Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

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Von Schadewald
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Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by Von Schadewald » 21 Jun 2022 03:53

A case can be made for the (once) warlike Japanese, whom Hitler called 'the Aryans of Asia', as actually being of Edomitic origins; see ch.4 "China, Japan and Edom" in "Esau: Edomites Today" (Yair Davidiy, Jerusalem 2015).

In 1941 the raring Japanese Empire was spoilt for choice as to which direction to attack. They had the plans, forces and capability to do any one of: 1) Capturing the Soviet Far East from Vladivostok to Lake Baikal, knocking the USSR out of the war to the delight of their German allies. Or 2) Invading India and Ceylon, with the aid of an uprising led by Indian nationalist leader Chandra Bose's anti-British 'Indian National Army' (see "The War of the Springing Tigers", G.Corr 1975), and then to advance through Afghanistan to unite in Persia with the Germans pummeling down from the Caucasus. Or 3) Send the Imperial Japanese Navy in to the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea to blockade British shipping in the Red Sea and Suez Canal, and to set up submarine bases on Vichy French Madagascar to harass Allied ships passing round the Cape of Good Hope. Or 4) Conquer the South Pacific islands of New Caledonia, Fiji and Samoa, to cut off Australia and New Zealand's contribution to the war effort. Or 5) Capture the Aleutian Islands chain in the frigid North Pacific, threatening Alaska, the ALCAN (Alaska-Canada) Highway, and the vital ALSIB (Alaska-Siberia) lend-lease air ferry route over the Bering Strait.

Instead, the Japanese chose option 6): to attack the US Navy at Pearl Harbour, with the goal of seizing Hawaii and even landing on the US west coast - "He causes His strategies to be reversed in order to operate on the face of the Earth" (Job 37:12). The shock of this assault so enraged America that Japanese Chief Admiral Yamamoto expressed: "I fear that all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and to fill him with a terrible resolve!".


President Roosevelt, whose motto was "we have nothing to fear but fear itself", stated in his famous speech: "Yesterday, December 7th 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan..........No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph—so help us G-d." And Churchill, now that Britain was not alone in the fight against the Axis, wrote that night : "I slept the sleep of the saved and the thankful"!

With hindsight, would any option other than number 6 have given them a realistically greater chance of winning the war?
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ThatZenoGuy
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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by ThatZenoGuy » 21 Jun 2022 05:06

I mean Japan had two options.

1: Fight russia for resources and land, and get absolutely smashed because when it comes to human wave offensives, Russia does it best. Failure results in lack of oil and economy goes down the toilet.

2: Fight china for resources and land, and get absolutely smashed because for every chinese person you kill, ten more take it's place like the mythological hydra. Failure results in a lack of oil and economy goes down the toilet.

Japan was...Proverbially in between a rock and a hard place, aside from managing to somehow get America to behave, they kinda lose. Not in part of them being weak or bad fighters or anything, the tables were just very lopsided.

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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by Huszar666 » 21 Jun 2022 18:06

with the goal of seizing Hawaii and even landing on the US west coast -
Ehmmm... There was NEVER any idea or capability to "seize" Hawaii or even the West Coast. The Japanese knew it, and the marginally intelligent US decision makers knew it too.
Option 6 was about conquering the NEI oil fields, because someone got the idea that an oil embargo is a smart thing.
was suddenly and deliberately attacked
Turkey trots the water, how that could possibly happen and why was Japan provoked into doing so, the world wonders...
1) Capturing the Soviet Far East from Vladivostok to Lake Baikal, knocking the USSR out of the war to the delight of their German allies.
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Lake Baikal, why not to the Caspian? Or the Atlantic? All three have the same chance to happen. Japan NEVER had the manpower, tech and stuff to make anything over the Amur happen. Even south of the Amur would be a horrendeus slog against an enemy that kicked the Empire in the balls a few times already. And what for? There are basically ZERO riches in that neighborhood.
Or 2) Invading India and Ceylon, with the aid of an uprising led by Indian nationalist leader Chandra Bose's anti-British 'Indian National Army' (see "The War of the Springing Tigers", G.Corr 1975), and then to advance through Afghanistan to unite in Persia with the Germans pummeling down from the Caucasus.
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Hey, why not land in South Africa?
You do know that between Japan and India there were places like, Burma, Malaya and the Philippines?

I don't want to answer your other "choices", they have the same possible chance to... well... given even a cursory glance.

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by T. A. Gardner » 21 Jun 2022 18:26

Although Japanese cultural and social norms and pressure would probably never allow it, Japan's best move was to make nice with Russia and back off in China without going to war at all. In Korea and Manchukuo, the Japanese could have ramped up their 'Japanification' programs to consolidate those areas as part of Japan.

All the leadership in Japan had to do was recognize that complete victory didn't require a conquest of China but rather holding what they'd gained and working towards increasing the economic and social ties to Japan in those areas such that they became part of the nation.

In 1938 - 39 ish Japan, they'd achieved victory of a sort. All they needed do is recognize that and stop. Had Japan done that and as a result stayed out of WW 2, the nation could have been something like twice its size with access to far more resources.

glenn239
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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by glenn239 » 21 Jun 2022 19:25

Huszar666 wrote:
21 Jun 2022 18:06

Ehmmm... There was NEVER any idea or capability to "seize" Hawaii or even the West Coast. The Japanese knew it, and the marginally intelligent US decision makers knew it too.
It must have been marginally unintelligent US Army generals that reinforced Hawaii in 1942 to safeguard against invasion then, one supposes.

glenn239
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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by glenn239 » 21 Jun 2022 19:30

Von Schadewald wrote:
21 Jun 2022 03:53
With hindsight, would any option other than number 6 have given them a realistically greater chance of winning the war?
I think not losing the war so badly might be a more realistic way to put it.

Assuming Hawaii is outside the discussion, the closest blend of the historical options that seems to have merit would be to forget about Pearl Harbor, but seize the outlying islands of MIdway, Wake, and Johnston, inviting Kimmel out to defend them, (similar to the Midway Op of 1942). Seize the Netherlands East Indies. If peace cannot be made, then invade the Soviet Union as the 2nd Phase operation in the summer of 1942, (this would require a significant draw down of forces in China).

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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by paulrward » 21 Jun 2022 20:55

Hello All :

The BEST choice for the Japanese was to combine diplomacy with their allies ( Germany ) with
the use of their military against their enemies ( the USA and USSR ) to successfully annex the
Far Eastern colonies of the nations which had been defeated by the Germans.

If the Japanese avoid going to war with the United States by NOT attacking Hawaii or the
Philippines, then Freewheelin' Franklin is effectively checkmated - he CANNOT go to war without
a Declaration of War by the Congress, and the Congress was NOT going to go to war to fight the
Colonial Battles of the Occupied Dutch, the Vichy French, the British, and especially NOT the
Communist Russians !

So, the best move for the Japanese is a EIGHT step process:


1. Immediately after Barbarossa, the Japanese make the following offer to Hitler:

The Japanese will, by the beginning of September, initiate a War against the USSR in the Far
East. This War is intended to force the Soviets to keep their Far Eastern Forces in the Far East,
preventing them from using these divisions to reinforce the Moscow Line in late Autumn and
early Winter of 1941.

The Japanese will ALSO do everything in their power to avoid antagonizing the USA, thus
keeping them out of the War, and limiting their assistance to Britain and the USSR to Lend-
Lease only. Thus, the vast Industrial power and Resource wealth of the USA is limited in
how it can oppose the Axis.

In return, Hitler will grant Japan the rights to occupy French IndoChina, the Netherlands East
Indies, eventually the British colonies of Malaya, and any of the USSR the Japanese Army can
bite off.



2. In September of 1941, as they did historically, the Japanese occupy French Indochina, with
the permission of the Vichy Goverment in France and the Germans. This will serve as a
dress rehearsal for their invasion of the NEI. as well as distracting U.S. attention from their
actions in Kamchata and Manchuria.


3. the Japanese at the beginning of September, initiate the War against the USSR in the Far East.
This War is NOT intended to be an offensive war, nor will it seriously attack the Soviets with
land forces. Instead, the Japanese will do a LOT of bombing aimed at disabling the Trans Siberian
Railway system, and the IJN will impose a naval blockade on Vladivostock to cut off the American
Lend Lease, The constant series of PHONY attacks prevents the Soviets from using these divisions
to reinforce the Moscow Line. As a result, Hitler will occupy Moscow, and the collapse of the USSR
will begin in earnest in 1942.


4. While the IJA is putting on a show of force and marching to and fro in front of the Russians,
the IJN and a few units of the IJA go out and occupy the NEI, carefully avoiding ANY attacks
on U.S. shipping or property, and avoiding entering U.S. waters in the Pacific. This means that
within three months, or the beginning of December, the Japanese own the NEI, ( With the public
permission of the Dutch Government in the Hague, and the Germans ) and by the middle of 1942,
oil is again flowing, at a rate of about 4.5 million barrels a year, into Japan from the Japanese
East Indies. Hello, OIL PROBLEM SOLVED !


5. After the end of 1942, with the Soviets effectively dismembered, Germany in posession of
the Baku Oil Fields, the Granary of the Ukraine, and all of the Western USSR up to the Urals,
The Japanese will spend those months digesting Kamchatka and parts of Siberia ( After the fall
of Moscow, Soviet forces in the Far East will run out of fuel and ammunition, and their resistance
will begin to deteriorate ) and the Japanese can consolidate their gains in Manchuria and Mongolia
as well. In addition, with Russia out of the War, Britain will now be standing alone. The Germans
can begin moving spare ground units and air units back to France, and can start a strategic bombing
campaign against Britain to gradually degrade it's resistance. In addition, with Russia out of the
war, Spain will come in, wanting to be on the side of the winners, and with German help, will close
the Med to the Royal Navy. Malta will fall, the Italians will occupy all of North Africa that isn't Vichy,
and take the Balkans and Greece as well.

In effect, the Axis powers are splitting up Europe, but Japan will be ALONE in taking all of the valuble
parts of the Western Pacific.


6. The United States is STILL NOT in the War ! And the Philippines are set to be granted Independence
at the beginning of 1946. The Japanese simply sit back, allow this to happen, and then approach the
New Goverment of Sergio Osmena, and offer the Philippines favorable terms to join the Greater East
Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere as an Associate Member.


7. With Britain on the Ropes, taking Malaya in 1944 will be an cakewalk for the IJA, along with Hong
Kong. British subjects are allowed to relocate to Australia, and the Japanese negotiate with the
Australian Government, who now realize they are alone in the world, to take the refugees.


8. The IJN controls the entire coastline of China, and it is only a matter of time for Chiang Kai Shek.
Burma, Siam, and New Guinea are Annexed. Macau is swallowed up. With no more trade with
China, and the independence of the Philippines, the USA gradually begins to divest itself of it's
Pacific Posessions, first the Marianas, then Wake, then Midway. With only tourism and pineapples
as it's exports, Hawaii is granted independence in the early 1960s, ending U.S. interest in the Pacific....




And, just in case someone wants to make a stupid comment, in early 1945, Franklin Roosevelt dies in
Warm Springs, and President Henry Wallace takes office. He is given NO special briefing. There was
NO Day of Infamy, There was NO major increase in spending after 1942, there was NO crash program
to enrich Uranium, there is NO Atomic Bomb !


In case anyone is interested, A bunch of friends and I gamed this MANY years ago, and this was the
result. ( It took us about a month of weekends ) Without the Far Eastern Reinforcements,
Hitler took Moscow by the end of 1941, and was moving inexorably towards the Urals by the end
of the summer of 1942.


And as for Mr. ThatZenoGuy's and Mr. Huszar666's comments :
#2 by ThatZenoGuy » 20 Jun 2022 21:06
Fight russia for resources and land, and get absolutely smashed because when it
comes to human wave offensives, Russia does it best. Failure results in lack of oil
and economy goes down the toilet.
#3 by Huszar666 » 21 Jun 2022 10:06
Japan NEVER had the manpower, tech and stuff to make anything over the Amur
happen. Even south of the Amur would be a horrendeus slog against an enemy that
kicked the Empire in the balls a few times already. And what for? There are basically
ZERO riches in that neighborhood.

The attack by Japan against the Soviet Union in late 1941 is NOT intended to gain any territory,
or destroy any armies, or seize any resources, or make any substantial gains. It is ONLY intended
to prevent the Soviets from moving those armies to the Moscow Front. Nothing more. Thus, if
the Soviet counter attack, the Japanese give ground slowly, avoid encirclements, and continue
to use their superior air units to slow any Soviet Advance. The IJN keeps bombing Vladivostock
and the TSR, blocking Lend Lease and preventing the movement of troops and equipment west,
and just HOLDING the Soviets in place.


My advice to the members of this forum is, rather than beating your gums to no purpose, try
actually GAMING this scenario. You will find it VERY illuminating.

Respectfully ;

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

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by T. A. Gardner » 21 Jun 2022 21:16

If Japan invaded the DEI and Malaysia without attacking Hawaii or the Philippines, the US would have still unilaterally declared war on Japan. So, now Japan is royally screwed. The US will reinforce the PI big time. Japan can't stop that from happening other than by invasion and conquest. The longer Japan delays invasion of the Philippines, the stronger the defenses there get.

In the OTL, the US was already cooperating with the British and Dutch at sea in particular, but all three were coordinating their defenses and military planning. An invasion sans US territory still results in the US going to war.

For example, on November 26th 1941, the US demanded--demanded--Japan make a full withdrawal from Indo-China and even China itself and publicly declare support for the Chinese Nationalist government in exchange for lifting US embargos. At the same time, the US was dumping tens of millions into supporting the Chinese government along with shipping arms and equipment there.

A Gallup poll of August 2 1941 had US public opinion as 51% for war with Japan, 31% opposed, 18% undecided. A similar poll a month later had US public opinion at 70% for war with Japan and in November it was still at 64%. So, the idea that Congress wouldn't back FDR wanting to declare war is almost an absurdity. Had Japan invaded Malaysia and the DEI, the US was going to go to war with Japan.

Oh, I'd add, that the DEI wasn't going to kowtow to Hitler or the Japanese for a bloodless occupation any more than New Caledonia was to the Vichy, or Malaysia if Britain somehow were taken out of the European war.
Last edited by T. A. Gardner on 21 Jun 2022 21:52, edited 1 time in total.

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Takao
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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by Takao » 21 Jun 2022 21:32

Ah yes, the Kobayashi Maru scenario...

Although, I would replace the word "GAMING" with "RIGGING."

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by T. A. Gardner » 21 Jun 2022 21:34

Takao wrote:
21 Jun 2022 21:32
Ah yes, the Kobayashi Maru scenario...

Although, I would replace the word "GAMING" with "RIGGING."
I think he meant gaming as in "taking advantage of the system." Aside from that, how accurate could using Axis and Allies be for determining the outcome...? :lol:

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Takao
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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by Takao » 21 Jun 2022 21:58

When you are the one making the rules...I don't know.

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by T. A. Gardner » 21 Jun 2022 22:14

As for a war with the Russians...

The Soviets never let their strength in the Far East and Asia really fall at all. Instead, each time they withdrew a unit to move to fight Germany, a new one was stood up and received the equipment the old one had. The unit shipped to Europe was then issued new equipment to fight with in route to the front.

So, when the Japanese initiate hostilities with the Russians, they find the IJAAF units facing them are slowly decimated to nothing while on the ground their divisions are being eaten up under a steady barrage of artillery fire and tank attacks. They are forced to not only ship lots of replacements to Manchukuo, but to ship more divisions just to shore up the front they now have with Russia.

If the US and Dutch have to the middle of, or late 1942, to continue building up their militaries in Asia, the Japanese are now faced with no possible way to take the Philippines or DEI. The Dutch have over 1000 light tanks in service, another 1000 or so APC's, and have stood up several armored brigades or even divisions. They have a modern air force that outnumbers the IJAAF. Their navy has grown in size with lead-lease US ships being supplied to them.

In the Philippines, the US has two full US infantry divisions, and 3 to 5 full Philippine Army infantry divisions available. All the historical landing points have several batteries of US 155mm or 240mm guns sited for coast defense along with troops deployed covering the beaches. There are two or more battalions of M3 light tanks, one or two battalions of M3 medium tanks, and 2 to 3 tank destroyer battalions in the PI. The USAAF is now flying P-40E or better Warhawks, the first P-38 and P-47 have arrived, and the number of B-17's has at least doubled.

With more airfields, 90 and 40mm AA guns to defend them, they are tougher targets and the Japanese can't fly above AA fire like they did historically. That also means the USAAF is spread out more. US incompetence in command won't make up for the far larger and better equipped forces Japan now faces.

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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by historygeek2021 » 21 Jun 2022 22:36

The Japanese army was too independent. They conquered Manchuria without Tokyo's authorization, attacked China without Tokyo's authorization, and attacked the USSR without Tokyo's authorization. There was no way for the high command in Tokyo to rein in their troops on the continent. Japan wasn't capable of making centralized strategic choices. Their choices were forced on them by the actions of their commanders in the field.

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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by glenn239 » 21 Jun 2022 23:08

T. A. Gardner wrote:
21 Jun 2022 22:14
So, when the Japanese initiate hostilities with the Russians, they find the IJAAF units facing them are slowly decimated to nothing while on the ground their divisions are being eaten up under a steady barrage of artillery fire and tank attacks.

If the US and Dutch have to the middle of, or late 1942, to continue building up their militaries in Asia, the Japanese are now faced with no possible way to take the Philippines or DEI.
Simply not signing the non-aggression pact in 1941 should serve to fix more Soviet formations in the Far East into 1942. In terms of order of attack, it's Philippines and NEI first, then war with Soviet Union second, in the spring or summer of 1942, as the 2nd Phase operation.

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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by OpanaPointer » 21 Jun 2022 23:22

The Japanese Army couldn't defeat a deeply divided China. Yamato wasn't enough.
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