Monday, January 30, 2017

History: The Year is 1941

I've uploaded year 1941 to the TSP Wiki...

http://tspwiki.com/index.php?title=1941

Here are some one liners...


The Palace of Westminster is "Blown to Smithereens" -- I talk about the rebuilding of the House of Commons and two novels: "Blackout" and "All Clear."

Negotiating for Peace while Preparing for War -- The Japanese take two courses hoping for peace and getting a war.

Learning More about the Holocaust -- I recommend a film and then wax eloquent about lessons learned.

World War 2 in Review -- See below.

Notable Births --  See below.

This Year in Film -- See below.

This Year in Music -- See below.

In Other News --  See below.



The Palace of Westminster is "Blown to Smithereens"

"We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us."
-- Winston Churchill on the plans to rebuild the House of Commons. [1]
Well... it hasn't entirely been blown to smithereens. Much of the Palace can be saved but not all of it. The House of Commons and Westminster Hall have been hit hard during the German bombing raid. Three people have been killed and two incendiary bombs have hit. This forces the firefighters to make a choice because they cannot save both the House of Commons (completed almost 90 years ago) and Westminster Hall (completed over 800 years ago). The decision makes itself. They will rebuild the House of Commons a few years later while restoring the major elements of the original design. [2] [3] [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
It is difficult to convey in words what the British people were going through night after night during the Blitz. (The V-1 and V-2 rockets didn't come online for another 3 years.) The air raid siren would sound, and people would head for the shelters or the underground (subway). None of it would matter if you got a direct hit, so you waited to see if you would live or die. Those people were tough, but frankly... what choice did they have? For a better idea of what they went through, I suggest reading the science fiction novels "Blackout" and "All Clear" by Connie Willis. Time-traveling historians are trapped in London during the Blitz and during the evacuation of Dunkirk. There was a lot more going on inside of people than that "stiff upper lip" stuff. Connie Willis interviewed people who went through the Blitz and many of their personalities appear within "Blackout" and "All Clear". [5] [6]

Negotiating for Peace while Preparing for War

"We'd rather not fight at all. We think we should try our best to negotiate, and only when we're pushed to the edge shall we fight."
-- Japanese General Sugiyama, attempting to convince the Emperor of his plan to win a war with the USA.
Most people in the United States anticipate a war with Germany. Most Japanese anticipate a war with the United States, primarily because the Japanese media is state-controlled, and they have blamed the United States for the poor economic state of Japan. In some ways the USA is to blame, but the Japanese media has done its job too well. The US ambassador is now carrying a six-shooter. (He feels a little foolish, but he can sense the danger.) The Emperor has endorsed preparations for war while negotiating for peace, but he CLEARLY WANTS PEACE. However, when a nation is preparing for war, the tempo of activity increases. These changes are easily seen from a hotel window or merchant ship. While the diplomats negotiate, it seems as if Japan is drawing its sword. Also there is a lot of confusion in the translation of Japanese into English which make the Japanese diplomats sound like liars. That is why FDR has rebuffed SOME of Japan's proposals. However, to Japan, FDR's response looks like economic war. FDR doesn't realize it, but Japan has set a deadline on negotiations, and the time is up. [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
It sounds like a Tom Clancy novel where the foolish politicians are telling their fellows, "Don't worry. We can always pull back the troops!" But there is a momentum to war that pulls everyone forward. I have tried not to excuse the Japanese. Nor do I want to portray them as the "Yellow Peril". They are adults. They decided to move into China and Vietnam, placing themselves in opposition to the United States. They knew what that meant for a future conflict. They placed their military on a hair-trigger. When you do that, it is your responsibility to let the other guy know that you are going to shoot him if this little talk doesn't turn out OK. When the war was over, the Japanese people were mortified and angry at what the military had put them through.... the ones that had survived, anyway. [8]

Learning More about the Holocaust

I suggest watching the movie "Shoah" (1985) by Claude Lanzmann. The movie has no terrible scenes of suffering. No marching Nazis. No piles of shoes or eyeglasses or hair. It is a simple interview film. Lanzmann traveled Europe asking questions and filming the answers. No accusations. Simple questions like, "What did you see, hear, smell?" "Did you know any Jews?" "What did they tell you was going on?" "Where did the Jews live?" "Where did they go?" The answers are simple and often devastating. You look in their eyes and you can feel what they feel. Many are glad to talk, but then the conversation suddenly turns, and you realize it could happen again... at least with these people. It is not over. [9]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I have avoided detailing what has been happening during the Holocaust in this history segment, just as I've avoided a lot of detail with many subjects. This is not a history podcast, but there are lessons to learn, not from the truly evil because those people are too easily dismissed. It is more important to understand the average person. A lot of the systems that we thought would keep us safe failed us. Science failed us in eugenics. Religion failed us when it was subverted by government. Those are the lessons for me... to use science for good, but not make science my God. To use government for good, but not too good. And to use my religion to help me find God, but not allow the clergy to become my only path to God.

World War 2 in Review

  • A rumor about Japan's plan to attack Pearl Harbor is going around.: Washington D.C. is notified. [10]
  • "Give us the tools, and we will finish the job." -- Winston Churchill to the United States.
  • The USA "lends/leases" ships to Britian: More "lending" than leasing. [11]
  • Manhattan Project: Plutonium is discovered!. They are going to need it. [12]
  • The "Rats of Tobruk" hold against Rommel.: The Nazis call the Australians "Rats" and the Australians like the name! [13]
  • Quisling becomes Premier of Norway and a Nazi collaborator: Thus the word "quisling" enters the English language. [14]
  • The USA rounds up 100,000 Japanese-Americans.: (Are we at war with Japan?) [15]
  • Bob Hope performs his first USO Show: (Are we at war?).
  • A German U-boat is captured with an intact Enigma cypher machine!.
  • Deputy F├╝rer Rudolf Hess parachutes into Scotland on a mission of peace.: But he has no diplomatic power. [16]
  • Hitler launches "Operation Barbarossa" against the Soviets: The Barbarossa myth has Germany returning to its ancient glory.
  • Ho Chi Minh enters an alliance to throw off Vietnam's oppressors.: So it begins.
  • FDR declares an "unlimited national emergency"... "within the limits of peacetime authorizations": What?. [17]
  • Hitler asks for a "Final Solution" to the Jewish question.: He is asking by what method should he murder all the Jews?
  • Zyklon B is used at Auschwitz to gas the Soviet prisoners.: First they came for the socialists...
  • Nazis and Ukrainian collaborators murder 33,000 Jews.: The Jews believed they were being relocated. [18]
  • The Lockheed P-38E Lightning rolls off the line..
  • The second warning message of a coming attack by Japan.: It is November 17th, but this is not the only indicator.
  • FDR declares financial war on Japan.: He knows that the Japanese are going to strike but not where. [19]
  • Japan attacks Pearl Harbor, Hawaii!: The attack is directed by a battleship commander, so he hits the soon-to-be obsolete battleships first. (This is a critical error.)
  • "Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan." -- FDR to a Joint session of Congress, December 8th. [20]
  • IT'S WAR!
  • Japanese subs fire on American shipping along the West Coast.. The Japanese submarine scare is on. [21]

Notable Births

  • In Politics (All Living): Bernie Sanders, Dick and Lynne Cheney, and Jesse Jackson. [22]
  • Richard Dawkins: evolutionary biologist and critic of religion. [22]
  • Charles Whitman: University of Texas Clock Tower sniper. (He had a brain tumor.) [22]
  • And in Entertainment...
  • -- In Music (All Living): Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, and Joan Baez. [22]
  • -- More in Music (All Living): Paul Simon, and Art Garfunkel. [22]
  • -- Yet More in Music (All Living): Helen Reddy and Tom Fogerty. [23]
**Note: (Living) means they were alive when I checked.

This Year in Film

  • Sergeant York: #1 grossing film. [24]
  • The 47 Ronin: (Japan) War-motivating film. [24]
  • Dumbo: (animated) A sub-plot to the movie "1941" starring Jim Belushi. [24] [25]

This Year in Music

  • Chattanooga Choo Choo: The Glenn Miller Band. [26]
  • God Bless the Child: Billie Holiday. [26]
  • Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy: The Andrew Sisters. (Recorded a year before the USA entered the War. Hmmm.) [26] [27]

In Other News

  • Cheerios in introduced.. [28]
  • Commercial television begins: The FCC approves NBC to run commercials. The first is for Bulova watches. [28]
  • The first programmable computer is on display: The Z4 is as big as a raft. No relation to Zilog's Z80 series. [28] [29] [30]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1941, Wikipedia.

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