Sunday, October 10, 2021

good morning jeremy



Pagoda structure used primarily for gunnery observation.

 The Japanese Navy was seen with increasing

frequency in the waters off Indochina.  Their 

warships were known to linger in Saigon's harbor  

and move with murky purpose about the Gulf

of Thailand through the early months of 1941. 



1941 - 31 January


Japan negotiates armistice with Vichy France 

over control of Indochina.  This move provides

Japan's military access to harbors that are ideal

for launching an invasion of the Dutch East Endies,

 Singapore and British Malaysia.



* * * * * 


Germany pressures Japan to attack

British Singapore.

Joachim von Ribbentrop / Minister Foreign Affairs - Germany


 "I tried to induce Japan to attack Singapore because

 it was impossible to make peace with England. 

 An attack by Japan on Britain's strong position

in East Asia might bring Churchill's concession."

* * * * *


Japan's dominance in Southeast Asia

alarms Britain's colonial military.

Churchill replies to an urgent plea to

reinforce the troops in Hong Kong:

 "This is all wrong.  If Japan goes to war with us

there is not the slightest chance of holding Hong Kong

or relieving it.  We must avoid frittering away our

resources on untenable positions.  I wish we had fewer

troops there, but to move any away would be noticed

and that would be dangerous." 

15 February 1941


Former Naval Person to President Roosevelt 



I think I ought to let you know that the weight of the

Japanese Navy, if thrown against us, would confront us

with situations beyond the scope of our naval resources. 

Some believe that Japan in her present mood would not

hesitate to wage war against both Great Britain and the

United States.  Everything that you can do to inspire the

Japanese with the fear of a double war may help avert

this danger. 



 * * * * *


27 March 1941

Berlin welcomes Japan's Foreign Minister.


Yosuke Matsuoka meets with Reich Foreign Minister Ribbentrop


Japan wants assurances Germany will invade Britain.

The Royal Navy would be forced to return to their home 

 waters leaving only the token American fleet anchored in

 Manila to protect Western interests in the South China Sea.


Ribbentrop points to the extraordinary success

German U-boats now have disrupting America's

supply lines to Britain.  England nears the end of

its rope.  All that is now needed to bring this war

with Britain to a quick conclusion is simply a

matter of Japan attacking Singapore.  The 

colonial house of cards in the South China Sea

will come down and Japan will win East Asia

in reward.  Roosevelt will not aid Britain knowing

America's own vulnerability in the Philippines. 




Churchill sends battleships to Asia

Britain ups ante in showdown with Japan

2 April  1941

In a face-to-face meeting with Matsuoka, Japan's

Foreign Minister, Prime Minister Churchill warns

war with England means war with the U.S. as well.

 Their naval forces together are enough to crush

Germany and then deal successfully with Japan. 



Matsuoka returns to Tokyo reporting two impressions:

1.  Germany will avoid war with the U.S. if at all possible

2.  Hitler is cagey regarding his intentions toward Russia


 * * * * *

13 April  1941


Japanese-Soviet Neutrality Pact 


Foes Bury Hatchet over Manchurian border 

Stalin can now free-up Siberian troops just as 

British Intelligence warns him personally of an

enormous deployment of German military along

the Russian frontier. 


Japan is able to remove troops stationed along the

Manchurian border and prepare them for action 

in the south - towards the South China Sea,

the Philippines and the U.S.


Both Russia and Japan are now free 

to take on their most dangerous enemy

without fear of a stab in their back

from either of these longtime 





Hitler's crossroads moment.

Britain is weakened but not defeated.

To the east is Russia, land of riches,

miserably governed by Bolsheviks.

It should be a simple matter for 

the Wehrmacht, world's greatest

army, to kick in the Soviet door and 

extend Hitler's rule over all Russia

west of the Urals.

Germans will celebrate Christmas in Moscow.





©  Tom Taylor



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