This Day In History: December 7, 1941 CE

By Smaktakula

On which the Japanese imitation of American culture and technology reaches its zenith, when the Japanese government, eager to benefit from Western knowledge, sets off a chain of events which results in its learning a very big lesson.

Although It Took Four Long Years Before The US Could Return The Favor, All Parties Agreed It Was A Blowout For The Ages.


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30 Responses to This Day In History: December 7, 1941 CE

  1. Very Cute, RK hahahahaha ;)

  2. One of those not-so-wise decisions in history. A day that will live in infamy, indeed.

  3. El Guapo says:

    Ah, the price of knowledge.

    As a useless aside, I believe Tora Tora Tora was the first movie to use subtitles, and not foreigners speaking english with hideous accents.

    • That was my number two issue with Valkyrie. It was actually a great movie, but could have been so much better. Of course, I’m sure it made way more money for being in English…

      • Smaktakula says:

        I never saw it. I was kind of turned off by the idea of the plotters as heroes. Don’t get me wrong–killin’ Hitler is the right thing to do in every circumstance, but these guys wanted it done not because they were humanitarians, but because they (rightly) thought that one-balled madman would lead them down the road of ruin.

        And does your number 1 problem with that movie take the form of an actor? ‘Cause it would for me.

      • Exactly. He just wasn’t right for the part.

        I wasn’t clear on just how much they knew about Hitler, from a humanitarian angle. Everyone seemed to realize he was a bad seed, but no one seemed to know just how evil until they actually visited Auschwitz and Dachau. And by then–

      • Smaktakula says:

        I always love to talk about 20th Century history, because it is, to me, unique in that among all the many disciplines and areas of knowledge available to our species, it is one of the precious few in which I’m talking out of something other than my ass. It’s difficult to say definitively how much the bulk of the German people (and perhaps lower-ranking members of the armed forces) knew about the Holocaust while it was occurring. I think as a collective society we think, “Everyone else knew about the Holocaust while it was occurring, how could Germany not know?” I imagine you already see the fallacy in that logic–aside from a few dark rumors, the Holocaust was largely unknown outside the Reich. Moreover, people have an amazing ability to disbelieve the truly horrific. “We’re civilized. We just wouldn’t DO that!” People always find it easier to fool themselves than they think.

        Having said that, I think it very likely that most of the senior officers depicted in Valkyrie were absolutely aware of the full scope of Hitler’s Final Solution.

      • Yeah, unfortunately I think you’re probably right about that, although (unless you’re the conductor) it’s tough to stop a moving train once it’s already in motion. Also, I think racism was way more acceptable. So although the general public would have been horrified at a camp where people were starved and killed, many were surprisingly okay with rounding up people of (any) undesired ethnicity and sending them off to work camps.

        And I feel the same way about modern history. It’s my husband who studied Renaissance up to early modern French History, of which I know literally nothing. Napoleon is nothing more than a tasty dessert to me.

    • Smaktakula says:

      I’ve said it before, I don’t think any knowledge is useless, Guap, especially something interesting like that. I MUCH prefer subtitles to English with a heavy accent and the occasional foreign word “Da! Mein Gott! Si, Senor!”

  4. renxkyoko says:

    Just a bit of WW2 trivia…. immdiately after bombing pearl harbor, the Japanese planes flew to the Philippines and bombed the American bases there, Dec. 7, 1941. The Philippines was a US colony that time.

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  6. whiteladyinthehood says:

    You have a unique sense of humor! You can take any subject matter and make me laugh!

  7. Even Yamamoto knew it was a stupid idea to attack the US. Although you gotta give them credit for being plucky. But ultimately, what did they get for their troubles? A somewhat decent war movie and a pair of mushroom clouds. Kind of unfair, really.

    • Smaktakula says:

      I should have known that you’d be the person to get after the part of the story which, to me, makes it the most interesting. Yamamoto was a badass. They told him to plan an attack. He told them, “Man, I don’t know if this is such a good idea–sleeping giant and all.” They said “Yours is not to question why…” and so he planned one of the most devastating attacks in military history. But it turns out he was right about that sleeping giant thing.

      • Yamamoto really was a badass for saying such an incredibly unpopular thing to his superiors. Poor bastard, he knew what they were in for. I have no idea how you say “Fuck, man, we’re screwed,” in Japanese, but I bet he was saying it.

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  9. calahan says:

    The whole thing was a misunderstanding. The Japanese military complex had flown in shouting “Toga! Toga! Toga!” and were ready to party. The Americans misunderstood and started shooting, which pissed off the Japanese, which, well, you know the rest.

  10. The Hook says:

    Very cool nostalgic post.

  11. jmmcdowell says:

    How differently would the war have gone if the Japanese didn’t precipitate the US entry into it? I think a few “alternate history” novels have probably been written on that subject. I’m just grateful my father made it home in one piece so that many, many years later I could be born.

    • Smaktakula says:

      Well then I’m happy for that, too! Both my grandfathers fought in WWII (pick a side). My American grandfather was actually stationed on the Arizona, but through a rather remarkable twist of fate, left the ship a few months before its infamous rendezvous with history.

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