NYC CASO and wartime

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NYC CASO and wartime
Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, August 03, 2016 12:24 AM

Canada was at war with Germany in 1939, 2 years before the US entry into the war. Did this effect the operations of New York Centrals superb Canada Southern Line Detroit-Buffalo? Were there special restrictions and inspections? Was the border a problem? Wabash and Pere Marquette also had routes roughly the same although most of it was trackage rights. How did this effect these railroads? 

Once the US jumped into the war it is likely things changed somewhat and I imagine these lines, especially the CASO, were vital and strategically important to the war effort for both Canada and the US. 

Does anyone know how busy things got and what problems were faced by the US railroads operating in Canada before the US entry. 

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Posted by MidlandMike on Wednesday, August 03, 2016 9:16 PM

While the U.S. did not declare war until Dec 1941, they were both supplying  others that were already in the war, and were somewhat gearing up for the possibility of becomng involved.  Detroit was very involved. 

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, August 03, 2016 10:04 PM

Yes I realize that the US was a strong friendly nation ( eg. The lend lease program with Britian), before joining in the war. 

My question goes to operations of US railroads in Canada. One country was at war and another was not. I'm sure the US had to take certain precautions so as not to provoke a declaration of war with Germany. Conversely, Canada may have required through freight trains to be sealed, much like they did with through passengers, and special inspections carried out here and there. Certainly the border must have tightened up. ( I'm thinking there was unofficial wink wink nod nod things going on, but strictly unofficial).  I'm wondering how this time period before the US entry into the war was dealt with on the railroads running from a US point ( Detroit) to a US point (Buffalo) but all through Canada. It was an unusual situation. 

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Posted by SD70M-2Dude on Thursday, August 04, 2016 12:18 AM

I know that Canadian lines in the U.S. like CP's International of Maine route were forbidden from carrying war material until the U.S. declared war due to neutrality regulations, but then it was full steam ahead.  I imagine something similar, but reversed applied on American lines in Canada.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, August 04, 2016 12:32 PM

SD70M-2Dude- Yes thanks, that's the kind of information I was looking for. In the case you citied then CP would have to take the long way around the Gaspe to get to the Eastern Provinces or ship up the St. Lawrence in U boat infested waters. At least for wartime material. Yikes!

There likely is no one left from that era that worked on the railroad crossing Southern Ontario and little written about these effects.  Maybe a lot of information was classified. The border agencies would have had some kind of special wartime regulations. Certainly traffic would have increased substantially on the Canadian side. Bridges, stations, even whole trains may have been guarded by troops and this must have applied to the Central's CASO line, even though the US was not involved yet at this point. 

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Posted by Penny Trains on Thursday, August 04, 2016 6:47 PM

This would make a very fascinating article.  It's something a lot of us probably never really thought about before.

Becky

A waking Lithium Flower just about to bloom

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, August 06, 2016 1:11 PM

I can't say what was going on with US and Canada rail operations in the years from 1939 to 1941, but as a military history buff I CAN say there was a lot of "turning a blind eye" going on by the Roosevelt administration.  Even though the US wasn't interested in getting involved in another European war the FDR administration and the American people had no doubt as to who were the good guys and who were the bad guys. 

Look at the young American men who crossed the border into Canada to join the Empire forces.  Strictly speaking it's against American law to join foreign military organizations, you can loose your citizenship if you do, but since those young men were joining the right side the law was never enforced.   Also, with FDR and J. Edgar Hoover's blessing, there were British agents here in the US keeping an eye on and investigating German agents.  There were other things too.  The US Neutrality Act kept American manufacturers from selling warplanes to Britain, but if those planes were TOWED across the border and not FLOWN over they were considered motor vehicles, and that was OK! 

Look at Hollywood films made before the American entry into World War Two like  "A Yank In The RAF,"  "Captains Of The Clouds," and "Dive Bomber"  for a good insight into the American attitude.  Yeah, we knew who the heroes were, and they worked for Winston, and not Adolf.

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Posted by wanswheel on Saturday, August 06, 2016 4:47 PM

Excerpt from Canada’s Yanks by Hugh A. Halliday

https://legionmagazine.com/en/2006/07/canadas-yanks/

As of Dec. 8, 1941, approximately 6,129 Americans were members of the RCAF. Just over half—3,883—were still undergoing training, but 667 were on operations overseas while others were engaged in flying duties in Canada itself, instructing, flying anti-submarine patrols, etc. With America’s entry into the war, RCAF recruiting there ceased and American volunteers began heading for USAAF offices instead. Americans residing in Canada were still being enrolled, however. Ultimately, the RCAF calculated that more than 8,860 U.S. nationals joined that force.

Within a month of Pearl Harbor, talks were underway for the transfer of Americans from the RCAF to U.S. flying services. In May and June 1942, a board of Canadian and American officers travelled across Canada by special train, affecting the release of 1,759 Americans from the RCAF and enrolling them simultaneously in American forces. Transfers continued throughout the war. The RCAF calculated that 3,797 Americans switched back to their own national forces. That left 5,263 Americans who elected to stay with the RCAF throughout their service careers.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, August 06, 2016 5:45 PM

Wow. Great stuff Wanswheel,,what a great read...and thanks as well to Firelock76.."towed across" that's the way it went! 

Wonder if it's still an advantage with the ladies, if you're a single American fellow up here, to say you're from Texas? 

 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, August 06, 2016 7:23 PM

Miningman

Wow. Great stuff Wanswheel,,what a great read...and thanks as well to Firelock76.."towed across" that's the way it went! 

Wonder if it's still an advantage with the ladies, if you're a single American fellow up here, to say you're from Texas? 

 

 

There's a great scene in that film I mentioned "Captains Of The Clouds" you just reminded me of.

Canadian Air Marshal Billy Bishop (the top surviving British Empire ace of World War One with 72 kills, and yes, that REALLY is him!) is inspecting a line of RCAF air cadets.  He asks one "And where are you from, son?"

"Texas, sir!"  the young man responds.

"Excellent!" says Billy. "One of our best provinces!"

Great aviation film, and in Technicolor too!  See it if you get the chance.

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Posted by wanswheel on Sunday, August 07, 2016 1:31 AM

http://www.tcm.com/this-month/article/78131%7C0/Captains-of-the-Clouds.html

http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/21226/Captains-of-the-Clouds-Original-Trailer-.html

Excerpt from Winged Warfare by Maj. William A. Bishop (1918)

When I left for my leave to England, I was not very keen on going. The excitement of the chase had a tight hold on my heart-strings, and I felt that the only thing I wanted was to stay right at it and fight, and fight and fight in the air. I don't think I was ever happier in my life. It seemed that I had found the one thing I loved above all others. To me it was not a business or a profession, but just a wonderful game. To bring down a machine did not seem to me to be killing a man; it was more as if I was just destroying a mechanical target, with no human being in it. Once or twice the idea that a live man had been piloting the machine would occur and recur to me, and it would worry me a bit. My sleep would be spoiled perhaps for a night. I did not relish the idea even of killing Germans, yet, when in a combat in the air, it seemed more like any other kind of sport, and to shoot down a machine was very much the same as if one were shooting down clay pigeons. One had the great satisfaction of feeling that he had hit the target and brought it down; that one was victorious again.

https://archive.org/stream/wingedwarfare00bishuoft#page/166/mode/2up

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, August 07, 2016 10:08 AM

Thanks for the post and links Wanswheel.  That quote from Billy Bishop pretty much proves what Manfred von Richthofen said makes an ace.  The aces aren't stunt fliers or aeronautical engineers.  The aces are combat soldiers, pure and simple.

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, August 08, 2016 3:15 AM

8,860 Americans signed up for the RCAF prior to the US entry into the war..that's a huge number. I'm sure that was great comfort for us during the dark days of '40 and '41.

I'm still curious about the effects of operations on the Wabash, Pere Marquette and NYC with those big main lines across Southern Ontario. NYC in particular had quite a bit of on line business and branch lines. I'm pretty sure the Wabash was just straight through and little on line business, but they did have a passenger train that operated in Canada only. The Pere Marquette had a branch and their own track as far as St Thomas. They all had substantial locomotive facilities and backshops in St. Thomas as well. This was a short period of time late '39 to late '41. The cooperation would have been substantial but all "under the table". Very clandestine. I'm sure we could only get good accounts from the actual railroaders of that time period or declassified government records. Then after the US declaration things would have got even more interesting really! 

Reading the 1941 NYC Annual Report didn't reveal anything except that business was way way up in 1941 across the board even though America was not in the war until the last month. War time preparations must have been well underway before Pearl Harbour. The NYC does state in the report that business was up substantially due to the war even though that was less than a months time. 

We need someone like Spielberg to make a fact based movie about the railroads role during WWII...all those night trains and headlights in the dark, smokey roundhouses, exhausted men, women and machinery, and a thousand and one stories...rich untapped ground there Steven! 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, August 13, 2016 3:35 PM

I did a little research on the various American Neutrality Acts and how they may have had a bearing on the original topic.

Without writing a dissertation and boring everyone, the whole sequence worked like this...

It's said that generals alway prepare to fight the last war. Sometimes polititians do as well.  As  the world in the 1930's began to heat up the US Congress was trying to prevent a repetition of the chain of events that got the United States involved in World War One, so various Neutrality Acts were passed.

The first in 1935 prohibited the United States from selling munitions to ANY belligerant nations.  In 1936 an addition was passed that also prevented loans to belligerant nations.

The 1937 Neutrality Act extended the provisions of the first two acts to civil wars, and also gave the president discretionary authority to restrict NON-munition sales to belligerant nations to a "cash and carry" basis.  That meant belligerants had to pay in advance for goods and export them on their own ships.

After the European war started the 1939 Neutrality Act banned American ships from carrying goods to belligerant ports, but allowed the US to sell munitions on a "cash and carry" basis.

Then came the Lend-Lease Act of March 1941.  This permitted the president to "sell, transfer title to, exchange, lease, lend, or otherwise dispose of" any defense articles to "any country whose defense the President deems vital to the defense of the United States." 

With no doubt as to who the "good guys" were the Neutrality Acts were repealed on November 13, 1941.

How did this effect railroad operations into and out of Canada after September 3d, 1939 when the British Empire declared war on Nazi Germany?  I'm going to stick my neck waaaaay out and say it was probably business as usual, unless there were munitions on the American trains, which weren't supposed to be there anyway.  Canadian trains entering the US could more than likely pick up anything they wanted, I'm sure they were considered "foreign shipping" under the terms of the Neutrality Act. 

And after the Lend-Lease Act was passed, I'm sure that "tore the lid off," for lack of a better phrase, anyone could haul munitions into Canada at that point.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, August 13, 2016 4:25 PM

Well thank you very much for the research Firelock76. There is not a lot of railfan input from that era as security concerns discouraged taking photos or written articles. Most photos from the war era were official government or company sanctioned and likely subject to censorship. I'm sure that key strategic railroad infrastructure and large stations had a visible troop presence In a security role. 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, August 14, 2016 12:13 PM

Certainly there were security concerns and photography prohibitions, but a railfan photographer could probably indulge himself during the war years if he exercised a little common sense.  I'm sure no-one cared if you were out railfanning the local "Puddle Jumper & Western," but you certainly didn't want to be caught dead with a camera near a place like Horseshoe Curve, or the New York Central's West Shore Line, or huge railyards like Enola, Roanoke, or Cheyenne, or any place where troop trains or military shipments were likely to be.  Military authorities and Hoovers "G-men" were going to take a dim view of those activities!

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, August 20, 2016 1:49 AM

I am borrowing and quoting phrases from an article written by Conrad Black in the Natiional Post Saturday Aug. 20th/16. 

On Dec.29, 1940, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave one of his most famous fireside radio addresses to the nation. It was listened to by 75% of American adults when he said that the United States "must be the great arsenal of democracy". He denounced what he said was the "pious frauds" of the isolationists and said there would be no agreement with the aggressor states. He warned that if Britian were defeated by Nazi Germany that "we in this hemisphere would be living at the point of a gun....no dictator, no combination of dictators would detract or deter the United States from doing what it's clear national interest and moral duty required".

Shortly thereafter Lend-Lease was passed, which allowed Britain and Canada to buy what they needed and pay when they could. The response from Brtain and Canada was to praise Americas "generous and far seeing statesmanship". 

The most powerful democracy had declared that it will devote its overwhelming industrial and financial wealth to ensuring the defeat of Nazism. Churchill stated "The government and people of the United States in fact had written a new Magna Carta that not only proclaims the rights and laws of a healthy and advancing civilization but also proclaims it is the duty of free nations to share the responsibility and burden of enforcing them". 

By this time Roosevelt had extended the US territorial waters from three to 1,800 miles and ordered the US Navy to attack on detection any German ship. Roosevelt then ordered 100,000 war planes and started up the machinery to put America on a war footing. He was waging undeclared war on Germany. 

So in light of all of this I doubt that there was any trouble at all with shipments across the border to Canada and to East Coast ports for shipping to Britain. The CASO, Pere Marquette and Wabash would have been bustling with war goods and supply's across Southern Ontario. 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, August 20, 2016 10:10 AM

Good post Miningman!  That pretty much says it all.  Here we were in the US, looking somewhat nervously east over the Atlantic wondering what Mr. Churchill called  "Hitler and the grisly gang that works his wicked will" were going to get up to next.

And then when the lightning struck, it came from the west over the Pacific. 

Oh well.

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Posted by Deggesty on Saturday, August 20, 2016 10:17 AM

At some time in the thirties, Japana and Germany agreed that if one declared war on the United States, the other one would also declare war on our country. So, after Japan attacked us and declared upon us, Adolf Hitler, even though he was already fighting on two fronts, felt compelled to do the same.

Johnny

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, August 20, 2016 10:34 AM

Well Deggesty, that's a bit of a common misconception.  The actual pact between Germany-Italy-Japan was a mutual defense pact, not a mutual aggression pact.  No party was obligated to come into a conflict started by another party.  For example, Mussolini didn't join Hitler's war until Adolf was steamrollering all the opposition and it looked like he was going to be a winner.  Japan never joined Hitler's efforts to defeat the Soviet Union, even though they had several hundred thousand occupation troops stationed in Manchuria and could have caused Stalin no end of trouble without to much difficulty. 

Why Hitler declared war on the United States when there was no reason for him to do so has been puzzling historians from that day to this.  His own people, Goering, Ribbentrop, Keitel and Jodl advised him not to do it, but he didn't listen.  He gave a long rambling speech at the time outlining his reasons, but in the end it still didn't make sense to declare war on an industrial powerhouse nation he couldn't touch, but with air bases in Britain would have NO trouble getting at him.

His own worst enemy I suppose. 

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Posted by wanswheel on Saturday, August 20, 2016 11:06 AM

Miningman

On Dec.29, 1940, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave one of his most famous fireside radio addresses to the nation.

December 29, 1940  

Radio address of the President, delivered from the White House 

MY FRIENDS: 

This is not a fireside chat on war. It is a talk on national security, because the nub of the whole purpose of your President is to keep you now, and your children later, and your grandchildren much later, out of a last-ditch war for the preservation of American independence and all of the things that American independence means to you and to me and to ours. 

Tonight, in the presence of a world crisis, my mind goes back eight years to a night in the midst of a domestic crisis. It was a time when the wheels of American industry were grinding to a full stop, when the whole banking system of our country had ceased to function. 

I well remember that while I sat in my study in the White House, preparing to talk with the people of the United States, I had before my eyes the picture of all those Americans with whom I was talking. I saw the workmen in the mills, the mines, the factories; the girl behind the counter; the small shopkeeper; the farmer doing his spring plowing; the widows and the old men wondering about their life's savings. 

I tried to convey to the great mass of American people what the banking crisis meant to them in their daily lives. 

Tonight, I want to do the same thing, with the same people, in this new crisis which faces America. 

We met the issue of 1933 with courage and realism. 

We face this new crisis -- this new threat to the security of our nation -- with the same courage and realism. 

Never before since Jamestown and Plymouth Rock has our American civilization been in such danger as now. 

For, on September 27th, 1940, this year, by an agreement signed in Berlin, three powerful nations, two in Europe and one in Asia, joined themselves together in the threat that if the United States of America interfered with or blocked the expansion program of these three nations -- a program aimed at world control -- they would unite in ultimate action against the United States. 

The Nazi masters of Germany have made it clear that they intend not only to dominate all life and thought in their own country, but also to enslave the whole of Europe, and then to use the resources of Europe to dominate the rest of the world. 

It was only three weeks ago that their leader stated this: "There are two worlds that stand opposed to each other." And then in defiant reply to his opponents, he said this: "Others are correct when they say: With this world we cannot ever reconcile ourselves .... I can beat any other power in the world." So said the leader of the Nazis. 

In other words, the Axis not merely admits but the Axis proclaims that there can be no ultimate peace between their philosophy--their philosophy of government and our philosophy of government. 

In view of the nature of this undeniable threat, it can be asserted, properly and categorically, that the United States has no right or reason to encourage talk of peace, until the day shall come when there is a clear intention on the part of the aggressor nations to abandon all thought of dominating or conquering the world. 

At this moment, the forces of the states that are leagued against all peoples who live in freedom are being held away from our shores. The Germans and the Italians are being blocked on the other side of the Atlantic by the British, and by the Greeks, and by thousands of soldiers and sailors who were able to escape from subjugated countries. In Asia the Japanese are being engaged by the Chinese nation in another great defense. 

In the Pacific Ocean is our fleet. 

Some of our people like to believe that wars in Europe and in Asia are of no concern to us. But it is a matter of most vital concern to us that European and Asiatic war-makers should not gain control of the oceans which lead to this hemisphere. 

One hundred and seventeen years ago the Monroe Doctrine was conceived by our Government as a measure of defense in the face of a threat against this hemisphere by an alliance in Continental Europe. Thereafter, we stood guard in the Atlantic, with the British as neighbors. There was no treaty. There was no "unwritten agreement." 

And yet, there was the feeling, proven correct by history, that we as neighbors could settle any disputes in peaceful fashion. And the fact is that during the whole of this time the Western Hemisphere has remained free from aggression from Europe or from Asia. 

Does anyone seriously believe that we need to fear attack anywhere in the Americas while a free Britain remains our most powerful naval neighbor in the Atlantic? And does anyone seriously believe, on the other hand, that we could rest easy if the Axis powers were our neighbors there? 

If Great Britain goes down, the Axis powers will control the continents of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia, and the high seas -- and they will be in a position to bring enormous military and naval resources against this hemisphere. It is no exaggeration to say that all of us, in all the Americas, would be living at the point of a gun -- a gun loaded with explosive bullets, economic as well as military. 

We should enter upon a new and terrible era in which the whole world, our hemisphere included, would be run by threats of brute force. And to survive in such a world, we would have to convert ourselves permanently into a militaristic power on the basis of war economy. 

Some of us like to believe that even if Britain falls, we are still safe, because of the broad expanse of the Atlantic and of the Pacific. 

But the width of those oceans is not what it was in the days of clipper ships. At one point between Africa and Brazil the distance is less from Washington than it is from Washington to Denver, Colorado -- five hours for the latest type of bomber. And at the North end of the Pacific Ocean America and Asia almost touch each other. 

Why, even today we have planes that could fly from the British Isles to New England and back again without refueling. And remember that the range of a modern bomber is ever being increased. 

During the past week many people in all parts of the nation have told me what they wanted me to say tonight. Almost all of them expressed a courageous desire to hear the plain truth about the gravity of the situation. One telegram, however, expressed the attitude of the small minority who want to see no evil and hear no evil, even though they know in their hearts that evil exists. That telegram begged me not to tell again of the ease with which our American cities could be bombed by any hostile power which had gained bases in this Western Hemisphere. The gist of that telegram was: "Please, Mr. President, don't frighten us by telling us the facts." 

Frankly and definitely there is danger ahead -- danger against which we must prepare. But we well know that we cannot escape danger, or the fear of danger, by crawling into bed and pulling the covers over our heads. 

Some nations of Europe were bound by solemn non-intervention pacts with Germany. Other nations were assured by Germany that they need never fear invasion. Non-intervention pact or not, the fact remains that they were attacked, overrun, thrown into modern slavery at an hour's notice, or even without any notice at all. As an exiled leader of one of these nations said to me the other day, "The notice was a minus quantity. It was given to my Government two hours after German troops had poured into my country in a hundred places." 

The fate of these nations tells us what it means to live at the point of a Nazi gun. 

The Nazis have justified such actions by various pious frauds. One of these frauds is the claim that they are occupying a nation for the purpose of "restoring order." Another is that they are occupying or controlling a nation on the excuse that they are "protecting it" against the aggression of somebody else. 

For example, Germany has said that she was occupying Belgium to save the Belgians from the British. Would she then hesitate to say to any South American country, "We are occupying you to protect you from aggression by the United States?" 

Belgium today is being used as an invasion base against Britain, now fighting for its life. And any South American country, in Nazi hands, would always constitute a jumping-off place for German attack on any one of the other republics of this hemisphere. 

Analyze for yourselves the future of two other places even nearer to Germany if the Nazis won. Could Ireland hold out? Would Irish freedom be permitted as an amazing pet exception in an unfree world? Or the Islands of the Azores which still fly the flag of Portugal after five centuries? You and I think of Hawaii as an outpost of defense in the Pacific. And yet, the Azores are closer to our shores in the Atlantic than Hawaii is on the other side. 

There are those who say that the Axis powers would never have any desire to attack the Western Hemisphere. That  is the same dangerous form of wishful thinking which has destroyed the powers of resistance of so many conquered peoples. The plain facts are that the Nazis have proclaimed, time and again, that all other races are their inferiors and therefore subject to their orders. And most important of all, the vast resources and wealth of this American Hemisphere constitute the most tempting loot in all of the round world. 

Let us no longer blind ourselves to the undeniable fact that the evil forces which have crushed and undermined and corrupted so many others are already within our own gates. Your Government knows much about them and every day is ferreting them out. 

Their secret emissaries are active in our own and in neighboring countries. They seek to stir up suspicion and dissension to cause internal strife. They try to turn capital against labor, and vice versa. They try to reawaken long slumbering racial and religious enmities which should have no place in this country. They are active in every group that promotes intolerance. They exploit for their own ends our own natural abhorrence of war. These trouble-breeders have but one purpose. It is to divide our people, to divide them into hostile groups and to destroy our unity and shatter our will to defend ourselves. 

There are also American citizens, many of them in high places, who, unwittingly in most cases, are aiding and abetting the work of these agents. I do not charge these American citizens with being foreign agents. But I do charge them with doing exactly the kind of work that the dictators want done in the United States. 

These people not only believe that we can save our own skins by shutting our eyes to the fate of other nations. Some of them go much further than that. They say that we can and should become the friends and even the partners of the Axis powers. Some of them even suggest that we should imitate the methods of the dictatorships. But Americans never can and never will do that. 

The experience of the past two years has proven beyond doubt that no nation can appease the Nazis. No man can tame a tiger into a kitten by stroking it. There can be no appeasement with ruthlessness. There can be no reasoning with an incendiary bomb. We know now that a nation can have peace with the Nazis only at the price of total surrender. 

Even the people of Italy have been forced to become accomplices of the Nazis, but at this moment they do not know how soon they will be embraced to death by their allies. 

The American appeasers ignore the warning to be found in the fate of Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and France. They tell you that the Axis powers are going to win anyway; that all of this bloodshed in the world could be saved, that the United States might just as well throw its influence into the scale of a dictated peace, and get the best out of it that we can. 

They call it a "negotiated peace." Nonsense! Is it a negotiated peace if a gang of outlaws surrounds your community and on threat of extermination makes you pay tribute to save your own skins? 

Such a dictated peace would be no peace at all. It would be only another armistice, leading to the most gigantic armament race and the most devastating trade wars in all history. And in these contests the Americas would offer the only real resistance to the Axis powers. 

With all their vaunted efficiency, with all their parade of pious purpose in this war, there are still in their background the concentration camp and the servants of God in chains. 

The history of recent years proves that the shootings and the chains and the concentration camps are not simply the transient tools but the very altars of modern dictatorships. They may talk of a "new order" in the world, but what they have in mind is only a revival of the oldest and the worst tyranny. In that there is no liberty, no religion, no hope. 

The proposed "new order" is the very opposite of a United States of Europe or a United States of Asia. It is not a government based upon the consent of the governed. It is not a union of ordinary, self-respecting men and women to protect themselves and their freedom and their dignity from oppression. It is an unholy alliance of power and pelf to dominate and to enslave the human race. 

The British people and their allies today are conducting an active war against this unholy alliance. Our own future security is greatly dependent on the outcome of that fight. Our ability to "keep out of war" is going to be affected by that outcome. 

Thinking in terms of today and tomorrow, I make the direct statement to the American people that there is far less chance of the United States getting into war if we do all we can now to support the nations defending themselves against attack by the Axis than if we acquiesce in their defeat, submit tamely to an Axis victory, and wait our turn to be the object of attack in another war later on. 

If we are to be completely honest with ourselves, we must admit that there is risk in any course we may take. But I deeply believe that the great majority of our people agree that the course that I advocate involves the least risk now and the greatest hope for world peace in the future. 

The people of Europe who are defending themselves do not ask us to do their fighting. They ask us for the implements of war, the planes, the tanks, the guns, the freighters which will enable them to fight for their liberty and for our security. Emphatically we must get these weapons to them, get them to them in sufficient volume and quickly enough, so that we and our children will be saved the agony and suffering of war which others have had to endure.  

Let not the defeatists tell us that it is too late. It will never be earlier. Tomorrow will be later than today.

Certain facts are self-evident. 

In a military sense Great Britain and the British Empire are today the spearhead of resistance to world conquest. And they are putting up a fight which will live forever in the story of human gallantry. 

There is no demand for sending an American Expeditionary Force outside our own borders. There is no intention by any member of your Government to send such a force. You can, therefore, nail -- nail any talk about sending armies to Europe as deliberate untruth. 

Our national policy is not directed toward war. Its sole purpose is to keep war away from our country and away from our people. 

Democracy's fight against world conquest is being greatly aided, and must be more greatly aided, by the rearmament of the United States and by sending every ounce and every ton of munitions and supplies that we can possibly spare to help the defenders who are in the front lines. And it is no more unneutral for us to do that than it is for Sweden, Russia and other nations near Germany to send steel and ore and oil and other war materials into Germany every day in the week. 

We are planning our own defense with the utmost urgency, and in its vast scale we must integrate the war needs of Britain and the other free nations which are resisting aggression. 

This is not a matter of sentiment or of controversial personal opinion. It is a matter of realistic, practical military policy, based on the advice of our military experts who are in close touch with existing warfare. These military and naval experts and the members of the Congress and the Administration have a single-minded purpose -- the defense of the United States. 

This nation is making a great effort to produce everything that is necessary in this emergency -- and with all possible speed. And this great effort requires great sacrifice. 

I would ask no one to defend a democracy which in turn would not defend everyone in the nation against want and privation. The strength of this nation shall not be diluted by the failure of the Government to protect the economic well-being of its citizens. 

If our capacity to produce is limited by machines, it must ever be remembered that these machines are operated by the skill and the stamina of the workers. As the Government is determined to protect the rights of the workers, so the nation has a right to expect that the men who man the machines will discharge their full responsibilities to the urgent needs of defense. 

The worker possesses the same human dignity and is entitled to the same security of position as the engineer or the manager or the owner. For the workers provide the human power that turns out the destroyers, and the planes and the tanks. 

The nation expects our defense industries to continue operation without interruption by strikes or lockouts. It expects and insists that management and workers will reconcile their differences by voluntary or legal means, to continue to produce the supplies that are so sorely needed. 

And on the economic side of our great defense program, we are, as you know, bending every effort to maintain stability of prices and with that the stability of the cost of living. 

Nine days ago I announced the setting up of a more effective organization to direct our gigantic efforts to increase the production of munitions. The appropriation of vast sums of money and a well coordinated executive direction of our defense efforts are not in themselves enough. Guns, planes, ships and many other things have to be built in the factories and the arsenals of America. They have to be produced by workers and managers and engineers with the aid of machines which in turn have to be built by hundreds of thousands of workers throughout the land. 

In this great work there has been splendid cooperation between the Government and industry and labor, and I am very thankful. 

American industrial genius, unmatched throughout all the world in the solution of production problems, has been called upon to bring its resources and its talents into action. Manufacturers of watches, of farm implements, of linotypes, and cash registers, and automobiles, and sewing machines, and lawn mowers and locomotives are now making fuses, bomb packing crates, telescope mounts, shells, and pistols and tanks. 

But all of our present efforts are not enough. We must have more ships, more guns, more planes -- more of everything. And this can only be accomplished if we discard the notion of "business as usual." This job cannot be done merely by superimposing on the existing productive facilities the added requirements of the nation for defense. 

Our defense efforts must not be blocked by those who fear the future consequences of surplus plant capacity. The possible consequences of failure of our defense efforts now are much more to be feared. 

And after the present needs of our defense are past, a proper handling of the country's peacetime needs will require all of the new productive capacity -- if not still more. 

No pessimistic policy about the future of America shall delay the immediate expansion of those industries essential to defense. We need them. 

I want to make it clear that it is the purpose of the nation to build now with all possible speed every machine, every arsenal, every  factory that we need to manufacture our defense material. We have the men -- the skill -- the wealth -- and above all, the will. 

I am confident that if and when production of consumer or luxury goods in certain industries requires the use of machines and raw materials that are essential for defense purposes, then such production must yield, and will gladly yield, to our primary and compelling purpose. 

So I appeal to the owners of plants -- to the managers -to the workers -- to our own Government employees -- to put every ounce of effort into producing these munitions swiftly and without stint. With this appeal I give you the pledge that all of us who are officers of your Government will devote ourselves to the same whole-hearted extent to the great task that lies ahead. 

As planes and ships and guns and shells are produced, your Government, with its defense experts, can then determine how best to use them to defend this hemisphere. The decision as to how much shall be sent abroad and how much shall remain at home must be made on the basis of our overall military necessities. 

We must be the great arsenal of democracy. For us this is an emergency as serious as war itself. We must apply ourselves to our task with the same resolution, the same sense of urgency, the same spirit of patriotism and sacrifice as we would show were we at war. 

We have furnished the British great material support and we will furnish far more in the future.

There will be no "bottlenecks" in our determination to aid Great Britain. No dictator, no combination of dictators, will weaken that determination by threats of how they will construe that determination. 

The British have received invaluable military support from the heroic Greek army and from the forces of all the governments in exile. Their strength is growing. It is the strength of men and women who value their freedom more highly than they value their lives. 

I believe that the Axis powers are not going to win this war. I base that belief on the latest and best of information. 

We have no excuse for defeatism. We have every good reason for hope -- hope for peace, yes, and hope for the defense of our civilization and for the building of a better civilization in the future. 

I have the profound conviction that the American people are now determined to put forth a mightier effort than they have ever yet made to increase our production of all the implements of defense, to meet the threat to our democratic faith. 

As President of the United States I call for that national effort. I call for it in the name of this nation which we love and honor and which we are privileged and proud to serve. I call upon our people with absolute confidence that our common cause will greatly succeed.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, August 20, 2016 2:20 PM

Wow! Great stuff Wanswheel Don't know how you do it but sure am grateful for it. 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, August 20, 2016 3:32 PM

"There were giants in those days..."

Thanks a lot Wanswheel!  And did anyone ever sound more like a President?  My father told me what a let-down it was when Roosevelt died and they heard Harry Truman's voice for the first time.  But as Dad said, "He did all right anyway."

For a really impressive presidential voice, do a You Tube search for the voice of Woodrow Wilson.  Let me tell you, he doesn't sound anything at all like you might suspect.  He sounds a lot like the late actor Lewis Stone, of "Judge Hardy" fame.

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Posted by wanswheel on Saturday, August 20, 2016 11:04 PM

Chicago Tribune and Brooklyn Eagle the next day. Poor London.

http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1940/12/30/page/1

http://bklyn.newspapers.com/image/52781823

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, August 21, 2016 12:53 AM

Another interesting occurance.... Not a drop of oil was to be sold to the Japanese, by the Presidents declaration of a "policy" of declining all applications of Japan to buy oil. About six weeks later American intelligence reported the redeployment of Japanese Army units from Siberia moving south to seize the oil fields of what is now Indonesia. Roosevelt immediately advised Stalin of this, which facilitated the movement of General Zhukov's 15 Soviet Siberian Divisions, well equipped for winter warfare, from the Far East, which were immediately used in the final and successful defence of Moscow...and just in the nick of time.

Can you imagine if Roosevelt had not of made that Presidental declaration of a policy..It is highly likely Moscow would have fallen. Roosevelt knew exactly what he was doing. 

RME
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Posted by RME on Thursday, August 25, 2016 10:17 AM

Deggesty
At some time in the thirties, Japana and Germany agreed that if one declared war on the United States, the other one would also declare war on our country.

If this is the Tripartite Pact, it was September 17, 1940.  The potentially relevant section (translated) is

"ARTICLE 3. Japan, Germany, and Italy ... undertake to assist one another with all political, economic and military means if one of the Contracting Powers is attacked by a Power at present not involved in the European War or in the Japanese-Chinese conflict."

While of course this doesn't say anything about attacks BY the Contracting Powers, it probably pays to remember the famous 'day that will live in infamy' speech and the subsequent speed of formal declaration of war on Japan (begun within an hour of the speech; Public Law 77-328, 55 STAT 795, Dec 8 1941).
 
Declaration of war having been made, Article 3 could be interpreted (certainly by typical Nazis of the sort Roosevelt commented on in the speech wanswheel quoted, I'd think!) as meaning that an 'attack' on Japan would be as imminent as the United States could make it.  The real surprise is that it took Hitler over 3 days to respond -- the reason for that timing might make an interesting historical study.
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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, August 25, 2016 6:41 PM

It took three days for Adolf to make up his mind, and going against the best advice he still declared war on the US.  Best guess from me and others who've studied the period is he probably thought the US would confine most of it's efforts against Japan and wouldn't bother with him much.

Third big mistake that eventually doomed him.  The second?  Invading the Soviet Union.  The first?  Starting a war to begin with.

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Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, August 25, 2016 8:38 PM

Yes, my memory failed me as to when the Germans, Italians, and Japanese decided upon a mutual defense/offense pact.

As to the invasion of Russia, if he had sent his armies in sooner, he might have made more progress-- but he was annoyed by a disturbance in Yugoslavia and decided to take care of that before going against the Bear--and paid the same price that Napoleon Bonaparte paid because he started moving too late.

William L. Shirer had two excellent works: Berlin Diary and The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.

 

Johnny

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, August 25, 2016 8:52 PM

Yes, late with Barbarossa to bail out his buddy Mussolini in Greece, then early and heavy rains that spring further delay, then instead of focusing on defeating Russia he focused on capturing prizes like Kiev, then no winter preparation. The railroad track is different gauge in Russia so the track had to be relaid therefore seriously impeding supply lines and movement of tanks. One thing after another, all poor planning and poor decisions 

Declaring war against the US including going up against the Pennsy, the C&O, UP, NYC...you name it, all of which he could not touch. No four engined bomber! Imagine if that four engined jet bomber with stealth ability from Horton was further along combined with a nuclear bomb from Peenemunde. The US had the bomber and the nuke in '45. I think things were closer than we think.. Or know. 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, August 25, 2016 9:06 PM

The Luftwaffe never developed a long-range bomber until it was too late for a variety of reasons, paramount of which was the Luftwaffe's loss of the one general who was agressively promoting strategic bombing in a plane crash.  The man's name was Walter Wever, and when he died so the the strategic bombing concept.

The Luftwaffe for all it's might was essentially what we'd call a tactical air force, that means it was geared for local air supremacy and support of advancing ground forces.  When they had to go strategic as in the air assaults on Britain they came up short, the Messerschmitt fighters had no long range capabilities and the bombers couldn't carry a load big enough to be truly devastating, and once the fighters had to return home due to lack of range the bombers were torn apart by the Spitfires and Hurricanes.

The Japanese fighter ace Saburo Sakai once said if the Luftwaffe had been flying Zeroes they would have won the Battle of Britain!  No range problems with the Zero!

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