tv Aftermath of World War II CSPAN December 30, 2016 4:44am-5:47am EST
aftermath of world war ii. in his lecture, unconditional jubilation. he argues that economic globalization and the formation of the u.n. transformed america and the globe in a positive way and were products of us strategy during the war. the world war ii museum hosted this hour-long event. >> the latest installment of the lecture of world war ii. general mason's career as you have heard the introduction yesterday took him from front lines with general patent in world war ii all the way to the pentagon in his period after world war ii and a great and successful businessman working together with his wife. they established a very generous
foundation which we are the beneficiaries of, not the only, but one of the beneficiariebene. what he gave to us before he passed away was to endow a special series and bringing the best and the brightest historians to share their works and insight with. so a sincere thanks to the mason family including the mason son and to their foundation. so i'm very pleased to have the opportunity here to introduce our next presenter as one of the most distinguished historians and in the world on the subject of world war ii. david kennedy received his under graduate at stanford and graduate training at yale.
and founding director of the bill of the american west at stanford university where he talk ta taught for more than 40 years. it is more than we have time for today. you have information on your program so i encourage you to look at that as well. he is much admired and loved by his students, by his peers and administrators he worked with in higher education over the years. as research and writing focused on 20th century american history he has got numerous award winning books including over here, the first world war and american society was nominated as a finalist. he actually won the prize for another book, freedom from fear, the american people and depression and war 1929 to 45. he has been a professor at
oxford, flor eence and american history taught at other universities and around the world. he has spoken on several occasions at this museum. we count him as part of the family. he was one of the first speakers on world affairs in 2008. so we are delighted to have him back. join me in welcoming dr. david kenne kennedy. >> thank you very much for that introduction. thanks to all of you for your interest in this subject. we are talking about 1946 as a year of transition,
transformation. we'll take a little bit of liberty with that calendar year and back it up a bit into the end of 1945. that's my starting point. i should tell you at the outset there is a premise that underlies my remarks here today and there's a proposition i will try to argue and persuade you is the proper way to think about this passage. the premise is that world war ii was by many many measures a transformative event in the history of this republic and in the history of the international order and in this country's relationship to the international order. that's my premise. the proposition that i want to try to argue here this afternoon
this is grand strategy that the united states pursued in the world war ii era. so how transformative was world war ii? i will take as my text a remark by winston churchill to be precise. first to put you in the mood let's look at a few images when it was indeed unconditional jubilation. i like this image so much that i use it as the cover for my book on the subject. here are g.i.'s in france celebrating the announcement that the japanese were about to surrender. here is probably one of the most famous and jublated from this period. here is the man who started it all. i want to begin with a remark by winston churchill on august 16th, 1945, the day after the
world learned the japanese emperor signalled japan to surrender. on that occasion winston churchill said many things. it was a speech that aimed to educate his country men what he thought the consequences, the downstream effects of this would be. it says a lot of things. a lot of it is delivered in the fashion but there was one sentence in that address that when i read the transcript of it when i was doing research, one sentence leapt right off the page at me not least of all far grammatical reason but he the united states as a plural noun. before the civil war the united states were and after the civil
war the united states was. it was a plural nouchblt it is the first thick that quickened my attention. august 16th, 1945 he says at this moment the united states stand at the summit of the world. august 16th, 1945 winston churchill the united states stand at the summit of the world. the implications of that are what i would like to develop with you here this afternoon and i would like to call your attention, if i can spool your recollection back fourth 1940, the nice full peacetime year for the united states in world war ii and just ponder for a minute how improbable that statement made in 1945, the united states stand at this moment at the summit of the world, how
improbably it would have been to say something like that in 1940. it was the 11th year of the great depression, one hoover administration and two roosevelt administrations failed to find a proper exit from that great economic crisis. 1940 unemployment was still about 17% in the crisis 2008 and 2009. it was stuck there as of 1940. historians looking back and using later diagnostic techniques to gauge the level of poverty in the united states estimated in 1940, 40% of households were below the poverty line. this was a country that was still after a decade of this deeply blinded by the greatest economic crisis of modern times.
anyone who had said that five years over the horizon of the future this country and much of the world would stand on the cusp of a generation long or two generation long economic expansion. so great and so pervasive that by the end of the 30 20th century people would be using a newly coined term to describe this incredible economic growth. the word would be globalization. anybody who said such a thing would be removed. if we look at the international arena in 1940 and this country's relationship to it the contrast with what's coming just a few years over the horizon is of anything more dramatic. it was a country that had refused to join the league of nations even though it was the brain child.
this was a country that twice were the decades past a high protective of 1922 in 1930 effectively closing off the united states from all foreign vendors trying to sell into american markets. it was imposed numerical limits on how many immigrants could enter the country in any given year, roughly 120 or 130,000. it was a country that insisted on the repatriation of loans during world war i, a practice that badly disrupted internationally capital flows. and it was a country that passed
no fewer than five so-called neutrality statutes. and it would be located not over there in geneva, switzerland but in our principal city of new york and we would be chief funder and patron for many years in the future. and this same country that insisted on repay traiting all those allied deaths would step forward in the marshal plan, that this counted sealed itself off from international markets,
would institute something called the international monetary fund which would work to stabilize international exchange rates. and that it would enter into its first peacetime military alliance in the north atlantic treaty organization and so on. it would also be the chief sponsor of the general agreement on tariffs and trade.
i hope it will be the notion that the result we got, the contrast between 1940 and 1945, the accuracy of that statement that at this moment the united states stand at the summit of the world in 1945 did not just happen. it was the result of some very shrewdly taken and followed premises of grand strategy that the roosevelt administration developed early on. and was lucky enough to be able to stick to right to the war's conclusion and deposited the united states at the summit of the world in 1945.
memoirs written after the war. it's@volume called the grand alliance when he tries to make the reader understand what was his frame of mind when he heard the pearl harbor news. he said, the united states was in the war up to the neck and into the death. so we had won after all. england would live. i went to bed and slept the sleep of the saved and thankful. what east interesting to me is the comparison between hitler's reaction and churchill's. here are two leaders locked in mortal combat for the fate of europe and the fate of the world.
i'm going to read you a sentence or two from a memorandum that he wrote for his furor, hitler, in mid december 1941 in which he tried to make some sense out of what would be the implications that america was a formal belligerent. it's a very lengthy, detailed, thoughtful memorandum. it's shrewdly analytic.
here are the important two sentences for our purposes. he wrote the following. we have just one year to cut russia off from her military supplies. if we don't succeed and the munitions potential of the united states joins up with the man power potential of the russians, the war will enter a phase in which we shall only be able to win it with difficulty. turns out again we understand that that was a much more accurate appraisal of what would be the implications of american belligerency than hitler had made when he said we cannot lose the war because we have an ally that's never been vanquished. i wanted to share with you a sentence or two from another document written in 1940, september of 1940, by this man,
the commander in chief of the japanese imperial fleet, admiral yamamoto. this is september 1940. the u.s./japanese relationship is starting to go seriouslily bad. and yamamoto prepared a memorandum for his prime minister and he said the following. if i am told to fight regardless of the consequences, i shall run wild for the first six months or a year. but i have utterly no confidence for the second or third year. i hope therefore, mr. prime minister, that you will endeavor to avoid a japanese/american war. now that's the man who is eventually tasked with the job of starting the war, the master planner of the pearl harbor attack and later the less well-fated midway attack. again, the striking thing to me looking back on this historically is that yamamoto
knew something that apparently hitler didn't know. the first rule of warfare laid out many hundreds of years ago. he said the first rule of warfare is know your enemy. what yamamoto knew was that the united states had industrial and financial resources at such a depth and on such a scale that if they could be fully mobilized in a certain period of time, that the fate of the axis power of japan and germany was sealed. this was the great contribution that the americans could make to the war effort. roosevelt said something very similar to this in that famous address when he said, we shall be the great arsenal of democracy. note what he did not say. he did not say we'll be the sword of democracy or even the shield of democracy.
he said we'll be the great arsenal of democracy. this is where we begin to get, i think, at the central core assets that the united states could bring to bear in this great conflict. i'm going to tell a little story briefly. it has some of the characteristics of a parable about three cities. if we understand what happened in these three cities over the course of the war, i think we'll have a pretty good understanding of the contours of this american grand strategy. the three cities all share an attribute. they all sit on some great famous river. that's a little bit incidental, but there they are. and again, you could -- i've picked these three cities just for purposes because they make my case. i once told a group what i just told you. if we understand its essence
we'll understand the character of american grand strategy. i asked them to guess what the three cities would be. someone very interestingly said richland, washington, oakridge, tennessee and los alamos, new mexico. the three cities i'm going to talk about are france on the sein river. and washington, d.c. on the potomac. and the third is a city that changed its name a couple of times over the course of the 20th century. today we know it by the name of the river on have it sits.
stalingrad. it takes place in a specific period of time between august 1942 and february of 1943. in these three cities things happened that if we understand their essential nature, we'll understand the basic contours of american grand strategy. chapter one in our little parable, fran parable, ruen, france, august 15th or 16th, 1942. this is not one of these dates that's inscribed in our historical memory. it's a very, very important date for us to understand grand strategy on the part of this country in world war ii. why? let's call it august 15th. i may be off by a day or two. a squadron of one dozen b-17
bombers took off from their base in the south of england accompanied by a swarm of spitfire fighters. they crossed the english channel and dropped their bomb load on ruen, a railroad or switching yard in the city. same place where the british had burned joan of arc at the stake a few hundred years earlier. why is this important? again, it's not because of the fact that all the planes dropped all their ordinance on the primary target or they all returned to base without damage or loss of crew. that's true. that's unusual in the history of air raids in world war ii. that's not why i cited here. it's important because on this date we see the implementation of a very deeply consequential strategic decision that was made
about a decade earlier in the early 1930s when american military planners have studied particularly a book by an italian theorist in a book written in the early 1920s called the command of the air. and he argued that there was a new technology that made it possible to revolutionize the character of warfare. and that technology was the airplane. he advocated something that's come to be known as strategic bombing. in other words, what he argued was that air power should be used not to support the combat arm on the ground. that's called tactical air support. he leapt over that and said the real implications of air technology for warfare was to build big bombers that could over fly the traditional battlefield and deliver their blow against the enemy's
homeland for two purposes. and he was unapologetic about ranking these. the first was to compromise and destroy the enemy's infrastructure, manufacturing and transportation facilities, that he would be unable to sustain his force in the field and secondly strategic bombing would so terrorize the enknemyn civilian population that they would lose their will to fight and pressure their government to settle things in a hurry. that's the doctrine. the war planning department decided that in the event of a future conflict, this country would place its biggest bet on a strategic air arm. that would be the element of forced composition that would receive priority and the greatest share of resources. beginning in 1935, slowly at first but eventually with phenomenal speed, the united states began to build a strategic air force.
and that raid on august 15th, 9 1942 was the first time an all american force had dropped its bombs on nazi occupied europe. i don't believe this photograph is from that raid but here are some of those aircraft just to remind you. and here's something i think is quite instructive. it's something i didn't know when i was writing freedom from fear. i wish i'd known it. if there's ever a revised edition, i'll crank it in there. it's one of these delicious historical facts that tells a big story. the man in the upper left side of that photograph, i don't know if he's recognizable to you, but here's his card and there he is again. i can tell by the murmur that many, if not all of you, know who he was. he's now deceased. he's the man who piloted the
inola gay and dropped the first atomic bomb on hiroshima. the deliciousness of this is that in this one man's military career, he begins the air war on europe in august of 1942 and he ends the war in the pacific, same man would drop that bomb on hiroshima in august of 1945. note the spread of those dates, 1942 to 1945. and note the date of d day. d day is in june of 1944, almost two years after this raid on ruen. a reminder that the united states fought against his nazi adversary principally from the air until the last final end game of the war in europe. the air war was the principal means by which we carried the fight to our german adversary.
and it is the means by which we concluded the war against japan. simply a reminder of the centrality and importance of the air arm in american grand strategy in world war ii. chapter two, much less dramatic chapter, i'm sorry to say. but consequential nonetheless. takes place in washington, d.c. on october 7th, 1942, just a few weeks after that raid. takes place in the office of the man whose name is in caps here. donald nelson. probably not a name that reverberates in memory the way paul tibbets' name does. he was the ceo of sears robuck. he was drafted to head the war production board in wartime. his job was to oversee the
transition from a peacetime to a military economy and to supervise the shifting of resources from the civilian sector to the military sector. he hired an economist who later in 1971 won the nobel prize for economics. a relatively younger man in world war ii, but still quite brilliant. he was on the economic staff of donald nelson's war production board. as 1942 went along, he argued that the pace and scale of mobilization was impossible without severely straining the civilian economy and maybe leading to the point where the american public would revert if they suffered enough from deprivation might lose their taste for war and revert to their isolationist attitudes. this is known inside the administration and the war production board as the feasibility dispute. was it feasible to actually pursue as closely as possible a
very lengthy, complicated document drawn up in the war plans division of the war department in 1941 called the victory program. which stipulated everything down to the number of chain saws that would be needed to cut the barracks to house the troops. and he argued it simply wasn't feasible at the pace and on the scale that nelson had been trying to pursue. so a meeting happened in donald nelson's office in october of 1942 in which the argument prevailed that the pace of mobilization had to be slowed down and the targets that had been set in that original document had to be scaled back. two very significant consequences flowed from this meeting. first, the target date for d day, the event we know as d day, that is the cross channel invasion of northwestern europe,
in the original victory program document had been set for june 1st, 1943. it was now effectively delayed by a year until june 6th, 1944. this was a deliberate decision to slow down that pace of planned invasion and defer it by about a year, which raised all kinds of strategic questions with joseph stalin among others. the second decision that was made at that meeting in nelson's nau office was to scale back the target of 215 divisions which had original been intended to be drafted and equipped and trained and deployed and sent into combat. 215 divisions was reduced to 90 divisions.
now, within the military this was a pretty hard decision to swallow. and it became common at the time to call this part of that decision the 90 division gamble. why was it a gamble? well, this takes us to chapter three of our story, stalingrad in february of 1943. in my view, as much as any single battle can be said to be the turning point of world war ii, if we want to argue that way, where was the point of inflection or the turning point or the single engagement that determined the outcome of the war more than any other -- that's not the best way to think about all this, but if you want to, i would say that stalingrad is the turning point of the war, because it's the point at which the germans suffer their first strategic level defeat on the ground in their invasion of the
soviet union. and at this point the germans go off of the defensive and go on the offensive and begin to push back all the way out through be belle russia. anybody with minimal familiarity with the ball lynn of stalingrad know how awful that battle was. this is a rare color photograph of that moment. here of course is d day. d day comes more than a year later in june of 1944. here you have the basic elements of american grand strategy, to put the principal bet on the air arm, the strategic air arm as a way of trying to deliver a blow against the enemy's homeland. to delay that ground invasion by
a year until june of 1944, not the original date in 1943 and to fight with a much smaller force, 90 divisions instead of 215, as had originally been envisioned. stalingrad is the pivot of all of this because it ratified the viability of all those earlier premises. up until this time, up until stalingrad, there had been a deep anxiety on both churchill and roosevelt's part that the soviet union would collapse. it would go down to military defe defeat. or failing that, the russians would have suffered so badly by some point they would say we're going to throw in the towel, we're going to negotiate a separate peace on our front and we'll settle with the germans the way we did in 1918.
they gave up to the germans at this point and took themselves out of the war. there was a history of them doing business with german adversarie adversaries. so it was not implausible at all to withdraw from the war if the cost of belligerency got too high. at the battle just a few months later they prove that they're able to sustain a long-term offensive. so the fact that the societies we -- receijoseph stall iin had h
way. he told roosevelt and churchill this to their face when he met them for the first time together at the tehran conference in 1943. he said it seems that you americans have decided to fight with american money and american machines and with russian men. now, that was a pretty hard bitten and cynical way to put it, but in fact in terms of the greater historical context of all of this and how we weigh it all up, it was a very accurate way to describe it. so if you asked the question, who won world war ii, that's a very subtle question if you think it threw fough for even a minutes. if we mean what country paid the greatest price, the answer is clearly the soviet union.
if we mean who emerged from the war in the most advantageous position, then the answer is clearly the united states. and i would submit to you that there is a correlation between those two different answers the united states, it happens, avoided some of the very worst, most punishing aspects of the war that were inflicts on peoples all over the world. and that's why it was deposited at that summit of the world with power unparalleled in 1945. let me just say a few more things about this production miracle. these are just a few images to remind us all of the absolutely phenomenal, prodigious quality and quantity of stuff, military stuff that the united states was capable of producing in world war ii. again, that particular photograph i like so well, i used it for the cover of the split edition of my book. but these are familiar to all of
you, i'm sure. these are similar images. they're just reminders of just how great the so-called production miracle was. again, it's hard to read from where you are. it's just one tally of how rapidly american shipyards were capable of producing warships. let me touch just briefly on one last matter and use this macy's department store as the illustrative example. in every other country that fought the war, every other major belligerent, not the ones that came in at the last minute but the ones that fought more or less for the duration of the war. the civilian sector shrank as resources were shifted or depleted to the military sector. the two countries from which we have the best data are the soviet union and the united kingdom. in both of those countries over the course of the war the civilian economic sector shrank
by about a factor of one-third. there was one-third less food x fuel, shelter, transportation, all the staples of civilian economy. in the united states and the united states alone, the civilian sector grew even while the military sector was growing explosively in economic terms, the civilian sector also grew we think by around 15%. there is no country that fought the war where anything comparable was true. and what happened at macy's department store in 1944, is illustrative of this. in 1944 toward the end of the year, the marketing geniuses at macy's decided they're going to be a big discount sale. they started discussing what should be the date. the date they settled on was december 7th, 1944, third anniversary of pearl harbor.
today if walmart or somebody decided to have a 9/11 sale, i think we'd probably find that pretty creepy. for whatever reason they decided on december 7th, 19 44. this is within weeks of the battle of the bulge, just about the high point of u.s. military engagement at the end of 1944. they had the sale. at the end of the day they rang up the receipts and what they found was on that day macy's had taken in more cash revenue than in any single day in all of its prior history. now, there is simply no other country that fought world war ii where anything like that could possibly be even imagined that a consumer retailer would have its best sale ever in the midst of this great conflict. it's during the war that we see the ignition of these engines of
economic growth that propel the united states into a truly extraordinary period of economic expansion and widely shared economic growth for the next 25 years or so, well into the 1960s and 70s. let me conclude this part of the discussion with a brief reference to something else that's kind of hard to take on board but it's an important metric nonetheless. that is the number of deaths in the war. we think world war ii is the first war in modern history maybe in all the history for which we have a record where self-ian dea civilian deaths were greater than military deaths not at least of all because of those bombing compares and the disruptions of civil society in combatant societies that were so punitive. here you get the picture of how various countries fared. thanks especially to what
happened in poland, the soviet union and china. and then if you look at the united states, you see a little bit of military deaths. to be precise it's 405,399 military deaths in world war ii. not a trivial number. but again if you put it in the sales of what other countries contributed, it starts to look a little different. if you look at civilians deaths in the united states, it's to the vanishing point. and in fact in the 48 states that then had a star on the flag if i'm cutting out this little bit of discussion alaska and hawaii, the results would be numerically a little different but not materially different if we included them. but in the 48 continental united states civilian deaths due to enemy action were exactly six
people. and they all died in a very improbable place of the shoulder of gerhardt mountain which is a mountain in the cascade range near the tiny little hamlet of blye, oregon. this is the monument that stands to this day to these people. it was a woman named elsie mitchell and five children who were with her. they were on a sunday school outing. mrs. mitchell's husband archie mitchell let them out of the car, went to park the vehicle. he heard an explosion. he ran to it. he found his wife and these five children as he described it later, laid out like the spokes of a bicycle wheel and they were all dead. here's the local newspaper article about that. archie mitchell had a pretty rough life.
not only did he lose his wife on this occasion, but a few years later he remarried and went to vietnam as a missionary. and he disappeared and has never been heard from again. in any case, what's important about this year, what they had found, what would kill these people was a japanese fire bomb. the japanese launched 10,000 of these from a place called 99 league beach near tokyo. it consisted of a 30 foot diameter paper balloon that was inflated and under it was a little gondola with a three-pound incendiary bomb. they launched these things into the jet stream. they crossed the pacific ocean on the jet stream. and the concept was they would
fall to earth by a little bit of an internal navigation device and the bomb would go off and ignite forest fires all over the american west on such a scale that the united states would be forced to redeploy resources to fighting these forest fires and not prosecuting the war on japan quite so vigorously. this was japan's effort to wage a campaign of strategic bombing against the united states, but it was pretty pathetic. it killed exactly six people. the weapons themselves had no means of internal propulsion and it was not have effective at all. let's return to that end of war moment. this will be an image familiar to many of you who have been to pearl harbor, where i was for the 74th anniversary last december 7th, a very moving occasion for me. and i want to go back to our
topic of the itch camplicationse post war. in the background looming over the arizona is the battleship missouri on the deck of which of course the final surrender documents were signed in september 1945. let me tell you a little story before we get to the story i really want to dwell on. it has to do -- if you can look carefully you'll see between the deck of the ship and the water a kamikaze aircraft that was attacking the missouri in the battle of okinawa. if you visit u.s.s. missouri today they'll show you the place where the plane struck the hull. there's a slight indentation. it's not much of a dent at all. but what happened here was the plane got that close, struck the missouri and then crashed into the sea. and for some odd set of reasons, the pilot was recovered, dead.
his body was recovered. this is the pilot. and the sailors on the missouri, their blood was up and they got ready to do whatever they were going to do to his body. the captain of the ship came over the loud speaker system and said, stop that. this man was an honorable young man. he fought for his country. he was just as patriotic in his beli beliefs and we're going to give him a full military funeral. that's what happened. i think it's quite a bracing and terrific story that i hope tells us something about our national character and the way we engage in these kind of conflicts and the way we treat our adversaries. i want to go back to the surrender deck of the missouri
on 2 september 1945. look at the contrast in garb between the american officers who were in their fatiguing and the japanese delegation in their fanciest uniforms. on the right side of the photograph in civilian clothes and the top hat standing more or less between those two military officers. not the front of the photograph but off to the right. it's this man here. he had been partly educated in the united states . he later wrote a book called journey to the missouri about his role in the war and the consequences of the war. and in that book he tells us about that moment when he was standing on the deck and trying to swallow his humiliation and
ha anguish as he helped sign the surrender documents. he tells us he heard douglas macarthur say the following, from this solemn occasion a better world should emerge, a world founded on faith and understanding. and he then says, i wonder whether it would have been possible for us, had we been victorious, to embrace the vanquished with a similar magnanimity. a pretty telling comment, i believe. i'm going to get a little wonky here and give you some data. there are people who have tried to qualify how powerful the united states was in 1945. there are many ways to do this that people have tried. this is probably the first and standard methodology for trying to measure national power. here is what -- there's the formula. composite index of national
capabilities as the sum divided by six of the urban population, iron and steel production, energy, military, military personnel. so 1945, here's the united states relative to all the other major players. as you can see, it is times many powerful than the next most powerful country in 1945, which was the soviet union. this was 2007. we're no longer at the top of that index. china is, largely because of population. here's a comparison of 1945 and 2007. that was hard to read. but the point is that -- i thought i had one in here from 1991. i guess i don't. in 1945 the united states had more absolute and relative power in the world than it did in 1991
at the end of the world war. the united states had tremendous power in 1945. and what did it do with that power? well, here's a list. i'll just leave this up here for a minute while i conclude, of the things the united states did with its absolutely matchless power in 1945 when it stood at the summit of the world. it created all those new institutions, the united nations, the international monetary fund, the world bank, nato, the marshall plan, nafta. i put on this the trans pacific partnership and the tra trans-atlantic trade and investment partnership, all of which are now in jeopardjeopard especially those latter two. i think the united states
midwifed add shepherded the whole european union plan along. it forced the europeans to work with one another to come up with a joint common economic plan. 1945, the united states had the world's nuclear monopoly, it had the world's largest navy, largest air force. more than 50% of the planet's manufacturing capacity, more than 50% of the world's merchant marine fleet, more than half the world's gold stocks, monetary reserves. it was the world's leading oil producer and oil exporter. and in short it had the only intact large scale industrial economy in the world. what it did with that kind of power was to create these kind of institutions and to begin to erect the global security and economic architecture that has been in place for the last 70 or
so years. and i submit to you that that international order about which ian broom talked last evening, is something which has served us and the world well with certainly some controversial exceptions. but by and large, i think its role has been beneficial for us and the world at large. and it should not be too readily or easily trashed as we make our way into the next phase of the world's history. so i began with winston churchill. let me end with him as well and remind you again of what he said in 1945. the united states stand at this moment at the summit of the world. here are the next two sentences that followed that in that same speech. he said, the united states now stand at the summit of the world. then he said, i rejoice that it should be so. let her use her vast power not
just for herself but for the well-being of all peoples in all lands and a new era will open in the history of mankind. i think world war ii did open a new era. there's been no major war between the major powers for three quarters of a century. that's a big accomplishment. and we've built a world economic order that has prospered millions of people. there are issues and problems with that order today. but just to conclude on this note, we shouldn't too hastily undertake a wholesale dismantling of that architecture that has prevailed for most of our lifetimes. thank you. [ applause ]. >> we're going to hopefully get
one quick question and one quick answer so we can get another quick question. >> just a comment. one of your first slides showed p paul tibbets in a b-17. the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. paul tibbets iii is now the commanding officer of the b-2 bomber force stationed at whiteman air force base in missouri. >> well, thank you. one of the reasons for me to come to occasions like this is to learn something and i just did. so thank you very much. >> we're going to go all the way in the front to your right, dr. kennedy. >> hello. >> yeah. i see you and hear you.
>> i understand that you consider air power one of the three major reasons for our victory in world war ii. yet after the war, a strategic bomb survey was conducted by our government and it concluded that air power had played a very minimal role in the victory. how do you reconcile these? >> well, there are two different strategic bombing surveys, one in europe and one in japan. yes, the european strategic bombing survey could not come to any very conclusive answer about the role of air power in the final victory. the air advocates during the war argued consistently and repeatedly that if an even bigger bet were made on air power, air power alone could win the war. there would be no need for a ground invasion of western europe. that's not the way things played out. but the strategic bombing survey, you're absolutely right, was quite inconclusive in europe. japan is a little bit of a
different story because it was the two atomic bombs that brought the war to a conclusion well short of the need for an amphibious or ground invasion of the japanese home islands. the advocates of air power in the mediate post-war period were quite -- what should i say -- they seized upon the conclusion of the pacific war, the japanese war as their best argument for creating a separate air force. of course during world war ii, the air arm was part of the united states army. it was called the army air corps. it was largely the japanese example that underwrote the desire to create a separate air arm and create a strategic air arm as a separate command. the after war assessments in the two theaters are actually a little bit different. >> thank you very much, dr. kennedy. >> just don miller, is don here? well, i'd be remiss if i didn't
mention don would say at this point the air war succeeded in europe as well with the arrival of the mustang and the bombers being used in a different way than they originally were envisioned strategically. they were being used as bait so the p-5 1s could clear the sky for d day and they did in those five months before d day. that also, by the way, had a tremendous impact on the advances of the soviet red army because of the diminishing capacity of the germans also as paul hilliard would remind us they were running out of oil. so air power in a way was strategically significant maybe
not exactly as we envisioned it at the outset. >> thank you all. thank you. [ applause ]. friday american history in prime time features more programs about world war ii. at 8:00 p.m. examining the origins of the cold war. u.s. democracy and international relations. at 10:55, a look at the legacy of the cold war. world war ii and the impact on the world, 8:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span3. friday, book tv in prime time features the "new york times" book review, notable books of 2016. 8:00 p.m. eastern beth may --
macy on true vine. after that michael hayden on playing to the edge, american intelligence in the age of terror. later carol anderson, white rage, the unspoken truth of our racial divide. "new york times" book review notable books of 2016, 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. author of the presidency in black and white, my up close view of three presidents and race in america. princeton professor eddie
glaude. and associate editor of the "washington post" david marinus. watch from noon to 3:00 p.m. eastern on sunday on book tv on c-span2. sergeant bill maldinwas a cartoonist during world war ii showcasing the hardships of the war through his characters willie and joe. he continued his work after the war and won two pulitzer prizes in 1945 and 1959. next, a look at mauldin's post car cartooning career. this program begins with an eight-minute world war ii film about the emotional scars of the war. two of the most famous soldiers of world war ii were the g.i.s willie and joe,