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roll the geopolitical dice

Posted by Smokey Stover on July 09, 2008 at 14:48

In Reply to: roll the geopolitical dice posted by Kashima on July 08, 2008 at 19:20:

: Could someone please help me with this phrase "roll the geopolitical dice" as in the following context?

: The Japanese felt that an attack on Midway, threatening Hawaii itself, would force the Americans into a sea battle they neither wanted nor were prepared to fight. The battle of Midway was pretty much a roll of the geo-political dice. The Japanese knew that eventually American industrial capacity would overwhelm Japan's.

: Thank you in advance.
Geo-political refers, of course, to political events on a world-wide scale. Two great powers, like the U.S. and Japan, fighting for domination of the Pacific area certainly qualifies. A roll of the dice is a gamble; it's a frequent metaphor for a military decision that could go either way. Napoleon at Waterloo, like Yamamoto at Midway, rolled the dice and lost. Yamamoto, Admiral of the Japanese Fleet and an extraordinarily capable planner, hoped to take Midway Island, at the northwestern end of the Hawaiian island chain, which would be useful to Japan for more than one reason. More importantly, he expected to be able to inflict so much damage on the American fleet that the U.S. would sue for peace. What Yamamoto could not know is that the Americans had deciphered the Japanese naval code (Code Purple), and thus forewarned were able to patch up their fleet quickly and intercept the Japanese forces before they could assemble for the battle. The Battle of Midway is considered the most important naval battle in World War II.