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World War II Re-explored

Some New Millenium Studies in the History of the Global Conflict

Edited By Jarosław Suchoples, Stephanie James and Barbara Törnquist-Plewa

This volume is a collection of thirty papers written by authors from around the world. The writers focus on topics related to their own research interests. As a result, readers obtain a worldwide perspective on World War II from academics working on nearly every continent, proving that World War II was, probably, the first ever truly global experience for humanity. Present are many and different perspectives on the war. Eighty years after the end of World War II, these academics share their knowledge and reflections about a gruesome, but still not very remote time. In the new millennium, their studies should remind readers that the ‘end of history’ has been an impossible illusion and warn that peace and stability in international relations are not a given.

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Amidst Abyss and Paradise – Germany’s War in East Asia


Abstract: This article sheds light to the strategic logic of German military operations in East Asia during World War II. Based on research in the German Military Archives, it will be shown that the deployment of German submarines to the Far East followed 2 rationales, first to shackle Allied reinforcements and supplies for Europe via the Indian Ocean, and second to establish a stable supply line for the exchange of raw material to Germany with technical equipment for Japan. Despite some initial success in terms of destroyed tonnage coupled with binding Allied Naval forces that had to hunt for German submarines in the Indian Ocean, German submarines failed to seriously interfere with Allied supplies. Moreover, the limited amount of goods carried by German submarines, in combination with the large numbers of lost U-boats rendered the impact of these operations rather ineffective. German Naval bases did extremely well in the light of immense problems in terms of logistics and supplies. Taking all this into consideration, local conduct of the naval operations as such can be regarded as surprisingly efficient in a technical sense. An additional particular focus will be put on the social live of German navy personal stationed in exotic places such as Penang, Singapore, Djakarta (Batavia) or Yokohama. Based on memoirs, it will be demonstrated that despite the futility of Germany’s engagement in South-East and East Asia at least for the German seamen, notions of racial prejudice and superiority were challenged by the growing respect for Asia’s...

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