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The termination of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance occurred in 1923, not enough time in my opinion for British or Japanese public or political opinions to turn against each other to any great extent.

 

In Britain's darkest hour, news of Japan's entry into the war on its side would have resurrected the alliance between the two that the United States sought to destroy at the Washington Naval Conference.

 

You're not kidding. That last time my cousin went to Japan, she was stopped on the street by a VERY old Japanese man who said he had been working in the Japanese Embassy in England in WW1, and how pleased he was to see British people there in Japan.

 

Of course, the Japanese military were a rather different matter from the Japanese civil service. It was still a nice thing for him to do though.

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I actually had no idea about the Siege of Tsingtao though -- pretty interesting; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Tsingtao

 

We owe Japan a sincere debt of gratitude for that action in WW1. They really came through for us as allies, and as you can see, the alliance directly led to this celebrated naval action.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Falkland_Islands

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I actually had no idea about the Siege of Tsingtao though -- pretty interesting; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Tsingtao

 

We owe Japan a sincere debt of gratitude for that action in WW1. They really came through for us as allies, and as you can see, the alliance directly led to this celebrated naval action.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Falkland_Islands

 

 

The Battle of Coronel could have been absolutely be different if Cradock had not left Canopus behind.

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Jason, a reversal for the USN at Midway would have meant no Allied offensive before mid-1943. Japan would therefore been free to threaten the Allied communications to Australia by resuming to their offensives directed at Port Moresby [although it would have been a hellish outpost vs the air power and submarines building up in Australia], and the Guadalcanal-Tulagi steppingstone could have ended up with the JA occupying New Caledonia. But the sea lanes to ANZUS allies still could have been sustained, and the JA only had notions of sending a single regiment to secure Fiji and that probably would have failed. Outposts such as Midway and Dutch Harbor [what-if in larger scale] would have remained problematic for JA and IJN.

 

The only roads to victory for Japan after defeating the USN at Midway would have been even more grandiose operations than occupying the Pacific island defense belt and the East Indies: India or Australia [choose one; Hawaii effectively was a third but probably too far and not even decisive, and the JA was not interested]. The Japanese Army could not wage a campaign in Australia without shutting down the China War, the very impossibility that led them to war vs the US. India proved a much tougher nut to crack after initial successes. A purely naval campaign in the IO could only have worked in combination with German-Italian successes in the Eastern Mediterranean, but Germany bogged down in Russia and lost initiative in North Africa, The European Axis in any event could do little to assist Japan apart from a diplomatic line drawn East of Aden to deconflict their wishful conquests, leaving Middle East oil in German spheres. Speaking of which, the long term value of the Axis was already dwindling with the German refusal to provide badly needed machine tools to Japan, while the latter refused any German economic exploitation of occupied China.

 

Ken, even though I tend to post a lot about Japan and such, it by no means equals me knowing everything. After all the great majority of Americans can't claim to know all American military matters either. And as I said before, the history speculation debate doesn't grab my interest too terribly much. Nor does my attempt to continue with rebuttals mean that I have a preference for Japan to have won. Well TBH the feelings creep in once in a while lately. Partly depending on current affairs, kind of makes it a bit regrettable, at least from Japan's POV with today's China and DPRK. But also because my major was International Studies:Asian studies and the university degree has done nothing in providing light about history issues that still linger thus that too adds to sentiment for Japan. Well that is a topic that can make for a very big post on its own. Main point being that I don't mean to make the rebuttals from of an emotional feeling of strongly wishing that Japan had won. But in the other way, I don't feel so positive about the US winning in the Pacific either. Well anyway, that aside, some more rebuttals, because I tend to over think things, but does not necessarily mean the following rebuttals are good. If not, then at least maybe they could serve as good entertainment at the least and warrant sparing me from a sharp tongue :ph34r:

 

Well first off, not a rebuttal. I agree about JA limited progress towards India. They seemed to have been stuck there in Burma. In addition to total stretched Japanese army forces, Burma was a terrible place because of the monsoons, jungles, and disease prone ridden environment.

 

However, AFAIK (hence my still limits in total knowledge on Japanese military), a main objective of the Burma campaign, was to cut off ally aid flying over to China. However Operation Ichi-Go seems to indicate that even in mid 1944, the nationalists Chinese were still rather weak. Additionally, when mid 1945 came about, the Soviet Union was of course ready with lots of strength and came crashing through Manchuria, but no such action had happened from the Chinese. That would seem to indicate that ally aid flying over the hump has not been able to build up the nationalists into being a serious threat again. Thus the JA wouldn't really have needed to achieve the victory that the Battle of Imphal attempted in the Burma Campaign in order to achieve a final victory in the Pacific War.

 

For Australia, I think the Japanese never had a plan to capture Australia. Certainly wouldn't have been possible should it have become a necessary requirement. But maybe it wouldn't have been necessary either.

 

For Midway, I agree that Japan wouldn't be able to capture and keep it in secured control. But even in that case, a big naval battle would take the place of the Battle of the Philippine Sea. Maybe not necessarily at the Philippine Sea, but a big one nonetheless. But this time instead of circumstances that resulted in the Turkey shoot. it would be a more or less even match up again like at Midway, rather than the real 1944 Battle of the Philippine Sea. Again, taken the variables of the supposed 1942 speculation of a different Midway and Guadalcanal, then it means Japan still having a fair number of experienced pilots, the US having lost many experienced pilots (3 US carriers lost at Midway control -- I know the speculation is killing.. but to finish it), and equal number of carriers, 7v7 or something. Of course the US side would still have radar, well trained pilots to fill in for the lost experienced pilots from a robust training system, and new Hellcats vs likely still the getting old zeros. So I don't say that this new speculated 1944 showdown has the US at a disadvantage, but the match is certainly closer to equal than the match up between the two in the actual Battle of the Philippine Sea.

 

I would finish with one more rebuttal towards a point raised by Josh and Brian, which is the degree of will to fight in the US. I think there are suggestions of a limited will, even though there was the uproar to fight following PH. IIRC news of many Americans dying on islands was still not taken well back in the US. US commanders gave very optimistic time scale for a number of the islands to be captured such as Peleliu or Iwo Jima. I wonder if it was just that, foolish optimism, or by saying so so as to motivate the men that have to actual get on the beach and fight by making them feel less fear to go and get it done. Ultimately, the Japanese objective was to never take American land itself. Would the Americans really still be highly motivated to go and fight on the opposite side of the Pacific with an enemy that really had no intention whatsoever to get Hawaii or go as far as California, Chicago (1:31) and so on, if Midway was a major defeat? The SU was fighting for survival. So was the UK, and France, but the US was not in that kind of fight. US will to fight was certainly underestimated after PH and in the 1942 campaign in the Philippines, and Guadalcanal. But even with that, there still seem to be indications of a limit.

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Obviously I wasn't there at the time, but I've never read anything that indicated the population's support was ever remotely in doubt. There was quite honestly a racial component to the war effort and I don't see any situation under which the US would have capitulated after Pearl AND the PI (which was very much 'American land' at the time). Historically the US was unwilling to accept anything but total surrender and was actually planning to invade the home islands despite the fact that all estimates indicated it would involve a casualty rate as high as the entire Pacific war to date. This is despite the fact that the Japan was clearly militarily beaten and could easily be blockaded and starved to death. That is not indicative of a lack of will or support. The Japanese can be forgiven for not foreseeing that level of commitment but it seems to have been there from day 1.

 

ETA: Actually I think Admiral Yamato did foresee the problem but clearly was overruled.

Edited by Josh
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You have to wonder what the result would have been if the Japanese respectfully and formally declared war on the United States, maybe even with a Canadian 'Sorry'. Or even, not bothered to declare war on the US at all, just go and do it against the UK and the Dutch territories. It would have left the US in an awkward political position, because it would have meant Roosevelt would have had to get political support to join someone elses war. There is even the problem of declaring war on Germany, whcih was rather finessed by the Germans jumping in with the Japanese and declaring war on the US.

 

Im sure there was a way around it all, but it would have made Roosevelts position rather more awkward than it was, where he could successfuly portray himself as a victim of an outrage.

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I am not a supporter of the argument that racist Japanese antipathy toward Whites was a driving factor behind the decision for war, on the observation that Tokyo chose to align with Nazi Germany in this time frame.

 

I see the lack of a physical means for Japanese and Italo/German troops to actually meet in combat except as decided by the side with naval superiority as a feature of Japan's entry on Britain's side in 1940, not a bug, and in line with the teachings of Mahan.

 

Here I also see weakly defended colonies and possessions of Vichy France, in the presence of a powerful Japanese naval squadron eager for battle, if only to show the worth of the IJN versus the IJA.

 

These Vichy French possessions become a logical Japanese target for war under the same justification as Britain's invasion of Vichy Syria and Vichy Lebanon in 1941.

Edited by Nobu
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Japan could offered up some BB's and Cruisers to support the RN, Imagine a Kongo with Hood and PoW?

Pretty difficult to support, especially with IJN 14 inch and 5.5 inch BB weapons. Note the RN requested the USN BB squadron sent to the Grand Fleet be only coal burners.

 

An IJN destroyer squadron did operate in the Med with the Allies in WWI.

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Was not being critical, Jason, just entering some points of possible interest regarding alternatives after a US defeat at Midway.

 

JA did have studies for invading Australia, to the point that it considered 10-12 divisions necessary for an 'indefensible' country [too vast with small population]. But it was the IJN that wanted offensive action of that sort in the South Seas and the chief of JA plans division refused outright any actions beyond the Malay Barrier, and only begrudgingly agreed to garrison Rabaul and assist in the capture of Port Moresby.

 

IJN planning was much more aggressive in 1942, rejecting a defensive strategy [emphasis on relacing heavy air losses] and developing four other options: Australia [both northern area and total continent occupations]; the occupation of islands as far as Samoa to cut ANZUS communication lines; the Indian Ocean [occupy Ceylon, destroy the RN and link up to the Axis in the Middle East]; last was Yamamoto's favorite, naval operations in the Central Pacific except against Oahu [again the JA refused the three divisions considered necessary] in order to complete the destruction of the USN.

 

Source: HP Willmott, The Barrier and the Javelin: Japanese and Allied Strategies February to June 1942 (Annapolis, 1983).

 

 

 


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Edited by Ken Estes
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The most immediate military impact of Japanese entry on Britain's side would be the IJN's ability to relieve RN assets outside the European Theater for concentration in the Atlantic/North Sea Triangle.

 

Two IJN battlecruisers could be sent to the Atlantic, more for political reasons than any need for the weight their main batteries would add to the RN battleline. Most likely Kongo and Haruna, as the symbolism of the Kongo having been built in Britain together with Haruna having been built in Japan would be beneficial in various ways.

Edited by Nobu
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Was not being critical, Jason, just entering some points of possible interest regarding alternatives after a US defeat at Midway.

 

JA did have studies for invading Australia, to the point that it considered 10-12 divisions necessary for an 'indefensible' country [too vast with small population]. But it was the IJN that wanted offensive action of that sort in the South Seas and the chief of JA plans division refused outright any actions beyond the Malay Barrier, and only begrudgingly agreed to garrison Rabaul and assist in the capture of Port Moresby.

 

IJN planning was much more aggressive in 1942, rejecting a defensive strategy [emphasis on relacing heavy air losses] and developing four other options: Australia [both northern area and total continent occupations]; the occupation of islands as far as Samoa to cut ANZUS communication lines; the Indian Ocean [occupy Ceylon, destroy the RN and link up to the Axis in the Middle East]; last was Yamamoto's favorite, naval operations in the Central Pacific except against Oahu [again the JA refused the three divisions considered necessary] in order to complete the destruction of the USN.

 

Source: HP Willmott, The Barrier and the Javelin: Japanese and Allied Strategies February to June 1942 (Annapolis, 1983).

 

 

 

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Ah, I addressed the post to you but I didn't mean to say that about your post. Yeah, you weren't critical at all, it was a very fair and informative post, like usual. My mistake for lack of clarity. I kind of driveled a bit in the first paragraph.

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Churchill on the possibility of a future war between Britain and Japan in December 1924, more than a year after the termination of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance brokered and sought after by the United States at the Washington Naval Conference:

 

"I do not believe there is the slightest chance of it in our lifetime. The Japanese are our allies. Japan is at the other end of the world. She cannot menace our security in any vital way. She has no reason whatever to come into collision with us. War with Japan is not a possibility which any reasonable government need take into account."

 

With this British sentiment in mind, a tragic failure of Japanese policy making in hindsight was its inflexible determination to assign the role of enemy to a power that need not have been one 16 years later.

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I am perplexed at how offering an alliance with UK will have addressed the oil embargo since that was China driven. Japan even under the Tripartite Pact did not declare war on the UK and got nothing in return. I suppose this can be filed with panzer kawai.

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If they had brought their Navy into the war in the Med on our side, we might have happily have sold them the resources they needed. It would probably have upset the American's of course.

 

That would make a pretty interesting alternative history novel actually.

 

...who could have then threatened to pull the plug on Lend-Lease, and keep what was given to them in the agreement and HM Government could have done jack squat about it.

 

Besides, about half of TankNet's servers consist of you telling everyone how broke and devoid of resources the British Empire was after World War 2. Where exactly could the British spare resources if they were using all of them (and then some!) in the war effort?

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Was not being critical, Jason, just entering some points of possible interest regarding alternatives after a US defeat at Midway.

 

JA did have studies for invading Australia, to the point that it considered 10-12 divisions necessary for an 'indefensible' country [too vast with small population]. But it was the IJN that wanted offensive action of that sort in the South Seas and the chief of JA plans division refused outright any actions beyond the Malay Barrier, and only begrudgingly agreed to garrison Rabaul and assist in the capture of Port Moresby.

 

In the immediate aftermath Combined Fleet planned a series of limited offensives in the South Pacific in the direction of Fiji, Samoa and Port Moresby, for which the net result to Japan would have been little in the case of Fiji and Samoa, (which were not intended to held), but highly significant to IJN prospects in 1944 should the Japanese southern flank be anchored on Morseby-Guadalcanal throughout 1943. After this interlude the Japanese intended to pivot back on Hawaii, the results of which should be a significant operational defeat for the Japanese, and then a period of recovery into 1943.

 

The best chances for success in the second phase were probably in the direction of the Indian Ocean, given British weakness and favorable IJN logistics with fleet oil production available in the NEI.

Edited by glenn239
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That was Willmott's conclusion as well, but the fuel oil obtained from the wells of Borneo, etc [not produced/refined] proved a catastrophic error in the loss of CV Taiho, and the distances of an IO campaign would have proved exhausting for the IJN, not to speak of the army. Japan was broke by 1940 and overmatched by 1943, and had no allies worthy of attention. Defeat was as certain as any question could be in WWII.

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Right, but those are two different things the inevitable defeat of Japan and the logistics of Sumatra. Borneo crude (unrefined) was used as an emergency measure. Palembang crude (refined), a much better option and often shipped directly to the front.

 

Upthread Stuart mentioned the idea of Britain moderating US policy towards Japan. I've floundered around for an IJN Indian Ocean strategy for years that's something better than "because they can". It occurs after reading Stuart's post that maybe, while we're in the market for long-shot strategies anyways, that an Indian Ocean offensive which threatened the British position not only in India, but in the Middle East and Africa as well, might be leverage to reach a deal with Washington via London. Likely? Probably not, but probably no worse than any of the other options.

Edited by glenn239
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It was an alternative history theory. I wasnt saying it COULD happen, im just examining what would have happened if it DID happen. As pointed out before, Britain and Japan had been allies in the not so far distant past.

 

All that takes out of context the racist policies of the Japanese regime which would have made such accomodations impossible, but if they had been smart enough not to pick a fight with absolutely everyone around them, perhaps they could have been made. After all, we were in 1940 willing to make accommodations to Mussolini to keep him out the war, where Mussolini went wrong was in insisting it couldn't be done without Germany being part of the deal, which shut down any hope of it happening.

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Assuming Hitler didn't declare war on the US in 1941 and public sentiment kept Roosevelt from asking for a declaration against Germany and Italy. Would the war in the Pacific have been shortened by any appreciable time?

 

I doubt it would change much. It would allow the US to focus more naval assets, but then the assets used in one ocean didn't drastically coincide with the assets used in the other. I suppose in the short term Wasp would have been moved to Pacific more early than historically.

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As for racists policy against whites, Chinese were so too. Or maybe just foreign powers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanking_incident_of_1927

 

And CKS was no fan of any western country either.

 

For Japan, 1920s, not so racists. Geopolitics resulted in change of policies. But not entirely racist vs all whites, but relations went bad with US and GB because of their take of expanded war in China. Naturally, late 1930s Japan had very different policy towards Germany and Italy, with propaganda posters showing their flags next to Japan.. like how US and British flags were also next to SU flags.

 

Really, the racists points are so shallow. On top of that, racism was all over the place in those days.

Edited by JasonJ
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