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First Shots of WW2

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The German WW1 Battleship SMS Schleswig-Holstein on a state visit to the Polish port of Danzig, suddenly opens fire on the city on September 1, 1939 to open the coordinated German attack on Poland.

21192571_1324103304386125_3754469478403463792_n.jpg

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Strangely enough, the terms World War 1 and World War 2 were not popular until AFTER 1939 as folks quoted a Time Magazine article in mid-September.

The Soviets referred to what we call WW2 as 'The Great patriotic War", and it didn't start until 1941...  why???   

  --- Because they were helping Germany invade Poland.   Duuuuuuuuhhhhh!!!

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This colorization is fantastic! It will most assuredly be saved, thanks Spooooooon. :Smile_medal:

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1 hour ago, AVR_Project said:

 

The Soviets referred to what we call WW2 as 'The Great patriotic War", and it didn't start until 1941...  why???   

 

Because that was the date Germany invaded Russia by breaking the non-agression pact between the two countries and is an internal Russian phrase..  It is NOT a replacement pkrase for WW2 by the Russians, it is a specific war within a war, specifically the eastern front against Germany.

M

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1 minute ago, MaliceA4Thought said:

Because that was the date Germany invaded Russia by breaking the non-agression pact between the two countries and is an internal Russian phrase..  It is NOT a replacement pkrase for WW2 by the Russians, it is a specific war within a war, specifically the eastern front against Germany.

M

Since I was raised on 1960s-70s US History books, I never learned the unfiltered truth about such things.

In the basement of my old house, I found a US history schoolbook from 1919.  It blamed the Great War squarely on the Germans and concluded that as a race, they should be punished so harshly that they never rise again.  Most all of these school books have been destroyed.  They are filled with cruelty and racism in levels that are outright embarrassing today.  But this is the poison that was what was taught in schools back then.

The reason those books were hidden in my basement was because the children died of the H1N1 epidemic that more than decimated the population of the world.  Having lost my own child, I know the extreme pain they felt.  They wanted to save every last remaining piece of what they lost.

THE FACT IS:  GOVERNMENTS start wars, not races, not individuals, not books.

The Russians were under the jack-boot of the Stalin Soviet GOVERNMENT who recklessly killed any intellectual with more than 3 brain cells.  This was acceptable behavior at the time.  Hitler collected and killed the Jews, Stalin collected and killed anybody with the brains to oppose him.

And this happened all across Eastern Europe in those 1939-1941 years.  The Soviet Union was still in an undeclared civil war with quite a few opposing factions within it's empire.  These conflicts didn't end until 1945 with the fall of Germany.

Germany sought out and equipped these 'Russian' divisions from 1941-1945.  One of their last fights was in Nuremburg 1945.  My father was there, fighting Russian troops who were not coming out of that war alive.  If they surrender, and got sent back to the Soviet Union, they felt they would be tortured and killed painfully.  They felt they had a better death in the honor of the battlefield.  The fighting in Nuremburg was the most vicious street fighting the US had ever encountered.

And thus the beginning - and the ending that you won't find in the history books.

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On 19/09/2017 at 2:30 PM, AVR_Project said:

Since I was raised on 1960s-70s US History books, I never learned the unfiltered truth about such things.

In the basement of my old house, I found a US history schoolbook from 1919.  It blamed the Great War squarely on the Germans and concluded that as a race, they should be punished so harshly that they never rise again.  Most all of these school books have been destroyed.  They are filled with cruelty and racism in levels that are outright embarrassing today.  But this is the poison that was what was taught in schools back then.

The reason those books were hidden in my basement was because the children died of the H1N1 epidemic that more than decimated the population of the world.  Having lost my own child, I know the extreme pain they felt.  They wanted to save every last remaining piece of what they lost.

THE FACT IS:  GOVERNMENTS start wars, not races, not individuals, not books.

The Russians were under the jack-boot of the Stalin Soviet GOVERNMENT who recklessly killed any intellectual with more than 3 brain cells.  This was acceptable behavior at the time.  Hitler collected and killed the Jews, Stalin collected and killed anybody with the brains to oppose him.

And this happened all across Eastern Europe in those 1939-1941 years.  The Soviet Union was still in an undeclared civil war with quite a few opposing factions within it's empire.  These conflicts didn't end until 1945 with the fall of Germany.

Germany sought out and equipped these 'Russian' divisions from 1941-1945.  One of their last fights was in Nuremburg 1945.  My father was there, fighting Russian troops who were not coming out of that war alive.  If they surrender, and got sent back to the Soviet Union, they felt they would be tortured and killed painfully.  They felt they had a better death in the honor of the battlefield.  The fighting in Nuremburg was the most vicious street fighting the US had ever encountered.

And thus the beginning - and the ending that you won't find in the history books.

Thank you for sharing this with us. I am so sorry for your loss and the experiences that you have had. It couldn't have been easy :( war is a terrible thing

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On 9/19/2017 at 9:30 AM, AVR_Project said:

Since I was raised on 1960s-70s US History books, I never learned the unfiltered truth about such things.

In the basement of my old house, I found a US history schoolbook from 1919.  It blamed the Great War squarely on the Germans and concluded that as a race, they should be punished so harshly that they never rise again.  Most all of these school books have been destroyed.  They are filled with cruelty and racism in levels that are outright embarrassing today.  But this is the poison that was what was taught in schools back then.

The reason those books were hidden in my basement was because the children died of the H1N1 epidemic that more than decimated the population of the world.  Having lost my own child, I know the extreme pain they felt.  They wanted to save every last remaining piece of what they lost.

THE FACT IS:  GOVERNMENTS start wars, not races, not individuals, not books.

The Russians were under the jack-boot of the Stalin Soviet GOVERNMENT who recklessly killed any intellectual with more than 3 brain cells.  This was acceptable behavior at the time.  Hitler collected and killed the Jews, Stalin collected and killed anybody with the brains to oppose him.

And this happened all across Eastern Europe in those 1939-1941 years.  The Soviet Union was still in an undeclared civil war with quite a few opposing factions within it's empire.  These conflicts didn't end until 1945 with the fall of Germany.

Germany sought out and equipped these 'Russian' divisions from 1941-1945.  One of their last fights was in Nuremburg 1945.  My father was there, fighting Russian troops who were not coming out of that war alive.  If they surrender, and got sent back to the Soviet Union, they felt they would be tortured and killed painfully.  They felt they had a better death in the honor of the battlefield.  The fighting in Nuremburg was the most vicious street fighting the US had ever encountered.

And thus the beginning - and the ending that you won't find in the history books.

 

Funnily enough, my AP Euro teacher last year had done a paper when he was in college, on WWI, specifically dealing with the home front in the US iirc. he used to use an example he included in the essay with us all the time. It was a a diary of a girl, I think about 12. If I'm remembering correctly, Pre-war, she was writing about how she didn't really seem to think the Germans were bad. it was just another war. By 1918? The diary was reflecting thoughts like that. The Germans were beasts, awful, wicked creatures.

 

it's a terrible thing, what propaganda can do, especially to young children.

 

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Funnily enough, S-H was the subject of an earlier thread...

 

I feel it is only appropriate here to summon @dseehafer!!!

 

 

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4 hours ago, JuiceEFruit said:

Strictly speaking, the S-H didn't fire the literal "first shots", but the first heavy-caliber naval artillery shots?  Yep.  

 

Yes, actually, she did. The first shots of the war came from one of her guns, be it 20mm, 149mm, or 280mm. She sailed into port on a "good-will" visit and, without warning, opened fire on a nearby Polish fort. At this time, the Wehrmacht had not yet crossed into Poland and the first group of Luftwaffe bombers had just previously taken off from their airbases and would not begin their attack until almost an hour after S-H opened fire (though some sources incorrectly state that the bombers began their attack 7 minutes before S-H opened fire).

 

Really, the answer to both of the points is "yes". She did fire the actual first shots of the war AND in doing so also fired the first heavy-caliber naval artillery shots of the war. Both are true.

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9 hours ago, Phoenix_jz said:

 

Funnily enough, my AP Euro teacher last year had done a paper when he was in college, on WWI, specifically dealing with the home front in the US iirc. he used to use an example he included in the essay with us all the time. It was a a diary of a girl, I think about 12. If I'm remembering correctly, Pre-war, she was writing about how she didn't really seem to think the Germans were bad. it was just another war. By 1918? The diary was reflecting thoughts like that. The Germans were beasts, awful, wicked creatures.

 

it's a terrible thing, what propaganda can do, especially to young children.

 

I couldn't agree more. It is terrible what propaganda can do to many (not only children). The sad truth is this is still going on and is certainly much worse now.

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1 hour ago, dseehafer said:

 

Yes, actually, she did. The first shots of the war came from one of her guns, be it 20mm, 149mm, or 280mm. She sailed into port on a "good-will" visit and, without warning, opened fire on a nearby Polish fort. At this time, the Wehrmacht had not yet crossed into Poland and the first group of Luftwaffe bombers had just previously taken off from their airbases and would not begin their attack until almost an hour after S-H opened fire (though some sources incorrectly state that the bombers began their attack 7 minutes before S-H opened fire).

*** I'd think if the S-H fired on a fortress that the 280 mm guns were used. After all, it was a fortress, fortresses usually have substantial walls. 149 mms also (probably), 20mms much less likely. It is difficult to be sure but is the gun firing in the picture a 149mm? It appears smaller than the 280 turret gun which is not firing.

Really, the answer to both of the points is "yes". She did fire the actual first shots of the war AND in doing so also fired the first heavy-caliber naval artillery shots of the war. Both are true.

I vote for the 149 mm gun firing first as, from the above picture, the barrel appears smaller than the one in the turret and it also appears lower (the same as the opposite 'starboard' side gun - we seem to be looking at the stern).

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20 hours ago, dseehafer said:

 

Yes, actually, she did. The first shots of the war came from one of her guns, be it 20mm, 149mm, or 280mm. She sailed into port on a "good-will" visit and, without warning, opened fire on a nearby Polish fort. At this time, the Wehrmacht had not yet crossed into Poland and the first group of Luftwaffe bombers had just previously taken off from their airbases and would not begin their attack until almost an hour after S-H opened fire (though some sources incorrectly state that the bombers began their attack 7 minutes before S-H opened fire).

 

Really, the answer to both of the points is "yes". She did fire the actual first shots of the war AND in doing so also fired the first heavy-caliber naval artillery shots of the war. Both are true.

It's disputed:

 

Quote

Logbooks recovered by the Nowy Port Lighthouse prove beyond doubt that the German battleship was pre-empted by a matter of three minutes by a gun emplacement nestled halfway up the lighthouse. 

 

But yeah, it doesn't really matter.  Just the first of billions of shots fired over the next 7 years. 

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I'm curious about the story of the tugboat attached.  In the short film footage there is it's being dragged along by the Schleswig-Holstein, appearing to have engines on.  Now there's a boat with a story.

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On 9/20/2017 at 1:30 AM, AVR_Project said:

Since I was raised on 1960s-70s US History books, I never learned the unfiltered truth about such things.

In the basement of my old house, I found a US history schoolbook from 1919.  It blamed the Great War squarely on the Germans and concluded that as a race, they should be punished so harshly that they never rise again.  Most all of these school books have been destroyed.  They are filled with cruelty and racism in levels that are outright embarrassing today.  But this is the poison that was what was taught in schools back then.

The reason those books were hidden in my basement was because the children died of the H1N1 epidemic that more than decimated the population of the world.  Having lost my own child, I know the extreme pain they felt.  They wanted to save every last remaining piece of what they lost.

THE FACT IS:  GOVERNMENTS start wars, not races, not individuals, not books.

The Russians were under the jack-boot of the Stalin Soviet GOVERNMENT who recklessly killed any intellectual with more than 3 brain cells.  This was acceptable behavior at the time.  Hitler collected and killed the Jews, Stalin collected and killed anybody with the brains to oppose him.

And this happened all across Eastern Europe in those 1939-1941 years.  The Soviet Union was still in an undeclared civil war with quite a few opposing factions within it's empire.  These conflicts didn't end until 1945 with the fall of Germany.

Germany sought out and equipped these 'Russian' divisions from 1941-1945.  One of their last fights was in Nuremburg 1945.  My father was there, fighting Russian troops who were not coming out of that war alive.  If they surrender, and got sent back to the Soviet Union, they felt they would be tortured and killed painfully.  They felt they had a better death in the honor of the battlefield.  The fighting in Nuremburg was the most vicious street fighting the US had ever encountered.

And thus the beginning - and the ending that you won't find in the history books.

Not wanting to debate this too much, but the German "race" doesn't exist. They are white people no different from other white Europeans. Now the Aryan race.... was a myth. It always has been.

England declared war on September 3rd, 1939, followed shortly after (within hours) by New Zealand and Australia and many other Commonwealth nations.

The first Naval battle fought soon after was the historic David VS Goliath battle of Graf Spee vs 1 heavy cruiser and 3 light cruisers... that battle of the River Plate.

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On 9/19/2017 at 4:00 AM, AVR_Project said:

Strangely enough, the terms World War 1 and World War 2 were not popular until AFTER 1939 as folks quoted a Time Magazine article in mid-September.

The Soviets referred to what we call WW2 as 'The Great patriotic War", and it didn't start until 1941...  why???   

  --- Because they were helping Germany invade Poland.   Duuuuuuuuhhhhh!!!

And the Allies referred to themselves as the "United Nations".  Obviously this could confuse modern readers, so the name was changed after the fact.

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To make it even worse, the USA did not enter the war till after the Japanese attacked.

Standing joke in the commonwealth nations that there were two world wars, and the USA arrived late both times. :)

(sorry, couldn't resist!)

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23 minutes ago, kiwi1960 said:

To make it even worse, the USA did not enter the war till after the Japanese attacked.

Standing joke in the commonwealth nations that there were two world wars, and the USA arrived late both times. :)

(sorry, couldn't resist!)

I'm pretty sure Churchill felt the US aid before Pear Harbor wasn't necessary at all, nor outright, full entry into the war.  The United States populace was not keen on entry into WWII.  Roosevelt was ramping everything up even before Pearl Harbor.  The people felt very sympathetic into what was going on in China and Europe, but drew the line with wartime entry despite some very gray areas, i.e. US escorts of convoys to the UK, Flying Tigers in China, etc., stuff that understandably upset the Germans and Japanese.  But outright war?  Nah.

 

Simply put, Japan gave the biggest gift Churchill could have asked for.  Roosevelt had no Casus Belli to enter WWII.

 

Also the fun fact with the picture in the OP was the attack on Poland is also a reminder to me how the Soviets back stabbed the Poles in the East.  Help wasn't coming and they were getting screwed over from both sides.

220px-Spotkanie_Sojusznik%C3%B3w.jpg

The era before the invasion of France herself is an interesting read of nations being thrown under the Nazi bus while other countries tried to maintain a facade of peace in Europe.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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50 minutes ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

I'm pretty sure Churchill felt the US aid before Pear Harbor wasn't necessary at all, nor outright, full entry into the war.  The United States populace was not keen on entry into WWII.  Roosevelt was ramping everything up even before Pearl Harbor.  The people felt very sympathetic into what was going on in China and Europe, but drew the line with wartime entry despite some very gray areas, i.e. US escorts of convoys to the UK, Flying Tigers in China, etc., stuff that understandably upset the Germans and Japanese.  But outright war?  Nah.

 

Simply put, Japan gave the biggest gift Churchill could have asked for.  Roosevelt had no Casus Belli to enter WWII.

 

Also the fun fact with the picture in the OP was the attack on Poland is also a reminder to me how the Soviets back stabbed the Poles in the East.  Help wasn't coming and they were getting screwed over from both sides.

220px-Spotkanie_Sojusznik%C3%B3w.jpg

The era before the invasion of France herself is an interesting read of nations being thrown under the Nazi bus while other countries tried to maintain a facade of peace in Europe.

Then Hitler topped it by declaring war against the US a few days later when Roosevelt had no Casus Belli either.  I'm sure Roosevelt would have found a way eventually to get involved formally in Europe, but Hitler saved him the trouble

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5 hours ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

I'm pretty sure Churchill felt the US aid before Pear Harbor wasn't necessary at all, nor outright, full entry into the war.  The United States populace was not keen on entry into WWII.  Roosevelt was ramping everything up even before Pearl Harbor.  The people felt very sympathetic into what was going on in China and Europe, but drew the line with wartime entry despite some very gray areas, i.e. US escorts of convoys to the UK, Flying Tigers in China, etc., stuff that understandably upset the Germans and Japanese.  But outright war?  Nah.

 

Simply put, Japan gave the biggest gift Churchill could have asked for.  Roosevelt had no Casus Belli to enter WWII.

 

Also the fun fact with the picture in the OP was the attack on Poland is also a reminder to me how the Soviets back stabbed the Poles in the East.  Help wasn't coming and they were getting screwed over from both sides.

220px-Spotkanie_Sojusznik%C3%B3w.jpg

The era before the invasion of France herself is an interesting read of nations being thrown under the Nazi bus while other countries tried to maintain a facade of peace in Europe.

I'm pretty sure that Churchill absolutely felt that the US entry to the war was needed, and desperately, along with the aid we were giving them prior to Pearl Harbor.  Churchill had Great Britain kissing FDR's butt for years prior to Pearl, trying to get us to commit to the war.  

Churchill knew that Britain and France's remnants had no chance of winning the war without the US helping.   Even though he was appalled by the attack, he was also happy and relieved that they now had the help they needed. 

Hence, his statement:

Quote

To Churchill, this meant one thing above all: victory. Britain was no longer alone. Finally, the US would enter the war.

“Being saturated and satiated with emotion and sensation, I went to bed and slept the sleep of the saved and thankful,” he wrote in his own history of World War II.

 

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Before all that, Japan felt it had no option but to attack the USA due to the sanctions against it, no oil or steel. THAT caused Japan to enter the war. Roosevelt desperately wanted to come into the war on the allies side but was hamstrung by a Congress opposed to a war and the people who had supported neutrality.... Japan attacking the USA was bound to happen and wasn't so much a gift to Churchill as it was a gift to the people of Japan... don't forget, as soon as Japan attacked, Churchill sent two battleships which were promptly sunk....

 

That made Churchill no friends in the UK at all....

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10 hours ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

I'm pretty sure Churchill felt the US aid before Pear Harbor wasn't necessary at all, nor outright, full entry into the war.  The United States populace was not keen on entry into WWII.  Roosevelt was ramping everything up even before Pearl Harbor.  The people felt very sympathetic into what was going on in China and Europe, but drew the line with wartime entry despite some very gray areas, i.e. US escorts of convoys to the UK, Flying Tigers in China, etc., stuff that understandably upset the Germans and Japanese.  But outright war?  Nah.

 

Simply put, Japan gave the biggest gift Churchill could have asked for.  Roosevelt had no Casus Belli to enter WWII.

 

Also the fun fact with the picture in the OP was the attack on Poland is also a reminder to me how the Soviets back stabbed the Poles in the East.  Help wasn't coming and they were getting screwed over from both sides.

220px-Spotkanie_Sojusznik%C3%B3w.jpg

The era before the invasion of France herself is an interesting read of nations being thrown under the Nazi bus while other countries tried to maintain a facade of peace in Europe.

Churchill did write to Roosevelt ,on many occasion's , urging the USA to enter the war before Pearl harbour.  

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I keep hearing this myth that the US wanted to stay out of WWII.

By 1941 American polls showed a majority in favour of war if Japan expanded any further. Attacking the Allies in Southeast Asia would 100% have qualified and the Philippines would definitely have harassed and reported on Japanese ships enough that Japan would have to attack the Philippines.

Honestly the only way I could see that shifting would be to end WWI before the US could really get moving, to make them feel cheated out of the glory and a major place at the winners' table. Then they might sit there and let the Japanese overreach more before riding in as the Big Damned Heroes in 1943 or 1944 (the Japanese would have to assume the Allies would sue for peace before then). That would also require an active front in Europe i.e. Republicans must win the Spanish Civil War.

20 hours ago, kiwi1960 said:

the Aryan race.... was a myth. It always has been.

Certain groups of Indians (as in, people from India) would like a word on you calling their culture/ethnic group a myth.

(I found the "___ is in the Western Aryan culture group" mouse-overs in Europa Universalis 4 very enlightening)

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1 hour ago, Guardian54 said:

I keep hearing this myth that the US wanted to stay out of WWII.

This was driven in large part by FDR having no interest in going to war and blowing off Churchill's war requests.  FDR was a staunch anti-Imperialists and he viewed Churchill has an incompetent drunk.  FDR was all in favor of rooting out the old European order, and Hitler had done just that for him.  This would be why FDR would later be so accommodating to Stalin with Eastern Europe.  FDR even tried to break up France into two countries, one called "Wallonia" that would be a mix of Northern France and Belgium, and he hated General de Gaulle and the Free French with a passion (no surprise that de Gualle returned the favor to the US after France was liberated).  FDR was anti-European which explains why Hitler declaring war on the US was the dramatic turning point of the war, since it forced FDR and Churchill to work together.

Nobody likes talking about this, because it dulls the heroic shine FDR got for WWII.

Edited by Sventex
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Lets not get personal, you have no real idea of what FDR thought of Winnie, or vice versa.

The fact is.... and its all you need, that the USA passed the Neutrality Act in the 1930's (there was more than one!) These laws were driven by the American people who were tired of fighting the wars of European nations, WW1 happened because all the States involved had multiple alliances with each other to come to their aid if they were attacked, and they were mostly all sponsored by Royalty, such as the Austrian King and German Kaiser.... BUT the main point was the laws preventing FDR from helping the UK.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutrality_Acts_of_the_1930s

Further, there were numerous groups in the US anti alliances or involvement in other peoples wars. This meant FDR couldn't do much, and Congress played along with the wishes of the people, totally forgetting that a nation alone can be attacked easier as they have no allies! (much like the USA is today!) Japan wrongly thought that since the Dutch and French were under the Thumb of the nazi's and the English were fighting the Nazi's (along with Canada, NZ and AUS) that one of them would want to help the USA.

As stated previously.... Hitler.... who thought himself a stable genius.... declared war on the USA and sealed the fate of Japan, Germany and Italy.... (and a little known ally of Japan, Siam, now called Thailand, who accepted what the Japanese said that they only wanted the "white pigs" out of Asia).

There is a story also that my homeland, well, where I have lived most of my life, New Zealand, was so eager to be with the UK when war was declared that they sent the Telegram a few hours before England actually declared war stating that New Zealand was also at war with Germany. The thing is... had England not declared war.... New Zealand would have been all alone fighting Germany. That is the timeless myth.... but that is all it is.... a myth. Nice if it had happened, but no. (I was born in The Netherlands and came here when I was six months old!)

Also.... the reason for the war was the USA's refusal to sell Japan oil... but also steel.... this is what the Australian Prime Minister had to say on the accusation that he had sold pig iron to Japan, and a LOOP HOLE in the US sanctions.... scrap metal WAS sold to Japan legally.....
 

Quote

 

To be a Prime Minister and then an ex-Prime Minister is to find yourself charged with most of the crimes in the calendar. In my own case I have discovered that one of the most current accusations made about my administration is that we sent iron to Japan and that the Japanese are now using it in the form of munitions against us. Indeed, only this morning a printed circular has reached me which demands legality for the Communist Party of Australia and which goes on to describe this party as - and I now quote the exact words - "declared illegal by the Menzies (pig-iron-for-Japan) Government in June 1940."

Now, I can assure you that I am not a bit concerned to defend myself against the ridiculous charges which are always made against public men, but as some decent people maybe worried over this particular question, I shall just say a little to you about it.

My term of office was from April 1939 to August 1941. So far from the Menzies Government being a "pig-iron-for-Japan Government" the records show that, during my term of office, no pig iron was exported from Australia to Japan, nor was any iron ore. In the whole of the two years the exports of steel to Japan from Australia did not reach fifty tons.

It is true that over the same period there was an export of one hundred and seven thousand tons of scrap iron to Japan from Australia, while in half that period, namely the year 1939 alone, the United States of America exported to Japan two million tons of scrap iron and the like material. Make a note of that - the USA in one year exported twenty times as much as we did in two years.

 

source: https://menziesvirtualmuseum.org.au/transcripts/the-forgotten-people/69-chapter-11-scrap-iron-for-japan

After war was declared.... ironically... the US Government held morale boosting "scrap metal" drives to gather scrap to build ships - planes and tanks. Not sure how much they got, but it wouldn't be that much as most of it had already been sold to Japan....

It might sound like I am anti American... NO.... I appreciate the help they gave the world to defeat the axis powers in WW2, but politicians were calling the shots and they have to accept a great deal 0f blame for why WW2 started.

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