11th of December 1941.....

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Lucky13, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    ....and Adolf Hitler had not declared war on the US, what then, what would have happend, what would Churchill do, would, could Franklin D. Roosevelt declare war on Germany, this perhaps being the miracle the Churchill have waited for, even with 2,400 dead, a couple of bad nights in London he might have said....
    Could Churchill, would he had done something, to get US in on the war against Germany and perhaps not only against Japan?
    What was the correspondence between these giants like, before 7th of December 1941?
     
  2. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    The Axis grew out of the Anti-Comintern Pact, an anti-communist treaty signed by Germany and Japan in 1936, with Italy joining the Pact in 1937. Under the the Pact of Steel in 1939 this evolved into a military alliance. With the signing of the Tripartite Pact in 1940 the military aims of Germany and its two treaty-bound allies essentially became one.
    Another one of those “what ifs”, but IMHO, after Pearl, war with Japan was a total certainty and that automatically involved Japan allies. So what Hitler did or did not do in declaring war against the US is/was a moot point.
     
  3. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    That was my impression of the events as well.
    Isn't this why the U.S. joined GB almost immediately?
     
  4. pattle

    pattle Member

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    Hitler may have decided not to honour the pact with Japan, Hitler was after all a bit racist and the Japanese seem like an unusual bed follow for Arians. How predictable was it that the American's would choose the defeat Germany as their number one priority after the Pearl Harbour attack? If Japan had attacked only America and not the Commonwealth then the British would have needed to enter the war against Japan in order for the Americans to enter the war against Germany, this would have been a difficult thing for Britain to do.
     
  5. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    #5 pbehn, Nov 18, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
    I dont have any books here but I am sure I read that due to the time difference between UK and USA the British declared war on Japan first. The Japanese had also attacked Singapore Hong Kong and Malaya.

    From the net (I is W S Churchill)

    As soon as I heard last night that Japan had attacked the United States, my first feeling was that Parliament should be immediately summoned. We are fighting for the maintenance of a parliamentary system, and it is indispensable to our system of Government that Parliament should play its full part in all the important acts of the state and on all the great occasions in the conduct of the war. The great number of members who attended in spite of the shortness of the notice shows the zeal and strictness with which the members of both Houses attend to their duties.

    You will remember that a month ago, with the full approval of the nation and of the Empire, I pledged the word of Great Britain that should the United States become involved in a war with Japan, a British declaration would follow within the hour. I therefore spoke to President Roosevelt on the Atlantic telephone last night with a view to arranging the timing of our respective declarations. The President told me that he would this morning send a message to Congress, which of course as you all know is the instrument, the constitutional instrument, by which alone a United States declaration of war can be made.

    And I assured him that we would follow immediately. However, it soon appeared that British territory in Malaya had also been the object of a Japanese attack, and later on it was announced from Tokyo that the Japanese High Command-not the Imperial Japanese Government-but the Japanese High Command had declared that a state of war existed with Great Britain and the United States.

    There has been for a long time in Japan a number of military societies-secret societies-which have asserted their view of what the policy of Japan should be by murdering the Ministers whom they thought were not sufficiently "jingo" for their tastes. And it is to these bodies that the most strange and violent action of Japan's, so fateful for her future, must be ascribed.

    In view of the attack, and of this declaration, there was no need to wait for the declaration by Congress, and in any case there was the complication that American time is nearly six hours behind ours. The Cabinet, therefore, which met at half-past-twelve today, have authorized an immediate declaration of war upon Japan. Instructions to this effect were sent to our Ambassador in Tokyo, and the Japanese chargé d'affaires in London and his staff have been given their passports.
     
  6. pattle

    pattle Member

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    pbehn, that's very interesting.
     
  7. silence

    silence Active Member

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    #7 silence, Nov 21, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2013
    Sounds like there was no need for us to declare war either. Love to hear Winnie speak and to read his writings. Poetic prose if ever there was.

    I don't think Grofaz was bound in any way to declare war on the US; did Japan declare war on anyone Germany fought or was fighting? Imagine if a Japanese war declaration had tied down those Siberian armies that were defending Moscow in the '41-'42 winter.

    Regardless, though, even without Der Failure declaring war on us I'm all but certain FDR would have found a way to declare war on Germany - and quickly.
     
  8. pattle

    pattle Member

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    Didn't you mean Siberian rather than Serbian?
     
  9. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    Silence

    The Japanese declared war on the USA and British Empire simultaneously at the time of Pearl Harbour, they were already at war with China I dont know why they didnt add Russia and make a clean sweep of it, at the end the Russians did invade the kirile? islands and still occupy them to this day, its a bone of contention between the two.
     
  10. silence

    silence Active Member

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    Note to self: DO NOT post when tired. Serbian.... sheesh....
     
  11. silence

    silence Active Member

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    My guess why the Japanese didn't declare war on Soviet Russia as well is the ass-kicking that Zhukov gave them at Khalkhin Gol. As an aside lessons learned about and with the BT-series tanks were valuable in making the T-34 a success.
     
  12. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    The only impact that I can think of if Germany hadn't declared war on the USA is that the Germany first policy may well have become Japan first. The result of this we can only guess at, but the biggest danger would be a reduction of lend lease to Russia. I don't think that the US would have put the UK at risk but Russia could have been given a different priority
     
  13. redcoat

    redcoat Active Member

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    One of the reasons Japan decided for war against the USA was the fact that the Nazi leadership had given them the assurance that if they attacked the USA Germany would also declare war on the USA.
    Hitlers declaration of war against the USA in support of Japan wasn't a mad moment, but something the German leader had been hoping for since the late summer of 1941.
     
  14. silence

    silence Active Member

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    But would have Japan attacked the US without Hitler's assurance?
     
  15. redcoat

    redcoat Active Member

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    It's possible, but they did go to the German leadership in November 1941 to make sure Germany would join them against the USA before they made their decision.
     
  16. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I think that they would have done. Japan believed that they had been backed into a corner regarding resources, this was a loss of face and the military who effectively ruled Japan would not back down. I know that the Japanese civilian diplomatic and political bodies were dead set against joining the pact in the first place and were urging peace.
    It should be remembered that in 1932 the military assassinated a conservative Prime Minister. In 1935 an extreme rightist Lt Col Saburo Nagata assassinated the Chief of the War Office Lt Gen Tetsuzan Nagata. This was followed in 1936 by an attempted coup d'état when members of the Army killed four senior statesman. Finally in 1939 three cabinets fell and a new cabinet in 1940 headed by Admiral Yonai was formed and he did all he could to avoid the Tripartite Act. When the army realized that he would not let Japan join the Tripartite they caused the cabinet to fail again by refusing to nominate an Army representative which the constitution insisted should be represented.

    Had the allies been aware of the internal situation and given the more moderate members of the government some rope by relaxing some of the financial restrictions then the civilians might have been able to stop the drive to war.
     
  17. pattle

    pattle Member

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    If the Japanese had left an attack on the USA for another year or so then I wonder how strong militarily the USA would have been by that time compared to Japan, would the difference between Japan and America have widened or narrowed.
     
  18. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    It would have been worse off for the Japanese. The US had a huge shipbuilding program underway since 1940 and think of the size of the US fleet in early 1943. That's what they would be up against. Same with the AAF. Squadrons and groups of all kinds were beginning were the result of the 1940 build ups.
     
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  19. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    #19 parsifal, Nov 21, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
    Germany declared war on the US because of its treaty obkigations under th Tripartite Pact, and because hitler believed at the outbreak that Japan would make an absolute meal of the Us, and wanted to secure some (unspecified) benefits from the demise of the US.

    On 25 November 1941, Germany tried to further solidify the alliance against Soviet Russia by officially reviving the Anti-Comintern Pact of 1936, now joined by additional signatories, Hungary and Romania. However, with the Soviet troops around Moscow now being reinforced by East Siberian divisions, Germany's offensive substantially slowed with the onset of the Russian winter in November and December 1941. Against that backdrop, the Japanese steadfastly refused to renew their committment to the Anti-Comintern Pact obligations. There was no obligation for the japanese to attack the Russians under the Tripartite Pact. As 1940 dragged into 1941, the germans became increasingly insistent on Japan joining them in their anti-bolshevik crusade, but also began to see the writing on the wall with regard to US intervention in the western hemisphere.

    It was evident that the "neutrality" which the US had superficially maintained to that point would soon change to an open and unlimited support of Britain against Germany. Hitler thus welcomed Japan's sudden entry into the war with its air raid on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 and its subsequent declaration of war on the United States and Britain, just as the German army suffered its first military defeat at the gates of Moscow. Upon learning of Japan's successful attack, Hitler became euphoric, stating: "With such a capable ally we cannot lose this war." It was against that backdrop of overconficence that the Nazi rush to declare war on the US can only be understood.

    Preceding Japan's attack were numerous communiqués between Berlin and Tokyo. The respective ambassadors Ott and Ōshima drafted an amendment to the Tripartite Pact, in which Germany, Japan and Italy should pledge each other's allegiance in the case one signatory is attacked by – or attacks – the United States. Although the protocol was finished in time, it would not be formally signed by Germany until four days after the raid on Pearl Harbor.That being said, it had been agreed to in principal before the Japanese attack. Japan went to war confident in the knowledge they would be supported by the germans (and Italians) Also among the communiqués was another definitive Japanese rejection of any war plans against Russia:

    Although the amendment to the Tripartite Pact was not yet in force, Hitler chose to declare war on the United States and ordered the Reichstag, along with Italy, to do so on 11 December 1941, three days after the United States' declaration of war on the Empire of Japan. His hopes that, despite the previous rejections, Japan would reciprocally attack the Soviet Union, were not realized, as Japan stuck to its Nanshin strategy of going south, not north, and would continue to maintain an uneasy peace with the Soviet Union. Nevertheless, Germany's declaration of war further solidified German–Japanese relations and showed Germany's solidarity with Japan, which was now encouraged to cooperate against the British. To some degree, Japan's actions in South-East Asia and the Pacific in the months after Pearl Harbor, including the sinking of the HMS Prince of Wales and the HMS Repulse, the occupation of the Crown Colonies of Singapore, Hong Kong, and British Burma, and the air raids on Australia, were a tremendous blow to the United Kingdom's war effort and preoccupied the Allies, shifting British (including Australian) and American assets away from the Battle of the Atlantic and the North African Campaign against Germany to Asia and the Pacific against Japan. In this context, sizeable forces of the British Empire were withdrawn from North Africa to the Pacific theatre with their replacements being only relatively inexperienced and thinly spread divisions.

    In the long run, Germany and Japan envisioned a partnered linkage running across the British-held Indian subcontinent that would allow for the transfer of weaponry, resources as well as other possibilities. After all, the choice of potential trading partners was very limited during the war and Germany was anxious for rubber and precious metals, while the Japanese sought industrial products, technical equipment, and chemical goods.
     
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  20. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    #20 parsifal, Nov 22, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
    Another source, albeit from an american perspective,

    Four Days in December: Germany's Path to War With the U.S.

    And this is source material of an even more dubious origin, but it is a faithful translation of Hitlers address to the Reichstag

    Hitler Declares War on the United States


    This in my opinion is the relevant part of hitlers address to the reichstag. Typical of Hitlers speeches, it is a rambling confused affair, full of half truths and outright lies, but it also reveals what he was thinking at the time of the declaration.


    "We have seen what the Jews have done in Soviet Russia. We have made the acquaintance of the Jewish Paradise on earth. Millions of German soldiers have been able to see this country where the international Jews have destroyed people and property. The President of the U.S.A. ought finally to understand-I say this only because of his limited intellect-that we know that the aim of this struggle is to destroy one State after another. But the present German Reich has nothing more in common with the old Germany. And we, for our part, will now do what this provocateur has been trying to do so much for years. Not only because we are the ally of Japan, but also because Germany and Italy have enough insight and strength to comprehend that, in these historic times, the existence or non-existence of the nations, is being decided perhaps for ever. We clearly see the intention of the rest of the world towards us. They reduced Democratic Germany to hunger. They would exterminate our social things of today. When Churchill and Roosevelt state that they want to build up a new social order, later on, it is like a hairdresser with a bald head recommending an unfortunate hair-restorer. These men, who live in the most socially backward states, have misery and distress enough in their own countries to occupy themselves with the distribution of foodstuffs.

    As a consequence of the further extension of President Roosevelt's policy, which is aimed at unrestricted world domination and dictatorship the U.S.A. together with England have not hesitated from using any means to dispute the rights of the German, Italian and Japanese nations to the basis of their natural existence. The Governments of the U.S.A. and of England have therefore resisted, not only now but also for all time, every just understanding meant to bring about a better New Order in the world. Since the beginning of the war the American President, Roosevelt, has been guilty of a series of the worst crimes against international law; illegal seizure of ships and other property of German and Italian nationals were coupled with the threat to, and looting of, those who were deprived of their liberty by being interned. Roosevelt's ever increasing attacks finally went so far that he ordered the American Navy to attack everywhere ships under the German and Italian flags, and to sink them-this in gross violation of international law. American ministers boasted of having destroyed German submarines in this criminal way. German and Italian merchantships were attacked by American cruisers, captured and their crews imprisoned. With no attempt at an official denial there has now been revealed in America President Roosevelt's plan by which, at the latest in 1943, Germany and Italy were to be attacked in Europe by military means. In this way the sincere efforts of Germany and Italy to prevent an extension of the war and to maintain relations with the U.S.A. in spite of the unbearable provocations which have been carried on for years by President Roosevelt, have been frustrated. Germany and Italy have been finally compelled, in view of this, and in loyalty to the Tri-Partite act, to carry on the struggle against the U.S.A. and England jointly and side by side with Japan for the defense and thus for the maintenance of the liberty and independence of their nations and empires.

    The Three Powers have therefore concluded the following Agreement, which was signed in Berlin today:

    "In their unshakable determination not to lay down arms until the joint war against the U.S.A. and England reaches a successful conclusion, the German, Italian, and Japanese Governments have agreed on the following points:

    Article I. Germany, Italy and Japan will wage the common war forced upon them by the U.S.A. and England with all the means of power at their disposal, to a victorious conclusion.

    Article II. Germany, Italy and Japan undertake not to conclude an armistice or peace with the U.S.A. or with England without complete mutual understanding.

    Article III. Germany, Italy and Japan will continue the closest cooperation even after the victorious conclusion of the war in order to bring about a just new order in the sense of the Tri-Partite Pact concluded by them on the 27th September 1940.

    Article IV. This Agreement comes into force immediately after signature and remains in force as long as the Tri-Partite Pact of 27th September 1940. The Signatory Powers will confer in time before this period ends about the future form of the co-operation provided for in Article III of this Agreement.""
     
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