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 (1939-1945) WWII
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Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 3882
Joined: 2004
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/19/2020 8:37:06 PM
John R, there were problems when US forces arrived in England. Can you honestly imagine there wouldn’t be? If cultural differences suggest to you anti-US bias, I can only say you’re in a different loop than most. There were some superficial issues that caused problems, which poor Tommy described as “over-paid, over-sexed and over here”. The Tommys might have been pissed that US troops could buy and bribe British girls, but for horny Yanks what could be better than a having a nicer uniform, more money and access to a PX that might turn a tinned ham or pair of nylons into sex.

Interestingly, until the US was finally forced into the war, Canucks were not exactly well-liked by portions of the British populatin. We were also better paid than Tommys, and when we first arrived (very late 1939) many Tommys were in France or North Africa. And we had at least a partial connections with Brits for a host of reasons.

Many Canuck troops found their family roots, and were reintegrated into families that had been lost. That was not an option for US troops.

John R, one of the major issues between UK civilians and US troops centred on blacks. The Brits, at the time, had no problem with black US troops. Only the US troops did. This never became a major issue, but white US troops carried the can for some US folks who couldn’t abide blacks.

John R., you attempted to carry a restrictive and repulsive culture or set of values to a host nation. They told you to piss off. I think the host nation can call its own shots.

Cheers. And stay safe.
Brian G
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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre PA USA
Posts: 1158
Joined: 2004
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/20/2020 12:24:50 AM
Brian G,

I'm not on VP's case, get off mine.
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A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country. "to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"
John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre PA USA
Posts: 1158
Joined: 2004
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/20/2020 12:36:35 AM
Brian G,

And the UK's record on race relations is spotless with the natives in India, Singapore, Burma and all the other colonies of Empire so culturally and economically equal to their colonial masters. Those that live in a glass house shouldn't throw stones.
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A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country. "to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"
MikeMeech
 UK
Posts: 511
Joined: 2012
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/20/2020 6:07:00 AM
Quote:
Brian G,

And the UK's record on race relations is spotless with the natives in India, Singapore, Burma and all the other colonies of Empire so culturally and economically equal to their colonial masters. Those that live in a glass house shouldn't throw stones.


Hi
I will try to give some examples from 1944, this will be using the language of the period otherwise it will cease to be 'quoting the sources'. In the book 'Yanks at Southampton' by Ray Pothecary (1986), this concerns the ''14th Major Port of Transportation Corps' of the US Army. Pages 51-52 has some information on 'Racial Incidents' from the Port Provost Marshal reports,. From December 1943: "...great numbers of Negro personnel had been encamped at Southampton." The figures for 'Racial Incidents' during 1944 (there is a monthly breakdown) were 30 incidents, it states that:

"In a study of these 30 incidents, 26 involved only US service personnel. Three involved civilians, and one a British serviceman." The text continues with: "Most of the assault cases were unpremeditated although an attack might be triggered off by a sight of a white woman in the company of a Negro or white soldier. Severe punishment was meted out to offenders if they were caught." The main causes, according to the Provost Marshal, were: "dating of white women by Negros make some white soldiers angry, a psychological reaction to the newly-found freedom in mingling with whites on the part of Negroes, the lack of sufficient recreational facilities, the absence of Negro women in the area, and the lack of appreciation of British monetary value."

Although solutions were difficult, as the Provost Marshal stated that:

"A correct solution has not been found in America, therefore, it has been impossible to discover adequate corrective measures , in this theater, in the short time allotted. This is an off-shoot of the basic problem in America; there are variations arising from the hospitality of the English people."

Of course these are the cases that came to the attention of the Provost Marshal, other incidents cannot be ruled out. The publication also mentions 'Incidents between Yanks and Brits', pages 52-53, again during 1944, the Provost Marshal states that most of them were "by British troops on a smaller group of Americans". To cut down the incidents a formation of Allied Service Police was introduced, this was composed of "men from the British Army, the Royal Navy, the American Army and Navy, and Southampton Police; and co-operation between American and British law enforcement bodies." Various other regulations were introduced by the British authorities against British troops and sailors.

Again the 'reasons' were varied, the Provost Marshal listed the following:

"1. Difference in the pay scales of the two countries. 2. Boasting by one of the two parties. 3. Preference shown by many British women for American troops, possibly due to the difference in pay scales. 4. Difference in way of living. 5. American consumption of rationed British beer and spirits."

I should say that one of my aunt's became a GI bride of one of the men from that American unit referred to in the book.

I hope that is of interest.

Mike
vpatrick
MA MA USA
Posts: 2086
Joined: 2020
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/20/2020 4:15:55 PM
Quote:
Vin, this is not on topic but a few posts back, on this thread, you mentioned that the Australians were hospitable to the US but you said something about the British being less so. What did you mean by that? Were you talking about the US experience in the UK while waiting for the invasion?

Cheers,

George



George

Yes I did mean while the GIs that were waiting for the invasion of Normandy. Im not sure if the Australians and Americans were compatible culturally more so than with the British, that may be answered better by the Australians or anyone with more knowledge about the subject than myself. I know the Australians were very appreciative but there may be other factors I dont know about? I think the posts after my comment covered all of the reasons why the GIs were not as well received by the British as the Australians. Could the British civilians(hosts) been more appreciative to the American GIs after being all by themselves for so long? I dunno wasn't there and I have never been to Britain or Australia., Americans aren't the greatest tourists not sure how a million or so 18 year old GIs behaved themselves for an extended period of time in a country as small as Britain, not that great I would imagine and the reports are not flattering, it seems the Australians were more patient but there may be mitigating factors as to why or maybe not.

vpatrick
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nuts
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11876
Joined: 2009
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/20/2020 5:59:23 PM
Thanks Vin,

Brian mentioned that Canadians were sometimes unappreciated over there as well. The Canadians had been in the UK since Feb. of 1940. Some had been training from that time until the D-day invasion and they were bored. They did cause some trouble, mostly drunk and disorderly. That didn't go down well with the British people.

And they had more money than the British soldiers though not more than the Americans. And Canadians had some of their pay held back to be sent home. And so, British men could be resentful of Canadian soldiers dating their women. About 48,000 women married Canadian soldiers during the war. Most were British. It is also true that many British women became pregnant by Canadian soldiers. Some of those soldiers returned home without knowing that they were fathers. There is a group in the UK that has tried to link adult Britons with their birth father in Canada.

The Canadians did have an advantage over the Americans in that they were from the Commonwealth. Many had relatives over there. My Dad and his two brothers were stationed in England but whenever they were granted leave, they could hop a train and stay with Scottish relatives. They did this frequently. Leave was important to the soldiers.

I can tell you that I have been to the UK a couple of times and most often it is assumed that I am an American. On more than one occasion when asked what part of the US I am from, I have watched the faces of the British person soften when I tell them that I am Canadian. They all seem to know someone that lives in Canada.

So there is, I suspect, a Commonwealth tie that binds. I feel very comfortable when I am over there. Nice folks but I do try to behave as they do. A small town pub in the UK may not appreciate loud and raucous behaviour from someone from the other side of the pond.

But fights between British troops and Canadian troops were also quite common. British army morale reports indicate that their men were jealous of the attention that the Canadians and Americans but also the Royal Air Force received.

In the first year that the Canadians were there, 221 men were charged by local police. Only 63 convictions though.
Canadians apparently had higher rates than British soldiers for public drunkenness and speeding.

All armies in Britain were concerned with the morale of their troops and even though they were training hard, they were getting browned off at inactivity. Getting into trouble can be a sign of poor morale.

So I don't know whether the American men were getting into trouble at the same rate as the Canadians but if they were, that is one reason for the general public to get ticked off. Correct me if I am wrong but I recall that Britain passed a special act that exempted US service people from British law. So if an American was picked up by British police, I presume that no charges were laid unless it was under US military law.

You haven't really said how this inhospitable attitude of the British manifested itself though, Vin. What have you heard?

So I don't know where you are getting your information but here is a news article about how the British people used to invite American soldiers into their homes. This may change your point of view a little.

[Read More]

As well there is a book mentioned in the link above and I have seen references to it in other sources.

Juliet Gardiner's book Overpaid, Oversexed, And Over Here: The American GI In World War II Britain

Has anyone read this book and if so does it support the assertion that the GI's were unwelcome in GB?

I did find an interview with the author, Juliet Gardiner.

[Read More]

It seems that there was a clash of cultures that was to be expected. It wouldn't make sense to be overtly anti-American if you have to fight a war with them, would it?

Cheers,

George
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 3882
Joined: 2004
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/20/2020 6:20:50 PM
John R., re: Quote:
And the UK's record on race relations is spotless with the natives in India, Singapore, Burma and all the other colonies of Empire so culturally and economically equal to their colonial masters. Those that live in a glass house shouldn't throw stones.

Don’t think I mentioned any of that, but I agree with you that British race relations left a great deal to be desired, particularly in regards natives across their empire and commonwealth. IMHO, this was so not just across SE Asia but in Canada, South Africa (and most their other Africa holdings) and Australia as well. Only in New Zealand did they seem to get it right, and tht may say something of the relative strength of the Maoris.

Nevertheless, the British in the UK found the majority of young black troops to be polite, honest, entertaining, generous. The young women also found them incredible dancers, and dancing (like movies) was a huge part of youthful entertainment at the time.

Mike Meese’s post gives evidence of the issues that ensued, but they fell largely into three types:
• Tommy/GI challenges;
• White/black GI set-tos;
• British civilian/white GI arguments.
These were not a huge issue at any time, but they were a constant tension.

There is a fine volume on the topic, Rich Relations: the Americaan Occupation of Britain 1942-1945, written by one David Reynolds. George G. Blackburn’s Where the Hell Are the Guns? doesn’t focus on similar tensions between Brits and Canucks, but it does talk (IIRC) about similar tensions.

Cheers. And stay safe.
Brian G
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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
vpatrick
MA MA USA
Posts: 2086
Joined: 2020
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/20/2020 7:04:29 PM
George,


I think the term Anti-American is a little strong and I never used it concerning the treatment of GIs in Britain I just indicated I thought the GIs had a better go of it Australia. Im also sure many well behaved GIs were treated well in the UK and who knows how a war stressed populace viewed a smiling, happy, new to war looking for a good time bunch of Americans showing up in their quiet villages as their own fighting men may have been held captive somewhere or already deployed?

[Read More]

My comments concerning the Australians may have been simplistic but were comments based on lifelong hearsay and not an academic study.

[Read More]

One thing I took from reading a little more about this was the "this could be the last year of my life" affect on American troops stationed in Allied countries and how it may have contributed to bad behavior not an excuse for some of the terrible things committed such as rape and robbery done by US troops but should be acknowledged. Alot to this story it was a stressful time for young men and civilians no matter the allied country and George was glad you said something concerning my off the cuff comments could be the source for another thread or continue it here sometimes threads go where they go Im not a thread dictator when its mine.

edit: I will say and I hope heads dont explode its a less than serious comment(s) but couldn't stop myself; The last time British troops were in my country they always did not behave either. A massacre happened not far from where Im pecking on this keyboard, a little farther they tried to take our guns and gunpowder where the shot was heard round the world. hope I dont get called to the chalkboard.


vpatrick
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nuts
Wazza
Sydney  Australia
Posts: 643
Joined: 2005
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/20/2020 7:46:12 PM
Vpatrick the article misses when the 6th Div returned to Australia the incidents of violence between US and Australian servicemen increased dramatically, including the battle of Brisbane on 26-27 Nov 1942.

vpatrick
MA MA USA
Posts: 2086
Joined: 2020
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/20/2020 8:11:14 PM
Hi Wazza

Just read about the battle of Brisbane never knew about it. I will say my comments concerned Australian civilians and GIs but Australian civilians were also involved in the mayhem in Brisbane, the Japanese used this battle as propaganda tool as well, I wonder what the affect of Japanese propaganda had on Australian GI relations? I would guess just a bit not much.

vpatrick
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nuts
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11876
Joined: 2009
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/20/2020 8:48:22 PM
Quote:
edit: I will say and I hope heads dont explode its a less than serious comment(s) but couldn't stop myself; The last time British troops were in my country they always did not behave either. A massacre happened not far from where Im pecking on this keyboard, a little farther they tried to take our guns and gunpowder where the shot was heard round the world. hope I dont get called to the chalkboard.


Vin, don't forget that British troops were back in your country during the War of 1812. So were some Canadian militia.

And your soldiers invaded British territory on multiple occasions where they behaved badly, burning and pillaging.

But WW2 was different. We were allies. I have read that some US personnel bitched about everything in GB from the weather to the side of the road that they had to drive on.

You've got me interested in this topic because it must have been difficult for the higher command in both armies to ensure that relations remained as positive as possible.

I found this little article in a British newspaper called the Express (I know nothing about it) and it describes some of the poor opinions that the British had of the Americans and the poor opinions that the Americans had of the British.

It seems that the command of both were aware of possible tensions and so in 1943 they created a scheme whereby soldiers from one side would be imbedded in units of the other. Now I cannot corroborate that but if true it would seem that they hoped that if they really got to know one another, then relations would improve.

Quote:
One American engineer had great affection for his new “buddies” while one Tommy described the Americans he worked with as “a very nice set of fellows indeed”.


Quote:
One American soldier summed it up: “When I was back in England I didn’t have such a good impression of the English but when you fight with them and next to them they are really all right.”


WW2 in Britain was quite a social experiment when you think about it.

Here's the rest of the news article

[Read More]

Cheers,

George

vpatrick
MA MA USA
Posts: 2086
Joined: 2020
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/20/2020 9:49:47 PM
Quote:
edit: I will say and I hope heads dont explode its a less than serious comment(s) but couldn't stop myself; The last time British troops were in my country they always did not behave either. A massacre happened not far from where Im pecking on this keyboard, a little farther they tried to take our guns and gunpowder where the shot was heard round the world. hope I dont get called to the chalkboard.

Vin, don't forget that British troops were back in your country during the War of 1812. So were some Canadian militia.


I had a feeling I was going to be brought back to the chalkboard but all good and Im glad you did you reminded me British troops actually burned down the White House in the war of 1812 the real last time British troops were here and we were actually a Republic rather than a British colony we got a little testy concerning impressing of our sailors among other things, the Boston Massacre seems small potatoes now. I always forget about that war,(easy to do) that would be similar to having American troops burning down the British Parliament or Buckingham Palace but as I said my comments were in jest as they are now.

Yeah and I agree this subject has me interested as well and spent some time today looking into it today because of you and I thank you for that I learned a few things I might not have. One thing I became aware of was "The Battle of Brisbane" as Wazza suggested, I thought its heading at first was a Japanese incursion into Brisbane then I read about it . I dunno it seems to me more and more that human endeavors, actions, interactions no matter what they are are never perfect some go better than others the end results and impressions are just a balance over what was good and what was bad a scale kinda thing.

Good stuff George

vpatrick
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nuts
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 3882
Joined: 2004
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/20/2020 10:52:13 PM
VP, you say: Quote:
I think the term Anti-American is a little strong and I never used it concerning the treatment of GIs in Britain I just indicated I thought the GIs had a better go of it Australia. Im also sure many well behaved GIs were treated well in the UK and who knows how a war stressed populace viewed a smiling, happy, new to war looking for a good time bunch of Americans showing up in their quiet villages as their own fighting men may have been held captive somewhere or already deployed?

Thank you for saying that, because to some extent that’s what this was all about. Hosts of US service men and women – whites, blacks, officers, troops, support battalions and the like – were in fact invited to “invade” GB. And most of them behaved well, and tried to heed the rather naive pamphlets concerning conduct they were supplied with. The impact wasn’t uniform; USAAF were concentrated in Norfolk and Suffolk, while US Army concentrations were increasingly in the Southwest.

At the same time, it is kinda meaningless to argue there were no problems between civilians and foreign soldiers, or to accept that some of the problems may have been caused by US troop conduct – perhaps attitude more than behaviour. The nasty stuff – the rapes, murders, muggings, seductions, robberies and the like – were perpetrated by both sides, but were not the norm. This was not one-sided; it would take a brave GI indeed to take on a Piccadilly Commando and her pimp.

My understanding of much of the tension concerning black servicemen/women revolves around white GIs determining that certain pubs and inns would become white only drinking establishments, and then driving the blacks out to find a different location. That may have been an acceptable behaviour in the US, but was foreign to Brits. I think that misguided attempt at appropriating a 1,000 year old tradition, was an insult that the Brits saw as meaningless ugliness.

This is a weird topic that I think needs some serious exploration. We talk too glibly about allies, or about unity of purpose, when that was not always the case. There were issues between anglophone and francophone Canadians; there was mistrust of any Free French forces; there was an ugly struggle between white and black GIs; there were questions about the commitments of “Native” troops out of India and Pakistan, whether Hindu or Muslim or Sikh. There were Sikh troops fighting for the Wehrmacht and Indian troops allied with IJA.

Cheers. And stay safe.
Brian G
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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre PA USA
Posts: 1158
Joined: 2004
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/20/2020 11:14:19 PM
Brian G,

You went directly to African American discrimination pointing out how non discriminating the British were and that the US being a "racist" society was a problem in relations. How can you be so inclusive and open minded towards segregated US GI's and be so racist towards your own colonial empire? Immense hypocrites or a little massage of the data to meet a preconceived conclusion?
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A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country. "to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"
vpatrick
MA MA USA
Posts: 2086
Joined: 2020
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/20/2020 11:44:20 PM
Quote:
Brian G,

You went directly to African American discrimination pointing out how non discriminating the British were and that the US being a "racist" society was a problem in relations. How can you be so inclusive and open minded towards segregated US GI's and be so racist towards your own colonial empire? Immense hypocrites or a little massage of the data to meet a preconceived conclusion?


John

In all fairness Brian did mention the racial issues of the British empire concerning its colonies and doesnt dismiss what happened. Both subjects are not mutually exclusive they exist on the same timeline somewhat.
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nuts
vpatrick
MA MA USA
Posts: 2086
Joined: 2020
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/21/2020 12:16:31 AM
Hi John

Started thinking, the Europeans judge us on racial issuers I tend to think you have a point but we must be more diplomatic. As the Europeans judge Americans for racism, slavery started in Portugal, the English brutalized all of their colonies and many of the estates in Britain that are still standing were built by racially abusing another race. The British did not occupy India because they wanted to help they wanted money.

Yes the US has made terrible racial mistakes but so hasn't western Europe just 80 years ago germans tried to wipe the Jews off the face of the earth. it wasnt just the Germans either.


vpatrick
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nuts
morris crumley
Dunwoody GA USA
Posts: 2952
Joined: 2007
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/21/2020 12:41:06 AM
Some things are not really to just let go.

"...you attempted to carry a repressive and repulsive culture or set of values to a host nation. They told you to piss off. I think the host nation can call it`s own shots."

If the "host nation" can call it`s own shots...then it should fight it`s own damn wars. Twice the Yanks had to go "over there" in two damn decades to help out the European crap....some of which we deal with to this day in the Sykes Pecot brilliance of England and France!
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vpatrick
MA MA USA
Posts: 2086
Joined: 2020
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/21/2020 12:55:30 AM
Quote:
Hi John

Started thinking, the Europeans judge us on racial issuers I tend to think you have a point but we must be more diplomatic. As the Europeans judge Americans for racism, slavery started in Portugal, the English brutalized all of their colonies and many of the estates in Britain that are still standing were built by racially abusing another race. The British did not occupy India because they wanted to help they wanted money.

Yes the US has made terrible racial mistakes but so hasn't western Europe just 80 years ago germans tried to wipe the Jews off the face of the earth. Jews were hated throughout Europe .
vpatrick

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nuts
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 3882
Joined: 2004
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/21/2020 1:12:19 AM
John R, I guess this is one other thing we cannot talk about. It seems anything that might question US values is considered non-discussable. Silly, really, and no way to determine what might be discussed historically. I’m responding, just to make sure you understand, to your:Quote:
Brian G,

You went directly to African American discrimination pointing out how non discriminating the British were and that the US being a "racist" society was a problem in relations. How can you be so inclusive and open minded towards segregated US GI's and be so racist towards your own colonial empire? Immense hypocrites or a little massage of the data to meet a preconceived conclusion?

You give me no reference points for your comments, but I assume they are my most recent post including your name. This is what I said:Quote:
John R., re: Quote:
And the UK's record on race relations is spotless with the natives in India, Singapore, Burma and all the other colonies of Empire so culturally and economically equal to their colonial masters. Those that live in a glass house shouldn't throw stones.

Don’t think I mentioned any of that, but I agree with you that British race relations left a great deal to be desired, particularly in regards natives across their empire and commonwealth. IMHO, this was so not just across SE Asia but in Canada, South Africa (and most their other Africa holdings) and Australia as well. Only in New Zealand did they seem to get it right, and tht may say something of the relative strength of the Maoris.

This is not going “directly to African American discrimination[sic]”. It is agreeing that the points you have raised are legitimate points. My comment about British values spans half the bloody world, John, and a time period damned near as long as the US has existed. So don’t tell me I went directly to the minor, embarrassing existence of US racism. Learn to read.

I went on to say, Quote:
Nevertheless, the British in the UK found the majority of young black troops to be polite, honest, entertaining, generous. The young women also found them incredible dancers, and dancing (like movies) was a huge part of youthful entertainment at the time.

Nevertheless is a word often used in place of the phrase, “Despite that, …”. And I was specific about returning the argument to what happened in GB in certain situations where US black troops and British civilians met, and how for the most part those meetings went. You may have missed “the British in the UK”, of course. You do seem to miss some words in others’ posts. So far, by the way, I’ve not raised the issues which would cause some grief for Brits adapting to the increasing US presence in their country.

What I did say is: Quote:
Mike Meese’s post gives evidence of the issues that ensued, but they fell largely into three types:
• Tommy/GI challenges;
• White/black GI set-tos;
• British civilian/white GI arguments.
These were not a huge issue at any time, but they were a constant tension.

I was trying to continue to discuss the topic without inciting irrational response. Guess I failed. Should I simply have said that young British women didn’t like being told they shouldn’t dance with blacks (and you bet that wasn’t the term used). Or that British publicans didn’t like white GIs determining that black GIs were no longer welcome in their pubs. Or that British Tommys and matelots and fliers didn’t appreciate what they considered unsubstantiated boasting by young, untested, relatively badly trained boys from America?

God help me, I went on to suggest two interesting volumes, one dealing specifically with US troops in GB and the other at least touching on similar issues involving Canadian troops there from late 1939.Quote:
There is a fine volume on the topic, Rich Relations: the Americaan Occupation of Britain 1942-1945, written by one David Reynolds. George G. Blackburn’s Where the Hell Are the Guns? doesn’t focus on similar tensions between Brits and Canucks, but it does talk (IIRC) about similar tensions.


I’ll be honest. Your response is challenging enough that I don’t know if your accusing me of cooking data to attack “America”, suggesting I’m presenting the British as non-discriminating, trying to provide an John R, I guess this is one other thing we cannot talk about. It seems anything that might question US values is considered non-discussable. Silly, really, and no way to determine what might be discussed historically. I’m responding, just to make sure you understand, to your:Quote:
Brian G,

You went directly to African American discrimination pointing out how non discriminating the British were and that the US being a "racist" society was a problem in relations. How can you be so inclusive and open minded towards segregated US GI's and be so racist towards your own colonial empire? Immense hypocrites or a little massage of the data to meet a preconceived conclusion?

You give me no reference points for your comments, but I assume they are my most recent post including your name. This is what I said:Quote:
John R., re: Quote:
And the UK's record on race relations is spotless with the natives in India, Singapore, Burma and all the other colonies of Empire so culturally and economically equal to their colonial masters. Those that live in a glass house shouldn't throw stones.

Don’t think I mentioned any of that, but I agree with you that British race relations left a great deal to be desired, particularly in regards natives across their empire and commonwealth. IMHO, this was so not just across SE Asia but in Canada, South Africa (and most their other Africa holdings) and Australia as well. Only in New Zealand did they seem to get it right, and tht may say something of the relative strength of the Maoris.

This is not going “directly to African American discrimination[sic]”. It is agreeing that the points you have raised are legitimate points. My comment about British values spans half the bloody world, John, and a time period damned near as long as the US has existed. So don’t tell me I went directly to the minor, embarrassing existence of US racism. Learn to read.

I went on to say, Quote:
Nevertheless, the British in the UK found the majority of young black troops to be polite, honest, entertaining, generous. The young women also found them incredible dancers, and dancing (like movies) was a huge part of youthful entertainment at the time.

Nevertheless is a word often used in place of the phrase, “Despite that, …”. And I was specific about returning the argument to what happened in GB in certain situations where US black troops and British civilians met, and how for the most part those meetings went. You may have missed “the British in the UK”, of course. You do seem to miss some words in others’ posts. So far, by the way, I’ve not raised the issues which would cause some grief for Brits adapting to the increasing US presence in their country.

What I did say is: Quote:
Mike Meese’s post gives evidence of the issues that ensued, but they fell largely into three types:
• Tommy/GI challenges;
• White/black GI set-tos;
• British civilian/white GI arguments.
These were not a huge issue at any time, but they were a constant tension.

I was trying to continue to discuss the topic without inciting irrational response. Guess I failed. Should I simply have said that young British women didn’t like being told they shouldn’t dance with blacks (and you bet that wasn’t the term used). Or that British publicans didn’t like white GIs determining that black GIs were no longer welcome in their pubs. Or that British Tommys and matelots and fliers didn’t appreciate what they considered unsubstantiated boasting by young, untested, relatively badly trained boys from America?

God help me, I went on to suggest two interesting volumes, one dealing specifically with US troops in GB and the other at least touching on similar issues involving Canadian troops there from late 1939.Quote:
There is a fine volume on the topic, Rich Relations: the Americaan Occupation of Britain 1942-1945, written by one David Reynolds. George G. Blackburn’s Where the Hell Are the Guns? doesn’t focus on similar tensions between Brits and Canucks, but it does talk (IIRC) about similar tensions.


I’ll be honest. Your response is challenging enough that I don’t know if your accusing me of cooking data to attack “America”, suggesting I’m presenting the British as non-discriminating, trying to provide an “apologia” for US GIs, and “being so racist towards your colonial empire”.

I don’t know how I can respond further. I like the information you provide on certain subjects, and don’t question most of your comments , particularly when dealing with the PTO in WW2. You have a lot of good thoughts, for which I thank you. But you do tend to have the ability to misunderstand issues on a colossal scale. And at least IMHO, that’s getting boring.

Cheers. And stay safe.
Brian G
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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
vpatrick
MA MA USA
Posts: 2086
Joined: 2020
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/21/2020 1:40:39 AM
Brian,

Americans get bashed alot we get defensive because we are constantly bashed .



vpatrick
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nuts
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5186
Joined: 2004
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/21/2020 5:07:56 AM
Let's not forget what a brilliant success the whole Anglo American effort was.

There were bound to be frictions and resentments. Bearing in mind the perils, fatigue, fear, hardships and deprivations that had afflicted this small island for several years, it's no wonder that there were occasional problems. British people tend to be reserved, and this is too often misconstrued as hostility. Jealousy is an unattractive attribute, but, to a degree, it is understandable, especially when British girls were being swept off their feet - literally - by energetic and exciting young fellas with money to burn.

But, Good Grief !.....didn't it turn out well ?

Mike Meech gave us his brilliant rendition of narrative facts, and balanced it with a parting comment about his own aunt becoming a GI bride.

I, too, have similar family folklore.

There was also a Canadian soldier who remained lifelong friends with us.

A comment about how this impinges on the original thread : there was a British airman on the US aircraft that dropped the Nagasaki bomb, wasn't there ? His name was Leonard Cheshire.

Regards, Phil

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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11876
Joined: 2009
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/21/2020 8:50:45 AM
Quote:
Brian,

Americans get bashed alot we get defensive because we are constantly bashed .


I just bought a bunch of guns.

You cant defund the police and take my guns


vpatrick



Very odd post Vin. And no emoticon so I cannot tell whether you are serious or joking or whether the "gun" comments are related to the first statement in any way at all.

What does your purchase of a bunch of guns (and yeah, that's scary my friend) have to do with America bashing?

BTW, do you ever consider that some of the bashing, as you call it, is based upon legitimate criticism? Or is that impossible to fathom?

Cheers,

George
vpatrick
MA MA USA
Posts: 2086
Joined: 2020
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/21/2020 9:51:23 AM
George,

My comments about Americans being bashed was an attempt to show why Americans go on the defensive sometimes, I do fathom why we are reminded daily if not hourly.
The gun comments were a comments about defunding the police in America and race relations today since a conversation about Hiroshima and Nagasaki went this way (which is fine) I deleted most of it remembering I was not on LFF as you can tell the jumps between lines and wanted to start over then gave up it is disjointed and should not have left it that way. I also deleted a post on LFF about federalism and just left a few lines. Americans are buying guns in record numbers because of the threat about defunding the police that was where I was going with my stand alone statements it was connected to a larger argument that I eventually felt should be left on LFF left the headings thinking maybe Ill start over got distracted and went to bed. Nothing scary intended I deleted the disjointed statements.
vpatrick
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nuts
John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre PA USA
Posts: 1158
Joined: 2004
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/21/2020 3:39:49 PM
Brian G,

The quote from you was something along the lines of "you bring a ugly culture to a host country and they tell you to piss off." That is what brought out my comment on the Empire race relations.

Oh and your comment that African Americans, because of their race, are good "swing" dancers is a racist comment.

The second is me responding to the "I don't think I mentioned any of that" to point out what hypocrisy your point is.

Mike Mech didn't give the context. How many civilians in the area? How many African American troops? How many white troops? How many British troops? How many incident involving only white troops in the same period? How many involving only AA troops in same period? He is also giving only 1 month. Is that the high? the low? the average?

Plus excuse me VPat brought up the "American experience" in the United Kingdom not specifically the "African American experience" it you who has redefined the parameters of discussion.

And with respect you tend to take the anti US stance and IMO need to be called on it. We xan discuss any subject but you and another poster just don't seem to want anybody who disagrees in the conversation.
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A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country. "to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11876
Joined: 2009
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/21/2020 4:15:34 PM
Brian's posts were more than fair and balanced. They included references.

It is important to read complete posts and to try to understand them before going off half cocked.

It is childish to make an oblique reference to "another poster" to prove that you have an "enemies of the state" list.

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre PA USA
Posts: 1158
Joined: 2004
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/21/2020 5:02:20 PM
Georgie Porgie no enemies of the state just a world class asshole from Centre Hastings.
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A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country. "to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11876
Joined: 2009
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/21/2020 5:37:19 PM
Quote:
Georgie Porgie no enemies of the state just a world class asshole from Centre Hastings.


This behaviour has no place on this forum, John. Whether you can understand it or not, you are diminished in the eyes of the others here when you use language like this.
DT509er
Santa Rosa CA USA
Posts: 987
Joined: 2005
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/21/2020 8:47:18 PM
Outside of the nuclear attacks amongst members, I'd like to catch up a bit with this post (damn fires.., AGAIN!).

I posted a quote from Marine Eugene Sledge on my initial reply and I will defer to him once again. While I do not have the direct quote in front of me, during an interview Sledge was asked was it right to use the A-bombs, his reply was, IMO telling of the general feeling amongst those who were actually fighting the Japanese. Sledge mentions that planning was on for the invasion of Japan proper and that after all that he had seen at Peleliu and Okinawa, he and many of his brothers in arms had seen the fanatical, fierceness of the Japanese soldier/sailors to not just die, but to kill in any manner possible American/allied soldiers, sailors and/or Marines. In his opinion, that fanaticism was more than proof that an invasion of the home island would increase in intensity requiring the allied forces to kill every man, woman and child they came across in battle thus, the use of the bomb August 6th/9th was more than justified and would continue to be so if they were to attack Japan.
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"American parachutists-devils in baggy pants..." “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” Lord Ernest Rutherford
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 3882
Joined: 2004
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/21/2020 8:51:22 PM
VP, I know that, and understand what you’re saying. And if I believed for one moment the tripe John R. is writing about me was correct, I would be offering apologies.

I attempt to comment on military issues from a military perspective, and on social issues from a social perspective, and historical issues from my readings and understandings of history. Typically, if that involves criticizing Canadian behaviour (see my comments over the past ten years on Canadian aboriginal policy, or past policies surrounding Native schools) or Canadian military actions (see my comments on RCN flaws and weaknesses in equipment and execution during WW2), or British conduct when it was still an Imperial Giant or political involvement in military issues (see WSC on the Greek campaign) or general mismanagement (see my almost constant comments RAF BC, RN during WW2), or US bombing policy or troop conduct and behaviour, then I think I’m working within the framework of a military history site.

And I don’t only write negative threads, whether about the US or about other things I have studied, unless you consider any kind of assessment an “Anti-“ comment. Thinking only US issues, I’ve praised Lend-Lease, The Marshall Plan, the “provisioning” of the Allies in general through WW2. I’ve praised FDR’s energies despite a reluctant Congress and a strong lobby to protect the North Atlantic convoy routes through half their distance before the US was officially engaged.

To date, nobody on MHO has accused me of being “Pro-American”. I find that interesting. Is being “Pro-American” the assumed status?

I want to post this response before I continue my arguments with a specific issue.

Cheers. And stay safe.
Brian G
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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 3882
Joined: 2004
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/21/2020 10:00:52 PM
John R, so good to see you are as flexible, thoughtful and focused as ever.

What I said was as follows: Quote:
John R, one of the major issues between UK civilians and US troops centred on blacks. The Brits, at the time, had no problem with black US troops. Only the US troops did. This never became a major issue, but white US troops carried the can for some US folks who couldn’t abide blacks.

John R., you attempted to carry a restrictive and repulsive culture or set of values to a host nation. They told you to piss off. I think the host nation can call its own shots.

I apologize for the “you”, since clearly you didn’t to this yourself. But just as clearly, the use of that second person pronoun isn’t your issue.

You ignore that I point out it never became a major issue (see my quote above), despite what problems it may have created at the time. You substitute my “restrictive and repulsive culture or set of values” to “ugly culture.” Please don’t say you’re paraphrasing: you’re rewriting the script.

Yep, I guess VP raised, as you say, Quote:
the "American experience" in the United Kingdom not specifically the "African American experience" it you who has redefined the parameters of discussion.

Are you suggesting that the “black American” experience in GB wasn’t part of the “American” experience? Good luck with that argument!

John, just read some books on the issue before you start this nonsensical vilification. White GIs went into pubs and demanded that no black GIs would any longer be served. They castigated the patrons for accepting blacks in their pub, and suggested girls degraded themselves by “walking out” with them. I’ve not been “anti-American” in noting this.

In case your vision of the US and its exceptionalism doesn’t accept it, US troops in GB were visitors, not conquerors. To assume US GIs were in a position to demand any different treatment of blacks in a British pub is, IMHO, to impose values that were “restrictive and repulsive “ (check ‘em: my words) on a host nation.

I don’t want to get into the nonsense you try to raise about racism. Yep, I mean:Quote:
Oh and your comment that African Americans, because of their race, are good "swing" dancers is a racist comment.

Sorry, but I finally have to say it: your comment suggests no sense of historical values or assessments. To be honest, this is either the cheapest of cheap shots or a demonstration of ignorance I don’t believe you represent.
My comment is an indirect compilation based on hundreds of young British girls who were in love with US dance styles. And I didn’t mention “swing”, but “jitterbug”, just as the young British girls did. They also called it “jazz dance”, IIRC. And specific reference to their comments on music, dance, blacks, jitterbug and the like are in the public domain both in the archives and in publications of MO (Mass-Observation). The information is there to read, for those who want to know.

John R, feel free to continue to attack me as you choose. Continue to play “potty-mouth” with George as you will.

Let me just say this. I’ve said it before, but let’s nail it down. I think you have a great deal of information I delight in when you share. You have, IMHO, some depth and breadth of understanding of the PTO in particular. And I always read your posts in that area with both care and a great deal of interest.

As for the rest of it, I think you are a broken reed, and you bore me to death. I probably won’t waste so much time again on responding to your rants and mispresentations. To be honest, your comments about me are just silly. Your comments about George have become infantile. As always, IMHO.

B Grafton

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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre PA USA
Posts: 1158
Joined: 2004
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/22/2020 12:04:29 PM
From the oh so open minded British, a article from the BBC News magazine 2017,

https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-39927255

Maybe you should dig a little deeper.

Edit Sorry this post is for B Grafton
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A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country. "to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11876
Joined: 2009
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/22/2020 2:45:30 PM
I don't believe that we have been talking about whether there was anti-black racism in Britain, then or now.

130,000 black soldiers arrived in Britain throughout the war. They were accepted as allies. They were welcomed in all businesses. So while welcoming the black soldier, the British did not welcome the Jim Crow rules that governed this American army.

Black Americans could see the contrast between the two cultures. They had arrived to a non-segregated society even if that society still secretly harboured feelings of white superiority. The freedom for those men must have been intoxicating.

We have mentioned that aspects of American culture thrilled the young people of Britain and that included dancing which the American black soldiers were more than willing to teach.

Quote:
At that time the Jitterbug was in and the blacks would get a buggin’ and the English just loved that. We would go into a dance hall and just take over the place because everybody wanted to learn how to do that American dance, the Jitterbug. They went wild over that.
. source: Cleother Hathcock, a black US soldier who served in the UK.

Black soldiers and white British business owners were not willing to put up with the imposition of a colour bar by US soldiers or their officers. In one case, the officers tried to order a pub owner to observe the colour bar. The publican put up a sign that said, "Black soldiers only".

This may interest some. In June of 1943, there was a riot pitting black soldiers against their own military police who had been trying to enforce the colour bar in businesses.
The riot and the killing of one black soldier took place at Bamber Bridge in Lancashire in the north of England.

[Read More]

The subject of systemic racism in the UK is not particularly relevant to this discussion right now. There are plenty of scholarly articles on that subject but right now, the topic is only a diversion.

I have said before that when a visiting army, especially one of the size of the US army, spends months and years in another country, there are bound to be conflicts. This is especially true if the visiting army doesn't understand the culture to which they have come or refuse to make the adjustments. One example is flaunting one's wealth which is frowned upon, as I understand it, in GB.

And so, if US soldiers were being loud and flashing their cash, that could have caused some resentment.

I have a book in my modest library written by a fellow named Barry Broadfoot. He was a collector of anecdotes and his books were accounts of the people who had experienced historical events. One of his books was called, "The Six War Years 1939-1945", subtitle: Memories of Canadians at Home and Abroad.

One section of the book is called, "Us and the Yanks". It was an enlightening section as it showed that despite coming from the same continent, the Americans and the Canadians were different and sometimes they got into fights with one another. Most of the complaints were about the large sums of money that the Americans flashed. Some of it was the loudness and some was because they complained about everything to do with living in Britain.

Quote:
We didn't like him for his money. Every day was Christmas for the girls in London when the Yanks came. Prices shot up, for girls, for everything. And we didn't like him for his medals. We didn't have any, and he'd get one for keeping his rifle clean or showing up five days in a row for breakfast at the mess hall. Meaningless. But they were ribbons and pretty ones too, I must admit
. source: Canadian soldier recounting his opinion of American soldiers during the war.

Another Canadian recounted a story in a pub, his local, when a group of recently arrived Americans came in and loudly demanded service. They called him over to "translate Limey" and said this out loud. They were just young men and they complained about British food including dried eggs and evaporated potatoes and spam. They told him that they were told that that stuff would be for the Brits while they would get fresh eggs and ham from the farms. This didn't go over well as you can imagine with the locals who were quietly sipping a pint within earshot. These people had been at war for quite a while and on rations too.

This soldier had this to say after recounting his story. He had actually ordered a round for everyone in the bar just to let the locals know that he wasn't one of the loud crew.

He had this to say about American soldiers:

Quote:
They learned. Most of them learned. But it did take time, and I imagine more than a few training and orientation movies were shown, but they did make a lot of enemies. Maybe that's too strong a word, perhaps dislike would be better. It was too bad. Canadians and Americans, just a border there, and so different. It was the Empire thing, King and Country, I swear


I don't know about the King and Country part and I know that some Canadians did not ingratiate themselves to the British but they had been in country longer and there was a tie between the Canada and Britain. That made a difference for them.

Still, I have already presented information indicating that the Yanks' presence was appreciated and that they were welcomed in British homes. I have to believe that these descriptions of the "ugly American" are somewhat exaggerated and cannot apply to every person. How many shy and introverted eighteen year olds from farm country were there in the US army and who had been dropped into a foreign country when they may not have even travelled in their own. Talk about culture shock.

Cheers,

George
Killroy63
Pinson AL USA
Posts: 529
Joined: 2018
Was the Nuclear attack on Japan the right thing to do at the time?
8/27/2020 11:08:21 PM
I recall a taunt aimed at the Americans by their British hosts: "You're problem is that you're overpaid, oversexed and over here.", to which the Americans replied "Your problem is that you're underpaid, undersexed and under Eisenhower."
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