- 12-02-2012, 21:22 #1
Japan/Germany post WW2 economic recovery
I've been doing my historical research - here's a reminder of how hypocritical the Germans are being about writing of Greek debt.
Marshal Plan (1948 - 1951)
The Marshall Plan (officially the European Recovery Program) was an example of American generosity that I can find few parallels for. Between 1948 - 51 they effectively gave grants or low cost loans to Europe to help it recover from the 2nd World War. Germany was the third biggest recipient ($1.5 billion) after the UK ($3.3 billion) and France ($2.3 billion).
Considering it was just 6 years since the US had spent a lot of blood and money in defeating Germany - and the memory of the concentration camps was still fresh - helping the German economy recover was a real feat of statesmanship.
Marshall Plan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
London Agreement on German External Debts (1953)
Despite Marshall Aid, Germany was still saddled with a lot of external debt. The London Agreement wrote of 50% of the debt and put the rest onto 30 year repayment terms.
The agreement significantly contributed to the growth of the post-war German economy and reemergence of Germany as a world economical power.
So maybe Merkel should remember that when Germany was in a desperate economic situation 60 years ago, it was treated with far more generosity than she now appears to be prepared to extend to Greece.
- 12-02-2012, 23:31 #2
- 13-02-2012, 00:02 #3
- 13-02-2012, 00:24 #4
My understanding is that the major factor in using the bomb was the need to reduce American casualties - calculated as being of the order of 500,000 based on a full scale military invasion.
As to economic damage, the Japanese economy had already been trashed by the US submarine campaign (which was strangling the supply of raw materials) and Le May's strategic bombing campaign - which was burning the heart out of city after city. The Japanese economy was already badly damaged by the time of their surrender.
- 13-02-2012, 00:29 #5
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- 13-02-2012, 00:38 #6
Japan/Germany post WW2 economic recovery
The just of it was IIRC that Japan provided a non-communist buffer to China/Russia in Pacific.
The casulties would have been horrendous on both sides and was for such the primay consideration, but due to the range integral damage to Japan was relatively light (compared to Germany), which is maybe why the economy recovered so quickly.
I only remembered because of a chap on telly tonight talking about his "non-disclosure" agreement that he signed while getting repatriated as a FEPOW.
(Caveat that this an old recollection and could be bollocks).
- 13-02-2012, 00:41 #7
What is worrying about the present Euro crisis is that the way democratic politicians are being pushed aside by Merkozy/Brussels. We've effectively seen new governments in Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy as a result of the financial crisis. And democratic actions like a Greek referendum have been stopped by crude threats.
If the euro is the great idea it is supposed to be, it would be supported by the public across Europe in referenda. Yet Brussels runs scared every time one is mooted...
- 13-02-2012, 01:04 #8
I've just looked up some statistics on the damage to the Japanese economy before the atomic bombs were dropped:
- Oil refining down to 17% of capacity
- Aero engines down to 25% of capacity
- Aircraft production down to 40% of capacity
- Electronics production down to 30% of capacity
178 square miles of industrial area had been burn out in 61 major cities with over 600 major factories destroyed or severely damaged. In addition 80% of Japan's merchant fleet had been sunk via torpedo or mine - a devastating blow for an import dependent nation.
By any standard the Japanese economy was in a parlous state. My reading of the use of the atomic bombs is that they did not greatly increase the damage to the Japanese economy, but - by being a new and powerful weapon - tipped the balance between doves and hawks in the Japanese government enough for Hirohito to instruct that government to surrender.
- 13-02-2012, 01:18 #9
A rational man would not have fought on after the fall of France - Churchill was historian enough to know that without powerful allies the UK was doomed to eventual defeat. (And who could forecast then that Hitler would be insane enough to declare war on Russian and the US).
If we can stand up to [Hitler], all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age, made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.
- 13-02-2012, 03:33 #10
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Those conclusions were wrong. The US Navy didn't win the war simply because of its warships: it won because if built, manned and operated supply vessels in such huge numbers that the fighting fleets could eventually operate off the coast of Japan and still be replenished every day with everything from fuel oil to cartons of ice cream.They even had dozens of small aircraft carriers which regularly met up with the fast carriers to fly off replacement planes.
It was never easy though. Which was one of the reasons the Americans didn't want the Royal Navy back in the Pacific; they were too busy looking after their own ships to worry about a poor relation which would always be on the cadge. The RN was a port based Navy, not a free ranging one -- which was why its battleships nearly had to give up the hunt for the Bismark when their bunker tanks were running out and they had no idea at all of how to refuel big ships in rough weather.
And the really big lesson is not to try to cripple an emerging Asian power by cutting off its oil supplies -- unless you're very, very sure that you know exactly what you're doing. It would have been rather embarrassing if the Japs had detonated an atomic bomb over San Francisco the day after the Hiroshima blast.
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