Sheldrake wrote: ↑
08 Apr 2020 14:08
1. The USA was not a single entity capable of acting like a single rational human
TheMarcksPlan wrote: ↑
08 Apr 2020 05:08
Mr. Anderson implies that Pearl Harbor compelled the U.S. to commit disproportionately to the Pacific in early '42 despite its publicly-stated "Germany First" position. But he makes no argument for why that's so. Like what strategic disasters would have befallen the U.S. had it not dispatched most of its forward-deployed land forces to the Pacific in early '42? Had it kept a dozen or so destroyers in the Atlantic to protect its vital sea lanes?
Beyond that I had a very legitimate question, which apparently got completely misunderstood and dismissed as "sarcasm". So why would I ask such a "sarcastic" question? Well, if it gets answered, then it might be understood.
The OP likes to imply things that simply aren't there, instead of answering simple questions.
1. Did I state that "Pearl Harbor compelled
the U.S. to commit" forces?
No, that is the OP's inference, not my implication. My implication is that the Japanese attack resulted in a series of deployment decisions by strategic planners in the U.S.
2. Were those decisions all correct in hindsight?
Probably not, but then that is why hindsight reasoning is called 20:20.
3. Did the U.S. commit forces "disproportionately" to the Pacific in early '42? What are the facts as opposed to the rhetoric?
No. The first divisional deployments after the entry of the U.S. into the war were to secure allies and the routes to those allies. They included.
34th Infantry Division deployed to England 8 January
TF 6814 deployed to New Caledonia 23 January 1942 and there was redesignated the Americal Division 24 May
27th Infantry Division deployed to reinforce Hawaii 28 February
41st Infantry Division deployed to Australia 19 March
7th Marines deployed to Samoa 21 March
5th Infantry Division deployed to Iceland 22 April
37th Infantry Division deployed to Fiji 11 May
1st Armored Division deployed to Northern Ireland 11 May
1st Marine Division deployed to New Zealand 22 June
So three divisions deployed to Atlantic and five to the Pacific.
4. What is the argument for "why that was so?
Well, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the seizure of Hong Kong, the fall of Singapore, the landings on Luzon, the Dutch East Indies, New Guinea, and the perceived threat to Australia and the sea lines of communication from Hawaii and the U.S. via Samoa and Fiji to Australia and New Zealand.
5. "What strategic disasters would have befallen the U.S." if it had not so reacted?
Well, probably none. However, frankly the question either is mired in hindsight reasoning or displays an extraordinary failure to understand the reasons for the decision-making at the time. For example, the decision to deploy the 1st MARDIV to New Zealand was based on a request from New Zealand's PM to Churchill asking for reinforcements on 24 March. That the decision was made providentially made the Marines available for an initial counteroffensive after the Japanese defeat at Midway.
6. What about the U.S. apparently not keeping "a dozen or so destroyers in the Atlantic to protect its vital sea lanes"?
This question displays such a lack of knowledge of common facts that I can only refer the poster to Clay Blair's Hitler's U-Boat War, Volume I, The Hunters, 1939-1942
, Appendix 12. In fact, as of 7 December 1941 there were 92 DD commissioned in the Atlantic fleet and 54 in the Pacific fleet. From 7 December 1941 through 1 September 1942, 19 DD were transferred from the Atlantic to the Pacific, along with three carriers and six battleships. However, during the same time, 40 new DD were commissioned in Atlantic ports and just 6 in Pacific ports. So a few months after "early '42" there were 79 DD in the Pacific (minus 10 losses) and 109 in the Atlantic (minus 4 losses).
Do you really wonder why I indulged in rather mild sarcasm? As to my use of "smilies", why are they there for posters to use in the "post a reply" frame if we aren't supposed to use them?