HIS377H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Berlin Blockade, Zaibatsu, Mccarthyism

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Published on 8 Sep 2013
HIS 377 – 20th Century American Foreign Relations
Lecture 5 Week 5
February 7th, 2013
Ending WW2 and Post WW2
oEnding the War in Asia:
oHungarian scientist aware that if you could split an atom you could release a
tremendous amount of energy
oEinstein writes to FDR
oBy 1939 the bomb is being considered and developed – USSR working
towards one
oThere is an argument that if Germany didn’t surrender they would have tried
the bomb on them
oWhy in Asia?
Primary goal, end the war with as few American casualties as possible
There are already plans for Operation Downfall (Pacific version of
Pro-war General Douglas McArthur projected around 100k casualties
– even he saw that it would be grim
The Americans were also afraid of “Soviet” liberation – they feared
more Soviet satellites being created as the Soviets pushed East
They Americans spent so much money and time building the bomb,
they had to use it – they couldn’t sit on it without actually trying it –
needed justification
What if it came out that Truman had the bomb and didn’t
use it – he would have been lambasted for a long time for
being “cowardly”
Japan began sending out peace feelers to weaker or neutral countries in
an effort to bring a more reasonable peace for Japan
This was the diplomatic, not the military side of the
government and the military side of the government had
control at this point
There is a belief that the Japanese would fight until their death causing
many more casualties than necessary
Americans send Japan a message threatening complete and utter
destruction unless they unconditionally surrender – doesn’t mention
the bomb, but it suggests a devastating threat – Japan ignores it, they
see it as humiliating
The SU kept its Yalta promise and invaded Manchuria on August 9th
Fat man was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9th, 35k died
The Japanese don’t formally surrender until September 2nd, 1945
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There was intense debate over what to do and this evidence
defends the theory that the Japanese would have fought until
their death
Hiroshima and Negasaki were largely industrial targets, but they also
had large civilian populations and the bomb was a form of
psychological warfare – they wanted to terrify the Japanese
oReconstructing Europe and Japan:
There was a belief that the German people were hijacked by a lunatic,
whereas the Japanese were ALL in on it
There was a need to harness the industrial capacity of Germany
The initial plans for Germany were to scale back the nazification, the
military and then to rebuild its industrial potential
Morgenthau Plan (1944)
This plan sought to destroy the industrial capacity and turn
Germany into an agrarian society
The news leaked on it and it was received negatively – it made
the Germans fight harder
JCS 1067
Early plans for dealing with Germany
No assistance to Germany from the US
JCS 1779
An orderly and prosperous Europe needs a strong and
industrial Germany
The Fives D’s
oThe four zones + Berlin zones
oThe idea that Germany had to be de-Prussianized
oBegan to teach civics, American radio, literature,
culture and the Americans controlled movies
Belief that the Japanese were all warlike, but not true – Teddy
Roosevelt liked the Japanese and considered them the
foreigners he liked the most
Wanted to rid Japan of its fascist government
The emperor was stripped of his power – lost his sovereignty
Constitution of 1947
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