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What-Ifs That Would Actually Have Affected The Course Of Ww2


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#241 glenn239

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 1412 PM

 

The Dutch government making the decision to break its previously honored agreement with Japan was in exile at the time, and under the protection of those encouraging it to do so. A difficult position in which to say "no" to Washington and London.

 

A neutral Dutch government in control of its pre-war borders will not be in the same position, and may be persuaded to honor its previous commitments to Japan by a carrot-and-stick approach. The carrot would be Japan's ability to pay for continuing oil shipments in Chinese gold, and a possible Japanese guarantee of Dutch neutrality.

 

The stick would be German.

 

 

You might be right.  Let's say for a moment that The Hague is considering ignoring the US demand for an embargo for the reasons you outline.  What would be the Anglo-American response to that?  Hull can still send his note, and would the Anglo-Americans consider occupying the NEI to physically prevent oil export to Japan?


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#242 Nobu

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 1439 PM

Such an occupation would be unwelcome to say the least, which points to Allied consideration of it as a response. Japan would also be wise to take appropriate steps in preparation for helping the Dutch defend their colonial sovereignty.

 

Whether the Allies would dare to cross that occupation line is the question. If they are, halting Swedish iron ore shipments to Germany may be next.


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#243 Markus Becker

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 0013 AM

 
The Dutch government making the decision to break its previously honored agreement with Japan was in exile at the time, and under the protection of those encouraging it to do so. A difficult position in which to say "no" to Washington and London.
 
A neutral Dutch government in control of its pre-war borders will not be in the same position, and may be persuaded to honor its previous commitments to Japan by a carrot-and-stick approach. The carrot would be Japan's ability to pay for continuing oil shipments in Chinese gold, and a possible Japanese guarantee of Dutch neutrality.
 
The stick would be German.

OTOH a neutral Netherlands would be able to supply the DEI with far more war materials particularly aircraft and that would reduce the need to appease an aggressor. And let's not forget that Japan was that. The move south did cross the line from a war with China to a probable one with the other regional powers. Or is there any other reason I have overlooked?

Then, with a strong buildup of air power in the DEI starting in the autumn of 1940 the Japanese might not have moved south in mid 41 because the DEI isn't easy pickings.

Edited by Markus Becker, 30 April 2020 - 0016 AM.

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#244 JasonJ

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 0023 AM

The Dutch government making the decision to break its previously honored agreement with Japan was in exile at the time, and under the protection of those encouraging it to do so. A difficult position in which to say "no" to Washington and London.
 
A neutral Dutch government in control of its pre-war borders will not be in the same position, and may be persuaded to honor its previous commitments to Japan by a carrot-and-stick approach. The carrot would be Japan's ability to pay for continuing oil shipments in Chinese gold, and a possible Japanese guarantee of Dutch neutrality.
 
The stick would be German.


OTOH a neutral Netherlands would be able to supply the DEI with far more war materials particularly aircraft and that would reduce the need to appease an aggressor. And let's not forget that Japan was that. The move south did cross the line from a war with China to a probable one with the other regional powers. Or is there any other reason I have overlooked?

If the allies had not been supplying the Nationalists Chinese then its highly unlikely Japan would have made threatening moves towards SEA. The Nationalists Chinese themselves embarked on taking the fight to Japan at full scale because in December 1936 CKS was kidnapped by his own general and taken to the Chinese communists to end the Civil War. At that time, there was no major war between Japan and any Chinese faction. Japanese expansion into the failed Fangtian clique state of Manchuria would be difficult to classify as an action in relativity that exceeded the actions the other the other empires were doing with maintaining their empires at that time so labling the Manchuria action, as uniquely worse with the term of "aggression" is hypocritical even though it could still be called Japanese expansionism.
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#245 Nobu

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 0119 AM

The Dutch government making the decision to break its previously honored agreement with Japan was in exile at the time, and under the protection of those encouraging it to do so. A difficult position in which to say "no" to Washington and London.
 
A neutral Dutch government in control of its pre-war borders will not be in the same position, and may be persuaded to honor its previous commitments to Japan by a carrot-and-stick approach. The carrot would be Japan's ability to pay for continuing oil shipments in Chinese gold, and a possible Japanese guarantee of Dutch neutrality.
 
The stick would be German.

OTOH a neutral Netherlands would be able to supply the DEI with far more war materials particularly aircraft and that would reduce the need to appease an aggressor. And let's not forget that Japan was that. The move south did cross the line from a war with China to a probable one with the other regional powers. Or is there any other reason I have overlooked?
Then, with a strong buildup of air power in the DEI starting in the autumn of 1940 the Japanese might not have moved south in mid 41 because the DEI isn't easy pickings.

A neutral Netherlands might be concerned with defense matters more close at hand than in the Pacific.

I think it will tread extremely lightly, with violence raging around it, and that it will be more interested in continuing to honor its previous and economically lucrative agreements in Asia than in suddenly taking a stand and developing a conscience about aggression there. Particularly as in this time frame, it is not yet clear which side will win.
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#246 Markus Becker

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 0247 AM

By the end of 1940 it would be more than clear that Germany has no intention to invade, so they can react to the growing instability in SEA. And by mid 41 it's no longer about developing a conscience but survival. What reason other than to be able to attack others did the occupation of the south of Indochina serve?

What the Dutch should and now could have done is to stall. Delivering oil and keeping their fingers cross that Japan holds still, giving everyone more time to build up defenses.

Edited by Markus Becker, 30 April 2020 - 0252 AM.

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#247 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 0257 AM

The only advantages I can see is the 'evacuation' of the Jewish population, which was clearly part of the Nazi perception of one of the priorities of the war effort. And this is pure speculation on my part, the effort to grab diamonds in the diamond quarter in Amsterdam to help the German war effort. I know from the film 'Operation Amsterdam', there was a real life effort by the Nazis to grab those diamonds, and they were smuggled out under their nose by British intelligence. But ive no idea how successful that operation was in reality, or how important the German requirement was

 

To me, it seems pretty meager gains for the efforts, particularly when you factor in the problems it created in the far east. If anything thinking on it, it would probably have suited the Japanese far better to have just traded with the Netherlands and deal with them after everyone else.


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#248 JasonJ

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 0314 AM

By the end of 1940 it would be more than clear that Germany has no intention to invade, so they can react to the growing instability in SEA. And by mid 41 it's no longer about developing a conscience but survival. What reason other than to be able to attack others did the occupation of the south of Indochina serve?

Well it was probably for motioning reaction with US reactions, It was all escalation back and fourth. But that movement alone was not enough with 40,000 personnel but a signal to Washington. But Washington's response was to escalate rather then pull back. A movement taken by the US was relocating much of its Pacific fleet from the west coast to Hawaii as a gesture to Japan and a sign for Chiang-Kai-shek. FDR wanted to move the Pacific fleet from the West Coast to Hawaii as early is early/mid 1940 but admiral James O. Richardson strongly objected and tried to change FDR's mind. For that, he got fired, and then replaced by February 1941, to which then FDR got what he wanted with the relocation of the Pacific fleet to Hawaii. The conquest of SEA was not about just to conquer more territory for the sake of just getting more territory. There were specific goals. Resources being denied by the US. And to close the supply routes to CKS being supplied by the US and GB. And again, the point still remains that even after the oil embargo when there were two time clocks ticking.. one being the spending of oil reserves and the other with US being more and more prepared. But despite those two time tracks, the Japan side still tried to get a meeting with FDR in which if Japan got the oil embargo lifted, they were willing to leave all of Indochina, thus a path for deescalation. But where the two sides were not willing to budge was that the US wanted Japan out of China and Japan did not want to give up everything gained thus far in China. When all things considered, I really don't know why there is such a deep rooted disposition dictating that the US was right in some sort of moral or justified basis to get itself involved in the China matter.


Edited by JasonJ, 30 April 2020 - 0317 AM.

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#249 glenn239

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 0849 AM

 


A neutral Netherlands might be concerned with defense matters more close at hand than in the Pacific.

I think it will tread extremely lightly, with violence raging around it, and that it will be more interested in continuing to honor its previous and economically lucrative agreements in Asia than in suddenly taking a stand and developing a conscience about aggression there. Particularly as in this time frame, it is not yet clear which side will win.

 

 

Exactly.  The Netherlands would probably not risk a German invasion of the homeland in order to cooperate with an Allied oil embargo of Japan.  However, it is possible that the colonial administration in the Far East might choose to ignore The Hague and throw in its lot with the Anglo-Americans, in defiance of the orders from home.  The Royal Navy could easily sever direct communications.

 

One question I did have was on the whole Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere propaganda thing.  Obviously, the NEI, Malaya, etc., were all ripe for revolution.  In your opinion, did Japan have an option to promote anti-colonial revolutions in these places rather than invade directly?  For example, on Luzon, did Japan actually have to invade, or could it have bypassed Luzon altogether and simply recognised a national government in Manilla that, after some arming and support, would disarm the Americans?


Edited by glenn239, 30 April 2020 - 0851 AM.

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#250 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 0928 AM

You are looking at it the wrong way round. Why should Germany damage the potential of some of its imports (not least Rubber) to help out the Japanese? Japan didnt invade Burma or Indonesia (or for the matter, the USSR) to help Germany out. So why is Germany going to do it to help Japan? If it doesnt suit them to invade the Netherlands, it wont.


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#251 Markus Becker

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 1104 AM

Futhermore starting in mid-1941 the Germans have other priorities than a campaign in the west. 


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#252 Nobu

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 1842 PM

By the end of 1940 it would be more than clear that Germany has no intention to invade, so they can react to the growing instability in SEA. And by mid 41 it's no longer about developing a conscience but survival. What reason other than to be able to attack others did the occupation of the south of Indochina serve?

What the Dutch should and now could have done is to stall. Delivering oil and keeping their fingers cross that Japan holds still, giving everyone more time to build up defenses.

 

Based on their vast and rich plantation holdings in Asia, I don't think it was ever about a conscience over who ruled over whom there with the Dutch.

 

Stalling and continuing to honor their oil agreements, and their own neutrality status, would be acceptable to Japan. It might not be acceptable to the Allies, however.


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#253 Nobu

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 1907 PM

The only advantages I can see is the 'evacuation' of the Jewish population, which was clearly part of the Nazi perception of one of the priorities of the war effort. And this is pure speculation on my part, the effort to grab diamonds in the diamond quarter in Amsterdam to help the German war effort. I know from the film 'Operation Amsterdam', there was a real life effort by the Nazis to grab those diamonds, and they were smuggled out under their nose by British intelligence. But ive no idea how successful that operation was in reality, or how important the German requirement was

 

To me, it seems pretty meager gains for the efforts, particularly when you factor in the problems it created in the far east. If anything thinking on it, it would probably have suited the Japanese far better to have just traded with the Netherlands and deal with them after everyone else.

 

While the reasons for Germany not invading in 1940 will still hold in this time frame, I don't think the Dutch can necessarily assume the Germans will not invade in the meantime. Such is the burden of armies that for whatever reason cannot attack, but only rely on the intentions of others to not be. Such is the burden of nations whose safety depends on maintaining their strict neutrality as well.

 

3 nations in Europe come to mind that may (or may not) support this idea of the Dutch being very careful about not appearing to align with one side or another in 1941. Turkey, Sweden, and Switzerland. 

 

IIRC, Turkey played both sides of the fence until it became apparent which would be victorious. Switzerland continued to trade in goods and services throughout. Sweden continued to trade in strategic materials with Germany until 1944.

 

I see the alignment of the Dutch fitting into the pattern set by these fellow wartime neutrals, trying to play both sides for their own safety and benefit, until it becomes dangerous for them not to.


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#254 Nobu

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 1920 PM

 

 


A neutral Netherlands might be concerned with defense matters more close at hand than in the Pacific.

I think it will tread extremely lightly, with violence raging around it, and that it will be more interested in continuing to honor its previous and economically lucrative agreements in Asia than in suddenly taking a stand and developing a conscience about aggression there. Particularly as in this time frame, it is not yet clear which side will win.

 

 

Exactly.  The Netherlands would probably not risk a German invasion of the homeland in order to cooperate with an Allied oil embargo of Japan.  However, it is possible that the colonial administration in the Far East might choose to ignore The Hague and throw in its lot with the Anglo-Americans, in defiance of the orders from home.  The Royal Navy could easily sever direct communications.

 

One question I did have was on the whole Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere propaganda thing.  Obviously, the NEI, Malaya, etc., were all ripe for revolution.  In your opinion, did Japan have an option to promote anti-colonial revolutions in these places rather than invade directly?  For example, on Luzon, did Japan actually have to invade, or could it have bypassed Luzon altogether and simply recognised a national government in Manilla that, after some arming and support, would disarm the Americans?

 

It would be an unwelcome development, and something Churchill might consider. It feels like a call to a perceived Japanese diplomatic bluff WRT Dutch oil in some ways. The response would probably be war of some type, at a time of Japan's choosing.

 

I think there was always interest in opportunistic anti-colonialism for the Japanese national interest, but not enough for an actual strategy in Japan's decisive years that was dependent on it. There may actually have been some surprise at how readily the subcontinentals rallied to Bose in that one but important colonial theater.


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