Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
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TheMarcksPlan
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Re: Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 15 Jun 2020 05:36

T.A. Gardner wrote:Because not all beaches are equal and their original landing sites were the best choices.
So there's literally not a single good landing beach on Luzon's west coast south of Vigan, or anywhere on Mindanao except around Davao. Hard to take that seriously.
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.
They took part in Santa Cruz and Philippine Sea, scoring hits with their planes. Nobody is saying they were perfect; you're wrongly implying they had no value.
Because their NGFS doctrine is crap
Again you're making the leap from sub-optimal to worthless. The concentrated firepower of the Combined Fleet, even poorly directed, would outmatch four 155's.
When I say [Nazi fanboy], 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.
I can think of many less-incendiary labels and can think of no reasons why even implausible ATL's imply fandom of Naziism.
Here, for example, we actually agree on the implausibility of Mr. Ward's ATL. Yet only one of us has the effrontery to accuse him of Nazi sympathies over it.

This is symptomatic of a groupthink on AHF, wherein many long-standing members see themselves as guarding against "Wehraboos" and other tendencies to glorify Naziism.

As a result of this groupthink, many have lost the capacity for intellectual discernment - they see any and all ATL's as Wehraboo-flavored, even ones that suggest the Allies could/should have won the war faster.

It's a tendency to lower one's standards to the worst of your perceived opposition. That tendency would have disastrous results in any impartially moderated forum (say a court of law), but here the prevailing voices only reinforce each other and the dissenters eventually get banned.

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Re: Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 15 Jun 2020 05:44

Terry Duncan wrote:Neither did I, but it seems to irritate some people.
Are you seriously surprised that some people don't like to be accused of Nazi fandom? Come on. Unless the person so accused is an actual Nazi there's pretty much nothing worse to say about someone.

Aside from the moral outrage of the accusation, it's additionally galling that one can't engage in the intellectual exercise of alternate history - in the ALTERNATE HISTORY subforum - without these accusations being hurled. Are we to pretend that everything good was inevitable and everything bad contingent? That's a kid-book conception of history against which this site should tilt.

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Re: Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 15 Jun 2020 05:55

Re Mr. Ward's thesis, the following from the US Army's history is relevant:
Perhaps the major error of the Japanese was their decision to attack the United States when the main objective of the war was to gain the strategic resources of Southeast Asia. Had they bypassed the Philippines and rejected Yamamoto's plan for the strike against Pearl Harbor, it is possible that the United States might not have gone to war, or, if it had, that the American people would have been more favorably disposed toward a negotiated peace. While the Japanese would have had to accept certain risks in following such a course, they would not have forced the United States to declare war. The President and his chief advisers were prepared to ask Congress for a declaration of war if Japan attacked Great Britain.

The Japanese knew this, but they did not know, or seriously miscalculated, the strength of isolationist sentiment in the United States. To a large part of the American people, a war with Japan over Malaya or the Netherlands Indies would have appeared as an effort to pull British and Dutch chestnuts out of the fire. Such a war would have split the country and made difficult the full mobilization of American and industrial might. "I don't know," Hull remarked later to Admiral Stark, "whether we would have been in the war yet if Japan had not attacked us.
http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA ... egy-5.html

...of course this doesn't address whether the British go to war - I'm still resolute that Britain could not afford to allow Japan to encircle Singapore via Sumatra/Batam, this being tantamount to taking it.

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Re: Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

Post by magicdragon » 25 Jul 2020 19:23

..of course this doesn't address whether the British go to war - I'm still resolute that Britain could not afford to allow Japan to encircle Singapore via Sumatra/Batam, this being tantamount to taking it.
I think it is fairly likely that that Churchill would have declared war given a free hand (but I think other Cabinet Members would have counselled against this given the timing and without absolute certainty of US military support) but there was a way for Japanese to occupy NEI and minimise perhaps even avoid war with the UK and US? Develop over a period of time a plan to ferment a national uprising (it would be relatively easy to seize an isolated island with a radio station in the such disparate colony with a few armed men from a Japanese submarine), the new Japanese friendly administration declares independence and immediate membership of the the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. Create a false flag incident at exactly the same time, say a harmless Japanese merchant ship in a remote NEI port is "shot up by the Dutch" (entirely set-up ofcourse but a badly damaged ship, lots of pictures of bullet holes and dead bodies possibly prisoners suitably picked and dispatched for this role). This incident plus the request from the new independent administration for Japanese protection leads to the Combined Fleet attacking within the week followed by multi-Japanese landings, followed by lots of pictures release to international new wire services of supposedly showing "evidence" Dutch "atrocities" against the local population. The US Congress would be loathed to intervene in a pre-WWII in a colonial civil war and the UK would have a hard job justifying intervention to maintain the Dutch Empire when there is no clear act of Japanese aggression and the UK is up against it in the Western Desert. I am not saying Churchill would have not declared war but he would have done so in the full and frank knowledge the UK WAS DECLARING WAR and this act alone would have made US intervention unlikely.

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Re: Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 27 Jul 2020 09:19

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
27 Jul 2020 08:13
Outside of the military domain, the great apes are just too weird in their behavior to confidently predict their group interactions.
What makes you think that "the great apes" behaviour in the military domain allows us to "confidently predict their group interactions"? :D :D

Regards

Tom

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Re: Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 28 Jul 2020 09:30

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
27 Jul 2020 09:19
What makes you think that "the great apes" behaviour in the military domain allows us to "confidently predict their group interactions"? :D :D

Regards

Tom
Of course there's no epistemic certainty in military matters generally, but there are at least some restricted domains in which empiricism gives good clues to guide hypotheticals.

For my purposes, one such empirically-guided hypothetical is whether the Germans would have encircled and destroyed more Soviet armies had they possessed an extra panzer group in 1941. From that hypothetical I think it's fairly easy to sketch outcomes.

In other military areas the hypotheticals are less clear, such as different French dispositions in May 1940 or different logistical capabilities behind Barbarossa.

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Re: Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

Post by Terry Duncan » 28 Jul 2020 12:23

Please stay away from comments on the modern political world, they are not allowed.

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Re: Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

Post by paulrward » 28 Jul 2020 16:27

Hello All :

Mr. MagicDragon, in posting # 94, has made an excellent point, one which I have tried to point out myself several
times in this thread. The raw fact is, from June of 1940 onward, Britain was on the ropes, and had little or no
ability to project power anywhere outside of a few chosen colonies. They barely hung on to Malta and Egypt,
after losing badly in Greece and on Crete, and to think that they could go to war against Japan in the summer
of 1941 is a fantasy.

By the middle of 1941, Australia was demanding her troops back, the Royal Navy was very thinly spread, and the
RAF could provide only obsolete aircraft to send to the Far East. In fact, one of the squadrons in Malaya was still
operating Vicker Vildebeests, an open cockpit biplane torpedo bomber that had been replaced by the Swordfish,
which was itselt to be replaced by the Albacore. As it was, the paltry number of Hurricane Is and IIs were no
match for the A6M, and the shipments at the end of 1941 of Buffaloes from the United States were little better.

If you go back and look at the interchange between Churchill and Roosevelt, Churchill was essentially saying, " Of
course, if the Japanese invaded the Dutch Indies, we will go to war. Providing YOU also go to war ! And, of
course, the situation being what it is, YOU will have to do all the fighting and dying...... "

When it came time for Churchill to actually send forces to Malaya, he sent a single carrier, an obsolete Battlecruiser, and a Bad-Luck Battleship. When the carrier got nobbled, he had no replacement, and so the
two gun ships were sent on alone to their deaths.

As for troops, Churchill had none to send. Historically, the British were overwhelmed in Malaya in months, and
barely hung on to Burma. It was only the dogged heroism of the Australian troops that prevented a similar disaster
on New Guinea.

If, to consider it intellectually, the Japanese had invaded ONLY the NEI, and had not attacked either the British
Empire or any United States posessions, What, exactly, could Churchill have done ? He had no troops or aircraft
to send, he could deploy a few ships, but they would have to face the entire IJN fleet. Freewheelin' Franklin would
have been sitting on the sidelines, unable to get the United States Congress off of it's collective pork barrel to
give him a declaration of war. And, as Mr. MagicDragon has pointed out, it isn't as if Britain had been attacked.
It was simply the Dutch colonies being expropriated by the Japanese, with Britain trying to butt in and upset
Japan's applecart. This is NOT something that the average American citizen would have given a damn about.
I am sure that a lot of anti-war and anti-Britain commentators would have been asking, " Hey ! Doesn't Britain already have enough enemies, why are they going around declaring war on more people ? " That one question
would be enough to keep the U.S. out of the war for at least a year, if not longer.....

Had the Japanese not gotten over eager, and had spent the late summer and autumn of 1941 swallowing up the
NEI, and then spent early 1942 getting the NEI oil back on line, they could, at the same time, have been helping
out the Reich with Barbarrossa, and, once the USSR was off the board, could have swallowed up a big chunk of
Kamchatka, Some of Siberia, and continued to polish off China.


So returning to Mr. MagicDragon's point, I feel it is clear that, given no U.S. DoW against Japan, there would be no
British DoW. And, providing that NO British or American territories are invaded, this means that there is no
Allied DoW in the Pacific in December of 1941.

Mr. MagicDragon, an excellent piece of analysis.


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
Information not shared, is information lost
Voices banned, are voices who cannot share information....

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Re: Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

Post by magicdragon » 30 Jul 2020 22:33

Mr. MagicDragon, an excellent piece of analysis.
Thank you a very rare compliment on this forum. Like you I share a belief that a Japanese invasion of the NEI was worth the risk. One thing I forgot about was the role of the Japanese military intervention against French Indochina played in stoking tensions. Such an action made it very difficult for British to draw any other conclusion than war against the Japanese was inevitable. Indeed it must have played a large role plus ULTRA intercepts in making the decision to put together Force Z (HMS Prince of Wales , HMS Repulse and the destroyers) and dispatch this force before Pearl Harbour. If the Japanese with their "eye on the prize" of the NEI had not taken action against French Indochina, the British would not even have begun the process, of reinforcing the Far East even more weakening Churchill's options for direct intervention in the NEI. The loss of French Indochina airbases and ports would have made an invasion on NEI more difficult but this would have been worth if it reduced the possibility of British intervention (and by implication US intervention), in fact if the Japanese had by accident delayed the NEI attack until late December 1941 the Italian sinking of HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Valiant, would have made it doubly difficult to put together a naval task force (HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse may have been deployed to the Med),to send to the Far East to combat the Japanese who had not declared war on the UK?

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Re: Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 22 Aug 2020 05:58

From Shattered Sword by Parshall and Tully:
only a shade over eleven divisions had been required to conquer the
entirety of the new Japanese empire. This represented perhaps a fifth of the Army’s
total manpower. p.25
20% of IJA manpower devoted to the Pacific through April 1942.

...and this was done without any retreat from strategically secondary possessions in China.

...which suggests that the IJA could have found the manpower to launch Kantokuen as well as to conduct at least most of its OTL 1942 Pacific conquests, especially if done in connection with temporary retreats in China.

This is especially true if, as Admiral Nagano and others urged, the Southern push didn't include invasion of the Philippines. Initial IJA forces in the Philippines included 2 divisions, one brigade, 2 tank regiments, 10 artillery/AAA battalions, and other units. Probably ~1/3 of the forces committed southwards.

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Re: Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 05 Sep 2020 19:52

Found this in papers of British War Cabinet Chiefs of Staff Committee attached to minutes of COS Meeting held on 29 August, 1941. Thought it might be of interest (Ref is CAB79/14/2):
CAB79-14-2 - JPS Paper on ADB 2.GIF
If anyone would like the whole thing, feel free to contact me by PM.

Regards

Tom
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Re: Japan launches Kantokuen - British DoW?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 05 Sep 2020 22:37

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
05 Sep 2020 19:52
Found this

Tom
Thanks. Shows the British viewed the DEI as essential to Singapore's security, as I said above they would have.

PM'ing you.

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