How the Japanese and the Germans Blew It in WWII
I got this from listening to The Winds of War, the second part of which is called War and Remembrance. Listening to it is both entertaining and educational – for me, a nice mix. It includes long translations of a German General’s analysis of the war – which he had plenty of time to write, because he served twenty years for war crimes himself. What follows is from his analysis.
If the Japanese and the Germans had coordinated their war plans – which they never did, and never could – they could have agreed on a simple strategy. To divide up the British and French Empires and leave America strictly alone.
In 1941, American public sentiment was strongly isolationist. The prevailing mood was “That was not our war, and there was no point in sending American soldiers to save the British and French Empires.”
If the Germans and the Japanese had handled the Americans carefully, and made this objective clear to them – and not threatened any of the American possessions (such as the Philippines) in the Pacific, or American shipping in the Atlantic – things would have ended up much differently.
Churchill was scared to death that this would happen – as his memoirs made clear. They were only months away from starvation. Their army had been destroyed at Dunkirk, and their navy was spread far too thin. The British and French Empires were easy prey.
As it happened, the Germans had not planned an invasion of England (an incredible blunder) and the attacked the USSR instead – an even worse blunder.
Neither the Germans or the Japanese (at least at the highest levels) had the least understanding of America, or how to deal with her.
The American military was not much better than the Germans or Japanese, but they had the most powerful industrial base in the world behind them. Once that got rolling (and that did take a while) it has just a matter of time.