Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
User avatar
Takao
Member
Posts: 3502
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 19:27
Location: Reading, Pa

Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by Takao » 23 Jun 2022 19:41

paulrward wrote:
23 Jun 2022 19:21
Hello All :

Mr. Takao posted :
#59 by Takao » 23 Jun 2022 10:45

Paul ignores the fact that the Germans also coveted the DEI...You know "controlling the
Dutch Government" and all that. So, if the Germans are "winning" the war, they are highly
unlikely to sign over their prize over to the Japanese.
I did NOT ignore it ! I merely considered that a German Government that could see further than the
end of it's own johnson would realize that trading French Indochina and the NEI for ALL of the Soviet
Union west of the Urals, including the Baku Oil Fields and the Granary that is the Ukraine, would be
a VERY good trade ! But, perhaps Mr. Takao is ..... nearsighted......
Yes, Paul, you DID ignore it, because it fits your fantasy.

A German government that can see further than it's own Johnson. Knows that the Japanese have no claim on Baku or Ukraine. They also know that a Japanese "Phony War" will not tie down Soviet troops if the Soviets are losing the war in the West. They also know that no one is going to believe the tripe. They also know that the US is not going to sit idly by as the Japanese proceed to advance and surround the Philippines.

Peter89
Member
Posts: 1600
Joined: 28 Aug 2018 05:52
Location: Spain

Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by Peter89 » 23 Jun 2022 20:40

glenn239 wrote:
23 Jun 2022 17:30
Peter89 wrote:
22 Jun 2022 22:15
German goals were far from clear in the Soviet Union, and light years away from reality. They counted too much on the collapse of the Soviets, and didn't want to share the spoils. Japan had little to gain there, and exactly no intention to let another European player into the Pacific - the one which trained the Chinese, and whose colonies they took in the Great War -, so it is no wonder they didn't coordinate their strategy.
German goals in the Soviet Union are irrelevant to what I just said. IF the Soviet Union were to defeat Germany, then Japan was doomed. Period.
The Japanese-German strategic cooperation was far from evident. I seriously doubt that any of them was interested in the other's ultimate victory, at least before their common enemies formed a grand coalition to reshape the world. I also don't see Japan to sacrifice its best armies to help the Germans.

On the other hand I doubt that the Anglo-Saxon / Soviet alliance was unbreakable (it did break immediately after the war and never came to be before their common enemies pushed them into one fold).

Now we know that the Germans needed more help from their partners to defeat the SU, but it wasn't obvious in 1941; not to them, not to their partners, not to the outside world.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

glenn239
Member
Posts: 5572
Joined: 29 Apr 2005 01:20
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by glenn239 » 23 Jun 2022 21:06

Takao wrote:
23 Jun 2022 18:45
Paul ignores the fact that the Germans also coveted the DEI...You know "controlling the Dutch Government" and all that. So, if the Germans are "winning" the war, they are highly unlikely to sign over their prize over to the Japanese.
So the Japanese cannot attempt the gambit because the Germans might say no? The Germans might also say yes. After all, Hitler was desperate to get the Japanese into the war, and if he refused this request, Japan might bow to US demands.
Paul also ignores the fact that the Japanese were directly negotiating with the DEI from late-1940 through June, 1941.
Thus establishing the fact that the Hague & Germany have zero control politically over the DEI.
I think you're missing the point. Perhaps deliberately. Paul is suggesting a method by which the Japanese could attempt to take the NEI directly in a fashion that might not trigger US public opinion to intervention. Now, if you ask me, the odds of success would be low. But the odds would certainly be higher than Japan's chances in a war with the United States.

glenn239
Member
Posts: 5572
Joined: 29 Apr 2005 01:20
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by glenn239 » 23 Jun 2022 21:10

ljadw wrote:
23 Jun 2022 18:40
There is no proof that Japan was doomed if the Soviet Union defeated Germany ,because the defeat of Germany does not mean war between the SU and Japan .
The Soviet Union attacked Japan shortly after the defeat of Germany. So for Japan, it didn't matter what German objectives were or whether or not their interests were served by war with the USSR. If the Soviets defeated the Germans, the Soviets would then attack the Japanese. So Japan attacking the USSR in 1942 was a pre-emptive war.

glenn239
Member
Posts: 5572
Joined: 29 Apr 2005 01:20
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by glenn239 » 23 Jun 2022 21:17

Peter89 wrote:
23 Jun 2022 20:40
The Japanese-German strategic cooperation was far from evident. I seriously doubt that any of them was interested in the other's ultimate victory, at least before their common enemies formed a grand coalition to reshape the world. I also don't see Japan to sacrifice its best armies to help the Germans.
I didn't suggest that Axis cooperation was their strong suit. I said that if the USSR defeated Germany, Japan was doomed. Therefore, after the completion of the 1st Phase operations, in the spring of 1942, the Japanese should have attacked the USSR in the Far East. This would have two possible outcomes. Either the Axis would manage to overpower the Soviets, or the Soviets would hold off their attackers and then start to make gains. Either outcome was better for Japan than what happened historically.
On the other hand I doubt that the Anglo-Saxon / Soviet alliance was unbreakable (it did break immediately after the war and never came to be before their common enemies pushed them into one fold).
The British were a secondary factor. The main question was whether the strategic cooperation between the Soviets and Americans could be broken. After Barbarossa, I have my doubts.
Now we know that the Germans needed more help from their partners to defeat the SU, but it wasn't obvious in 1941; not to them, not to their partners, not to the outside world.
Sorry, I thought the topic was, "Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight".

User avatar
Takao
Member
Posts: 3502
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 19:27
Location: Reading, Pa

Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by Takao » 23 Jun 2022 21:49

glenn239 wrote:
23 Jun 2022 21:06
So the Japanese cannot attempt the gambit because the Germans might say no? The Germans might also say yes. After all, Hitler was desperate to get the Japanese into the war, and if he refused this request, Japan might bow to US demands.
Oh, I am not saying the Japanese can attempt it, just as they did their negotiations with the DEI.

However, a successful outcome of Paul's fantasy is not, in any way, dependent on the Japanese.


glenn239 wrote:
23 Jun 2022 21:06
I think you're missing the point. Perhaps deliberately. Paul is suggesting a method by which the Japanese could attempt to take the NEI directly in a fashion that might not trigger US public opinion to intervention. Now, if you ask me, the odds of success would be low. But the odds would certainly be higher than Japan's chances in a war with the United States.
I am not missing the point. However, I am also not using Paul's rose colored glasses to create a "Mary Sue" for the Japanese.

With as many PODs as Paul has to set up to make this happen, it is easy to setup just as many PODs to have the Japanese win a Pacific War.

User avatar
T. A. Gardner
Member
Posts: 2838
Joined: 02 Feb 2006 00:23
Location: Arizona

Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by T. A. Gardner » 24 Jun 2022 00:07

glenn239 wrote:
23 Jun 2022 17:34
T. A. Gardner wrote:
22 Jun 2022 22:59
Actually, the best strategy would have been for the US player to avoid combat altogether and conserve the carriers while letting the Japanese take more losses trying for another strike on Pearl Harbor. They really weren't going to do much more damage than had already been inflicted, and the losses they would take--much heavier than the first two strikes since the US would now be fully alert and ready with what remained--would be hard to replace.
Agreed. I expected to see the US player concentrate his carriers roughly east or southeast of Oahu, using the island's air defenses as the glacis upon which the IJN raid would break. But that's not what he did. He doled them out one each along the routes of approach and used the carriers as the sentinels for Oahu. IMO, had Nimitz played this wargame in December 1941, it is possible that the US player might have made the same mistake, and in this case, the game is highly instructive and Nimitz would have come away with a solid principle - do not distribute your carriers as sentinels for Oahu.
Very unlikely. US doctrine at the time was to use carriers in pairs, not singularly. It's far more likely the carriers would have moved to join up with one and another and likely also made a rendezvous with a tanker if one were available. The carriers were only being used singularly as transports to take aircraft to places like Wake Island in peacetime, but that doesn't translate to wartime doctrine.

OpanaPointer
Member
Posts: 4982
Joined: 16 May 2010 14:12
Location: United States of America

Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by OpanaPointer » 24 Jun 2022 01:09

Paul, you ignored most of my post. C'est la vie.
Come visit our sites:
hyperwarHyperwar
World War II Resources

Bellum se ipsum alet, mostly Doritos.

OpanaPointer
Member
Posts: 4982
Joined: 16 May 2010 14:12
Location: United States of America

Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by OpanaPointer » 24 Jun 2022 01:16

The important thing about the tanks at Pearl is that the IJN pilots didn't attack them. Sitting ducks with no immediate military value weren't sexy enough for the Japanese. The bombers had other targets, the fighters couldn't kill a tank, rupturing it wouldn't cause the loss of the fuel, the fighters didn't have guns to do it anyway. The bombers and torpedo planes had more butch targets. At Darwin the bombers took out some of the tanks. Probably because there were no battleships or carriers there.
EOF
Come visit our sites:
hyperwarHyperwar
World War II Resources

Bellum se ipsum alet, mostly Doritos.

paulrward
Member
Posts: 555
Joined: 10 Dec 2008 20:14

Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by paulrward » 24 Jun 2022 02:20

Hello All ;

Mr. OpanaPointer posted :
#68 by OpanaPointer » 23 Jun 2022 17:09
Paul, you ignored most of my post. C'est la vie.
If you are referring to your posting # 42, I made a full reply to every segment of your posting
in MY posting # 44.

But since you want to do it all over again.......

69 by OpanaPointer » 23 Jun 2022 17:16
The important thing about the tanks at Pearl is that the IJN pilots didn't attack them. Sitting
ducks with no immediate military value weren't sexy enough for the Japanese. The bombers
had other targets, the fighters couldn't kill a tank, rupturing it wouldn't cause the loss of the
fuel, the fighters didn't have guns to do it anyway. The bombers and torpedo planes had more
butch targets. At Darwin the bombers took out some of the tanks. Probably because there were
no battleships or carriers there.
The important thing about the tanks at Pearl is that the IJN pilots didn't attack them.

If they had, they probably would have put the USN out of the war for the better part of 18 months.
At least that was the estimate of Admiral Husband Kimmel, who stated : " It would have forced
the withdrawal of the Fleet to the West Coast because there wasn't any oil anywhere else out
there to keep the Fleet operating. "
( Pearl Harbor Hearings, 6/2812)


Sitting ducks with no immediate military value weren't sexy enough for the Japanese.

This was a failure of Doctrine. As long as the person in command isn't an idiot, he can change
Doctrine.


The bombers had other targets

On a Third Strike, the tanks could have been MADE their target.


the fighters couldn't kill a tank

I've already called Bullshit on this once. The Type 99 20mm cannon on the A6M could punch through
15 mm of ARMOR at 500 meters, and would then explode. The tops of the tanks were only .5" thick,
which is 12.5 mm, and were made from mild steel. So the cannons on the Zekes would have ripped
through the tops of the tanks, and then exploded with a temperature of 1400 C, which would ignite
the Bunker B oil inside the tanks.


The bombers and torpedo planes had more butch targets

Tanks not sexy, other targets more butch...... Mr. OpanaPointer, is there something you are trying
to tell us ? It's all right. We understand. We're open minded here on this Forum......
(... In the Navy, you can set your mind at ease,
In the Navy, you can sail the seven seas....... )

At Darwin the bombers took out some of the tanks. Probably because there were
no battleships or carriers there


Or maybe because someone had figured out by then what a mistake they had made by not making
a third strike and hitting the Oil Storage Tanks.......


Mr. OpanaPointer, go read Real Admiral Layton's book, ' And I Was There ' . On page 498, Captain
Roger Pineau recounts a meeting he had with Admiral Tomioka in 1949, during which they discussed the
bombing of the Pearl Harbor Fuel Tanks. Captain Pineau's estimate of the amount of time that would
have immobilized the USN ? Twelve to Eighteen Months !

Mr. OpanaPointer, I rest my case. Oh yeah. In my opinion, Zimm is full of manure.


Respectfully ;

Paul R Ward
Information not shared, is information lost
Voices that are banned, are voices who cannot share information....
Discussions that are silenced, are discussions that will occur elsewhere !

Carl Schwamberger
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 9131
Joined: 02 Sep 2006 20:31
Location: USA

Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 24 Jun 2022 02:33

Huszar666 wrote:
22 Jun 2022 20:18
Morning,

A few questions:

1, which were the pre-war soviet divisions from the Far East Front that were relocated to the Moscow line in Late 1941 or anywhere till around Mid 1942? I always hear, that they did that, but I never found out, which division were sent west. I have certainly haven't found ANY on the Moscow line. Please enlighten me.
Im not the expert on the Eastern Front, and failed to retain notes, but I have read analysis of this question. The answer lies in a confusion of what "Siberia" is. That huge ill defined region is often conflated soley with the Far Eastern or Maritime provinces of the USSR. Siberian in Soviet administration had no clear boundaries or define administrative purpose. its just a general label of all that territory to the east.

In that context the 'Siberian Divisions' were mostly formed from reservists mobilized from the industrial & agricultural settlements between the Urals and Omsk. A region unarguably in 'Siberia' but nowhere near the Soviet Far Eastern provinces or Manchuria. Some were drawn from settled regions further east, and as far as the Maritime provinces, but those were a minority.

Another bit about these 'Siberians' is that they were mobilized June through September. But, unlike the reservists mobilized in the west they were not rushed straight into combat. One soldier who survived the war described being called up in the summer, and spending the time into October with his regiment organizing & then training. That is they had several months to prepare and accquire some basic tactical skills.

ljadw
Member
Posts: 12889
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by ljadw » 24 Jun 2022 05:46

glenn239 wrote:
23 Jun 2022 21:10
ljadw wrote:
23 Jun 2022 18:40
There is no proof that Japan was doomed if the Soviet Union defeated Germany ,because the defeat of Germany does not mean war between the SU and Japan .
The Soviet Union attacked Japan shortly after the defeat of Germany. So for Japan, it didn't matter what German objectives were or whether or not their interests were served by war with the USSR. If the Soviets defeated the Germans, the Soviets would then attack the Japanese. So Japan attacking the USSR in 1942 was a pre-emptive war.
The Soviet Union attacked Japan because
a Japan was at war with the West
b Japan had lost the war with the West.
The defeat of Germany had nothing to do with the Soviet attack on Japan .
There was an undeclared war between Japan and the Soviets in 1939 while Germany was not defeated and there was the Molotov-Matsuoka Treaty of April 1941 while Germany was not defeated.
This proves that war with/defeat of Germany had nothing to do with the decision to attack Japan .If in August 19445 Germany was defeated but there was no PH, would the Soviets have attacked Japan ?
The same question if in August 1945 Germany was defeated but Japan was not defeated or was winning .

User avatar
Takao
Member
Posts: 3502
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 19:27
Location: Reading, Pa

Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by Takao » 24 Jun 2022 10:50

Did the Soviets attack Japan while they were at war with Germany? No.

Did the Soviets attack Japan after Germany was defeated? Yes.

In 1939 & April, 1941, the Soviets were not at war with Germany.

If no PH, would the Wallies have asked the Soviets to attack Japan?

In 1945, with Germany defeated, would not the Allies take the same process they used to defeat Germany & use it to defeat Japan?

Von Schadewald
Member
Posts: 2038
Joined: 16 Nov 2004 23:17
Location: Israel

Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by Von Schadewald » 24 Jun 2022 12:09

Option 3 was: Send the Imperial Japanese Navy in to the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea to blockade British shipping in the Red Sea and Suez Canal, and to set up submarine bases on Vichy French Madagascar to harass Allied ships passing round the Cape of Good Hope.

Even though the British had intelligence of the Indian Ocean Raid in March 1942, they still got pummeled. If Somerville had got wiped out, were the Japanese and Germans of the mindset at that time to focus on blocking Suez shipping, on the level that would have given Rommel a chance of winning First El Alamein in July, or reaching the Canal even sooner?

Peter89
Member
Posts: 1600
Joined: 28 Aug 2018 05:52
Location: Spain

Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by Peter89 » 24 Jun 2022 13:18

Von Schadewald wrote:
24 Jun 2022 12:09
Option 3 was: Send the Imperial Japanese Navy in to the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea to blockade British shipping in the Red Sea and Suez Canal, and to set up submarine bases on Vichy French Madagascar to harass Allied ships passing round the Cape of Good Hope.

Even though the British had intelligence of the Indian Ocean Raid in March 1942, they still got pummeled. If Somerville had got wiped out, were the Japanese and Germans of the mindset at that time to focus on blocking Suez shipping, on the level that would have given Rommel a chance of winning First El Alamein in July, or reaching the Canal even sooner?
AFAIK the only remotely possible chance for the Japanese was at Madagascar, formally a pro-Axis colony. Otherwise they'd be too far from their bases.

This is of course neglecting the fact that the main threat to Japan was not the British but the Americans.

Btw if Japan could collapse the British position in India/Raj, that would worth more for the Germans than the Suez ever could.

Not to mention that in 1942 the Suez base was already worthless because the Allies took IEA, Iraq, the Levant, Persia, etc; it was a dead end. In my opinion the only sensible option was to withdraw from Africa altogether.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

Return to “What if”