Skip to main content

tv   U.S. World War II Strategy  CSPAN  January 14, 2018 12:45pm-1:51pm EST

12:45 pm
state officials. and join us for our stop in north carolina. our washington journal guest is attorney general josh stein. universityanford professor emeritus on world war ii strategy. he is the author of "freedom from fear, the american people in depression and war 1929-19 for the five." 1929-1945."-- this is an hour. >> good morning. a pleasure to see all of you here for what i think will be an interesting and even inspiring lecture by our distinguished historian, dr. kennedy.
12:46 pm
thank admiralo robie for his generous hospitality. i should also mention that we are here representing the friends of the world war ii memorial. named for ours leader, the founder of the friends. you may know that we conduct ceremonies on the important commemorative dates during the second world war throughout the year yesterday, we commemorated the invasion of torch. on saturday, veterans day. in 1947, a new american secretary of state spoke at the 200th anniversary of princeton university. he concluded his remarks -- this
12:47 pm
was a former army general, george marshall, who had just become secretary of state -- by saying he could not imagine a graduate of that institution having completed his education the text of the pen the lesion roar through saturdays. the faculty must've of been astonished. the point was that good officers and good citizens who take their work seriously are lifelong students of history. our speaker this morning, david kennedy, is perhaps the most extraordinary practitioner of nowcraft in a university, with us. dr. kennedy is a graduate of standard -- stanford. he was educated in new haven. he was the american heart is worth professor at harvard.
12:48 pm
has written books about american history and culture, one of which is probably known to most of you, a book called " freedom from fear." this is a history of the depression, but most family -- a synoptic history of the united states during the second world war. me,epresents, it seems to the very best in university teaching. he is an evangelist on behalf of his craft and is the poet john dryden said of his here is gods plenty. dr. kennedy. [applause] dr. kennedy: thank you very much for the uncommonly graciously,
12:49 pm
not to mention poetic, introduction. thank you very much. i would like to say what an honor it is to be invited to give the aden williams lecture. whom mybout predecessors were on this stage. a great the duty -- a great intimidationor and that i feel being on the stage. it is the moment when this country really had to come to grips with this great conflict event ofs the center world history in the 20th century. was uttered by winston chill trail on the floor
12:50 pm
of parliament on august 16, 1945. the day after the japanese emperor had indicated japan's intentions of surrender, which happened formally back at the uss missouri a little bit than a load -- than a month later. when i read the transcript of that speech, it jumped off the page at me, not least of all because it summarized a great bit of history in a single declarative sentence. it also rendered the united -- churchillay rendered the united states as a plural noun. it is said that before the civil war, the united states were and after the civil war, the united states was. hold the simple
12:51 pm
declared of sentence in your mind as we go through this morning's lecture. there are certain premises that underlie my remarks as morning. the first is that world war ii was transformational in a true a dramatic way, both in the life of the planet. transformations that the united states was responsible for and participated in did not just happen to they considered decisions during the war. let's go back to that remark again. the united states stand at this moment at the summit of the world. improbablest how
12:52 pm
that statement would have been from the point of view of 1940, just five years earlier. year of the 11th great depression, which began in 1929. by extrapolating backward, the standards of poverty developed in the 1960's, historians reconstruct at a party line. we believe 45% of white households and 95% of african-american households were under the party line. 11 years of depression, one hoover administration and two roosevelt administrations had not lifted the united states out of depression. it's also the case that 1940, 1939, the united states was living in the most isolationist phase of its history with respect to its relations to the rest of the world. the united states, within the
12:53 pm
preceding two decades, had refused to join the league of nations after world war i, even though leg was the brainchild of the american president, because it is on the repatriation of the british and french loans to the united states, loans made during onld war i, which insistence repatriation -- the u.s. passes first immigration restriction legislation and cut immigration back by about 90% from its pre-world war i levels. and the united states congress had passed the smooth holly terror in 1930, effectively -- tariff in 1930, effectively shutting off trade. this was not only a country in 1940 blighted by what appeared to be a permanent depression, but also a country that had marker after marker declared itself to be in its most
12:54 pm
isolationist phase since the founding of the republic. citizend you had been a -- so imagine you had been a citizen walking down a street in their seeing verde speakers say so imagine you had been a citizen walking down a street in new york city and heard a speaker say, emerged as the leader of the holy reconstructed architecture for security and economic development and we will caps off depression and enter a decade of a quarter century of a year, growth, 4% sustained over 25 years, the likes of which this country has never seen before. if you had heard anybody say that in 1940, you would have understood immediately,
12:55 pm
reflexively, and correct daily -- and correctly that there is no basis for that. that that isow, exactly what happened and is insanely insane predictions of 1940 all caps a pass by 1945. -- all came to pass by 1945. the united states stands at the summit of the world. these are subtle reminders of what the world felt like at the time. thisp roth described postwar moment immediately after the war as the greatest collection of inebriation in all american history. [laughter] when the country was positively havingith the feeling of won a just war and embarking on a postwar period of world
12:56 pm
leadership and widely shared domestic prosperity. that's when i think what if i looks like. let's peel back for when the united states entered the war. i want to share some remarks with your people who were intimately involved with the history of that moment by way of suggesting that, even as late as december 1941, it was not clear to many people, at least not how hello when, where or why or for what goal the united states would be fighting the war. so the first-come some the mouth of adolf hitler. ear witness what pearlrd the moment of the harbor attack. he did not know anything of consequence about the japanese planning that attack. the japanese-german attack was japanese-german
12:57 pm
alliance was imperfect. taylor's first reaction to the firstharbor -- hitler's reaction to the pearl harbor was one of relation. at almost precisely the same moment, a few hundred miles away, winston churchill heard .he same news over the wire he had no advance knowledge of the attack and we don't know what he said at the moment, but we do know what he said -- what when he after the war heard the pearl harbor news eare. -- thee the following united states was in the war, up to the neck and into the death. we had won after all. england would live. slept thebed and
12:58 pm
sleep of the saved and the thankful. what is remarkable about these two remarks is here are two major actors in this great historical aphis owed -- makingcal episode absolutely opposite appraisals of what would now be the implications of american belligerency. what this tells us historically is, even as late of december 1941, it was not clear how the united states would fight the war, with what composition of forces and what timetable and guided by what strategic doctrine. the next remark comes from the
12:59 pm
pen of this man, the german foreign minister. here he is in his ss uniform. he wrote a memorandum for adolf hitler. germany had declared war on the united states on december 11. he rode a memorandum for his furor in which he tried to explain the locations of this new fact, that the united states was now a former -- formal belligerent. he wrote we have just one year to cut russia off from her military supplies. and then't succeed munitions potential of the united states joins up with the manpower potential of the russians, the war will enter a phase in which we show only be able to win it with difficulty. that was a much marsh rude and accurate appraisal than hitler
1:00 pm
himself announced upon hearing the pearl harbor news of what would be the longer-term strategic implications of american belligerence. the final document from this from the commander of the japanese imperial fleet, the man who planned the pearl harbor attack and also the midway attack six months later. to break the timeframe of december 1941 here briefly, because this document comes from september 1940. when the u.s. japanese relationship was beginning to go seriously sour and yamamoto prepared a memorandum for his prime minister, the last civilian prime minister in japan before the war. he wrote the following. september, 1940. if i'm told to fight, regardless of the consequences, i shall run
1:01 pm
wild for the first six months or year. but i have utterly no-confidence for a second or third year. therefore, mr. prime minister, the you will endeavor to avoid a japanese-american war. very document coming from the end of the man who was later test with the job of starting the war. using roughly the same timeframe as riven through did speaking to. he had no confidence for a second or third year. let's just give those thoughts a look whate take happens after december 1941, when the united states formally enters the war. , if idents at stanford can let them talk frankly about how they feel about the study of history, have been known to tell them want to quote exactly, professor kennedy, the trouble with the study of history is it's just one dam thing after another.
1:02 pm
[laughter] if you take nothing away from the discussion this morning, i hope it is the thought that would deposit of the summit of the world, to use churchill's language, 1945, is not, repeat not just the story of one dam thing after another. is the story of the realization of some very shrewdly taken strategic decisions about how to fight a particular kind of war on a particular timetable with a particular composition of forces towards particular strategic objectives. in the history of warfare, the united states -- the way the united states waged world war ii was something of a rarity, a country being the prosecutor war from beginning to end on the basis of a plan with which it began. usually war plans are badly disruptive or revised over the course of fighting, but to a remarkable degree, the united states succeeded in fighting its kind of war, and to make a point of looking back to later, america's world war ii is like
1:03 pm
nobody else's world war ii. we fought a war on our own terms and succeeded in doing so in a degree that was truly remarkable in the context of both that conflict and in the history of warfare. i remind you again of how improbable was to churchill's conclusion about the united states standing at the summit of the world was in 1945, especially when measured against the perspective of 1940, the last full peacetime year in the united states. let's go back to that reflection again. i'm going to try to tell a story here and you might even think of it as a parable. about how the united states fought on the basis of a grand strategic doctrine i will try to illustrate by selling i have called a tale of three cities. this is the first city. sometimes ask people guest mice when i speak about this on this basis. what are the three cities and the stories of which added together explain america strategy and world war ii?
1:04 pm
one of the more interesting responses to that i ever got was for in oak ridge, tennessee and new mexico. the three principal sides of the manhattan project. to this a story similar with those three cities, but that's not the ones am going to use. this is my pedagogical device of giving us framework in which to understand the development and implementation of american grand strategy in a narrative form. rulon on cities are the base of the river in france, stalingrad in russia, and washington, d.c. where we said today. let's begin with rulon france. 1942. this tale of three cities takes
1:05 pm
place in about a six-month frame from august, 1942 to february, 1943. we understand what happened in these three cities in that timeframe, we will understand the pattern of american grand strategy and how it was that the united states got deposited the at the summit of the world in 1945. , the fleet of one dozen be 24 american bombers took off from their bases in the south of england even though they are supposed to be self defending aircraft, they were escorted much of the way by a swarm of british firefighters for insurance sake and they bombed a railroad marshaling yard in rouen, france. by the usual standards of the measurement of these kinds of things and world war ii was a very successful raid. all of the ordnance dropped on the primary target, no loss of aircraft and a loss of crew. that's not why i bring it up here.
1:06 pm
it's important for a couple of reasons. rulon's the first instance of implementation of a strategic doctrine that had been developed about a decade earlier in the war department about how to find the next war, it got for billy river to be one and the idea was to cash in deeply on the insights of italian theorist published in a book in the early 20's called the command of the air. he argued that there was a technology now available and increasingly being developed, the long-range aircraft, not just tactical air support for fighters in combat troops on the ground, but aircraft could be developed that could penetrate deeply into the enemy's airspace, cripple his economy by destroying production facilities and energy infrastructure, transportation of her structure's infrastructure and
1:07 pm
not incidentally, by so terrorizing -- a word he used with abandon, terrorizing the army civilian population so that his public would sue for peace. he thought this would be a revolutionary style of warfare that would leverage the advantages of those nations that can best mobilize and deploy their scientific and engineering and manufacturing resources. this was a strategy made-to-order for the united states, given the depths of its engineering, scientific, and manufacturing resources, and it was decided that in the event of a future conflict, the united states would build its armed forces around the principal arm of a large strategic air force. important to emphasize here, strategic. i don't need to belabor the point for this audience, but strategic bombing is to be distinguished from tactical air support. the object is not to deliver
1:08 pm
your blow against the enemies force in the field of combat, but against the enemies civilian , both for purposes of destroying his infrastructure, terrorizing the civilian population. this is the first point i want to emphasize here is the tale of rulon tells us that the united states meet its principal met on the power of strategic bombing to win the war in a way that would be sparing of american manpower terrorizing the civilin population. and american resources, because we had abundant resources of the kind that would be used for this purpose. there's another reason to emphasize this raid. it's because of a man who is highlighted in this photograph. here is his name. in thathe lead pilot raid in august, 1942. is everyone in this room will appreciate, is also the pilot of the enola gay that delivers the first atomic bomb attack in history on hiroshima. just about three years later. almost to the day, certainly to
1:09 pm
the month. in the course of this one man's career, and world war ii, you might say we have a kind of summary statement of this principle promise of american grand strategy, which was to build a strategic bombing force that would deliver its principal blow not against the enemy in the field, but against the enemies homeland and its capacity to support both material and psychologically his forces in the field. chapter two in the parable, tale of three cities has to do with the city in which we are all gathered, washington, d.c. and a famous dispute, it was famous of the time, largely been lost to the historical record. one of the army history green books, there's a whole volume devoted to this. was called the feasibility dispute. thethe war department 1941ipal author drew up in
1:10 pm
a master plan called the victory the unitedp, for how states would mobilize its economy to fight the war that many people now saw coming over the horizon. the fantastically detailed document, right down to the number of chainsaws that will be required to harvest the timber that would need to be milled to build a chance to receive x number of troops and the amount of cotton and wool that would be needed for their uniforms and the amount small arms and bullets, enormously detailed document. it became the job of the man in to center of this photograph undertake the shifting of this -- the economy for a peacetime to a wartime basis. his name was donald nelson and he had been the ceo of sears roebuck. before the war, he was one of the famous men who came to
1:11 pm
washington's job was to shift the economy from a peacetime to a wartime footing. by way of implementing the famous victory program that he had drawn up in the war plans department. summer months earlier. early 1942, even as the effort was just getting into high gear, some economists who were working on this project, one of which later received a noble prize in economics was on the staff and he began to argue that the goals in the victory program planning were too ambitious, both in terms of scale and in timing. -- of nelsontes actually succeeded, in meeting those targets on the timetable specified, he would deeply disrupt the civilian economy and possibly even undermine the american public's support for the war as they felt the contraction of the civilian economy has resources were shifted to military production. this became known as the feasibility dispute, how
1:12 pm
feasible was it to actually implement this plan? economists argued it was not feasible in a meeting of october 1942 and donald olson's office, it was decided that the victory program had to be modified. this,ite house supported vice president henry wallace attended this pivotal meeting. the original program for victory had a modified both the right to scope and timeline. two important decisions flowed from this october meeting in washington, d.c. in to 42. one was to delay the target date for the event that we know is d-day, the cross channel invasion of western europe, from the original target date of july 1, 1943 to what eventually becomes june 6, 1944. to put off the formation of the second front by effectively year
1:13 pm
was the decision number one. which raises a lot of problems with the russians, incidentally. or not so incidentally. and number two, skill that a force that was originally conceived in the architecture of the original victory program from 215 divisions to 90 divisions. the military didn't like this at all. they call that the 90 divisions gamble and they were afraid that a force reduced to the scale would not be sufficient on to the task. has livedision gamble in the historiography of world war ii. feasibility dispute has disappeared. why did the military think it was a gamble? that takes us to chapter three our story, the third city. the city that was renamed a few times over the course of the 20th century and began the century known as the reason. the time the story unfolds at
1:14 pm
and today, volgograd. know and ist people do believe of one. as much as anyone battle consent to be the pivotal point of world war ii, i would say the stalingrad. and that's where the german penetration to the russian heartland was stopped and reversed and the red army falls and shifts from the defensive on to the offense of and begins to push the wehrmacht back through russia, belarus, poland, east germany, pressure, into the streets of berlin by the street of 1945 or eight this was the first strategic level surrender of german forces in the history of world war ii and it changed the nature of the battle to a significant degree. here's a rare color photograph from stalingrad. , soventually get to d-day many months later. in the tale of these three
1:15 pm
, washington, d.c., and stalingrad, we understand the logic of the consequence of what happened in those three cities in the chapters i'm reversing for you, we get the picture of america's grand strategy. to count on a strategic air arm to be the principal vehicle or vessel for carrying the battle to the enemy. to count on a much smaller than originally envisioned ground force, to undertake eventually at a much later date than originally conceived, a ground invasion of the strategic area of europe, not north africa or , but where you can directly strike at the industrial heartland of germany. to leavely, ineffective a lot of the fighting to the russians, who it had been presumed when the original victory program was drawn out in 1941, it was presumed that the russians would either be militarily defeated or would surrender and give up and
1:16 pm
conclude a separate piece as those bloody bolstered except on in 1918 when they shut down the eastern front and made possible one last german assault on paris. the stalingrad victory essentially laid to rest the anxiety in both roosevelt and churchill's mind the russians might in one fashion or another be taken out of the war and therefore, gave them confidence that -- but it this way. the stalingrad victory ratified the viability of these earlier decisions to fight with a smaller force than originally conceived, to fight in northwest europe at a later date than originally conceived, and to fight principally from the air, not on the ground. the joseph stalin met with allies, churchill and roosevelt in tehran in 1943, you can read the transcript of that meeting. in foreign relations of the united states if you don't want to take my word for it. he confronted roosevelt and churchill with the following
1:17 pm
statement which he said more than once. he said it appears that the americans have decided to fight with american money and american machines, and russian men. it was a very single way to put this matter -- a very cynical way to put this matter, but it was a very accurate summary of the consequence of this american grand strategy. it's an important point for us to consider, i believe, would think about -- but the question this way. who want the second world war -- who won the second world war? wonchill speculated japan the second world war because it put an end to western colonial domination asia, this for filling the grant you to japanese objective of asia for the asians. that's one possible answer to who won the war. franco roosevelt toured with that answer. if we mean by who won the war,
1:18 pm
who emerged of wars and in the most advantageous position, they answer is clearly the united states. if we mean coupé the greatest price in blood and treasure? the answer is unambiguously the soviet union. and here's america's contribution. here's what stalin was talking about, not american money and machines. these are some quick reminders of the scale of the so-called production miracle and the amount of stuff that the united states was able to bring to bear in this conflict. the me tell one last short story here that illustrates the point we have goodply data on the two allies in the so-called grand alliance, written in the soviet union. and what happened to mystically andheir economy -- britain
1:19 pm
the soviet union. and what happened domestically to their economies. their civilian economies shrank by about 30% to 35%. civilians had one third less food and shelter and clothing and housing and transportation amenities of one kind or another than they had in peacetime. in the united states and the united states alone amongst all the entrants into the war, the civilian sector of the economy, even while gearing up for this enormous military effort, the civilian economy grew by 15%. americans on the homefront were actually better off during the war than they had been before the war. there is no other society the father war about whom such a thing could be said and is just another reminder of how this country's war was like no one else's. this toto illustrate think about this famous apartment store, macy's.
1:20 pm
of 1944,er 1944, and the marketing team at mesa started thinking about when need to have a big one-day sale, which will discount our prices and encourage customers to come in and buy stuff. don't ask me the logic of this, but they decided that they would be december 7, 1944. the third anniversary of pearl harbor. i don't know about you, but i think it today somebody said we are to have a big discount toett nordstrom's on 9/11 remember 9/11 and i think we would find that kind of creepy. but in any case for this what they decided. they have the sale december 7, 1944, around the even the battle of the bulge and the meter -- major battles in the philippine sea, about all the height of american fighting in the war in both the european and pacific theaters. macy's holds the sale and at the end of the day, the guys with the green shades racked up all
1:21 pm
the results and it turned out on this day, macy's had a higher volume of sales then any day in its history of to that time. there is no country the father war where you can make any kind of a similar statement. finally, or almost finally, let's look at something kind of grim to contemplate. captured here. squint too kind of actually see the united states contribution to military -- to deaths during world war ii. we also think the world war ii was the first war in modern history at least in which civilian death exceeded military death. kind of an usually in the history of warfare and it was quite dramatically so in this particular conflict. let's look at these numbers more closely. there's certain amount of argumentation and variation in
1:22 pm
the numbers that converts more or less in the same zones of approximation. the numbers are going to give you might not look exactly like the ones there, but there will be pretty close. these are numbers are hard to hear but reminds us what warfare is all about, especially this particular conflict. closest and oldest ally in the grand alliance, the united kingdom, 350,000 dead in the war, of whom about 100,000 were civilians. , 10 million dead in the war, of whom 6 million were civilians. yugoslavia, relatively small country higher standards, 2 million dead in the war, of whom 1.5 million were civilians. japan, 3 million dead of whom one million were civilians, most of them japanese civilians killed not in the two atomic attacks, it in the firebombing campaign that went on from november 1944 through august, 1945.
1:23 pm
poland, a relatively small country by american standards, 8 million dead come of whom 6 million were civilians and about 4.5 million to 5 million of those jews. fromny, 6.5 million dead, one million were civilians and almost all those german civilians killed in the combined anglo-american bombing raids that began jointly in 1942. dead, union, 24 million of whom 16 million were civilians. united states, four 5003 to 99 military dead and exactly six civilians in the 48 states that then had a star on the flag in the so-called continental united states. the same numbers are presented differently. this is a monument to the six american civilians, in a war in which civilian death toll's iceeded military death tolls,
1:24 pm
don't mean to be understood as trivializing that at all. to put it into perspective of what happened elsewhere and to contrast it with the total of exactly six united states civilians killed in the 48 homeland states, this excludes alaska and hawaii, not yet hates answering other territories, philippines and so on. you have those numbers and it would not make a material difference. let's stick to the 48 states with a star on the flag. six people whose deaths are treatable to enemy action in world war ii, they all died together in the same place and time in the most improbable location of the slope with a shoulder of place called your heart mountain in oregon. for those of you don't have a clear picture in your mental map of where it is, it is south-central oregon, just north of the california border, and
1:25 pm
still today even fairly rural place. as aesn't even qualify hamlet, is a very small little village, not even a wide spot in the road. and the dead were a woman by the name of lc mitchell, 26 years ages nineve children, years old 14 years old were with her, her husband, the reverend archie mitchell who was the pastor of a local church and they were taking the children come the children of their parishioners on a sunday school picnic and they drove up to gearhart mountain. the reverend mitchell what his wife and five children out of the vehicle and winter park, as he was parking it, you heard an explosion, he ran to the direction of the sound and when he got there, as he described it later informal testimony, he said he saw his wife and the five children laid out like the spokes of a bicycle wheel. what happened was as later reconstructed mrs. mitchell and
1:26 pm
these five kids had come across a mysterious looking thing in the brush and they tugged at it to see what it was about and it blew up and killed them all instantly. what they have found it turned , andas a japanese firebomb little-known episode of world war ii. the japanese had their own version of a strategic bombing campaign against the united states. they were trying to deliver their blow out against the marines of the army and the pacific, but against the american homeland and the idea without were balloons internal means of propulsion and were sent out into the jet stream and drifted across the pacific ocean and they had small firebombs aboard and a little bit of an altimeter and sandbag releasing and gas releasing device it would eventually bring them to earth over north america, with the plan was, they would ignite forest fires on such a scale of the american military effort would have to be redirected towards fighting these fires and away from the
1:27 pm
advance towards the japanese home islands in the pacific. the japanese lost approximately 10,000 of these from a place called 99 beach share tokyo. they ran out of hydrogen gas is a certain point and had to stop the campaign. mrs. mitchell and these kids have found one of these bombs and that's what killed him. there's a footnote to all of that. thatdline, that tells of -- of those deaths. bereft, widowed , soon after the war, took and at as a missionary some date in the 1950's, he was kidnapped and never seen again. we think we have tough lives, let's remember archie mitchell and what he had to endure. just try to make a point in general that the wars this
1:28 pm
country fatwas unlike the war that most other people thought. we started with pearl harbor, let's go back there by way of conclusion. some of you no doubt have been to pearl harbor and been to the memorial, which is in the foreground here in white. i was there recently, in december of 2014. 2015, pardon me. ,nd saw that the uss missouri the battleship on which the formal japanese surrender was 1945 is beenr 2 brought to pearl harbor and these ships are adjacent to one another and a powerful statement at this photograph captures about how the war began and how it ended. especially from the perspective the bigphotograph just
1:29 pm
-- and make some kind of statement about how the united states avenged the attack on pearl harbor and eventually asserted its supremacy. i will tell you another story to about the uss missouri. a pretty rare photographs and if you look at it carefully, if i can figure out how to use the pointer. other than going to mess with the device officially great if you look in the upper left-hand corner, you will see an airplane about to strike the deck of the uss missouri in the battle of okinawa. as it turns out, it was a, causing plane and its bomb failed to release. the plane itself struck the missouri and then disintegrated and fell into the ocean. most of the plane fell into the ocean as did half of the pilot's body. the other half of the pilot's old, thewas 19 years
1:30 pm
other half his body fragmented all over the deck of the missouri. crew members on the deck of the missouri were still under attack and they were preparing to wash their enemies body into the sea with fire hoses, when the captain of the ship, his name was william callahan, a graduate of saint ignatius high school in san francisco, i might add, got on the address system and said no, he ordered half of the remains be brought to the sick bay and to be prepared for full military burial on the next day. his remains were placed into a canvas bag with dummy shell casings to weigh it down and a boatswain's mate stitched together an improvised japanese flag which was then attached to the canvas bag and the ship's captain -- chaplin committed the body to the sea.
1:31 pm
the next morning, accompanied by a volley of rifle fire. some of the crew didn't like this. but callahan said we have treated this young man is a who displayed, courage and devotion, and who paid the ultimate sacrifice with his life, fighting for his country. i think that was an extra very moment of grace and otherwise got awful conflict. it reminded me when i first heard this story -- i didn't hear it i was there a year or two ago. it reminded me of another story that goes back to the battle of santiago, cuba on july 3, 1898, when the spanish fleet steamed out to the very narrow opening of the santiago harbor and was blown out of the water by the more or less freshly built united states navy. who was inmmander command of the battleship, the battleship texas, which was very
1:32 pm
effective in sinking the spanish ships as they came out of the harbor. they delivered very effective fire onto the spanish cruiser. as it was going down, the sailors on the texas began cheering. as you imagine they would and philip got on his public address system and said don't cheer, boys. those poor devils are dying. i take that to be an extraordinary statement of grace under very, very trying circumstances. we are still talking about the missouri here. i want to bring one other thing to your attention. is tetsuo, -- this and was given the military burial. i want to come back to the , ifender of the missouri you visit there, you will go to it for sure. i will conclude with this last remark, which comes from the pen of this man, who is highlighted
1:33 pm
here. he was a fairly young japanese diplomat, who was standing there in formal attire is role the japanese, where the americans were in fatigues in the background. he stood there under the sun for iod of time,e per doing his best to swallow his affiliation as he witnessed his superiors of their signatures on the surrender documents in front of the eyes of the victors. he wrote about this in a book called journey to the missouri. he has studied in the united states, amherst college and he knew the united states the way relatively few japanese data. is on the deck of the missouri any years douglas macarthur in his address to everybody present say the following -- he expressed the hope that from this solemn occasion, a better
1:34 pm
world shall emerge, a world counting on -- founded on faith and understanding. he wrote i wonder whether he would have been possible for us, had we been victorious, to embrace the vanquished with a similar magnanimity. again, writing something worth reflecting on what we think about our countries' way of war. i started with winston churchill and i will close with him, something he said in the sentence immediately following the one that i began with when he says the united states stand at this moment of the summit of the world. and then he said in the next breath, i rejoice that it should be so. nother use her vast power just for herself, but for the well-being of all people in all lands, and a new era will open in the history of mankind. i think that is something we should keep in mind as we think
1:35 pm
of the highest aspirations of our own country in relation to the rest of the world, in war and in peace. thank you. [applause] ask dr. kennedy will take a few questions. told ifedy: i've been you are going to make a comment, wait for the microphone. microphoneeast one moving around that i can see. is there a second one? to see whoto you wants to be recognized and besides, you've got the machine. i see someone here.
1:36 pm
>> dr. kennedy, i am from the state department. can you talk about why the united states legally go from such a level of economic devastation to have the account -- the economy expand when none of the other allies were able to pull that off? dr. kennedy: it's more than a little bit ironic. the short answer is as to how that happened so quickly and if it -- efficiently and relatively painlessly was there was so much of the underutilized capacity of the moment of american entry into the war because of the great depression. in a sense, the depression turned out to be a kind of asset that can be leveraged into swift and full military mobilization, without terribly wrenching the civilian economy.
1:37 pm
it was the argument made the war production board. there's a contrasting example, which underscores the accuracy of this explanation, it's world war i. it when the united states entered world war i and night and 17, the american economy was at full capacity. we have been supplying allies quite lavishly up to that point, 19 14, 1915, 1916, and almost institutionally, inflation or -- inflationary spiral was that off. we think it was 100% inflation between 1970 and -- 1917 and 1920. somewhat perverse, the most logical answer to your question is that we could mobilize unutilized capacity without wrenching the already in place civilian economy. >> i am faculty here.
1:38 pm
i was intrigued by one of the photographs you showed. there's a sign in the back of the college saying we are here to fight the enemy, not to fight each other. was thedegree or how political environment here be able to marshal the unity that was necessary to get -- to engage the whole country in the war fighting effort? dr. kennedy: that's an excellent question. i'm not sure i have an excellent answer. lies in the realm of things that are very difficult to quantify and specify with the kind of concreteness and historians and social scientists are attracted to. there was a degree of shared experience in the great depression that antedated the war itself. a degree of confidence in government as an effective institution because the depression had not been ended, but it had been seriously reduced its effect on the
1:39 pm
american people in the preceding decade. those were psychological assets that went to work in the war. and contrasted with world war i once again. there was relatively little dissent. the war vote taken in 1917, number 56 votes. against the war resolution. theas only one vote against war resolution on december 8, 1941, and woman by the name of jeannette rankin, the congresswoman from monday -- from montana. the only person who voted against american participation in both of those wars was that same person, jeanette franken. just jeannette rankin. there's a degree of shared experience and confidence of in leadership and the government that we have difficulty recapturing today.
1:40 pm
agos in discussion on long was an undergraduate students at discussing the very sad and troubling fact that you name the institution our society today with the conspicuous exception of the military, the american public has weightless courts,ce than the congress, the presidency, the media, the churches, you name them institutions then we did a generation or two ago. inas reminded of the scene the film "the grapes of wrath," i don't believe it's in the book, but it's in the film, there's a thing where the job family has been maltreated by cops and expletive farmers and ranchers and so on all the way on their journey from oklahoma to california. they are at a low point in despair and they see a sign of the road, no they are safe because it's a government camp. if you put that kind of thing into a film today, you would be laughed out of the theater.
1:41 pm
but it resonated with the american public when that film came out. there was confidence in those kinds of institutions to degree we just don't have today . >> you mentioned earlier about it to -- italian officials talking about airpower in future warfare. general billy mitchell was court-martialed in 1925 and could have better prepared us. dr. kennedy: mitchell is one of the people, but he is the single most famous in the american military establishment who begin to understand the implication of this. many of the earliest iterations of trying to militarize the technology of the aircraft were to use it for defense against naval invasions. to bomb battleships and so on. it started out to be marginal use, but the deep penetration 24 and especially later in the pacific theater, the b-29, these were marvels of engineering and production,
1:42 pm
cutting-edge technologies that their time. i've often conjured the scene in -- if you would been a crewmember on one of the b 20's the took off from the y nights, virtually ever between 19441945 to conduct firebombing raids on japan, and you're up at 30,000 feet in the , which your own meteorologists only just figure out existed anywhere going towards the japanese homeland and you have four big radial engines powering your aircraft and you see one of these craft drifting towards america. they do intersect or come close to each other at several points. you might've thought what the devil is that?
1:43 pm
but if you can keep that image of your mind of these cutting-edge powerful new american technologies, the b 29 super fortress, 4400 mile combat radius, they would deliver big bomb loads every day, day in, day out. this balloon with no internal propulsion drifting the other way, too different strategic bombing campaigns. we had the capacity to implement it on a vast scale. yamamoto'sere is nightmare realized. that the americans have time to fully mobilize their vast human and material and financial resources. they can bring that to bear against us weapons and weapons systems of a quantity and quality we don't have any hope of matching. time for maybe two more questions. you want the last one? >> department of commerce.
1:44 pm
or so often talking about the national security council in this war was prosecuted very successfully before the creation of the national security council. do you have any advice on is there some way we can correct the national security council, do we need it? or is there some way we can go -- i just like your opinion on the. -- on that. dr. kennedy: if i understood you correctly, you correctly note that world war ii was prosecuted before there existed a national security council. purport of your question to say if that was exist without a national security council, do we need one now? i'm not sure i'm confident to ask that question. i need to think more deeply today'secisely what national security council does and doesn't do. i will say this, however. for whatever it's worth, and it might be very little, but in a
1:45 pm
wase, world war ii strategically simple. we had two major adversaries and we knew what it would take to defeat them. the question was simply to organize ourselves properly and to deliver the blow and the right place, right time, right quantity. today's security environments, globally, think is vastly more complicated and more difficult to assess, and more difficult to know exactly what are the right steps that need to be put into place to deal with this than was the case in 1941. we may not need the national security council as we have it today, but we need some kind of body that does that kind of thinking for us. i think we live in a much more complicated and much more dangerous world than 1941. did you want the last question? you still need the microphone.
1:46 pm
>> hard to imagine a better synoptic appreciation of lecture about the second world war than we have just heard. thank you, doctor. [applause] >> on behalf of the national defense university, colleges and centers, i would like to express my appreciation. certainly, i would reference to for citations, when reasons, one longer ago. our own secretary of defense recently offered an interview to a middle school student in washington, and one of the question was is there particular discipline you would recommend as a major in college and the secretary of defense matters that i would recommend the study
1:47 pm
of history, because that is the field where you learn all the lessons of mankind. that is relevant then in the words of tatiana, who pointed out those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. thank you for giving us that historical perspective and highlighting some of those very important lessons great it's now up to all of us to try and clean those lessons that i too relevant situations today. i would like to present you with a small token of my appreciation. thank you. [applause] responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] >> tweet us at c-span history. asking about an issue that still resounds today, his question is about how many people were
1:48 pm
fathered by gis, u.s. gis in vietnam and how were they treated 45 years after the u.s. departure? >> you could be featured during the next live program. join the conversation on facebook at and on twitter at c-span history. >> monday on "the communicators," we are at bell labs in regal hill, new jersey, where they conducted advanced indications research. >> the most exciting is 5g communication. >> which is? >> is an interesting thing. it's been 100 years since we had marconi and this has changed our species. that's what all wireless communication is very. we want to go to a new era of can indication of that era of medication as directed being in
1:49 pm
mitigation. as opposed to broadcasting the signal everywhere, we target just at the individuals. the reason we want to do this is because our search for data is never-ending. well is one more and more and we of saturated our spectrum. we have to go higher frequencies and these have many other challenges. the signal loss through the air is just too much. we can do broadcast like traditional. i have to direct my beam directly to you. and get some data from you and then moved to the next person. this is a complete change in communication and that's a huge set of challenges. >> watch "the communicators," on c-span2. >> ratified in 1870, the 15th amendment gave voting rights to
1:50 pm
african-american men. though it wasn't until 1965 that the amendment became a reality for most black voters. american history tv, from a symposium entitled in franchising of quality, 115 amendment,e 15th they discussed the flaws and exportation of african american by both republican and democratic parties. the university of the south in sewanee, tennessee host to the daylong symposium. this is about 30 minutes. >> he received his jd from stanford law school and a legal history from the university of oxford, where he was a marshall scholar. after law


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on