Cover

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Half Title, Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Foreword

John R. McNeill

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pp. vii-viii

It is commonplace to say that World War II changed the world. Film, fiction, and history books bolster living memory to keep alive an understanding of the devastation, the human horror, the personal tragedies, and the heroisms of the war. Every educated person carries some sense of how the war shifted the tectonic plates of high politics, crushing empires and raising up new superpowers. ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

This book is largely based on the workshop “The Long Shadows: An Environmental History of the Second World War,” held in Helsinki, Finland, August 7–11, 2012. The Finnish capital is surrounded on three sides by the Baltic Sea, and the location for the workshop was the tiny island of Harakka, also known as Magpie Island, one of the three hundred islands or islets off the city’s shoreline. ...

List of Illustrations

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pp. xi-xii

Part I: Introduction

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1. The Long Shadows

Simo Laakkonen, Richard P. Tucker, Timo Vuorisalo

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pp. 3-14

Imperial Japan, fascist Italy, and Nazi Germany were not the only aggressors that started the Second World War. The Soviet Union was also one of the invaders, as people living in the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and the eastern parts of Poland and Romania bitterly noted in the fall of 1939. ...

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2. Polemosphere: The War, Society, and the Environment

Simo Laakkonen

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pp. 15-36

In contemplating the cost that the most consuming of all wars extracted from the natural world, my thoughts turn to the question of how that war is situated in the history of mass conflict—it is as long as the history of organized societies. In this essay, I examine warfare’s environmental and societal effects as a hypothetical entity that I refer to as the polemosphere, ...

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3. World War II: A Global Perspective

Evan Mawdsley

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pp. 37-52

This chapter faces two challenges. First is how, within the confines of a short contribution, to provide a global perspective for an event as vast as World War II. Second is how to relate such an overview to a fresh approach of environmental history. This essay is not intended to be a survey of the literature on the environmental history of the war, however. ...

Part II: Social and Environmental Impacts of the War

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4. Environmental Policies of the Third Reich

Simo Laakkonen

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pp. 55-74

Associating the Third Reich with environmental policies, let alone deep-seated ecological ideals, may be difficult. What on earth does a fascist dictatorship have in common with nature conservation and environmental protection? Historian Milan Hauner aroused discussion on the theme by claiming that the National Socialists ...

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5. The Costs of the War for the Soviet Union

Paul Josephson

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pp. 75-96

The German armies attacked the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. They rapidly overwhelmed Soviet forces, destroyed much of the existing Soviet Air Force on the ground, and captured millions of soldiers as the Blitzkrieg moved toward Leningrad, Moscow, the Don River, and the Caucasus. Ultimately they overran approximately 850,000 square kilometers of territory. ...

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6. Conceptualizing Wartime Flood and Famine in China

Micah S. Muscolino

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pp. 97-116

During World War II, or the “Anti-Japanese War of Resistance” (1937–45) as it is known in China, North China’s Henan Province endured a series of war-induced ecological disasters. The first struck in June 1938, when Chinese Nationalist armies under the command of Chiang Kai-shek breached the Yellow River’s dikes in Henan in a desperate attempt to block a Japanese military advance. ...

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7. Environmental Scars in Northeastern India and Burma

Richard P. Tucker

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pp. 117-134

Along the great arc from China through Southeast Asia to the Indian subcontinent, the period of war and mass upheaval lasted far longer than 1945. In South and Southeast Asia, warfare and its ecological impacts were inextricably linked to the final stage of decolonization. Environmental disruption resulted from the combined stresses of war and freedom struggle. ...

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8. Hawai‘i: Before and After Pearl Harbor

Carol MacLennan

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pp. 135-154

America’s militarization of the Oceanic Pacific began with Pearl Harbor. The Second World War was only a late installment in a long story, representing the second act in a tale of military consequences for Hawai‘i’s island environment. It began nearly one hundred years earlier when the United States became interested in one of the two Pacific Ocean harbors that provided ample protection for American naval vessels. ...

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9. The Great Louse War: Control of Typhus Fever

Helene Laurent

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pp. 155-174

Until World War I, the main threat to survival during wartime was not enemy fire but the microbes that often killed in numbers many times greater than weapons.1 Infectious diseases frequently spread from soldiers to civilians, causing the biggest wartime losses.2 New diseases traveled efficiently with armies, and epidemics functioned as biological weapons: ...

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10. Perspectives on the Acoustic Ecology of War

Outi Ampuja

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pp. 175-194

The environmental impacts of industrial warfare include intensive noise pollution, a dimension of conflict that environmental historians have generally overlooked. Preindustrial battlefields were also flooded with chaotic noise, but the explosive power of industrial armaments greatly intensified it, producing a wholly unique type of acoustic environment that had great significance ...

Part III: Resource Extraction and the War

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11. Aluminum’s Permanent Revolution

Matthew Evenden

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pp. 197-216

In August 1942, Siegfried Moos, a Jewish expatriate economist from Berlin who had taken a position at the Oxford Institute of Statistics, declared an “aluminum revolution.” This revolution, he noted, was the product of modern war, “in which the extent and character of airforces are determined by the quantities of aluminum available.” ...

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12. Crisis Utilization in Mexican Forests

Christopher R. Boyer

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pp. 217-230

Mexico was not a major theater of conflict in World War II. No battles were fought on its soil, and its military played a largely symbolic role in the conflict. No bombs fell on Mexican cities, nor did its leaders flirt with the Axis powers, as in the case of countries such as Argentina. Nevertheless, the war constituted a Mexican watershed in both political and environmental terms. ...

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13. Food Disruption and Agricultural Policy in Tanganyika

Gregory Maddox

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pp. 231-250

Scholars of African history, particularly in east Africa, have long debated the long shadows of the World War II era. John Iliffe and John Reader, among others, have argued that the demands of the war led to increased emphasis on both agricultural and industrial production, particularly in the British colonies and in the Union of South Africa. ...

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14. Japanese Imperialism and Marine Resources

William M. Tsutsui, Timo Vuorisalo

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pp. 251-274

In this essay we review the long-term legacies of what has been termed Japan’s “pelagic empire”—the sprawling realm of commercial fisheries, state institutions, and policies—and strategies for marine resource exploitation and market dominance established in the decades before World War II. Today, as for most of the past century, ...

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15. Opening the Circumpolar Arctic World

Ilmo Massa, Alla Bolotova

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pp. 275-294

This essay tracks general trends in the military use of natural systems and natural resources during and after World War II in northern Canada, the northern Soviet Union, and northern Finland, discussing these areas in the context of the circumpolar north as a whole. Our review spans the period from World War II through the decades of the Cold War. ...

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16. International Conservation after the Two World Wars

Anna-Katharina Wöbse

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pp. 295-312

Today’s global environmental regime has a long history dating to the beginning of the twentieth century. As some recent environmental history studies have shown, modern industrial war and the state of the natural environment are intrinsically linked, and so is the environmental movement.1 War has shaped the evolution of environmentalism in the twentieth century. ..

Part IV: Conclusions

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pp. 313-314

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17. Hypotheses: World War II and Its Shadows

Simo Laakkonen, Richard P. Tucker, Timo Vuorisalo

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pp. 315-332

In August 1945, as the carnage of war ceased, wide regions of Europe, Asia, and the Pacific lay in ruins—an environmental as well as human catastrophe. While civil and regional wars continued in many places through the rest of the decade, the industrial giants, excluding the United States, lay crippled. In addition to a formal peace treaty, the end of World War II signified the change of borders in Asia and Europe, ...

List of Contributors

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pp. 333-336

Index

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pp. 337-346