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I seem to remember that WWII got started because of the depression Germany was under due to their right to have a military being taken away after WWI, and I also remember that they still aren't allowed to have a military. Is that right?

Also, I remember that Japan is also not allowed to have a military. Am I remembering correctly?


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 22nd, 2009 11:46 pm (UTC)
Not quite. Germany is allowed to have a military, but not to use it offensively. Japan is forbidden to have a military so they have a Self Defense Force instead. /snerk.

And WWII started not quite that way. In Asia it started with Japan launching a war of aggression against Nationalist China, in Africa with Mussolini's war of aggression in Italy, and in Europe because Hitler had figured out after a string of violations of Versailles that the Western Allies might have as well been the Corpse Allies for all they amounted to and signed a pact with the Soviet Union that amounted to both dividing Eastern Europe in two and ensue the invasion of Poland and WWII comes to Europe, and it finally spread to America after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.

And now you know....
Dec. 23rd, 2009 01:02 am (UTC)
That was only until the reunion in 1990, now the German government can use the military for whatever they want. The German constitution forbids any offensive actions (Angriffskrieg), but they can just label it as "defensive measures"...
Dec. 23rd, 2009 10:32 pm (UTC)
No, WWII in Asia started when Japan began liberating nations from the evil European oppressors! Because Asian oppressors are better than European oppressors! ;-)

And, yes, Article VI of the Japanese Constitutio forbids military forces. Under US pressure during the Korean War they established the Self-Defense Forces ... Which are now the second most powerful military force in East Asia
Dec. 23rd, 2009 12:14 am (UTC)
The depression hit nearly every nation, but it hit Germany very hard, largely due to the large reparations Germany had been forced to pay to WWI's victors, and the loss of all overseas German colonies (and thus, the incomes from them). While they were also not permitted to have a military, that was a factor that fed popular German resentment and nationalism, rather than having any major economic effects (the lack of a standing army did increase unemployment, but not by that much).

Japan fought on the Allied side in WWI, and had a military for the entire inter-war period - it was only after WW2 that Japan's military capabilities were removed.
Dec. 23rd, 2009 12:18 am (UTC)
I didn't know Japan had been involved in WWI at all. Neat!
Dec. 23rd, 2009 03:14 am (UTC)
It not only was involved in WWI, it defeated the German chunk of China carved out after the Boxer Rebellion and its stiffing in the Versailles Arrangement for the sin of being non-white and non-Christian, as Woody Willie saw it led eventually to the strangeness that Japan abandoned a long-term military alliance with Britain to side with Nazi Germany.
Dec. 23rd, 2009 03:19 am (UTC)
I should also add that Italy was also on the Allied side in WWI. So in effect WWII as it ended up had two former members of the Allied Powers on the side of Germany which itself fought against a former ally that had begun the war with it in 1939 and two of the WWI Allies.
Dec. 23rd, 2009 12:40 am (UTC)
The English & French (in spite of being told it was a *really* bad idea by the US and others) made the Treaty of Versailles as punitive as possible.

So not only did they make the depression harder, they pretty much *ensured* that the Germans would be looking for revenge.

On the other hand, look up the Franco-Prussian War for one of the things that led to WWI. I think there may have been another war in there as well, but don't have any decent resources handy (for this, I'd prefer a book to the net)
Dec. 23rd, 2009 03:18 am (UTC)
The problem was not the punitiveness of Versailles, next to Brest-Litovsk it was in fact quite merciful. Even the occupation of the Ruhr was just reward for Germany's attempt to destroy France's industrial capacity as the war's last battles were fought. The problem was Versailles was never enforced for a variety of reasons.

And the things that led to WWI was not only the Franco-Prussian War and the unification of Germany, but the Alliance systems that built up that led to the dissolution of the Dreikaiserbund in favor of an Anglo-French alliance, Germany's naval build-up and pursuing an imperialist rivalry with the UK and overtaking it in sheer industrial capacity, the series of aggressive wars waged on the Ottoman Empire, and also the designs on the Habsburg Empire by a number of parties. And then a series of war scares as well as the end of Splendid Isolation on the part of the Hyperpower following the two Boer Wars.

As well as the Serbian government supporting the assassin that murdered Franz Ferdinand of Austria, of course.
Dec. 23rd, 2009 03:28 pm (UTC)
Not sure offhand about WW1 (my history after 1900 gets fuzzy), but I am pretty sure (though not entirely) of the facts that Hittie and his lot got voted in because of the massive economic depression Germany was in at the time as he promised to get them out of the economic hole they were in at the time, then went batshit, as we all know.

I think youre also right about the lack of military. I think some is allowed in Japan, as in my studies on Yukio Mishima who was flitting round in the 20th Century, there was some kind of Japanese military, but I think there are massive restrictions.

Feel free to correct me if I am haywire tho. :)
Dec. 23rd, 2009 04:41 pm (UTC)
Hitler did promise that. Surprisingly he delivered, too, raising Germany out of the Great Depression by 1936, this when the USA and the USSR did not leave it until the 1940s. Only two years after he became Chancellor, well....he was the most effective leader of the contemporary First World in a purely economic sense. Evil, yet effective.

And he didn't act nearly so batshit as say, Francisco Solano Lopez or Papa Doc Duvalier, at least not at first. His territorial land grabs were nothing out of the ordinary for the pre-WWII world until the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Nothing out of the Ordinary does not translate to good, I should add.
Dec. 24th, 2009 02:05 am (UTC)
To clarify events in regards to Japan's involvement in WWII:

The ball started rolling when a portion of the Japanese army, inhabiting parts of northern China, decided to, without any approval from HQ, carve out more chunks of China for the glory of Japan. As it would've been a serious loss of face for not having control of the continental portion of the army, the Japanese government went with it.

The entire war went with the misgivings of the Japanese naval command. Why? Because they knew damn well that oil was going to be a serious problem. Till then, Japan had been purchasing from the British (Hong Kong), the US controlled Pacific islands, and other sources, who pretty much collectively turned off the tap on account of Japan's hostile actions against a nation they considered an ally (China). Without oil, the Japanese war machine would grind to a halt in very short order.

The biggest worry for the Japanese was the US who, though pretty passive at that point, could easily ramp up production to a force that Japan could not contend with. The attack on Pearl Harbour was a desperate attempt to knock the US out of the Pacific long enough for the Japanese to build momentum, seize needed resources, and keep the US off balance in the Pacific arena.

It failed.

The Japanese Naval Command predicted that it likely would.

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )


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