A Devil’s Bargain

Today in History, April 13, 1941:

The Russian and Japanese governments sign a non-aggression treaty. The treaty gave both nations much needed cover.

The Russians didn’t have to fight the Japanese in Manchuria, freeing up hundreds of thousands of troops to fight the Germans.

The Japanese, likewise, freed up hundreds of thousands of troops to fight the Americans. FDR encouraged Stalin at Malta to declare war on Japan after the defeat of Germany.

They did so, conveniently, between the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ostensibly after the war was over, invading Manchuria and demanding the northern islands of Japan for their “effort”.

An Epic Hail Storm

Today in History, April 13, 1360:

“Black Monday”. During the Hundred Years War, English King Edward III had invaded France, bent on taking the French crown. The French locked themselves up within fortresses and castles while Edward and his armies sacked and pillaged the countryside. The English burned the Paris suburbs and then set their sights on Chartres. But on this date a sudden storm rose up….over 1,000 English troops, including two of their top commanders, were killed by….hail. The English saw this as a sign from God, and Edward soon agreed to a peace that included ending his desire for the French Monarchy. Within 9 years the French would declare that Edward had not lived up to the treaty they had signed, and the war would continue until 1453.

The Roman Catholic Relief Act

Today in History, April 13: 1829 – The Roman Catholic Relief Act is passed by the English Parliament, topping of efforts at Catholic Emancipation in Britain. Irish Catholic Daniel O’Connell had won election to a seat in the Westminster Parliament the year before, but could not take his seat due to centuries old laws forbidding it. The Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert Peel, the Home Secretary supported O’Connell’s efforts to overturn the laws. Their support was mostly to prevent revolt, not necessarily out of sympathy (Peel had challenged O’Connell to a duel in 1815). It took a threat of resignation by Prime Minister Wellington to gain passage in the House of Lords and Royal assent from King George IV.

Today in History, April 13: 1941 – The Russian and Japanese governments sign a non-aggression treaty. The treaty gave both nations much needed cover. The Russians didn’t have to fight the Japanese in Manchuria, freeing up hundreds of thousands of troops to fight the Germans. The Japanese, likewise, freed up hundreds of thousands of troops to fight the Americans. FDR encouraged Stalin at Malta to declare war on Japan after the defeat of Germany. They did so, conveniently, between the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ostensibly after the war was over, invading Manchuria and demanding the northern islands of Japan for their “effort”.