Welcome to What Happens Next. My name is Larry Bernstein.
What Happens Next is a podcast which covers economics, finance, history, politics, religion and current events. Today’s session will be on the Allied Conquest of Japan. Our speaker will be Yale historian Paul Kennedy who is well known for his classic book The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. This will be the final podcast of his four-part podcast series on the history of World War 2. Today’s podcast will focus on the battles beginning in 1944 and ending with Japan’s unconditional surrender.
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Let’s begin with Paul Kennedy.
Paul, on our previous podcast on WW2 we ended the discussion in 1943. You argued that 1943 was the most important year of the war because the allies won the Battle of the Atlantic, Italy surrendered, and the Americans produced sufficient naval forces to crush the Japanese in the Pacific. Today, let’s discuss the battles of 1944 and what actions led to the ultimate Allied victories. Please set the stage for what the war looked like at the beginning of 1944.
Topic: The Allied Conquest of Japan
Bio: Author and historian at Yale University
Reading: Victory at Sea is here
Nineteen forty-four was when the three great allied movements against the axis all took place. On the Eastern front, there was the largest ever Red Army offensive called Operation Bagration, which buckled the Nazi held front in Eastern Europe. In 1944, the allied navies had chiefly pulled out of the Mediterranean, apart from bombarding around the Angio landings, because they were preparing to put all of their amphibious assets into the D-Day operation in Normandy in June 1944. In the Pacific under Nimitz, moving towards a big showdown with the Japanese Navy at the great Battle of the Philippines Sea, which we sometimes call the great Mariana's Turkey shoot because of the losses there.
More Paul Kennedy: 1943: The Year that Decided the Outcome of WW2
This episode is the third part of our ongoing history of World War 2.
Our speaker, Paul Kennedy, is the J Richardson Dilworth Professor of History at Yale. He has a new book out entitled Victory at Sea: Naval Power and the Transformation of the Global Order in WW2.
This episode Part 3 will focus on the fateful year 1943 when the war was won. Paul will tell us why the US decided to invade North Africa instead of Europe, as a trial balloon. Why North Africa was followed up with an invasion of Italy that subsequently knocked Mussolini of the war. We will learn about the internal strife within the allied alliance, the disputes between the armed services, and why the allies won.