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If Japan Had Not Attacked U.S. Pacific Fleet/Isolationism

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  • If Japan Had Not Attacked U.S. Pacific Fleet/Isolationism

    Any board opinions on this: If Japan had not attacked the U.S. fleet in the Pacific, when, and why, would the U.S. have entered the (European aspect of ) WW II?

  • #2
    When England went the way of France . . .

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    • #3
      Roosevelt would have manufactured a European attack just like he did w/ Pearl Harbor. We were going to fight in that war, he just needed a way to sell it to the people. Knowing the Japanese had designs on Hawaii, he opened the door and let them take it. It would have been more difficult, but a European scenario could have been arranged.

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      • #4
        I'd guess mid-1942, when it was obvious that not only were Japan and Germany collaborating, but that they couldn't be resisted without our help. Everyone remembers the famous, "we have woken a sleeping giant" statement, but clearly Pearl Harbor was the most bone-headed military move since Priam let that horse in. Six months later Germany and Japan would clearly be on their way to, if not victory, a much more extended war.

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        • #5
          Read Fateful Choices by the noted British historian Ian Kershaw. (sub-title: "10 Decisions that changed the world, 1940-1941"

          From near the end of the Tokyo '41 chapter:

          <<.. But fear of war did not equate with opposition to the concerted and forthright rejection of policy choices that were seen to bristle with danger. For no faction of the elites could there be a retreat from the goals of a victorious settlement in China and successful expansion to establish the 'Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere'--or, in other words, Japanese domination of the Far East. These aims had not just become an economic imperative. They reflected honor and pride, the prestige and standing of a great power. The alternatives were seen as not just poverty, but defeat, humiliation, ignominy and an end to great-power status in permanent subordination to the United States.>> bold mine.

          The final graph:

          <<Ironically, when that terrible war was finally over, Japan found herself more dependent economically upon the United States than had been foreseeable before the conflict, deprived of great-power status, shorn of all military capability, but, over time, enjoying a prosperity unimaginable to the citizens of the country in the troubled and turbulent interwar era.>>

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          • #6
            With the Lend-Lease Act and armed convoys of American ships to and from England the US was already tacitly at war even before Pearl Harbor.

            Had there been no Japanese attack Americans still would have done whatever it took to defend the UK. In this regard, the most important event of the period was Hitler's surprise attack on the USSR. If he hadn't been so arrogant and stupid as to open a two front war, perhaps no amount of American effort could have saved Britain.

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            • #7
              Re: If Japan Had Not Attacked U.S. Pacific Fleet/Isolationis

              Originally posted by bijanc
              Any board opinions on this: If Japan had not attacked the U.S. fleet in the Pacific, when, and why, would the U.S. have entered the (European aspect of ) WW II?
              We only entered the European theater after Germany declared war on us on 12/10/41. Then on 12/11/41, we declared war on Germany. Churchill had assumed that when we declared war on Japan on 12/08/41, we would also declare war on Germany, and when we didn't, the next three days were the loneliest of his life, as I understand it. So I've always wondered how differently might have events unfolded if Hitler had never declared war on the U.S.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by bad hammy
                When England went the way of France . . .
                But if we had waited that long, wouldn't it have been to late? It's one thing to storm the beaches of Normandy from across the English Channel, but an entirely different thing to storm those beaches from across the Atlantic Ocean. That would have been a logistical nightmare. Of course this assumes that Hitler would have denied us use Ireland as well.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jazzcyclist
                  Originally posted by bad hammy
                  When England went the way of France . . .
                  But if we had waited that long, wouldn't it have been to late?
                  Possibly, but we let GB take a hell of a beating prior to 12-7-41 without getting taking much in the way of overt action.

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                  • #10
                    with an isolationist Congress, was no overt action that could be taken. Roosevelt did a marvelous job of lying and cheating the U.S. into the war (thank goodness).

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jhc68
                      perhaps no amount of American effort could have saved Britain.
                      In the short term, but once the USA and other western allies dedicated themselves to the war, the end result was inevitable, just the time frame would have been drastically different.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Marlow
                        Originally posted by jhc68
                        perhaps no amount of American effort could have saved Britain.
                        In the short term, but once the USA and other western allies dedicated themselves to the war, the end result was inevitable, just the time frame would have been drastically different.
                        What other western allies would there have been after England fell? And I again ask, how would we have been able to get our troops into Europe if we had not been able to use England as a staging area?

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                        • #13
                          Why England Slept

                          Great food f/ thought, thanks.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jazzcyclist
                            And I again ask, how would we have been able to get our troops into Europe if we had not been able to use England as a staging area?
                            Northern Africa . . .

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                            • #15
                              If England was gone, so was North Africa. (Rommel rules!)

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