Re: Did Germany or Japan ever really think they could defeat the United States?

David H Thornley <david@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
mtfester@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
penninsula. In fact, a very large faction within the Japanese
government saw (rightly) the war in China as the threat to the
Japanese Empire, as it drained all available scrap metals from
domestic industries, foreign currency reserves, man power reserves,
and international good will.

However, this faction doesn't seem to have had all that much power.
The accounts I've read of the prewar top-level politics never
mention any actual desire to call off the war in China, however
many people in lower levels wanted to.

Actually, it was the upper levels who wanted to call off the war.
Konoye, Hiranuma, Abe, and Yonai all opposed the war in China. Hamaguchi
was nearly assassinated, and Okada was targetted in the 2/26/36
Incident. Prior to that, PM had been forced (by Hirohito) to resign due
to failure to rein in the Army factions in Manchuria. Even then, It took
years of manuevering and machination for the Army to get a sympathetic
PM, in Tojo.

Konoye wrote that the Japanese had enough oil and could produce enough
coal to power Japanese industry if the war in China would end. However,
"policy" was often in the hands of the local commanders, who would
either instigate incidents or allow subordinates to act in that fashion
no matter what Tokyo wanted.

Bear in mind that some high-ranking naval officers also foresaw
defeat at the hands of the US, and that didn't stop anybody.

Right; it's noteworthy that Yamamoto was sent to sea because of fears
he would be assassinated by "more patriotic" Japanese, after he refused
Yonai's assigned police bodyguard.