TheGreatOneSea t1_je2s3t3 wrote

India will keep taking USD, because trade with the US is over $100 Billion USD: we're talking, "India must disband its entire military to offset the loss" levels of money. And that's assuming the US doesn't pressure others to avoid the INR, which would tank its value from the uncertainty alone, at least for a while.

It makes far more sense for India to just subsidize Egypt by allowing it to use INR to buy goods cheaper than with USD, rather than not taking USD.


TheGreatOneSea t1_jdw2cle wrote

Are you focusing on their perception in the US, Asia, in Japan itself, or all the NATO states?

If you try to discuss all of them, you'll probably end up with a 300+ page essay, because the issue of Japanese war crimes is incredibly messy, given the sheer number of nations involved in covering every atrocity.

I will say this though, the "cover up" wasn't so much policy as it was practicality: the US was mostly concerned with the treatment of US prisoners at the time, with the expectation that other countries would follow up for their own people with documentation. This being the era of paper, there wasn't much of an exchange of information between the countries, and usually amounted to "Japanese soldiers shot a bunch of civilians in this area" anyway.

Attaching actual names to such events was basically impossible without resorting to torturing soldiers for information ("Itou killed someone? Which Itou? You don't know? What a pity.") and killing thousands of Japanese soldiers just in case would somewhat defy the point of trying to rebuild Japan.

Regardless, I do recommend starting with "Japanese War Crimes Records at the National Archives," because it's both free, and goes into a lot of the difficulties with the war crime trials. For the Japanese cultural shift itself, you should probably decide on a specific time and place to first.


TheGreatOneSea t1_jcr1fzr wrote

This thing is the sort that requires an essay, but in brief:

  1. For most of history, war was seasonal: as such, some, if not most soldiers will leave for the winter, and return when the war resumes; those who remain may not have the numbers to launch attacks. Even if the entire army is professional, so skipping planting won't cause starvation, feeding a large force in one place for long is extremely expensive without railroads (and that assumes there's food available at all,) so as much of the army as possible is likely to be dispersed to where they could be fed.

  2. Even if the local weather isn't cold, logistics would still be subject to the polar lows, which can lead to sudden and powerful storms: as such, anyone relying on a supply fleet is taking a big risk, and anyone without such a fleet will have trouble sustaining much of a force.

  3. The term "Winter Quarters" can also be misleading: while most of the army may not move, small bands of around 50 are very likely to be doing reconnocence and raiding. These raids rarely enter the history books, but they often contribute to depopulating an area, which affects the war.

  4. For the most part, winter warfare became more common when steam engines made moving and feeding soldiers much easier. That didn't make it a better idea, though: the logistical issues created by winter still exist, and have still led to disaster when handled poorly.


TheGreatOneSea t1_jc9lz73 wrote

Pike and Shot isn't really comparable to the Phalanx: if a Roman Legion had guns and cannons, the merit of sword and shield against pike would probably be the least of a Phalanx's problems, as it's forced to either attack an entrenched enemy, or retreat.

Even in Pike and Shot warfare though, sword and shield were still being used to great effect by the Rodeleros, who were used in conjunction with pikes and guns, but were also eventually dropped for the same reason that halbreds and pikes mostly were as well: by the start of the 17th century, increases in gunpowder quality and quantity had decisively made powder the weapon of choice. As such, fending off pike squares in melee didn't require special consideration, given the losses that the pikes would take trying to advance in a formation without fire superiority backing them.

Practically all Musketeers had swords as backup weapons though, and the Highland Charge famously made good use of them, so even sword infantry didn't totally die out until bayonets became common.


TheGreatOneSea t1_jayjoxj wrote

Adding on to the other answers, Japanese soldiers were expecting an easy victory in China, and when Japan started taking far more casualties than expected almost immediately, the Japanese reacted brutally: partly in the hopes of causing terrified acquiesce, and partly because the Japanese soldiers were just that furious.

It might seem odd, but Japanese training actually emphasized brutality as a means to make up logistical shortfalls, with beatings and bizarre punishments common in training as a result. Naturally, civilians under them were treated even worse, and this wasn't helped by Japanese propaganda lying about how "grateful" the locals were to Japan, which made the subsequent local resistance also feel unjust at best, leading to worse reprisals.


TheGreatOneSea t1_ja5p2sz wrote

Well, the first and most obvious question is whether or not you can read German, because most of what's been translated into English comes from foreign language newspapers that would rather avoid the issue of victory altogether.

Generally speaking though, one of the major problems for Germany was the question of what "victory" even meant: while the idea of defeat was "unthinkable," especially with the police looking over everyone's shoulder, Germany was a rather bizarre mixture of believing itself the victim in the war, and expecting to make material gains.

As such, depending on who you asked, ending the war without war reparations or territory losses could be a "victory," as could annexing most of Eastern Europe. Few would disagree with the former (at least openly,) but how many genuinely expected the latter before Russia's collapse is a much more open question.

After Russia's collapse, most people would have likely expected to keep the territory gained, but that made Germany's subsequent reversal all the more shocking, and presumably despairing, since the German government was clearly more afraid of ending up like the Tsar than admitting defeat by the end.


TheGreatOneSea t1_ja452dr wrote

The Treaty was always just an excuse, given that Germany started to remilitarize in secret almost immediately. That was expected though, which is why France went through such lengths to surround Germany with, if not hostile powers, then at least non-subservient ones.

What really made it happen was that France, Germany, and the USSR were all run by idiots: France sat around until it was stuck with an unwinnable war, Russia helped Germany get into a position where Russia could very well have been stuck fighting a one-front war against an enemy it had lost to while fighting on two, and Hitler kept lying about his objectives, and was somehow surprised when people assumed he just wanted to conquer the entire world and reacted as such.


TheGreatOneSea t1_j9564n1 wrote

It's important to remember three things:

  1. Historical democracy was generally diffrent from modern versions, being either exclusively available to aristocrats, or heavily weighed in their favor; and violence was pretty much always an option for deciding disputes if voting didn't go so well. As such, the difference between a kingdom with democratic elements and one without was often more academic than practical.

  2. Historical democracies often gave way to autocracy: Rome most obviously, but even Athens ended up becoming more of an argument against Democracy than for it given the wars it lost to autocrats.

  3. Democratic impulses aren't always obvious: China might not have voted for emperors or bureaucrats, but the idea of the public overthrowing non-virtuous ones is at least as old as Mencius (300 BC,) and massive popular revolts are a common theme in Chinese history. It may not be conventional, but then, western democracy was also built on incompetent autocrats getting overthrown by the people doing the actual work, so most of the world may just have never gotten the chance to do this once Europe started playing king maker.

As to why western democracy emerged and ultimately dominated, there are probably as many theories as historians, and the effect of trade is certainly a major one, but so is the branching effect of gunpowder coming to dominate warfare. There isn't really a simplified answer.


TheGreatOneSea t1_j92ngxo wrote

Germany, by its own estimates, wouldn't have had a nuke before 1947 at best, which is why the program was shelved; and if Germany doesn't invade the USSR by the start of 1942, there isn't a World War 2 at all, as Germany would start to run out of oil for its military machine, and thus, be in no position to win an offensive war.

Whatever such a conflict would look like, it would be a different beast than WW2, and the Germans still aren't getting a nuke first if Japan still attacks the US.


TheGreatOneSea t1_j7ln0g4 wrote

Basically this. Hitler had simply lied too much for anyone to believe him, and Germany desperately needed the oil in USSR territory, without which Germany would be hard pressed to even defend itself in the future.

It's also important to remember that Germany was influenced by its past: Germany had bled itself dry fighting France in WW1, so the idea that defeating France might be effectively irrelevant to the actual outcome of war was difficult to accept. It was much easier to tell themselves that Germany was on the brink of total victory, especially with North Africa and Barbarossa seeming to go so well...


TheGreatOneSea t1_j6968i4 wrote

Tunnels were very much used, generally to put explosives under defenses so the territory could be easily taken after the defenders were killed.

They weren't reliable though, because tunnel collapse was always a major risk, and defense in depth meant the enemy could pull back and make a new line of defense quicker than a massive tunnel could be made.


TheGreatOneSea t1_j4e06s5 wrote

That's true, but also the problem: the same thing eventually happened with the Samurai, and knights varied by region, with some Spanish knights being administrators involved with commerce, where French knights would be explicitly banned from such a thing.

The only thing really in common is the expectation that such a class will provide something of value to a war when needed, and that they're supposed to be able to fight, even if they really can't.


TheGreatOneSea t1_j4cy4t2 wrote

The Russians were effectively out of range from German cities for a long time, since they had very few strategic bombers, preferring two engine bombers instead; those strategic bombers they did have mostly targeted cities around the Baltic, aiming for railway junctures, airports, and the like.

I don't think they ever did enough damage to be meaningful, though: the Russian strategic bombing regiment dropped 144,750 kilograms of ordinance total during 1941 (before losses basically grounded them,) while the US dropped 1,510,463 kilograms of bombs in a single raid on Toyko in 1945.

Unsurprisingly, when the Soviets decided they DID need something bombed, they would ask the Western Allies to do so, though this was generally rare.


TheGreatOneSea t1_j4cv5ds wrote

The Kshatriya, the warrior part of the caste system.

It might feel like an overly simple answer, but what being a knight or samurai actually meant would also change massively over the centuries, and the common definition of 'minor landed nobility' often doesn't fit, so we need to be that broad to be accurate.


TheGreatOneSea t1_j1j31cn wrote

The theory isn't really the hard part, as a practical matter: making the Nuclear bomb in the US took over 30 project sites and over 100,000 workers, and about $36 Billion in today's money, and the US wasn't being bombed during development.

Germany, by contrast, hadn't even finished expanding its conventional factories at the start of WW2, and its entire warplan required the war to be over by the start of 1943, as Germany would simply run out of fuel if that wasn't the case, and could do little more than gradually lose.

The Germans were fully aware of all of this, and any work on a nuclear bomb was basically cannibalized for use in other projects. By 1943, an effective Nazi nuclear bomb program was about as realistic as gaining air supremacy with jets, so it didn't really matter what fantasy project Germany pursued.


TheGreatOneSea t1_j1cmpo3 wrote

The US did actually develop an assault style weapon, the M2 Carbine, which was an automatic M1 with a 30 round clip.

It was too late for WW2 beyond some Marines in Okinawa, but in Korea, the US noted pretty much what you said, that inexperienced soldiers tended to panic and blow through their ammunition, while experienced ones proved highly effective in places where short-ranged engagements were likely.

The STG 44 had better range and power, of course, but it's also much heavier, to the point that the M2 might have been preferred if the US was given a choice between the two.


TheGreatOneSea t1_j17byj4 wrote

A lot of this is going to depend on where exactly you are, mind:

  1. The Teutonic Knights, for example, spent most of their time fighting low-level skirmishes with pagans, often in winter, and the rest of their time sieging down forts whenever they had Crusaders come to help.

  2. The Byzantines, by contrast, preferred to build bases of supply for their armies, and gradually moved them when planning an attack to reduce the logistical strain, and usually relied mostly on locals to defend territory.

  3. The Hungarians (Pre-Mongol) were usually an exception, preferring to seek pitched battle against invading nomads, with little in the way of stone fortifications outside their western border. Against the Mongols, this proved a disaster.

  4. While on topic, the Mongols preferred attacking the exposed population instead of sieging western stone forts (built tall to be difficult to storm, though this also made them far more vulnerable to later cannon than the earth-packed Chinese walls,) and the lack of wealth they got attacking Hungary this way was a big factor in why they didn't bother going further west.

  5. The English preferred raiding the French over sieges, but this meant that anything lost to France was that much more difficult to take back. In many ways, the English had no choice but to do this, as gathering enough ships to move troops was very difficult without a royal navy.


TheGreatOneSea t1_j0n1dnz wrote

There are multiple ways of defining imperialism, but what's usually meant is what John Hobsin wrote about (though I'm going off memory here:) Imperialism is an attempt by one nation to force its own identity upon another.

Historically, that was very rarely the case: the Romans and Athenians did not seek to spread democracy, or togas, or their religions. They sought wealth and power, and their institutions only spread as far as it would take to acquire those things.

Imperialism is basically the inverse of that: spreading one's institutions and culture as a justification for acquiring more wealth and power. The first time I believe we see something like that is with Qin China and Legalism, but even that was limited to China itself.