Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

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paulrward
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Re: Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

Post by paulrward » 13 Jun 2020 19:13

Hello All ;

Messrs Schwamberger and TomfromCornwall make excellent points regarding shipping.

However there is one point that must be considered: Distance.

The U.S. ports range from about 4700 miles to 6000 miles from Japan. The FURTHEST ports in the
NEI are on the order of 3700 miles. Thus, the round trip to and from Japan will be at most 74 % of
the time required, thus, the 5.0 million GRT of the Japanese Mercantile Fleet will be about 33 %
more efficient once it gets it's trade routes established, or, in other words, it will be the equivalent
of a fleet of about 6.6 million GRT.

In addition, there are a number of French flagged and Dutch flagged ships which could be either
hired, ( friendly, with nice bribes to the captains ) or commandeered ( not so friendly, with IJN
officers put on board to supervise things ) which might add to the Japanese mercantile tonnage.
Now, before anyone says that NO self respecting Dutch or French sea captain would go along with this
sort of thing, again, I must suggest, that if the price were right, they might find their way clear to
' cooperating with the inevitable '.

If anyone objected to this, the Japanese could smile blandly, and suggest they file a lawsuit in the
Permanent Court of International Justice, often called the World Court, which, at that time, was
located in....... The Hague........

Further, there were a great many ships that were registered in Panama, or Liberia. The corporations
which owned these ships might be induced, for the right price, to lease the ships to a company in
Mexico, which would sub lease them to a company in Ecuador, which would rent them out to a
company in the Netherlands Antilles, which would lease them to a corporation in Macao, who would
place them under charter to a corporation called the Pan Pacific Peace and Prosperity Shipping Corp.

By the time the U.S. Justice Department got through sorting out all the paperwork, it would be 1952....

Here is a scene from the Nicholas Cage Movie, Lord of War, which might be helpful.....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JF4tdyuBGqI


I have to state that I am in agreement both with Mr. Gardner and Mr. TheMarcksPlan with respect to
the vulnerability of the Philppines. The U.S. could make it a very tough nut to crack, the Japanese
might be able to siege it into submission. But, the key element of my scenario is that Japan NEVER
fights either the U.S. or Britain. In effect, Japan only fights enemies that are either helpless or so
involved in another war that they cannot fight back.

Now IF, after Germany defeats, swallows, and digests the USSR, and then once again turns on
Britain, then that might be a time for the Japanese to consider an invasion of Malaya. Or not. A final
settlement with Germany might leave Britain so disastrously weakened that her colonies simply melt
away, as they did starting in 1946. In that case, Japan could simply incorporate them into the GEACPS
in a peaceful manner, much like the peaceful manner in which a large spider sucks the juices out of a
paralyzed insect.......


That image is so evocative that I am going to end this post at this point.

Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
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T. A. Gardner
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Re: Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 13 Jun 2020 19:27

paulrward wrote:
13 Jun 2020 19:13
Hello All ;
The U.S. ports range from about 4700 miles to 6000 miles from Japan. The FURTHEST ports in the
NEI are on the order of 3700 miles. Thus, the round trip to and from Japan will be at most 74 % of
the time required, thus, the 5.0 million GRT of the Japanese Mercantile Fleet will be about 33 %
more efficient once it gets it's trade routes established, or, in other words, it will be the equivalent
of a fleet of about 6.6 million GRT.

In addition, there are a number of French flagged and Dutch flagged ships which could be either
hired, ( friendly, with nice bribes to the captains ) or commandeered ( not so friendly, with IJN
officers put on board to supervise things ) which might add to the Japanese mercantile tonnage.
Now, before anyone says that NO self respecting Dutch or French sea captain would go along with this
sort of thing, again, I must suggest, that if the price were right, they might find their way clear to
' cooperating with the inevitable '.
Until you look at the whole picture....

US flag vessels are roughly on average twice as large as Japanese flagged merchant ships. They also steam at about double the speed. The average for the Japanese (this is round numbers) is about 5,000 tons and 6 knots. The average for the US is about 11,000 tons and 11 knots. Thus a single US merchant ship can carry double the load to double the distance in the same time it takes two Japanese merchant ships to make the trip. This means the Japanese are now doubly disadvantaged as the simple number of hulls available is diminished compared to what the US has available.

Most of the Japanese shipping is smaller coastal merchant types too. They have a real shortage of larger, long-range, ocean going vessels in their inventory.

This means for any distance to be supplied, the Japanese merchant fleet is 50% + less efficient than US vessels. It also makes them far more vulnerable to submarine warfare, due to their slower speed and need for more hulls to carry a particular amount of goods. In addition, if they are supplying locations that require larger, longer range merchant ships they have a bottleneck because of the number and types available. For instance, the Japanese have almost no refrigerated shipping in their inventory.

It is and was possible that the Japanese capture foreign merchant shipping. But, that's a one-time deal.

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Re: Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 14 Jun 2020 01:34

paulrward wrote:
13 Jun 2020 19:13
...

In addition, there are a number of French flagged and Dutch flagged ships which could be either
hired, ( friendly, with nice bribes to the captains ) or commandeered ( not so friendly, with IJN
officers put on board to supervise things ) which might add to the Japanese mercantile tonnage.
Now, before anyone says that NO self respecting Dutch or French sea captain would go along with this
sort of thing, again, I must suggest, that if the price were right, they might find their way clear to
' cooperating with the inevitable '.

If anyone objected to this, the Japanese could smile blandly, and suggest they file a lawsuit in the
Permanent Court of International Justice, often called the World Court, which, at that time, was
located in....... The Hague........

Further, there were a great many ships that were registered in Panama, or Liberia. The corporations
which owned these ships might be induced, for the right price, to lease the ships to a company in
Mexico, which would sub lease them to a company in Ecuador, which would rent them out to a
company in the Netherlands Antilles, which would lease them to a corporation in Macao, who would
place them under charter to a corporation called the Pan Pacific Peace and Prosperity Shipping Corp.

By the time the U.S. Justice Department got through sorting out all the paperwork, it would be 1952....

This is all nonsense with zero consideration of the politics and economics. As I pointed out earlier the Dutch cargo fleet was firmly under the control of the Dutch government in London & hence in sync with the British allocation & scheduling of cargo ships.. Ditto for the important Norwegian and Greek cargo fleets.

The 'freezing of Japanese assets' in the US banks was a denial of service attack on Japans finances. In 1941 the New York and London banks were the centers of what remained of the global banking system after Germany took control of continental Europe. Japan had negligible cash, and zero credit, other than provided by the US banks. Without that there was nothing to "bribe" foreign shipping companies, or pay ordinary freight charges. The British blockade of Germany was enforced through cutting off credit to shipping companies suspected of violation, cancellation of insurance of ships and cargo of suspected violators. There were not any significant alternatives for global traders in 1941. British experience in economic warfare applied to global transportation had a solid foundation in the Great war & was rapidly refined 1939-1941. The warhawks in the US were good students of the Brits. Businessmen who persisted in selling to the Axis found themselves in increasingly difficult circumstances. Between the two, efforts by Germany Italy & Japan, to milk resources from Latin America, or even nearby Spain & Turkey steadily fell in success.

As for the idea there would be some sort of legalistic delays I'd recommend studying the fate of Davis Oil & William Davis who was brokering Latin American oil to third party buyers for Germany. Those operations were terminated in 1941 while the US was still at peace with Germany through a variety of rapid legal actions, & Davis abruptly died mid 1941.

The bottom line is were Japan to join Germany attacking the USSR economic sanctions much like the embargo acts of OTL would have equally crippling effects on Japan.

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Re: Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 14 Jun 2020 01:37

T.A. Gardner wrote:The US / Filipino forces don't have to hold everything. They have to hold Luzon and Mindanao.
Ah "just" Luzon and Mindanao.

Luzon is over 500 miles long. Mindanao is ~300 miles east-west and north-south.
the beaches the Japanese used (which really can't change much) would now have mobile 155mm coast defense batteries covering them,
There's only one railway (on Luzon) and no major highways, so unless your "mobile" 155mm batteries are light cruisers a battery in Laoag (northern Luzon) is irrelevant to a landing at Legazpi (southern Luzon) or even at Subic in central Luzon.

If your mobile batteries are light cruisers then they're sunk quickly.
For one, the intensity of a war in Russia would be much higher than it was in China and Japan would have to put considerably more resources into replacing losses in material and manpower than they were in China alone. This reduces manpower in the economy and at the same time draws heavily on what material stocks Japan has. For example, since Japan really has no source of aluminum, they will have a shortage of this material that gets worse because of having to build more replacement aircraft to cover for losses.
This is your strongest argument, thanks for moving from generalities to a little more analysis.

Indeed, the prospect of protracted land war is why I have said throughout this thread that Japan would not have launched Kantokuen except as a knockout punch against Russia.

That said, your conclusion - one to which I'm not categorically averse - needs more evidence and analysis.

OTL Japan spent only ~20% of its production resources on land warfare. Japan could easily have found the room to double its army production by earlier mobilization of its domestic economy - a mobilization more likely to occur in this ATL. An ATL in which Japan somehow acknowledges the need for broad Axis collaboration is an ATL in which Japan has recognized the gravity of its strategic situation, and is therefore an ATL in which Japan mobilizes more quickly.

Japan built several times more planes in '44 than in '41 without a commensurate increase in aluminum, so there was slack there as well.
That assumes the US hasn't gotten into a war with Japan by then. Given events in Europe it is highly likely the US has gone to war with Germany and is in a war, in turn, with Japan.
There's a lot of work in your "highly likely" and "in turn."

Rather than debating those issues with you, I'd request paulrward to specify how he thinks the U.S. proceeds during, say, '42 and '43 in this ATL.

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Re: Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 14 Jun 2020 01:40

Carl Schwamberger wrote:The bottom line is were Japan to join Germany attacking the USSR economic sanctions much like the embargo acts of OTL would have equally crippling effects on Japan.
Agreed.

But still, why is this relevant? The ATL doesn't involve fundamental changes to Japan's economy, it only involves the different military choices discussed. Unless these different choices imply meaningfully different shipping requirements then, whatever the state of Japan's merchant fleet, it'd have been as sufficient for ATL ops as it was OTL. As shipping scarcity didn't meaningfully constrain Japanese military ops until later in the war, there's no reason to think shipping would be the constraint in this ATL.

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Re: Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 14 Jun 2020 03:50

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
14 Jun 2020 01:37
Ah "just" Luzon and Mindanao.

Luzon is over 500 miles long. Mindanao is ~300 miles east-west and north-south.
If we follow the original overall defense plan for the Philippines (reasonable), and we assume the original Japanese invasion plan, then:

The Japanese land at three locations on Luzon and one on Mindanao.

The defense would be: 1 or 2 US infantry divisions on Luzon (Philippines Division + probably 1 NG division) these would be in reserve somewhere near Manila. There would be six Philippine infantry divisions, one covering each landing beach that the Japanese historically used plus two in reserve and one deployed elsewhere on the island. Historically, they were deployed that way but were more like reinforced regiments in size as they hadn't been fully equipped and trained yet. Here they are. There are 2 M3 light tank battalions (104 tanks) and one M3 medium battalion (52 tanks) available along with three tank destroyer battalions (M3 halftracks w/ 75mm guns 108 total) in reserve that can move to the invasion points as ordered.
Each landing site has a 155mm gun battery with 4 guns on Panama mounts sited at it manned by US coast defense troops. (see below too)

Mindanao has 2 divisions on it. Several other major islands have one division apiece on them, or a division divided by regiment on it. Unlike the historical version, now they have their full heavy weapon and artillery complement along with being trained.

Against this, Japan if they follow history, are landing just 2 infantry divisions and several of these assaults pit a Japanese regiment against a Philippine division of infantry now having things like heavy artillery and tank support.
the beaches the Japanese used (which really can't change much) would now have mobile 155mm coast defense batteries covering them,
There's only one railway (on Luzon) and no major highways, so unless your "mobile" 155mm batteries are light cruisers a battery in Laoag (northern Luzon) is irrelevant to a landing at Legazpi (southern Luzon) or even at Subic in central Luzon.



If your mobile batteries are light cruisers then they're sunk quickly.
No railway is needed. The 155mm gun coast defense guns are tractor drawn and emplaced well ahead of the landings on their panama mounts covering the beach(s). The problem for the Japanese is their pathetic NGFS capacity using the few cruisers and destroyers present, who likely are not even expecting to really have to do that mission, are going to be counterbatteried by arguably the best coast defense troops on the planet and their 155's. This means when the Japanese anchor their transports off shore they get a horrible surprise as these guns--just 4 of them--start smashing up the transports one after another.

US coast defenses, unlike virtually every other country using them, were not an after thought using second-hand gear and the left overs in terms of manpower. Instead, they were between the wars the best funded part of the US Army and one of the largest branches in terms of manpower. They trained regularly and proved highly effective on the few occasions they were tried in combat. Weirdly, AA was part of this branch through WW 2 so all AA battalions were officially part of the Coast Defense branch of the Army.

Image

Tractor drawn 155mm gun typical of coast defense battalions.

A typical emplacement

Image

This gives a good idea what a battery emplacement would look like

Image

Panama mount batteries were put in all sorts of odd places during WW 2, and the emplacement took just a matter of a few weeks to construct. They could be put anywhere a caterpillar type tractor could drag a 155mm gun, and that doesn't take much more than a rough road initially.
This is your strongest argument, thanks for moving from generalities to a little more analysis.

Indeed, the prospect of protracted land war is why I have said throughout this thread that Japan would not have launched Kantokuen except as a knockout punch against Russia.

That said, your conclusion - one to which I'm not categorically averse - needs more evidence and analysis.

OTL Japan spent only ~20% of its production resources on land warfare. Japan could easily have found the room to double its army production by earlier mobilization of its domestic economy - a mobilization more likely to occur in this ATL. An ATL in which Japan somehow acknowledges the need for broad Axis collaboration is an ATL in which Japan has recognized the gravity of its strategic situation, and is therefore an ATL in which Japan mobilizes more quickly.
Here the IJA takes the lead in the war. The IJN is definitely second fiddle to the IJA unless and until the US enters the war. Historically, the IJA fielded about 100 divisions. About a third of those were more like reinforced brigades of two regiments with minimal support services, including artillery. So, they fielded maybe 60 or so "real" infantry divisions, half of which were really strong formations and half not so good with reservists, new recruits, and given lower levels of equipment.

Against Russia they have to deploy (as repeatedly shown) about 50 divisions to really stand a chance of winning their campaign. That doesn't leave much slack for elsewhere. That means Japan has to fight defensively, and preferably not at all, anywhere but against Russia. They have a serious deficiency in artillery, tanks, motorization, and just about every other category of technology and heavy equipment there is compared even to Russia.
So, the end up almost certainly in a war of attrition they really can't win in Russia. Sure this helps the Germans, but it isn't going to pay benefits down the road to Japan. Let's say they're stuck in this war close to a year when the US enters the war and declares on them in late 1942. Now what? They are totally screwed. They are completely outmatched. They have no six months of surprise against ill-prepared forces. Instead, they can't overrun anything, their navy is now horribly outmatched, and their army is stuck in Russia and China in wars of attrition they can't win.
Even if Germany a few months later (say mid 43) forces an armistice with Russia and the Soviets are out of the war, Japan is totally screwed. The US is going to mop the floor against them.
Worse, here, the US might argue and get a "Japan first" strategy to get the Soviets back in the war to some degree. That means Germany wins the getting nuked contest, and that's a pretty much one-sided nastiness that they can't fight back on--contrary to some fantasy believers, Germany was decades from a nuclear weapon even in 1945.
Japan built several times more planes in '44 than in '41 without a commensurate increase in aluminum, so there was slack there as well.
I agree here, and they could try to move to "non-strategic" materials like wood. But, given things, their aircraft industry is not going to keep up with losses in a fairly high intensity air war in Russia and China. If the Chinese AF + things like the American Volunteer Air Force continue to grow, the IJAAF is so hit. The Russians too will use numbers against Japan. The Japanese face several problems here:

The IJNAF may not want to participate in this air war or does to a limited degree. That takes about half of Japan's air strength off the table.
The IJAAF has mediocre equipment in 1942 and it gets worse. Even when they develop better aircraft like the Ki 84 Hayate, the IJAAF is a day late and a yen short fielding it. They will have a pilot shortage that's likely to see more and more mediocre pilots being used to replace the veterans.
So, the IJAAF gets weaker and the Chinese and Russian air forces get stronger. The result is almost certainly the loss of air superiority by Japan.

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Re: Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

Post by paulrward » 14 Jun 2020 05:18

Hello All :

I have been asked by Mr. TheMarcksPlan what my thoughts are on how the United States would proceed
in this ATL. The Answer is, they would be inert. Speaking as a citizen of the United States, it takes a
great deal to get the Congress to do anything in a short span of time. It literally takes an Act of War or an
Acto of GOD to get them moving in one direction. One of the great mysteries of the 20th century
was how Lyndon Johnson managed to bamboozle the Senate and House into the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution,
which, not too many years later, they managed to rescind.

In the 1939 - 1941 time frame, the Congress was deeply divided on foreign affairs. There was a large
Isolationist Faction in both Parties, in the Republican Party there was both a Pro-Britain and a Pro-Germany
set of factions, and in the Democratic Party there was a Pro-USSR faction that, until Barbarrossa, fought
tooth and nail to keep the U.S. out of the war, and then, within a few days, had reversed itself, leading
to accusations that some of it's members were taking their orders directly from the Kremlin. A large
portion of the Business community was anti-war, because it would interfere with their peace-time profits,
and many Americans resented Britain, who they felt had dragged the U.S. into WW1 for their own benefit,
with no compensating rewards for the U.S.

As a result, a large portion of the citizens of the United States were, in 1941, quite happy with the
status quo: Selling supplies, raw materials, and war toys to whoever had the coin, and working very hard
to make the United States ' The Arsenal of Democracy '. Note that phrase very carefully: The U.S. was to
be an Arsenal, NOT A Fortress, and NOT an ARMY !

Remember, before there was Lend Lease, there was Cash and Carry, and all of the supplies and
equipment sent to Britain and France, with few exceptions, were bought and paid for, either by the
combattants, or by the U.S. Taxpayers via the U.S. Government.


Now let us assume that Tojo, Hirohito, and the rest of the Cabinet figure out that the best way to
defeat the United States is NOT TO FIGHT THE UNITED STATES ! In other words, give the U.S. no
clear provocations. Do NOT attack Pearl Harbor, do NOT open fire on USN warships, USAAF aircraft,
and do NOT invade the Philippines. ( This means, Mr. Gardner, that all of your hard research on the
proposed defense of the Philippines is for nothing, simply because the Japanese do NOT go to war
against the United States.)

And, that means the UNITED STATES DOES NOT GO TO WAR AGAINST JAPAN !! There is no 'Day
of Infamy '
There is no ' Praise the Lord, and Pass the Ammunition ! ' All there is, is a long, drawn
out period of occasionally nasty diplomatic squabling, with unhappy notes being sent from Franklin to
Tokyo, and soft, gentle replies back from Hirohito, who is speaking, not in anger, but in sorrow....

The Japanese occupy the NEI, but do NOTHING against either Britain or the United States. And,
as time passes, and the Japanese incorporate the JEI into their economic system, their oil and
aluminum problems go away. Japanese IndoChina ( JIC ) provides them the iron they need, and
the rest they can

Meanwhile, Japan is at war with the USSR, and is moving troops, firing artillery, carrying out bombing
strikes against Vladivostock and the Trans Siberian Railway system, and in fact, doing everthing EXCEPT
FIGHTING ! Japan's troops march to-and-fro, there are some small incursions that are followed by
quick withdrawals, and it is like ' a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing '

The Japanese do NOT have any heavy losses, they do NOT have any large expenditure of materiel, they
merely have a long, drawn out SITZKRIEG , In which they tie down the Far Eastern Armies of the USSR,
preventing them from sending the 200,000 men, 2650 artillery pieces and morters, 1500 tractors, 2200
tanks, and 1800 aircraft
that historically were shipped from the Far East to the Moscow Front AFTER
Stalin had received word from Sorge that the Japanese were NOT going to attack the USSR.

This means that the USSR cannot hold on the Moscow Front, Moscow is taken in the winter of 1941-42, and
with it's capital gone, and the center of the USSR's bureaucratic structure in the hands of the Third Reich,
the spring of 1942 is a series of sharp reverses for the USSR. Ultimately, their armies collapse, and a
long, desperate march back to the Urals begins. I can even see how it might be possible for some of the
Soviet Army leadership to become disenchanted with Joseph Visarianovitch Dugashvili, and they might
deal with him in the same way he had dealt with so many of their comrades and friends in the Soviet
Army in the late 1930s.

Which means that you would have Stalin and Beria lying dead in the snow, a small bullet hole in each
of their foreheads, and the new Leader of the Soviet Union, Premier Zhukhov, is running the show......


Meanwhile back in Warm Springs, Arkansas, Freewheelin Franklin is pushing his wheelchair around in
angry circles. He is faced with the fact that American Industry and the Unions are enjoying unprecedented
prosperity by supplying Britain, because, instead of it being done on a cost basis like the OTL wartime
contracts were executed, all of these things are being done on a VERY profitable basis, even when they
are being sold to the U.S. Government. After all, with no ' Don't you know there's a War ON ! ', industry
can charge what the traffic will bear, and the workers doing lots of overtime have negotiated time-and-half
for overtime contracts, which the Industrialists go along with to keep labor peace. The workers are using
the money they get to buy houses and cars and some are even looking at this new fangled thing called
television...... Yes, life is good for the American Worker in a PEACETIME America! And, in
November of 1942, the campaign slogan of every Senator and Congressman who wants to win another term is ,
' Peace and Prosperity - No Foreign Wars for America's Boys ! '


By the Summer of 1943, the Soviet Union is effectively no more. Japan scoops up the Pacific Provinces of
the former Soviet Union, and adds them to the GEACPS. This includes Vladivostock, all of Kamchatka,
Mongolia, Manchuria, Yakutsk, Irkutsk, and the northern end of Korea. They even begin making expeditions
to the former Russian Aleutians, to study fishing, crabbing, and sealing resources.

The Japanese Army turns south, and will now be fighting against a Chinese Army that has been supplied
with millions of dollars in American Aid. Unfortunately, Chiang Kai Shek's KuoMinTang Government, and
his Army are no more skilled or any less corrupt than they were in OTL. The War in China drags on for
another five years. but the end is never in doubt. In the United States, there will always be a debate over
' Who Lost China..... '

The Philippines becomes independant in 1944, and, by the end of 1946, with China collapsing, Britain
in decline, and the obvious strength of Japan, decides to join a winning team. The Philippine Republic
joins the GEACPS as an independant trading partner, keeping it's government, and tieing its trade and
resources to Japan in a more or less mutually beneficial manner.

Japan begins to covertly fund Anti-British factions in Malaya, and within a few years, the slogan, "Malaysia
for Malaysians' becomes the rallying cry for an independance movement, joined by Gandhi and Nehru
in India, Australia and New Zealand home rule movements, and even Canada joins the exodus from
the British Empire. When the new Malaysian Republic is formed, they quickly follow the Philippines
in joining the GEACPS. along with Thailand and a newly independant Myanmar.

With no reason to keep a naval base in Guam, the island is set free, and, just as quickly, joins the rest
of the Japanese held Mariannas as part of the GEACPS.


The Election of 1944 sees the retirement, followed by the death, of Franklin Roosevelt. His only
source of consolation was that Churchill, after the fall of the USSR, had seen reason, and had chosen
to negoatiate a settlement with Hitler. The newsreels of the two men shaking hands were shown
all over America, and symbolized the end of the Second World War, which had engulfed the world
for a decade, and consumed the wealth, resources, and lives of a Generation of Europeans.


And, in a small office in Princeton University, Albert Einstein muses on what might have been accomplished,
for, without the necessarily vast funding that it would have taken, there was never an effort to harness
the power of the Atom, either for Military or Peaceful purposes......


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
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T. A. Gardner
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Re: Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 14 Jun 2020 05:47

All the above uses a logical fallacy to further the objective... That is it is a suppressed correlative. In effect, all outcomes that don't support Paulward's thesis are said to not be possible.

The problem with this is history. The US was increasingly putting Japan and Germany in a position where war was inevitable. In the Atlantic the US Navy was effectively already at war with Germany versus the U-boat by mid 1941. That was only going to increasingly be a reason for war.

In Asia the US was dumping tens of millions into supporting China with military aid and that was increasing.

At home, FDR nationalized the National Guard and federalized those units calling them up for service. The US was building bases all over the planet and moving troops and supplies to them as fast as commercial shipping space allowed. That was the big roadblock to getting US territories overseas set up for war. US industry was gearing up for war too. The USN was on a road to build a Two-Ocean Navy.

Japanese social norms were such at the time they could not back down and it wasn't going to happen. Invading the DEI only increases the probability of war, not leaves it the same or decreases it. Japanese moves in China expanding that war will do the same. Attacking Russia will definitely ratchet up the chances for war.

Then you have the Germans. The US could declare against them first. I doubt that Germany would ignore getting Japan involved if they were close allies. No you have Japan declaring on the US. It's also possible the US just throws in Japan with Germany and declares on both.

The US already had occupied Greenland and Iceland. They had declared a "Hemispheric Defense Zone" of the Americas. They were actively putting serious pressure on every nation in the Western hemisphere to kowtow to Washington and align with their policies. Argentina was the glaring exception and even they succumb to the pressure eventually.

There is also no reason to believe the US would hold to their original timetable to grant the Philippines independence. After all, the US continued to maintain a significant military presence in the PI into the 1990's.

So, Paulward's scenario is based largely on the usual Nazi fanboy fantasies where everything, no matter how improbable, goes in favor of the Axis while their opponents never get a single stroke of good luck.

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Re: Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

Post by paulrward » 14 Jun 2020 05:53

Hello All ;

To Mr. Gardner :

You wrote ;
Here the IJA takes the lead in the war. The IJN is definitely second fiddle to the
IJA unless and until the US enters the war. Historically, the IJA fielded about 100 divisions.
About a third of those were more like reinforced brigades of two regiments with minimal
support services, including artillery. So, they fielded maybe 60 or so "real" infantry divisions,
half of which were really strong formations and half not so good with reservists, new recruits,
and given lower levels of equipment.

Against Russia they have to deploy (as repeatedly shown) about 50 divisions to really stand
a chance of winning their campaign. That doesn't leave much slack for elsewhere. That means
Japan has to fight defensively, and preferably not at all, anywhere but against Russia. They
have a serious deficiency in artillery, tanks, motorization, and just about every other category
of technology and heavy equipment there is compared even to Russia.

So, they end up almost certainly in a war of attrition they really can't win in Russia.

Mr. Gardner, what if the Japanese go with my program for a war with Russia, that is, a Sitzkrieg,
with specific attacks, mainly by air, against vulnerable targets like the dockyards and warehouses
of Vladivostock, the Trans Siberian Railway system, and a few of the other rail and road bridges ?

This means NO ' War of Attrition ', just a lot of marching and shouting. If the Soviets Advance, you
retreat slightly. You carry out small offensives, meant only to keep the Soviets occupied until
the Germans finish them off. In short, you play to the weaknesses of the USSR, and NOT it's
strengths.


And, with NO Pearl Harbor, that means no war. After all, if the Germans get the USSR out of
the war in 1943, then to the American people, it looks like the Germans took out Poland in 1939,
France and the Low Countries in 1940, Neutralized Britain in the summer and fall of 1940, and
defeated the USSR in 1941-1943. The question that a lot of Americans would be asking themselves
is, " Do I want to send my son up against that sort of enemy ? " Especially if it is just to pull
England's chestnuts out of the fire.

Instead, you might find that the U.S. adopts a Hemispheric Defense Policy. That is, the United
States will enforce the Monroe Doctrine, but will NOT go to Europe or Asia to fight someone
else's war.

This is no ' Nazi-Fanboy Fantasy ' I'm sorry, Mr. Gardner, but you have still not cited a single
Senator or Congressman who supported our entry into the war prior to Pearl Harbor ! Now,
you can say that absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence, but, after a while, that
gets a llttle thin. It is like saying that all of the members of our current Congress believe in
alien space bats, but they just don't talk about it publicly.....


With NO Pearl Harbor, 1942 would be a repeat of 1941, and, with the fall of the Soviet Union in
1943, 1944 might find Joseph P. Kennedy running against a dying Franklin Roosevelt for the
Democratic Nomination on a Peace and Reconciliation ( with Nazi Germany ! ) Platform.

Respectfully :

Paul R Ward
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Re: Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 14 Jun 2020 06:12

Before I get to addressing your points we should take note of Mr. Ward's specification that the U.S. never affirmatively declares war.

You disagree with Ward re America and I disagree at least re UK (probably America as well), but setting aside that aside for now...

The next issue would be when the Japanese invade PI - i.e. when the U.S. declares war and compels such Japanese action in this ATL. Let's keep that proviso in mind in the following discussions.
T.A. Gardner wrote:If we follow the original overall defense plan for the Philippines (reasonable), and we assume the original Japanese invasion plan (not reasonable)
I've added the part in red...

Why would the Japanese invade in exactly the same places as OTL? Do they not have the ability to notice where the Americans have emplaced their limited 155mm batteries? If you've ever been to the Philippines you'll notice the multiplicity of gorgeous, difficult-do-defend beaches.

Even if they invade a place covered by 155's, why don't they start off with the whole Combined Fleet wiping them out? Absent the U.S. Pacific Fleet, what's to stop them? Even the worst naval gun control can beat four 155's with a massive invasion fleet.

If the foregoing scenarios occur before mid-'43, there's no still no PacFleet rushing to the PI.

If they occur later, the USN is stronger and the IJN is screwed because it can't concentrate against an isolated PI.
So, they end up almost certainly in a war of attrition they really can't win in Russia. Sure this helps the Germans, but it isn't going to pay benefits down the road to Japan. Let's say they're stuck in this war close to a year when the US enters the war and declares on them in late 1942. Now what? They are totally screwed. They are completely outmatched. They have no six months of surprise against ill-prepared forces. Instead, they can't overrun anything, their navy is now horribly outmatched, and their army is stuck in Russia and China in wars of attrition they can't win.
Here again I see a parade of generalities marching towards your conclusion. I'll ask you in good faith to back the assertions up with analysis, understanding that to summarize is not always to ignore.

Why is the IJN "horribly outmatched" by late '42? USN doesn't gain any carriers in '42 and, absent a DoW, probably doesn't accelerate the production of Essex and Independence classes either (having implications for '43). Meanwhile, IJN inducts Hiyo and Junyo - not perfect vessels but not insignificant by any means.

"War of Attrition" is a talismanic word used to convey something that has ambiguous tactical/operational/strategic meaning.
More often than not, IMO, it's intended to smuggle a judgment that one side can't win. What incentive has Russia to focus on the East after Kantokuen, when the mere fact of Kantokuen removes the strategic objective (LL aid) unless and until the SU retakes the Kuril Islands? Most likely the Soviet-Japanese front settles into a stalemate with neither side able to achieve strategic success other than that which Japan achieves by ending Pacific LL routes.

Re "six months of suprise" - Japan has already taken DEI in this ATL. That's the strategic prize of their early OTL explosion.
So, Paulward's scenario is based largely on the usual Nazi fanboy fantasies where everything, no matter how improbable, goes in favor of the Axis while their opponents never get a single stroke of good luck.
This quote is the worst of AHF, whereas heretofore we have been having the best of AHF - substantive discussion between at least 3 people who disagree.

It is emblematic of what this site has become that the mods are unlikely to have a problem with an accusation of "Nazi fanboy" while banning people for far less.

Note that I disagree with Mr. Ward's basic thesis. I find it unlikely that (1) the UK and US would allow Japan to encircle Malaya and the Philippines and (2) that Japan would attempt to do so despite the operational risks on their flanks.

Nonetheless, I don't need to accuse Mr. Ward of being a "Nazi fanboy" to make my point.

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Re: Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 14 Jun 2020 08:10

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
14 Jun 2020 06:12
Before I get to addressing your points we should take note of Mr. Ward's specification that the U.S. never affirmatively declares war.

You disagree with Ward re America and I disagree at least re UK (probably America as well), but setting aside that aside for now...

The next issue would be when the Japanese invade PI - i.e. when the U.S. declares war and compels such Japanese action in this ATL. Let's keep that proviso in mind in the following discussions.
T.A. Gardner wrote:If we follow the original overall defense plan for the Philippines (reasonable), and we assume the original Japanese invasion plan (not reasonable)
I've added the part in red...

Why would the Japanese invade in exactly the same places as OTL? Do they not have the ability to notice where the Americans have emplaced their limited 155mm batteries? If you've ever been to the Philippines you'll notice the multiplicity of gorgeous, difficult-do-defend beaches.
Because not all beaches are equal and their original landing sites were the best choices. They really don't have a lot of good alternatives, that's why.
Even if they invade a place covered by 155's, why don't they start off with the whole Combined Fleet wiping them out? Absent the U.S. Pacific Fleet, what's to stop them? Even the worst naval gun control can beat four 155's with a massive invasion fleet.
Because their NGFS doctrine is crap and they don't know it. They are not going to show up and do some USN 1944 NGFS mass bombardment because they don't know that's what's really needed. Instead, they'll follow their doctrine and get their collective @$$es handed to them just as happened at Wake the first time. Short of time travel and some guy showing them the future, that's how it is.
If the foregoing scenarios occur before mid-'43, there's no still no PacFleet rushing to the PI.

If they occur later, the USN is stronger and the IJN is screwed because it can't concentrate against an isolated PI.

Here again I see a parade of generalities marching towards your conclusion. I'll ask you in good faith to back the assertions up with analysis, understanding that to summarize is not always to ignore.

Why is the IJN "horribly outmatched" by late '42? USN doesn't gain any carriers in '42 and, absent a DoW, probably doesn't accelerate the production of Essex and Independence classes either (having implications for '43). Meanwhile, IJN inducts Hiyo and Junyo - not perfect vessels but not insignificant by any means.
The USN gains better aircraft. For example, the TBD Devastator is replaced by the TBF Avenger. The US has better radar on every ship. The 20mm Oerlikon and 40mm bofors are in service versus the 1.1" and .50 machinegun. They Hiyo and Junyo were expedients Japan took to get more carriers in service. You'll note they never served with what you might call their "fleet" carriers. They were too slow and their air ops were less efficient due to the nature of their makeshift conversion.
"War of Attrition" is a talismanic word used to convey something that has ambiguous tactical/operational/strategic meaning.
More often than not, IMO, it's intended to smuggle a judgment that one side can't win. What incentive has Russia to focus on the East after Kantokuen, when the mere fact of Kantokuen removes the strategic objective (LL aid) unless and until the SU retakes the Kuril Islands? Most likely the Soviet-Japanese front settles into a stalemate with neither side able to achieve strategic success other than that which Japan achieves by ending Pacific LL routes.
Japan can't afford a high intensity war where they are fighting costly battles repeatedly. They couldn't afford it against China, they couldn't afford it versus the US and Commonwealth, and they can't afford it versus Russia. Russia's POV in this would likely be to simply fight Japan to a standstill and call it a draw. Their focus would be on defeating Germany and holding Japan in check would be sufficient for them until Germany was on the ropes.

Re "six months of suprise" - Japan has already taken DEI in this ATL. That's the strategic prize of their early OTL explosion.
It is emblematic of what this site has become that the mods are unlikely to have a problem with an accusation of "Nazi fanboy" while banning people for far less.
When I say that, I am referring to scenarios where the Germans are credited with every "if" in the universe and the Allies are straddled with doing nothing different. That is a lot of the scenarios presented here. For example, the NSB puppet government in the Hague, having no power or political control over the DEI is told by the Germans to allow a Japanese occupation of the DEI and it magically happens. This is despite the DEI being politically controlled by the Dutch government in exile who doesn't listen to a thing the NSB has to say, and the Germans and NSB having ZERO means to influence events in the DEI. That's one example.

I use the "fanboi" moniker for those that present such lopsided scenarios on a regular basis. It's fine in my view to present a scenario that gives Germany or the Axis some potential advantage but it has to consider how the Allies would respond and change what they do too. That isn't the case all-too-often.

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Re: Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

Post by Terry Duncan » 14 Jun 2020 09:27

It would be really nice if everyone stopped using the term Nazi Fanboy/boi for a while. I would have removed the initial comment after a complaint, but as you are all now citing it or using it, I am not cleaning up everyone's posts.

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Re: Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 14 Jun 2020 09:58

Sorry, I didn't think it would create such a stir.

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Re: Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

Post by Terry Duncan » 14 Jun 2020 13:57

Neither did I, but it seems to irritate some people.

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Re: Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

Post by paulrward » 15 Jun 2020 02:04

Hello All :

To Mr. Gardner :

You stated in posting # 86 :
Because their ( The Japanese' ) NGFS doctrine is crap and they don't know it.
They ( The Japanese' ) are not going to show up and do some USN 1944 NGFS mass
bombardment because they ( The Japanese' ) don't know that's what's really needed.
Instead, they'll follow their doctrine and get their collective @$$es handed to them
just as happened at Wake the first time. Short of time travel and some guy showing
them the future, that's how it is.

Mr. Gardner, I have spend several years looking for a copy of the IJN NGFS Doctrine, and have been unable
to find it. If you know of a website that has it, or have copy you would be willing to sell me a copy of, I would greatly appreciate it. However, I must note that the IJN had used NGFS since the Russo Japanese War, and
had used it against China in the 1930s, at Hong Kong in 1941, and against both Wake and Guadalcanal in
1942. Admittedly, against Wake they initially underestimated the U.S. Marine resistance, but that was
a failure of intelligence, not of the NGFS.


You continue :
The USN gains better aircraft. For example, the TBD Devastator is replaced by
the TBF Avenger. The US has better radar on every ship. The 20mm Oerlikon and 40mm
bofors are in service versus the 1.1" and .50 machinegun. They Hiyo and Junyo were
expedients Japan took to get more carriers in service. You'll note they never served
with what you might call their "fleet" carriers. They were too slow and their air ops
were less efficient due to the nature of their makeshift conversion.

The TBF was not that much more effective a torpedo bomber early on, due to the poor quality of USN
torpedoes, something which, had there been no war in 1942, might not have been addressed in as timely
a fashion ( 1944 ) as it was historically. Yes, the USN would get radar. So might the IJN, they were
working with it in 1942. The Hiyo and Junyo served as fleet carriers in the Battle of the Philippine Sea,
and while they had a maximum speed of 25 knots, they had a high cruise speed comparable to the rest
of the IJN Fleet Carriers.

As for carriers: The IJN had ten carriers at the start of the war, and commissioned another six in 1942,
and could have commissioned another four in 1943. That would have given them 20 flight decks, about
evenly split between CVAs and CVLs. The USN had seven carriers at the start of the war, and prior to
Pearl Harbor, had initiated construction of twelve more Essex class. Now, without a Pearl Harbor Attack
( and Hereafter I will abreviate this as PHA ) it is unlikely that the USN would have converted nine
of the Clevelands to Independence class CVLs, and there would have been no overwhelming need for
the Congress to appropriate any more funding for additional carriers. Thus, the USN would have had
a total of nineteen flight decks by the end of 1944, putting them on a par with the IJN.

What a difference a war makes. No PHA, no mass appropriations and unlimited spending.


You continue :
Japan can't afford a high intensity war where they are fighting costly battles
repeatedly. They couldn't afford it against China, they couldn't afford it versus the US
and Commonwealth, and they can't afford it versus Russia. Russia's POV in this would
likely be to simply fight Japan to a standstill and call it a draw. Their focus would be
on defeating Germany and holding Japan in check would be sufficient for them until
Germany was on the ropes.

Now, Mr. Gardner, I would request you go back to my earlier postings and re-read them. AT NO TIME
did I state that the IJA would be conducting a High Intensity War. I have repeatedly stated that they
would be conducting a LOW INTENSITY WAR against the USSR, for the sole purpose of preventing the
Soviets from moving forces from the East to the Moscow Front. They would bomb Vladivostock and the
Trans Siberian Railway system, but this does not require thousands of bombers, merely enough to keep
damaging the rail lines and the warehouses and docks.

The ground fighting would be kept at a minimum, with only small attempts at incursions, a lot of artillery
fire, and careful retrograde movements every time the Soviets tried to advance. This kind of war could go
on for months, at relatively low cost in arms and men.

And, Mr. Gardner, if the Soviets cannot transfer the 200,000 men and their equipment to Moscow, it is
more than likely that they would lose on the Moscow Front. It is very possible that the Heer would spend
the Winter lagered in Moscow, and then begin a Spring Offensive against a disorganized Soviet Army that
has lost both it's Governmental and Administrative center as well as it's main Rail and Logistics hub. In
that case, there could be a series of disasters for the USSR in 1942, leading to a retreat to the Urals in 1943.

So, Mr. Gardner, you are correct: The Soviets fight Japan to a draw, and lose the the Germans..... At which
point, Japan is still on the winning side....


You state :
For example, the NSB puppet government in the Hague, having no power or
political control over the DEI is told by the Germans to allow a Japanese occupation
of the DEI and it magically happens. This is despite the DEI being politically controlled
by the Dutch government in exile who doesn't listen to a thing the NSB has to say, and
the Germans and NSB having ZERO means to influence events in the DEI. That's one
example.

You are correct, the NSB Government in the Hague has no power or political control over the NEI. However,
they DO have power over the Narrative that the Japanese are going to present to the World, and particularly
the people of the United States, in their propaganda campaign. Their tame reporters and editors, all well
paid by the Japanese, would be writing articles and editorials extolling the virtue of the wonderful Japanese
government, who are stepping in to help the people of the East Indies in their hour of need. Japanese forces
would be shown as liberators, freeing the downtrodden people of Java, Sumatra, and Borneo from the hated
Dutch oppressors. Newsreels would show happy Indonesians throwing flowers at Japanese soldiers, and
local native officials greeting the Japanese with speeches of welcome. The documents provided by the NSB
Government could serve as a legalistic fig leaf, something that the Japanese Consul in Washington could
present to the Roosevelt Administration in response to America's objections.

And you talk about influencing events. If the Netherlands has been occupied by Germany, and the NEI by
Japan, that leaves just the Netherlands Antilles and Suriname as the only remaining ' Free Dutch State '. In
other words, the Free Dutch Government would be well on the way to drying up and blowing away in the winds
of time, like the Czarist Government of Russia.....


Mr. Gardner, I have the following questions for you to consider:

1) What would be the effect on the United States if the USSR lost Moscow in late 1941 or early 1942, and
then was further defeated and driven back to the Urals ?

2) What would be the effect on Britain under the same conditions ?

3) With no Soviet Ally, and only Britain remaining, what is the likelihood of the United States Congress
going to war against Japan without a Pearl Harbor Attack, either in 1941, 1942, or 1943 ?

4) If the United States does NOT go to war, and there is no pressure in terms of a High Intensity War
by the United States against Japan, how strong could the Japanese build up both the military and their
industry by the end of 1943 ?

5) If the Germans defeat the USSR in late 1942 or early 1943, to the point where the remainder of the
USSR is forced to sue for an Armistice, how strong could the Germans build up their Fortress Europe by
the end of 1944 ?


Mr. Gardner, Winston Churchill, upon hearing of the news of the PHA, stated that he went to bed that night
and he 'slept the sleep of the saved and thankful. The US would enter the war.......'


Mr Gardner, what if, all through 1942 and 1943, Churchill had nothing but nights with hours of insomnia.....?


Respectfully :


Paul R. Ward
Last edited by paulrward on 15 Jun 2020 19:43, edited 1 time in total.
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