No WWII Military Developments

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today.
Carl Schwamberger
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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 12 Jun 2019 22:25

Heres a description of reinforcements sent 1940-41 < https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/US ... -PI-3.html >

The two tank battalions sent, the 192 & 194th are usually described as "National Guard" as they were heavily manned by NG men taken into Federal service in the autumn of 1940.

I found it interesting the Philippines Division (A US Army Regular division) had been partially built up as a old 'square' organization and as of August 1941 had not been reorganized to the new triangular model.

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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by OpanaPointer » 13 Jun 2019 00:49

rcocean wrote:
12 Jun 2019 19:12
MacArthur was appointed to Philippine Command on July 26th 1941.
I was curious as to who thought this was a good idea. Turned out it was Marshal's request to Mac that got him back to the PI.
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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by rcocean » 13 Jun 2019 01:17

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
12 Jun 2019 22:25
Heres a description of reinforcements sent 1940-41 < https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/US ... -PI-3.html >
I found it interesting the Philippines Division (A US Army Regular division) had been partially built up as a old 'square' organization and as of August 1941 had not been reorganized to the new triangular model.
I think it was really a "Division" in name only, like the "Hawaiian Division". According, to the Official History it was basically all Filipino Scouts and 31st Infantry Regiment. Total Strength in July 1941, was 10,400 men and it had 3 Regiments. According to US Official history it was a "Square Division" but not equipped as such. Which is confusing. Anyway it was "scattered" and rarely functioned as a division. I was also suprised to learn that most of the NG Divsions were Square and didn't become rectangular until after December 1941.

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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 13 Jun 2019 02:56

rcocean wrote:
13 Jun 2019 01:17
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
12 Jun 2019 22:25
Heres a description of reinforcements sent 1940-41 < https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/US ... -PI-3.html >
I found it interesting the Philippines Division (A US Army Regular division) had been partially built up as a old 'square' organization and as of August 1941 had not been reorganized to the new triangular model.
I think it was really a "Division" in name only, like the "Hawaiian Division". According, to the Official History it was basically all Filipino Scouts and 31st Infantry Regiment. Total Strength in July 1941, was 10,400 men and it had 3 Regiments. According to US Official history it was a "Square Division" but not equipped as such. Which is confusing. Anyway it was "scattered" and rarely functioned as a division.
Yes its confusing since there is that message from MacArthur that included the request for another infantry regiment to make the PD a triangular division.
I was also suprised to learn that most of the NG Divsions were Square and didn't become rectangular until after December 1941.
The triangular organization was still in flux until the spring of 1942. This was in part because the Army was too compartmentalized into independent departments protected by Congressional members and immune to orders from the CiC & CoS. Legislation connected to the DoWs vs the Axis nations and full war mobilization allowed Marshal to reorganized the Army into just three centralized departments he could control in Roosevelts name. This allowed McNair as newly appointed head of Army Ground Forces to break the log jams on many issues, including setting the organizations for all Army units in stone. The Army Green book of on organization of AGF has a chapter on this. The questions of organization were handed over to a relatively small cell of McNairs staff & they quickly got the TO/TE settled and published in the Spring of 1942.

Previously the NG divisions were trying to reorganize, shedding battalions and brigade HQ in practice if not officially, but the problems surrounding publishing a permanent division TO/TE made it shooting at multiple moving targets. The Regular Army divisions had the same problem, tho since most were cadre until 1940 they had a lot less extra baggage than the NG divisions which were taken into Federal service fully organized and near full muster.

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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 13 Jun 2019 03:09

OpanaPointer wrote:
13 Jun 2019 00:49
rcocean wrote:
12 Jun 2019 19:12
MacArthur was appointed to Philippine Command on July 26th 1941.
I was curious as to who thought this was a good idea. Turned out it was Marshal's request to Mac that got him back to the PI.
I thought it 'natural' since Mac was already CoS of the Pillipines Army, reporting to the PI President. Plus it kept him out of Washington. Marshal had been working hard to rid the Army of the old crocks & keeping him in PI may have looked better than having him lunching with Republican Congressmen back in Washington. Returned to active service in the US Army Mac was in theory returned to orders from the CiC.

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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 13 Jun 2019 03:12

Enough about the US Army.

Until the latter 1930s the Brits had paid a larger degree of attention to war in the Pacific & Asian seas. Without the nazis what would the trends be for the Royal Navy1935 into 1941?

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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by T. A. Gardner » 13 Jun 2019 07:36

rcocean wrote:
12 Jun 2019 19:12
T. A. Gardner wrote:
03 Jun 2019 05:49
Right after the NG mobilized, the US Army offered a full National Guard division to MacArthur for use in the Philippines and it would have been sent approximately six months later. MacArthur turned this down telling the Army that the one Philippine division and 10 Philippine Army divisions should be sufficient. It was one more of his blunders that cost the US the PI.
The NG Mobilized in Sept 1940. MacArthur was appointed to Philippine Command on July 26th 1941. Further, he was not offered any US infantry until September 1941. Any unit would never have reached the Philippines before Dec 7th. Half the stuff that was to sent to MacArthur never made it in time - including a US infantry Regiment.
That doesn't change that the US Army offered a NG division and MacArthur turned it down. Yes, the US reinforcements were a day late and a dollar short but that doesn't change the mistakes MacArthur made or the lack of urgency put on reinforcing the PI.

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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by T. A. Gardner » 13 Jun 2019 07:40

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
13 Jun 2019 03:12
Enough about the US Army.

Until the latter 1930s the Brits had paid a larger degree of attention to war in the Pacific & Asian seas. Without the nazis what would the trends be for the Royal Navy1935 into 1941?
It really wouldn't matter. A Pacific war alone where Britain and France were involved (the two were reasonably tied as an alliance) would have almost certainly resulted in a Japanese victory. The French don't have the ships, and particularly the support ships, to send to deal with the IJN. The British would have almost certainly worked with half-measures that would result in too little too late and similarly end in defeat.
The Dutch in the DEI might get to a point where they were capable of fending off a Japanese invasion, but it'd likely be well into 1942 before it happens.

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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by OpanaPointer » 13 Jun 2019 08:07

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
13 Jun 2019 03:09
OpanaPointer wrote:
13 Jun 2019 00:49
rcocean wrote:
12 Jun 2019 19:12
MacArthur was appointed to Philippine Command on July 26th 1941.
I was curious as to who thought this was a good idea. Turned out it was Marshal's request to Mac that got him back to the PI.
I thought it 'natural' since Mac was already CoS of the Pillipines Army, reporting to the PI President. Plus it kept him out of Washington. Marshal had been working hard to rid the Army of the old crocks & keeping him in PI may have looked better than having him lunching with Republican Congressmen back in Washington. Returned to active service in the US Army Mac was in theory returned to orders from the CiC.
Yep, but I was asked for the exact path, and had Purdue's libraries at hand, so...
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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by rcocean » 13 Jun 2019 16:06

T. A. Gardner wrote:
13 Jun 2019 07:36

That doesn't change that the US Army offered a NG division and MacArthur turned it down. Yes, the US reinforcements were a day late and a dollar short but that doesn't change the mistakes MacArthur made or the lack of urgency put on reinforcing the PI.
I was responding to what YOU WROTE. So, now you're saying the REAL blunder was MacArthur turning down a NG division. Which is absurd. The NG division was offered in Sept 1941 and could never have reached the Philippines in time. In any case, MacArthur asked for 2 US infantry Regiments, 2 Artillery battalions, Corps support, and other American personnel totaling about 20,000 men. Go read the history. The idea that a NG division in lieu of all that would've made a difference is ridiculous. And no, I don't care that you're "Not persuaded".

The real blunder was committed by FDR and Marshall. They refused to call out the Filipino Army in September 1940, even though the General in charge of the Philippines requested it. Further, they refused all requests to provide military aid to the Filipino Army prior to July 1941. That was the real blunder and if they'd mobilized the Filipino Army in the Fall of 1940 - AND giving it proper equipment - it would've been 10x more effective in December 1941.

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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by rcocean » 13 Jun 2019 16:14

I thought it 'natural' since Mac was already CoS of the Pillipines Army, reporting to the PI President. Plus it kept him out of Washington. Marshal had been working hard to rid the Army of the old crocks & keeping him in PI may have looked better than having him lunching with Republican Congressmen back in Washington. Returned to active service in the US Army Mac was in theory returned to orders from the CiC.

MacArthur had been FDR's chief of staff for 2.5 years. And was considered America's No. 1 Soldier. He had been in the Philippines since 1935 and had served there for 4 years in the 1920s. He was "the expert" on the Philippines.

Had the command been given to someone else, the obvious question would be why? Also, as you say, if he'd returned to the USA, people would've been asking why he wasn't being used, when he was in good health and had more high level military experience then anyone. Finally, MacArthur was well liked by Democrats in Congress too, which is why FDR used him to get the Army Budget through Congress in 1935. The Republican party was more less wiped out in the 1932 and 1934 elections.

People have this weird idea about Marshall and MacArthur.

First, the two men didn't dislike each other. MacA didn't even know Marshall, and Marshall was completely objective about people. I don't think there was ever a C-of-S who cared less about "office politics" "personalities" and who liked/disliked who.

Second, the American people and Congress didn't know Marshall when he become C-of-S. He'd been a staff officer in WW1, hadn't become a General until 1936, and while he was well known IN THE ARMY, he hadn't anything of note between the wars. OTOH, MacArthur was the son of a famous General, graduated No 1 at West Point, was an aide to TR, was cited for Bravery in WW 1 and became a General in 1919. He was Superintend at West Point in 1919, Head of the 1928 US Olympic Team, and became C-of-S at the age of 50. A Book publisher offered him $500.0000 to write his memoirs in 1937. He was well-known and well liked in Congress.

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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 13 Jun 2019 17:07

T. A. Gardner wrote:
13 Jun 2019 07:40
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
13 Jun 2019 03:12
Enough about the US Army.

Until the latter 1930s the Brits had paid a larger degree of attention to war in the Pacific & Asian seas. Without the nazis what would the trends be for the Royal Navy1935 into 1941?
It really wouldn't matter. A Pacific war alone where Britain and France were involved (the two were reasonably tied as an alliance) would have almost certainly resulted in a Japanese victory. The French don't have the ships, and particularly the support ships, to send to deal with the IJN. The British would have almost certainly worked with half-measures that would result in too little too late and similarly end in defeat. ...
British half measures... Now I'm wondering what the RN equivalent of WP ORANGE looked like circa 1935, before attention shifted back to the German navy.

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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by rcocean » 13 Jun 2019 21:31

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
13 Jun 2019 17:07
British half measures... Now I'm wondering what the RN equivalent of WP ORANGE looked like circa 1935, before attention shifted back to the German navy.
Main fleet to Singapore. Brits hold Singapore until the RN arrives and then there's a big battle. UK Wins. In any case, Japan couldn't have invaded Malaysia so effectively without bases in Indochina and troops in Thailand. A good book on the subject is:

Old Friends, New Enemies : The Royal Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy Strategic Illusions, 1936-1941

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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by T. A. Gardner » 13 Jun 2019 23:50

rcocean wrote:
13 Jun 2019 16:06
I was responding to what YOU WROTE. So, now you're saying the REAL blunder was MacArthur turning down a NG division. Which is absurd. The NG division was offered in Sept 1941 and could never have reached the Philippines in time. In any case, MacArthur asked for 2 US infantry Regiments, 2 Artillery battalions, Corps support, and other American personnel totaling about 20,000 men. Go read the history. The idea that a NG division in lieu of all that would've made a difference is ridiculous. And no, I don't care that you're "Not persuaded".
No, I'm saying it was a serious one of many blunders MacArthur made in the PI. The NG division would have been in addition to the other reinforcements. That is, the US Army offered what was essentially a two division US corps of troops for use in the PI, and MacArthur turned down the division even as he got the corps troops.
The real blunder was committed by FDR and Marshall. They refused to call out the Filipino Army in September 1940, even though the General in charge of the Philippines requested it. Further, they refused all requests to provide military aid to the Filipino Army prior to July 1941. That was the real blunder and if they'd mobilized the Filipino Army in the Fall of 1940 - AND giving it proper equipment - it would've been 10x more effective in December 1941.
MacArthur was also the head of the Philippine Army with the rank of "Field Marshall." It was his decision as to when to mobilize the Philippine Army. A big part of the problem was that when first orgainzed in late 1936, the Philippine Army had almost nothing to work with. There were few posts and camps to train draftees at and a shortage of weapons of all sorts. In the US, both Congress, the President, and Army were in no hurry to supply anything at the time. So, when the first group of 20,000 draftees was inducted in mid 1937, they were mostly limited to drilling and construction duties. Five years is sufficient time to organize and train a good chunk of the planned 10 divisions the Philippine Army was to have. But, without the equipment it wasn't going to happen. And that wasn't just a matter of getting it approved. It was far more a matter of getting it moved to the Philippines from the US. The rate of draft really was dependent on the availability of shipping to deliver the necessary arms and material to allow units to be formed.

Another issue was that once the Philippine Army started drafting, the US Army had to largely stop taking in new Philippine Scout recruits. The much higher rates of pay the Philippine Scouts got over draftees caused serious morale and discipline issues.

The serious problem that arose when the US finally did decide to better equip the Philippines in general was finding shipping space to send the stuff there. In the months just before Pearl Harbor over a million tons of materials and arms for the Philippines had accumulated in West Coast ports awaiting shipping space to go to the PI.

So, I can't pin that one on MacArthur. That's a combination of things conspiring to make bringing the Philippines up to strength difficult or impossible to do in the time available.

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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 13 Jun 2019 23:53

rcocean wrote:
13 Jun 2019 21:31
... A good book on the subject is:

Old Friends, New Enemies : The Royal Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy Strategic Illusions, 1936-1941
Thanks

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