Jon G. wrote:1) Yes, a throbbing 6% of what the Dutch East Indies had. And Japan already had access to half of Sakhalin's oil.
2) No? Why then did Japan negotiate for Dutch oil before she went to war?
The context was that the Soviet Union can be defeated without seizing the Dutch oil.
3) Actually, a war against the USSR is not likely to be very oil-intensive, given that it probably would not have involved many major fleet actions.
One reason more to invade to the Soviet Union.
4) Assuming, of course, that Japan subscribes to the German notion that the USSR must be defeated quickly.
It had to be defeated quickly because the Soviets out-produced the Germans.
5) Japanese planners seem to have concluded otherwise. In the event of Japan and Germany conquering the USSR, nearly all Soviet oil fields would fall within the German sphere, unless you assume the Japanese sphere of influence stretching all the way to the Urals. How does that alternative spell out compared to the comparatively nearby, comparatively defenseless Dutch East Indies?viewtopic.php?p=1148019#1148019
A war with the US means the inevitable defeat of Japan because of the American industrial might. If Japan cannot obtain the oil in Dutch East Indies without a war with the US they are out of her reach.
What reasons does Germany have to support Japan's demands?
The preservation of useful military alliance with Japan.
*Giggle* Yes. And it's at Germany's mercy. Hold that alternative against the historical Dutch East Indies scenario again if you please. Which scenario do you think that oil-fixated Japanese planners would have preferred?
They should have preferred the scenario which does not cause a war with the US. Invasion to Dutch East Indies provided greater short-term benefits but it would lead to Japan's eventual defeat with certainty as Germany loses the war.
Do you think this is how the Japanese see it?
Why not? The Far East is indeed of secondary importance in the war against the Soviet Union because there are no important strategic objectives other than Vladivostok in the Far East and consequently the Japanese do not need to advance much.
Again, do you think that Japan would go to war simply to tie down Soviet divisions to the overall benefit of Germany? And do you think that it would be a paramount strategic objective for Japan to help the Germans for the purpose of getting access to Soviet oil *after* the war?
This is a better option than staying neutral. And a much better option than the horrible historical Pearl Harbor scenario.
False. Both countries were signatories to the Anti-comintern Pact.
The Anti-Comintern Pact was not a treaty of alliance. It is true that Germany breached the treaty though.
Germany followed her own self-interest and signed a pact with the USSR while Japan was embroiled in the Khalkin Gol affair. Which conclusions would you draw from that if you were in a Japanese planner's shoes? That you could do one better than Khalkin Gol, and that the Germans would keep their promises the second time round?
The reasonable alternatives are to stay in peace with both the US and the Soviet Union or attack the USSR. They give Japan the chance to avoid defeat and destruction. Which one of them would you prefer?
Jon G. wrote:A simple conclusion to draw from that line of thought would be not to go to war with the USSR, and also actively discouraging Germany from doing the same.
If I was leading Japan I would give up China and Indochina to stop the oil embargo. However, this was politically impossible (and not the what-if scenario we are discussing).
Actually it might have been doable - but the Japanese would then have had to accept the Philippines (which at least theoretically could have been bypassed) as a US outpost astride the supply line of oil from the Dutch East Indies. Hold that against your own proposal that Japan recieves oil via the Germans, who would sit on nearly all known Soviet oil reserves in the event of a victorious Barbarossa.
In this scenario Germany loses the war while Japan remains neutral. However, the victorious Allied powers will have little tolerance for Japan's imperial ambitions and Japan has to surrender the Dutch East Indies after the lawful government has been restored to the Netherlands. The US and the Soviet Union would pressure Japan to withdraw from China, Indochina and Korea. From Japan's perspective this is a worse option than helping Germany to win the war against the Soviet Union. In the event that Germany still loses the result is about the same for the Japanese who can make a separate peace with the Soviets.
Thus, it would be a good idea to attack both the Soviet Union and the Dutch East Indies.
Yes. And as it has been explained to you, there was Lebensraum a-plenty in China.
There was no Lebensraum in the densely populated China.
Incidentally, the USSR was not a Western power. Your scenario suggests that Japan leaves the Western powers alone.
If Japan really wants Dutch East Indies and the other Asian territories it occupied it has better chances of success after the Soviet Union has been defeated. Historically, Britain or the US were not going to make peace with Japan as long as the Soviet Union was still fighting. In any case it is clear that in 1941 Japan should invade the Soviet Union.
Yes. But the Japanese occupation of Siberia turned out to be as fruitless as the German occupation of the Ukraine after Brest-Litovsk, and oil wasn't on the calendar in 1918 in the same way that it was in 1941.
Japan was willing to take major risks to keep these territories and the militarist opposition were even ready to risk a war with the US. However, because of the German defeat Japan had to give them up.
In your scenario, Japan does not do anthing to solve the problems posed by the US economic blockade.
No, Japan increases her self-sufficiency with the Soviet oil and other raw materials.
None of that explains why attacking the USSR would be a better option for Japan.
Germany attacked to the USSR to force Britain accept peace. Japan has the same motive. It is possible that Britain and even the US would be willing to surrender their territories in Asia to Japan if the Soviet Union has been defeated. Otherwise this is not possible and Japan will face a certain defeat.
Invasion to the Soviet Union is the best thing Japan can do to improve her strategic position.
As for your speculations over US public opinion, you should note that Lend-Lease credit was extended to the USSR before the US entered the war. Also, taking Vladivostok does not seal off Lend-Lease. The most important entry point for LL was via Iran.
The Persian Corridor will be blocked if Germany reaches Astrakhan. This aid was not even in important role in the time frame (1941-1942) we speak of.
What were the prospects of prevailing against the USSR given the recent Khalkin Gol experience?
Those prospects depend on Germany but Japan could do much to increase the chances of Germany's success as the divisions transferred from the Far East were in a crucial role in Soviet defense.
Re raw materials, why did Japan decide to strike for mineral-rich European Asian colonies, rather than aim for dividing the spoils of Russia with German?
They provided very attractive resources. However, Japan's decision to attack Pearl Harbor was based on mistaken assumption that the US would be willing to negotiate a peace after major defeats.
You're jumping to assumptions. Japan decided to run the risk of war with the US, gambling that a negotiated peace could be reached with Japan at one end of the table and the US at the other. In your scenario, it would be Japan and Germany at one end of the table and the USSR at the other; Britain's Asian colonies would be off-limits I presume, and Japan would still have to face the problems posed by the US economic blockade.
So far you haven't given any reasons why attacking to Pearl Harbor could lead to a better outcome than the invasion to the USSR. Japan's gamble failed which was inevitable because of the American industrial might and willingness to fight after Pearl Harbor.