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Magical_Muggle's avatar

What is your view on World War 2?

Asked by Magical_Muggle (2165points) May 24th, 2016

Okay, so I am currently doing an assignment based on WW2, I am focusing on the PoWs under the Japanese.
But it made me curious: from what you know of the war, what are your thoughts on some of the specific things that happened?
i.e. What do you think about the Japanese involvement of the war, were they the attacker or the victim?

Please, I don’t want people saying that others are wrong in a rude way, I just want to know your opinion, express yourself, don’t be shy

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18 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. They hoped to surprise the US and weaken us and weaken our interference in Asia. They decided to kill our people and blow us up. They wound up more blown up in the end. It sucks. War sucks.

The people are the victims. An Italian friend of mine who was a little girl during WWII and remembers bombs being dropped on her town says when leaders want to go to war they should put the leaders in a room and let them kill each other and leave the soldiers and citizens alone.

I don’t know if the Japanese people were in large support of the war? That would be interesting to know. When I think of Germany, I think a lot of people did support Hitler. Maybe not even the majority, but still a lot.

Pachy's avatar

If you believe the Hollywood hype of the 40s—and I did all through my teens—WW2 was the most noble of causes and the United States the noblest Ally. Historic fact does not totally bear that out the Technicolor fiction.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@JLeslie the Japanese people were just like our people. They were told to be patriotic and support their country. It pays to remember this every time someone begins shaking that flag of patriotism in your face. No government, including our own, wants its citizens examining government motives, and calls to patriotism are always about suspending critical examination for blind unquestioning loyalty.

filmfann's avatar

Good movies to help you:
Empire of the Sun
Bridge Over The River Kwai
The Last Emperor (tangental)

stanleybmanly's avatar

You need to do a lot more reading. Google: Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere.

CWOTUS's avatar

I am in general opposed to World War II.

Zaku's avatar

What do you think about the Japanese involvement of the war, were they the attacker or the victim?

Which Japanese? I’d say the civilians tended to be victims. The military were pretty clearly attackers, at least until the US destroyed most of their ability to attack.

If you want to know about some of the worst behavior of the Japanese military, read up on the “Rape of Nanking”. The treatment of POW’s was quite horrible too, though there is some cultural… information on why that was done from the point of view of the Japanese attitude towards warriors who surrender. Modern Western attitudes towards killing people are great but they’re pretty new-fangled compared to most of world history, including the 1940’s. Even 1940’s US attitudes were very politically incorrect in today’s terms.

Cruiser's avatar

It remains perplexing to this date over the rationale of Japan attacking the US. There are the obvious reasons why and the main one was our super harsh sanctions we imposed on Japan because of their expansionist efforts to take over nearby countries. Those sanctions were meant to give Japan motivation not to continue in their ways. But again for really unknown reasons they did what they did thinking a flanking strike to our naval fleet would cripple our ability to wage war in the South Pacific. Clearly they underestimated the US resolve and military might. But they truly thought they were superior to the lazy creature comfort loving Americans and they also believed they were racially and spiritually superior to the Americans. The Kamikaze pilots and fight till you die and commit Hari Kari to avoid capture which was considered the ultimate disgrace to ones name and family speak to this warrior mindset. They were a vicious and formidable enemy.

CWOTUS's avatar

@Cruiser, I believe that the Japanese military strategists who launched it thought that the Pearl Harbor attack (plus Philippines, plus Indochina, because they were all more or less simultaneous) would cripple our will to fight as much as, maybe even more than our ability. The USA was perceived by those militarists as slothful, indolent and decadent – which was even partly true – but like Hitler thinking that the USSR just needed “to have its door kicked in” to collapse – it was a stunningly huge misapprehension of the foe.

Most wars, apparently, are based on these kinds of fundamental miscalculations of the enemy. Don’t forget, at the same time they launched their attacks (plural) we never widely believed the Japanese to be even capable of such strategic precision, not to mention to mention “military strength” to mount the kind of attack that the Pearl Harbor task force alone represented. And this even 35 years after Tsushima, the surprise attack on Port Arthur, home base of the Russian Pacific Fleet in 1905.

That miscalculation continued all through the war, when Americans believed the Japanese to be ‘suicidal’ in their refusals to surrender in the face of overwhelming force, and Japanese regarding American surrenders as ‘dishonorable’ – which helps to account for some of their treatment of POWs.

Cruiser's avatar

@CWOTUS What is of concern to me is we are/were doing the same with Iran as of late as we did with Japan and I have read that our sanctions were severe and really doing a number on the Iranian economy. I feel war or some aggressive move from Iran was imminent and why Obama made that deal to allow Iran to save face and give them reason and opportunity to play nice in the middle east.

flutherother's avatar

It shouldn’t have happened. The First World War should have resolved matters. The Second World War was especially cursed for bringing civilians into the front line a trend which has continued up to the present day.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The Japanese recognized correctly that the only credible obstacle to their dominance and control of the Pacific was the United States. Japan, like Britain was an island nation with scant national resources. Unlike Britain, Japan arrived at the empire game late in the day after everything of value was pretty much carved up. For those who haven’t noticed, this is pretty much the same situation confronting the Chinese today who have been furiously cementing leverage in resource rich Africa and other underdeveloped places in the world, but I digress. This is going to take too long.

JLeslie's avatar

@stanleybmanly I’m empathetic to citizens supporting a war through the vehicle of patriotism. Hitler was more than a war it was massive genicide of specific groups who were German citizens, and citizens of allied countries. One thing to ponder: I have no idea if the Jews would have supported Hitler wanting to dominate Europe if they hadn’t targeted them as a group to enslave, torture, and kill. There were Germans and others in allied countries who did not agree with Hitler. A famous family we all know is the Von Trapps. They left Austria worried about the pressures the Nazis were putting on the patriarch of he family to join. Hitler had two separate things going on at the same time. The war and the holocaust.

Magical_Muggle's avatar

@JLeslie a lot of jewish people actually supported Hitler at the beginning of his reign, because he promised to make Germany great again, and overcome the obstacles that had been set up in front of them. I don’t think a lot of the jews, and others that were targeted, ever really expected to be targeted the way they were
I just realised, that what Hitler promised Germany is practically the same as what Trump is promising the USA, and that is scary

JLeslie's avatar

@Magical _Muggle Half (an exaggeration) of America and Fluther compare Trump to Hitler. I don’t, but I’m just saying that comparison is made constantly.

Interestingly, I’ve read articles that the Japanese protected the Jews during that time.

Another thing that comes to mind is the Japanese have been brutal in history. What they did to the Chinese was horrific. We can also look at what they did to America and Americans. It begs the question who next? When the wall came down in Germany most of my relatives worried about it, because their feeling was the Germans had a big hand in WWI and WWII, and they’ll do it again. Probably, a lot of countries around the world feel the same about the US regarding the Middle East, and that we are the only ones to ever have actually dropped nuclear bombs. Everything is perspective.

GSLeader's avatar

The good guys won.

CWOTUS's avatar

Don’t forget the Soviet Union, who also “won”. And did most of the ground fighting in Europe, too.

ucme's avatar

Japan very, very naughty…bad men
My grandad’s view was slightly obscured by the billowing mushroom cloud…no, he obviously was not aboard the Enola Gay, grandma farted after eating casserole & he was trying to watch Tora Tora Tora on the tellybox

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