tv Japanese Perspective on World War II CSPAN January 4, 2020 2:15pm-4:01pm EST
admiral's grasp of foreign policy, or congress would not have abdicated its own responsibility and allowed this one man to decide what was appropriate. about johnson's escalation of the vietnam this weekend on c-span three. next, william paterson university history professor theodore cook talks about his book "japan at war: an oral history." he discusses the japanese perspective on world war ii leading up to the december 7, 1941 attack on pearl harbor. the new york military affairs symposium hosted this event. [applause] dr. theodore cook is professor of history and the asian studies program director at william paterson university. it is good to have him home again. his degree in history from trinity college, a masters in
far eastern history from the university of london, and his phd in japanese history from princeton university. he has been the secretary of the navy fellow and visiting professor of strategy and policy at the u.s. naval war college. usking professor at the trillion defense force academy, where he was a senior fulbright fellow, and a visiting scholar to the national japanese center in kyoto. he studied the comparative history of war, specializing in japanese military institutions and the social and cultural transformation of japan. war, co-author of japan at in world history, a new york times best book of the year, and published widely on japanese war experience in english and japanese. please welcome dr. ted cook. [applause] prof. cook: it's a great
privilege again to once more at theo my friends military affairs symposium, which has been a home for me for many, many years. not quite from the beginning, but close to the beginning. ince we moved, my wife and moved to new york and number of years ago. tonight we have a topic about one of the two places that always come up when everyone talks about the second world war in the pacific -- we've got pearl harbor and we got the atomic bomb, the two bookends for many of the studies of japan. what i wanted to do tonight and what i will be doing as we proceed here this evening, i want to talk about the war as the japanese saw it, as the beginning of the war, and what the japanese high command thought they were doing when they entered into that conflict. this is not going to be the tactical study of the attack on pearl harbor, as some of you,
i'm sure, would love to hear. we did that a number of years ago, where we talked about the japanese and the way in which i actually -- they actually executed the operations, the studying and all the operations there. i have been working on this topic in general for many, many years. tonight, i am going to share some ideas i have about how we might look at the war. prewar assessments and strategic judgments are rife with errors on both sides of the civil -- pacific war. the assessment of the opponent of the other is one of the greatest errors that could easily be identified as we look at the second world war in the pacific. the naval warat college, one of the most difficult things i had to do was tell the american naval officers who were studying for their test that the american navy was not always right and despite the
fact that we had a couple of pretty good lectures here telling us about winning all of the wargames and how the wargames were fought at the naval war college, one of the things they did not get right was the event we were looking at this evening. in do you lead your fleet anger and haven't destroyed, that is a question you do not want to talk about too much. it is like we have never been attacks, except for 9/11, when we talk about the war in the middle east. wartime execution of the plans was modified to incorporate new opportunities through the. leading upthe period to the war. what i want to do tonight in this japanese rendition -- you cannot read it, it is not clear on a, that is pearl harbor map, based in hawaii. this is an old map from 1898.
it has one error in it, but that is all right. it shows the political position in which japan and america stepped back at the turn of the , so in 1898, america was about to seize the chain of hawaii. the republic of hawaii was about to be taken over and become the domain of president dole, of pineapple fame, and eventually to become part of the american territories. controlled the philippines, germany had colonies in the central pacific, and japan was limited to its includingwon in 1890, the area of --. japan was on the far side of the pacific, quite isolated from the united states, but the political situation is going to change dramatically. the other european powers
of the pacific ocean were old-timers. the spanish had been there since the 15th, 16th century. the dutch had been there from their rivals. when we look at the second world ar, asia, we are looking at colony in the south east indies that had been established for 300 or more plus years, a very stable, brutal, highly regimented colonial regime that stood out as an example of productivity. the british were in borneo and 1840, 1842,nd in they had seized hong kong. in the opium war. the british and the people had been there, and it took the
whole history of how japan and america came into conflict. we have to remember that it was the united states in the decade before the american civil war that was to take the credit and actually earn the credit of japan, up the regime in leading to the overthrow from 1853 to 1867, the overthrow of the japanese state that had years, 260st 300 years, and replaced it with a stateriving, unformed which is going to create modern japan. the emperor system will be reinvented in the mid-19th century, a thousand year tradition, a 2000 year tradition we hear about. we have a new emperor on the throne since may. the emperoron takes
back centuries and centuries, but the modern japanese date was a creation of the 19th century. it reached its apex, it's a pity me and perhaps it's -- it's end when it its submitted to the western european powers. most of you i think are familiar with the general trend. was leaderdor, who of the american squadron that sailed into missouri -- i'm sorry, i am one step ahead of myself -- failed into -- sailed into edo bay. at the time, the flag that flew over his ship was brought by general -- i think it was general nimitz, actually, to the where itp missouri,
was put on the masthead looking down on the japanese delegation that came aboard september 2, 1945, to sign the surrender, or the submission, ending the war. i, we interviewed one of the people present for the japanese side, who was a man who had to point out the sign for the japanese delegation on that day. he said one thing that reminded him more than any thing were the glaring american sailors, from the rafters looking down at him. and the flag on the wall. the flag that had flown there 1854 as a53 and reminder of how things had turned out in this venture between america and japan. we are not going to go there now, but let's move a little bit ahead. innk of where japan was 1941. what was the situation for japan?
many of us are quite familiar with this, an audience full of people who have looked at the war in china, but it is still this unknown part of the asia-pacific war. japan was a nation at war, had been at war with china in formal terms, except there was no formal declaration of war between japan and china, largely because of the problem of american neutrality laws, as supplies stopped flowing had japan declared war on china or vice percent, both with have trade- would have lost opportunities. but china had emerged from a horrible civil war, a terrible conflict we saw with the long march, kicked off to the northern borders next to the japanese, [inaudible] war, the general map of the pacific here has a
couple of very interesting and helpful pointers. , if you look at the large area of pink, it shows the japanese territory on the continent. it shows the japanese puppet state created since 1931, seized by the japanese army in 1931, and korea had been annexed by japan, or unified with japan in 1910 officially. korea became part of the. japanese -- the japanese empire. okinawa was japanese, taiwan, and in the south japanese war of 1995, it had been a chat -- attacked by the japanese at least once before. we have the japanese empire, but
next to it, if you can senior mongolia and china, is the mongol republic. the japanese are on the side of the mongolian nationalists, who some of you might be in the , mongolian and nationalist, who fought against communist china, who fought against nationalist russia for the independence of mongolia. early on in the war, the japanese mongolian province had been one of the justifications the japanese used for the occupation of manchuria. south of that province we see the occupied territory of japan, of china, that japan had occupied. japan had been at war for three or four years and suffered
nearly half a million casualties. at least 340 million casualties, more left dead, long before the attack on pearl harbor. what does that do to a nation? japan has fought every war and its history, modern history, on sure terms -- short terms. they defeated russia in 1904, 1905, thanks to teddy roosevelt they were saved from a russian counterattack, as lenin was also ,nvolved in helping to mess up the japanese helped fund lenin and helped mess of the russian decision in 1905 to not continue that war as to make peace at portsmouth, new hampshire. so the japanese had won that war and taken part in the war with germany -- first of all, after that they had taken part in the boxer rebellion, before the war with russia, where they participated as a member of the
western group, saving the western states, and considered to be the most disciplined, carefully managed soldiers in movie "55, unlike the days in beijing." we were not the good guys necessarily in that one. if you look up and see that territory that japan is occupying, the japanese found themselves in china having fought this huge war and finding themselves -- [inaudible] i'm sorry, i left out japan fought the worst world war -- first world war on the winning side, the german territory, and received as result the territories in the pacific. they had a large empire on the continent of asia resulting from the manchurian efforts in 1894
and 1895, which turned somewhat permanent, what they thought was be a somewhat permanent state by seizing the departments of manchuria from the chinese in drove thecoup and warlord out of manchuria. we have to remember beyond the the menll, the home of chus, it was a man separate state. there was an argument to be made , there was an argument to be made that it was a reasonable thing for the manchus and mongols, the people living beyond the great wall to not want to be chinese. you cannot make that statement in china today. i would not recommend saying that on a street corner in beijing, or anywhere else in china. even hong kong.
my main point, though, this taken,that japan had along the coast of china, you can see little red blocks. those were the territory supports japan was implying were being supposed on china, a blockade. the imperial navy was deeply involved in blockading the china coast, preventing supplies from reaching the regime of the st chinese, which had a huge population. most of the population is along the coast. if you look at a map of china and see the vast territory of with the united states, it is similar. the west is empty and the east is packed, a fairly easy way to look at the chinese system. japan was in serious trouble in china in the 1930's, 1941. we will look a little bit about how that affected them going
forward. you cannot read these maps, i am afraid, from the back. the main point is that the 1956,se deployment in there were only 160,000 japanese troops in manchuria, 80,000 in the homeland, and the strength of the japanese imperial army was 240,000. that is more than they have in the self-defense forces today. that was 1936. 1937, when the war in china broke out, japan expanded and 290,000,-- goes up to and when general mobilization was ordered, the war with china expanded, suddenly, 160,000 andps were sent to china the army was mobilized, the reserves are mobilized and the total army went to 750,000. i am not going to read the chart, don't worry, but the japanese imperial army was committed almost entirely to
china at late as 1941. there were over 1,350,000 soldiers that had been called up , some two or three years before. standing army, to be fleshed out in general mobilization, and the people were taken from the field and the factories and the towns and to cities, and sentenced their units, and was sent off to their units that were fighting in china or at home, mobilizing one brigade or one regiment, sometimes serving as a base, and then dispatched to china. a whole region would go to world together.- go to war the divisions in central japan would travel together, go back to their homeland. one year, two years of
deployment and casualties coming a deeporea had involvement with the japanese people with that war in china. it was not something you could write away -- it was not like the russo japanese war where everyone went away, came back and got a pension, some people got wounded and we had a small monument for the few people who were killed, there were some serious casualties in that war. but compared to was coming, it was nothing. and --expected in 1977 1937 and 1938, it would be winding down. the answer is, because the chinese did not surrender. they refused to give up. they were not fighting the war that propaganda ends -- propagandists or wartime historians would have us believe, they were fighting a
war for national survival. to this very briefly, in a couple of minutes, the chinese government chose to resist any japanese peace offerings, serious peace offerings from japan, and the japanese decided they would not talk with the chinese government created a, and [inaudible] --, who worked with the government and the national party. he was a leading figure in the nationalist movement in china, waske perfect french, eventually put into the field with a million men on the japanese side before pearl harbor. again, that is not part of our general history. point is in 1941
november, we see about 20,000 troops in the southern area, 20,000 in the southern area. it will go up to 150,000 in december. guess where they are going? the command. the japanese deployed a large force to the south to take part in what they were now developing as their strategy for the war that was to come. again, going back to this , the japanese people know that popular will is going to be critical in this war, it is also critical in the minds of the japanese high command, the japanese emperor, and in different ways, we will come to the end, but it is critical in the minds of all the people who the japanese state. in effort to create a total war.
we often send americans today in our generation, they do not really quite remember the full extent of the mobilization in the united states. when you mobilize for total war, you need everybody involved. you need tens of millions of people. men, women, and children are mobilized for the cause. how do you sustain that? 1937, 1938, 1930 nine, their population swelled with the war. by 1941, they were nuts with the war. they were looking for a way out of the war. that was one of high command's greatest problems, how do we end the war we are fighting, and the tragic solution we see them choosing, let's expand its more. was propaganda that worked very effectively, japanese film and popular culture, novels, on war in china.
and most of the people in japan, the home country, had family abroad. somebody in their family had been fighting in china and now they were coming home wounded, with missing limbs, they were coming home broken. their are hospitals were filling up with psychological casualties, partially from the experience and partially from the actions they had been taking , undergoing and undertaking in china. recently, a very powerful movie called caterpillar was an example of one of these heroes coming home, a quadruple amputee and his experience coming home. it is a grim, grim story, but i recommend it for those of you who have a strong stomach. this map tells us what the
japanese public was being taught about war in general in the mid-1930's. i will go through this very quickly, but this is a map that map, it is foldout available, but it is from the 1934 film. it covers the entire scope of the pacific and has very interesting points. in the center of the pacific ocean is a key geographic point in this is a big -- in the pacific ocean, hawaii. if you take a globe of the , it gets coldthis and shrinks -- you turn the what do we see? >> [inaudible] nothingok: hawaii and else, right? essentially. it is also important to realize
why this is so vital. if you go from san francisco to japan on your way to manila, it is a straight line. not this way, so sorry for that presentation, but it is important to realize that the two routes to japan lead from the south or the north. in the pacific theater. that is exactly what we will see in a minute. this is that picture, japanese boys, 14, 15 years old will be studying this map and understanding the relationship with the powers in the pacific and enjoying the fun of thinking they are a great naval power, because japan was a great naval power in the pacific in the 1930's, and now before the war, china had begun to expand. the japanese were beginning to feel they were [inaudible] certainly the young japanese children worst feeling they
would step into a world where japan would be treated with respect. of course, japan had a big neighbor besides china, who they were about to go to war with. russia. the soviet union. we will come back to that in a moment. if you look eerily at where the american naval bases were, i do not know if you have ever studied maps of this sort, but i confess to having done so. san francisco is a major naval base there. they have not moved to san diego this aroundy have the cities. by australia, this map shows the naval strength of the different you to-- i won't ask read them, but japan comes out pretty well in the charts. i want to show one more, which is surprising, it shows the
japanese army. 240,000 men on that side, the number i showed you before. a small standing army. what i call a nation in reserve. when you go to war, everyone is in. that is one of the great weaknesses of the japanese military system, of course. mass mobilization means if you are empty, everything else is filled up. that is why japan was so vulnerable after two years of war. in the united states. their arms, and 1.3 million from russia. you can see the americans have a vast civil aviation, and the top military aviation. russians are doing quite well on the military side, ese are wayd japan behind.
this is my father's map, he got it as a boy, of an american counterpart from 1938. it is the same map, with a different stress. it shows in the center -- i apologize for not being able to zoom in -- but you see hawaii indicated as a naval base. to the northeast, to the north, the most likely area for naval action. the battle of midway -- and the air force is pointing to word -- toward [inaudible] with a little red airplane on it. that is what it is saying in this map. we have an air pace at dutch harbor, another good place for an air base. if you are trying to think about where japan might go, you might think, is going to go to the north. hawaii, patrol is possible only
from tenders. the northeast of hawaii that at that point, the airplane did not have the range to cover. the most likely naval action is north, and rules out the island as a proper base, but does say midway could be turned into a decent base. it has the american line to a,aii, hawaii to us really -- to australia, and [inaudible] this is to promote the u.s. navy, u.s. ships, bases of men as of january 1938. my father did not join the navy, but he likes that. 1940, japan had been shaped tremendously by what happened in europe in 1939. as you all know, fiddler and hitlermade a pact --
stalin made a pact, and this gave a green light for hitler to attack poland. britain declared war, france declared war, italy stayed out for a while, and we have a war in europe. the same faced with involvement they were faced with in 1914 -- which side are you on? japan made a choice to be on the side of the germans by joining the nazi pacthen earlier. so they were allied, but they were not required to go to each other's wars. it was not guaranteed to join in the other war. japan was particularly reticent to go to the aid of germany at this time, not spending too much they were notbut
to moved to go to war on the german side because the germans trained japan in 1939 in a deal with [inaudible] war on then a borders of mongolia and manchuria, and thousands of japanese soldiers were going to be killed in that battle. commanderviet russian was going to become famous for his tank commanding later in the war, but he was the russian-soviet victor at that battle of taiwan. this was a point when germany could have helped out japanese by putting pressure on stalin, but hitler had other things in mind. that was faced with the additional question back in 1939, which side do you stay on?
well, remain neutral. i think i talked to you about this a couple years ago, i talked about military attaches europe. the japanese military attaches in europe in 1940 were having a the dayce in brussels that germany attacked the west, may 1940, and had to run to their lives -- run for their lives to get back to their home berlin, some to other to england, holland, and france to avoid being caught up in the war. japan has remained out of the war in europe and has watched the germans overrun western europe. the defeat of france and belgium, and the defeat of holland was extremely relevant to japan's position in east
asia. french indochina now had no homeland. burma was british, but somewhat unstable. india, of course, was in the middle of agitation for independence, agitation for staying out of the war. many people argue that india should stay out of the war. a wasritish side in malay not 100% solid by the british borneo. nor was japan is a floating colony and very attractive, that they were also attracted to germany. there was some concern, the japanese diplomatic service, that the germans would sign them them, to themselves.
they would be signed over to the germans rather than the japanese. that kind of pressure, which sounds kind of exotic to us, it was important to realize that was a real possibility. japan had one ally in asia at this time beside the puppet and china.manchuria thailand was pro-japanese. they were not formally in a military alliance, but they were a reasonable accord. thailand was the only other country in the far east that has colonization -- semi colonization, if you want to be nice to china. it maintains that liberal independents, and so had the japanese emperor. everyone else was subjective. siam, heor the king of
was the borderline between the two, germany and britain. so what was the expected nature of the warrior go that is my main point. what is the war going to be like? the preconceptions were that this war, if it came and japan went to war in the far east in 1940, 1941, it would be a long war. they did not want that. it had to be a short war. a long war was unwinnable. they agree, they want some more detail on that. so what do you do? why would you want to go to war in a fantasy scenario? [inaudible] leave japante and preeminent in greater east asia. that was a scenario everyone would like to sign up for. onortunately, the powers the far east did not sign up for that.
was full of navy as own self-confidence, technologically advanced military force. it saw itself as one of the leaders in military technology. perfected many things that the british thought they had perfected -- i think they did a pretty amazing job -- but they had some problems with engineering, they created difficulties with some of their -- notad not built been billed as strongly, as rigidly as they should have. a mixed reputation on the world stage but in japan, they were a highly elite force. it was difficult to be a and the sailor discipline was very severe and their level of performance was very high. --ntion a fire plight of a fighter pilot and his book -- history," heoral
signed up for the navy because he wanted a good job, and he was a gunnery crew on a battleship. this was a highly skilled position, considered to be the elite. when he decided to become a pilot, he was beaten up by everybody. how dare you betray them, the navy this way by becoming a pilot? this also meant the japanese navy was aware of the world in a as which the imperial army, a general term, was not. importantly, the officers studied widely about naval history. they knew their history very well. they studied the men had any in an school the manhani in the naval college, and --
he missed the important thing. i'll come to be important thing in a minute. battlesxisted to fight and create opportunities for long-term control. without control of the sea, you are nothing. they embraced the naval part of it, but they did not embrace the civil naval forces that we see would have been vital for the war that japan was fighting. they are fortunate, because the american navy did not either. the american navy chose to focus on its battleships, it's destroyers and cruisers, and the war began, they would turn to and buildft, ships, them quickly. which automatically makes it a long war. beginning,ve at the you have to wait until it is there to help you fight your battles. the commander sitting in hawaii,
dreaming of sorting out across the pacific to defeat the japanese has to realize he has a very minimal supply train. an american general wishing to fight against the japanese, [inaudible] he is not getting any supplies for a long time if a war breaks out with japan. the imperial army, responsibilities and promise were really key. the japanese army with the foundation of the japanese state , as it saw its self. i have the navy under the direct command under the imperial family, led by the emperor. this meant something in this period. it did not mean anything in the 1920's, but under this emperor, it became clear that the integration of the army and society was very, very close indeed. not only was there a description that every soldier was part of
the japanese imperial state in that sense, and orders came from the top down to the high command from soldiers to the emperor, in itory, but the army believed was the state. every major city in japan was a gala --own, and took a wa was the regional headquarters. there was a big link between every city -- very similar to the german system. you were shipped to the local town, you went to the local town. the japanese military's responsibility was to defend the homeland and their responsibility had become the continent. navye imperial army and both believed themselves superior to their likely knew they hadthey more experience than any other
nation in the far east, certainly, and probably in the world they were one of the leaders. they were aware of their -- the imperial may be fully believed in its own superiority. arrogance, proven performance is all part of that idea. the japanese imperial army was threatsrious, serious because it could not win the war in china. so how do we get out of the war in china? what kind of war do we fight of japan decided to fight in the south? they knew the war would be limited and absolute. it would be a war for control of territory other people have had, taking it away would be difficult. it would require the full mobilization of the japanese state. i have to point out they were already mobilized. japan's economy was already creaking in 1921.
considered and was considered eventually. plans required the enemies cooperation -- enemy's cooperation in his overthrow. this was true for the united states, by the way, because there was no way japan could compel victory. in 1941, the, americans were not going to sail into tokyo bay and order japan to surrender. no one was sitting there that.ng nobody was at that level of fantasy. teddy roosevelt might have been at that level of fantasy in 1900, when he said the great white fleet around the world and called on the japanese fleet, and the japanese looked at the fleet and said, why are the americans here? from that moment on, the americans were the next enemy. story. a whole other japan is facing a number of questions. would japan fight alone? -- japan --n
germany was far away. there was no tactical collaboration with germany. up southeasted asia, but the plan was written to be next. that is what most people thought. if germany decided to give up the colonies from france and belgium and holland, i do not know if the belgians, [inaudible] , know it was on hitler's mind but i am not sure if it was on the japanese. where germany would strike next was critical. this is what we spoke about when we talked last about the japanese embassies. [inaudible] in europe because they believed the germans were going to strike england, even in the spring of 1941, the battle of britain had been won in a sense by the british, but they certainly had
not defeated the germans. the germans were there. the efforts made by the germans to pretend they were going to invade england. they convinced the japanese ambassador to germany, the general, that that is where they were going to strike, even though takes were flowing to the east and the german army was be ginning to assemble against russia. italy becomes important late war for japan when it surrenders. the high command in japan, the generals and high command, might with the allies and bring about the fall of the japanese state. in italy, with mussolini, that was something in the mind of tojo had aeki. territory,st
occupied by the republic. the leader of china. but itas a war going on was a lower keyboard than it could have been. there is some resistance from the north and guerrilla warfare which is going to be magnified tremendously all sides. jeff and i -- the japanese see everyone as a red. rather than blame themselves for being unable to restore order in china, they blame the communist. the reality of the communist movement was relatively ineffective at this time in the war. it was more effective at the end of the war. place wheren a
japanese had gone to emigrate by the tens of thousands. it had become the frontier for many japanese. mongolia was-- seized by russia. the nationalists supported and independent manchuria and inner mongolia were still there in china today. their anti-communist credentials to be allowed into the united states. they didn't mention there pro-japanese feelings before the war. many people had ancestors fighting for the dream of an independent mongolia. southeast asia, the riches of the disease were the great magnet. allies aspotential independent countries, could
freedom begin to them? quickly, the japanese dream or the japanese claim of liberating east asia from western control was to replace russian control with japanese control and everyone receives a spot on the hierarchy of east asian solidarity. the japanese are the elder brother and everyone else took some other place. here and i mention mentioned in a previous talk, there was a serious effort by the japanese military and secret service to penetrate the nationalist movements and southeast asia. the japanese were in close contact with burma, the philippines and indonesia and india. all of them were very impressed
with the people they were dealing with. several of those people would become leaders of their countries. worthy strategic alternatives japan missed? we may talk about this more at the end of our session. as he's to mention the of the japanese decision-making process. what was i trying to do? the people who engineered successful takeover of manchuria , a japanese general and a kernel at that time let the takeover of manchuria and was involved in the assassination of the previous warlord. themately becomes independent country under the
young boyor, the last who had been on the throne in 1911 when he was overthrown becomes the puppet emperor of the japanese. he is welcomed into the japanese family of nations. he was japanese uniforms. of theow a brother japanese emperor considered to be a brother of the japanese emperor. the korean royal family were also included in the relationship. semi-blood relationship. kai-shek wouldn't make peace. another regime does not help that solution. we still need a lot more work on the piece negotiations between chang kai-shek and the japanese during that time. we don't know enough about what was happening in the negotiations between 1936 when
the war started. turn cut short but the war would end because he attacked shanghai. he started the war in central china while the japanese were taking over north china and they thought the europeans would stop it and they didn't. the japanese one. the japanese continued to advance and suddenly, he finds himself up the river literally. turning chungking into a major city. developedina and has that place because of the war. what is the other alternative? this is a critical think we need to think about. the opposite of going to war could be a strategic back down. telling the americans or the europeans that they could remain take our we will just little corner of it and be quite happy. britishthe american and
ideal scenario. i'm not sure the british would include the americans in their ideal scenario but if you look at british foreign policy , all of the documents from the shanghai incident of 1931, i found in those documents absolute shock and horror by the british diplomats that the americans would take a position in favor of the nationalists. moreover, they might even be thinking about war. with what? that was are falsely -- that was our policy. have mentioned this before, i apologize. he wrote down when the spanish , iassador offered the fleet
know not where she rides need the waves. having been killed by trafalgar. that was the attitude of the british for the allies. by 1937 and 1939, england was desperate to keep the far east from falling in the hands of the only power available to take it over which was japan. this is why these last two points should be flipped. japan can get the territories in the southeast and asia is by invading them. they will not be handed over. french indochina is right next to thailand.
the japanese put pressure on the french admiral who i wrote my thesis about in college. occupation, defense during the japanese occupation of indochina. during that time, they were forced to give up provinces to thailand, cambodia and thailand got rich off of its neighbor to the east. japan was the for north and russia. we saw 1.3 million russian troops in that and 34, how many russian troops would be there if japan went to war in the south? that was something we will come
back to in a second. how do we bypass the philippines? will america ever exceed to that? that is the scenario we would love to be able to do that if we were the japanese high command and we had the ability to transport the people there but america is to remain neutral became their main idea red let's take this one now. soviet war inthe 1941, it would have been in conjunction with an coordination with hitler's attack in june of 1941 from portland -- poland. hitler'scs which allowed stalin to seize so the ukraine which wasn't happy being
part of the soviet union. the german plan which we all see unfold in barbarossa was a massive assault. millions of men attacking stalin. or stalin's offensive operation planning for the next year caught in the field out of the open rather than behind hisnsive lines before generals which are -- were shot argued he should do. he should be more careful with his defenses against germany. the axis did not require japan to enter into the new war. matsuoka messed up the deal of a cooperation with germany. they decided that for him, the idea was to be -- to create an alliance of all of the great
powers. russia, the united states, japan and germany would guarantee world peace. he signed a nonaggression pact with stalin in the spring of 1941. just as the germans were trying to think of a way to get the this in somettack, ways was revenge. revenge for poland. it was him seeing himself now .ith his crew cut combat.ere embroiled in japan felt betrayed. had bothered the hell out of the japanese army in 1939. the japanese felt they had equality and superiority in
hadower over russia, russia been a big leader in airpower in the 30's but allowed its air like italy they built too early to much and it was hard to replace the old planes. yet, japan had put large numbers of troops in venture react. i have to move along faster. i am over my limit. backing down was the unthinkable alternative. it was probably the correct decision. -- thelaration of war policy of backing down in the far east of allowing the western european powers to maintain their superiority over east asia would seem to dismantle the japanese state. we are now talking for years into the war with hundreds of thousands. how would you explain that to the people?
you will not. the people will rise up against you. as they had risen up in 1905 against russia. there were riots in tokyo because japan did not get a proper identity. i like maps. these are the questions that reasonable persons might ask. when the japanese sat down to decide the attack in the pacific, they look at things like this. consequences for the japanese empire? what are the consequences of not adopting them? what was america wanting japan to do? -- abandoned the control of china. giving up manchuria also which would have been impossible. up aif it is just giving part, i don't want to give up all of that. it is important that these
questions were to be considered. what would the situation be in the north? in the fall,war the self is not too terrible. if you wait until march, you have the monsoon. inthe fall, it is winter siberia so no one will attack you then. you have to wait until the spring. what do you want to do? --s was before these are other reasonable questions. what are the expected rates of replacement? how do they maintain and repair vessels? if you don't have an answer, you cannot to war. from the bible of the japanese imperial army, i don't have a quote here so i'm a
nos it up but the ideas that one is foolish enough to go to war without knowing the outcome of the war. and you know that your warp -- war plan will not survive first contact with the enemy. so you have to have thought these things out before the war. japan has been accused of not thinking these things through. i am here to say that they studied these issues they did think these things through. -- what wouldcess happen to the liquid will supply? especially the aircraft. can an oil shortage be met by synthetic reduction? can we produce oil at a something else? japan ultimately will be cutting down trees and powering buses by pine oil. can other countries be separated? is there a way to separate them?
they cannot because the japanese found themselves with the dutch essentially were given a guaranteed by the united states that they would be protected. how we were going to do that, i don't know. he was promising that possibility. ultimately, there are three options for japan. avoid war and undergo great hardship because the economy was already broken. decide on war immediately and settle matters by war. if you go to war, perhaps the result will be favorable. if you don't go to war, is definitely not favorable. it is inevitable japan will be subjugated.
decide on war carry on war preparations and diplomacy side-by-side and that is what japan ultimately adopted. this is what they discussed one by one. in 1941. they went over these issues and ment detail it the finest set -- a panel set and what over these questions and nobody liked the answers. another great question, what happens under the tripartite enacted inhe germans 1941? what if america goes to war with germany in 1941? that is likely because american ships were being sunk the germans and germans didn't like american destroyers created what if war had broken out in germans call for a war? part of the possibility was a
famous quote from donald rumsfeld. i think it's fair to apply it to a lot of military history. there are no knowns there are no unknowns created there are things we know we know and there are things we know we don't know. there are also unknown unknowns. these are the things we don't know we don't know. [laughter] i think this is a fair way of looking at the japanese position at that time. what we know in retrospect is not what people knew at the time. japan fought a war game. 1941.se in the summer of gameled full-scale war with each representative from every ministry sitting around a table.
half a dozen of them became ministers and postwar japan. the military men all died but they all sat around and spent the summer being fed scenarios. issues wek out the just talked about in october. this is a photograph of that. summer 1941. yielded bluelt in the wargames, when a the nation -- 1943 gametime prime minister of japan who was a civilian in this scenario was standing in burned-out tokyo. tokyo had been burned down by attacks from the north, manchuria, cantata and russia had bombed them into submission.
the vulnerable route was used. japan had run out of resources had no military forces and in physical and game terms said it's over. the result was not very happy. he said you forgot one thing when you did this wargame. all of the numbers you did, you forgot that we have fought wars before. japan did not enter the war because it was winnable but we won. that's true. nobody thought they were going to win. i would say you did not consider the elements of the unexpected.
how do you make the unexpected expected? you plan the hell out of it. i would say to the general, he was a clear thinker. he also was not as brilliant as he thought he was. his biggest trouble as the heder of japan was that could not handle dissenting opinions. he sent all of his people who disagreed with him out of japan. he saw what happened to the italians then he was thrown out of office in 1944. undefeatable island fortress fell and he was out of office. many americans still think he was in power at the end of the war.
two years from now, he did say this is the assumed, two years from now we will have no petroleum for military use. ships will stop moving. expansion of the american fleet, the unfinished china incident and so on, i see no end in difficulties. we can talk about austerity and suffering. everyone was talking about this. let's tighten our belts. can people endorse such a life for a long time? he did not believe the japanese people could sustain the war. this was an important point not absolving him but he is recognizing that unless we fight now, we will collapse. his solution was to go to war. the chief of the naval general staff, i won't read all of his things that we should be able to secure key points in the south pacific. thus the to win a long war of attrition. have you forgotten what
attrition means? if you don't have a supply capability -- this is the commander of the navy. we have no way of being the enemy towards these. the best way to win a war in napoleonic terms is to take the enemy's capital. andarck was smart enough wanted to go on to be in a -- vienna but they said no don't go there. they will become our allies in the future so he was able to turn off the demand. the germans did go to paris. the result was world war i. we have to fight a protected war. we must be prepared for a war spiritually and militarily. they decided they don't have the resources to do this. it's difficult under the
circumstances to determine if we have chance of winning the war several years ahead. so we can go now but two years from now, we may not be able to. thatys i am confident cooperation with the army and navy will ensure the success of our operations. he guarantees he can pull off one of the greatest combined arms operations ever. he's going to take an army of 100,000 men, conquer malaysia ,nd burma and dutch east indies take the philippines, all with 150,000 men. he did it. you have to member that. japan will not be able to keep pace with the united states especially in aircraft reduction. american defense in the philippines is making headway so if we don't act now, we will not be able to take them. in the end he says the major
part will consist of landing against strongly defended distant enemy bases. this will happen in scorching heat just like the kind of work we want. he almost says for the overall standpoint, whereas the enemy forces will be scattered over wide places, we can take the territory. japan did it. they succeeded in the military operations. far beyond the greatest expectations. i do not believe they knew they were going to succeed. >> just ran out of power. >> no don't do that to me. it doesn't matter. you missed two slides. [laughter] we look at the american side of the war for the same level of generality, i think you can find a powerful game play there as well. confident in victory, america
moves the fleet to hawaii to be a threat to the enemy. for the japanese, the centripetal offensive in all directions simultaneously -- now it's back. it will come back. andnch of it up like that you can look at my sign in screen. japaneseuccess of the offensive including the attack on pearl harbor, the elimination of the american fleet is what he hoped to do it he only wanted to buy time. we didn't get to the discussion of what he wanted to do but his move toward pearl harbor was to buy time for the operation in the south. we often think of it as the other way around. that succeeded beyond anyone's imagination. by march, they were all in japanese hands.
philippines is going to fall rapidly. that leads to the commander of the japanese forces being almost sacked. he's going to be executed by general macarthur at the end of the war. at that moment, the japanese are unchallenged. they accomplished something which no one has ever done. it makes the predictions almost come true. from reach you the speech opens a newen he [indiscernible] pages and pages. translated for america. for american audiences telling them exactly the victory of
americans of the japanese victory. the geopolitical vagueness seems to be at hand. yet they face a tremendous operational success in a strategic vacuum. they have got it all but how do you hold it? instead of saying we were so dam lucky to get all of this, should we be careful? should we pull back? what can may do? is there any way to get the americans to negotiate? not if you attack pearl harbor. we want just going for victory, we were going for absolute victory. unconditional surrender, annihilation of the m -- enemy the japanese collaborated and cooperated in that by their own strategy and tactics. , the spread ofnt
disease was a real thing. they had just one the impossible thing. say,ave to sit back and look what happened. with a sense of invulnerability, we see the midway in june of 1944. america, he helped create the idea of extending the periphery. building a second wave. that leads to the idea of a victory, lower the american battle fleet into battle and when the war with a great --tory just like her father trafalgar square. to get the american fleet out and destroy it. midway didn't turn out that way.
if i may end with that, pearl why isitself the idea of escape, it's efforts of japan to escape a future problem with a grantsl part of a strategic dream of seizing southeast asia at once. what was the american counter to this? what was our strategy? to defend those territories that were taken overnight. we had no strategy. there was no master plan. in 1939,e little boy he might have seen what we saw. the weather is pretty crappy reedit what do you do? hawaii is the key to the whole war. how does that happen? the japanese next move after midway was supposed to be hawaii.
the follow-on operation was the hawaii operation to seize hawaii and if the japanese had held 43, where withor the united states have been? on a four-year or five-year come back to the rest of the world on the atlantic through india back to southeast asia or across the north. ont the idea of focusing pearl harbor as an event, as technically interesting and exciting as that is, i want to put in bigger context. thank you all. thank you for your attention. [applause] prof. cook: bob will take over a microphone. >> i'm going to take the first question. and 1940, there is
that english-language literature about japanese invasions of canada, the western united states, and australia. there are dozens of titles. it's great stuff. they talk about the japanese invasion being aided by 50,000 soldiers who entered america being discussed as waiters and japanese restaurants. prof. cook: i'm familiar. >> all of their guns and munitions were being held in japanese laundries. is there a japanese equivalent? prof. cook: there is absolutely a japanese equivalent. i would have done a lot of work in that area if i didn't have a friend who had a collection of these. he wouldn't let me read them. he was going to write a book about it. [laughter] he had a large number of those
studies. the enemy in most of the japanese ones and most of the , the japanese were heavily bombed from russia and one of the stories. the japanese were smart enough to create a fake city. a soccer was moved by lanterns. people created lanterns, fake cities the russians described the destruction of the city but they said it wasn't a real city. the people of a soccer new better. this is a chapter in my new book. we deal with the japanese and their defenses. how the people of a soccer in the 1930's had collected a huge amount of money for fighter planes to defend a soccer in case of a war.
the imperial navy said it would never happen. japan will never be attacked. isn't insult to the imperial navy. they had to apologize for even thinking about it. the people of a soccer went pretty far. they weren't as dumb as the politicians were in tokyo. that is wonderful literature. i wish i could speak on it forever read i would love to write about it. >> a friend of mine woke me up early in the morning. he said you have to ask how we instigated the japanese to attack us by cutting off oil and exports to japan. what do you say to that? prof. cook: we didn't go with the well argued material about the japanese american negotiations. it is certainly true. when the united states agreed to by all of the oil from the indies. it made war with japan more
likely reedit i have not agreeing with the premise that we tricked the japanese into attacking us. we did not resist her a hard. problem for president roosevelt was bigger than that. he was already at war with germany and he couldn't get the country to go to war with germany, how was he going to get them to go to war with japan? i don't think there was any truth -- there were many people in fact who argued against the embargo. because it might precipitate a war. the people who saw the embargoes recognized that putting that kind of pressure on japan they had two choices. one choice was to back down. to believe america was threat. for the japanese, the reaction
was the opposite. that is proof that the americans have no intention of backing down so if we don't strike now, we will be out of oil by spring. this.is one more part to if you realize that japan and america's foreign-policy is a long game, it has been going on a long time. playednt roosevelt had many sides to that game. one of his problems was he was too deeply involved with the the trueo understand nature of the war in china. i am not defending the war with china. however, there were lots of things he might have done to bring the war to an end rather than promising things he could not deliver. the summer of 1941, we were sending the flying tigers and a former group. the bomber group was on its way to the philippines that's why
.hey were destroyed by then, they were being thought that the japanese might attack us and then we would need the ban -- commerce so they might not have gone. that was a plan. the documents were found a couple of years ago to prove that it had been signed off on. aid to openly sending the chinese beyond military forces. there was a bit of constraint on the japanese side as well but they also recognized the danger of a war with japan -- with china. >> thank you. you just took care of one of my points which was to ask u.s. aid to china. two other things. japan's population in -- and
birthrate, how could that sustain what they were trying to do or attempting to do were locked into? what other point, what was general layings personal goal? >> he was a civilian. he was not a general. his goal was to create a strong nationalist china. 1931, they seem and jury of the they argue against a war with china. that you can't fight a war with china that our future ally. he believed china could be an ally. as had some japanese in the 1800s. one believed that an alliance
with china against the west would have been the best course. the chinese would have nothing of it. who would want to deal with the useless japanese? the reality is china's position in the war is miserable. their defense operations in the war are miserable. the works we have seen on efforts to look at the chinese wartime, the corruption of the that, i'm notdire defending them anymore than i defend the collaboration of germany but he wasn't a japanese plant. he was china. he was a nationalist regime in 1911. he was supported by the
japanese. in his seizure of the revolution of 1911. americans were on both sides of him. my professor of his dissertation and first book on the japanese and it was remarkable to realize how closely the japanese and chinese nationalist movements were in 1911. unfortunately, the march 4 movement and the destruction of the alliance and japan's actions in the first world war led to japan becoming the primary enemy of the nationalists in china. china was not a unified country and that is the key thing for the chinese memory of the war. they would like to have been but it was not. the population -- japan was 50% of the united states.
not counting manchuria create the japanese were equivalent to a two to one ratio. the japanese naval forces were superior in the pacific and even overall. japan had twice as many aircraft carriers in 1941. again, act now or strike now and destroy the american fleet. harbor, been at pearl japan would have had the pacific themselves for two years. we would have overwhelmed them or make peace. in favor of making peace with japan in 1942? that's the trouble. had you get out of a war that you started by destroying the enemy by surprise attack? it's not going to be easy.
you need to something besides that. the japanese at the end of the war will play the last man card. how many men are you willing to lose? there is a punchline from a movie the purple hearts. the pilots who were tried in japan in the war, the film has a japanese commander using a chinese actor. he said how many lives are you prepared to lose? we're prepared to lose 20 million lives. the americans were prepared to lose 20 million lives. the japanese lost millions of people but by the end of the war, the japanese people were out of it. they were broke. 1945 october in
november december, massive riots, mass murder? no, give me a bubblegum. it is an extra ordinary story. what we thought we were going to do and how we did it. america rained death upon japan and destroyed japan with overwhelming force. what the american lesson was for the world in 1945. the atomic bomb was an instrument but it was the firebombing of tokyo in my opinion that made the war come clean. we were prepared to kill anybody who stood in our way and they realized it. >> how big a factor in this japanesemaking is exceptionalism racial attitudes? their belief in the specialness of their people, their duty and right to take over asia which i have seen a lot of interesting parallels with america.
prof. cook: i can't argue against that. --ody told the british nobody asked the indians. nobody told the british colonist it was ok to take over north america. it's a dangerous argument. what you are saying about racialism, the japanese people were not ignorant. not nearly as a month as they are portrayed in american or japanese propaganda. japanese propaganda was designed to create an image of one nation , 100 million die together. that's the argument and projection image.
these horrible scenes of people dying and committing suicide. are they real? it's to show what your people are putting up with. sons are dying so you can live the life you have in japan. difficult issue is a one. i don't believe that japan has ideologyogy or had the that time. the idea was that japan had turned around all these racial fromds directed at japan the soap operas which portrayed the japanese as idiots and the way the americans treated the japanese embassy in 1862 united states.
the stories we heard before mentioned about the nature of race created for the japanese, racial hierarchy does not -- the japanese language is written -- derived from china. buddhism comes from india via china. the value structure is deeply embedded in japan. it is the creation of the 1880's and 1890's that turned japan away from the tradition and to create it more like the west. the racial hierarchy. our colonies are based on the belief of racial's. bernie. table,r to not be on the
you have to get a seat at the table. the japanese men grew beards like western men. they were close let the westerners. -- they wore clothing that the westerners. the boxer rebellion, when the japanese went home, they provided 80% of the troops of the march on beijing. they had a good cup of coffee or tea and said the japanese are insufferable. they are so smart and so brave but they are oriental. that view between the american and reddish command, the indian history of the campaign the troops the british brought word not british they were indian. that's the thing in the back of the mind of every indian soldier. what do my officers really think of me? we see that come out and world
war ii when 100,000 indian soldiers sign up to serve the japanese after surrendering. question that there were horrible atrocities committed by the japanese against chinese civilians. best using the and chemical warfare and biological warfare. all of the things happened but we had low programs. it we knew we did not have to execute them as heather date -- hitler's did. not all minority groups in china, it wasn't that kind of regime. i'm not defending it i'm just saying there is more to it. the bulk of the reality is, the
japanese by the middle of the leadersy did invite the of future asia as they saw it but the war had already been lost by then. there was no possibility of japan winning the war and unless if india hadelled, rebelled there might have been some way to pull the war to an end without tokyo being bombed out. two things you touched on the perhaps you can expand on. can you talk a little bit about other than pearl harbor, what was the japanese leadership talking about is for other targets and strategies? upond, you touched also notwithstanding conspiracy theories that the carriers were not at fault robber, you said
maybe it would go on for another two years but what if the carriers and destroyers, what would have been the strategy at that point? invasion of the west coast? let me answer your questions in reverse order. group whileo lead a ofas living in san francisco .000 japanese officers i told my japanese friends, they
said we are on a tour to san francisco we want to see the forts. i had to meet them at the airport. their bus driver was great to take them on a tour of san francisco. they said no he is going to take us to the forts. i had to tell the bus driver to explain this and take the bus driver to where the americans had built fortifications on the coast of san francisco. 1978.as back in you could still see the fortifications. two of them said this is where i was training to land. [laughter] he is joking but he is not joking. he said if we had won the war, this is where we would be. , it wasissue was difficult to win on invasion of
hawaii if you try to take on a lot of because it was highly defended. but it had no food. japanese actual plan is to invade the big island, sees the airports, and start out hawaii. all you need to do was three months. because of the pineapples the american forces, if the american carriers have been destroyed at midnight -- midway there was no way to defend hawaii adequately. if you thought the japanese in person, there wouldn't have been anyone to work in hawaii so the american government made that decision. general patton was in charge of hawaii at the time. he argued the japanese are not a threat.
they will be loyal to us. in hawaii at least. was --st question >> what was the leadership theking --prof. cook: strategy was based on a much more realistic assessment of japanese strength. the hope was to take the philippines, force the americans to leave the forces, take war and the general sales out of hawaii, sales took guam, six the american fleet. at japanese navy was designed to do that. they had long-range submarines and torpedo bombers. it they had long-range destroyers carrying torpedoes to attack the american fleet as it comes across.
he changed his own strategy. thettacking hawaii, he sank battleships to take care of that problem for the united states. what are you going to do with the arizona? can bomb the japanese islands, sheltered offenders. at that time, there was no way for america to respond initially. a decisive naval battle is what they would prefer. the hawaii operation had to be called off because of the weather. it would've been to for the americans to do exactly what they planned. he still had not bought into the attack acrosspid the ocean was unfeasible. he would not have gotten the ok. he wanted to do it. >> thank you for an interesting presentation.
is, were there any japanese officers or civilian high-level officials who opposed the attack on hawaii? that would draw in the u.s. into the war against japan and also, what japanese military was aware that the u.s. was intercepting communications? i want to throw one question back at you. what were the japanese intercepting of us? does anyone know? i do not. i know they intercepted everything the chinese did. everything they sent back from washington was being intercepted a japanese intelligence services. everything we told the chinese likely ended up in japanese intelligence services. that is very different than getting the cables as they come
through. beating the diplomats in translating their own cables which is what we were able to do. the biggest problem for japan, anyone with the opposition to the war, pearl harbor and hawaii was not on the table for the general discussion even among senior leadership. only the imperial navy is the target until the very end. the imperial navy would have vetoed it if they have been asked their opinion as a group. because of yellow autos position , he had brilliant stuff working with him. included in the staff workers was a military attache been in london who at the time of the british attack on toronto, to see what carrier planes can do
to battleships and anchor and reports that back in detail. by coincidence, he had also been under the bombs from the germans. piloted a high quality and a good integrated defense system which is what he recommended japan built outside of tokyo. he could never imagine b-29s by the hundreds coming over his city grid he thought it was possible to resist for a long time even the strategic impact -- attack airpower. we have withroblem the idea of opposing the war, it was no one who could stand up and be the nail to be struck down. nobody was willing to stand up by themselves except the general
who was one of the people who refused to support the war in china created the idea of war in america was by default decided. i have been struggling with this. going to be honest. i would like to be able to say absolutely, there was no possibility of stopping this is inevitable. no war is inevitable. it definitely happened by humid choice and they chose to go to war. they chose war over alternatives which they considered correctly worse possibilities. the surrender of the empire without a war. warpositive nature of the for people and societies and civilization, there were people in the united states believe america could never be defeated trade the arrogance of the american navy was unbelievable when you realize how badly we did at the beginning of the war. our equipment was novel without it was. our pilots were not what we
thought they were. he became the best of the world but it took a long time. ofember 8, the destruction the american forces in the philippines is a good example of the arrogance. we didn't even protect the bombers on the ground the day after. betweena controversy macarthur and his air commander. he later denied that he had any responsibility for that. [applause] prof. cook: thank you folks. thank you very much. you are watching american history tv. 48 hours of programming on american history every weekend on c-span three. follow us on twitter at c-span history for information on our schedule and to keep up with the latest history news. bookshelf,history
and author talks about his book we deem her, the life of jimmy carter in which he examines the role religion played in mr. carter's victory over gerald ford in the 1976 presidential election and his defeat in 1980 by ronald reagan. we recorded his 2014 >> welcome. it's a pleasure for me tonight to introduce randall blamer who is the family professor of arts and sciences at dartmouth college. i have followed his career for a long time.