The SaddleBrooke WWII Roundtable Presents Mark Schwartz

Mark your calendars, Roundtable members, for Friday, Jan. 26, at 1 p.m. in the DesertView Theater. Mark Schwartz will present a talk on decision-making by the belligerents in World War II. Roundtable meetings are open to all, and there are no fees and no dues.

Was the decision by Japan to attack the U.S. at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, a bad idea? How about Germany invading Russia in June 1941? These two Axis powers acted on the whims or inclinations of dictators bent on conquest and empire—who ignored the counsel of reasoned government leaders and generals. Germany and Japan were mired in stagnant wars half a world apart, but they both made similar mistakes for the same tainted reasons. They expanded the conflict in scope, intensity, and duration to win, essentially “doubling down” on an already risky proposition.

What were the processes that led to those and other faulty decisions on wartime policy and strategy? How did their decisions, strategies, and governing processes measure up to those of democracies like Britain and America? What facets of internal governance propelled Germany and Japan to total defeat and led the Allies to ultimate victory? What can we learn of governance that favors democracy over autocracies? Did Germany and Japan seal their fate in World War II when they expanded a stagnated war to greater scope, intensity, and depth in 1941? Were the attacks against Russia (Operation Barbarossa) and Pearl Harbor (Operation Z) sensible decisions or flawed thinking that accrued from bad governance processes originating with top Axis leadership? Disconnects and weaknesses in the decision-making of Germany and Japan led to dysfunctional policies, strategy, and military implementation—all of which caused cascading failures and eventual defeat.

Once again, Mark’s presentation will be on Friday, Jan. 26, at 1 p.m. in the DesertView Theater. No donations are asked for.

Lt. Col Mark Schwartz (USAF, retired) was a 1973 Air Force ROTC honor graduate at Ohio State and flew as an F-4 Phantom navigator/weapons officer for 12 years in Korea/Asia, Europe, and stateside. He served in a Tactical Air Control Party for seven years and had a civilian aerospace career with two aircraft manufacturers and specialty engineering companies. He completed the ASU WWII Studies (history) master’s degree in June 2022, in the third cohort of the program.