World War 1 and 2 History and Discussion Thread -

Benzo Samurai

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If Hirohito had been tried, there would almost certainly have been a Japanese revolt. Considering he was mostly a figurehead during the war, there was far more to lose than to gain by putting him on trial.
IIRC according to the documentary "Tokyo trials" the yanks actually planned to put him on trial later, but they also wanted to be good with the conservatives in Japan to have the nation be an ally against the red mainland and it could have been a strategic liability to destabilize the nation once it was back on its feet and playing along.
 

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The reason Germany lost WW1 was almost completely because they didn't have enough troops to defeat the French on Mars. The Bavarians had a great idea not to send their troops and left a good plan to fall apart. And although the general criticism "it was developed in a kind of pre-industrial era so that they did not take into account what will happen", it is true to some extent, but it is also false. Schlieffen's plan was to explain that the Germans had enough troops to defeat the French, even if something went wrong, and that Germany mobilized enough troops for the case, but as I said, they were to some extent betrayed by the Bavarians. The Germans who moved through Brussels were called "grey men". The problem with the Germans is that they moved too quickly and did not find enough rest before the Battle of the Marne. Until then, they had been extremely disorganized and actually stopped accepting Paris.
And then they went on to make a similar mistake with Russia in WW2.
 
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Austrian Conscript 1915

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And then they went on to make a similar mistake with Russia in WW2.
everything is about fucking ww2 in this thread. My favourite generals of WW1, Douglas Haig, Conrad Von Hotzendorff, Luigi Cadorna, and von Moltke the younger. What are your favourite generals? Erwin Rommel aka "helost ridinghitler'sommel," or some fucking Russiangeneral nobody's heard of? WW1 had sovl, ww2 was sovless.

But yeah, the Germans did make the same mistake
 

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Idk if this is why Germans lost WWI but from a military history/strategy/tactic book I recently finished it had an interesting tidbit about the German forces.

The developed the "blitzkrieg" tactic in the middle and towards the end of WWI to counter the French army's strategy of "artillery conquers, infantry occupies". The problem, because they did not have tanks yet(enough or technologically advanced enough) the French were able to reinforce the breaches in their defensive line faster than the Germans could exploit the breach completely.

Attacking and then losing consistently is a good way to lose any war. Tbh I think the biggest issue for Germany in both WWs was a) strategic decision making from their leadership and b) having less man power & production capability then who they were fighting.

B) is really important. I forget which German general is credited for saying "Our Panzers were worth 5 American Shermans. The problem was the Americans always had 7." Quantity is a quality in and of itself and in 1941 America could out produce pretty much every country in the world. Having the best soldiers like Germany did didn't mean much due to the pure numbers they were facing.

What do you kiwis think about the theory Hitler invaded and attacked Russia as a preemptive strike? The theory is based on troop/vehicle movements/stockpiles amassing on the then German border and communicatives the Germans picked up on of Stalin's imminent betrayal. Imo, it makes more sense as to why Germany would do something stupid like invade Russia more than the idea Hitler just got bored bombing England and decided to invade Russia for the fuck of it.
 
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Draza

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Idk if this is why Germans lost WWI but from a military history/strategy/tactic book ibrecently finished it had an interesting tidbit about the German forces.

The developed the "blitzkrieg" tactic in the middle and towards the end of WWI to counter the French army's strategy of "artillery conquers, infantry occupies". The problem, because they did not have tanks yet(enough or technologically advanced enough) the French were able to reinforce the breaches in their defensive line faster than the Germans could exploit the breach completely.

Attacked and then losing consistently is a good way to lose any war. Tbh I think the biggest issue for Germany in both WWs was a) strategic decision making from their leadership and b) having less man power & production capability then who they were fighting.

B) is really important. I forget which German general is credited for saying "Our Panzers were worth 5 American Shermans. The problem was the Americans always had 7." Quantity is a quality in and of itself and in 1941 America could out produce pretty much every country in the world. Having the best soldiers like Germany did didn't mean much due to the pure numbers they were facing.

What do you kiwis think about the theory Hitler invaded and attacked Russia as a preemptive strike? The theory is based on troop/vehicle movements/stockpiles amassing on the then German border and communicatives the Germans picked up on of Stalin's imminent betrayal. Imo, it makes more sense as to why Germany would do something stupid like invade Russia more than the idea Hitler just got bored bombing England and decided to invade Russia for the fuck of it.
The theory makes sense, because Stalin could not be trusted to stay neutral and not attack Germany. Also the fear of a Russian backed communist opposition would be a great to the Nazis.
 

Doctor Placebo

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Idk if this is why Germans lost WWI but from a military history/strategy/tactic book ibrecently finished it had an interesting tidbit about the German forces.

The developed the "blitzkrieg" tactic in the middle and towards the end of WWI to counter the French army's strategy of "artillery conquers, infantry occupies". The problem, because they did not have tanks yet(enough or technologically advanced enough) the French were able to reinforce the breaches in their defensive line faster than the Germans could exploit the breach completely.

Attacked and then losing consistently is a good way to lose any war. Tbh I think the biggest issue for Germany in both WWs was a) strategic decision making from their leadership and b) having less man power & production capability then who they were fighting.

B) is really important. I forget which German general is credited for saying "Our Panzers were worth 5 American Shermans. The problem was the Americans always had 7." Quantity is a quality in and of itself and in 1941 America could out produce pretty much every country in the world. Having the best soldiers like Germany did didn't mean much due to the pure numbers they were facing.

What do you kiwis think about the theory Hitler invaded and attacked Russia as a preemptive strike? The theory is based on troop/vehicle movements/stockpiles amassing on the then German border and communicatives the Germans picked up on of Stalin's imminent betrayal. Imo, it makes more sense as to why Germany would do something stupid like invade Russia more than the idea Hitler just got bored bombing England and decided to invade Russia for the fuck of it.
I think it's pretty widely accepted that neither Hitler nor Stalin were interested in a lasting peace and the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was going to be violated sooner or later by one side or the other. Germany just happened to be the side that was able to get their other shit sorted out so they could invade first, which was really good for them since that first strike was devastating to the Russians. The problem was they were trying to invade a country with the largest land mass of any in the world and they just didn't have enough soldiers to occupy even the roughly half of it they took at their high point effectively. The Germans two biggest problems IMO can be summed up as: stretched thin and low on gas. Fuel and manpower were both major problems for them.

everything is about fucking ww2 in this thread. My favourite generals of WW1, Douglas Haig, Conrad Von Hotzendorff, Luigi Cadorna, and von Moltke the younger. What are your favourite generals? Erwin Rommel aka "helost ridinghitler'sommel," or some fucking Russiangeneral nobody's heard of? WW1 had sovl, ww2 was sovless.

But yeah, the Germans did make the same mistake
Although I do love the look of a lot of the equipment and uniforms of WW1, the trench warfare seems so grinding and repetitive. I think that turns a lot of people off. WW2 was more dynamic in comparison.
 

Austrian Conscript 1915

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The problem, because they did not have tanks yet(enough or technologically advanced enough) the French were able to reinforce the breaches in their defensive line faster than the Germans could exploit the breach completely.
Even if the Germans wanted to make tanks they didn't have the resources to. The spring offensive in 1918 covered, comparatively, very little distance on the western front yet the Germans were having a very hard time supplying their troops because they didn't have enough oil or rubber for trucks, and a lot of their horses were already killed for meat. Compare that to the Entente whose men were supplied with everything they needed plus extra

Tbh I think the biggest issue for Germany in both WWs was a) strategic decision making from their leadership
Germany's leadership was top tier in WW1. They had great generals like Ludendorff, Mackensen, Bruchmuller, Hutier, and Hindenburg. Their tactics on the ground were the best in the war.

b) having less man power & production capability then who they were fighting.
Yes, they had less manpower, but they had a way larger production capacity. But their industry was greatly hindered by the north sea blockade which starved Germany for resources.

Watch this video on the turnip winter, it shows why Germany lost the war
 

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Even if the Germans wanted to make tanks they didn't have the resources to. The spring offensive in 1918 covered, comparatively, very little distance on the western front yet the Germans were having a very hard time supplying their troops because they didn't have enough oil or rubber for trucks, and a lot of their horses were already killed for meat. Compare that to the Entente whose men were supplied with everything they needed plus extra


Germany's leadership was top tier in WW1. They had great generals like Ludendorff, Mackensen, Bruchmuller, Hutier, and Hindenburg. Their tactics on the ground were the best in the war.


Yes, they had less manpower, but they had a way larger production capacity. But their industry was greatly hindered by the north sea blockade which starved Germany for resources.

Watch this video on the turnip winter, it shows why Germany lost the war
I think we are saying pretty much the same thing. Though I will add tactics != strategy. Germans instilled in their commanders and troops a mindset I happen to believe was the best in WWII and one I wish current militaries adopted. That mindset started with their adaptations in WWI.(According to what William S. Lind)

Thanks for the video recommendation. Added to my playlist of things to watch.

Are we any closer to figuring out why WWI started(Besides the assassination of the Archduke) and why countries didn't stop it before it blew up to include the whole of Europe and quite a bit of the world?
 

Übertroon

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Are we any closer to figuring out why WWI started(Besides the assassination of the Archduke) and why countries didn't stop it before it blew up to include the whole of Europe and quite a bit of the world?
Too many people wanted the war. Austria and Russia wanted it to settle who actually controlled the Balkans now that the Ottomans had left.
Germany realized they needed one for future security of their territory.
France wanted their lost territory back and to dismantle the German menace.
Britain wanted to stop Germany before they grew powerful enough to dominate mainland Europe.
The US had to join once a Entente defeat seemed a possibility and they faced the possibility of all the loans from Wall Street being defaulted.

There's also more in detail goals like the British being annoyed at German colonies in Africa being in the way for their proposed railway line between South Africa and Egypt, that's why the Berlin treaty was immediately violated by the brits.
 

Lonely Grave

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What are your favourite generals? Erwin Rommel aka "helost ridinghitler'sommel," or some fucking Russiangeneral nobody's heard of? WW1 had sovl, ww2 was sovless.
I have a few for WW1:

Sir John Monash, commander of the Australian Corps (Gallipoli and Western Front). The massive amount of reverence he gets in Australian history is well-deserved - an engineer by trade, it made him a meticulous planner and a great tactician, popular with troops and officers alike (though the home press and PM weren't so warm). He was an early pioneer of air and ground co-ordination which he used to devastating effect at his masterpiece battle of Hamel, where he planned the whole thing for 90 minutes and it was finished with all objectives achieved in 93, virtually unheard of in the Western Front at the time. Australian soldiers who were there remarked that the best thing about the whole thing wasn't that they did it all in the time allotted, but for the fact Monash organized hot meals to be brought up as the line advanced!
Joseph Gallieni, military governor of Paris (1914). It's not his "taxicab" offensive during the Marne that makes this general great - it's his extensive earlier record as the "Hammer of the French Empire". Gallieni pioneered counter-insurgency tactics to quell rebellions in far-flung corners of the French Empire, shaping him into perhaps the French Army's second most aggressive general (after Foch). His criticisms pre-war were eerily accurate, from changing the infantry's silly red pants to the way the fledgling French Air Force was to be employed. He is, of course, remembered for his taxicab army but it was his aggressive strategy that enabled the Entente to punch back at the rampaging Germans in the Battle of the Marne and turn the momentum back.

In regards to WW2, I like to look at officers who are less famous but attained a pivotal role in their nation's army. These include:
Hovhannes Bagramyan, Marshal of the Soviet Union (3rd Belorussian Front). The first Armenian to achieve Marshal rank, Bagramyan was a highly precise officer who earned to respect of Khrushchev and Zhukov in his organisational ability and perception. Through his planning and contingencies the first successful counteroffensive by the Red Army was achieved at Rostov in 1941. He was an unusually compassionate officer who privately grieved at the heavy losses his formations took, and was determined to use every kind of tactical advantage to help mitigate losses.
Alfred Becker, Major (Baukommando Becker, 21st Panzer). Hailing from Krefeld in Germany, Becker was a mechanical engineer who put the inventiveness of his men and the massive stores of captured war materiel of the Wehrmacht together. He is responsible for the Marder series of panzerjager vehicles among other strange yet highly effective self-propelled weapons, all constructed out of captured French and British equipment as well as German vehicles. His command was attached to the reconstituted 21st Panzer, under Generalleutnant Edgar Feuchtinger, who was unfortunately more interested in mistresses than commanding a prestigious panzer formation. Becker distinguished himself during Operation Goodwood, where the British attempted to break out of Caen, by employing his assault guns in ambush positions and severely mauling British armour in his sector, preventing the breakout the British desired.
Sir John C. Masterman (Twenty Committee, MI5). Though never an officer during the war, Masterman was the head of the counterintelligence department within MI5 concerned with the "turning" of captured enemy agents in Britain and abroad. It is credit to MI5 that all recorded Abwehr agents dropped into Britain were captured by MI5, most turning into double-agents ready to feed Germany misinformation. The impact of the Double Cross System, when combined with Ultra, is an often under-looked part of the success of Normandy. It was responsible for many of the erratic decisions Hitler made during the campaign and the System was noted by Eisenhower to have been worth several divisions by themselves.
Alphonse Juin, General d'armee (French Expeditionary Corps, French Liberation Army). A French general who held Algeria in his heart. A noted commander of light infantry, especially from Morocco and Algeria, whose goumiers were renowned close-combat troops comparable to the famed Gurkhas. Sent to North Africa in defence of Vichy holdings there he quickly changed sides to the Allies and served with distinction throughout the rest of the North African campaign. His best moment was during Operation Diadem when his goumiers were critical throughout the offensive, sucker-punching the Germans by attacking through what both sides had deemed impassable mountains.
 

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Too many people wanted the war. Austria and Russia wanted it to settle who actually controlled the Balkans now that the Ottomans had left.
Germany realized they needed one for future security of their territory.
France wanted their lost territory back and to dismantle the German menace.
Britain wanted to stop Germany before they grew powerful enough to dominate mainland Europe.
The US had to join once a Entente defeat seemed a possibility and they faced the possibility of all the loans from Wall Street being defaulted.

There's also more in detail goals like the British being annoyed at German colonies in Africa being in the way for their proposed railway line between South Africa and Egypt, that's why the Berlin treaty was immediately violated by the brits.
TL;DR, a bunch of world leaders were itching to conquer some territory/put rivals in their place and the killing of Franz Ferdinand provided some of them with the perfect excuse, which provided others with the perfect excuse to jump in on the conflict for their own reasons. It was a domino effect. In their arrogance, many of these leaders thought they could curbstomp their enemies quickly and get what they wanted. They all underestimated each other and failed to realize just how brutal modern warfare with newer technology would be.
 

Austrian Conscript 1915

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TL;DR, a bunch of world leaders were itching to conquer some territory/put rivals in their place and the killing of Franz Ferdinand provided some of them with the perfect excuse, which provided others with the perfect excuse to jump in on the conflict for their own reasons. It was a domino effect. In their arrogance, many of these leaders thought they could curbstomp their enemies quickly and get what they wanted. They all underestimated each other and failed to realize just how brutal modern warfare with newer technology would be.
that's wrong, they had opportunities for war in years before with the crisis over Serbian access to the Adriatic through Montenegro, the invasion of Libya by Italy, and the Balkan wars. Europe after the formation of Germany was a very fragile place, war was always on the horizon but thanks to expert diplomats it was always avoided. The next generation of diplomats weren't so skilled so war was more likely to happen.

And who are the people that wanted war? I bet you can't name one. I know somebody here is gonna say "Wilhelm II" but that's just not true. After reading his memoirs and reading some of his speeches it's very apparent that he was pretty ambivalent to war. At most you could say he was marginally pro war compared to everybody else.
 

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that's wrong, they had opportunities for war in years before with the crisis over Serbian access to the Adriatic through Montenegro, the invasion of Libya by Italy, and the Balkan wars. Europe after the formation of Germany was a very fragile place, war was always on the horizon but thanks to expert diplomats it was always avoided. The next generation of diplomats weren't so skilled so war was more likely to happen.

And who are the people that wanted war? I bet you can't name one. I know somebody here is gonna say "Wilhelm II" but that's just not true. After reading his memoirs and reading some of his speeches it's very apparent that he was pretty ambivalent to war. At most you could say he was marginally pro war compared to everybody else.
Nicholas II, Woodrow Wilson, and Antonio Salandara were all leaders who jumped in for pretty gratuitous reasons.

Of course if we go beyond just the national leaders, Mussolini started the fascists as a single issue party based around getting Italy into WW1.
 

Austrian Conscript 1915

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Nicholas II, Woodrow Wilson, and Antonio Salandara were all leaders who jumped in for pretty gratuitous reasons.

Of course if we go beyond just the national leaders, Mussolini started the fascists as a single issue party based around getting Italy into WW1.
I don't know about Nicholas II but the other guys were responsible. But you're missing the main guy, Conrad Von Hotzendorff the Austro-Hungarian chief of staff who sent ~27 letters to Franz Joseph asking for war with Serbia and other nations. Without Hotzendorff WW1 would've likely not happened.
 

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If you want specific people there are individuals like Baron Burnham. He owned the Daily Telegraph, and used it to goad the public into war. His newspaper vilified every act of the Germans, and when writing about the Agadir crisis made the presence of a German gunboat seem like the entire German High seas fleet was blockading Morocco.

A lot of the same men who orchestrated the second Boer war like Lord Milner would spend the following years of their career advocating usage of military force against the German Empire.
 

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If Hitler hadn't killed himself he probably would have lived for like another ten years in hiding and then died from all the health problems that his doctors were giving him a million drugs for.

If Hirohito had been tried, there would almost certainly have been a Japanese revolt. Considering he was mostly a figurehead during the war, there was far more to lose than to gain by putting him on trial.
If Hitler hadn't killed himself and was captured within a reasonable timeframe, he would have been tried and executed promptly, because the tribunal wouldn't want to take any chances. Had he gone in hiding, plenty of German officials would've been willing to spill the beans, which makes conspiracy theories about him hiding in South America bullshit.

The Imperial Japanese Army takes the cake for most loyalty that even puts today's jihadis to shame.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroo_Onoda
Except jihadis are complete cowards when we fight back properly, and you would hold out in some cave too if you were stuck in the fucking Philippines.

IIRC according to the documentary "Tokyo trials" the yanks actually planned to put him on trial later, but they also wanted to be good with the conservatives in Japan to have the nation be an ally against the red mainland and it could have been a strategic liability to destabilize the nation once it was back on its feet and playing along.
Prior to 1949, maybe, when the occupation government was full of lunatic FDR holdover pinkos, who had wet dreams over abolishing another monarchy after Italy. Also, interviews occupation forces conducted using covert Japanese journalists showed indifferent or negative attitudes towards the Emperor, so maybe not, although people from the countryside, the bulk of who were drafted to fight for the grolious Emperor and didn't experience complete and utter destruction of cities and their livelihoods, may have had a different opinion.

We didn't have to be on the good side of the conservatives when we propped the pro-American, anti-communist Liberal Democratic Party for decades, which became the de facto conservative party.
 

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If Hitler hadn't killed himself and was captured within a reasonable timeframe, he would have been tried and executed promptly, because the tribunal wouldn't want to take any chances. Had he gone in hiding, plenty of German officials would've been willing to spill the beans, which makes conspiracy theories about him hiding in South America bullshit.


Except jihadis are complete cowards when we fight back properly, and you would hold out in some cave too if you were stuck in the fucking Philippines.


Prior to 1949, maybe, when the occupation government was full of lunatic FDR holdover pinkos, who had wet dreams over abolishing another monarchy after Italy. Also, interviews occupation forces conducted using covert Japanese journalists showed indifferent or negative attitudes towards the Emperor, so maybe not, although people from the countryside, the bulk of who were drafted to fight for the grolious Emperor and didn't experience complete and utter destruction of cities and their livelihoods, may have had a different opinion.

We didn't have to be on the good side of the conservatives when we propped the pro-American, anti-communist Liberal Democratic Party for decades, which became the de facto conservative party.
The Liberal Democratic Party filled itself with conservative members. The current prime minister comes from a long lineage of conservative politicians. He married into the family of the guy who was governor of Manchukuo, and one of his early political mentors was the daughter of Tojo.
Imagine a present day Germany where the chancellor comes from the Von Papen family, married the granddaughter of Reinhard Heydrich, and was mentored by the daughter of Goering
 

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When it comes to the decision to invade the Soviet Union by Germany, we have the benefit of hindsight. Back then, the situation was perceived differently, so decisions made were thought more sensible without hindsight. Of course, dumb decisions were still made, like Hitler neglecting the North African front. In 1940-1941, it can be argued the Germans could have secured Egypt.

As for why Germany invaded Russia, from my own personal study and reading, it boils down to Hitler's lack of patience. In German military circles, the majority either wanted to avoid war or postpone until better circumstances emerged. This became increasingly harder to gain support for as Hitler racked up diplomatic and geographic victory, one after the other. Contrary to memes, Poland, while not seen as top tier, was not seen as going to be an easy operation. Sure, Germany predicted victory, but when the campaign kicked off, the world was stunned at how quickly it was over. Especially Germany.

So, Hitler's gamble paid off. Denmark and Norway added to Hitler's aura. France, though, is the great catalyst. When France was taken so quickly, alongside the Lowlands, it made Hitler practically godly. The majority of government and military officials who opposed, or reluctant about the Western campaign, were discredited and looked inferior to Hitler. From this point on, Hitler acts independently of his generals, and this is where my analysis kicks in:

Hitler wanted a German-ruled Europe. Before 1940, while bold, he was willing to wait for opportunities to acquire this. After France, he succumbed to an already budding ego. No longer was the plan to lay the foundations for the future generations, so they could continue building the Reich, it became 'nobody before me has obtained for Germany what I have, so it can only be me who finalizes everything'. In other words, decades of goals were to be crammed into a few years.

There is also the conception Hitler had that Great Britain was more likely to surrender, if the last viable power on the European continent was eliminated. Perhaps a dash of paranoia about Stalin striking preemptively. These, along with the god complex and Nazi desire for living space, made the Eastern Front inevitable.
 
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Doctor Placebo

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The Liberal Democratic Party filled itself with conservative members. The current prime minister comes from a long lineage of conservative politicians. He married into the family of the guy who was governor of Manchukuo, and one of his early political mentors was the daughter of Tojo.
Imagine a present day Germany where the chancellor comes from the Von Papen family, married the granddaughter of Reinhard Heydrich, and was mentored by the daughter of Goering
Sounds pretty good compared to what we got.
 

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The Liberal Democratic Party filled itself with conservative members. The current prime minister comes from a long lineage of conservative politicians. He married into the family of the guy who was governor of Manchukuo, and one of his early political mentors was the daughter of Tojo.
Imagine a present day Germany where the chancellor comes from the Von Papen family, married the granddaughter of Reinhard Heydrich, and was mentored by the daughter of Goering
Conversely and ironically, the two most prominent Prime Ministers during the short stints when the left-wing parties and coalitions were in power, Morihiro Hosokawa and Yukio Hatoyama, were grandchildren of the founders of the IRAA and LDP respectively.

Association by family and those around you means nothing unless it's something used by the other side for slander, but of course you get a special exception, for example, when you claim to be a champion of women and minority rights while your greatest mentor was a KKK Grand Wizard.
 
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