British Hong Kong
British Hong Kong denotes the period during which Hong Kong was governed as a colony and British Dependent Territory of the United Kingdom. Excluding the Japanese occupation during the Second World War, Hong Kong was under British rule from 1841 to 1997; the colonial period began with the occupation of Hong Kong Island in 1841 during the First Opium War. The island was ceded by Qing China in the aftermath of the war in 1842 and established as a Crown colony in 1843; the colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 after the Second Opium War and was further extended when Britain obtained a 99-year lease of the New Territories in 1898. Although Hong Kong Island and Kowloon were ceded in perpetuity, the leased area, which comprised 92 per cent of the territory, was vital to the integrity of Hong Kong that Britain agreed to transfer the entire colony to China upon the expiration of that lease in 1997; the transfer has been considered by many as marking the end of the British Empire. In 1836, the Manchu Qing government undertook a major policy review of the opium trade.
Lin Zexu volunteered to take on the task of suppressing opium. In March 1839, he became Special Imperial Commissioner in Canton, where he ordered the foreign traders to surrender their opium stock, he cut off their supplies. Chief Superintendent of Trade, Charles Elliot, complied with Lin's demands to secure a safe exit for the British, with the costs involved to be resolved between the two governments; when Elliot promised that the British government would pay for their opium stock, the merchants surrendered their 20,283 chests of opium, which were destroyed in public. In September 1839, the British Cabinet decided that the Chinese should be made to pay for the destruction of British property, either by the threat or use of force. An expeditionary force was placed under Elliot and his cousin, Rear-Admiral George Elliot, as joint plenipotentiaries in 1840. Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston stressed to the Chinese government that the British government did not question China's right to prohibit opium, but it objected to the way this was handled.
He viewed the sudden strict enforcement as laying a trap for the foreign traders, the confinement of the British with supplies cut off was tantamount to starving them into submission or death. He instructed the Elliot cousins to occupy one of the Chusan islands, to present a letter from himself to a Chinese official for the Emperor to proceed to the Gulf of Bohai for a treaty, if the Chinese resisted, blockade the key ports of the Yangtze and Yellow rivers. Palmerston demanded a territorial base in Chusan for trade so that British merchants "may not be subject to the arbitrary caprice either of the Government of Peking, or its local Authorities at the Sea-Ports of the Empire". In 1841, Elliot negotiated with Lin's successor, Qishan, in the Convention of Chuenpi during the First Opium War. On 20 January, Elliot announced "the conclusion of preliminary arrangements", which included the cession of Hong Kong Island and its harbour to the British Crown. Elliot chose Hong Kong instead of Chusan because he believed a settlement further east would cause an "indefinite protraction of hostilities", whereas Hong Kong's harbour was a valuable base for the British trading community in Canton.
British rule began with the occupation of the island on 26 January. Commodore Gordon Bremer, commander-in-chief of British forces in China, took formal possession of the island at Possession Point, where the Union Jack was raised under a feu de joie from the marines and a royal salute from the warships. Hong Kong was ceded in the Treaty of Nanking on 29 August 1842 and established as a Crown colony after ratification was exchanged on 26 June 1843; the treaty failed to satisfy British expectations of a major expansion of trade and profit, which led to increasing pressure for a revision of the terms. In October 1856, Chinese authorities in Canton detained the Arrow, a Chinese-owned ship registered in Hong Kong to enjoy protection of the British flag; the Consul in Canton, Harry Parkes, claimed the hauling down of the flag and arrest of the crew were "an insult of grave character". Parkes and Sir John Bowring, the 4th Governor of Hong Kong, seized the incident to pursue a forward policy. In March 1857, Palmerston appointed Lord Elgin as Plenipotentiary with the aim of securing a new and satisfactory treaty.
A French expeditionary force joined the British to avenge the execution of a French missionary in 1856. In 1860, the capture of the Taku Forts and occupation of Beijing led to the Treaty of Tientsin and Convention of Peking. In the Treaty of Tientsin, the Chinese accepted British demands to open more ports, navigate the Yangtze River, legalise the opium trade and have diplomatic representation in Beijing. During the conflict, the British occupied the Kowloon Peninsula, where the flat land was valuable training and resting ground; the area in what is now south of Boundary Street and Stonecutters Island was ceded in the Convention of Peking. In 1898, the British sought to extend Hong Kong for defence. After negotiations began in April 1898, with the British Minister in Beijing, Sir Claude MacDonald, representing Britain, diplomat Li Hongzhang leading the Chinese, the Second Convention of Peking was signed on 9 June. Since the foreign powers had agreed by the late 19th century that it was no longer permissible to acquire outright sovereignty over any parcel of Chinese territory, in keeping with the other territorial cessions China made to Russia and France that same year, the extension of Hong Kong took the form of a 99-year lease.
The lease consisted of the rest of Kowloon south of the Shenzhen River and 230 islands, which became known as the New Territories. The British formally took possession on 16 April 1899. In 1941, duri
Siberia is an extensive geographical region spanning much of Eurasia and North Asia. Siberia has been a part of modern Russia since the 17th century; the territory of Siberia extends eastwards from the Ural Mountains to the watershed between the Pacific and Arctic drainage basins. The Yenisei River conditionally divides Siberia into two parts and Eastern. Siberia stretches southwards from the Arctic Ocean to the hills of north-central Kazakhstan and to the national borders of Mongolia and China. With an area of 13.1 million square kilometres, Siberia accounts for 77% of Russia's land area, but it is home to 36 million people—27% of the country's population. This is equivalent to an average population density of about 3 inhabitants per square kilometre, making Siberia one of the most sparsely populated regions on Earth. If it were a country by itself, it would still be the largest country in area, but in population it would be the world's 35th-largest and Asia's 14th-largest. Worldwide, Siberia is well known for its long, harsh winters, with a January average of −25 °C, as well as its extensive history of use by Russian and Soviet administrations as a place for prisons, labor camps, exile.
The origin of the name is unknown. Some sources say that "Siberia" originates from the Siberian Tatar word for "sleeping land". Another account sees the name as the ancient tribal ethnonym of the Sirtya, an ethnic group which spoke a Paleosiberian language; the Sirtya people were assimilated into the Siberian Tatars. The modern usage of the name was recorded in the Russian language after the Empire's conquest of the Siberian Khanate. A further variant claims; the Polish historian Chyliczkowski has proposed that the name derives from the proto-Slavic word for "north", but Anatole Baikaloff has dismissed this explanation. He said that the neighbouring Chinese and Mongolians, who have similar names for the region, would not have known Russian, he suggests that the name might be a combination of two words with Turkic origin, "su" and "bir". The region has paleontological significance, as it contains bodies of prehistoric animals from the Pleistocene Epoch, preserved in ice or in permafrost. Specimens of Goldfuss cave lion cubs and another woolly mammoth from Oymyakon, a woolly rhinoceros from the Kolyma River, bison and horses from Yukagir have been found.
The Siberian Traps were formed by one of the largest-known volcanic events of the last 500 million years of Earth's geological history. Their activity continued for a million years and some scientists consider it a possible cause of the "Great Dying" about 250 million years ago, – estimated to have killed 90% of species existing at the time. At least three species of human lived in Southern Siberia around 40,000 years ago: H. sapiens, H. neanderthalensis, the Denisovans. In 2010 DNA evidence identified the last as a separate species. Siberia was inhabited by different groups of nomads such as the Enets, the Nenets, the Huns, the Scythians and the Uyghurs; the Khan of Sibir in the vicinity of modern Tobolsk was known as a prominent figure who endorsed Kubrat as Khagan of Old Great Bulgaria in 630. The Mongols conquered a large part of this area early in the 13th century. With the breakup of the Golden Horde, the autonomous Khanate of Sibir was established in the late 15th century. Turkic-speaking Yakut migrated north from the Lake Baikal region under pressure from the Mongol tribes during the 13th to 15th century.
Siberia remained a sparsely populated area. Historian John F. Richards wrote: "... it is doubtful that the total early modern Siberian population exceeded 300,000 persons."The growing power of Russia in the West began to undermine the Siberian Khanate in the 16th century. First, groups of traders and Cossacks began to enter the area; the Russian Army was directed to establish forts farther and farther east to protect new settlers from European Russia. Towns such as Mangazeya, Tara and Tobolsk were developed, the last being declared the capital of Siberia. At this time, Sibir was the name of a fortress at Qashlik, near Tobolsk. Gerardus Mercator, in a map published in 1595, marks Sibier both as the name of a settlement and of the surrounding territory along a left tributary of the Ob. Other sources contend that the Xibe, an indigenous Tungusic people, offered fierce resistance to Russian expansion beyond the Urals; some suggest. By the mid-17th century, Russia had established areas of control; some 230,000 Russians had settled in Siberia by 1709.
Siberia was a destination for sending exiles. The first great modern change in Siberia was the Trans-Siberian Railway, constructed during 1891–1916, it linked Siberia more to the industrialising Russia of Nicholas II. Around seven million people moved to Siberia from European Russia between 1801 and 1914. From 1859 to 1917, more than half a million people migrated to the Russian Far East. Siberia has extensive natural resources. During the 20th century, large-scale exploitation of these was developed, industrial towns cropped up throughout the region. At 7:15 a.m. on 30 June 1908, millions of trees were felled near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in central Siberia in the Tunguska Event. Most scientists believe this resulted from the air burst of a comet. Though no crater has been found, the landscape in the area still bears the scars of this event. In the early decades of the Soviet Union (
Battle of the Coral Sea
The Battle of the Coral Sea, fought from 4 to 8 May 1942, was a major naval battle between the Imperial Japanese Navy and naval and air forces from the United States and Australia, taking place in the Pacific Theatre of World War II. The battle is significant as the first action in which aircraft carriers engaged each other, as well as the first in which the opposing ships neither sighted nor fired directly upon one another. In an attempt to strengthen their defensive position in the South Pacific, the Japanese decided to invade and occupy Port Moresby and Tulagi; the plan to accomplish this was called Operation MO, involved several major units of Japan's Combined Fleet. These included a light carrier to provide air cover for the invasion forces, it was under the overall command of Japanese Admiral Shigeyoshi Inoue. The U. S. learned of the Japanese plan through signals intelligence, sent two United States Navy carrier task forces and a joint Australian-U. S. Cruiser force to oppose the offensive.
These were under the overall command of U. S. Admiral Frank J. Fletcher. On 3–4 May, Japanese forces invaded and occupied Tulagi, although several of their supporting warships were sunk or damaged in surprise attacks by aircraft from the U. S. fleet carrier Yorktown. Now aware of the presence of U. S. carriers in the area, the Japanese fleet carriers advanced towards the Coral Sea with the intention of locating and destroying the Allied naval forces. On the evening of 6 May, the direction chosen for air searches by the opposing commanders brought the two carrier forces to within 70 nmi of each other, unbeknownst to both sides. Beginning on 7 May, the carrier forces from the two sides engaged in airstrikes over two consecutive days. On the first day, both forces mistakenly believed they were attacking their opponent's fleet carriers, but were attacking other units, with the U. S. sinking the Japanese light carrier Shōhō while the Japanese sank a U. S. destroyer and damaged a fleet oiler. The next day, the fleet carriers found and engaged each other, with the Japanese fleet carrier Shōkaku damaged, the U.
S. fleet carrier Lexington critically damaged, Yorktown damaged. With both sides having suffered heavy losses in aircraft and carriers damaged or sunk, the two forces disengaged and retired from the battle area; because of the loss of carrier air cover, Inoue recalled the Port Moresby invasion fleet, intending to try again later. Although a tactical victory for the Japanese in terms of ships sunk, the battle would prove to be a strategic victory for the Allies for several reasons; the battle marked the first time since the start of the war that a major Japanese advance had been checked by the Allies. More the Japanese fleet carriers Shōkaku and Zuikaku—the former damaged and the latter with a depleted aircraft complement—were unable to participate in the Battle of Midway the following month, while Yorktown did participate, ensuring a rough parity in aircraft between the two adversaries and contributing to the U. S. victory in that battle. The severe losses in carriers at Midway prevented the Japanese from reattempting to invade Port Moresby from the ocean and helped prompt their ill-fated land offensive over the Kokoda Track.
Two months the Allies took advantage of Japan's resulting strategic vulnerability in the South Pacific and launched the Guadalcanal Campaign. On December 8, 1941, Japan declared war on the US and the British Empire, after Japanese forces attacked Malaya and Hong Kong as well as the US naval base at Pearl Harbor. In launching this war, Japanese leaders sought to neutralize the U. S. fleet, seize territory rich in natural resources, obtain strategic military bases to defend their far-flung empire. In the words of the Imperial Japanese Navy Combined Fleet's "Secret Order Number One", dated 1 November 1941, the goals of the initial Japanese campaigns in the impending war were to " British and American strength from the Netherlands Indies and the Philippines, to establish a policy of autonomous self-sufficiency and economic independence." To support these goals, during the first few months of 1942, besides Malaya, Japanese forces attacked and took control of the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, Wake Island, New Britain, the Gilbert Islands and Guam, inflicting heavy losses on opposing Allied land and air forces.
Japan planned to use these conquered territories to establish a perimeter defense for its empire from which it expected to employ attritional tactics to defeat or exhaust any Allied counterattacks. Shortly after the war began, Japan's Naval General Staff recommended an invasion of Northern Australia to prevent Australia from being used as a base to threaten Japan's perimeter defences in the South Pacific; the Imperial Japanese Army rejected the recommendation, stating that it did not have the forces or shipping capacity available to conduct such an operation. At the same time, Vice Admiral Shigeyoshi Inoue, commander of the IJN's Fourth Fleet which consisted of most of the naval units in the South Pacific area, advocated the occupation of Tulagi in the southeastern Solomon Islands and Port Moresby in New Guinea, which would put Northern Australia within range of Japanese land-based aircraft. Inoue believed the capture and control of these locations would provide greater security and defensive depth for the major Japanese base at Ra
Battle of Singapore
The Battle of Singapore known as the Fall of Singapore, was fought in the South-East Asian theatre of World War II when the Empire of Japan invaded the British stronghold of Singapore—nicknamed the "Gibraltar of the East". Singapore was the major British military base in South-East Asia and was the key to British imperial interwar defence planning for South-East Asia and the South-West Pacific; the fighting in Singapore lasted from 8 to 15 February 1942, after the two months during which Japanese forces had advanced down the Malayan Peninsula. The campaign, including the final battle, was a decisive Japanese victory, resulting in the Japanese capture of Singapore and the largest British surrender in history. About 80,000 British and Australian troops in Singapore became prisoners of war, joining 50,000 taken by the Japanese in the earlier Malayan Campaign; the British prime minister, Winston Churchill, called it the "worst disaster" in British military history. During 1940 and 1941, the Allies had imposed a trade embargo on Japan in response to its continued campaigns in China and its occupation of French Indochina.
The basic plan for taking Singapore was worked out in July 1940. Intelligence gained in late 1940 – early 1941 did not alter the basic plan, but confirmed it in the minds of Japanese decision makers. On 11 November 1940, the German raider Atlantis captured the British steamer Automedon in the Indian Ocean, carrying papers meant for Air Marshal Sir Robert Brooke-Popham, the British commander in the Far East, which included much information about the weakness of the Singapore base. In December 1940, the Germans handed over copies of the papers to the Japanese; the Japanese had broken the British Army's codes and in January 1941, the Second Department of the Imperial Army had interpreted and read a message from Singapore to London complaining in much detail about the weak state of "Fortress Singapore", a message, so frank in its admission of weakness that the Japanese at first suspected it was a British plant, believing that no officer would be so open in admitting weaknesses to his superiors, only believed it was genuine after cross-checking the message with the Automedon papers.
As Japan's oil reserves were depleted by the ongoing military operations in China as well as industrial consumption, in the latter half of 1941, the Japanese began preparing a military response to secure vital resources if diplomatic efforts to resolve the situation failed. As a part of this process, the Japanese planners determined a broad scheme of manoeuvre that incorporated simultaneous attacks on the territories of Britain, The Netherlands and the United States; this would see landings in Malaya and Hong Kong as part of a general move south to secure Singapore, connected to Malaya by the Johor–Singapore Causeway, an invasion of the oil-rich area of Borneo and Java in the Dutch East Indies. In addition, strikes would be made against the United States naval fleet at Pearl Harbor, as well as landings in the Philippines, attacks on Guam, Wake Island and the Gilbert Islands. Following these attacks, a period of consolidation was planned, after which the Japanese planners intended to build up the defences of the territory, captured by establishing a strong perimeter around it stretching from the India–Burma frontier through to Wake Island, traversing Malaya, the Dutch East Indies, New Guinea and New Britain, the Bismarck Archipelago, the Marshall and Gilbert Islands.
This perimeter would be used to block Allied attempts to regain the lost territory and defeat their will to fight. The Japanese 25th Army invaded from Indochina, moving into northern Malaya and Thailand by amphibious assault on 8 December 1941; this was simultaneous with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which precipitated the United States entry into the war. Thailand resisted, but soon had to yield; the Japanese proceeded overland across the Thai–Malayan border to attack Malaya. At this time, the Japanese began bombing strategic sites in Singapore; the Japanese 25th Army was resisted in northern Malaya by III Corps of the British Indian Army. Although the 25th Army was outnumbered by Allied forces in Malaya and Singapore, the Allies did not take the initiative with their forces, while Japanese commanders concentrated their forces; the Japanese were superior in close air support, armour, co-ordination and experience. While conventional British military thinking was that the Japanese forces were inferior, characterised the Malayan jungles as "impassable", the Japanese were able to use it to their advantage to outflank hastily established defensive lines.
Prior to the Battle of Singapore the most resistance was met at the Battle of Muar, which involved the Australian 8th Division and the Indian 45th Brigade, as the British troops left in the city of Singapore were garrison troops. At the start of the campaign, the Allied forces had only 164 first-line aircraft on hand in Malaya and Singapore, the only fighter type was the obsolete Brewster 339E Buffalo; these aircraft were operated by two Royal Australian Air Force, two Royal Air Force, one Royal New Zealand Air Force squadron. Major shortcomings included a slow rate of climb and the aircraft's fuel system which required the pilot to hand pump fuel if flying above 6,000 feet. In contrast, the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force was more numerous and better trained than the second-hand assortment of untrained pilots and inferior allied equipment remaining in Malaya and Singapore, their fighter aircraft were superior to the Allied fighters, which helped the Japanese to gain air supremacy. Although outnumbered and outclassed, the Buffalos were able to provide some resistance
Kokoda Track campaign
The Kokoda Track campaign or Kokoda Trail campaign was part of the Pacific War of World War II. The campaign consisted of a series of battles fought between July and November 1942 in what was the Australian Territory of Papua, it was a land battle, between the Japanese South Seas Detachment under Major General Tomitarō Horii and Australian and Papuan land forces under command of New Guinea Force. The Japanese objective was to seize Port Moresby by an overland advance from the north coast, following the Kokoda Track over the mountains of the Owen Stanley Range, as part of a strategy to isolate Australia from the United States. Japanese forces landed and established beachheads near Gona and Buna on 21 July 1942. Opposed by Maroubra Force consisting of four platoons of the 39th Battalion and elements of the Papuan Infantry Battalion, they advanced and captured Kokoda and its strategically vital airfield on 29 July. Despite reinforcement, the Australian forces were continually pushed back; the veteran Second Australian Imperial Force 21st Brigade narrowly avoided capture in the Battle of Mission Ridge – Brigade Hill from 6 to 8 September.
In the Battle of Ioribaiwa from 13 to 16 September, the 25th Brigade under Brigadier Kenneth Eather fought the Japanese to a halt but ceded the field to the Japanese, withdrawing back to Imita Ridge. The Japanese withdrew on 26 September, they had outrun their supply line and had been ordered to withdraw in consequence of reverses suffered at Guadalcanal. The Australian pursuit encountered strong opposition from well-prepared positions around Templeton's Crossing and Eora Village from 11 to 28 October. Following the unopposed recapture of Kokoda, a major battle was fought around Oivi and Gorari from 4 to 11 November, resulting in a victory for the Australians. By 16 November, two brigades of the Australian 7th Division had crossed the Kumusi River at Wairopi, advanced on the Japanese beachheads in a joint Australian and United States operation; the Japanese forces at Buna–Gona held out until 22 January 1943. Australian reinforcement was hampered by the logistical problems of supporting a force in isolated, jungle terrain.
There were few planes available for aerial resupply, techniques for it were still primitive. Australian command considered that the Vickers machine gun and medium mortars were too heavy to carry and would be ineffective in the jungle terrain. Without artillery, mortars or medium machine guns, the Australians faced an opponent equipped with mountain guns and light howitzers, carried into the mountains and proved to be a decisive advantage. Australian forces were unprepared to conduct a campaign in the jungle environment of New Guinea; the lessons learned during the course of this campaign and the subsequent battle of Buna–Gona led to widespread changes in doctrine, training and structure, with a legacy that remains until the present day. In consequence of the rapid Japanese advance and the perceived failure to counterattack, a "crisis of command" resulted, in which manoeuvring by General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the South West Pacific Area, General Sir Thomas Blamey, commander of Allied Land Forces, resulted in the sackings of three high-ranking Australian officers.
The generalship of MacArthur and Blamey has been criticised for unreasonable and unrealistic perceptions of the terrain and conditions under which the campaign was fought—to the detriment of the troops committed to the fighting. The Kokoda Track campaign has been mythologised as Australia's Thermopylae and incorporated into the Anzac legend though the premise of a vastly numerically-superior enemy has since been shown to be incorrect. After the fall of Singapore, the Australian government and many Australians feared that Japan would invade the Australian mainland. Australia was ill-prepared to counter such an attack; the entire 8th Division, deployed to Malaya, Ambon and Rabaul, was lost or rendered ineffective as the Japanese advanced. The Royal Australian Air Force lacked modern aircraft and the Royal Australian Navy was too small to counter the Imperial Japanese Navy; the RAAF and RAN were expanded, though it took years for these services to build up to their peak strengths. The Militia was mobilised but, although a large force, it was inexperienced and lacked modern equipment.
In response to the threat, the Government appealed to the United States for assistance, the 6th and 7th Divisions of the Second Australian Imperial Force were brought back from the Middle East. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill attempted to divert them to Burma, but the Australian Prime Minister, John Curtin, refused to authorise this movement; as a compromise, two brigades of the 6th Division disembarked at Ceylon, where they formed part of the garrison until they returned to Australia in August 1942. The Japanese Imperial General Headquarters considered invading Australia in early 1942 but decided against doing so in February that year, as it was judged to be beyond the Japanese capabilities, no planning or preparations were undertaken. Instead, in March 1942 the Japanese military adopted a strategy of isolating Australia from the United States and preventing Allied offensive operations by capturing Port Moresby, the Solomon Islands, Fiji and New Caledonia. An attempt to capture Port Moresby by an amphibious assault was thwarted by the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942.
A month most of the Japanese carrier fleet was destroyed in the Battle of Midway, further reducing the possibility of major amphibious operations in the South Pacific. Following this, the Japanese began to consider an overland advance on Port Moresby. Meanwhile, the Allied Supreme Commande
Hideki Tojo was a Japanese politician and general of the Imperial Japanese Army who concurrently served as the Imperial Rules Assistance Association's leader and 27th Prime Minister of Japan during much of World War II. He was among the most outspoken proponents for preventive war against the United States before the attack on Pearl Harbor and one of the leading perpetrators behind Japanese war crimes against prisoners of war and civilians during the Pacific conflict. After the end of the war, Tojo was arrested and sentenced to death by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, hanged on December 23, 1948. Hideki Tojo was born in the Kōjimachi district of Tokyo on December 30, 1884, as the third son of Hidenori Tojo, a lieutenant general in the Imperial Japanese Army. Under the bakufu, Japanese society was divided rigidly into four castes. After the Meiji Restoration, the caste system was abolished in 1871, but the former caste distinctions in many ways persisted afterwards, ensuring that those from the former samurai caste continued to enjoy their traditional prestige.
The Tojo family came from the samurai caste, though the Tojos were lowly warrior retainers for the great daimyōs that they had served for generations. Tojo's father was a samurai turned Army officer and his mother was the daughter of a Buddhist priest, making his family respectable, but poor. Hideki had an education typical of a Japanese youth in the Meiji era; the purpose of the Meiji educational system was to train the boys to be soldiers as adults, the message was relentlessly drilled into Japanese students that war was the most beautiful thing in the entire world, that the Emperor was a living god and that the greatest honor for a Japanese man was to die for the Emperor. Japanese girls were taught that the highest honor for a woman was to have as many sons as possible who could die for the Emperor in war; as a boy, Tojo was known for his stubbornness, lack of a sense of humor, for being an opinionated and combative youth fond of getting into fights with the other boys and for his tenacious way of pursuing what he wanted.
Japanese schools in the Meiji era were competitive, there was no tradition of sympathy for failure. Tojo was of average intelligence, but was known to compensate for his limited intelligence with a willingness to work hard. Tojo's boyhood hero was the 17th-century shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu who issued the injunction: "Avoid the things you like, turn your attention to unpleasant duties". Tojo liked to say: "I am just an ordinary man possessing no shining talents. Anything I have achieved I owe to my capacity for hard work and never giving up". In 1899, Hideki entered the Army Cadet School; when he graduated from the Japanese Military Academy in March 1905, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the infantry of the IJA. In 1905, Tojo shared in the general outrage in Japan at the Treaty of Portsmouth, which ended the war with Russia, which the Japanese people saw as a betrayal as the war did not end with Japan annexing Siberia as popular opinion had demanded; the Treaty of Portsmouth was so unpopular that it set off anti-American riots known as the Hibiya incendiary incident as many Japanese were enraged at the way the Americans had cheated Japan as the Japanese gains in the treaty were far less than what public opinion had expected.
Few Japanese at the time had understood that the war with Russia had pushed their nation to the verge of bankruptcy, most people in Japan believed that the American president Theodore Roosevelt who had mediated the Treaty of Portsmouth had cheated Japan out of its rightful gains. Tojo's anger at the Treaty of Portsmouth left him with an abiding dislike of Americans. In 1909, Hideki married Katsuko Ito, with whom he had four daughters. In 1918–19, Tojo served in Siberia as part of the Japanese expeditionary force sent to intervene in the Russian Civil War. Tojo served as Japanese military attache to Germany between 1919-1922; as the Imperial Japanese Army had been trained by a German military mission in the 19th century, the Japanese Army was always strongly influenced by intellectual developments in the German Army, Tojo was no exception. In the 1920s, the German military favored preparing for the next war by creating a totalitarian Wehrstaat, an idea, taken up by the Japanese military as the "national defense state".
In 1922, on his way home to Japan, Tojo took a train ride across the United States, his first and only visit to America, which left him with the impression that the Americans were a materialistic "soft" people devoted only to making money and to hedonistic pursuits like sex and drinking. Tojo boasted that his only hobby was his work, he customarily brought home his paperwork to work late into the night, he refused to have any part in raising his children, which he viewed both as a distraction from his work and a woman's work, having his wife do all the work of taking care of his children. A stern, humorless man, Tojo was known for his brusque manner, his obsession with etiquette, for his coldness. Like all Japanese officers at the time, Tojo slapped the faces of the men under his command when giving orders, saying that face-slapping was a "means of training" men who came from families that were not part of the samurai caste, for whom bushido was not second nature. In 1924, Tojo was offended by the Immigration Control Act passed by the American Congress b
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II, called the United Nations from the 1 January 1942 declaration, were the countries that together opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War. The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to control German and Italian aggression. At the start of the war on 1 September 1939, the Allies consisted of France and the United Kingdom, as well as their dependent states, such as British India. Within days they were joined by the independent Dominions of the British Commonwealth: Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. After the start of the German invasion of North Europe until the Balkan Campaign, the Netherlands, Belgium and Yugoslavia joined the Allies. After first having cooperated with Germany in invading Poland whilst remaining neutral in the Allied-Axis conflict, the Soviet Union perforce joined the Allies in June 1941 after being invaded by Germany; the United States provided war materiel and money all along, joined in December 1941 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
China had been in a prolonged war with Japan since the Marco Polo Bridge Incident of 1937, but joined the Allies in 1941. The alliance was formalised by the Declaration by United Nations, from 1 January 1942. However, the name United Nations was used to describe the Allies during the war; the leaders of the "Big Three"—the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States—controlled Allied strategy. The Big Three together with China were referred as a "trusteeship of the powerful" were recognized as the Allied "Big Four" in the Declaration by United Nations and as the "Four Policemen" of the United Nations. After the war ended, the Allied nations became the basis of the modern United Nations. Members The origins of the Allied powers stem from the Allies of World War I and cooperation of the victorious powers at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919. Germany resented signing Treaty of Versailles; the new Weimar Republic's legitimacy became shaken. However, the 1920s were peaceful. With the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression, political unrest in Europe soared including the rise in support of revanchist nationalists in Germany who blamed the severity of the economic crisis on the Treaty of Versailles.
By the early 1930s, the Nazi Party led by Adolf Hitler became the dominant revanchist movement in Germany and Hitler and the Nazis gained power in 1933. The Nazi regime demanded the immediate cancellation of the Treaty of Versailles and made claims to German-populated Austria, German-populated territories of Czechoslovakia; the likelihood of war was high, the question was whether it could be avoided through strategies such as appeasement. In Asia, when Japan seized Manchuria in 1931, the League of Nations condemned it for aggression against China. Japan responded by leaving the League of Nations in March 1933. After four quiet years, the Sino-Japanese War erupted in 1937 with Japanese forces invading China; the League of Nations initiated sanctions on Japan. The United States, in particular, was sought to support China. In March 1939, Germany took over Czechoslovakia, violating the Munich Agreement signed six months before, demonstrating that the appeasement policy was a failure. Britain and France decided that Hitler had no intention to uphold diplomatic agreements and responded by preparing for war.
On 31 March 1939, Britain formed the Anglo-Polish military alliance in an effort to avert a German attack on the country. The French had a long-standing alliance with Poland since 1921; the Soviet Union sought an alliance with the western powers, but Hitler ended the risk of a war with Stalin by signing the Nazi–Soviet non-aggression pact in August 1939. The agreement secretly divided the independent nations of Eastern Europe between the two powers and assured adequate oil supplies for the German war machine. On 1 September 1939, Germany invaded Poland. On 17 September 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Poland from the east. A Polish government-in-exile was set up and it continued to be one of the Allies, a model followed by other occupied countries. After a quiet winter, Germany in April 1940 invaded and defeated Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands and France. Britain and its Empire stood alone against Mussolini. In June 1941, Hitler broke the non-aggression agreement with Stalin and Germany invaded the Soviet Union.
In December, Japan attacked the Britain. The main lines of World War II had formed. During December 1941, U. S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt devised the name "United Nations" for the Allies and proposed it to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, he referred to the Big Three and China as a "trusteeship of the powerful", later the "Four Policemen". The Declaration by United Nations on 1 January 1942 was the basis of the modern United Nations. At the Potsdam Conference of July–August 1945, Roosevelt's successor, Harry S. Truman, proposed that the foreign ministers of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States "should draft the peace treaties and boundary settlements of Europe", which led to the creation of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the "Big Five", soon thereafter the establishment of those states as the permanent members of the UNSC. Great Britain and other members of the British Commonwealth, most known as the Dominions, declared war on Germany separately from 3 September 1939 with the UK first, all within one week of each other.
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