Roosevelt agreed a proposal to bomb Japan in 1940.

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

Post by Takao » 21 Jul 2021 00:35

you can also find it sourced here.
https://ore.exeter.ac.uk/repository/bit ... sAllowed=y
Start on pg 224.

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

Post by Takao » 21 Jul 2021 02:00

A Few Planes For China - The Birth of the Flying Tigers by Eugenie Buchan, is also well sourced and worth reading concerning this matter.

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

Post by Steve » 21 Jul 2021 09:46

I must admit Sid that I am at something of a loss to understand what you are finding so problematic. Roosevelt agreed a proposal to bomb Japan in 1940, in other words a proposal was made in 1940 about bombing Japan and Roosevelt agreed with the proposal. Presumably you do not agree that the post shows evidence of Roosevelt and Morgenthau agreeing with the proposal and it was just that a proposal. Roosevelt seemingly said that he was very interested in “turning China into an air base for bombing Japan” and this was followed by Morgenthau telling Soong that bombers would not be available till 1942. He did not tell Soong that no bombers would be available for this proposal he told him bombers would not be available till 1942. I take this as agreeing that the proposal could be put into practice in 1942 you presumably do not.

Meaning of proposal - a plan or suggestion, especially a formal or written one, put forward for consideration by others.

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

Post by OpanaPointer » 21 Jul 2021 12:21

I took that to mean "back burner it and maybe it will go away."
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Re: Roosevelt agreed a proposal to bomb Japan in 1940.

Post by Sid Guttridge » 21 Jul 2021 12:51

Hi Takao,

I looked at your last link, which says, "A review of archival material and published memoirs indicates that, on the contrary, in December 1940- January 1941 Roosevelt, Morgenthau and other members of the cabinet were eager to use China as a base for bombing Japan." However, it fails to give a primary source for this assertion.

Is there something I missed in the link?

You post that Daniel Ford, "Sources he used are given by chapter in Sources". The copy I can read on line gives no footnotes at all. Does your copy have footnoting and give the primary archival sources for this account?

Cheers,

Sid
Last edited by Sid Guttridge on 21 Jul 2021 13:09, edited 2 times in total.

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

Post by Sid Guttridge » 21 Jul 2021 12:53

Hi Steve,

Everything I questioned about the limitations of your original post was correct.

Fortunately, others have stepped in to provide some firmer material.

I am now trying to track down the original primary sources for this assertion.

You should welcome this.

Cheers,

Sid.

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

Post by Takao » 21 Jul 2021 13:50

Ford relied heavily in Chapter 2 from this monograph, Fairbank, John King. "Air Program" 15 Jan 1941, written for Lauchlin Currie

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

Post by Takao » 21 Jul 2021 13:57

As to the link in Post #16, the footnotes are at the bottom of the respective pages.

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

Post by Sid Guttridge » 21 Jul 2021 15:54

Hi Takao,

Yes, the footnotes are at the bottom of the respective pages, but not for the relevant quote. That was why I was asking.

The Lauchlin Laurie information seems to be the source for at least two of the three books/articles mentioned, but there doesn't seem to be enough information to track it down to an archival source.

Cheers,

Sid.

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

Post by Takao » 21 Jul 2021 16:24

Sid Guttridge wrote:
21 Jul 2021 15:54
Hi Takao,

Yes, the footnotes are at the bottom of the respective pages, but not for the relevant quote. That was why I was asking.

The Lauchlin Laurie information seems to be the source for at least two of the three books/articles mentioned, but there doesn't seem to be enough information to track it down to an archival source.

Cheers,

Sid.
That is page 202(quote from post #20)...I said to start on page 224 - specifically the last paragraph on pg 224. You will find what you require there. Mostly sourced to Blum, Morganthau Vol II, p.367. Some others may be sprinkled between 217-223, been a while since I read it through.

As to 202, Chennault is correct, the "military" planners were not greatly interested...However, the author says about Roosevelt, Morganthau, and other members of the Cabinet - who were civilian politicians.

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

Post by Takao » 22 Jul 2021 01:28

The last paragraph from page 224

Morgenthau passed on Chiang’s various memoranda to the President, who was ‘simply delighted, particularly with the one about the bombers.’1098 On 18 December Roosevelt stated that he had been dreaming about this for years and proposed that ‘the four of you work out a program,’ referring to Morgenthau, Hull, Knox and Stimson.1099 Roosevelt turned to Knox and asked ‘how about that long distance bomber that you have? How about the Admiral of the Fleet? He has a four-engine bomber. Does he need that?’1100

1098 Blum, Morgenthau Vol. II, p.367
1099 Blum, Morgenthau Vol. II, p.367
1100 LOC, Morgenthau, Reel 33 Vol. 342-A ‘T.V. Soong, Mrs Klotz, Mr. Young December 20 1940 4:00 pm’, p.18


PS disregard the previous about 217-223, having reread it, there is some material, but it applies to Cabinet members, not FDR directly.

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

Post by Sid Guttridge » 22 Jul 2021 06:37

Hi Takao,

Thanks.

The first two are from a secondary source (Blum). As he was a Yale professor, presumably his books were sourced in primary material.

The third, is a primary source, but it doesn't actually say that, "Roosevelt agreed a proposal to bomb Japan in 1940."

It seems that in principle Roosevelt momentarily liked the idea of giving the Chinese bombers with which they could strike Japan's home islands offensively but, when the likely Japanese reaction was factored in, this was watered down into the AVG plan, which only envisaged sending fighters tasked defensively. Bombing Japan was apparently one of many talking points, rather than a plan.

I am being cautious on this because the further we get from primary material the more we are vulnerable to editorialising by secondary sources. We are, I think, the fourth or fifth link in a chain of Chinese whispers discussing this issue.

Many thanks,

Sid.

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

Post by Steve » 22 Jul 2021 21:52

I do not understand why there is a problem with the primary source for Roosevelt thinking that the proposal to bomb Japan from China was an idea he agreed with. I provided the source in in my first post. The source is the papers donated to the Hoover Institution by the family of T.V.Soong in 2004. The Hoover Institution is a highly reputable organisation and I copied and pasted directly from their web site, a link was given so that anyone interested can read it for themselves. Of course we have to admit the possibility that Soong lied in his personal papers.

"In April 2004, the hoover Institution opened nineteen boxes of the restricted personal papers of T. V. soong, a leading official in the nationalist government from the late 1920s to 1949, along with two thousand documents donated by soong family. At the same time the hoover Institution and the Kuomintang, or nationalist Party, agreed to preserve those records and make them available for researchers. In late 2005 Chiang Kai-shek’s family placed his diaries and those of Chiang Ching-kuo in the hoover Archives"

Surely there cannot be any doubt that Roosevelt and co would have understood that actions such as providing bombers to bomb Japan from China would likely bring on a violent reaction from Japan. Did they perhaps want a violent reaction?

Incidentally not always appreciated is that Soon played a major role in the formation of the Flying Tigers.

“by early 1941, soong and Chennault, assisted by the White house, had worked out a plan to establish the American Volunteer Group (AVG) in Washington. With the consent of President roosevelt, the AVG began to recruit pilots and sign contracts with them as agents of the Central Aircraft manufac-turing Corporation (CAmCo), a Chinese government entity. As an initiator and creator of the AVG, soong named these energetic fighters the “Flying Tigers.” In a letter to Chennault, soong said that China’s air force, with the assistance of AVG crews, would be greatly enhanced, “just like a tiger [which] gets two wings.”31In the eyes of the Flying Tigers, soong was AVG’s “old friend and protector.”32

I found the Warbirds link provided by Takao very interesting.

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

Post by rcocean » 22 Jul 2021 22:36

Steve wrote:
21 Jul 2021 09:46
I must admit Sid that I am at something of a loss to understand what you are finding so problematic. Roosevelt agreed a proposal to bomb Japan in 1940, in other words a proposal was made in 1940 about bombing Japan and Roosevelt agreed with the proposal.
Ickes in his diary says the Cabinet discussed bombing Japan from China with American supplied planes and "Volunteer" pilots". And they discussed giving China $100 million in credits with the British supposedly chipping in $60 million. There are also some hilariously bigoted remarks about the Japanese being "poor airmen" :lol: Its pages 387-388 in my copy.

Can anyone doubt that FDR, who approved the "Flying Tigers" would've been willing to base USA supplied Planes flying under a Chinese flag to bomb Tokyo? If it wasn't done, its because the planes weren't available or needed in the UK or USSR.

Change of topic. Reading the Ickes diaries is like swimming in slime. This old lawyer, who never left the USA, and knew nothing of the world, wanted to let millions die from the British blockade. And to Ickes anyone who opposed FDR on any issue, was either evil or stupid and had to be gotten destroyed or neutralized.

Harold Ickes was pure scum. And no I don't a have primary source for that :lol: Its an opinon.

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

Post by Sid Guttridge » 23 Jul 2021 15:18

Hi Steve,

The reputability of the Hoover Institute is not in question.

It has Soong's papers, but as far as I can see he never met Roosevelt.

You say, "Surely there cannot be any doubt that Roosevelt and co would have understood that actions such as providing bombers to bomb Japan from China would likely bring on a violent reaction from Japan." Yup. Perhaps that is why it was never a plan, just one of several talking point.

The actual plan that emerged from these talking points seems to have only involved the defensively tasked fighters of the AVG, not offensively tasked bombers capable of hitting Japan.

That, in the winter of 1940/41, Roosevelt discussed a proposal to give the Chinese the aircraft with which they could bomb Japan, is not in question. But where is the plan to put this into effect?

Cheers,

Sid.

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