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1st Reply From: Nicholas Murray <email@example.com> Subject: Re: REPLY: The Pacific and Racism (3) Date: March 25, 2010 9:05:15 AM EDT To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> In response to Gervase Phillips. I don't think the attitudes he refers to went away and came back. Those attitudes seem to have been always present. Indeed, as he pointed out, the attaches observing the war certainly were very impressed with the Japanese, as many of them also were with the stoicism of the ordinary Russian soldier. This attitude was very also much present in the writing of the American attaches as well as those of the French, and Austrians. One of the reasons for their glowing praise certainly was the racist attitude that an asiatic race had beaten a European one. However, it must be remembered that the losers were only Russians. Given the almost universal criticism of the dreadful performance of the Russian Army, particularly that of its officers corps, it is perhaps not surprising that the sterling Japanese performance was often overlooked in the longer term. It strikes me that the failings of a European power better seem to fit with the ideas of the time. Nicholas Murray Assistant Professor of History US Army CGSC 2nd Reply From: Kuehn, John Dr CIV USA TRADOC <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: RE: REPLY: The Pacific and Racism (3) (UNCLASSIFIED) Date: March 25, 2010 10:17:51 AM EDT To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> Mr. Phillips wrote: " has anyone charted how they were successively re-cast by the shifting diplomatic/political tides of world history?" [[apologies for lateness, I was off the net for a couple days]] Although this is not the precise purpose of Ed Drea's new book on the Imperial Japanese Army*, he does an outstanding job of showing the transformation of the Meiji army into the army that accrued unto itself so much negative press after 1931. The concept of that transformation in the eyes of others (UK and US Navy), though, has much more to do with the events occurring during and after the London Conference in 1930 and subsequent events in China (that had been percolating for some time). On the latter score, William Braisted's new book _Diplomats in Blue_ (Univ. Press of Florida, 2009) is very useful to see the change in attitudes by U.S. Navy officers. The British attitudes, how they were formed and then changed (if indeed the RN senior leadership changed their view at all), needs research--unless there is something out there on British Naval racism prior to the Pacific War. A "War Without Mercy" analog if you will in the Brit (or better yet Brit-French-Dutch) vein. In other words, Roskill only hints at these matters in his book on the period prior to war. Just in case anyone has missed what I am proposing here, what little I have read on the topic (British portion) seems to point to more institutional racism in the Royal Navy officer corps than in the United States Navy officer corps as regards Japanese fighting abilities. The US Navy took these very seriously--as the quotation below emphasizes. However, racism in the US Navy officer corps vis-à-vis their Japanese did not seem to include a massive underestimation of their abilities. Rather it was an overestimation that seemed borne out by the events of December 1941-April 1942. Another book that looks at this tangentially is Sadao Asada's _From Mahan to Pearl Harbor_, albeit the Japanese view of their US counterparts. (I am Huntingtonian in this respect, the officer corps attitudes, especially in navies where the captain/officer-of-the-deck tells the helm the rudder orders, should be the focus of study when it comes to policy and war planning). R, john *University of Kansas Press, 2009. John T. Kuehn, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Military History Department of Military History U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth, KS 913-684-3972 "Present preparedness must not be sacrificed to an illusory future readiness. National emergencies cannot be foreseen and must be met by existing forces." The General Board of the Navy, January 1933 3rd Reply From: jim Dingeman <email@example.com> Subject: Re: REPLY: The Pacific and Racism (2) Date: March 24, 2010 8:16:44 PM EDT To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> I grew up in the early fifties on Army bases.In my immediate family, all my paternal uncles, grandfather and father were at Pearl Harbor on December 7th 1941. All of them, with the exception of my father, were on active duty. I would listen from some of the people I was around as a child constant references to the NIP's,etc. at that time. I also would hear veterans from Korea openly refer to their foes as gooks. I have heard many comments from people who were captured by the Japanese and treated savagely by them. When I have been involved with broadcasting and before I have targeted in the past veterans of the 1st Marine Division in the work I did in the early nineties..In most cases, the hatred and often racial epithets were thrown in the mix. I just think it is AHISTORICAL to trivialize these issues or intellectualize them. They were real and powerful backgrounds to a miserable war. And that includes the racial supremacist attitudes of the Japanese vis a vis their foes:Europeans, Chinese, colonized Asian people whether they be Koreans or Pacific islanders..they were part of the equation also. And lest we forget, the spirit of National Socialism and the war the Nazi state waged was ripe with their policies of racial supremacy and dominance. Look at the Holocaust or fighting on the Eastern front. For that matter, their attitudes to Poles as inferior Slavs is a WAR AIM of the Third Reich. The works by Christopher Thorne raise intriguing questions about these problems. So do the attitudes to maintaining colonialism as a war aim by our British ,French and Dutch allies for starters. They impinged into our policy in the Pacific War in all sorts of ways.When the French have their meeting in Brazzaville and issue the Brazzaville Declaration in 1944 the probability of a military attempt to retake and re-colonize Indo china was inevitable. The Japanese coup de main of Lawrence's work Assuming the Burden: Europe and the American Commitment to War in Vietnam is interesting in this regard. The war in China is another case that needs to integrated into our analysis. The book by Michael Schaller, THE U.S CRUSADE IN CHINA, is interesting to put in the mix. But, our ideas about China are surely subject to introspective analysis. The flow from the pre war period(i.e before Pearl Harbor) is generally not fully understood. China had been subject to Japanese military expansion since the Sino Japanese War, in active war since 1931 with a brief respite. Our knowledge of this in the West needs to be ramped up.it still is basically flimsy. As we all know the events of that war flow into World War two and flow outwards into the Civil War that led to the defeat of the KMT. The loss of China had a profound impact on our foreign policy and hence our attitudes to China and the Chinese during this period need to be subject to critical look. I would certainly argue that a racial dimension exists in that relationship as but one factor to ponder. To fight about the relative weight to be give to these factors is fair but to deny them is confusing and obfuscatory. I understand from those who have watched all 10 episodes of THE PACIFIC that when seen in its totality, it is as fine a film as BANd OF BROTHERS was. The audience for the first episode was 3.1 million with the viewing on the HBO website another 3 million. How many of that later number were repeat viewers I do not know. I know that in a major Texas market that the series was the most viewed CABLE TV show that night but DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES had 8 times more viewers which should not be a surprise.the age group watching it was baby boomer and older, not the vaunted youth market that TV loves to get. But, I think the series will win its share of Emmy's. I talked with Bruce McKenna, the writer/co-writer of many of the episodes and I was impressed with their attention to detail..the question is why spend $200 million on a World War two project? Jim Dingeman 4th Reply From: Phillips, III, J.A. <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: The Pacific and Racism Date: March 24, 2010 10:06:17 PM EDT To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> Reply-To: Phillips, III, J.A. <email@example.com> J.J. McGrath wrote: ''Even in Europe, American soldiers had a heightened antipathy to the Germans that most people nowadays do not realize. German prisoners were almost always treated roughly and incidents such as the Malmedy Massacre increased this feeling.'' I don't think many of the D-Day vets had to wait to Malmedy to get incensed. A little clipping from my Great Uncle (Ensign, U.S.N.), to my Grandfather (Captain, U.S.A.), on June 13, 1944: ''We hauled a load of German prisoners out the other day and they seem to be pretty happy that they were captured. They all want to be taken to America but I would rather they'd shoot the whole G-- d--- lot of them for most of them were snipers.'' J. Phillips Affiliationus Minimus, but still living in Seattle Original Message: > From: Scott Hendrix <hendsn1@GMAIL.COM> > Subject: REPLY: The Pacific and Racism (3) > To: H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU > Date: Monday, March 22, 2010, 7:49 PM > 1st Reply > > From: G Phillips > <G.Phillips@mmu.ac.uk> > Subject: Re: > REPLY: The Pacific and Racism (3) > Date: March 20, 2010 > 7:11:55 AM EDT > To: H-NET Military > History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> > > > In a telling quote on 19th March Chandar Sundaram > observed: > > "Other Allied powers also had an unwarranted low opinion of > the Japanese, stemming from racism. For example Sir Robert > Brooke-Popham, the CinC British forces in the Far East, > visiting HongKong in October 1941, commenmted on some > "shabby creatures, > lacking spit and polish" on the other side of the fence > separating that colony from Mainland China. The "creatures" > he referred to > were Japanese troops. He later commented that if these > represented the typical Japanese soldier, then the Allies > would have no > trouble in thrashing them. I have seen the oroginal letter > in the Liddell-Hart Centre for Military Archives at King's > College, > London. THis anecdote is also cited in Dower's War Without > Mercy." > > I was always a little puzzled as to when such attitudes > about the Japanese began to (re?)emerge. After the > Russo-Japanese War, the > European military literature, and especially, I suspect, > the British (who were then their allies), seemed full of > praise for their > soldierly spririt, discipline and technical competence. > Rather than assuming that 'racist' attitudes were an > immutable constant of > early 20th century western thought, has anyone charted how > they were successively re-cast by the shifting > diplomatic/political > tides of world history? > > Cheers, > > Gervase Phillips > G.Phillips@mmu.ac.uk > > Gervase Phillips, > Principal Lecturer in History, > Manchester Metropolitan University, > G.Phillips@mmu.ac.uk > > > > 2nd Reply > > > From: Waitman Beorn > <firstname.lastname@example.org> > Subject: Re: REPLY: > The Pacific and Racism (3) > Date: March 20, 2010 > 11:38:27 AM EDT > To: H-NET Military > History Discussion List <H-WAR@h-net.msu.edu> > > I am curious (regarding Mr. Williams' > post) as to what relevance the > coverage of Japanese atrocities has to that of American > racism in the > Pacific. The nature of this comment seems to indicate that > because the > Japanese committed atrocities (sometimes in the name of > racism) that any > charge of similar racism or barbarity on the American side > is unworthy of > investigation. This seems unnecessarily > defensive. No one (to include John > Dower) is arguing that the war in the Pacific was a racist > quest to > annihilate the Japanese. However, it takes a > particularly narrow > perspective to not see that the way the war was carried out > had clearly > racial elements. U.S. (and British) soldiers in > Europe (or North Africa) > did not cut off ears, mount skulls on trucks, or cut out > human teeth. This > cannot all be explained by the nature of the fighting. > I am perplexed by the frequently powerful knee-jerk > reactions against any > implication that the U.S. in World War II behaved badly or > held racist > motivations. After all, the "Greatest Generation" was > also the generation > of Jim Crow and segregation. This is not in any way > to detract from the > exploits and sacrifices of that cohort. If articles > on Japanese racism do > not frequently appear, certainly discussions of their > atrocities do. I see > no reason not to explore how racism becomes operationalized > on the > battlefield and affects how men and women fight. > > > > Waitman W.Beorn > PhD Candidate > Department of History > University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill > Hamilton Hall, CB #3195 > Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3195 > http://history.unc.edu/gradstudents/beorn.html > http://history.unc.edu/ > <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> > …The reconstruction of worlds is one of the historian’s > most important > tasks. He undertakes it, not from some strange urge > to dig up archives and > sift through old paper, but because he wants to talk with > the dead. By > putting questions to documents and listening to replies, he > can sound dead > souls and take the measure of the societies they inhabited. > If we lost all > contact with the worlds we have lost, we would be condemned > to live in a > two-dimensional, time-bound present, and our own world > would turn flat. > -Robert Darnton > <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> > > > From: Kuehn, John T > Dr CIV USA TRADOC <email@example.com> > Subject: Re: > REPLY: The Pacific and Racism (3) > Date: March 22, 2010 > 4:44:33 PM EDT > To: H-NET Military > History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> > > > The same attitude > reflected by the British Army was also reflected in the > Navy.. Stephen Roskill is very honest and open about this in > his discussions of defense planning for the far east in his > book about British Naval Policy between the Wars. > > r, > > John T. Kuehn > CDR USN (ret) > Associate Professor of Military History > CGSC Ft Leavenworth > 913-684-3972 > > > > Original Message: > >> 1st Reply >> >> > From: Chandar Sundaram > <firstname.lastname@example.org> >> Subject: > RE: REPLY: The Pacific and Racism >> > Date: March 19, 2010 > 1:27:14 AM EDT >> To: > h-war h-net <email@example.com> >> >> Hi, >> >> Other Allied powers also had an unwarranted low > opinion of the Japanese, >> stemming from racism. For example Sir Robert > Brooke-Popham, the CinC British >> forces in the Far East, visiting HongKong in October > 1941, commenmted on >> some "shabby creatures, lacking spit and polish" on > the other side of the >> fence separating that colony from Mainland China. The > "creatures" he >> referred to were Japanese troops. He later commented > that if these >> represented the typical Japanese soldier, then the > Allies would have no >> trouble in thrashing them. I have seen the oroginal > letter in the >> Liddell-Hart Centre for Military Archives at King's > College, London. THis >> anecdote is also cited in Dower's War Without Mercy >> >> best >> >> >> Chandar S. Sundaram, Ph.D. >> Research Fellow, >> Centre for Armed Forces Historical >> Research, >> United Services Institution of India, >> Rao Tula Ram Marg, >> Opp. Signals Enclave, >> P.O. Bag No. 8, Vasant Vihar P.O. >> New Delhi 110 057 >> India >> >> >> 2nd Reply >> >> > From: Williams, Glenn F > Mr CIV USA <firstname.lastname@example.org> >> Subject: > RE: REPLY: The Pacific and Racism >> > Date: March 19, 2010 > 1:17:38 PM EDT >> To: > H-NET Military History Discussion List > <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU >>> >> >> Dear Friends and Fellow Historians, >> I don't know about anyone else, but I have grown weary > of, take now >> offense at this "post-modern," or whatever > historiographical label you >> put on it, interpretation that World War II in the > Pacific is always >> couched as a "race war," or the brutality a product of > white American >> racism against the Japanese enemy. >> >> Let's not forget the "Ehrenarier," or "Honorary > Aryans" as Hitler dubbed >> them, were guilty of their own ethnic-based brutality > and atrocities >> against indigenous peoples of the Asian mainland and > Pacific Islands, >> both soldiers and civilians, who were OUR ALLIES!!!!! >> >> Also remember the Japanese Ehrenarier committed > atrocities against U.S., >> Filipino, and Commonwealth troops in combat, and woe > be the those who >> became POWs and treated as "untermensche" just as sure > as the inmates of >> Bergen-Belsen or Dachau. >> >> There is enough to charge the Japanese with conducting > the war along >> their own racist prejudices as well. Funny how > it never surfaces in the >> scholarly journals. >> >> Best Regards, >> >> Glenn >> >> Glenn F. Williams >> Historian >> National Museum of the U.S. Army Project Office >> 6020 Goethals Road, Bldg. T-1812 >> Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-6205 >> Phone: 703-806-5994/ FAX: 703-806-6150 >> E-mail: email@example.com >> Web Page: www.nmusa.army.mil >> >> "The fate of unborn miliions now depends, under God, > on the Courage and >> Conduct of the Army." - George Washington, August > 1776 >> >> >> 3rd Reply >> >> > From: Abrigon Gusiq > <firstname.lastname@example.org> >> Subject: > Pacific and Racism? >> > Date: March 18, 2010 > 7:22:02 PM EDT >> To: > H-NET Military History Discussion List > <H-war@H-NET.MSU.EDU >>> >> >> >> > But isn't racism one thing the Japanese > played on when they >> invaded/took over, to be the saviours of the locals > from the evil Europeans? >> Not that they stayed so nice.. Especially with the > Japanese lack of >> logisitical or limited logisitical train, ended up > with Japanese soldiers >> turning to looting/pillaging to keep active in the > field. Japanese do have >> an element of racism. But also the interservice > conflict of Army vs Navy, >> lead to serious issues with logistics/support. >> >> From what I have read much of the reasons Japan > invaded, was due to needs >> for minerals/materials and labor? As well as they had > former colonies all >> over the south pacific, but had abandoned them a > century ago, but .. Back >> when or after the Christianistion of Japan and forcing > out of the Christians >> from Japan, c.1700? Christianity was too popular for > the Daimyo/Bufuku to >> allow to take over, so they violently forced them out > to Nagasaki/Hiroshima? >> Where it was that way until Perry? >> >> I know one aspect of most wars, is to make your enemy > seem to be less than >> human, and Japanese abuse in places like Nanking and > Changhai, did not help. >> >> Yes, Californians wanted the land the > Japanese-Americans had, and worked.. >> George Takai of Star Trek was a internment camp > survivor. But Aleuts in >> Alaska were also subjected to camp like conditions, > while Axis POWs >> (Germans/Nazi) down the road, were well treated. But > the times was racist. >> Alaska had the first race equality laws c.1945.. > But the National Guard >> based in Juneau was very white. So the shift to the > "Tundra Army" of Muktuk >> Marston was a major shift (Territorial Guard/Alaskan > Scout) many of then >> Aleuts/Eskimos/Indians/Mixed Blood/etc. Many > Territorial Guard members are >> now dead, but they did a lion service, training US > Army soldiers how to >> fight in a land where the weather will kill you as > fast as an enemies >> bullet. >> >> (added) >> If I understand, to be a citizen in Japan, you have to > have had a Japanese >> citizen father, but if your father is not a Japanese > citizen, you have to go >> some 3 generations more of being a resident to become > a citizen? Supposedly >> there is persons of Korean decent in Japan, that have > been residing in Japan >> for 3-5 generations and they are still not seen as > citizens? True or False? >> >> Mike Adams >> Alaska, UAF Alumni >> Former 11B/42A >> Alaska Army Guard >> >> >> >> >> >> >>> Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2010 18:59:53 -0400 >>> From: hendsn1@GMAIL.COM >>> Subject: REPLY: The Pacific and Racism >>> To: H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU >>> >>> From: Mac McIntosh <email@example.com> >>> Subject: The Pacific and Racism >>> Date: March 17, 2010 4:36:42 PM EDT >>> To: firstname.lastname@example.org >>> Cc: H-NET Military History Discussion List <email@example.com> >>> >>> >>> What has always bothered me the most about this > issue is just how many >> American and allied lives did institutional racism > cost ? For example : >> Japan had a war strategy that called for engaging > enemy forces outside of >> normal gunnery ranges. To this end by 1933 the > Japanese had an operational >> 24 inch long range torpedo with a range of 24 miles at > 39 knots or 12 miles >> at 49 knots. American torpedoes in 1941 were 21 inch > models that had a range >> of only 4,500 yards. Agents reporting to the Navy > attaché's office reported >> fully on the Japanese technological advantages of > their torpedo. The Office >> of Naval Intelligence passed on the reports to the > Navy's Bureau of >> Ordinance . They replied : " no torpedo could travel > at such speed over that >> range" . This judgment was primarily based on > nationalistic technical >> arrogance and presumed racial superiority. The same > was true regarding the >> ZERO fighter plane . The Zero (Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero ) > was used in the >> Japanese offensive in China which began in 1937 . U.S. > Military officers >> sent in many reports on Japans Air capabilities. The > reports were rountinely >> either ignored or ridiculed. In early 1941 a Tokyo > based attache , Stephen >> Jurika was able to climb into the covkpit of a Zero at > a Japanese Air Show . >> He sent into to ONI the data from the cockpit data > plate -- which again was >> dismissed as obviously inaccurate. These assessments > were obviously >> seriously affected by racial sterotypes. Not only as > to the disbelief of the >> technical data readily available on the Zero but there > was an even more >> damaging widely held sterotype mide set held that > Japanese pilots being >> physically incapable of rigorous combat flying. Claire > Chennault sent in >> detailed drawings and specifications for the > Mitsubishi A5M in 1938 . >> Shortly later he actually flew a Japanese Nakajima > Ki-27b (Nate) fighter >> that had been captured intact. Channault sent in > reports to the War Office >> saying that Japan had a fighter that " climbs like a > sky-rocket and >> maneuvers like a squirrel." >>> These reports also fell victim to racial > mindsets. >>> >>> I am sure there are many more examples. >>> A good essay on this issue is Lieutenant Commander > Ralph Lee >> DeFalco.III's : Blind to the Sun : U.S. Intelligence > Failures Before the War >> with Japan . >>> >>> Walter James McIntosh >>> Bluff, New Zealand > > ----- For subscription help, go to: http://www.h-net.org/lists/help/ To change your subscription settings, go to http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=h-war -----