All these war posters illustrate how involved people were in the 'war effort'. Or perhaps they weren't as keen as the posters might indicate. How would such 'getting the public on side and assisting' work nowadays? Not very well, I think.
Was thinking the same thing myself, Andrew, but decided to refrain from commenting ;)Recall discussions with my parents and their generation who lived through WWII - war makes a huge difference in persuading people to throw in their lot with others for the common good. Much less traction on that in peace time.That said, there was resistance to the war effort in both world wars in NZ, a number of First Labour government cabinet ministers and MPs were anti-war activists during WWI, some did jail time I think. Also, in late 1942 into 1943 there was opposition within NZ, both in War Cabinet and among the general public, to Churchill's suggestion the 2nd Div NZEF be retained in the Middle East when three Australian divisions were returning home and the need in the Pacific campaign for further troops was keen if the Japanese were to be pushed back effectively by US forces supported by Australian and NZ divisions.
We too had resisters to the war. We have a lot of common war history with NZ. My mother is a bit too young to know, but I must find some reading on how the average person felt about the war. From what I do know, they were happy to go along with it, but there must have been dissenters who did not have extreme politics or who were just against war. I have been thinking lately about slow and ponderous diplomacy can be to solving issues, but it can work and it is worth the effort.
Andrew, yes, I think the average bloke and blokesses in the street supported the war effort, but there seems to have been some undercurrent in late 1942/3 in NZ - stronger in Australia, if I recall correctly reading somewhere - that the countries were being left exposed to the Japanese threat in the Pacific so that British interests could be furthered in N Africa & the Mediterranean. As for diplomacy, a preferred route, but then & even more in light of history, there was no diplomatic negotiation that could be effective with the likes of Franco, Hitler and Stalin. That realization at the time seemed to have turned WWI anti-war activists in the First Labour Government into "just war" advocates. The Spanish Civil War & Italy's war in Abyssinia (Ethiopia) seemed to persuade Labour supporters that preservation of the Middle Way and its ideals required a united front against fascism, ultimately a military one.
Our, particularly Australia, but NZ too, recent work around the world has not been great. They are areas that have little direct relevance to us. Even Iraq seems to have been better off under Saddam for the general population. I suppose we did an ok job in East Timor, just a bit too late, and in Cambodia, although the result there has not turned out so well. Now we have North and South Korea at each other's throat. South Korea is rich enough to look after and arm itself and the US will protect it, or their bases at least. Sorry, blathering on. Nuff said. You are right about Hitler, Stalin and Franco, but in the future we need to carefully look at our own country's interests. While kids starve to death around the world, I don't think we can be too altruistic about defending countries on principle, which could have been the case re Spain. Lordy, finally I will shut up. I am out of breath.
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