world war 2

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by felix_suwarno, Apr 9, 2003.

  1. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    i have been reading articles / stories about world war 2 on the net. watching movies like saving private ryan and the longest day made me curious about lots of things! too bad that the information i found so far after 3 days of browsing is not very coherent, i felt like there are too many plot holes...

    i have a few questions that hopefully would be answered by some history buffs on htf, thanks in advance.

    1- why did america have to nuke japan?
    2- why did they choose for D Day attack instead of nuking germany?
    3- why did hitler hate jews? why not any other race?
    4- how did the german create the war mahines? they were lost on world war 1, but then they returned for war with a vengeance!
     
  2. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    I'm not sure if this is history (allowed) or politics (not allowed), but let's call it the former and give it a go.

    1. It is said that Allied Commanders and Truman thought that perhaps a million soldiers would die in an invasion of mainland Japan. He opted for the "Shock and Awe" route instead.
    2. D-Day was an Allied attack to "push 'em back." The A-Bomb was not tested successfully until July of '45. Germany surrendered in May? I think.
    3. Read Mein Kempf. That'll give you his viewpoint. I don't understand why, really.
    4. Many would argue that the fact that they lost WWI, and the conditions of the treaty at Versailles, is what allowed a guy like Hitler to rise at all. Hitler's rise gave them a national identity- something to live for, if you will. The re-creation of a formidable military, through secret (early on) then not-so-secret (mid 30s) means.

    I'm probably way over-simplifying it, but that's my decidedly amateur take on it.
     
  3. Christopher P

    Christopher P Supporting Actor

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    Felix...not sure if this thread will last...feel free to PM me if it gets closed.

    Of course dropping nukes is and always will be a last-ditch option. Keep in mind the leadership of the country was different (FDR died, and Truman apparently wasn't as familiar with the nuclear weapons the US possessed as the Commander in Chief should be). I think it was seen as the only way to convince Japanese leadership to capitulate. Being an island it was obviously tougher to invade than Germany, which the Allies could build up forces in France for the push inland.

    Hitler's hated isn't answerable in 1 sentence, but it stems from him time in Austria during his youth, his failed attempts at being an artist, and his belief the Jews (a religion, not a race) controlled everything he thought was inherently German. And he did also despise other people, including the Slavs, as he felt they were not only inferior, but also wasting the necessities belonging to the Germans. They were refered to by something like "useless eaters." (and by German I am including Austrians as well as they fell under his definiteion of German).

    Germany was able to recreate their war machine because no one was really monitoring whether or not they were adhering to the Treaty of Versailles. And yes, the rebuilding of the nation's military power gave the Germans a feeling of retribution, as they were placed with the blame of WWI, and many (unfair, by many accounts) reparations were imposed on them. The "Tomorrow Belongs To Me" scene in CABARET is an accurate portrayal of the feelings in early 1930's Germany.

    HTF members: please correct my inaccuracies.

    Chris
     
  4. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Felix, your questions #3 and #4 are the subjects of some university courses. There's just so much to go into there. I think it would be somewhat safe to say that Hitler used the Jews as a scapegoat to focus the Germans on. They were so crushed after WWI that he was able to use that to rise to power. There's just so much there, its difficult to summarize.

    As for #1, there are lots of theories. Some say the atomic bomb was dropped on Japan partly out of racism. Some say it was to scare off the Russians, at this point the US knew they were going to be trouble. But I think there's a lot of support about how difficult it would be to invade Japan. The mentality of the Japanese people during WWII was quite different than the Americans, look at the Kamikazis. It might be possible that fewer Japanese as well as Americans died as a result of the bombs being used.

    And with regards to #2, aside from the obvious issue of when the bomb was developed, you could just as well ask why we didn't use the atomic bomb sometime earlier in Asia. The allies spent a lot of time fighting the Japanese throughout the Pacific before making it to Japan. But the Pacific theater was quite different than the European theater. Once the landing was made on D-Day, it was fairly easy to land more and more troops, however in the Pacific it was all island hopping. The allies had pushed the Japanese back to Japan for the most part, and then were going to have do another massive landing to invade Japan. Invading Germany was easier once the allies had forced them out of most of the other countries. Dropping an atomic bomb on Germany wouldn't have worked earlier in the war because they were spread all over Europe and it might not have had the impact on them at that time, and once the allies were advancing on Germany it wasn't needed.
     
  5. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    thank you very much.

    please talk about history only since i dont give a damn about the politics behind the war.

    i could buy books about it, but i am soooo busy lately. playing zelda-wind waker, watching ww2 movies on dvd, building my port folio, baby sitting my 2 year old, doing homework for my masters degree, reading ramayana ( i just finished mahabrata book; for you who loves lord of the rings...read mahabrata now ! )...i simply dont have time to indulge myself in my curiosity about world war 2. thats why i thought i could just ask here.
     
  6. Lee L

    Lee L Supporting Actor

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    To expand on question 2, the bombs dropped on Japan were finished literally days before they were dropped. They only had enough fissile material for 3 bombs they had so after the test, there were only 2 bombs so they ruled out going and doing a public test to try to scare the Japanese into submission. They felt it would be more effective to drop the 2 in close succession so it would appear that we had more bombs in reserve.

    If anyone ever has a chance to go to Oak Ridge, Tennessee you should. There is a wealth of information there and to look at the size of some of the plant buildings there and the huge amount of work they had to do to get a few pounds of weapons grade material together, it is staggering to say the least. It almost doesn't seem possible using 1940's technology.
     
  7. Stephen L

    Stephen L Second Unit

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  8. Allen_Appel

    Allen_Appel Second Unit

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    My father writes a series of time-travel books and I helped him research the one that takes place in WWII ("In Time of War" by Allen Appel, Doubleday, if you're interested). Dropping an atomic bomb on Japan was probably the only thing that could have cut the war short. The mindset of the Japanese at that time was total fealty to and willingness to die for the emperor. Japanese propoganda said that we would kill all women and children (and eat them), so they were fully prepared to meet us on the beaches with machetes and pitchforks. This was a genuine fear of Allied commanders, besides the million soldiers who would die fighting the actual Japanese army. The bombing of Nagasaki was arguably premature, as it wasn't immediately clear just how devastating the Hiroshima attack was, but the use of atomic weapons definitely ended the war sooner and with fewer lives lost.
     
  9. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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    Real Name:
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    1- why did america have to nuke japan?
    Whether they had to will be debated forever. There is a facinating book called The Last Mission which is about a plot by Japanese hardliners to arrest the Emperor and prevent him from surrendering. They were foiled by a B-29 strike on the last day of the war that knocked out the power in Tokyo.

    2- why did they choose for D Day attack instead of nuking germany?
    No bomb yet, and Stalin wasn't going to wait another year for second front (and we weren't going to let the Soviets win the war and conquer Europe all by themselves. The Warsaw pact could have stretched all the way to Portugal if we had).

    3- why did hitler hate jews? why not any other race?
    He didn't have much use for Slavs or Gypsies either. In fact, Hitler didn't really like anyone who wasn't a "pure Aryan."

    As for the Jews, Hitler would not have been as successful as he was in securing power if there not already been a strain of anti-Semitism running through the German culture of that time.

    4- how did the german create the war mahines? they were lost on world war 1, but then they returned for war with a vengeance!
    Todd answered that question as well as I could. They did things like commission "civilian" aircraft that could be easily converted to military use. They trained pilots in gliders to hide the fact that they were developing an air force.
     
  10. Steven K

    Steven K Supporting Actor

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    Oh my God!!! Here goes the biggest...

    I B T L
     
  11. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

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  12. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    1- so, by the time of D-Day, it was practically allies versus german? one country against so many other countries? i thought they made a triaxis pact. germany, italy, japan?

    2-what was italy doing on D-Day? did they help germany or what?

    3- in the longest day, i saw a french of battleship. they still operated a battle ship even though the land of france was already under germany's hand?

    4- how many countries by the time of D day were defeated by the german?

    thanks!!!
     
  13. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Japan and Germany were working together, but not directly. They never really had their armies fighting side by side. I believe Italy was invaded before D-Day. If I recall correctly, the invasion of Italy started well before D-Day and they were pretty much out of it. Also, American forces had engaged the Germans in Africa already. The significance of D-Day is that it was the start of the liberation of France and other countries occupied by Germany.

    If French ships were out at sea when France was invaded, they could have gone elsewhere and joined with the allies. I know that some of the French navy was destroyed by the allies so it wouldn't be used against them, but I don't know a lot of details about this.
     
  14. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  15. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    thanks keith.

    the info i read about ww2 on the net was so disorienting.

    stalin was eager to do d day operation, but in the longest day i didnt see any russian. but then, i read about the day hitler shot himself in the "fuehrerbunker". it was the russian army who entered berlin. what was the russky doing on d day?
     
  16. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    i guess you are right, michael; any book recommendation? but i really dont want to read a novel.
     
  17. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Russia was defending its borders. See "Enemy at the Gate". Actually Russia was beating back the Germans. If you ever decide to invade Russia, don't do it in the winter, it just doesn't work.

    Watch the movie "Patton" some time. I'm not saying its accurate, I don't know enough to be certain, but it is interesting. He fought in Africa and then into Italy. Then he was involved in the invasion of Germany and kept talking about how they didn't want the Russians to get there first. There's lots of political stuff that goes on in wars like this. National pride pops up a lot and its seen quite a bit in "Patton". There was some animosity between the US and British forces, each wanted to claim they liberated certain key cities and stuff like that. Quite often the movies will tend to highlight one nation over another. That recent sub movie about getting the German encryption device had Americans doing what the British did.
     
  18. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    So many questions, so few answers. Still, off the top of my head (which may mean the odd inaccuracy):

     
  19. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    i just read about operation barbarossa last night. but i didnt pay attention to the timeline.
     
  20. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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