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Japan 1941

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Captain Vancouver View Drop Down
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    Posted: 14 Oct 2014 at 17:18
I have just finished reading Japan 1941, by Eri Hotta. It's an engrossing account the decision making that went into Japan's slide to war in that year. Japan was constrained by inept policy due to internal competition among top leaders, cultural practice that discouraged open disagreement, and a radical segment in the professional officer corps. Despite this however, the regime was still open to certain concessions in order to avoid war, up to a couple of weeks before Pearl Harbour. 

It's curious that the US state department took a hard line with Japan, even though they very much needed to stall any potential conflict in the Pacific. They were barely starting preparations for a war with Germany, and would have liked to buy off Japan if possible, at least in the short term. They also knew, through breaking the Japanese diplomatic code, that Japan was making military preparations for the possibility of failed diplomatic negotiations (although not the plans for Pearl Harbour). Yet they insisted on terms that they knew would not be accepted, making war inevitable, even though they were quite unprepared at the time. 

Holding off on Japan would have likely meant a quicker defeat of Germany, with perhaps less post war Soviet influence in Europe. Also though, probably a much more unstable far east.....


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