Saturday 18 October 1941
|General Hideki Tojo.|
|A man and his medals.|
We have finally committed to war and now must do all we can to launch it powerfully. But we have clumsily telegraphed out intentions. We needn't have signaled what we're going to do; having [the entire Konoye cabinet] resign was too much. As matters stand now we can merely keep silent and without the least effort war will begin.This is hardly an enthusiastic endorsement for total war.
|A typical American depiction of Hideki Tojo.|
|A Panzer IV on a low loader near a bridge at Merlyn, France, 18 October 1941. The Panzer IV was the main German battle tank at this time. Note the short barrel main gun, likely a 75 mm (2.95 in) Kampfwagenkanone 37 L/24 (7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24) tank gun. This howitzer-like low-velocity gun that only fired high-explosive shells already was proving obsolete against the Soviet T-34 and KV tanks. (Federal Archive Picture 146-1994-011-23).|
Of course, His Majesty is a pacifist, and there is no doubt he wished to avoid war. When I told him that to initiate war is a mistake, he agreed. But the next day, he would tell me: "You were worried about it yesterday, but you do not have to worry so much." Thus, gradually, he began to lean toward war. And the next time I met him, he leaned even more toward war. In short, I felt the Emperor was telling me: "My prime minister does not understand military matters, I know much more." In short, the Emperor had absorbed the views of the army and navy high commands.The truth is somewhat more complex. Emperor Hirohito does not so much become a supporter of war as an opposer of other alternatives. Hirohito alone seems to understand the true choice being offered, and why this dilemma must resolve in the direction of a self-destructive conflict. He willingly embraces a Kabuki Dance of Death that can have only one outcome.