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Why is the invasion of Korea not recognized as part of WWII?

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Old
03-25-2013, 07:57 PM
  #1
thestonedkoala
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Why is the invasion of Korea not recognized as part of WWII?

The unofficial start of World War II began when Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931. Officially, World War II began in 1938 when Japan invaded China from Manchuria. However, if you go back 21 years, Japan had already begun their aspirations to dominate the Eastern hemisphere by invading and 'annexing' the Korean Empire. And while there was not a large scale war there was some rebellions and some violence over this annexation. However, no one considers the invasion of Korea as part of World War II. Why is that?

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03-25-2013, 08:27 PM
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Because the world obviously didn't give a ****, which is why the "official" start wasn't until countries in Europe started declaring war on each other.

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03-25-2013, 08:37 PM
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Alex Jones
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Because it wasn't part of WWII?? It's a relatively unrelated conflict.

I mean, they were both about Japanese imperialism, but other than that they aren't particularly related. They didn't even involve the same Chinese regime, it's really hard to put them in the same conflict. It can be better understood as a precursor of Japanese imperial ambitions in China that started WWII, not as part of the war itself.

That conflict can best be understood as part of the scramble for China.


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03-25-2013, 08:42 PM
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Sevanston
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Most things in history have a well-known European bias. WW2 is no different.

But in the case of the Annexation Treaty, it's not counted as part of WW2 because not only was there no war, but it happened even before WW1 had started.

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03-25-2013, 09:04 PM
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Garo
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The invasion of Korea is more a consequence of the war against China at the end of the 19th century than a part of WWII.

And if you're counting that, why not the Russian-Japanese war?

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03-25-2013, 09:29 PM
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thestonedkoala
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Originally Posted by Alex Jones View Post
Because it wasn't part of WWI?? It's a relatively unrelated conflict.

I mean, they were both about Japanese imperialism, but other than that they aren't particularly related. They didn't even involve the same Chinese regime, it's really hard to put them in the same conflict. It can be better understood as a precursor of Japanese imperial ambitions in China that started WWI, not as part of the war itself.

That conflict can best be understood as part of the scramble for China.
But without the invasion of Korea, would Japan be poised to conquer China? Manchuria?

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03-25-2013, 10:09 PM
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Yes, they still had imperial ambitions, and the failure of the Qing dynasty probably would have happened with or without that war.

While the treaty at the end of the war was certainly a catalyst for the fall of the Qing, I find it hard to imagine that China somehow could have managed to drag itself all the way to WW2 without a major uprising. In other words, the events of the WW2 in regards to Japan and China probably would have happened with or without the first sino-japanese war.

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03-25-2013, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by the8bandarmadillo View Post
But without the invasion of Korea, would Japan be poised to conquer China? Manchuria?
but that doesn't mean it was part of WWII.

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03-25-2013, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the8bandarmadillo View Post
The unofficial start of World War II began when Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931. Officially, World War II began in 1938 when Japan invaded China from Manchuria. However, if you go back 21 years, Japan had already begun their aspirations to dominate the Eastern hemisphere by invading and 'annexing' the Korean Empire. And while there was not a large scale war there was some rebellions and some violence over this annexation. However, no one considers the invasion of Korea as part of World War II. Why is that?
For the same reason the German invasion of Czechoslovakia isn't considered part of World War II. It was an isolated conflict.

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03-25-2013, 11:57 PM
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WWII is viewed to have begun in 1939 with the German invasion of Poland, as it's what kicked off major international conflict, and the Pacific Theater opened with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The war ended in 1945 with the surrenders of Germany and Japan.

Other conflicts, such as the Japanese invasion of China, are considered precursor conflicts that eventually grew into the larger WWII as it erupted.

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03-25-2013, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the8bandarmadillo View Post
But without the invasion of Korea, would Japan be poised to conquer China? Manchuria?
So what?

Without Soviets inflicting heavy losses on Japanese during Soviet-Japanese border wars in 30's who knows maybe the Japanese join with Germans in invasion of USSR

Conjecture ,, The Japanese Navy could have still carried out landings/etc to capture those areas in event of war

Localized conflicts are not world war battles

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03-26-2013, 12:25 AM
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thestonedkoala
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Originally Posted by Fish on The Sand View Post
For the same reason the German invasion of Czechoslovakia isn't considered part of World War II. It was an isolated conflict.
Actually it is very much recognized as part of World War II, or that's how I've been taught. It's seen as a failure and one of the catalysts for the eventual build up of World War II.

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03-26-2013, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the8bandarmadillo View Post
Actually it is very much recognized as part of World War II, or that's how I've been taught. It's seen as a failure and one of the catalysts for the eventual build up of World War II.
If you want to play that game the unofficial start of WWII was the start of WWI.

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03-26-2013, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the8bandarmadillo View Post
Actually it is very much recognized as part of World War II, or that's how I've been taught. It's seen as a failure and one of the catalysts for the eventual build up of World War II.
Nobody considers the German invasion of Czechoslovakia as the start of World War 2. An important precursor event for sure, but definitely not the start. Although it should have been the start if the British had any balls.

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03-26-2013, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the8bandarmadillo View Post
Actually it is very much recognized as part of World War II, or that's how I've been taught. It's seen as a failure and one of the catalysts for the eventual build up of World War II.
Correct me if I am wrong but the start of WWII was the invasion of Poland by the Germans.

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03-26-2013, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by beowulf View Post
Correct me if I am wrong but the start of WWII was the invasion of Poland by the Germans.
The official start of World War II yes. But the events preceding the invasion of Poland (the invasion and rearmament of the Rhineland, the annexation of Austria/Czechoslovakia, how World War I) are seen as catalysts to the eventual invasion of Poland. I'm not saying Czechoslovakia began World War II but it was an integral part of what came later and is taught as such.

Both the Russian-Japanese War and annexation of Korea is not seen at all as part of World War II when in fact they were apart of Japan's eventual empire building (which caused World War II) . If you read Japanese history, their aspirations to have an empire begins with Korea. It's just funny that American history ignores this part of World War II but includes Czechoslovakia and the Rhineland.

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03-26-2013, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the8bandarmadillo View Post
The official start of World War II yes. But the events preceding the invasion of Poland (the invasion and rearmament of the Rhineland, the annexation of Austria/Czechoslovakia, how World War I) are seen as catalysts to the eventual invasion of Poland. I'm not saying Czechoslovakia began World War II but it was an integral part of what came later and is taught as such.

Both the Russian-Japanese War and annexation of Korea is not seen at all as part of World War II when in fact they were apart of Japan's eventual empire building (which caused World War II) . If you read Japanese history, their aspirations to have an empire begins with Korea. It's just funny that American history ignores this part of World War II but includes Czechoslovakia and the Rhineland.
Precursors to World War II are not part of World War II. I think you need to understand what a precursor actually is. The moment you call a conflict as a precursor to a war, you are already identifying it as being BEFORE the war, not part of the war itself.

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03-26-2013, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Roughneck View Post
If you want to play that game the unofficial start of WWII was the start of WWI.
..and then it's not far-fetched to go back to the France/Prussia war of 1870.

OP, what's your point? Should Japan's imperial ambitions be considered in any meaningful discussion of the causes of WWII? Sure. Is the actual arbitrary start date important? I don't think so. In the great scheme of things, I think WWI and Versailles should get a lot more space when telling the story of WWII. (I'm not talking about history fiends who know all about this)

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03-26-2013, 06:50 PM
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You might as well then say there was only one World War from 1914 to 1945, divided into two halves by a 20-year truce.

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03-26-2013, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by No Fun Shogun View Post
WWII is viewed to have begun in 1939 with the German invasion of Poland, as it's what kicked off major international conflict, and the Pacific Theater opened with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The war ended in 1945 with the surrenders of Germany and Japan.

Other conflicts, such as the Japanese invasion of China, are considered precursor conflicts that eventually grew into the larger WWII as it erupted.
Global conflict began in December 1941 with Japan and the USA entering the war.

IIRC European/North American historians tend to date the war from Sept 1939, but Chinese and Japanese historians tend to use either Sept 1931 or July 1937.

I think the most accurate way of putting it is probably something like -

1936-39: Precursors to European War as Germany and Italy start to expand and swallow up other countries. Germany/Italy also fight the Soviets in the Spanish Civil War.
1939-41: Full-scale European conflict begins, Germany vs UK/France with the USSR joining in June 1941. US (although they don't declare war yet) is de facto at war by 1941 as the US Navy is sinking U-boats.

1931-37: Precursors to Pacific War as Japan starts carving out pieces of China.
1937-41: Full-scale Pacific conflict begins, Japan vs China, with the Soviets and Thais also getting involved briefly, and the Soviets send China some material support as well.

1941-45: The European and Pacific conflicts merge into one World War, USSR/UK/USA/China vs Germany/Italy/Japan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the8bandarmadillo View Post
The official start of World War II yes. But the events preceding the invasion of Poland (the invasion and rearmament of the Rhineland, the annexation of Austria/Czechoslovakia, how World War I) are seen as catalysts to the eventual invasion of Poland. I'm not saying Czechoslovakia began World War II but it was an integral part of what came later and is taught as such.

Both the Russian-Japanese War and annexation of Korea is not seen at all as part of World War II when in fact they were apart of Japan's eventual empire building (which caused World War II) . If you read Japanese history, their aspirations to have an empire begins with Korea. It's just funny that American history ignores this part of World War II but includes Czechoslovakia and the Rhineland.
Actually you can go back even further, to Japan taking over Taiwan in 1895.

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03-26-2013, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the8bandarmadillo View Post
The official start of World War II yes. But the events preceding the invasion of Poland (the invasion and rearmament of the Rhineland, the annexation of Austria/Czechoslovakia, how World War I) are seen as catalysts to the eventual invasion of Poland. I'm not saying Czechoslovakia began World War II but it was an integral part of what came later and is taught as such.

Both the Russian-Japanese War and annexation of Korea is not seen at all as part of World War II when in fact they were apart of Japan's eventual empire building (which caused World War II) . If you read Japanese history, their aspirations to have an empire begins with Korea. It's just funny that American history ignores this part of World War II but includes Czechoslovakia and the Rhineland.
World War II wouldn't have happened without the invasion of Poland. If Hitler wasn't hellbent on control of Europe, Japan would've gone on their merry way conquering East Asia, and no one in the west would've done much, therefore not making it a part of World War II.

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03-26-2013, 08:00 PM
  #22
thestonedkoala
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Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post
Precursors to World War II are not part of World War II. I think you need to understand what a precursor actually is. The moment you call a conflict as a precursor to a war, you are already identifying it as being BEFORE the war, not part of the war itself.
So, if Britain (and France) had stood up to the invasion of Czechoslovakia, we wouldn't have had a World War? Precursors are important in wars because they eventually lead to the war themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barneyg View Post
..and then it's not far-fetched to go back to the France/Prussia war of 1870.
That's a good point.

Quote:
OP, what's your point? Should Japan's imperial ambitions be considered in any meaningful discussion of the causes of WWII? Sure.
That is part of the point. We are definitely more focused on the Western side of the war and using that as a starting point for anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meteor View Post
You might as well then say there was only one World War from 1914 to 1945, divided into two halves by a 20-year truce.
Agreed. And I think that has been becoming more and more popular. Problem is, the Japanese and German sides are completely different. We can't mash both timelines together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by InglewoodJack View Post
World War II wouldn't have happened without the invasion of Poland. If Hitler wasn't hellbent on control of Europe, Japan would've gone on their merry way conquering East Asia, and no one in the west would've done much, therefore not making it a part of World War II.
Uh what?

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03-26-2013, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InglewoodJack View Post
World War II wouldn't have happened without the invasion of Poland. If Hitler wasn't hellbent on control of Europe, Japan would've gone on their merry way conquering East Asia, and no one in the west would've done much, therefore not making it a part of World War II.
Except that conquering East Asia meant going to war with the colonial powers in the region.

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03-26-2013, 09:24 PM
  #24
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Although I'm willing to argue that the Pacific-Asian war started a couple years before Hitler invaded Poland, precursors don't equal war. It's like claiming the Revolutionary War is part of the War of 1812, they are certainly connected, but they aren't part of the same thing.

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03-29-2013, 11:43 AM
  #25
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Just because something is a precursor to the war does not make it part of the war itself. If you want to expand the precursors into being part of the war, fine, but then you need to continually go backward in time. If WWI wouldn't have happened, WWII wouldn't have happened, so you need to include WWI as part of WWII. I'm sure the Franco-Prussian war was influential in this as well, so you should include this as well. Where are you gonna draw the line? The easiest way to do it is establish when war was declared.

There was no war in Europe before the invasion of Poland. There were annexations and such. September of 1939 is when countries began declaring war on each other, hence, the beginning of the war.

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