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Thread: What if - Spain joined the Axis in 1939.

  1. #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Dang it sir, had a huge reply types and accidentally nuked it.
    Join the friggin club! Take days as I did. I'm not going anywhere.

  2. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    OK, since this thread original question is long dead can it be merged with "Could Germany..." or just be closed?
    I would prefer not to merge both threads since doing that with two big threads causes the posts to get mixed up due the overlapping timeline. If wished we can rename this thread to something more fitting or simly split it into a "what if: spain..." and a "what if: far east.." (or any other titles you might suggest)

  3. #183
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    Tarek, just leave it, the conversation is flowing just fine.

  4. #184
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    OoE,

    two main rebuttals

    1)

    Sir, the IJA was not a purely positional army as you claim and I will offer up three examples- 2 operational and 1 conceptual.

    1. Invasion of Malaya. The use of tanks, bicycle logistics, and flanking landings to try and effect an envelopment of an enemy protected by water on both sides and very nearly succeeding. With half the men the Japanese drove the UK forces before them. In Malaya Royal Engineers destroyed over 1000 bridges to no avail. it was the UK that was the positional army, they tried again and again to form a line and hold and simply ended up outflanked.

    2. Phase 1 (Operation Kogo One/ battle of Central Henan) of Operation Ichi-Go. A single Japanese tank division supported supported by two infantry divisions and a cavalry brigade routed 390,000 Chinese troops and got behind the Henan salient. By may 25 the had seized Louyang and reduced the salient greatly shortening their lines and securing the other operations of Ichi-Go. by December of 44 the Japanese had cut China in half and reached Indochina.

    3. The Chinese Winter offensive. While ultimately unsuccessful it did a lot of damage to the Japanese and effectively created the stalemate that would persist until 44. One reason it was able to achieve what it did is becuase the Japanese Imperial High Command was in the middle of a massive re-organization of its infantry divisions from a WWI era square division (4 regiments) to a modern triangular division (3 regiments) which is the same basic layout the US and Germany were using and for the same reasons. Flexibility and mobility.

    2)

    Soviet forces in the Far East were at least as positional as the Japanese. Zhukov's poor showing in 39 proves that. He lost more than a fifth of his force for a gain of less than 100 square kilometers. He managed this dismal showing despite a superiority in tanks and numbers at least as great as enjoyed in 45. However after 39 with Soviet attentions directed to the West the units in the Far East get progressively starved. After 41 they lose whole divisions (not many but some) and stop getting replacements in men and equipment. The Soviets do not finally retire the I-15 and I-16 fighters until 1943- they served on in the east. Even after the East finally got rid of the I-15 and I-16 they likely got cast off Mig 3 and Lagg 3 planes.

    As best I can tell (admittedly an estimate) Soviet forces in the Far east in 1941-mid 45) were 45 divisions totaling about 360,000 men with 500 tanks mostly BT-5 and 7 but with some T-26 and Th-26 (flame) but no T-34. They were supported by up to 500 aircraft but possibly as few as 300. The stocks of artillery ammunition likely built up after 39 probably got raided in 41 when divisions moved west and whats left is all there is.

    In comparison by 1942-43 the Japanese in Manchuria have near a million of their best men, 1000+ tanks*, and 2000+ modern aircraft.

    *Japanese advances in tank tech and tank production since 39 meant that the use of tankettes and non-cannon armed light tanks and armored cars in armored units after 39 decreased significantly. In 39 before Zhukov's offensive the Japanese tank units were only about half cannon armed. By 42 its 100% and Japanese infantry divisions are starting to get organic AFV support in the form of the cast off tankettes and armored cars.

    For Stalin to drive East and isolate and capture the IJA in Manchuria he has to find a way to disengage from the Germans enough that he can free up troops, but no so completely that Hitler can breathe. If we are talking 42-43 this means no counter-attack at Stalingrad just an endless meat grinder since its fairly obvious the main Soviet effort in 42-43 was against AGC and so the Rzhev battles are going to go on- especially if Moscow has to be regained.

    Stalin has to use this gap to move in at least 1000 tanks, 2-4000 aircraft, artillery, men, cavalry and a huge amount of trucks. But there is a problem- the Soviets simply don't have that amount of stuff yet, especially not if Stalin lost Moscow and its rail nexus in 41.

    The forces the Soviets have if they don't strike at Stalingrad are 800 tanks, 1 million men and 1500 aircraft. The Soviets have only received 60,000 trucks so far and assuming the same division of assets here as among tanks and planes between Uranus and Mars and accounting for normal wastage its unlikely more than 15-20,000 trucks max could have been freed up or 5-7000 trucks per operation. That is a problem, Zhukov needed almost 8000 trucks just to support a local offensive that only drove a few kilometers into Japanese territory becuase the Soviet road and rail network in the Far East is so bad...

    Stalin has too attack on three sides with commanders and units that through 43 generally failed offensively.

    1- An attack from Soviet territory driving generally S/SW to cut off Korea.
    2- An attack in the South out of Mongolia driving S/SE to isolate Manchuria from the rest of China
    3- An attack across the Manchurian/Soviet frontier driving S to pin the IJA in place to keep them from shifting to meet 1 and 2.

    Vatutin can plan it, Zhukov thinks he can, but regardless Soviet failings in logistics, communications, training and experience doom it regardless of who commands.
    Last edited by zraver; 10 Sep 11, at 19:52.

  5. #185
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Sir, the IJA was not a purely positional army as you claim and I will offer up three examples- 2 operational and 1 conceptual.
    All 3 of your examples are flanking, ie maneuver on strength.

    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    1. Invasion of Malaya.
    Malaya is NOT an example of Deep Battle. Come on, Jason, you know better than this, we are arguing the minute details of Von Mainstein versus Zukhov ... and you bring up Malay? There has been one and ONLY one Japanese Officer who can appreciate Deep Battle and he was shot down on transport by the Americans ... and he was the only Japanese Officer that the Americans respected.

    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    2. Phase 1 (Operation Kogo One/ battle of Central Henan) of Operation Ichi-Go. A single Japanese tank division supported supported by two infantry divisions and a cavalry brigade routed 390,000 Chinese troops and got behind the Henan salient. By may 25 the had seized Louyang and reduced the salient greatly shortening their lines and securing the other operations of Ichi-Go. by December of 44 the Japanese had cut China in half and reached Indochina.
    I don't know what you've read but Ichi-Go was the IJA's death knell in China.

    It was an ALL OR NOTHING Campaign. The IJA either killed Chinese resistence forever ... or she lost!


    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    3. The Chinese Winter offensive. While ultimately unsuccessful it did a lot of damage to the Japanese and effectively created the stalemate that would persist until 44. One reason it was able to achieve what it did is becuase the Japanese Imperial High Command was in the middle of a massive re-organization of its infantry divisions from a WWI era square division (4 regiments) to a modern triangular division (3 regiments) which is the same basic layout the US and Germany were using and for the same reasons. Flexibility and mobility.
    A re-org in a middle of a friggin war.

    The rest of your post has nothing to do with my reasoning. All Stalin wanted was to Japan NOT to win her war in China ... and I believe I have shown that Japan cannot win.
    Last edited by zraver; 11 Sep 11, at 06:58. Reason: spelling

  6. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    All 3 of your examples are flanking, ie maneuver on strength.

    Malaya is NOT an example of Deep Battle. Come on, Jason, you know better than this, we are arguing the minute details of Von Mainstein versus Zukhov ... and you bring up Malay?
    Sir, Malaya was a deep battle or as close to it as you can come given the geographic constraints.

    if the basic concepts of the Soviet Deep Battle are as follows...
    1. Diversionary attacks, but diversionary attacks that have their own strategic objective
    2. multi-phase operations designed to create a failure of the enemies defensive ability.
    3. Unity of purpose
    4. inducement of shock
    5. use of extensive pre-operation intelligence
    6. attacking across the breadth of the enemies defensive means

    Malaya did all of these.

    1. The invasion from Thailand and the initial landings at Khota Bahru, the hunt for the PoW and Repulse, and the air attacks against the RAF. The combined goal was to uncover Singapore physically and mentally. This would in turn unhinge allied efforts in the Dutch East Indies and secure the coast of China and Japan's merchant traffic.

    2. All the Japanese operations supported each other's objectives despite distances of hundreds of km in some cases.

    3. The nature and speed of the Japanese offensive paralyzed the Brits.

    4. The Japanese knew just about everythign there was to know about the allied preparations, air strength, lack of tanks etc.

    5. The Japanese hit the British at sea, in the air, on the ground and most importantly in the mind.

    There has been one and ONLY one Japanese Officer who can appreciate Deep Battle and he was shot down on transport by the Americans ... and he was the only Japanese Officer that the Americans respected.
    The Japanese had a couple of generals we respected as well.

    I don't know what you've read but Ichi-Go was the IJA's death knell in China.

    It was an ALL OR NOTHING Campaign. The IJA either killed Chinese resistence forever ... or she lost!
    Sir, please go read up on Kogo One- its straight out of a German or Soviet playbook.

    A re-org in a middle of a friggin war.
    The US did it, the Germans did it, the Soviets did it. Whats more important is the IJA saw the problem as it might exist given the events in Europe and Mongolia and moved to correct the mistake even though against the Chinese the four regiment division worked.

    The rest of your post has nothing to do with my reasoning. All Stalin wanted was to Japan NOT to win her war in China ... and I believe I have shown that Japan cannot win.
    Sorry, thought I was arguing against a Soviet invasion to secure a penal army.

  7. #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post

    The forces the Soviets have if they don't strike at Stalingrad are 800 tanks, 1 million men and 1500 aircraft. The Soviets have only received 60,000 trucks so far and assuming the same division of assets here as among tanks and planes between Uranus and Mars and accounting for normal wastage its unlikely more than 15-20,000 trucks max could have been freed up or 5-7000 trucks per operation. That is a problem, Zhukov needed almost 8000 trucks just to support a local offensive that only drove a few kilometers into Japanese territory becuase the Soviet road and rail network in the Far East is so bad...
    .
    zraver
    60.000 is just production and LL deliveries in 1942, by jan 1943 the red army had 380.000 despite the catastrophic losses in 1941-1942.
    J'ai en marre.

  8. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Sir, Malaya was a deep battle or as close to it as you can come given the geographic constraints.
    Well, except Malaya was never an example of Deep Battle. The Japanese never managed an indepth engagement, ie front the FEBA to the reserves simualteaneously.

    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    if the basic concepts of the Soviet Deep Battle are as follows...
    1. Diversionary attacks, but diversionary attacks that have their own strategic objective
    2. multi-phase operations designed to create a failure of the enemies defensive ability.
    3. Unity of purpose
    4. inducement of shock
    5. use of extensive pre-operation intelligence
    6. attacking across the breadth of the enemies defensive means

    Malaya did all of these.
    You are reading the trees while ignoring the forest. The true purpose of Deep Battle was and is to destroy the reserves. At no time in the entire history of the IJA have they even tried to even reach the reserves.

    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    1. The invasion from Thailand and the initial landings at Khota Bahru, the hunt for the PoW and Repulse, and the air attacks against the RAF. The combined goal was to uncover Singapore physically and mentally. This would in turn unhinge allied efforts in the Dutch East Indies and secure the coast of China and Japan's merchant traffic.

    2. All the Japanese operations supported each other's objectives despite distances of hundreds of km in some cases.

    3. The nature and speed of the Japanese offensive paralyzed the Brits.

    4. The Japanese knew just about everythign there was to know about the allied preparations, air strength, lack of tanks etc.

    5. The Japanese hit the British at sea, in the air, on the ground and most importantly in the mind.
    All good and true but missing a lot of points. The IJA defeated a WWI British Army. The WWII British Army did not emerge until after Dunkirk. The first emergence of a WWII British Army was in fact in Eygpt against the Italians. And here is the other point, there was no way in hell for the IJA to knock Great Britain out of the war. All her victories were fine and dandy ... except she could not land in Los Angeles nor could she marched into New Dehli leaving both the US and Great Britain to come up with Nimitz, MacArthur, Stillwell, Mountatten, and most importantly Slim ... all of whom outshined anyone Japan ever got. Yamamoto would be on the list with these men BUT as a junior member.

    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    The Japanese had a couple of generals we respected as well.
    As historic evaluation, they come up far short with WWII pioneers. Only Yamamoto rates but as a junior member.

    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Sir, please go read up on Kogo One- its straight out of a German or Soviet playbook.
    Far, far, far from it. The operation started off as a logistical nightmare. The supporting units did not even have enough rifles and was counting on capturing Chinese stocks. No one had an idea where CKS HQ was located and during the entire operation, no one actually cared. That the Japanese managed to surround 500,000 Chinese was not a measure of ability but that the Chinese don't know how to move and on top of that, these were not even CKS's main combat divisions.

    After all this, the IJA wasted close to 70% of their warstocks and were in an entirely vulnerable position. They knew CKS was mounting a counter-attack and what's more, there was absolutely nothing that they could do to stop it. The war ended before CKS could do so. Whether or not the counter-attack would succeed is besides the point but the IJA could do nothing to stop a 1 million men counter-attack coming against them.

    It was a pyhric victory.

    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    The US did it, the Germans did it, the Soviets did it. Whats more important is the IJA saw the problem as it might exist given the events in Europe and Mongolia and moved to correct the mistake even though against the Chinese the four regiment division worked.
    The Germans did it right after WWI. The US did it to reduce cost. The Soviets did it when they found things were not working. There's no way you can convince me that the IJA was ready to change things that were winning them their victories.

    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Sorry, thought I was arguing against a Soviet invasion to secure a penal army.
    Two different thoughts here. Stalin has no need for further penal armies unless the West was stalemated ... and then, we need to determine when? The most likely point was pre-operations Mars and Uranus in which the assumption would be that it was the Battle of Moscow. In which case, the armies available for either Mars or Uranus or both would be available to deal with Japan ... either one would be more than Japan could handle, let alone both.

    But I was not arguing that.

    I was arguing that Stalin has more than enough supplies to keep Chinese armies in the field to keep bleeding Japanese armies to a point that Chinese armies would eventually drive Japanese armies into the sea.

  9. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    As best I can tell (admittedly an estimate) Soviet forces in the Far east in 1941-mid 45) were 45 divisions totaling about 360,000 men with 500 tanks mostly BT-5 and 7 but with some T-26 and Th-26 (flame) but no T-34. They were supported by up to 500 aircraft but possibly as few as 300. The stocks of artillery ammunition likely built up after 39 probably got raided in 41 when divisions moved west and whats left is all there is.

    estimates are between 360.000 and 1.2 million.

    Axis History Forum • View topic - Soviet Far East
    J'ai en marre.

  10. #190
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    Colonel David Glantz points out:

    In August 1939 at Khalkhin Gol in Manchuria, the Soviets had seriously blooded Japanese forces [a force of 57,000 men under future Marshal Zhukov annihilated two Japanese divisions which had ventured into Mongolia]. The memory of that defeat had lingered. The Japanese also well knew that Soviet fortifications covering the coastal regions were extensive and would require significant forces to overcome. Even after the commencement of Operation Barbarossa, between 32 and 59 Soviet divisions manned these defences.

    ... Soviet High Command war planning consistently accorded highest priority to victory in the West. In the unlikely case the Japanese had conducted a limited attack against the Soviet Far East, the Stavka would have required the region to fend for itself and trade space for time until adequate reinforcements became available in 1942. There was of course the clear precedent of the Civil War years, when the Bolsheviks concentrated on prevailing in the key western theatre before restoring its position in the Far Eastern theatre. Soviet interwar years war planning confirmed that strategic position.
    in "If the Allies had Fallen."

  11. #191
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    I agree. It just wouldn't have been possible/effective after the devastation of the civil war

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