tv Book Discussion on American Warlord CSPAN September 6, 2015 11:00pm-12:01am EDT
commission consolidated graves of the pacific theater to hawaii and in manila. there were 1600 american troops period. we except the awful truth some americans would have to lay down their lives to beat fashions a better reasonable one is why guadalcanal? this was an island nobody had heard of. , committed and die in places like course a cup. -- corsica. the united states had 14 million men and women in uniform but they were sent to some places and not others the way they
transformed american society that is wrapped up to the personalities of half a dozen people to make big decisions. so tonight story is military-backed words isolation country became the of local superpower within five years in a handful of men engineered that transformation. but to go back before pearl harbor and let back to the third days in the '40's to see the glove as roosevelt sought it. remember fdr was elected 1932 with a mandate to put americans back to work to stabilize the baking industry and get america out of the depression new york. he staked his reputation on domestic reform and had no interest to be involved in
foreign entanglements. but fascism's sprung up under mussolini and was perfected by adolf hitler. the story begins not with pearl harbor but in 1940 when president roosevelt sitting upstairs in the white house in his study received a call from his ambassador to belgium german planes were bombing the low country and western europe was about to be overrun they got the western democracies could handle the nazis on their own would be put to the test. in the end it out of the defeated france and isolated great britain but turn the warda sheet against the
stalinist soviet union june 41 so by december adolf hitler seen here had plenty to smile about because the two men virtually ruled europe from the gates of moscow to the pyrenees mountains. of the far side of the world japan was rampaging through china. japan lead dash japan's command of the coast because it is a small island nation it is not economically self-sufficient like united states or continental europe. 80% of the petroleum came from the united states as well as steel and aluminum soda had a strategic leash and the rose bowl was not averse to police that
because japan was so dependent upon united states began to turn its size to assess south to the malaysian peninsula countries that hitler was beating up on their in the southern colonies the japanese knew if they had massed the stocks of petroleum in the materials they needed to become self-sufficient to keep the war machine going so there were falling apart of both sens the president knew it is only a matter of time before america was attracted to war. a la red to victory began by picking the right team and that she begins with the president under article ii of the constitution is the commander in chief of the army and navy of the united states. but they had zero military training.
his only involvement was the assistant secretary of navy during the wilson years roosevelt sailed off to europe toward france stay well behind the front line and like a good politician exaggerated his military record for the rest of his life. [laughter] but he had a gift to know when to metal or even allowed. he had some complaints the way the mayor -- the navy played the "star spangled banner" beattie said i don't know enough so i have to check with the general gives may he also meddled in war strategy when there was overgrazing when an overriding way to do so. when they drove into paris roosevelt decided he needed cabinet officials and the democratic party was filled
with new dealers who wanted to stay out of the war so roosevelt took a political risk to reach across party lines and selected to republicans to join the cabinet in a political blood transfusion and. the first as the republican vice-presidential candidate the second was henry stimson and upper crust new york lawyers serving as the secretary of war under taft said general in the philippines under to lynch and secretary state under hoover. day disagree almost every tenet of the new deal but they died japan and germany posed a grave threat to the united states and they're rolling to put its service to their country over party
prepared they were roads out over a tie there would be like if president obama selected paul ryan to become his defense secretary. [laughter] there was a risk to all three. but we're fortunate that two conservative republicans and a liberal democrat boss could put aside differences to work together that those to surface is head-to-head the military branches. general george c. marshall he prided himself on self discipline to never let his personal feelings get in the way of his service to this country an eloquent speaker and was named "time" magazine man of the year 1944. eventually -- becoming
secretary of state but was never referred to as the marshall plan head of the american red cross secretary of defense and the only professional soldier in history to her the nobel peace prize. the marshall never commanded anything larger than an infantry regiment he was not up military strategist but said genius and organizing and logistics' he could see the big picture america was fighting in nine different theaters if he said he wanted to do something he could picture in his mind with that were due to operations elsewhere around the globe if you took from one side but would that do to the of their p oartsf the strategy? after the war was over he
was referred to as the organizer of victory on either side of constitution avenue was the most powerful naval commander the only officer to hold the twitter and titles chief of naval operations and commander in chief of the u.s. fleet making him the twice the power of the navy. said dagger tattooed on one arm and an acre on the other seven children with his wife and before the war he had a mistress if not every pore then quite a few of them. he would drink like a sailor fight like a sailor than miraculously shop the next morning reporting for duty virtually an impaired. admiral king was famous for
say whether the going gets tough they call for the sons of bitches. he said if i like -- would have thought of that i would have said that. [laughter] when he came into a room there would quietly five reasons to head for the door. >> guest: said the admiral is the most even tempered man in the navy he is always in a rage. he had no love for the army that marshall didn't know much about strategy and the air commanders that macarthur knew nothing about the navy a just discovered the airplane and the british better stay out of his pacific ocean. the feeling was mutual a
staffer working for urge general marshall cast a war diary to say one thing that would help win the war is to get somebody to shoot king. [laughter] but like other officers such as patent he had an intellectual side their bread and thought about strategy, and as much as at sea and was stubborn but only for the things he thought he needed to get he had a clear vision of what he would need and in the ben and the british thought he had the best grasp of strategy of many leaders but a general marshall's most important jobs was to the the forces overseas and at home rather the mediterranean theater alaska or californian no one got to senior ranks without marshal support for perot you to see
pictures to zero and a people of their careers to marshal. patton and bradley and eisenhower. so for nearly every rule the you had to be a marshal's man to get anywhere that is the exception the man with a corncob pipe he was the chief of staff when marshall was a colonel. he was obsessive about his publicity but he could be brilliant and the public's love to am he was a national hero and to appease congress they stretched the criteria for awarding the medal of honor and gave one to macarthur in 1942 and 43 of
vague macarthur for president bubble as those who saw the best hope to beat roosevelt paid to how a sensitive and use that to push for supplies and naval support and the authority to move up through new guinea into the philippines he had a running feud with most of the navy kept it is next to impossible for marshall to govern effectively but king was less flexible than marshall to go over dozens of important islands and hundreds of thousands of square miles of ocean admiral king had to been approved is a valuable. first was a texan from the hill country west of here he ran of its territory.
the admiral caving is riding shotgun and behind him are the marines who were happy and the more even tempered admiral. now all these leaders would do precious little good unless the high command figured out where to send them and with the question of grand strategy for the war's first two years before america entered the war the country was in no mood to get involved overseas but fdr saw the nazis in the japanese had to be defeated. so it all we had an army navy airforce that could do the job he had to let the
american public, along behind them to fight the enemy with america says industrial power. america would become the great what? writes. he is his wartime powers to make it that arsenal of democracy but before the war was over he would ban production of civilian cars and regulate the cut of clothing so before long the ford motor company was turning lp 24 bombers by the hundreds the jukebox was making carvings and grabbing than typewriters made pistols to be a source of uniforms are tense and electronics shop was radio parts.
to keep the arsenal producing roosevelt was forced to do unpopular things for an elected official. to ration virtually every item was one of them. the list of what we had to ration and regulated is immense. coffee. in late 42 the government put americans basically one cup of coffee per day ration you can imagine what that did to the voters. not because he ran out of coffee but because the ships needed to carry this sacred beings from south america to be amended states were more profitably used carrying weapons to europe so we had to ration the coffee. clothing was something else. the war production board
issued a regulation l85 governed the size of the lapels of the men scholars the cuts on the pants and reduced the neckline to increase the hemline on women's dresses. the ladies had to sacrifice. rubber was banned from women's curdles because it was a strategic material although the outcry was so great even the roosevelt administration had to back down. [laughter] nylon or silko's were nowhere to be found because we needed that material for parachutes. conservation and rationing rosita river was not enough arsenal that very little unless they can get the fighter planes into the hands of those who put them
to use segment getting those weapons across the german u-boats' when this submarines began to sink ships in 1940 and 41 fdr wanted u.s. navy to provide protection but it took awhile for the public to come around some not until september 41 the roosevelt ordered the man takes the commander to shoot on sight to play it america into the end declared shooting war and 413 months before pearl harbor. before the war the predecessor met with churchill and in a series of conversations to put their heads together dash the allies will hold the line in the pacific if they have to
go to war to be defensive only to do the best we could while devoting our energies to defeating hitler in europe that was in germany for strategy. as president was roosevelts job to keep them focused rather than on japan but remember for the first six months was a place we we're doing most of the fighting. that capture the american attention. and how we defeat germany but both concluded to drive straight to berlin where it is over sooner.
they lack the strength to do that 1942 we did not have enough to fissions -- divisions or the lending power were supply resources. we would have to wait until 1943. winston churchill did not want to wait said he said if we cannot invade france why not invade north africa? instead of going to the upper part of germany to squeeze from the mediterranean and palm from the air and send weapons to fight the germans on the ground in the east. fighting with the british but they could not reach a decision they were deadlocked so it was up to fdr to decide.
after all japanese drew first blood at pearl harbor but to fight japan to finish the job in the pacific so they were beside themselves to go into north africa to do the job right. to tell the british if you don't agree to invade europe to throw most of its weight against japan to turn back on the germany first agreement.
sitting at his home in hyde park he knew that marshall n. king were bluffing and their hearts were not in a japan first strategy but he called their bluff. he called washington on sunday morning that afternoon he wanted flown up to hyde park to the plan for the germany first strategy he wanted to know how many ships, where they would invade, and what that would do to this strategy in germany. they were all out of town so they had to rush back to washington they got their staff together but by the time they had to send a package of to hyde park, with the basic outline
of the campaign against japan. roosevelt figured that he knew if they were serious there would have the better answer on short notice so he picked up the fountain pen to write an extraordinary letter to general marshall and my first impression it is exactly what germany hoped the united states would do following pearl harbor. it will not affect the role this year or next. is not help russia or the dearies therefore it is disapproved as the present. he signed this letter and wanted no doubt who was giving orders.
so the british one that around why we invaded africa instead of waiting. but marshall k. and arnold's finally ordered to go into north africa team depth of the british chief under dwight eisenhower it went splendidly a first but before they got to the prime target the americans were kicked in the teeth we were able to come back to a when the shooting stopped in north africa and elegance with the question where do we go next? when martial cadences and systems said wanted to go into france but the british wanted to go into the mediterranean they agreed
there would have to invade france but wouldn't be better to go into italy and knocked it out then the germans would have to send troops into the italian peninsula that they cannot be shooting us on the beaches of normandy. so we went to sicily ben went into italy and that was a hard place to fight but we knocked them out of the war into a battle of attrition into a pushing and shoving to get the british to go into france but with joseph stalin they convince the british to go along everybody knew who would the debt invasion of france. it would be martial. roosevelt let everybody know
that marshall would be his choice and even told general eisenhower he wanted to give marshall chance to go into the history books as agree with peter. they considered to nonviable in the european theater. to do so many other things that they could do. to beg to keep stateside and went to a group of journalists and ask them to have the editorial boards to restore all his virtues as a chief of staff i know rose
above reason newspaper and he may listen to them. it worked. and if this crushes them dishpans personally as everybody thought it did marshall never let our not even to his wife. he kept his personal feelings out of it and as a good sport wrote out a message for the president's signature to stall and announcing the immediate appointment of eisenhower to lead the invasion of europe. that is how eisenhower went into the history books as a liberator of europe and then president of united states. in it to keep the british
the course of the vince natcher leveraged from normandy beach to germany. just to keep the blade from going deeper into the pacific japan had most of the western pacific than they thought the best way to roll back japan was to have a good offense rather than restrict defense. he wanted to start rolling back the japanese empire in the eastern solomon islands. so on the neighboring island of guadalcanal that is how in august 1942 period months before the invasion of north africa guadalcanal was the big first offensive of the war although he pledged to defeat germany first the
marines and the army took guadalcanal but we had bad data base to push japan back. the big question no one had answered is how we get from guadalcanal to tokyo. said that the best way was to have a few key island chains. but they would be able to go on to a taiwan and the china coast with the marines to take the beaches and to occupy. and to bomb into submission all they need is the army to have enough air power when he left the philippines to
say i shall return he would come through the south into the philippines he was afraid of fabricating went through the central pacific called away to the china coast by this summer of 1944 to decide he wanted to bypass to go straight to for rows of the joint chiefs agreed in berlin that would end the matter but this was macarthur he was the exception and would not budge. represent -- president roosevelt had to weigh in on a specific strategy what
would any good politician do? great ways to make publicity of the election-year and politics don't stop just because there is no war so roosevelt sailed to hawaii to make sure every voter in the country knew who the commander in chief was. it wasn't all fun opportunities and got down to business. he held a strategy conference holding a conference for macarthur but macarthur did talk politics. to make us solemn promise that the american voters would not forgive roosevelt if they turned the back just to capture an unknown piece of the china coast.
so he basically gave every side the impression that macarthur got to go back to the philippines to redeem his pledge and got to go to for most of by the end of 44 japan was surrounded began to destroy the major cities one by one. with the fdr decision in june but macarthur go through the south pacific called of military strategy decisions have been made the rest is up to the commanders on the field. the only to a major decision is left to be made and roosevelt would make them. the afternoon of april april 12th vice president
truman thought he would be playing poker instead he was standing in front of the chief justice to be sworn in as a 303rd president of the united states. when roosevelt died truman came into office with very little idea of what was going on. fdr had a personal style of leadership ben did not keep notes with a lot of one-on-one conversations antitrust did the cabinet secretaries with very little and vice presidents with less. fortunately the role the two decisions in germany was defeated and japan was on its last legs so truman needed to decide whether to renovate or drop the atomic bomb. truman took office virtually knowing nothing of the a-bomb in was up two teeeight nine to tell him about the revolutionary
weapon. deal as concerned as a former secretary of state do and how we would use that how to vaporize the cities after talking it over chairman decided to try out the bomb and once that first proved it would work truman gave an alterative the unconditional surrender or prompt another destruction. that if he kept the emperor on the throne that is enough but that was not added to the ultimatum japan never replied to a tremendous demand and on august 6, 1945 to more japanese cities were
turned to ashes. nagasaki was not originally supposed to be the second city on the target list that belonged to kyoto but secretary stimson knew about the shrines and the capital of cultural significance in believe the role of a boat down on the united states so he insisted on using the different city that is why it ultimately nagasaki swallowed the second pill. millions of men and women sacrificed their lives to bring american victory in world war ii but those big decisions they have echoed throughout the rest of the
century programs like said gi bill and the marshall plan institutions like united nations or the warsaw pact. the way we all grew up in of large part part of the warlords. thank you. [applause] >> if you have a question please raise your hand we will bring the microphone. >> i was wondering of the civilians leaders contributed and roosevelt
concluded that to stop the atrocities is to end the war and we think to be limitless but they had to make choices and historians have debated for decades whether the morally correct thing is the same as a practical thing back then. wonderful question. >> wasn't there a significant disagreement regarding the rescue of the war camps in japan? >> there are two things have a bite to speak to. macarthur did make a lot of headlines to takeover or a liberating camps in the philippines and that is something that inspired
george patent on the other side of the globe all the with much worse results. there were a number of disagreements but we are referring to the admiral who was the head of the china and india theater toward the end of the war. this is what it looked like and after 39 minutes of talking i didn't mention that once. not because it wasn't important but many americans served and died there but the reason i ignore in this discussion ended is introduced this way because the high command ignored it also effectively. look at the map. 1942 through 45 give book about the same weather may
of 42 or 45. we did make some inroads but as we were talking about with the limitations of resources if you only have uncertain number of ships where will we use them? that was the odd man out. >> when japan was given the ultimatum we will bomb you if we don't hear from you, to any of the historians of japan talk about politically but was going on behind the scenes why japan never answered? >> there were two sets of political wheels turning. said japanese formal
response was the top down declaration that was the a ultimatum was to kill it with a silencer and a lot of vindication there were reaching out to the soviet union who was not at war that point or reasons they would surrender but they just never got to that threshold. but on united states 30 percent wanted to hang he tell us a war criminal and the secretary of state thought we should take a hard-line with japan so that it was berns was very influential with president truman that is why that declaration with the unconditional surrender in the end probably said to keep your emperor may have made a difference.
henry stimson thought that it may have pearl. >> thanks for your lecture. very good. could you comment on the argument that rather invading europe and france in the northern part there was an argument made to go into unoccupied france in the south? and i am understand the background as a student but why did marshall tolerate those generals who were influential and even after the war he didn't have any sympathy. >> but that sentiment stroke may -- struck me more than historians comment on. >> said general was a senior
planner in the war department then moved over to the theater to work with the admiral. he attended the academy in 1936 and tended to be on the entire british side of that equation. he was working diligently and honorably with no indication he did anything that was the best interest of the united states of america. but before the war many americans saw a lot to the german nationalistic approach. marshall tended to look deadman's performance and not too much into his political leanings he was very familiar with him and his father-in-law. the other part of the question is why couldn't we
invade southern france? i think the real problem effectively dead is the same as northern france in terms of the german response may have been on the occupied and at this time it would have been and crawling with determines within a week and when we invaded north africa and said gm -- germans immediately occupied the rest of france. >> i'm sure we'll agree that the dropping of the bomb changed the world. what would've happened in japan said okay and we did not drop the bomb? what would the world looks like today? >> a wonderful question.
if japan simply said recapitulate how would that have been different? the arms race between the west end the soviet union would not have been very different. truman thought he had a royal flush we found out that it worked when he was in germany to go up to stolen to say i have a new weapon that will be devastating to the japanese and he shrugged and said i hope you make good use for it. and the americans thought does he know what we're talking about? but he knew exactly because he had spies in the manhattan project and he had known. so i think we would still have a lot of the cold war but some uncertainty that without the horror and shock volume of hiroshima and
nagasaki maybe we would be more inclined to use those during the cuban missile crisis with one minute to midnight. >> i have the question in relation to the last question what you think would have happened had agreed not dropped the bomb and the soviet invaded the islands of japan? >> wonderful question was in just u.s. vs. japan at this point. stalin promised within three months with in the surrender of germany he would declare war on japan. so we had the big red army hovering in siberia waiting to go into manchuria that was a huge consideration for
marshall and truman what will happen if we have the red army not only taking over poland but also through manchuria into china? i'd think if it came down to a war of attrition in japan was pretty close to the edge. the shock value of the soviet union to declare war on them would set them back quite a bit. >> i am curious as year talk about these men and leaders but in comparison to today with foreign affairs said congress seems schizophrenic there when everything with iran but syria they talked individually. what did roosevelt have to contend with congressional leadership? to make a beautiful
question. what was the congressional landscape? roosevelt had to go into the 1940 election and to institute a peacetime draft and talk about a burden for a candidate. they still controlled congress but the democrats themselves were divided many from the midwest iowa kansas in that part of the country were opposed to his foreign policy. many of his friends became his enemies and many traditional enemies became his friends like henry stimson. could roosevelt was very unpopular with members of congress that is why he is the man like general marshall and henry stimson like the extension of the draft could not have happened if marshall and henry stimson were not out there. if those men ride during
roosevelt's werke would have had a very difficult time and marshall even said republicans have come to me to say i will do this and vote because you say it needs to be done by bill be damned if i'd do which if roosevelt says that. that was the reality. >> what about emperor hito. what was his position with the ultimatum was delivered was at a military decision or the emperor decision? >> a beautiful question. in the end, it was a decision that the emperor had the greatest rate the question if the dynasty would continue after the second world war and surrender would weigh on the minds of those in japan have
been in the end there was enough tubs would begin to push the ballot so that the zero hito were accounted for quite a bit and he was prepared to accept to be hong as a war criminal. he was not the driving force of so much war fever he went along with it but there were other hawks in the cabinet that were far more hardline than hiro hito. >> general patton made a lot of enemies at home and abroad. do you think his death was purely an accident? [laughter] >> i used to try car crash
cases for general motors. [laughter] i thought how could we reconstruct that? did the reds get him to the commies get him? historians will debate at at the end of the day i believe, let me put it this way in an automobile accident with somebody not wearing their seat belt there is any number of ways the body can fly and injury mechanisms if you assassinate someone you're probably better off tuesday and to drop a heavy weight hoping they walk and breathe and to do with your an auto accident. patent was sertorius lee accident prone he was in car crashes, fallen of forces and spilled the oil lamp on himself even a cat runs out and i think that is probably what happened but there are
questions and something that people will talk about for some time. a great question. >> we have fallen more question from our student. >> these are great questions >> do you think roosevelt as an individual coming from a huge military family and the roosevelt as his cousin influence his decisions earlier in his career to fill his cousins shoes? very bad is a wonderful question because you don't think about what did franklin think about cousin teddy or did they influence? to read the biggest influence is the group as an only child doted on by a wealthy the other a family name famous through society
and because of that grew up thinking i can make this decision. sova reduce the letters like tonight when he says this is the strategy call i will make you overrules his professionals of man who has confidence immensely. while in his early life cousin theodore influence strengthened by the time he was president he would not look back over his shoulder if he thought a decision needed to be made, he made it. a beautiful question. thank carol. [applause] -- the ngo thank you. [applause] >> thanks for bringing these heroic figures to life in in the midst of a terrific conflict of world war ii you put flesh and blood and
entertained us with a waterfall presentation. he will be signing "american warlords" at the back in a few moments so be sure to get your copy and mark your calendars for another speaker to this audience august 4th to speak on the block the avenue of spies. thanks to all the veterans who are here and to jonathan jordan. [applause] . .