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PostFDR's Provocations against Germany (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy, 11/27/19 4:42 am)
About German irredentism in the US (see John E's comments on my post of November 26th), if I am not mistaken Hitler more or less said (I do not remember the exact quotation): "A German abroad in Europe remains a German, while in the US he becomes an American."
Hitler never had any interest in the Americas. Also the Italians in America are fully American. Of course there is the tale that Hitler really escaped to Argentine but this is another story.
Anyway the Germans, according to the 2010 census, are the largest ethnic group in the US at 41.3 million. There are 17.6 million Italians.
By the "provocations" against Germany and Italy, I was not referring to Versailles. The German borders drawn there were simply a crime against humanity. After WWII the new borders may even be considered genocidal. On the other hand, reparations may be considered the usual burden placed by the victors on the losers, no matter who wanted the war. The Great War was really wanted by all participants for one reason or another. Oh, well, let's exclude Belgium...
Here are some of the provocations from President FDR:
In a speech on 4 January 1939 he threatened to adopt any actions excluding war against "totalitarian states."
On 14 April 1939 he appealed to Hitler and Mussolini "not to invade the territories of the following independent nations." Among them FDR included Syria, occupied by France, and Palestine and Egypt occupied by the UK. Not all US presidents are strong in geopolitics.
4 November 1939: He revised the Neutrality Act by which the embargo of arms to belligerents (International Law) was abolished but only for the parties fighting against Germany and Japan.
15 June 1940: FDR told the French PM that the US would double its aid providing that France continued to fight.
July 1940: US citizens are permitted to join the British Air Force, while British airmen receive training in the US.
September 1940: 50 US destroyers were transferred to British Navy, getting in exchange British military bases in the Americas. The transfer of the Empire and of the control of the seven seas from the UK to the US may be said to have started at this time.
March 1941: Lend Lease Act supplied arms to the UK and its allies, later also to the USSR.
19 December 1939: The US cruiser Tuscaloosa pushed the German passenger ship Columbus into the hands of the British Navy.
27 January 1940: The US cruiser Trenton informed the British Navy of the movements of 3 German merchant ships.
27 June 1940: US navy ships chased 3 German merchant ships which had to scuttle to avoid capture.
March 1941: All German and Italian merchant ships in the US or other American ports controlled by the US are confiscated and their crew placed in concentration camps. The crews who scuttled or burned their ships to avoid confiscation are considered criminals under US law.
April 1941: The US Navy starts patrolling North Atlantic in cooperation with the British Navy.
4 June 1941: Occupation of Greenland.
9 June 1941: First attack by the US Navy against a German submarine.
14 June 1941: Italian and German funds in US were frozen.
17 June 1941: The Consulates of the Axis nations were closed.
July 1941: Occupation of Iceland.
10 July 1941: Navy Secretary Frank Knox, per FDR's orders, permitted fire on Axis ships while US destroyers were allowed to escort British convoys and make attacks on Axis submarines.
Let's forget the Atlantic Charter of Roosevelt and Churchill and its hypocrisy, which became known at the end of the war. To discuss US-Japanese relations would be too long at this time. Suffice to remember the strangling sanctions and the Flying Tigers well before the official start of the war, even if they officially began operations only on 20 December 1941.
JE comments: Eugenio Battaglia makes a strong case, but then again December 7th approaches. No one forced the Japanese to attack, or Hitler to declare war on the US.
Can anyone locate the Hitler quote? Despite the Fuhrer's apparent lack of interest in German-Americans, we shouldn't forgot the German American Bund, which at its height had a membership of 25,000 and a number of "training" camps around the country.
Consider too the America First Committee, ostensibly isolationist but also pro-fascist and anti-Semitic. Charles Lindbergh was a spokesperson. Membership prior to Pearl Harbor was 800,000: