I know I’ll regret this and probably should just let this go, but once again I find myself in disagreement with you:
“And of course those who were simply pissed because of Pearl Harbour and figured that America should not take that lying down.”
I acknowledge and agree that the reasons any individual may fight or support a fight may be as varied as there are people. I further acknowledge and agree that there are those who would would seek to foment war because of their ability to profit. I imagine even today in some boardroom an industrialist is lamenting that if only we could have a good old fashioned conventional war business would really take off.
But to suggest those are the reasons the U.S. entered WWII I think is to unnecessarily make the simple and obvious complex and obscure. Recall, the U.S. went to war with Japan because Japan attacked the U.S. In other words, Japan brought war to the U.S., not the other way around. I don’t believe any defense industrialist actually participated in Japan’s decision to do so. And to suggest there were “those who were simply pissed because of Pearl Harbour” is to grossly understate the national reaction to Japan’s attack. Volunteer enlistment in the U.S. armed forces soared afterward. These are regular people, not profiteers, who put everything they had on the line to respond to Japan’s aggression. I think it is somewhat denigrating to characterize this as a reflection of being “simply pissed.”
And despite the U.S. support for England, the U.S. did not voluntarily undertake a combat role against Germany. Germany declared war against the U.S. after the Pearl Harbor bombing because of its pact with Japan. While there certainly were Americans who welcomed that invitation to fight, that sentiment was by no means universally held and it is a matter of speculation as to whether the U.S. would have joined the fighting otherwise.
“Many theorise that the bomb was Truman’s message to Stalin and actually had little to do with the already defeated Japan. The message was clear: You might have Berlin, but Tokyo is ours, so hands off the Pacific.”
This I do not accept. The notion that Truman would drop not one but two atomic bombs and kill more than 200,000 people just to send a message to Russia in my opinion is as absurd as it is offensive. Yes, Japan’s defeat was inevitable, but at what cost. I believe, and nothing you say will change my mind on this, that Truman authorized use of atomic weapons solely and exclusively to avoid an Okinawa-like battle on mainland Japan and to preserve U.S. lives and the objective of unconditional as opposed to a negotiated surrender.
Indeed, I find the notion that the U.S. was attempting to warn Russia out of Asia contrary to my understanding that not only did the U.S. desire that Russia continue efforts in China but that Russia’s invasion of Manchuria on August 9, and not the dropping of atomic weapons, actually caused Japan to surrender. Recall, Japan did not surrender after Hiroshima, which was dropped on August 6. And while Russia’s invasion of Manchuria was only hours before the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, it’s hard to believe that the Nagasaki bomb, which was only half as devastating as the Hiroshima bomb, would have an immediate effect, whereas days passed after the Hiroshima bomb with no entreaty from Japan even to negotiate surrender, let alone unconditionally surrender. I know historians differ as to the actual catalyst for Japan’s surrender, and perhaps it was the combination of events, but I believe at the time the U.S. welcomed Russia involvement in China as a further incentive for Japan to surrender.
“Most of the more powerful European kingdoms were rivals and frequently fought against each-other. But they were all Christian. It was something that could be used to unite them in common cause.”
So precisely who needed the religious incentive? Was it the foot soldier who would have otherwise disobeyed his king’s order to fight, or the king who was not convinced that fighting actually served his own self-interest? In either case, a belief in the mystical, a belief in divine justification, was applied in order to make war on other people not just palatable, but desireable. I think this is the point I was making. The crusades can and should be condemned as a reflection of the use of a belief in the mystical in order to justify harming someone else. Again, I don’t blame Christians of today for the transgressions of historical same-faith believers, but I do blame any person today who in the name of religion takes another human life or otherwise causes harm to others, whether in the name of Islam, Christ, Buddha, or the sky god.