Changes in the PacificRoundup: Historians' Take
tags: World War II, China, Japan
In the 1920s, Japan began to translate its growing economic might — after a prior 50-year crash course in Western capitalism and industrialization — into formidable military power.
At first, few of its possible rivals seemed to care. America and condescending European colonials did not quite believe that any Asian power could ever dare to threaten their own Pacific interests....
By 1941, few Americans were even aware that the Imperial Japanese Navy had almost magically grown more powerful than the Pacific fleet of the United States in every category of battleships, carriers, cruisers, destroyers, and submarines. The idea that Japan was waiting for an opportune moment to exploit American weakness, at a time when Europe was convulsed in war, would have seemed absurd to most Americans.
The 1940 American relocation of its Pacific-fleet home port from San Diego to an exposed Pearl Harbor was supposed to deter Japan. But the Japanese interpreted such muscle-flexing as empty braggadocio, if not mere foolhardy symbolism.
The attack on Pearl Harbor followed.
Substitute Communist China for imperial Japan and the same thing is now occurring in the Pacific. China believes it is finally time to make its military reflect its enormous economic power....
comments powered by Disqus
- Donald Trump Is Wrong on Mosul Attack, Military Experts Say
- Emmett Till memorial sign is riddled with bullet holes and has been repeatedly vandalized
- Posthumous pardons law may see Oscar Wilde exonerated
- Has an Election Ever Been Rigged in U.S. History?
- A short history of white people rigging elections
- Steven Runciman — historian, tease and professional enigma — is the subject of a biography
- Historian Eric Foner: Trump is Logical Conclusion of What the GOP Has Been Doing for Decades
- Ken Burns developing 'The Gene' based on Mukherjee's bestseller
- Does the 'Father' of the 1948 Ethnic Cleansing Narrative Really Want to Recant His Words?
- Max Boot wants to know “what the hell happened to my Republican Party?"