Ramesh’s last post touches on an interesting point also raised by several
emailers: Was the US-Japan conflict of 1941-45 really “total war”? I had
written glibly as though it was — so we always think of it. Yet in fact
the integrity of the United States (Hawaii at that time not a state) was
never seriously threatened — that is now clear.
How clear was it to the Americans of that time? The removing of Japanese
and Americans of Japanese descent from possible invasion zones on the W
coast suggests that the government, at any rate, took Japan to be an
existential threat to the U.S. Philip K. Dick wrote a novel, The Man in
the High Castle, about a postwar America divided up between the Japanese
and the Germans (the division was at the Mississippi). I suppose a lot of
people thought that some such thing might have happened. It looks pretty
implausible now, though.
Was US-Japan 1941-45 a total war, in the sense that Japan-China was, or