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2. Anglo-American policy aimed at weakening the Soviet Union and other countries and prolonging the war
In the policy of sabotaging the invasion of Western Europe across the English Channel, although for appearances the plan of invasion was agreed in principle (1) , the British rulers pursued the same line with the military and political figures of the United States. This policy also affected American strategy in the Pacific. The British and American political and military leaders did not at all pursue the goal of quickly defeating Hitlerite Germany and militarist Japan and winning the entire war.
During a visit by V. M. Molotov to London and Washington in 1942, when an alliance treaty was signed between the USSR and England in May of this year and an agreement on cooperation between the USSR and the USA in June, the London and Washington governments approved a plan to open a second front in Europe in 1942. The communiqué signed by representatives of England and the USSR said:
“During the negotiations between V. M. Molotov and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Mr. W. Churchill, a complete agreement was reached between both countries regarding the urgent tasks of creating a second front in Europe in 1942" (2) .
The Soviet-American communiqué, published in Washington after V. M. Molotov's talks with Roosevelt, was formulated in exactly the same way. But when signing the statement on the creation of a second front in Europe in 1942, the British and American political and military leaders did not even think of fulfilling these obligations. At the next Anglo-American meeting in Washington, held at the end of June, a proposal was made to prepare for an invasion of North Africa, and not Western Europe. The decision was made about this, which was a shameful treachery against an ally - the Soviet Union.
The British and American governments again and again postponed the invasion of Western Europe across the English Channel. This dishonest, perfidious policy became the basis of Anglo-American strategy. Instead of invading Western Europe, secondary operations were undertaken in North Africa, in Italy. This led to the fact that the Soviet Union had to fight one on one against the main forces of the fascist bloc throughout the war, right up to the defeat of Nazi Germany.
In February 1942, Comrade Stalin stated: "Now the Red Army and the Nazi army are waging war one on one" (3) .
At the same time, Comrade Stalin noted: “In a short time, the Red Army inflicted one blow after another on the fascist German troops near Rostov-on-Don and Tikhvin, in the Crimea and near Moscow. In fierce battles near Moscow, she defeated the Nazi troops, who threatened to encircle the Soviet capital ” (4) .
In the summer of 1942, there were 240 German divisions and satellite divisions on the Soviet-German front. More than 3 million troops stood in front of the front of the Soviet Army, armed with all the means of modern warfare. The Soviet Union bore the brunt of the war against Nazi Germany and its allies. At the same time, the Soviet country, being under the threat of attack by the Japanese imperialists, was forced to maintain armed forces in the Far East. These forces fettered a very significant part of the Japanese army, navy and aviation. The Soviet armed forces in the Far East exerted a tremendous influence on the strategic position and, in particular, on the actions of the Japanese troops in China. Of the total number of about 100 divisions, the Japanese command sent only about 20 divisions against the British, Americans, Australians and Dutch.
Offering resistance to the forces of the block of fascist aggressors and inflicting blows on them, the heroic Soviet Army in the summer and autumn of 1942 temporarily retreated in the Ukraine under pressure from the superior forces of the Nazi horde. Comrade Stalin noted in this regard in his order of November 7, 1942; “Taking advantage of the absence of a second front in Europe, the Germans and their allies gathered all their reserves under the whisk, threw them on our Ukrainian front and broke through it. At the cost of huge losses, the fascist German troops managed to advance in the south and endanger Stalingrad, the Black Sea coast, Grozny, and the approaches to Transcaucasia" (5). American and other billionaires and millionaires rejoiced at this, counting on the victory of their strike force - fascism. But the Soviet Army, waging a mortal one-on-one fight with the fascist German army, already in the autumn of 1942 was preparing a powerful counterattack near Stalingrad. The Japanese command during this period was waiting for further successes of the Nazi military machine, preparing in Manchuria an elite army for the invasion of Soviet territory. Therefore, the military operations of the Japanese armed forces were not of an intensive nature either on the Pacific fronts against the Americans and the British, or in China.
A huge selective Nazi army of 330 thousand people was liquidated near Stalingrad. Comrade Stalin pointed out in an order dated February 23, 1943: “In the last three months alone, the Red Army has defeated 112 enemy divisions, with more than 700 thousand killed and more than 300 thousand captured” (6) . During these three months, the Germans lost over 7,000 tanks, 4,000 aircraft, and 17,000 guns.
The military victory of the Soviet troops, unparalleled in history, and their further successes in the fight against the Nazi hordes, however, did not prompt the American-British military-political leaders to open a second front against the now clearly weakened enemy. The vile policy of sabotaging the second front continued both on the European front against Nazi Germany, and on the Pacific Ocean and in Asia, where, with a great superiority of forces compared to the Japanese who were at the front, the Americans and the British not only conducted military operations very sluggishly, but even retreated, as, for example, on the Indo-Burmese front. In 1943, which was called by Comrade Stalin the turning point in the course of the war, the British and Americans had only 5-6% of all the forces of Germany and its European allies against them.
At the end of 1942, the rulers of England and the United States decided to continue the policy of disrupting the agreement with the Soviet Union, which provided for the invasion of Western Europe across the English Channel. Pursuing their insidious policy, the Anglo-American leaders agreed to postpone the implementation of the second front, that is, practically to disrupt it.
Subsequently, during Marshall's trip to England, the British imperialist leaders quickly came to an agreement with the Americans about a new postponement of the opening of the front in Western Europe and about replacing it with an insignificant invasion of North Africa. The second front in Western Europe was opened only in June 1944 - when the fate of the German armed forces, the fate of fascism, had already been decided on the Soviet-German front, and it became clear that the Soviet armies would completely defeat fascism and liberate all of Western Europe without participation of England and the USA.
The Anglo-American strategy led to a prolongation of the war, to unnecessary bloodshed, to destruction, it was the cause of new great suffering for the peoples. This strategy was beneficial only to the British and American monopolies. The prolongation of the war brought them ever new huge military orders and new maximum profits, which are the engine of monopoly capitalism. The prolongation of the war also led to the strengthening of the economic and political power of the monopolies and their militarist clerks. The financial and industrial tycoons of the USA thought with pleasure that they would profit for a long time from the sale of steel, gunpowder, rubber, aluminum and lead, canned food and flour produced at Their Enterprises. The strategy of England and the United States was also beneficial to the enemy, as it delayed his defeat.
Intriguing against each other, the monopoly circles in the USA and Britain pursued a policy of delaying the opening of a second front in Western Europe.
The policy of delays, as it manifested itself in the Far East, also affected the issue of supplying the armed forces of China with military materials.
There were three main points of view on this issue. The first was General Stilwell and US Secretary of War Stimson, who, proceeding from the interests of US imperialism, suggested that more materials received for China be sent to equip and train Chinese troops stationed in India in order to use them for the purposes of US imperialism.
The second point of view—of the Kuomintang militarists—was that the maximum amount of war material should be placed at their disposal, that is, at the disposal of Chiang Kai-shek and Ho Ying-ch'in. They claimed that they were using these materials to wage war against Japan. However, everyone knew that they were not averse to going over to the camp of the fascist bloc and, waiting for the development of events on the decisive Soviet-German front, they hid most of the ammunition and weapons. That part of the weapons that ended up in the front depots and in the hands of the Kuomintang officers and soldiers was used extremely inefficiently; often these weapons passed into the hands of the Japanese.
According to the third point of view, which was expressed by the American General Chennault, who commanded the 14th US Air Force in China, a major speculator and swindler, the maximum amount of military property and loans should have been placed at his disposal, ostensibly for waging an air war against Japan (but in fact for speculation and profit). The racist Chennault said that Stilwell would still not make good soldiers out of the Chinese, and his American air forces would, they say, deliver powerful blows to Japanese bases, divert Japanese forces from the Pacific Ocean and, if necessary, repel any Japanese offensive attempts deep into China .
All these plans precluded the supply of arms to the only effective anti-Japanese force in China—the People's Revolutionary Army. All of them had the goal of prolonging the war against the bloc of fascist aggressors, and not conducting effective military operations and ending the war as soon as possible. They pursued the narrowly selfish interests of the imperialist cliques.
Despite the fact that US Secretary of War Stimson agreed with Stilwell's ideas, his plan was rejected at a conference in Washington in May 1943. The British supported Chennault, and the Kuomintang commanders also willingly supported him. Roosevelt was also easily inclined to accept Chennault's plan. American aviation in China began to receive the vast majority of American military supplies sent to Asia. What was the result of this strategy? On this occasion, former US Secretary of War Stimson let slip. A year and a half later (October 3, 1944), he gave the following assessment of the situation: “Having invested a lot of effort in the air line across the Himalayan range, we bled our fleet of transport aircraft. Due to the lack of transport aircraft, we are now stuck in Holland and at the mouth of the Scheldt River. The same cause paralyzes our operations in Northern Italy. Efforts,(7) .
Here, of course, the significance of the shortage of transport aircraft is exaggerated, but this remark by Stimson is still significant. The leaders of the imperialist countries deliberately dragged out the war, seeking to gain and weaken the Soviet Union. They themselves created various obstacles to the effective conduct of the war in Europe, including the transfer of transport aircraft to Asia for useless and militarily unnecessary "operations" of Chennault's speculators, who were more engaged in air smuggling than military operations.
Although Chennault received even twice as much supplies as he had originally demanded, his air force, as well as the Kuomintang troops, went into a stampede when the Japanese launched an offensive in 1944. In a short time, the Japanese troops captured the abandoned seven major American military - air bases in South and Central China.
The useless diversion of forces to the detriment of the second front in Europe was the result of a deliberately wrecking strategy in relation to the main front of the war. Australian Prime Minister Karten, in his report to Parliament on June 22, 1943, reported that Foreign Minister Evatt had easily succeeded during his next trip to England and the USA to increase the number of aircraft intended for the Australian air force. "That means a 60 percent increase in the Australian Air Force," (8) Karten said. He might add that all this was done to weaken the efforts of the allies in Europe.
Both the United States and England sent large numbers of warplanes to Australia, partly with British pilots. Evatt later boasted that he had also achieved an increase in the supply of other weapons to Australia. All this happened at a time when any threat to Australia had long since passed.
In 1948, Evatt, summing up the results of military and political strategy during the war, recalled with great complacency that as a result of the change in the principle of "beating Hitler first" to the Pacific Ocean, "planes and weapons were sent in much larger numbers than originally planned" (9) .
The Allied strategy in China was detrimental to military action both in China itself and—as even Stimson admitted—in Western Europe. The policy of supplying the Pacific theater of operations in 1943-1944 was also deliberately designed to delay the invasion of Western Europe. surplus weapons. Evatt did not need to beg for such a policy - it was carried out by the British and American monopolists and without his proposals. Clearly, this was meant not to hasten the rout of the aggressors, but to delay this rout.
Only the mighty offensive of the Soviet troops against the forces of the main aggressor - Germany, the crushing blows inflicted on the Nazi armies in 1943 and then in the summer, autumn and winter of 1944, led to the fact that in December 1944 the Japanese command suspended its offensive in China, because by that time it had become obvious to him that the collapse of fascist Germany was rapidly approaching and, at the same time, the strategic position on all fronts was changing decisively.
Already in the summer of 1944 - the year of decisive victories on the Soviet-German front - during the offensive of the heroic Soviet troops, the "Mannerheim Line" and the "eastern rampart of the Nazis" were liquidated for a month. The military events on the fronts of the war against Germany not only had a decisive impact on Japan's strategy in China and throughout the Pacific, but also decided the fate of the Tojo cabinet, which resigned on July 18, 1944.
The American generals who defended the priority of the Pacific over Europe were led by General MacArthur. He had his own reasons for this, including those of a narrowly personal nature. MacArthur demanded the transfer of the maximum amount of forces and means at his disposal, explaining all the successes of the Japanese by the lack of forces at his disposal. He declared that first it was necessary to defeat Japan as supposedly a more dangerous enemy than Germany, and then to take on Germany. Therefore, he called the plan to invade Western Europe unrealistic.
MacArthur presented a plan according to which in 1942-1943. a big operation should have been carried out against Japan, based on the premise that Japan is the main enemy of the United States (10). However, Roosevelt in the second half of July 1942, before going to a meeting in London, gave Marshall and Hopkins the following directive: "I object to the deployed operations of the Americans in the Pacific directed against Japan in order to defeat her as soon as possible." Roosevelt explained this directive by saying that "the defeat of Germany means the defeat of Japan, probably without a single shot and without a single victim." Roosevelt was wrong about Japan capitulating after the defeat of Germany "without firing a shot." At the same time, the American command did not at all implement a strategy that would really help to accelerate the defeat of the main enemy - Germany.
As you know, it took the entry into the Pacific War of the USSR and the defeat of the Soviet Armed Forces of the Japanese army on the Asian mainland in order to force Japan to capitulate. Roosevelt, at the same time, did not dare to go all the way towards MacArthur's harassment for a number of reasons: he did not want to risk his influence in broad social strata, considered it undesirable to advertise too clearly his agreement with the saboteurs of the second front, and, finally, did not want to let go of the weapon pressure on England.
The American and British magnates of capital and their minions, the militarists and reactionary politicians, longed for the exhaustion and defeat of the USSR. The policy of diverting forces and resources to the Pacific Ocean was also pursued by the Kuomintang government, resorting to all sorts of tricks, intrigues and blackmail in order to get more material benefits from Washington; the vast majority of the funds received flowed into the pockets of the feudal-comprador elite. At critical moments in negotiations with the United States, representatives of Chongqing openly threatened even capitulation to Japan and were ready to commit it if the Nazi troops succeeded in the offensive launched against the Soviet Army at the end of 1942. The front against the Japanese in China was held by armed forces led by the Communist Party of China .
(1) Churchill accepted the original American proposal to open a second front in Western Europe in August-September 1942 at meetings with Marshall and Hopkins, who arrived in London on April 8, 1942 (according to the Harry Hopkins Archive, pp. 523— 540). But all this was only a hypocritical game on the part of both American and British reactionaries.
(2) "The Foreign Policy of the Soviet Union during the Patriotic War", vol. I, 1944, p. 247.
(3) JV Stalin, On the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union, p. 44.
(4) J. V. Stalin, On the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union, p. 43.
(5) Ibid., p. 79.
(6) J. V. Stalin, On the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union, p. 92.
(7) H. Stimson and G. Bundy, On Active Service in Peace and War, New York 1948, p. 538.
(8) Foreign Policy of Australia, p. 134.
(9) New York Times Magazine, April 4, 1948.
(10) R. Sherwood, Rooisevelt and Hopkins, NY 1948, p. 605.