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Monday, 09 April 2012

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"I know this blog is read avidly in the White House and has its own file in the HQ of the CIA, so let me just say that I am available to provide some of my lectures if the Dean of History at Harvard is otherwise occupied. Usual terms, of course!"

Dear Mr. Duff,

We haven't met before, but the team and I are interested in using some of your more advanced Power Point techniques to extract some last titbits of information from some very stubborn Arabs in a place called Camp X-Ray. Psychologists have told us that such methods, delivered by an enthusiastic amateur, create an unbeatable tedium in the mind of the victim.

If you are in for the rest of the day (Our satellites tell us you have pissing rain for the rest of the day, and the church-yard grass is not too bad yet) then stand by to receive my personal call.

Yours,

Barack O.

Ah yes, my PowerPoint - they don't like it up 'em, Capt. Whyaxye!

Hitler was bound to lose too, taking on the combined might of France, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Norway, while still having to hold down the Czechs and Poles. But he didn't.

The Japan argument is heavy with hindsight.

Great analogy to the US-China situation. I recently read an article (although I cannot remember where) in which views of Chinese insiders was examined. The Chinese generally viewed the US as a declining power, yet one also determined to keep China's from its rightful place in the world. Substitute China for Germany and the UK for the US, and the sentence could remain the same.

I am not absolutely sure you're right in your first statement, DM. If Halifax had taken over from Chamberlain and cut a deal, and if Hitler had held back from attacking Russia, he could have held down Europe for some considerable time, in my view.

Obviously *my* view of Japan is hindsight but others shared it *before* the war, including the head of the Jap navy and army. Adm. Yamamoto wrote this in Aug 1940:

"In the first six to twelve months of a war with the United States and Great Britain I will run wild and win victory upon victory. But then, if the war continues after that, I have no expectation of success."

'AonI', thanks for your comment and welcome to D&N. I have only had chance to give your blog a quick glance but it looks to be very informative.

Yeah, but there were German generals who thought Hitler was bound to lose if he attacked France and Britain. But he won handsomely. It was only when he was mad enough to attack the USSR and declare war on the USA that he really did doom himself to losing.

Quite so, DM, which is why I link Wilhemine Germany and WWII Japan (but not Hitlerian Germany) because both were doomed to defeat before they even began. The first because if the highly risky Schlieffen Plan (Mk II) failed, which it did, then Germany was doomed - in the end. And the second because you only have to look at a map of the two countries to see the obvious!

But you only had to look at the maps of the British, French, Dutch and Belgian Empires to see that Hitler's Germany had no chance. Hindsight, Duffers, hindsight.

Not like you to be silly, DM! The only 'operating empire' was the British one because in all those other cses the 'Mother Country' was occupied and the colonialists cut their own deals according to their circs. Thus, the French in IndoChina helped the Japs. And none of the empire countries, ours or theirs, were in the slightest position of being able to overthrow Hitler. Also remember that there were always more than willing 'Quisling' governments to aid the Germans in holding down occupied countries.

If Japan had not attacked Pearl Harbour and had avoided the Philippines would America have joined the war effort? The main requirements for the Japs was rubber (Malaya) and oil (Dutch East Indies). If they had confined themselves to that and avoided everything else would America have entered the war?

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