By Frank B. Tipton, Robert Aldrich
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Extra info for An Economic and Social History of Europe From 1939 to the Present
Japan signed the Tripartite Pact for mutual defence with Germany and Italy, and occupied French territory in northern Indochina with the consent of the Vichy government. China had been fighting virtually alone . Small amounts of aid from the United States had been more than offset by the benefits to Japan of continued trade with America, slightly larger amounts of Soviet aid declined after the Nazi-Soviet pact, and Britain and France had actually closed the southern routes from their colonies into China to avoid offending Japan.
Confronted by an event without precedent in human history, most Jews reacted with incomprehension, disbelief, denial and finally despair. They were isolated. They received no help in Germany or in the occupied countries of eastern Europe and very little in western Europe - though all but a few of Denmark's small Jewish community were spirited away to Sweden, and a few individual Swedish and other neutral diplomatic representatives did what they could. Early reports of the Holocaust from Polish sources were dismissed in Allied countries as propaganda.
Even at the peak of Japanese strength, the ships necessary to deploy troops and materiel from one point to another within the farflung maritime empire had been in short supply. Before the war the United States had been Japan's most important supplier of oil, steel and heavy machinery; Japan lagged in the new technologies as well, especially radar. After Midway the United States enjoyed supremacy on the sea and in the air. Some Japanese leaders favoured a compromise peace , but the Allied demand for unconditional surrender, and the clearly implied threat to the emperor's safety, strengthened the position of those army leaders who wanted to fight to the end .