre as I lack knowledge.

The Americans were alone in the central Pacific thrusts westwards in 1944 onwards, but not in previous years further south.

The numbers in the Pacific are less important than the strategic impact they had.

On a short term basis the most important Allied land troops against the Japanese were the Americans on Guadalcanal and the Australians in Papua in the second half of 1942 as they stemmed the Japanese advance.

On a longer term basis the Australian and American troops in New Guinea 1943-44 were the most important land troops, as distinct from US Marines and Army in amphibious assaults elsewhere, as they laid the basis for MacArthur's advance from 1944 and tied down a very large number of Japanese troops; diverted Japanese resources in attempts to supply them; and precluded them from being used to defend islands attacked by the Americans in their central Pacific thrusts.


In a way, for three years the Pacific war really took place in New Guinea. It was an important side theatre that for the length of the war conveniently pinned down 350,000 elite Japanese troops as MacArthur island-hopped his way to Tokyo.

In New Guinea, Japan lost 220,000 troops. In a land that was never imagined to become a battlefield, not by late-Tokugawa southward advance protagonists who envisaged the Philippines as a possible war theatre, not by Meiji intellectuals who saw the prize in Malaya and in Indonesia, not even by the General Staff at the outbreak of war.

It is an irony of Pacific war history that several other islands come to mind immediately when we speak of action in the Pacific, but not New Guinea. The many battles there are little known, except to specialists who study that place and period and to people in Australia, although the war on that island was the most drawn out and frustrating of battles in the Pacific war. http://ajrp.awm.gov.au/ajrp/remember.nsf/pages/NT0000179E

Laconia
04-07-2012, 11:35 PM
Actually I will thank a teacher who may or may not have been a veteran, that part does not matter.

The requirement to humiliate and denigrate a beaten foe has gone back centuries and just leads to further resentment and problems later on. A few thoughtless actions can have far reaching consequences that are often overlooked as catalysts for future conflicts because one side, is so sure they are right and that they can never be wrong.

The ignorance and consideration of them to foreign local customs and traditions, the natives way of life are nothing to the belief that they are bringing a better way of life (they must be as its their way of life), even though it is backed by a show of force or force itself, is only overshadowed by their total disregard for any consequences that happen to them years down the line.

Well, in this case that never happened. Japan has become America's most steadfast ally in the Pacific, even relying on us to provide the bulk of their defense. They have redily taken to many things "American". We couldn't have been nicer to a defeated foe.

Rising Sun*
04-08-2012, 10:26 AM
Well, in this case that never happened. Japan has become America's most steadfast ally in the Pacific, even relying on us to provide the bulk of their defense. They have redily taken to many things "American". We couldn't have been nicer to a defeated foe.

If you look at the history you'll find that Japan didn't become 'America's most steadfast ally in the Pacific' but that America protected and exploited the conservative elements in Japan, being largely the same militaristic and anti-communist elements which took Japan to war against America, to bolster America's western front against Soviet and Chinese communism.

You might like to look at what Japan has in its Self Defence force before claiming that Japan relies upon America to provide the bulk of Japan's defence.

You're certainly correct that America 'couldn't have been nicer to a defeated foe'. If America had treated Japan as it treated Germany we wouldn't have the remnants of the same elements and attitudes which led to the Pacific War and which still allow significant elements in Japanese government and education, among others, to deny Japan's war guilt, whereas these things are often crimes in modern Germany. Indeed, if America had maintained the contempt for Japan as exemplified by showing Perry's flag at the surrender, Japan would have been left in ashes.

As for Japan being 'America's most steadfast ally in the Pacific', could you point to the Japanese contributions to, for example, military forces and casualties in the Korean and Vietnam wars compared with, for example, those of other Pacific nations such as Australia and New Zealand? And the same for Gulf Wars 1 and 2, Afghanistan and Iraq? Events like this don't suggest that the Japanese are delighted to have American forces on their soil: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTHUlxDyS9s&feature=related

Rising Sun*
04-08-2012, 11:01 AM
They have redily taken to many things "American".

Such as baseball?

How does that compare with the continuing belief in the Emperor as a god, despite Hirohito's apparent renunciation of his divine status after the war? Which those disposed to continue their belief in the imperial divinity dismiss, as a god cannot declare himself not to be a god under duress from a victor. Even Nixon at his worst didn't believe he was a god. So how have those Japanese who believe in imperial divinity taken to things American?

Anyway, why is it necessarily a good thing to take to many things American?

Is American 'democracy' as practised by electing the candidate with the biggest bankroll and the most populist policies to the Presidency necessarily any better than the corruption inherent in post-war Japanese selection of their leaders?

Why should Japan adopt anything from America? Japan was a fully functioning society long before a few refugees from Europe colonised America a few hundred years ago.

Is there some international covenant that says that all nations must follow the American, or European, model in everything?

Given the butchery engaged in by America (Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War 1 etc) and Europe (endless, and as recently as a couple of decades ago in the Balkans along the lines of the worst things the Nazis and Japanese did), and the colonialisation of various lands by them, wasn't Japan's Pacific War no more than an emulation of the aggressive conquests of other peoples' and lands by the Americans and Europeans in China and elsewhere?

If so, that suggests that the Japanese had readily taken to American ideas to start the war.

Laconia
04-08-2012, 11:52 AM
Such as baseball?

How does that compare with the continuing belief in the Emperor as a god, despite Hirohito's apparent renunciation of his divine status after the war? Which those disposed to continue their belief in the imperial divinity dismiss, as a god cannot declare himself not to be a god under duress from a victor. Even Nixon at his worst didn't believe he was a god. So how have those Japanese who believe in imperial divinity taken to things American?

Anyway, why is it necessarily a good thing to take to many things American?

Is American 'democracy' as practised by electing the candidate with the biggest bankroll and the most populist policies to the Presidency necessarily any better than the corruption inherent in post-war Japanese selection of their leaders?

Why should Japan adopt anything from America? Japan was a fully functioning society long before a few refugees from Europe colonised America a few hundred years ago.

Is there some international covenant that says that all nations must follow the American, or European, model in everything?

Given the butchery engaged in by America (Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War 1 etc) and Europe (endless, and as recently as a couple of decades ago in the Balkans along the lines of the worst things the Nazis and Japanese did), and the colonialisation of various lands by them, wasn't Japan's Pacific War no more than an emulation of the aggressive conquests of other peoples' and lands by the Americans and Europeans in China and elsewhere?

If so, that suggests that the Japanese had readily taken to American ideas to start the war.

I never said it was "necessarily a good thing" to take anything American. The relationship between the Japanese and Americans is what it is. I've been to Tokyo and seen the kids all dressed up like 1950's rockabilly. McDonalds or KFC anyone?

We Americans are just like any other humans here on earth. The pursuit of international power to enrich American business interests is part and parcel of that power. It seems you read into what you want to read of the things I say, or in this case the flying of Perry's flag as an insult to the Japanese butchers of WW2. Oh, those poor Japanese, they were so insulted! I didn't realize what we had done and have been crying rivers of tears since you started this thread.

Why are you so antagonistic towards us Americans? Are you of Japanese descent with an ax to grind? Or if you are Austrailian of European descent you would have been singing quite a different tune if Austrailia had been included under the "Greater East Asia Co-prosperity" sphere.

Rising Sun*
04-09-2012, 09:39 AM
I never said it was "necessarily a good thing" to take anything American. The relationship between the Japanese and Americans is what it is. I've been to Tokyo and seen the kids all dressed up like 1950's rockabilly. McDonalds or KFC anyone?

So Japan is just an extension of 1950s America focused on modern American fast food?

I hadn't realised it was that simple.

I thought Japan was a somewhat more complex society with rather different traditions and values descended from the original god emperor of the Yamato people as modified by the changes following Perry's forced involvement of Japan with America and the West.



It seems you read into what you want to read of the things I say

Sorry.

I thought I was responding to what you said and, as it appeared to me, said very clearly.


or in this case the flying of Perry's flag as an insult to the Japanese butchers of WW2. Oh, those poor Japanese, they were so insulted! I didn't realize what we had done and have been crying rivers of tears since you started this thread.

My apolgies for upsetting you to the point of tears.

I was looking at it from the standpoint of diplomacy and international relations on the grand scale which was the background to the Japanese surrender and future relations with America and the West.

You appear to be looking at from the standpoint of insulting the Japanese butchers.

So why don't you get upset about the primarily American failure to prosecute the little bastard who presided over the whole lot of butchery, being Hirohito, and the American protection given to the butchers of Harbin and so on?


Why are you so antagonistic towards us Americans?

I'll leave that to others with a long knowledge of my posts on this forum to judge.

But it seems to me that you perceive any criticism of American conduct as anti-Americanism.

I don't.



Or if you are Austrailian of European descent you would have been singing quite a different tune if Austrailia had been included under the "Greater East Asia Co-prosperity" sphere.

It was.

It's just that Japan failed to complete that part of its program. A lot of our men and women died preventing it at a time when America was never at risk of being part of the Greater East Co-Prosperity Sphere nor, unlike us, of invasion.


Now that you've had your little dummy spit of irrelevant sarcasm and condescension, would you like to address the original topic in a rational and historically informed fashion? Or, as appears from your posts, are you incapable of doing so because you lack any deep, or any, knowledge of the relevant history and base your opinions on the novel notion of the Japanese as WWII butchers who magically converted themselves into 1950s rockabillys and consumers of KFC and Maccas which made them America's most steadfast ally in the Pacific, which explains everything about Japan from the surrender onwards?

Laconia
04-09-2012, 02:37 PM
So Japan is just an extension of 1950s America focused on modern American fast food?

I hadn't realised it was that simple.

I thought Japan was a somewhat more complex society with rather different traditions and values descended from the original god emperor of the Yamato people as modified by the changes following Perry's forced involvement of Japan with America and the West.




Sorry.

I thought I was responding to what you said and, as it appeared to me, said very clearly.



My apolgies for upsetting you to the point of tears.

I was looking at it from the standpoint of diplomacy and international relations on the grand scale which was the background to the Japanese surrender and future relations with America and the West.

You appear to be looking at from the standpoint of insulting the Japanese butchers.

So why don't you get upset about the primarily American failure to prosecute the little bastard who presided over the whole lot of butchery, being Hirohito, and the American protection given to the butchers of Harbin and so on?



I'll leave that to others with a long knowledge of my posts on this forum to judge.

But it seems to me that you perceive any criticism of American conduct as anti-Americanism.

I don't.




It was.

It's just that Japan failed to complete that part of its program. A lot of our men and women died preventing it at a time when America was never at risk of being part of the Greater East Co-Prosperity Sphere nor, unlike us, of invasion.


Now that you've had your little dummy spit of irrelevant sarcasm and condescension, would you like to address the original topic in a rational and historically informed fashion? Or, as appears from your posts, are you incapable of doing so because you lack any deep, or any, knowledge of the relevant history and base your opinions on the novel notion of the Japanese as WWII butchers who magically converted themselves into 1950s rockabillys and consumers of KFC and Maccas which made them America's most steadfast ally in the Pacific, which explains everything about Japan from the surrender onwards?

That was good, especially your last paragraph. My hat is off to you for that one. (No sarcasm this time).

You said: "I was looking at it from the standpoint of diplomacy and international relations on the grand scale which was the background to the Japanese surrender and future relations with America and the West." And then said: "So why don't you get upset about the primarily American failure to prosecute the little bastard who presided over the whole lot of butchery, being Hirohito, and the American protection given to the butchers of Harbin and so on?"

"Little bastard"? "Butchery"? "American protection"? Now now my friend, you seem to be a bit upset at how Hirohito was dealt with, but was concerned about future relations between the US/West and Japan because of the flag. So which is it? Now, I already know your viewpoint on the flag, but should Hirohito have been dealt with severely as you seem to suggest, (thereby raising the potential to cause problems between us and Japan in the future) or not? If you were so concerned about "future" relations than perhaps the policy towards Hirohito was the correct one, as you maintain the policy concerning the flag was not.

I never liked the accomadation that was made as regards the Emporer. He was the supreme leader and nothing was done by the militarists without his ok. A quick trial and execution would have been my recommendation, but Truman with Mcarthur's advice thought differently. So, I concur with having Perry's flag flown AND would have supported a quick trial and execution of the Emperor. All future relations would have been worked out somehow.

royal744
04-16-2012, 11:46 PM
Forgive me but isn't this a bit of a tempest in a teapot? Were the Japanese in their dire situation even aware the flag was there? It takes two to make an insult: an insultor and and an insultee. Absent the latter, the question is moot. I didn't read anywhere in here that the flag was flown. I read that the flag was in a glass case and not in the direct line of sight of the Japanese delegation. I didn't read anywhere that the presence of the flag was even pointed out to the Japanese. Nor have I read anything in my history books about a Japanese reaction to the presence of the flag.

Someone with a sense of history - possibly MacArthur himself - thought the presence of the flag was apt and appropriate. But then it might also have been someone in Washington whose bright idea it was for Perry's flag to have been present both at the time of Perry's incursion and at the end of the Pacific War. It makes an interesting placard in a museum.

Either way, methinks, it matters but very little in the larger scheme of things. Perhaps there are those who who are a bit too quick to find fault and feel insulted even when the putative targets of that insult were clueless. At the risk of unleashing howls of protests, if it was intended to be an insult, it failed spectacularly.

Laconia
04-17-2012, 01:14 PM
Forgive me but isn't this a bit of a tempest in a teapot? Were the Japanese in their dire situation even aware the flag was there? It takes two to make an insult: an insultor and and an insultee. Absent the latter, the question is moot. I didn't read anywhere in here that the flag was flown. I read that the flag was in a glass case and not in the direct line of sight of the Japanese delegation. I didn't read anywhere that the presence of the flag was even pointed out to the Japanese. Nor have I read anything in my history books about a Japanese reaction to the presence of the flag.

Someone with a sense of history - possibly MacArthur himself - thought the presence of the flag was apt and appropriate. But then it might also have been someone in Washington whose bright idea it was for Perry's flag to have been present both at the time of Perry's incursion and at the end of the Pacific War. It makes an interesting placard in a museum.

Either way, methinks, it matters but very little in the larger scheme of things. Perhaps there are those who who are a bit too quick to find fault and feel insulted even when the putative targets of that insult were clueless. At the risk of unleashing howls of protests, if it was intended to be an insult, it failed spectacularly.

I agree, you make some valid points here. I wonder what happened to Rising Sun? I'd like to hear his rebuttal.