Roosevelt agreed a proposal to bomb Japan in 1940.

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Steve
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Roosevelt agreed a proposal to bomb Japan in 1940.

Post by Steve » 19 Jul 2021 19:46

T.V.Soong was Chiang Kai-shek’s representative to the US Government. His sister was Madame Chiang Kai-shek.

“soong tried to strengthen U.s.-China cooperation in other ways, as seen in the example of the Flying Tigers. by late november 1940, soong sensed that high officials in Washington were beginning to recognize China’s new importance if war broke out with the Axis. he submitted to henry morgenthau a proposal drafted by himself and Claire Chennault advocating a preliminary draft plan for strategic bombing. They argued that, if Chennault and nationalist China “were given a 500-bomber force that was piloted, supplied, and maintained by the United states,” the nationalist government “could virtually annihilate the Japanese forces within China and neutralize Japan’s naval striking ability.”25 According to soong, this “special air unit” could “operate independently in attacking Japan proper,” and would “surely undermine Japanese public morale.”26

Soong’s ingenious suggestion persuaded morgenthau, and one week later, on December 8, morgenthau informed soong that he had reported the proposal to roosevelt, who now became very interested in “turning China into an air base for bombing Japan.”27 morgenthau mentioned that although the grant of 500 bombers was impossible at this moment, “a substantial number might become available sometime in 1942.”28 encouraged by morgenthau’s positive response, in early December, soong sent a telegram to Chiang Kai-shek in which he strongly urged Chongqing to “select 2,000 best Chinese pilots to be trained in the U. s. as the first step to the grand project of developing and strengthening China’s air defense.”29

Page 10
https://www.hoover.org/sites/default/fi ... istory.pdf

The bombing of Japan was discussed at the highest level of US government a year before Pearl Harbour. Clearly the war against Japan did not come as a surprise though how the war would begin did come as a surprise. One of the reasons given for America declaring war on Germany in 1917 was its attempt to get Mexico to enter into an alliance against America. Surely what Roosevelt agreed to was on a par with that and if the Japanese had known about it they could have used it as justification for war against America.

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Re: Roosevelt agreed a proposal to bomb Japan in 1940.

Post by LineDoggie » 19 Jul 2021 23:45

A 500 bomber force didnt exist in the entire USAAC in 1940, that's a pipe dream.

They didnt have 100 forts to protect Hawaii a year later not too mention that Lend lease priority was to the RAF for Fortresses and Liberators
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Re: Roosevelt agreed a proposal to bomb Japan in 1940.

Post by wm » 20 Jul 2021 00:05

Long before the United States entered the war, an American aviator hatched a brazen scheme—which President Roosevelt authorized—to preemptively attack Japan.

Claire Chennault wanted to bomb Japan. Using B-17 bombers flying from Chinese airfields, he planned to drop incendiaries on Japanese cities, whose buildings were constructed largely of wood and paper, to spread terror and chaos among the people and destroy the industrial centers of the Japanese Empire.

On the surface, there was nothing unusual about Chennault’s plan. Every air force general in the Pacific wanted to bomb Japan. But Chennault was not an air force general when he advanced his proposal. He was not even in the air force. The 47-year-old former fighter pilot had been forced to retire as a captain three years before because of his fiery temper, insubordination, and unorthodox ideas. He was now a civilian in the pay of a foreign power: a $15,000-a-year consultant to the nation of China, with the rank of colonel in the Chinese air force.

There was one other little problem with Chennault’s plan: when he recommended the bombing mission against Japan, the United States was not at war with that country. The date was October 1940, more than a year before Japanese planes attacked American forces at Pearl Harbor. Chennault’s plan to launch an air strike against a nation with which the United States had peaceful diplomatic relations was to be carried out by contract employees—American servicemen released from the army and navy and paid by the U.S. government through private companies. The American pilots and crew would fly American planes that would be painted with Chinese insignia.

What made the plan more striking was that the highest officials in the U.S. government, including President Franklin D. Roosevelt, approved it. On July 23, 1941, five months before Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt secretly authorized these air strikes. They were set to begin in November, only a few weeks before the date that would live in infamy.

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Re: Roosevelt agreed a proposal to bomb Japan in 1940.

Post by Takao » 20 Jul 2021 13:36

LineDoggie wrote:
19 Jul 2021 23:45
A 500 bomber force didnt exist in the entire USAAC in 1940, that's a pipe dream.

They didnt have 100 forts to protect Hawaii a year later not too mention that Lend lease priority was to the RAF for Fortresses and Liberators
That's because it was no 500 bombers, but 150 bombers & 350 fighters +transportation & training aircraft.

But, somehow, the Chinese & Chennault got it stuck in their heads that they could get B-17s. This ludicrous thinking persisted well after they had been turned down - going so far as to modernize a few airfields to accept B-17 bombers.

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Re: Roosevelt agreed a proposal to bomb Japan in 1940.

Post by OpanaPointer » 20 Jul 2021 13:56

"It's better to have a plan and not need than to need a plan and not have it."
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Re: Roosevelt agreed a proposal to bomb Japan in 1940.

Post by Sid Guttridge » 20 Jul 2021 14:11

Hi Steve,

You headlined this thread, "Roosevelt agreed a proposal to bomb Japan in 1940."

However, I see no evidence of this in your post at all.

Please either back up the headline thread title, or change it to something that conforms more closely to what you actually posted, like: "Chinese proposal put to Roosevelt government in 1940 to equip them with aircraft to bomb Japan".

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Roosevelt agreed a proposal to bomb Japan in 1940.

Post by Steve » 20 Jul 2021 17:30

“A 500 bomber force didnt exist in the entire USAAC in 1940, that's a pipe dream.” They were not intending to bomb Japan in 1940.

According to Morgenthau Roosevelt was very interested in “turning China into an air base for bombing Japan.” Soong was told that a substantial number of bombers might become available sometime in 1942. Granted Soong was not told they would definitely be available. However, Soong was clearly not unhappy after his conversation with Morgenthau as he sent Chiang a telegram urging him to send 2,000 Chinese pilots to be trained in the USA.

What you have to decide Sid is did Roosevelt say he would not agree to help in the the bombing of Japan from China, I feel sure you will agree that he did not say that. You don’t accept that he said he would agree and clearly he did not say that. So he did not say that he would or wouldn’t but he did say that he was very interested in the bombing of Japan from China. I think it is a reasonable assumption that this was followed by a discussion about the availability of bombers as Soong was told bombers might be available in 1942.

I think the options for the title are Roosevelt did not agree to a 1940 proposal etc or that Roosevelt did agree or that Roosevelt probably agreed. My opinion is that he did agree to the 1940 proposal on the bombing of Japan from China but obviously it was not going to happen in December 1940 and would not happen in 1941 due to the availability of bombers but possibly in 1942. I therefore stand by my title.

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Re: Roosevelt agreed a proposal to bomb Japan in 1940.

Post by Sid Guttridge » 20 Jul 2021 22:33

Hi Steve,

You post, "What you have to decide Sid is did Roosevelt say he would not agree to help in the the bombing of Japan from China....."

Nope, I don't. You have to put up evidence that backs your thread title, "Roosevelt agreed a proposal to bomb Japan in 1940." You have yet to do so.

The mismatch between your (click-bait?) headline and the actual content of your post is currently considerable.

Only you can sort this out by either making the thread title match your post, or making your post match the thread title.

I don't mind which, but please do one or the other.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Roosevelt agreed a proposal to bomb Japan in 1940.

Post by OpanaPointer » 20 Jul 2021 22:53

FDR was a past master at making people think he agreed with them while intending on a completely different course. He liked to keep things chaotic with he being the only one who understood the whole. As for Morgenthau, he was a bit of a loose cannon. His plan for turning Germany into a pastoral country after WWII is often presented as being the plan FDR approved, though that's not nearly the case.
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Re: Roosevelt agreed a proposal to bomb Japan in 1940.

Post by wm » 20 Jul 2021 23:05

You forgot:
What made the plan more striking was that the highest officials in the U.S. government, including President Franklin D. Roosevelt, approved it. On July 23, 1941, five months before Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt secretly authorized these air strikes. They were set to begin in November, only a few weeks before the date that would live in infamy.
written by Duane Schultz, a not that bad historian.

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Re: Roosevelt agreed a proposal to bomb Japan in 1940.

Post by wm » 20 Jul 2021 23:09

OpanaPointer wrote:
20 Jul 2021 22:53
FDR was a past master at making people think he agreed with them while intending on a completely different course. He liked to keep things chaotic with he being the only one who understood the whole. As for Morgenthau, he was a bit of a loose cannon. His plan for turning Germany into a pastoral country after WWII is often presented as being the plan FDR approved, though that's not nearly the case.
That's informative. Nothing like a good politician.

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Re: Roosevelt agreed a proposal to bomb Japan in 1940.

Post by Takao » 20 Jul 2021 23:41

wm wrote:
20 Jul 2021 23:05
You forgot:
What made the plan more striking was that the highest officials in the U.S. government, including President Franklin D. Roosevelt, approved it. On July 23, 1941, five months before Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt secretly authorized these air strikes. They were set to begin in November, only a few weeks before the date that would live in infamy.
written by Duane Schultz, a not that bad historian.
Yes, that bad a historian, and, apparently not a good reader to boot.

I wonder if he ever read Joint Board 355.

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Re: Roosevelt agreed a proposal to bomb Japan in 1940.

Post by Takao » 20 Jul 2021 23:52

Sid Guttridge wrote:
20 Jul 2021 22:33
Hi Steve,

You post, "What you have to decide Sid is did Roosevelt say he would not agree to help in the the bombing of Japan from China....."

Nope, I don't. You have to put up evidence that backs your thread title, "Roosevelt agreed a proposal to bomb Japan in 1940." You have yet to do so.

The mismatch between your (click-bait?) headline and the actual content of your post is currently considerable.

Only you can sort this out by either making the thread title match your post, or making your post match the thread title.

I don't mind which, but please do one or the other.

Cheers,

Sid.
https://www.warbirdforum.com/elusive.htm

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Re: Roosevelt agreed a proposal to bomb Japan in 1940.

Post by Sid Guttridge » 21 Jul 2021 00:00

Hi wm and Takao,

Thanks. Now we are getting somewhere.

I've read the articles online. They are in agreement but unsourced.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Roosevelt agreed a proposal to bomb Japan in 1940.

Post by Takao » 21 Jul 2021 00:17

Sid Guttridge wrote:
21 Jul 2021 00:00
Hi wm and Takao,

Thanks. Now we are getting somewhere.

I've read the articles online. They are in agreement but unsourced.

Cheers,

Sid.
It is sourced.
Daniel Ford (Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and the American Volunteer Group) has summarized this discussion: "U.S. planes and U.S. pilots, in the employ of China, [would] set the Japanese home islands on fire." Subsequently, President Roosevelt was made aware of, and endorsed, the ideas discussed at that meeting.
Well detailed in chapter 2 - The Special Air Unit

Sources he used are given by chapter in Sources

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