Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason?
Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.
~ Sir John
War is the health of the State.
Q: Why did the USA intervene in what became World
A.: Because if we didn’t, we’d now all
speak German or Japanese.
Q. Who benefited the most from the defeat of Germany
and Japan in WWII?
A. The USA.
This, with variations, has been the standard Q&A
about the history of and the events surrounding our entry into that war and
usually ends further discussion. But the standard answers, on closer
examination, are just plain wrong.
The first question first, since it takes a bit of
The German General Staff, which had codenamed
contingency invasion/occupation plans for dozens of nations (even one for the
never-tried conquest of Switzerland called "Operation Christmas")
had none for the USA. Neither did the Japanese High Command. Neither
nation’s economy was ever fully mobilized for total war to the extent
the USA’s and Great Britain’s had been. An invasion of North
America would have required a major and early commitment by Berlin and Tokyo
of financial, human and material resources to two forms of warfare, the first
being large, long-range strategic bomber, transport and fighter escort
aircraft, something neither Germany nor Japan had done. Both nations had
superb short and medium range fighter/interceptors and medium bombers, but no
bombers like the four-engine US B-17 or, later, the British Lancaster.
The second major and early commitment would have to
have been to a sizable "blue water" naval "long-range power
projection" force. Germany (unlike Japan) didn’t have this and did
not seriously plan on acquiring it – something requiring numerous
aircraft carriers, auxiliary and amphibious ships, carrier-based combat and
reconnaissance aircraft, plus a sizable force of marines. There were minor
proposals made early in the war to build an aircraft carrier to be christened
"Frederick the Great" along with two large cruisers, all of which
"land animal" Hitler soon nixed.
The German submarine threat, although still quite
dire in W.W. II (thanks in great part to FDR’s long and controversial
delay in ordering the Navy to conduct aggressive antisubmarine warfare
operations off the U.S. East Coast), was not nearly as potent as it was in
W.W. I. This was in large part due to defensive seagoing escort and convoy
tactics developed in 1917–18 and improved submarine detection
techniques, like active sonar, created in the interwar years. Submarines
alone could not effectively project broad-based, large-scale offensive naval
power great distances (something demonstrated brilliantly by Admirals Nimitz,
Mitscher and Halsey and the aircraft carrier-based
"task force" concept in the Pacific war against Japan).
The goal of the German U-boat campaign remained much
the same as that in W.W.I, chiefly defensive "commerce raiding;"
attempts to cut off the flow of needed supplies to Great Britain and, this
time, to the USSR as well. Its surface navy, consisting mainly of smaller
sized "pocket" battleships as well as cruisers and some destroyers
and patrol boats, operated in much the same commerce raider fashion –
voyaging about individually attacking and sinking tankers and freighters in
the North and South Atlantic.
Germany’s navy had not fought a major
set-piece surface battle since Jutland in 1916, in which it was tactically
victorious against but strategically defeated by the British. The Royal Navy
forced the scuttling of one of the war's earliest effective German surface
commerce raiders, the pocket battleship "Graf Spee,"
off the Uruguayan coast at the end of 1939. The German Navy was thrashed by
the British in the smaller 1940 naval battle at Narvik,
Norway, the former losing several destroyers and patrol craft in that
engagement. By the time the battleship "Bismarck" was sent to the
bottom by two British warships, the HMS Rodney and King George, in May 1941,
the German surface fleet threat was all but eliminated.
This was the illustrious naval record of a nation
supposedly planning to and capable of invading and conquering the USA?
Hitler failed to subdue Great Britain in 1940 (in
good part due to the moral strength of the Brits, a great deal of US aid, and
because conquering Britain was not part of the Führer’s eastern
living space plan), so he would have had little chance of succeeding against
the much more distant, much larger, more populous, and better-armed USA. Even
Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto (the chief planner of the
Pearl Harbor attack) spoke warningly of "a rifle behind every blade of
grass" when discussions of invading the USA came up.
A successful invasion of North America by both Nazi
Germany and Japan would have also required a high degree of interservice and binational
coordination and cooperation, something that even in the best of forces and
times is difficult to achieve and maintain. The Germans and Japanese, despite
appearances, were notorious for the utter lack of that, and given their
respective highly xenophobic beliefs in their own complete racial superiority
to any other group, there would have been little basis for any significant
long-term cooperation between them. Both Hitler and Tojo
would have also needed reliable and broad-based intelligence gathering and
interpretation assets, and a sizable "fifth-column" of active
native sympathizers here, something neither had in sufficient quality or
quantity. German military intelligence, the Abwehr,
was already long compromised by British spies – its longtime director,
Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, was an active British sympathizer
since the 1930s, while Japan’s military and diplomatic ciphers were
quickly and easily broken.
Both nations’ forces featured the glaring
absence of sophisticated and secure large-scale supply support and sizable
long-range air, sea, and ground transport capable of logistically sustaining
a long offensive war which was vital to any attacking force operating over
long distances in hostile territory. This major weakness of the Wehrmacht was
first confirmed on the Eastern Front in the fall of 1941 and by Japan early
on in its war of attrition in China and later in the Pacific campaigns
against the Americans. Authors Meirion and Sue
Harries disclosed in their 1992 book "Soldiers of The Sun: The Rise and
Fall of the Imperial Japanese Army" that for each US GI there was an
average of four tons of material produced, for the Japanese counterpart, an
average of two pounds.
Furthermore, Germany (given the Führer’s
erratic nature, disdain for the daily tasks of governing and administration,
and fixation on short-term solutions for every problem) never pursued an
advanced weapons project (assault rifles, cruise and ballistic missiles, jet
warplanes, atomic bombs) for any sufficient length of time to make a real
difference in combat. The German "Atomic Association" was a quite
pale and poorly funded and staffed version of our Manhattan Project (due in
large part to the previous "brain drain" of numerous talented
physicists out of Germany and into the USA and Great Britain throughout the
1930s), and even that was directed more toward development of a workable
nuclear reactor for submarine propulsion, not an atomic bomb. Japanese
advanced weapons research was practically nonexistent. Japan, whose
government and military was long riddled with fierce, often-bloody factional
political intrigue, was at first glance better prepared to mount an invasion
of the USA given its large long-range carrier-based navy. However, Tokyo
would have been badly hampered in such an attempt by its key strategic focus
on a quickly completed regional land/island war and its unwillingness or
inability to exploit large-scale submarine warfare.
Like Germany in the East, resource-poor Japan, via
its "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere," was only interested
in securing and consolidating economic and territorial gains in a certain
area of its own region (the Asian mainland and the far Western Pacific
islands), a politico-economic relationship that Premier Tojo
Hideki pointedly referred to as similar to that of the USA’s in regard
to Latin America. There was the lack of sufficient training, resources, and
tactics to wage a long, decisive, large-scale continental ground war that an
invasion of North America would have required – a lack reflected in
Japan’s costly and ultimately fatal 1937–45 stalemate in China.
There was also Japan’s stunning and bloody defeat by the Red
Army’s large combined force of tanks, motorized infantry, and
long-range artillery at the pivotal but little-known Battle of Nomonhan (on the Soviet-Manchurian border) in the summer
of 1939. This battle exposed several glaring, never-to-be-resolved weaknesses
in the quality of Japanese artillery, ground transport, tactics, and
logistics and eventually led to a Soviet-Japanese nonaggression pact that
lasted until the final days of the war.
Even Japan’s raid on Pearl Harbor ended up
more a fatally botched propaganda stunt than a decisive strategic blow to
mortally wound the US Pacific Fleet and keep the USA from presumably getting
in the way of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. It just got Japan
in a war with an angry United States that many in Tokyo knew couldn’t
be won; Admiral Yamamoto predicting at the time Japan would exhaust its
existing petroleum and fuel reserves by 1944. For instance, despite the
terrible images of death and destruction, many of the ships sunk at their piers in the attack on Oahu were raised and refitted.
Most piers, drydocks, repair facilities, fuel
bunkers and supply depots were untouched or only slightly damaged by Japanese
And lastly, both Germany and Japan were notorious
for consistently and severely underestimating their adversaries and for
quickly alienating and then oppressing the vast majorities of the native
populations of any country they invaded, even ones that may have been
initially sympathetic to the invaders.
Worst of all, much of the above was already well
known by the Roosevelt administration before Pearl Harbor.
Neither Germany nor Japan planned for or could have
launched a successful invasion and occupation of the USA. It's that simple.
Even the legions of King George III nearly 200 years before, quite benign in
contrast to those of Berlin and Tokyo, were eventually worn down and booted
out of what soon became the USA.
But, again, why did we really intervene in what
became World War II and who benefited the most from the defeat of Germany and
By 1937–38, FDR's New Deal welfare state was
an expensive, widely unpopular and abject failure and was in serious danger
of being all but thoroughly dismantled by a hostile public and Supreme Court
(which FDR openly and foolishly tried to "pack" at the time,
alienating many of his staunchest supporters) and an increasingly combative
Congress, many of its bitterest critics being among Roosevelt's own ruling
Democrats. So Franklin tried another form of domestic socialism, a
"warfare state" inaugurated under the auspices of a pricey
pork-barrel caper called "Lend-Lease," and he and his successors
had hit the jackpot for decades to come. Germany and Japan were the perfect
and convenient excuses for both FDR and Stalin to flex their muscles on a
global scale in a way that Marx and Lenin would have envied (and, as Winston
Churchill desired, to keep both of those nations from emerging as major world
players in their own right).
The conduct of the war all but guaranteed that. The
Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, as expected, quickly flattened a strong and
influential US noninterventionist movement that the Roosevelt administration
(which probably knew of Tokyo's plans well in advance and did everything it
could, legally and illegally, to provoke Tokyo into that "sneak
attack") was already viciously and unfairly trying to destroy, smear and
discredit. Our enemy was then presumably Japan, a nation to whom we had long
sold large subsidized amounts of our iron ore, scrap metal, and petroleum,
all under the provisions of a 1911 trade treaty that FDR had personally and
suddenly abrogated two years before.
While our GIs fought fiercely and died en masse in
the Philippines and on Guam and Wake Island in the face of the invading
Japanese, FDR blatantly wrote them off and pursued a "Europe First"
policy. A key feature of this policy included the immediate transfer of huge
amounts of financial and material aid to the recently-former German ally,
Stalin’s USSR, a nation whose leaders, like those of Nazi Germany and
Imperial Japan, openly cared little for the supposed "democratic
spirit" of the Atlantic Charter, and to which FDR (with the traitorous
Alger Hiss in tow) made an all but open invitation at Yalta in February 1945
for it to occupy Eastern Europe.
Despite FDR’s "Europe First," no US
troops set foot in the subjugated portions of the continent in any
strategically significant numbers until Operation Overlord in June 1944, by
which time the Soviets were midway through their massive broad-front push
westward toward conquest of most of Eastern Europe and a sizable portion of
eastern Germany. The latter was literally handed to the Soviets while our GIs
were ordered to pull back and let the Red Army grab Berlin and the
surrounding areas, actions which publicly infuriated Gen. George S. Patton
and others. The notorious "Operation Keelhaul," which forcibly sent
millions of by then fiercely anti-Communist Soviet POWs back to certain death
in the USSR, was next put into play.
In July 1945, at Potsdam, FDR/Churchill successors
Harry Truman and Clement Attlee respectively certified Stalin’s hold on
Eastern Europe as originally proposed at Yalta. They also permitted him to
break his 1941 nonaggression pact with Tokyo and sweep into Manchuria,
northern Korea, and Sakhalin Island in the final days of the war against an
all-but-beaten Japan. This final act ensured Moscow an easily obtained, major
role in the carving up of the Far East into various spheres of influence.
Japan’s eventual self-defeat in China (predicted by then-President
Herbert Hoover in 1931 as part of his refusal to ask Congress for US troops
to aid the Chinese against Japanese encroachment) and its collapse in the
western Pacific opened up a large power vacuum in Asia. In less than five
years, this vacuum was quickly filled in large part by Stalin’s brutal
trio of Asian Communist protégés – Mao Tse-tung, Kim Il-Sung, and Ho Chi Minh – all with
the prior blessings of FDR and his Red-riddled "brain trust."
The winner of W.W. II, tragically, was in reality
not the Allies but instead the theory and practice of the large-scale
coercive collectivist state, be it in the form of Communism or the
large-scale welfare/warfare states of various types and the consequent rise
of a violent, unstable, impoverished Third World addicted to the benefits of
the same as cavalierly dispensed by the meddlesome mandarins of the First
World. True, since 1945 we’ve been speaking a different language, and
it’s not German, Japanese, or even Russian or Chinese. Rather,
it’s the language of socialism couched in perpetual, petulant demands
for ever-more forced, taxpayer-supported "fairness and social
justice" on a global scale (commonly called "humanitarian
intervention") at the heavy expense of true peace, prosperity, and
individual liberty. And the price, as usual in the imposition and maintenance
of socialism, was and still is the untold millions of dead, impoverished,
miserable, and imprisoned.