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"Why KMT Chinese And Not Japan Get German Helmets?" Topic


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834 hits since 16 Jul 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP16 Jul 2017 3:07 a.m. PST

I need a refresher on this point …

If Japan was Germany's axis partner in the East, how was it that China's Kuomintang troops (Japan's enemy) ended up getting all those German helmets?

Thanks,

Dan

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79thPA Supporting Member of TMP16 Jul 2017 5:56 a.m. PST

In short, China needed to reorganize and reequip after the warlord period. Germany supplied technical expertise and equipment in exchange for raw materials for its own military use. Germany also did not have any more colonial aspirations in China, so it was a "safe" world power to deal with from that perspective. It was a marriage of convenience until Japan invaded China.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP16 Jul 2017 8:36 a.m. PST

Cacique, I think you'll find all the equipment and advisors Germany sent to the KMT predate the Anti-Comintern Pact.

One of the nice things about helmets is that they don't take a lot of technical support, so you don't have to swap them out when you lose access to the factory.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP16 Jul 2017 10:58 a.m. PST

It's amazing how many people "back then" took Chiang seriously. He was indeed seen as a plausible counter to Bolshevism and Comintern.
Germany would definitely believe that "The enemy of my enemy is my …." whatever. And China, or the faction that Chiang controlled, was definitely, err, maybe anti Bolshevism. Perhaps. grin
So why would Germany not give a few trinkets?
"The enemy of my enemy" is exactly why the Axis with Germany, Italy and Japan came about. Japan was seen as more viable.

It would be interesting to speculate what today's world would be like if "we" took Stilwell's advice rather than Chennault's advice over Chiang. A friendly Mao? Or even a friendly Ho?

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP16 Jul 2017 11:00 a.m. PST

And Japan most definitely would think they have perfectly fine helmets, thank you very much.
They thought they had good tanks too, but that's a different story.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP16 Jul 2017 11:55 a.m. PST

Historically Germany has lots of ties to China and continues to – I believe Volkswagen was one of the first Western companies to build a factory in China

Between the wars German military expertise was highly thought of – the Germans supplied a lot of expertise and some hardware to the Chinese; for example a German soldier no less than Hans von Seeckt provided the Chinese with detailed recommendations on rebuilding their armed forces in 1933 and the Germans sold things like He-!!!s to the Chinese

In fact, at the Nanjing Museum commemorating the Rape of Nanjing there is a letter from the German consultate to the Japanese essentially telling them to back off

As noted, the Japanese-German Pact post 1937 was pure "your enemy is my enemy" rather than a long-standing relationship; the Japanese and Germans were terrible allies. They never really coordinated anything, which is probably good

Can you imagine how the Battle of Britain might have gone if the Luftwaffe had some Zeroes for fighter escort? Or in the Pacific if the Japanese had Pak-40s and Panzerfausts?

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP16 Jul 2017 12:38 p.m. PST

The Japanese had perfectly serviceable tanks for fighting the Chinese. With all the resources diverted to the Navy and Air Forces the army was glad to have what they did. After Khalkin Gol the Kwantung Army had no intentions of messing with the Soviets either, if there was anything they were really lusting after I would say it would be more Heavy Artillery.

wizbangs Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2017 5:03 a.m. PST

There were still German military advisors in Shanghai when the Japanese attacked in 1937.

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