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Old 04-04-2014, 09:46 AM   #1
mrmikel
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Lea, Homer: The Valor of Ignorance. v1. 04 April 2014

This book, published in 1911, foresaw the Japanese expansion into the Pacific and Southeast Asia that led to World War II.

It is a mixture of military evaluation, personal opinion, racial views and errors. When he is right he is right, but there are places where he is wrong. For instance, he cites the Japanese political system as insulating the military from politics.

As a matter of fact, the Japanese constitution of the period gave the military veto over the political system, putting it control of it and square in the middle of politics.

Being published in 1911, the role aircraft were to play could not be foreseen by him. This also invalidates a number of his ideas about how easy it would be to invade and conquer the west coast of the United States. As an apparent army man, he did not understand the difficulty of maintaining a supply line to conquering troops 4000 miles long. This difficulty was to be the ultimate undoing of the Japanese in World War II, as they could not replenish supplies to scattered islands which were cut off by the "island hopping" campaign.

It does reflect some military thinking and the hostility of Americans to Japanese Americans so it is valuable in that context.

I looked into it because it was cited favorably in one of the reports of General MacArthur from WWII, so it would seem to have had some impact on military thinking.
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Last edited by mrmikel; 04-04-2014 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 04-04-2014, 07:48 PM   #2
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Spelling mistakes corrected later in day 4 April 2014.
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