No WWII Military Developments

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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by OpanaPointer » 08 May 2019 09:53

T. V. Soong and the Dragon Lady were working hard to keep the war in China current in the US media.
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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 09 May 2019 02:43

The China lobby vs the Japanese lobby. I remember as a child in the 1950s & 60s how the residual pro Chinese literature still lay forgotten on the back shelves and dusty corners.

Have seen some claims that Japan in 1939 was a larger trading partner with the US than China. A bit surprising just on the basis of population and resources. Perhaps Japans new role controlling the trade with occupied China created this condition?

Had Japan been willing to cut a deal circa 1942 I wonder what conditions would be acceptable to each side?

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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by maltesefalcon » 09 May 2019 23:53

Frankly I am not shocked if in fact Japan/US traded exceeded that of its US/China counterpart. It's not merely the size of the population or the economy.

Those are factors to be sure, but the driving force must always be a specific need and the monies to pay for it. China was not very industrialized in the early 20th century, so made relatively few durable goods that would appeal to US markets.

They also would have much less capital to purchase items. There may have been a demand for cars and trucks, but few Chinese consumers could afford them.

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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 14 May 2019 03:30

Possible avenues for a 'Pacific War'. That is Japans China war spreading. I don't thing any of these are very likely.

1. Japan vs France. Dont laugh, OTL Japan had plenty to argue about with France. The port of Hai Phong & the Red River corridor was becoming a sustainment route for the KMT. That & Annamese rice exports were helpful to the KMT. Beyond that the French had turned the Mekong into both a raise factory for export to Asia, and had a healthy latex rubber cultivation going on in the Mekong region. Shutting off the supply route to the KMT, and taking possession of this well developed set of colonies was tempting & OTL it was easy. The Germans helped Japan out by ordering the French to hand over the keys. So how does this play out with no European war & resurgent Germany? My guess is Japan pulls out the play book from the Russo/Japanese war. A surprise attack, landings at key locations, the small French colonial force scattered into the interior & besieged in a few small garrisons. The French navy was designed for the Mediterranean. Has a voyage nearly as far as the Russian navy 35 years earlier, is smaller that Japans navy, and is manned by racially inferior Europeans. What can go wrong?

2. Britain vs Japan. OTL Japan honored the Unequal Treaties for several years, into 1941. Tho tensions and interference mounted, for the first few years The European Concessions and trade agreements were allowed to continue to function. In this case tensions and British resistance causes Japans leaders to decide to make a example of Britain. The Brit Concessions are occupied and the Brit 'China fleet' is neutralized. At this point Japan offers to negotiate a settlement, thinking the Brits will write off their Concession system and lead the way in the Europeans recognizing the new order in Asia. What can go wrong?

3. The China lobby brings the US, Britain, and perhaps others to get serious about economic sanctions. Negotiations break down as in OTL & the Japanese leaders see no way out but to strike hard and fast at their tormentors. Since the decadent westerners have let their navies athropy its possible to defeat their Asiatic fleets and seize a few strategic places as bargaining chips. The decadent westerners have no stomach or skill for war so renewed negotiations should be more advantageous to Japan...

Every time I think this over it leads me back to first the western powers not taking serious action for sanctions. Eventually, perhaps in 1942 Japan is near bankrupt, its credit in New York & London exhausted, & its army unable to cope with continued fighting the KMT, the Communists, and restive warlords. At this point the Zaibatsu reach a consensus & the fanatic imperialists find themselves a shrinking minority, politically isolated if they are politicians, posted to military positions without power, required to retire, or assassinated if they make trouble. There might be bloodshed, coup & counter coup. But a new government makes a attempt to negotiate a way out with the Chinese.

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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by Russ3Z » 14 May 2019 17:40

If Hitler does not come into power, does Germany go Communist, possibly followed by the rest of Europe? That is perhaps the most important question.

However, let's limit this to examining a post-1933 Germany that is neither National Socialist nor Communist (assume a Germany edging more nationalistic, still slowly trying to break the shackles of Versailles, but less boldly than OTL), in the context of Sino-Japanese relations.

Historically, while there was some Sino-German military/economic cooperation in the 20s and early 30s, this greatly accelerated after Hitler's rise to power, lasting until the second Sino-Japanese War. In this ATL scenario, then, the level of both economic aid (extension of credit, bilateral trade agreements, infrastructure/transportation investments) and military aid (weapons sales, training, military/industrial complex building) are significantly reduced compared to OTL. Two main effects come to mind:

1. Diminished KMT power vs Communists. First, the KMT will suffer directly as a result of the above limitations, and will thus have a harder time dealing with the Communist insurgencies. Additionally, Russia may be a bit more emboldened to provide more support to the CPC efforts, further weakening the KMT's ability to deal with them, possibly prolonging the war and/or leading to further sectionalism and rise of warlords.

2. Diminished KMT power vs Japan. Historically, the German-trained and equipped divisions in Shanghai proved to be a major obstacle that not only delayed the Japanese advance, allowing Chinese forces time to regroup and prepare for the next phase of conflict, but also lowered Japanese morale and improved world opinion of the will/ability of China to resist. Additionally, the German industrial and infrastructure investments helped China to continue the fight and replace materiel losses.

How these two changes interplay may determine the course of events in the ATL:

1. KMT-CPC stalemate. A weakened China, effectively controlled by neither the KMT nor the CPC, will present an even more appealing target to the Japanese, with correspondingly greater chances of an ultimate Japanese victory. Such a victory, if possible, may make Japan less susceptible to international opinion and sanctions. Whether Japan can successfully consolidate its victories and "colonize" greater China, or at least Manchuria (to a greater extent than OTL), is still an open question.

2. Ascendant CPC. The combination of reduced German aid to the KMT and increased Russian aid to the CPC is perhaps a more complex issue to tackle. If Russian involvement is low to medium, we may simply see a mirror image of the stalemate above, where the CPC has the upper hand vs the KMT but not to such an extent that it can effectively fight the Japanese. If Russian involvement is greater, however, we may have the interesting situation where Japan is more fearful, wishing merely to maintain its Manchurian conquests rather than expanding the conflict into China and risk war with Russia. World opinion might possibly play an even greater factor this time, too, with Europe and the US fearing the Russian-Chinese combination enough to grant recognition to Manchukuo as a bulwark against further Communist expansion in the region. Japan may provide increased aid to any remaining regional warlords to try to promote continued instability in the region while building up the Manchukoan economy and its forces there. Japan's necessity to commit its military and economic resources to the region constitutes a de facto win for the Northern Faction, which suits the European colonial powers and the US just fine as they have less to fear from a Japanese Southern strategy.

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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 14 May 2019 18:28

Russ3Z wrote:
14 May 2019 17:40
If Hitler does not come into power, does Germany go Communist, possibly followed by the rest of Europe? That is perhaps the most important question.
No, the Communists were stagnated in terms of membership and votes at the polls. IIRC their best 1930-33 showing was 17% of the voters. They looked scarier when attempting coalitions with other leftist parties, but the Red Threat was more rightwing propaganda that reality.
However, let's limit this to examining a post-1933 Germany that is neither National Socialist nor Communist (assume a Germany edging more nationalistic, still slowly trying to break the shackles of Versailles, but less boldly than OTL), in the context of Sino-Japanese relations.

Historically, while there was some Sino-German military/economic cooperation in the 20s and early 30s, this greatly accelerated after Hitler's rise to power, lasting until the second Sino-Japanese War. In this ATL scenario, then, the level of both economic aid (extension of credit, bilateral trade agreements, infrastructure/transportation investments) and military aid (weapons sales, training, military/industrial complex building) are significantly reduced compared to OTL. Two main effects come to mind:

1. Diminished KMT power vs Communists. First, the KMT will suffer directly as a result of the above limitations, and will thus have a harder time dealing with the Communist insurgencies. Additionally, Russia may be a bit more emboldened to provide more support to the CPC efforts, further weakening the KMT's ability to deal with them, possibly prolonging the war and/or leading to further sectionalism and rise of warlords.

2. Diminished KMT power vs Japan. Historically, the German-trained and equipped divisions in Shanghai proved to be a major obstacle that not only delayed the Japanese advance, allowing Chinese forces time to regroup and prepare for the next phase of conflict, but also lowered Japanese morale and improved world opinion of the will/ability of China to resist. Additionally, the German industrial and infrastructure investments helped China to continue the fight and replace materiel losses.

How these two changes interplay may determine the course of events in the ATL:

1. KMT-CPC stalemate. A weakened China, effectively controlled by neither the KMT nor the CPC, will present an even more appealing target to the Japanese, with correspondingly greater chances of an ultimate Japanese victory. Such a victory, if possible, may make Japan less susceptible to international opinion and sanctions. Whether Japan can successfully consolidate its victories and "colonize" greater China, or at least Manchuria (to a greater extent than OTL), is still an open question.

2. Ascendant CPC. The combination of reduced German aid to the KMT and increased Russian aid to the CPC is perhaps a more complex issue to tackle. If Russian involvement is low to medium, we may simply see a mirror image of the stalemate above, where the CPC has the upper hand vs the KMT but not to such an extent that it can effectively fight the Japanese. If Russian involvement is greater, however, we may have the interesting situation where Japan is more fearful, wishing merely to maintain its Manchurian conquests rather than expanding the conflict into China and risk war with Russia. World opinion might possibly play an even greater factor this time, too, with Europe and the US fearing the Russian-Chinese combination enough to grant recognition to Manchukuo as a bulwark against further Communist expansion in the region. Japan may provide increased aid to any remaining regional warlords to try to promote continued instability in the region while building up the Manchukoan economy and its forces there. Japan's necessity to commit its military and economic resources to the region constitutes a de facto win for the Northern Faction, which suits the European colonial powers and the US just fine as they have less to fear from a Japanese Southern strategy.
Absent nazi German assistance the variable is what other nations step in. the Brits had a incentive to support the KMT vs Japan, & to a lesser extent the French, Italians, and Portuguse. It was becoming clear the KMT might be a better chance for best access to Chinas markets than the Japanese. The latter were turning their occupation zone into a full fledged colony & foreign businessmen were increasingly forced to deal with Japanese merchants controlling access. A close look at what the US or others provided after the Germans departed might clarify this. Particularly when the USSR ceased support of the KMT in favor of the Maos group.

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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by T. A. Gardner » 02 Jun 2019 03:26

If Germany doesn't launch a second war in Europe (which seems to be the crux of this thread), then the US and Japan still enter a Pacific war and the US stomps Japan much as they did only faster.
Japan was caught in a political whirlpool to the drain, so-to-speak. That is, politically, they had to keep seeking larger "solutions" to the problems they faced. This meant they would have to invade China and inevitably expand that war. The US would respond by seeking greater trade restrictions and embargos to force Japan to stop. These would force the Japanese military to respond with greater force.

I don't think things in China would play out much differently. The big difference would be without a European war, the US could focus on just the Pacific and they'd mass a military that would crush the Japanese as thoroughly or more so than they did historically. I think Britain and France would be caught flat footed, as neither did that well historically in terms of military foresight.

The big difference would be in how fast the US decided to mobilize for a war with Japan without the threat of a war with Germany.

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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 02 Jun 2019 19:25

T. A. Gardner wrote:
02 Jun 2019 03:26
...
The big difference would be in how fast the US decided to mobilize for a war with Japan without the threat of a war with Germany.
A look at the old pre 1941 versions of War Plan ORANGE might be a starting point, and the general mobilization plans of the 1930s. Then there was the budgets voted for the War and Navy Departments in 1938, for 1939-40, before any US leaders felt threatened by war. The sense after March 1939 that there might be a European war soon, and the severe alarm after France collapsed were the big game changers in US military preparations.

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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by T. A. Gardner » 02 Jun 2019 23:28

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
02 Jun 2019 19:25
T. A. Gardner wrote:
02 Jun 2019 03:26
...
The big difference would be in how fast the US decided to mobilize for a war with Japan without the threat of a war with Germany.
A look at the old pre 1941 versions of War Plan ORANGE might be a starting point, and the general mobilization plans of the 1930s. Then there was the budgets voted for the War and Navy Departments in 1938, for 1939-40, before any US leaders felt threatened by war. The sense after March 1939 that there might be a European war soon, and the severe alarm after France collapsed were the big game changers in US military preparations.
The big one I see is that the US Army would be able to concentrate on putting a mass of troops and equipment into the Philippines making the country untakeable. The US Army might do the same with Guam and other US island possessions in the Pacific as well. That would be a big game changer on its own. I'm not sure that the US would put as much effort into a general build up for just a Pacific war though. I'd expect instead that the focus would be on that theater alone.

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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 03 Jun 2019 02:01

T. A. Gardner wrote:
02 Jun 2019 23:28
... The big one I see is that the US Army would be able to concentrate on putting a mass of troops and equipment into the Philippines making the country untakeable.
Given time thats likely. On shorter notice, of perhaps six months thats problematic by 1930s standards. The active service Regular Army was under 200,000 men, the Army reserve had approx 60,000 officers & NCOs partially trained & intended as cadre for new formations. Four Reg Army divisions were on paper near 75% strength, but had large numbers detached for schools, the CCC, & other needs. 4-5 other 'divisions were effectively at 30% strength or less. There were four 'Corps HQ' that were similarly undermanned. The 1939-40 budget authorized a increase to near 250,000, but that did not directly address a immediate influx of trained men for bringing any of the Regular Army formations to combat effectiveness. The National Guards were the actual ready reserve of ground forces. Approximately 250,000 men organized in some 30 divisions, these were at least possessing a full complement of equipment, tho all of Great War era models. I don't know what the mobilization plan for WP ORANGE was in 1939. One description for 1933 had 50,000 men ready and equipped for "overseas service" in six months and 100,000 in twelve months. I haven idea how accurate that claim was, but it fits the training levels and manpower of the Army in the 1930s.
On the bright side the US Navy did have two combined arms brigades of Marines, 3-4 Base Defense Battalions and the ability to expand that by 30-40% on short notice

What we have for full mobilization is the effort made from September 1940 as the War Powers Acts took effect. Induction of the Army Reserve, the National Guards, and recruitment from early 1939 through 1940 put some 600,000+ men in uniform. The goal was to have approx 1,600,000 men in the Army and Army Air Corps, Quartermaster Corps, ect... by October 1941. Looking at the division activation schedules in Stauntons OB of the US Army in WWII, they seem to have been aiming at approx 45 organized ground combat divisions by Oct 41. How well trained the bulk of those would be is problematic. As it was OTL perhaps a half dozen with strong Regular Army cadres were near ready for overseas service by then.

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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by T. A. Gardner » 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 regular US Army units were all on the square organization initially. When the Army went to triangular divisions, they simply split off a brigade of two regiments and then raised a new regiment for each division. That for all intents, doubled the number of regular Army divisions in virtually an instant. The NG divisions generally were raised as triangular ones right from the start and most of these were deployed early in WW 2 historically, intact not having been culled for cadre to raise new divisions.
It was largely the reserve divisions that ended up being heavily culled to produce new divisions.

By the same token, the IJA had to expand massively in the same period. They drafted heavily and roughly doubled the number of infantry divisions in existence starting about 1938. It was one of these new draftee divisions that fought at Nomohan for example. But unlike the US, Japan didn't have the reserve of equipment and weapons to outfit these divisions fully. Often they ended up not only with obsolescent equipment and weapons but generally had serious shortages of heavier weapons like artillery.

Worse, the IJAAF and IJNAF's are equipped with really pathetic aircraft in 1939. The P-36 or P-39 are more than a match for the A5M Claude and Ki-27 that are the standard fighters in 1939. The early F2A Buffalo is in the same position. It can take an A5M Claude. The closest US equivalent to either Japanese fighter is Boeing's P-26.

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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 03 Jun 2019 14:31

T. A. Gardner wrote:
03 Jun 2019 05:49
...
It was largely the reserve divisions that ended up being heavily culled to produce new divisions.
Staunton & the Army Green Book shows the bulk of the 'cadre splitting' initially coming from the Regular Army divisions.

Inf Div Existing in 1939 1st thru 3rd & 1st Cav were 75% to 50% in 1938, 4th thru 8th were cadred to 1940. Tho the cadres were expanded in 1939 NG existing in 1940 were 26 thru 45 Div. On paper these had been square div, but strength was very uneven. They were often top heavy in cadre, & often had officers & NCOs who could not qualify for active service for health and other reasons.

The dates given are the official activation date of the new division. Preparation for activation started six months previous, & the cadres for the new unit were separated about then & sent to schools appropriate to their specialty in the new unit. While cadres were drawn en mass from the units shown here varying portions were also provided from the Reserve Officers pool, and individuals from other RA and NG units. The NG divisions were not subject to block cadre draws, but individuals were cycled though the schools to fill out empty slots in other units.

1st Cav drawn on to form the 91th ID 8-15-42.

2d Cav was broken up during 1942 to provide cadres for the 83rd ID 93rd ID, & 8th Armord Div. It was reformed in Feb 1942.

1st ID drawn on to form the 76th ID 6-15-42 > 76th ID drawn on to form the 100th ID 11-15-42

2d ID drawn on to form the 85th ID 6-15-42

2d ID drawn on to form the 102 ID 9-15-42 > drawn on to form the 103 ID 11-15-42 > drawn on to form the 42 ID 7-14-42

3rd ID drawn on to form the 87th ID 12-15-42

4th ID drawn on to form the 84th ID 10-15-42

4th ID drawn on to form the 79th ID 6-15-42 > drawn on to form the 86th ID 12-15-42 > drawn on to form the 10th Lt 7-15-42

5th ID had not a enmass draw shown, tho individuals were drawn for other new formations.

6th ID drawn on to form the 90th ID 3-25-42 > drawn on to form the 104th ID 9-15-42

6th ID drawn on to form the 89th ID 6-15-42 > drawn on to form the 66th ID 4-15-43

7th ID drawn on to form the 95th ID 7-15-42 > drawn on to form the 97th ID 2-25-42

7th ID drawn on to form the 99th ID 11-15-42

8th ID drawn on to form the 77th ID 3-25-42 > drawn on to form the 94th ID 9-15-42

8th ID drawn on to form the 77th ID 3-25-42 > drawn on to form the 94th ID 9-15-42

9th ID 8th ID drawn on to form the 82th ID 3-25-42 > drawn on to form the 17th, 82, 101 AB Divs

9th ID drawn on to form the 88th ID 7-15-42 > drawn on to form the 11th AB Div 2-25-42

The Hawaiian Brigade was jumped up to a division 1939-1940 & redesignated the 24th ID 1941, the 25th ID was activated 1941 out of a mix of Hi Div men, National Guards, and Reserve officers.

Of course this 'full mobilization' effort does no directly parallel whatever was in place were WP ORANGE executed. The main difficulty would be the lack of any RA units near full strength to 1940. Bringing two of those to near strength & leveling training across the unit, plus providing a corps HQ & support group could easily take 5-6th months. The other carded formations at 25% strength would take far longer. Activating a portion of the Army Reserve would help fill slots, but add to the training requirement. Activating 2-6 NG divisions would probably be necessary for the long haul in the context of WP ORANGE.

Since WP ORANGE had a time line of two years minimum and up to three years for completion 10-14 months for the Army to provide a offensive orientated ground combat force is not unreasonable. The Naval planing allowed 12-24 months of shipbuilding programs to round out the battle and support fleets for offensive operations.

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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 03 Jun 2019 14:41

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. ...
What makes this sadder is the "Phillipnes Division" Mac referred to existed on paper only. The Phillipines Scouts had been a regiment in effective strength, & funds for effective expansion did not come until the expanded 1939-40 budget Congress passed in 1938.

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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 03 Jun 2019 14:51

T. A. Gardner wrote:
03 Jun 2019 05:49
...
By the same token, the IJA had to expand massively in the same period. They drafted heavily and roughly doubled the number of infantry divisions in existence starting about 1938. It was one of these new draftee divisions that fought at Nomohan for example. But unlike the US, Japan didn't have the reserve of equipment and weapons to outfit these divisions fully. Often they ended up not only with obsolescent equipment and weapons but generally had serious shortages of heavier weapons like artillery. ...
That led to the IJN organizing new divisions as 'Light Infantry' Three bare bones infantry regiments, a reduced light artillery regiment. reduced service & support units, no tank company, only a cavalry troop, or no reconnaissance unit at all. Some of these were effectively 'static' divisions lacking auto or horse transport & were used to garrison ports or other key points like Pacific islands.

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Re: No WWII Military Developments

Post by rcocean » 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.

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