Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 47

Thread: Myths of WWII

  1. #1
    A very, very Senior Member Adrian II's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    9,748

    Default Myths of WWII

    I happened upon a decent article that discusses some national myths and misunderstandings about WWII. I guess the debate over certain issues will probably never end, but it serves as a reminder that necessary wars aren't necessarily good wars.

    Link
    The bloody trouble is we are only alive when we’re half dead trying to get a paragraph right. - Paul Scott

  2. #2
    Tree Killer Senior Member Beirut's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    8,168

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    I don't buy what he's selling. He is saying, as I read it, that since there in not purity of spirit and intent behind the Allies's actions, that the actions themselves, therefore, lose significance. Be it significance of morality or even efficiency.

    He writes, "By contrast the morality of the Pacific war was much less clear-cut. To be sure, Japan launched that surprise attack, and Japanese troops behaved horribly to American, British, and Australian POWs and much worse to the Asian peoples they conquered. Still, the Marines scarcely pretended to take prisoners (even when the Japanese wanted to surrender), while the score for Pearl Harbor was more than settled at Hiroshima.

    Well I think the morality of the Pacific war was very clear cut. Even if the US had gone to war against the Japanese for purely economic and imperialist reasons, the moral result would still have been a thousand-fold, a million-fold more sound than the Japanese occupation of the same countries. The Americans, as bad as they are or as bad as anyone would see them, would never have behaved as the the Japanese did. Not even remotely close.

    ...and Japanese troops behaved horribly... ...and much worse to the Asian peoples they conquered.

    Ah, genocide in ten words or less. Very convenient and painless way to gloss over the murder and rape of millions, and then get on with your story about the US Marines and their barbaric practice of not always taking prisoners. And the ease of getting Japanese soldiers to surrender is well known.

    Defeating Japan was simply the right thing to do, regardless of motivation. Even US actions towards the people of those tiny islands where the Americans tested nuclear weapons after the war, which was reprehensible at best, was a thousand generations beyond the scourge of Neanderthal behaviour the Japanese used against its millions of victims. There is no comparing the US and Japan.
    Unto each good man a good dog

  3. #3
    A very, very Senior Member Adrian II's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    9,748

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    Quote Originally Posted by Beirut
    Well I think the morality of the Pacific war was very clear cut.
    I don't think you get the gist of the article, and you misrepresent it by introducing words and suggestions the author clearly doesn't use.

    Example. The casus belli versus Japan was clear-cut. The morality of the Pacific war wasn't, because of the way the Japanese were depicted, treated both in the war theatre and in the United States, etcetera. The same goes for the bombing of German cities toward the end of the war in Europe. The ambivalence of such episodes has been haunting the war generation, whether you like it or not. And rightly so. That war was fought in the name of certain ideas and ideals, remember?
    There is no comparing the US and Japan.
    Nobody does, you're debating windmills.
    The bloody trouble is we are only alive when we’re half dead trying to get a paragraph right. - Paul Scott

  4. #4
    Tree Killer Senior Member Beirut's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    8,168

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianII
    The casus belli versus Japan was clear-cut. The morality of the Pacific war wasn't, because of the way the Japanese were depicted, treated both in the war theatre and in the United States, etcetera.
    And how, pray tell, could the Japanese have been better treated in the war theater? Should the US have have killed the Japanese with bombs that were not only smart, but polite and courteous as well?

    And how, pray tell once more, should they have been depicted? As misguided men who were simply not hugged enough as children, therefore not responsible for their actions? "Listen, sorry about the massacres and rapes of millions, but don't judge them too harshly, they had a bad collective childhood."

    The Japanese in the US should have been deported or jailed for the extent of the war. American citizens of Japanese descent should not have been mistreated in any way.

    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianII
    The same goes for the bombing of German cities toward the end of the war in Europe. The ambivalence of such episodes has been haunting the war generation, whether you like it or not. And rightly so. That war was fought in the name of certain ideas and ideals, remember?
    The bombing of German cities towards the end of the war was partly for military reason and partly as a kick in the balls once you're down. It was punishment. Revenge. It was Sherman saying "I will make war on these people in such a fashion that generations will pass before their ancestors ever think of using war as an option again." Considering the brevity of the peace between WWI and WWII, it is not hard to understand the motivations of those who desired a longer span between WWII and WWIII. At that time, it was reasonable to fear a Germany that would rise again in twenty years and start a war that would kill hundreds of millions.

    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianII
    You're debating windmills.
    They don't call me Beirut Quixote for nothing!
    Last edited by Beirut; 05-14-2005 at 12:54.
    Unto each good man a good dog

  5. #5
    A very, very Senior Member Adrian II's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    9,748

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    Quote Originally Posted by Beirut
    And how, pray tell once more, should they have been depicted? As misguided men who were simply not hugged enough as children, therefore not responsible for their actions?
    This is a thread about WWII, not capital punishment. There's a time and a place for every cliche, Beirut.

    They don't call me cliche-Adrian for nothing!
    The bloody trouble is we are only alive when we’re half dead trying to get a paragraph right. - Paul Scott

  6. #6
    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    15,674

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    The reason for the subtle shift in American perception is easy to see. If a purely evil regime ever existed, it was the Third Reich, and if any war ever had a moral purpose it must have been the war fought to end its mad persecution. By contrast the morality of the Pacific war was much less clear-cut.
    This guy is full of shite and euro or is it caucasian-centric crap.

    Nor is it sensible to say whom was the most evil of the two nations. But by no means is it clear cut which is worse.

    Not only did it take the Western Allies nearly three years after the German attack on Russia seriously to engage the German army in Normandy, but even then most of the fighting was still on the other side of Europe.
    Well the authour may be forgetting not only the importance of the Asian theater but that of Greece, Malta, Britain and North Africa. All these other zones where under attack and it wasn't an easy thing to go back into Europe. Anyone with any ability understands how hard a sea invasion is hard to mount. Also the authour is forgetting the Italian invasion.

    Was it a just war? That tricky theological concept has to be weighed against very many injustices. Was it a good war? The phrase itself is dubious. No, there are no good wars, but there are necessary wars, and this was surely one.
    This guy is a backbone short of being an invertabrate. Exactly at what point does he think giving in to the likes of facism is a good thing?

    Nor on the other moral compromises at the wars end. Great Britain did not go to war to save the Jews from Hitlers torment
    Actually quite a lot of people joined up to fight facism and the Nazis hatred of those whom are different including the Jews. Prior to WWII Sir Weary Dunlop was in London and used to go down to facist rallies to knock a few heads in. I think this guy is a cretin and a terrible revisionist at that. Trying to rewrite things to suit his own cowardly outlook.
    Our genes maybe in the basement but it does not stop us chosing our point of view from the top.
    Quote Originally Posted by Louis VI the Fat
    Pape for global overlord!!
    Quote Originally Posted by English assassin
    Squid sources report that scientists taste "sort of like chicken"
    Quote Originally Posted by frogbeastegg View Post
    The rest is either as average as advertised or, in the case of the missionary, disappointing.

  7. #7
    Tree Killer Senior Member Beirut's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    8,168

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianII
    This is a thread about WWII, not capital punishment. There's a time and a place for every cliche, Beirut.
    You brought up the point of the Japanese being badly depicted in the WWII theater (which I stil find very odd), I only answered.
    Unto each good man a good dog

  8. #8
    A very, very Senior Member Adrian II's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    9,748

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    Quote Originally Posted by Beirut
    You brought up the point of the Japanese being badly depicted in the WWII theater (which I stil find very odd), I only answered.
    You suggested I would have had the Japanese soldiers cuddled and given lots of quality time. I'm not interested in debating cliches.

    I hate distortion of the truth, even if it takes place in the context of a just cause. The image of the war in the Pacific as a racial conflict has been impressed upon the Western public by means of racial war propaganda. There is ample evidence of that, you can find it on historic websites if you want.

    There were notable exceptions, too, such as this 1945 movie My Japan in which the American public is warned that the Japanese are all but subhuman, that they are well-educated and that the cruelty of their occupation policies is not a mere reflection of an animal-like Japanese mind, but of the calculation of their leaders.

    Most of the public however got to see only the war posters depicting Japanese as rats and the war stories in the local papers that made light of their short legs, slanted eyes (that's why they couldn't shoot straight, remember?) and lack of brains.
    The bloody trouble is we are only alive when we’re half dead trying to get a paragraph right. - Paul Scott

  9. #9
    Tree Killer Senior Member Beirut's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    8,168

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    Of course the Japanese were depicted as evil. Kind of hard to get Billy-Bob from Arkansas to travel 10,000 miles and island hop through hell, land mines and machinegun fire to kill a guy who isn't.

    Besides the racial card was played by all sides. The publics conception race was a touch more... raw, in those days. And there was a war on. It was the country's duty (strange as it seems) to incite hatred.

    If you really want to see "racial warfare", read about Japan's racial visions of other Asian peoples. That led to slaughters that numbered in the millions. I don't see anything the US did as even close to that. Why is the US being singled out as the evil one when it was Japan who started the war and acted so abominably? Just looks like the authour is a revisionist bleeding heart with a bachelor's degree in historical basket weaving.
    Unto each good man a good dog

  10. #10
    A very, very Senior Member Adrian II's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    9,748

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    Quote Originally Posted by Beirut
    Why is the US being singled out as the evil one when it was Japan who started the war and acted so abominably?
    This borders on dishonesty. I don't know what article you are talking about, but it's certainly not the article I linked to.

    You know, I think here is what ticked you off -- the real reason why you try to find fault with the whole reasonable, well-balanced and well-informed article:

    In all the western campaigns of the war against French, British, Americans, and troops of many other lands, some 200,000 German soldiers died. Four million Germans died on the Eastern Front.
    The author says the Allies were militarily inferior to the Germans in most ways except in numbers and resources. That's a fact, borne out by many a study into the battles of WWII. The author also says that is no reason for shame, because democracies are defended by citizens in arms, not by blind robots of the kind that dictatorships produce.

    Even then, others did the fighting. The best description of how Hitler was defeated was Stalin’s. The old monster said that England provided the time, America provided the money, and Russia provided the blood.
    Maybe that hurts. The popping of myths always does.
    The bloody trouble is we are only alive when we’re half dead trying to get a paragraph right. - Paul Scott

  11. #11
    Tree Killer Senior Member Beirut's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    8,168

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianII
    This borders on dishonesty. I don't know what article you are talking about, but it's certainly not the article I linked to.
    It just seems to me that the authour of the article is, albeit with subtlety, tearing away at the Allies for no apparent reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianII
    You know, I think here is what ticked you off -- the real reason why you try to find fault with the whole reasonable, well-balanced and well-informed article:

    In all the western campaigns of the war against French, British, Americans, and troops of many other lands, some 200,000 German soldiers died. Four million Germans died on the Eastern Front.
    The author says the Allies were militarily inferior to the Germans in most ways except in numbers and resources. That's a fact, borne out by many a study into the battles of WWII. The author also says that is no reason for shame, because democracies are defended by citizens in arms, not by blind robots of the kind that dictatorships produce.
    The war between the Russians and the Germans was different in ways from the war between the Germans and the West. One German officer said that when fighting the British and Americans, things would calm down at night. People could almost take a breather. He said the Russians were different, "they were trying to kill us all the time!" There was a hatred between the Germans and Russians that was unparalleled elsewhere in Europe. That changed the scope of their battles.

    And I'm well aware of the quality of the German troops. They were top notch. But so were we after a while.

    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianII
    Even then, others did the fighting. The best description of how Hitler was defeated was Stalin’s. The old monster said that England provided the time, America provided the money, and Russia provided the blood.
    Maybe that hurts. The popping of myths always does.
    No myth popping there. I knew all that. I just don't agree with how it is represented. You can make Mother Theresa look like a monster if you word it properly. And I admit to being reluctant to taking Stalin's viewpoint on too many issues. Besides, one of the reasons the Soviets paid such a high price in blood is because their tactics demanded it. If Stalin chose to march a thousand men across a minefield in order to clear it, I can't see that as any more heroic than the Brits or Americans losing a hundred men by fighting their way around it. Clausewitz said blood is the price of victory. He was wrong. You can't always equate casualties with heroism. Sometimes you can equate them with carelessness and stupidity.
    Unto each good man a good dog

  12. #12
    A very, very Senior Member Adrian II's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    9,748

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    Quote Originally Posted by Beirut
    No myth popping there. I knew all that. I just don't agree with how it is represented. You can make Mother Theresa look like a monster if you word it properly. And I admit to being reluctant to taking Stalin's viewpoint on too many issues. Besides, one of the reasons the Soviets paid such a high price in blood is because their tactics demanded it. If Stalin chose to march a thousand men across a minefield in order to clear it, I can't see that as any more heroic than the Brits or Americans losing a hundred men by fighting their way around it. Clausewitz said blood is the price of victory. He was wrong. You can't always equate casualties with heroism. Sometimes you can equate them with carelessness and stupidity.
    I would agree to most of that. This is not the same Beirut who thinks I'm taking cheap shots at the U.S. or Canada. And speaking of war myths, I found a Russian myth that goes 'popski!'.

    Link
    The bloody trouble is we are only alive when we’re half dead trying to get a paragraph right. - Paul Scott

  13. #13
    Tree Killer Senior Member Beirut's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    8,168

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    I never said anything about you, only about the authour of the article.
    Unto each good man a good dog

  14. #14
    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Athens, GA
    Posts
    7,588

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    Adrian,

    Okay, I'm going to have to ask you to paraphrase the article to see what YOU got out of the article. I got the same take Beirut did.

    What's more, in many ways, you could argue that the US, and most certainly Australia, were fighting a defensive war in the Pacific. The Japanese were going to take Hawaii and they had already started patrolling the California coast with submarines. It was probably a ways off, but their long term plans called for taking the American West Coast.

    Is this guy saying that even though we may have started with a just cause, the fact that we had some racist propaganda means anything we did from that moment on was morally wrong? Well, I hate to break it to you, dehumanizing the enemy through propaganda is a requirement in getting a citizen army to go to war. We did it with Mexico, we did it with the Germans in both world wars.... how else do you think you take Cletus off his parents farm in Nebraska, stick a rocket launcher in his hands and have him start killiing large numbers of the enemy? You have to convince him he's not killing real human beings, that somehow those humans on the other side are subhuman, either morally, intellectually, physically or usually, all of the above.

    And why don't we ever hear about things like Manchuria or Bataan in discussions like this? Is it fair to pick one side in a conflict and call them immoral and remove their actions from the context of their conflict?
    "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
    Don Vito Corleone: The Godfather, Part 1.

    "Then wait for them and swear to God in heaven that if they spew that bull to you or your family again you will cave there heads in with a sledgehammer"
    Strike for the South

  15. #15
    Member Member KafirChobee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Local Yokel, USA
    Posts
    1,020

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    An OK article, a bit enhanced on some points - but, the arguement that a war can be out of necessity and not have a purely noble purpose ('til created by propaganda) pretty much holds true. The villification of ones' enemy has always been a time honored means to convince a nations' local yokels to run off and join the fight against their evil foe. One must remember, the Japanese people were told that if the USA invaded their Islands - they would rape their women, eat their children, and murder their men. The American people were told the Nips were evil to the bone, one and all - that they were raised that way, and that they preferred death to surrender (which seems to have been true - listen to the interviews with their surviving soldiers, all have one common thread - "die to the man" - Death before dishonor).

    Still, I agree the incindiarybombings of the civilian German city Dresden, was and act of vengeance - and nothing more. Even LeMay, confessed that had we lost the war he would have been tried as a war criminal. Which in many of his actions - he was. Still, no one trys the victors, and they are the ones that write history - to their politically correct and morally justified conclusions.

    The points about Russia are well taken. Anyone that proclaims the invassion of Italy a "second front", is dillusional. Though it did end Italy's involvement, it by no means detracted from the real war - the Eastern front. I mean, we would still be bogged down there today. A division held off 2 armies for ever.

    Russia (USSR), with just our supplying them, would have conquered Germany. Of course then we would have had WWIII, to dislodge them from Western Europe. Point is, the article is absolutely on the money when talking about Poland and the other nations that fell under USSR control - and we (America, Britain, and France) accepted it. Fair enough, to the victor goes the spoils. Denial that the Wests' nations conspired to this end, to get Russia in the war againt Japan ... well Potsdam is historical fact.

    That there is a great deal of hooplah over the "great generation" on the 60th anniversity of their conquest is to be expected. To deny that attrocities were committed by some of them, is to deny the reality of war.

    I didn't read in any subversive thoughts into the article, as others have. I do comprehend his version, and none of it stretched the reality of the day with the actions committed.

    US Marines were not known to take many prisoners, and anyone that has spoken with one that was on Guatal (ms) Canal (my step-dad), or Iwo Jima - understands why. The Nip soldier was fanatical - his superiors forced their will upon them and they accepted that will. After all, they knew what their Army was doing to Allied prisoners - would it not follow that the Allies were doing the same?

    Still, the premise that war is war, and that a "golden" one never existed is correct. Justification for the entry into a conflict vary, but the intent is always the same.

    To forgive bad deeds is Christian; to reward them is Republican. 'MC' Rove
    The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
    ]Clowns to the right of me, Jokers to the left ... here I am - stuck in the middle with you.

    Save the Whales. Collect the whole set of them.

    Better to have your enemys in the tent pissin' out, than have them outside the tent pissin' in. LBJ

    He who laughs last thinks slowest.

  16. #16
    Member Senior Member Proletariat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Far up in the Magnolia Tree.
    Posts
    3,550

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    Puuure foolishness. Using today's politically correct standards to judge 1940's American war propaganda is the only thing intellectually dishonest here.

  17. #17
    A very, very Senior Member Adrian II's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    9,748

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Corleone
    Is this guy saying that even though we may have started with a just cause, the fact that we had some racist propaganda means anything we did from that moment on was morally wrong?
    Nope, he's just saying that some things were, and he's not arguing that those things disqualify the Allied war effort.
    (..) how else do you think you take Cletus off his parents farm in Nebraska, stick a rocket launcher in his hands and have him start killiing large numbers of the enemy? You have to convince him he's not killing real human beings, that somehow those humans on the other side are subhuman, either morally, intellectually, physically or usually, all of the above.
    I know Cletus. He lives in Holland too. And I believe I hold him in much higher regard than you do. This is weird, you know - I don't have the impression that the U.S. Army in WWII was made up of Cletus caricatures at all. They were for the most part decent, upstanding citizens of a democracy. To take an image from a book to illustrate this: in Catch22 there is only one (1) Aardvark. Oral history bears out this fact, I think: the large majority of GI's knew very well what they were doing and what they were doing it for.

    Now you've got me confused, Don. Who's looking down on Americans -- you or me?
    The bloody trouble is we are only alive when we’re half dead trying to get a paragraph right. - Paul Scott

  18. #18
    A very, very Senior Member Adrian II's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    9,748

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    Quote Originally Posted by Proletariat
    Puuure foolishness. Using today's politically correct standards to judge 1940's American war propaganda is the only thing intellectually dishonest here.
    The thrust of the article has more to do with Soviet Russia than anyone's war propaganda. But hey, some Americans just like to see PC windmills everywhere so they can charge into them at full speed. Sancho, where's my helmet!

    Proletariat, why don't you explain why Japanese Americans were interned during WWII and German Americans weren't? Can you do that without going: 'Oh, so you think the U.S. started the Pacific War out of racism? Have you ever heard of Pearl Harbour? Do you think that war is a tea party et cetera?...'

    Can we just, you know, skip the boring part?
    The bloody trouble is we are only alive when we’re half dead trying to get a paragraph right. - Paul Scott

  19. #19

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    Interesting article...

    I liked the fact that he acknowledged where the war in Europe was actually decided and the formidablility of the Germans. In far too many movies, books, and most recently video games the German soldier has been portrayed as a bumbling idiot. How often has one GI taken down 50 Germans in popular culture?

    Behind this lies an awkward truth, one we didn’t learn in the cheerful war comics and books of my boyhood in the 1950s, but on which all serious military historians are now agreed. From the beginning to the end of that war, whenever the British Army met the Wehrmacht on anything like equal terms, the Germans always prevailed. And that pretty much goes for the US Army too, from their first disastrous encounter with the Germans, at Kasserine Pass in North Africa, in early 1943. American and British commanders always took good care thereafter that they had an overwhelming superiority in men and especially in weaponry before engaging the enemy.
    Very true..

    As for the relativity argument.. i guess it holds some truth. If the point he is trying to make is that: The Western Allies should not be proud of what they did and should not think of themselves on the morally right side. -Thats wrong.

    The biggest moral corruption of America and the Anglo countries was the alliance with Stalin.

    I have no doubt that the war would be looked on the exact same way today if the Anglos had allied themselves with Hitler to take out communism. Hell, the basis for war was already there - Finland.

  20. #20
    Member Senior Member Proletariat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Far up in the Magnolia Tree.
    Posts
    3,550

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianII
    The thrust of the article has more to do with Soviet Russia than anyone's war propaganda. But hey, some Americans just like to see PC windmills everywhere so they can charge into them at full speed. Sancho, where's my helmet!
    I guess I misunderstood you here:

    Most of the public however got to see only the war posters depicting Japanese as rats and the war stories in the local papers that made light of their short legs, slanted eyes (that's why they couldn't shoot straight, remember?) and lack of brains.
    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianII
    Proletariat, why don't you explain why Japanese Americans were interned during WWII and German Americans weren't? Can you do that without going: 'Oh, so you think the U.S. started the Pacific War out of racism? Have you ever heard of Pearl Harbour? Do you think that war is a tea party et cetera?...'

    Can we just, you know, skip the boring part?
    German Americans go back as far as America itself. I don't find it very difficult to understand why there was a general mistrust towards Japanese Americans when you consider the significant cultural differences coupled with their nationalistic perception.

    Could you answer Don's question about what you got out of the article? So far I agree with his and Beirut's views completely, yet you keep claiming you and your article are being misunderstood.

    What was your point in bringing up the posters portraying the Japanese as rats? Since my PC comment was just a windmill and all.

  21. #21
    A very, very Senior Member Adrian II's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    9,748

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    Quote Originally Posted by PanzerJager
    I liked the fact that he acknowledged where the war in Europe was actually decided and the formidablility of the Germans. In far too many movies, books, and most recently video games the German soldier has been portrayed as a bumbling idiot. How often has one GI taken down 50 Germans in popular culture?
    Yup. And I think this is one reason why Brits and more particularly Americans fail to understand why so many Europeans in occupied countries came to some sort of accommodation with the Germans. They had seen the German army easily, in some cases almost effortlessly overrun their own, their cities and their countryside -- an event as morally devasting as it was physically threatening. In the first year of all-out war in Europe, most people in the occupied zones thought the Germans were there to stay for a thousand years indeed. Maybe Americans will understand some of that crushing dynamic if they recall the way the South reacted to the victory of (and partly the occupation by) the North at the end of the Civil War. It's a far cry, but it's a start to come to some sort of understanding.

    Only after 'Stalingrad' did hope seem justified again.
    The bloody trouble is we are only alive when we’re half dead trying to get a paragraph right. - Paul Scott

  22. #22
    Member Senior Member Proletariat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Far up in the Magnolia Tree.
    Posts
    3,550

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianII
    Maybe Americans will understand some of that crushing dynamic if they recall the way the South reacted to the victory of (and partly the occupation by) the North at the end of the Civil War. It's a far cry, but it's a start to come to some sort of understanding.
    I don't think this misconception exists in America. If it has, I have never seen it. If anything, Americans almost build up or brag about how great the Nazi's were just to boost themselves. Maybe the way the Romans spoke of the Carthiginians, I think.

    The more I think of this, the more perplexing it is. Who the hell are these Americans you speak of that think the European theatre was some cake walk? We call those people in this country The Greatest Generation, not because they went and shot fish in a barrel. Because the defeated an amazing machine of destruction.
    Last edited by Proletariat; 05-14-2005 at 19:34.

  23. #23
    A very, very Senior Member Adrian II's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    9,748

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    Quote Originally Posted by Proletariat
    I don't find it very difficult to understand why there was a general mistrust towards Japanese Americans when you consider the significant cultural differences coupled with their nationalistic perception.
    I'd say the racist perception of Japanese by Americans was more to blame for the internment policy than anything else, coupled of course with economic envy: business owners wanted to get rid of Japanese competitors, labour organisations wanted to get rid of Japanese workers whose presence lowered wages and living conditions. The Japanse had been pioneer farmers on the West Coast for generations. White farmer organisations lobbying for their internment wanted their lands, white businessmen lobbied for the confiscation and public sale of Japanese shops, factories, farms and fishing vessels whilst their owners were being interned in camps.

    The Japanese were among the few groups of immigrants who until 1952 were ineligible for U.S. citizenship for racial reasons alone. Clauses against renting or selling to 'Orientals' were routinely written into real estate contracts, anti-miscegenation laws barred their marriage to whites, and Japanese children had to go to segregated schools. No wonder many Americans saw 'significant cultural differences' between themselves and Japanese. That is what officially sanctioned racism does.

    Even the chief official in charge of the internment, Wartime Relocation Authority Director Milton Eisenhower, thought it was racism, as he wrote in countless memo's to the President and others in authority.

    Here's one of his memos to Roosevelt from April 1943:

    ...My friends in the War Relocation Authority, like Secretary Ickes, are deeply distressed over the effects of the entire evacuation and relocation program upon the Japanese-Americans, particularly upon the young citizen group. Persons in this group find themselves living in an atmosphere for which their public school and democratic teachings have not prepared them. It is hard for them to escape a conviction that their plight is due more to racial discrimination, economic motivations, and wartime prejudices than to any real necessity from the military point of view for evacuation from the West Coast.
    Life in a relocation center cannot possibly be pleasant. The evacuees are surrounded by barbed wire fences under the eyes of armed military police. They have suffered heavily in property losses; they have lost their businesses and their means of support. The State Legislatures, Members of the Congress, and local groups, by their actions and statements bring home to them almost constantly that as a people they are not really welcome anywhere. States in which they are now located have enacted restrictive legislation forbidding permanent resettlement, for example. The American Legion, many local groups, and city councils have approved discriminatory resolutions, going so far in some instances as to advocate confiscation of their property. Bills have been introduced which would deprive them of citizenship...
    Furthermore, in the opinion of the evacuees the Government may not be excused for not having attempted to distinguish between the loyal and the disloyal in carrying out the evacuation.
    Under such circumstances it would be amazing if extreme bitterness did not develop.
    ...The director of the Authority is striving to avoid, if possible, creation of a racial minority problem after the war which might result in something akin to Indian reservations. It is for these reasons primarily, I think, that he advocates the maximum individual relocation as against the maintenance of all ten relocation centers...
    Attorney General Francis Biddle wrote in his 1947 memoirs:

    American citizens of Japanese origin were not even handled like aliens of the other enemy nationalities -- Germans and Italians -- on a selective basis, but as untouchables, a group who could not be trusted and had to be shut up only because they were of Japanese descent...
    Their constitutional rights were the same as those of the men who were responsible for the program.
    My impression is that apart from a few (mainly military) hardliners in the U.S. government, few politicians actually wanted the Japanese Americans to be interned. Milton Eisenhower himself hated the policy and despised the hard-liners who saw any use for it. A post-war congressional investigation established that there had been no need for their internment whatsoever. But the powers that be, including Roosevelt, had to give in to public pressure and indignation whipped up by racism and racist organisations directed specifically against Japanese.
    What was your point in bringing up the posters portraying the Japanese as rats?
    I answered Beirut's remark about the morality of the Pacific War. Shit happens, even in great democracies. Admit it.
    The bloody trouble is we are only alive when we’re half dead trying to get a paragraph right. - Paul Scott

  24. #24
    Member Senior Member Proletariat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Far up in the Magnolia Tree.
    Posts
    3,550

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianII
    Shit happens, even in great democracies. Admit it.
    I never said it doesn't. What am I not admitting?

    Also, interesting info you posted and sure, it is despicable. I still don't understand the point, though. That America had a semi-racist stance towards Japan moreso than Germany during WW2?

    Maybe Americans will understand some of that crushing dynamic if they recall the way the South reacted to the victory of (and partly the occupation by) the North at the end of the Civil War.
    Also, can you or Panzer tell me who these Americans are that think we just beat a bunch of limp wristed San Francisons and not Nazi Germany's Wehrmacht? I'd like to also understand some of this crushing dynamic that is lost on me and my fellow American morons.

  25. #25
    A very, very Senior Member Adrian II's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    9,748

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    Quote Originally Posted by Proletariat
    I still don't understand the point, though. That America had a semi-racist stance towards Japan moreso than Germany during WW2?
    Americans did, certainly. I just pointed out that the attitude wasn't widespread among the political elite, but they were forced to adhere under public pressure.
    I'd like to also understand some of this crushing dynamic that is lost on me and my fellow American morons.
    This has nothing to do with stupidity, only with different historical experience. Or did I miss something and was the U.S. crushed and conquered by Germany in 1941?
    The bloody trouble is we are only alive when we’re half dead trying to get a paragraph right. - Paul Scott

  26. #26
    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Athens, GA
    Posts
    7,588

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianII
    Nope, he's just saying that some things were, and he's not arguing that those things disqualify the Allied war effort.I know Cletus. He lives in Holland too. And I believe I hold him in much higher regard than you do. This is weird, you know - I don't have the impression that the U.S. Army in WWII was made up of Cletus caricatures at all. They were for the most part decent, upstanding citizens of a democracy. To take an image from a book to illustrate this: in Catch22 there is only one (1) Aardvark. Oral history bears out this fact, I think: the large majority of GI's knew very well what they were doing and what they were doing it for.

    Now you've got me confused, Don. Who's looking down on Americans -- you or me?
    You missed my point. I didn't mean to imply that the average American GI during WWII was stupid. Far from it. But at 19, with limited world experience, just showing up and plugging some holes in some people will probably be pretty traumatic for your psyche, even if they had it coming. If demonizing your enemy helps abate that, so be it. Maybe Dutch 19 year olds are more worldly and hardened and have no problem shooting a bunch of people they barely know, but it was a big concern over here... whether our men would be able to deal with the guilt & angst.

    Americans have this foolish myth that we somehow brought civilization to Japan when we occupied it. Of course the Japanese were intelligent and civilized. Why were Mitsubishi zeroes the best fighters of their day? But in my mind, that makes what they did all the worse! If they raped all those women in China just to blow off some steam because they couldn't control their hormones, that would be bad enough. But it was a deliberate well-thought out policy. Systemic rape like that is done to break the spirit of an occupied people. The man will never look at his wife the same way again after every member of a 50 man rifle company screws her in public in the middle of the village. Worse, she damn sure will never trust him again to be the defender of the household. Both will be much more submissive and subservient as an occupied people. It is a very effective tool for breaking the spirit of a people so you don't have to put down uprisings in your lands as you continue to push your boundaries forward.
    "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
    Don Vito Corleone: The Godfather, Part 1.

    "Then wait for them and swear to God in heaven that if they spew that bull to you or your family again you will cave there heads in with a sledgehammer"
    Strike for the South

  27. #27

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    Yup. And I think this is one reason why Brits and more particularly Americans fail to understand why so many Europeans in occupied countries came to some sort of accommodation with the Germans. They had seen the German army easily, in some cases almost effortlessly overrun their own, their cities and their countryside -- an event as morally devasting as it was physically threatening. In the first year of all-out war in Europe, most people in the occupied zones thought the Germans were there to stay for a thousand years indeed. Maybe Americans will understand some of that crushing dynamic if they recall the way the South reacted to the victory of (and partly the occupation by) the North at the end of the Civil War. It's a far cry, but it's a start to come to some sort of understanding.

    That had a lot to do with the volunteers that came out of the occupied countries as well. In denmark i believe it was, the occupational leaders told men to join up and fight in the SS to ensure a favorable place in Hitler's new Europe.

  28. #28
    Very Senior Member Gawain of Orkeny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Centereach NY
    Posts
    13,763

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    Even then, others did the fighting. The best description of how Hitler was defeated was Stalin’s. The old monster said that England provided the time, America provided the money, and Russia provided the blood.
    You know for years I advocated that we should not have entered WW2 until Russia and Germany beat each other to death or one threatened to beat the other. I never realized until I joined these forums , even thought Ive read hundreds of books on WW2, that thats just what we did.
    Fighting for Truth , Justice and the American way

  29. #29
    Member Member KafirChobee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Local Yokel, USA
    Posts
    1,020

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    Quote Originally Posted by PanzerJager
    Interesting article...

    I liked the fact that he acknowledged where the war in Europe was actually decided and the formidablility of the Germans. In far too many movies, books, and most recently video games the German soldier has been portrayed as a bumbling idiot. How often has one GI taken down 50 Germans in popular culture?

    Very true..

    for the relativity argument.. i guess it holds some truth. If the point he is trying to make is that: The Western Allies should not be proud of what they did and should not think of themselves on the morally right side. -Thats wrong.

    The biggest moral corruption of America and the Anglo countries was the alliance with Stalin.

    I have no doubt that the war would be looked on the exact same way today if the Anglos had allied themselves with Hitler to take out communism. Hell, the basis for war was already there - Finland.
    Say what?

    Finland caused WWII? WOW! Who'ld a guessed. The German culture was popular? Outside of the Nazi germany (that proved their roots to Mongolia)? Who'ld have suspected the Brits were jealous enough to start WWII over that.

    I jest, of course. Not that many enjoy my sarcism - or appreciate it. But, someone blaming Finland for WWII - well, I couldn't stop myself. Forgive me.
    All know it was Katzmanstan.

    A few need to actually attend their history courses, and cease in deriving their information from the "History Channel" (though informative; if you haven't noticed - no creadible historian gives creadance to most of their new programming).

    To conjure up a defense for the entourment of American-Japs (3rd and 4th generation in the USA) and deny the prejudice that inspired it - is the same excuse that is being used today against Muslims that recide here today. It was economically in favor of whites, it was popular to a scared public (few of whom knew an American-Japanese family --- fortunately for the sell, because few Americans back then disliked politeness - the cleanlyness might have been a problem, but, what the hey), and demonstrate that their government was defending them against a devious foe. A foe, that was able to bridge generations. Not that, that is not possible - but, think about it. (Or, go to ManchurianCandidate.com where you will see Bushys face).

    To argue beyond the premice of an article, opinion, arguement, defined perception of history - is to be obsessed with ones' own conclusions. Having used Modern History as one of my four minors in college - because not to know history is to repeat it - I now close.

    Many have attempted to clear their point (s), only to be rechallenged by those that may understand the article in question, but choose to use their own person beliefs to cloud the issue.

    The issue? Was WWII the golden path? The final conflcit (obviously not - and the acceptance of what is happening in Dalfur proves that), or is has this again degenerated into a "Gee, if only the Nazis had won". j/k (of course)

    Russia would have won the European theatre all on Stalin's own - it cost them 20million lives you know? I mean, you throw enough humanity at a problem (if you have the humans to waste) and the problem may go away.

    Imagine an enemy outside your city (in winter) and a General forcing the citizens to throw their bodies beneath the enemy tanks - so their excrements (guts) would lodge and freeze in the treads (only a sadist would come up with that plan, but they did use it - and propagandized it as if it were voluntary for women to throw their new borns under a tank). The Russians did that at Stalingrade. They did it and they won the battle. Does it make it right? Is that patriotism - being driven before machineguns to die or else? Or, was it done just to maintain a regime, a political corruption of Lenin and Marx philosophies - but to maintain the perception that Stalinism upheld their principles, their values for the working class (if you will).

    To imagine that WWII was a clean war, justifiable because of Hitler, the rape of Nanging, the murder or 40million people in all. Is BS. There never was, and never will be a justifiable war, or one that could not have been avoided by sharing the wealth.

    Never mind.

    WWII. was a wonderful thing. 'Cept for the few dead (+40million, that God hated anyways), and the insertional belief that America! right or wrong! Godbless us all, especially the dudes that commit the most attrocities in our (god's) name.

    Wow! sorry about that. Maybe it was something laying on my chest.
    To forgive bad deeds is Christian; to reward them is Republican. 'MC' Rove
    The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
    ]Clowns to the right of me, Jokers to the left ... here I am - stuck in the middle with you.

    Save the Whales. Collect the whole set of them.

    Better to have your enemys in the tent pissin' out, than have them outside the tent pissin' in. LBJ

    He who laughs last thinks slowest.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Myths of WWII

    The most ignored fact about the Holocaust is that the Nazi's killed just as many Slavs as they killed Jews. This is not including soldiers killed on the battlefield. The racial ideology of the Nazi's is simplified into "they wanted to kill all the Jews". The real truth is far, far worse. The Nazis viewed all non-aryan races as fit for nothing other than slave labour, followed by death.

    Which brings us the lovely, clean cut simplified version of what an "Aryan" is that they teach you in School: A blue-eyed, blonde-haired German. I know you all know that not all so called "aryans" are Germans, and the majority of them do not have blonde hair or blue eyes. Even kids bring up the obvious "um, Hitler didn't have blonde hair". This funny misconception isn't really important, like the above, but it is amusing.

    Then there is the humourous idea of the French Armies being a bunch of weaklings and cowards. "Amée" in french must be feminine for a reason.
    As funny as the cliche is, the French didn't lose because their soldiers weren't brave, they lost because of horrible leaders and obsolete tactcs.

    -edit- Um....Kafir, you seem to be forgetting something....

    The Allies didn't want to go to war. We did nothing to stop Japan, Italy, and Germany from seizing huge amounts of territory, brutally in the case of Japan and with pleas for help from diplomats of all the conquered nations to help them, which the allies were obliged to do, under treaty.

    The Axis powers STARTED the war and even declared war on America. War isn't pretty, and *gasp* lots of people die. It isn't a good thing. You seem to be very harsh on the Allies, who's armies took no actions untill they were attacked first. It is [b]very[/i] clear who was in the right..

    Also, Stalin was a more pure Bloshevik Marxist than Lenin was. In fact, the brutal policy against the kulaks was Lenin's idea. The nonsense about Stalin "corrupting Lenin's glorious peacefull non-violent marxist ideas" comes from Kruschev and other hypocrits who, after Stalin's death, wanted to distance themselves from him. Kruschev oversaw many atrocities under Stalin, and in the end, is responsible for what he did.
    Last edited by DisruptorX; 05-15-2005 at 04:38.
    "Sit now there, and look out upon the lands where evil and despair shall come to those whom thou lovest. Thou hast dared to mock me, and to question the power of Melkor, master of the fates of Arda. Therefore with my eyes thou shalt see, and with my ears thou shalt hear; and never shall thou move from this place until all is fulfilled unto its bitter end". -Tolkien

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO