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Japanese invasion of Hawaii December 1941.

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today.

Japanese invasion of Hawaii December 1941.

Postby princeliberty10311517 on 19 Oct 2009 20:21

Admiral Yamamoto later stated his great error was not following up Pearl Harbor with an invasion of Hawaii.

What if this was done in December? The defenses of Hawaii were weak and this could cause America to bring up the carriers to try to save Hawaii and give Japan a good chance to take them out.

If needed the Phillipines in invasion can be delayed - if Hawaii is falling - American will be no postion to strengthen the defense of the Phillipines.

And the carriers are not brought up - it still means that come June/July that Japan does not try the coral sea attack and then Midawy but instead a single huge attack is made in the South Seas which should give Japan a victory that opens to the door to taking Australia.
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Japanese invasion of Hawaii December 1941.

Postby BDV on 19 Oct 2009 21:13

That'd be purrty! A bridge too far, methinks. How are japanese going to fuel and reinforce this outpost? This is Aleutians Islands writ large.

And of course, US was never, EVER, in a dire situation re Japan, otherwise it could have asked Russians to use Vladivostok as base.
Pressé fortement sur ma droite, mon centre cède, impossible de me mouvoir, situation excellente, j'attaque. - Ferdinand F.

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Phillipines invasion can be delayed

Postby Dave Bender on 19 Oct 2009 21:42

That's a bad idea. There were 10 Philippine infantry divisions plus the American forces. By December 1941 they were at full personnel strength and had most of their equipment and supplies on Luzon. Thanks to incompetence / gross negligence (please select one) on the part of Philippine Field Marshall MacArthur during 1936 to 1941 the 10 Philippine infantry divisions were wretchedly trained. On 26 July 1941 the entire Philippine army was ordered to mobilize and commence post mobilization training. Funding (from the U.S.) was essentially unlimited for the mobilized Philippine army units.

Amazingly enough Big Mac had yet to mobilize the entire Philippine Army by 7 December 1941. However that happy situation (from the Japanese point of view) won't last forever. Once war is declared MacArthur will get the lead out or be replaced. Either way the Philippine army will be a much tougher opponent if given a few months of additional training time. Japan would need to send an entire army to the Philippines rather then the army corps used historically during December 1941.
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Re: Japanese invasion of Hawaii December 1941.

Postby phylo_roadking on 19 Oct 2009 21:44

And of course, US was never, EVER, in a dire situation re Japan, otherwise it could have asked Russians to use Vladivostok as base.


Could have been awkward; remember just HOW long the USSR remained Neutral vis-a-vis the Empire of Japan. This action would have brought them into the war...and the Russians wouldn't have been able to transfer the Far Eastern divisions West for the Xmas 1941 counterattack around Moscow....! 8O
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Re: Japanese invasion of Hawaii December 1941.

Postby BDV on 19 Oct 2009 21:52

phylo_roadking wrote:
And of course, US was never, EVER, in a dire situation re Japan, otherwise it could have asked Russians to use Vladivostok as base.


Could have been awkward; remember just HOW long the USSR remained Neutral vis-a-vis the Empire of Japan. This action would have brought them into the war...and the Russians wouldn't have been able to transfer the Far Eastern divisions West for the Xmas 1941 counterattack around Moscow....!


I think we're talking summer '42 for US to "borrow" Vladivostok. It is a highly inopportune moment for Soviets to be saying no, whatever US is asking them to do.
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Re: Japanese invasion of Hawaii December 1941.

Postby phylo_roadking on 19 Oct 2009 22:06

I'm not sure the date matters overly about that; if the Japanese invade Hawaii in December...the Russians daren't weaken their Far Eastern military command. If nothing else....that posture stops the IJA trransferring too much out of mainland China. It was only the intelligence coup of finding out that the Japanese had no intentions against the USSR in the East that allowed them to transfer the divisions OTL...

But with the Japanese driving the war THAT close to the U.S. - and putting SUCH a major U.S. asset under question....I can't see them being prepared to take the chance ATL.

EDIT - in fact, the more I think abou it....the U.S. - if they get an intimation of the move West - would ASK the Russians not to if Hawaii was invaded! 8O For they'd want the Russian divisions kept there to prevent the Japanese ploughing resources into the fighting on Hawaii!
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Re: Japanese invasion of Hawaii December 1941.

Postby T. A. Gardner on 20 Oct 2009 04:42

I'm sure this has been discussed before. But:

The largest Japanese amphibious invasion of the war was just 2 infantry divisions in size. Most were far smaller. If we assume the Japanese bring 2 full divisions to Hawaii along with the original naval forces they would have been facing disaster trying to take Oahu.
The US Army, for whatever its failings had two fully equipped divisions on the island. The coastal defense system was the strongest anywhere in US territory. There were literally over 100 peices of heavy fixed and mobile artillery assigned to the island ranging in size from 155mm to 16" guns.
Landing sites were limited as much of the coast is to sheer to effect a landing on. This limits both the size and location of landings unless the Japanese intend to land into the teeth of the US defenses at Honolulu. Japanese air and naval power will no more be able to take out US coast defenses in Hawaii than they were in the Philippines. The Japanese lack the ability to simply overwhelm such defenses the way the US did later in the war where multi day bombardments became the norm.
Watching a Japansese invasion wave trying to land among 11" HE mortar rounds and 155 mm gun fire alone would have been pathetic to watch. Seeing the landing fleet getting fire from 16" guns that outrange anything the Japanese have would likewise be a sorry spectacle for the recipents.
The first Japanese invasion of Wake was repulsed handily. The second almost initially failed. The Japanese landings at Kota Bharu in Malaysia nearly failed against a weak and mediocre Indian defense. Even those in the PI met more resistance than the Japanese expected for heavier casualties.
Landing on a resolutely defended beach with a large number of machineguns and artillery defending it would have been suicide for the Japanese. Unlike later US landings, the Japanese here would have no advantage of artillery support, no advantage of heavy armor and tank support, no advantage in numbers or firepower.
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Re: Japanese invasion of Hawaii December 1941.

Postby LWD on 20 Oct 2009 12:41

princeliberty10311517 wrote:Admiral Yamamoto later stated his great error was not following up Pearl Harbor with an invasion of Hawaii.

Souce please.
What if this was done in December? The defenses of Hawaii were weak and this could cause America to bring up the carriers to try to save Hawaii and give Japan a good chance to take them out.....

When in December?
If they try to time it with or even very near the original strike then there is a good chance that the original strike isn't a surprise or at least not as much of one. If not do they wait until the carriers can get back to Japan and then turn around and come back? If not remember the CVs have lost 10-15% of their planes and have an additional 10-20% damaged. In the mean time the US CVs are now in the neighborhood. If they go back to Japan it would be really pushing it to get replacements, refit, refuel and get back to Hawaii in December. In the mean time the US will have repaired many of the planes damaged in the original attack, strengthened defences, and had time to build up the forces in Hawaii.
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two fully equipped divisions on the island

Postby Dave Bender on 20 Oct 2009 13:46

http://niehorster.orbat.com/013_usa/_41 ... usaffe.htm
The U.S. Army had 8 more or less fully equipped infantry divisions on Luzon plus more tanks and aircraft then what Japan brought to the party. They also had Gen MacArthur, who managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

LTG Short's aerial defenses were no more competent then Big Mac's aerial defenses on Dec 7, 1941. If his ground forces have equally poor training and leadership then an IJA infantry corps can seize Hawaii without difficulty.
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Re: Japanese invasion of Hawaii December 1941.

Postby princeliberty10311517 on 20 Oct 2009 14:28

You can talk about coastal defenses all you want. But if you are on a island and the enemy gains control and the sea and air around the island - your going down.
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coastal defenses

Postby Dave Bender on 20 Oct 2009 14:40

Big Mac had superb coast defenses in the Philippines. They don't do much good if the enemy lands on the opposite side of the island and marches overland.
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Re: Japanese invasion of Hawaii December 1941.

Postby LWD on 21 Oct 2009 13:22

princeliberty10311517 wrote:You can talk about coastal defenses all you want. But if you are on a island and the enemy gains control and the sea and air around the island - your going down.

They have to gain it and control it. It's not at all clear that the Japanese have any chance at all of doing so. Indeed the indications are just the opposite.
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Re: Japanese invasion of Hawaii December 1941.

Postby princeliberty10311517 on 21 Oct 2009 14:40

LWD wrote:
princeliberty10311517 wrote:You can talk about coastal defenses all you want. But if you are on a island and the enemy gains control and the sea and air around the island - your going down.

They have to gain it and control it. It's not at all clear that the Japanese have any chance at all of doing so. Indeed the indications are just the opposite.


In December 1941? They had America with its pants down. Their aircraft and pilots were better.

And a battle in Hawaii would probably bring America's carriers into battle at just time when Japan has its best chance to take them out.
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America with its pants down

Postby Dave Bender on 21 Oct 2009 15:15

Not exactly. The American government was clearly expecting a fight with Japan long before Dec 7, 1941 and the major military commands knew it.

17 Oct 1941. The USN orders all U.S. merchant ships in Asiatic waters to put into friendly ports.
You don't do this unless you consider war to be imminent.

14 Nov 1941. U.S. Government announces the withdrawal of marine detachments from China.
Another clear indication the American Government considered war to be imminent.

24 Nov 1941. Message to major U.S. military commands.
THE CHIEF OF STAFF IS IN AGREEMENT WITH THE ESTIMATE PRESENTED HEREWITH AND REQUESTS THAT YOU INFORM THE SENIOR ARMY OFFICER IN YOUR AREA COLON CHANCES OF FAVORABLE OUTCOME OF UNITED STATES DASH JAPANESE NEGOTIATIONS ARE VERY DOUBTFUL PERIOD THIS SITUATION TOGETHER WITH STATEMENTS OF JAPANESE GOVERNMENT AND MOVEMENT OF THEIR MILITARY AND NAVAL FORCE INTIMATE IN OUR OPINION THAT SURPRISE AGGRESSIVE MOVEMENT IN ANY DIRECTION INCLUDING ATTACK ON PHILIPPINES OR GUAM IS A POSSIBILITY STOP THIS INFORMATION MUST BE TREATED WITH UTMOST SECRECY IN ORDER NOT TO COMPLICATE A TENSE SITUATION OR PRECIPITATE ACTION END STARK).
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Re: Japanese invasion of Hawaii December 1941.

Postby LWD on 21 Oct 2009 17:09

princeliberty10311517 wrote:
LWD wrote:
princeliberty10311517 wrote:You can talk about coastal defenses all you want. But if you are on a island and the enemy gains control and the sea and air around the island - your going down.

They have to gain it and control it. It's not at all clear that the Japanese have any chance at all of doing so. Indeed the indications are just the opposite.


In December 1941? They had America with its pants down. Their aircraft and pilots were better.

And a battle in Hawaii would probably bring America's carriers into battle at just time when Japan has its best chance to take them out.


Indeed the CVs were there. However if they are damaged they are very close to a port. They are also close to their supply lines. The Japanese on the other hand are a long way from theirs. If a US CV in Hawaian waters is damaged it's planes can fly from Hawaii. If a Japanese CV is damaged it's out of the action and only a limited number can operate from other CVs. Even if they succeed in taking out the US CVs the odds are the Japanese CVs would no longer be an effective fighting force which means any Japanese ships in the vacinity of Hawaii would be without air cover and near enemy air bases. Not a good thing in WWII. Furthermore Japan simply doesn't have the oil to maintain ships in the vacingity of Hawaii indefinitly and all the time they are there they are not taking over the oil producing areas Japan needed. Furthermore thay are leaving the forces in those areas time to dig in and/or plan for more complete demolition of their facilities.
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