The Official Student Newspaper of Calvin College Since 1907
January 12, 2007
Volume 101, Issue 15
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America should not have entered World War II
Axis capabilities were overestimated Germany too weak to carry out threats

Editor’s note: All the statistics in this article from Richard J. Maybury’s “World War II: The Rest of the Story and How it Affects You Today” unless otherwise noted.

Many believe that World War II was between good (Allies) and evil (Axis); that the Axis, using advanced technology and tactics, nearly conquered the world; and that the attack on Pearl Harbor was a horrific surprise. However, there is convincing evidence that all three of these ideas are wrong, and consequently, that America should not have gotten involved.

World War II is considered a war of ethics: oppression against liberty. According to R.J. Rummel’s “Death by Government,” the Nazis murdered 20,946,000. In addition, the Japanese killed 5,964,000.

But the Allies were even worse. Rummel’s numbers show that the U.S.S.R., an Ally, killed 42,672,000 non-combatants; China, another Ally, killed 10,214,000. Finally, Britain was responsible for the deaths of 816,000 in the 20th century near the end of its conquests. British area bombing missions were specifically calculated to destroy as many homes as possible. Both sides were mass murderers.

Secondly, Americans feared that the Axis would conquer the world. But at the height of their power, Germany controlled just over half of Europe, or about 4 percent of the earth’s land area. By comparison, Britain had 22 percent and Russia had 16 percent. Both sides wanted to capture territory around the world, and the Allies were further along.

Many also believe that Germany had advanced technology that would have enabled them to conquer the world. However, Germany’s many “wonder weapons” were not so wonderful, and those that were could not be mass produced because they changed production every time they found a better design. To make a comparison, the United States and Britain together built 48,399 bombers, while Germany only made 200.

The inability to mass produce and the lack of resources forced Germany to use horses. Germany had 650,000 horses when it invaded Russia. This lead to the failure of Germany’s attack on Russia in June 1941, which was the beginning of the end for Germany. The Russians let winter set in, then cut the German supply lines. This failed invasion showed that Germany was not the superpower it was made out to be. The Allies did not need America’s help.

Finally, there is strong evidence that the attack on Pearl Harbor was provoked by Franklin Roosevelt. To see this, we must ask why the Japanese attacked. They had only 4 percent of the world’s industry, compared to 29 percent in the United States, and most of the resources they imported came from the America. Why would Japan attack its main supplier, especially one so powerful?

Well, because it had no choice. Lt. Commander Arthur McCollom circulated a memo in Washington listing eight steps by which Japan could be provoked into committing “an overt act of war.” While we don’t know what FDR thought of it, we know that he followed these steps, which included aiding Japan’s enemy, China (providing it with the Flying Tigers), sending submarines and cruisers into Japanese waters and halting all oil exports. He also reduced the defenses at Pearl Harbor by sending a stream of warnings to Admiral Kimmel at Pearl Harbor which reduced reactions to alerts and made the harbor more vulnerable.

Finally, as previously mentioned, Germany invaded Russia months before and was already weakened. Anyone who knew history could see that Germany was finished.

Germany was never as strong as was commonly believed during World War II, and by the time America joined the war, Germany had been significantly weakened. America was not the victim of a random malicious attack by the Japanese, but rather provoked the attack at Pearl Harbor.

By getting involved, America lost 298,000 soldiers and set the stage for the Cold War by helping the U.S.S.R. emerge as a world power. For these reasons, the United States should not have entered World War II.

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