Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

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historygeek2021
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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by historygeek2021 » 26 Jun 2022 20:01

T. A. Gardner wrote:
26 Jun 2022 19:28
What does Japan stand to gain--FOR CERTAIN--from engaging in a war with Russia?
Japan would eliminate a major world power with which it had been in military conflict for half a century. Manchukuo would be secure and the supply of Soviet military aid to Chiang Kai-shek would be cut off for good. If Japan can conquer Mongolia, then it is within reach of the Kuzbass coal deposits. If Japan can link up with Germany, then they can form an overland trade route that would supply virtually all their economic needs.

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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by Takao » 26 Jun 2022 20:47

historygeek2021 wrote:
26 Jun 2022 20:01

Japan would eliminate a major world power with which it had been in military conflict for half a century. Manchukuo would be secure and the supply of Soviet military aid to Chiang Kai-shek would be cut off for good. If Japan can conquer Mongolia, then it is within reach of the Kuzbass coal deposits. If Japan can link up with Germany, then they can form an overland trade route that would supply virtually all their economic needs.
Japan could not eliminate a minor local power(China).

Manchukuo was secure, unless the Japanese really PO'd Stalin.

Soviet Military aid did dry up, and was replaced by American Aid.

Kuzbass coal deposites? Japan already controlled roughly a 550 year reserve of coal deposites...Do you really think they need more?

Provided Germany was willing to supply the Japanese, who would now be a potential enemy. Of course, it is a very big IF that the Japanese would get that far.
Last edited by Takao on 26 Jun 2022 22:27, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by OpanaPointer » 26 Jun 2022 21:46

Peter89 wrote:
26 Jun 2022 15:50
I doubt that in 1941 the US would be able to stay neutral for long: it started deliveries to Britain and the Soviets already. What the Axis diplomacy could achieve was delaying the American military appearence by maybe a year.
If you read the polls for 1941 you wouldn't have any doubts at all.
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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by glenn239 » 26 Jun 2022 21:55

Peter89 wrote:
26 Jun 2022 15:50
I doubt that in 1941 the US would be able to stay neutral for long: it started deliveries to Britain and the Soviets already. What the Axis diplomacy could achieve was delaying the American military appearence by maybe a year.
I don't disagree, but everything is measured against the fact that the chances of Japan defeating the US in a war were 0%. If the odds of the US remaining neutral towards Japan were 15% if the Japanese withdraw from Indochina and attack the USSR, 15% is better than 0%.
Thus when Hitler rolled the dice and attacked the Soviet Union, nothing but a quick and complete victory would suffice.
Maybe for Hitler, but for Japan the question was how to move into the Cold War period where it was the USSR vs. the USA. Japan belonged on the side of the USA, obviously, but could this be done without losing a brutal war and suffering unconditional surrender?
But yes, Japan could help the Germans to some degree. It is very much interesting how little the Axis cooperated and there was certainly a huge potential in that.
If Japan's assistance is sufficient Germany takes all the A-bombs in 1945 and Japan can exit the war on the fact of the A-bomb being dropped on Germany and not Japan.

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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by T. A. Gardner » 26 Jun 2022 23:26

historygeek2021 wrote:
26 Jun 2022 20:01
T. A. Gardner wrote:
26 Jun 2022 19:28
What does Japan stand to gain--FOR CERTAIN--from engaging in a war with Russia?
Japan would eliminate a major world power with which it had been in military conflict for half a century. Manchukuo would be secure and the supply of Soviet military aid to Chiang Kai-shek would be cut off for good. If Japan can conquer Mongolia, then it is within reach of the Kuzbass coal deposits. If Japan can link up with Germany, then they can form an overland trade route that would supply virtually all their economic needs.
Wrong, with a capital WRONG! Japan has no certainty of doing that. If anything, their border clashes with Russia from about 1938 on would have told them the opposite. All the "if's" in the world don't amount to a bucket of spit if you can't get oil and rubber (as but two critical materials) because the US, Britain, and the Dutch won't sell to you. They have every motivation to side with the Russians here (as they did historically) and one way to do that is embargo Japan for going to war with Russia.
In the short-term (the next few years) Japan gets NOTHING out of going to war with Russia. Germany isn't going to defeat Russia in a matter of months, if at all regardless. That means Japan could be tied up fighting China and Russia while facing economic collapse at home. The war could drag on for years with Japan getting nothing useful out of it.

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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by OpanaPointer » 27 Jun 2022 00:01

historygeek2021 wrote:
26 Jun 2022 20:01

Japan would eliminate a major world power with which it had been in military conflict for half a century. Manchukuo would be secure and the supply of Soviet military aid to Chiang Kai-shek would be cut off for good. If Japan can conquer Mongolia, then it is within reach of the Kuzbass coal deposits. If Japan can link up with Germany, then they can form an overland trade route that would supply virtually all their economic needs.
Japan fought China from 1937 to 1945. During a lot of that time China was in a de facto civil war. Japan never conquered a majority of Chinese territory.
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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by historygeek2021 » 27 Jun 2022 01:37

T. A. Gardner wrote:
26 Jun 2022 23:26


Wrong, with a capital WRONG! Japan has no certainty of doing that. If anything, their border clashes with Russia from about 1938 on would have told them the opposite. All the "if's" in the world don't amount to a bucket of spit if you can't get oil and rubber (as but two critical materials) because the US, Britain, and the Dutch won't sell to you. They have every motivation to side with the Russians here (as they did historically) and one way to do that is embargo Japan for going to war with Russia.
In the short-term (the next few years) Japan gets NOTHING out of going to war with Russia. Germany isn't going to defeat Russia in a matter of months, if at all regardless. That means Japan could be tied up fighting China and Russia while facing economic collapse at home. The war could drag on for years with Japan getting nothing useful out of it.

LOL. Ask a loaded question and get a loaded answer. Nothing is certain in war, or in life, so the answer to "What is certain if so and so does X, Y, or Z?" is always NOTHING!

But if anyone is interested in discussing what Japan stood to gain by a successful war against the Soviet Union, my answer pretty much sums it up.

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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by T. A. Gardner » 27 Jun 2022 02:10

historygeek2021 wrote:
27 Jun 2022 01:37
T. A. Gardner wrote:
26 Jun 2022 23:26


Wrong, with a capital WRONG! Japan has no certainty of doing that. If anything, their border clashes with Russia from about 1938 on would have told them the opposite. All the "if's" in the world don't amount to a bucket of spit if you can't get oil and rubber (as but two critical materials) because the US, Britain, and the Dutch won't sell to you. They have every motivation to side with the Russians here (as they did historically) and one way to do that is embargo Japan for going to war with Russia.
In the short-term (the next few years) Japan gets NOTHING out of going to war with Russia. Germany isn't going to defeat Russia in a matter of months, if at all regardless. That means Japan could be tied up fighting China and Russia while facing economic collapse at home. The war could drag on for years with Japan getting nothing useful out of it.

LOL. Ask a loaded question and get a loaded answer. Nothing is certain in war, or in life, so the answer to "What is certain if so and so does X, Y, or Z?" is always NOTHING!

But if anyone is interested in discussing what Japan stood to gain by a successful war against the Soviet Union, my answer pretty much sums it up.
The key word you left out is, possibly. The Japanese might gain some by attacking the Soviet Union, but they already knew they were at war with China and roughly what that would take to just stay even, let alone win. They already knew the US, British, and Dutch were likely to fully embargo them if they attacked Russia and what that would do to their economy.

On the other hand, they had no good idea if Germany could actually beat Russia in a war. So, their choosing to attack Russia is a huge risk with almost certain negative economic consequences.

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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by historygeek2021 » 27 Jun 2022 02:22

T. A. Gardner wrote:
27 Jun 2022 02:10


The key word you left out is, possibly. The Japanese might gain some by attacking the Soviet Union, but they already knew they were at war with China and roughly what that would take to just stay even, let alone win. They already knew the US, British, and Dutch were likely to fully embargo them if they attacked Russia and what that would do to their economy.

On the other hand, they had no good idea if Germany could actually beat Russia in a war. So, their choosing to attack Russia is a huge risk with almost certain negative economic consequences.
Yes, all that is what Japan stood to lose. I answered what Japan stood to gain.

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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by thaddeus_c » 27 Jun 2022 05:02

Japan should not trust either Germany or the USSR, however the Nazis are a world away while the Soviets are next door.

I think the Japanese should have closed the Pacific L-L route and seized Sakhalin.

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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by T. A. Gardner » 27 Jun 2022 05:33

historygeek2021 wrote:
27 Jun 2022 02:22
T. A. Gardner wrote:
27 Jun 2022 02:10


The key word you left out is, possibly. The Japanese might gain some by attacking the Soviet Union, but they already knew they were at war with China and roughly what that would take to just stay even, let alone win. They already knew the US, British, and Dutch were likely to fully embargo them if they attacked Russia and what that would do to their economy.

On the other hand, they had no good idea if Germany could actually beat Russia in a war. So, their choosing to attack Russia is a huge risk with almost certain negative economic consequences.
Yes, all that is what Japan stood to lose. I answered what Japan stood to gain.
Without putting it in context, your answer is meaningless. It's like saying Japan could win the lottery at 500 million to one odds and be filthy rich, or could take a second approach at 10 to 1 odds and be filthy rich.

Attacking Russia, for Japan, was a fool's errand with little chance of success.

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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by ljadw » 27 Jun 2022 06:15

In April 1941 Japan signed a treaty with the Soviets to avoid a two front war .
This treaty gave Japan the certitude that in case of war with the US ,Russia would remain neutral .
A de facto treaty with the US would not give Japan the certitude that the US would remain neutral if there was a war with Russia .
A war with Russia would weaken Japan while meanwhile the US would be stronger :the US would not stop to strengthen the Pacific Fleet if Japan was at war with Russia .Besides : without the oil of the DEI, Japan could not fight against Russia and to take this oil meant war with the US .
Thus ....

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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by ljadw » 27 Jun 2022 06:20

historygeek2021 wrote:
26 Jun 2022 20:01


Japan would eliminate a major world power with which it had been in military conflict for half a century.
That is a very big exaggeration .
After the war of 1905 Japan and Russia became allies and fought together against Germany . After the communists won the Russian civil war , there was no big fighting between both countries til 1938 .

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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by historygeek2021 » 27 Jun 2022 06:20

T. A. Gardner wrote:
27 Jun 2022 05:33

Attacking Russia, for Japan, was a fool's errand with little chance of success.
Agreed.

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Re: Best Japanese strategic choice with hindsight

Post by Peter89 » 27 Jun 2022 07:29

Japan's best strategic choice was not to be chosen from attacking the USA or the SU. If there was any cooperation between the Axis, the Japanese could attack the British and their allies together with Germany and Italy while keeping the US and the SU at bay diplomatically. Even though war with them was kinda inevitable, both powers were just gearing up for war and wouldn't be ready before late 1942 the earliest.
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