By S.Turnbull, W.Reynolds
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Extra resources for Siege Weapons Of the Far East (1) AD 612-1300
It could not expect to defeat the United States by itself. This implied that Japan could win the war only when, in cooperation with the Axis powers, it defeated Britain and caused the United States to lose the will to fight. When it proved impossible to cause Britain’s collapse, it became extremely difficult to win the war. Japan, therefore, increasingly laid emphasis on avoiding defeat rather than on winning the war. The Imperial Conference in late September 1943 decided a new grand strategy in the context of the worsening military situation in the South Pacific and Italy’s breaking away from the Axis.
It was Tojo who added this plan to the draft of the new strategy. 23 Tojo assumed a positive attitude toward ‘political strategy’ in the sense of gaining the confidence of the peoples in South-East Asia from the outset. He declared that Japan would give independence to Burma if the Burmese supported Japan’s war, at the beginning of 1942 when it started the operation to capture Burma. This was a part of the ‘political strategy’ to isolate Britain from India and Burma by promoting Burmese independence and instigating the Indian independence movement.
Stilwell was also to be Chief of Staff to Chiang as well as commander of the US forces in China, Burma and India. 34 More important for Britain was to keep its Commonwealth and Empire together as part of the Anglo-US global coalition. While Britain’s control of its Empire had begun to show some fragility during the inter-war period, it was able to obtain crucial military manpower from its Empire during the Second World War. Throughout the war, nearly half of Britain’s armed forces were raised in India, West Africa and the Dominions.