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Robert Blake and Wm. Roger Louis

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206262

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206262.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 October 2021

Churchill, Japan, and British Security in the Pacific 1904–1942

Churchill, Japan, and British Security in the Pacific 1904–1942

(p.275) 16 Churchill, Japan, and British Security in the Pacific 1904–1942

Robert O’Neill

Oxford University Press

The challenge that Japan posed to Imperial Russia in 1904 was watched with keen and sympathetic interest by two observers whose paths were destined to cross: Adolf Hitler and Winston Churchill. Churchill characterized Russia's defeat as a surprise to all the powers of Europe except one: the victor's ally, Britain. To Japan's defeat of Russia, Churchill credited pronounced increases in Germany's self assertion and France's anxieties regarding isolation and threatening danger. He concluded that Britain at least could bring home its battleships from the China station, and be secure in the knowledge that Japanese naval power would protect British interests in the Pacific. Churchill's fascination with Germany and the direct threat that its policies posed to Britain itself displaced wider concerns he might otherwise have had for the security of the Empire. The testing ground of the Far East not only revealed Churchill's limitations but also, and more to the point, demonstrated his strategic ascendancy over Hitler.

Keywords:   Winston Churchill, Britain, Japan, Russia, Adolf Hitler, Germany, Europe, Pacific, security, Far East

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