Axis Pact: Impact

Figure 1.--Here Japanese children celebrate with Japanese and Italian children living in Tokyo. We assume mostly children of diplomats. The Axis Pact was signed September 27, 1940. The celebration here took place December 17. We are not sure why the celebration was delayed 3 months. Japanese Education Minister Kunihiko Hashida, center, holds the crossed flags. Tokyo Mayor Tomejiro Okubo were among the sponsors.

Both Germany and Japan thought they got an agreeement that would prove beneficial. Actually neither country benefitted from the agreement. The Japanese were at the time bogged down in China with not end in sight. And they were intent on preventing America from aiding China. The Japanese hoped that the Pact would relieve American and British pressure. It did not. President Roosevelt steadily increased pressure on Japan in the Pacific. Actually the Pact probably assisted Roosevelt in his reelection coming as it did during the campaign. It helped make his case against the Isolationists. Their Jpsnese were intent on preventing America with a threatening alliance. The impct on America was just the opposite. America's focus was on Europe and the NAZI threat. Japanese by allying with the NAZIs actually caused the Americans to take a harder approch to the Japannese and may have increased he desire to save China as a potentially valuable ally. . The Axis Pact had no real impact on the European campaign as Germant and Italy were already copperating in the war against Britain. The Germans hoped that the Pact would help pressure the British to make peace. Here it had no impact. As long as the prospect for American aid existed, Churchill was not going to make peace with Hitler. Nor did the Pact destract America. There was firm agreement among the Americans and British that NAZI Germany was the greatest danger. Even later after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, commitment to that basic principle did not waver. In fact the case can be made that the Axis Pact adversely affected the German war effort. Hitler no matter what his public statements was very cautious about the United States, even resticting U-boat operations so as not to provide President Roosevelt a pretext for intervention. The primary Germany goal was to keep America out of the European war and to prevent any kind of Americam-Japanese reprochment. The negotionations conducted by HJapan and america during 1940-41 were of condiderable concern to the NAZIs. It is likely that President Roosevelt would have brought America into the War against Germany even if Japan had not attacked Pearl Haerbor, but it is an open question as to just when. It surely would have been several months later. In effect by signing the Axis Alliance and encouraging the Japanese, Hitler hasented the entry of America into the War. This was compounded when Hitler by declaring war on America after Pearl Harbor brought America into the European war months earlier than would have been the case otherwise. Even more importantly it was a united America than entered the War unfettered by divisive Isolationist restraints. Isolationism in America evaporated the moment the first Japanese bomb fell on Pearl Harbor.


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Created: 7:02 AM 9/5/2017
Last updated: 7:02 AM 9/5/2017