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Thread: What if we didn't ally with USSR in 1941?

  1. #31
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    z,

    Not so sure I buy that, we lasted through Vietnam and GWOT... I think a plain statement that we were going to starve them out before an invasion would have been acceptable. There still would have been a lot of freed up production for consumer goods regardless.
    total war is different from limited war. the US economy was beginning to overheat by late 1944, which is why the US began massively throttling back by then. everyone was tired and just wanted to finish it. again, this and the threat of the Soviets coming in drove the timeline. in the absence of this (and of course the atom bomb), I'd agree that the Navy plan was better.

    We had to go back to the Philippines, it was a matter of national honor.
    not really a huge driver from my POV, although it was for MacArthur (more of a matter of PERSONAL honor for him). given the blockade operations the japanese on the Philippines were effectively imprisoned while the main action would be on the japanese mainland.

    Would we have that many bombs available?
    IIRC the manhattan project was scaled way back in '46 because each bomb was ungodly expensive. they cranked out two more anyway for tests by Jul '46. keeping the line open, you probably could have had rather more given the expected length of Operation Downfall.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  2. #32
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    gun boat,

    With hindsight I believe that Operation Olympic would have bene relatively trouble free. Bar the odd skirmish, Japan would collapse as fast as the US could get ashore and take ground.

    Even without dropping the a-bomb Japan's defenses were dwindling to pitiful levels whilst the forces pursuing them were growing ever stronger. April saw the Yamato sink to the bottom and with it the symbolic hope of any chance of resistance. Come the end of October '45, and the worry of typhoons eased, the US Navy would have turned Japan into hell on earth by itself. But then you had the US airforce coming to the party as well.

    I would imagine a round the clock Naval presents, within visual range of the coast, attacking whatever looked good with both naval artillery and aircraft. Constantly. In 1946, with unhindered buildup from 1944, I'm frothing at the mouth imagining the conventional destructive power the US armed forces could bring to the table. They could thoroughly support it logistically aswell.
    there was a huge buildup. however, allied intel -badly- underestimated the japanese defenses.

    there was absolutely no doubt that the US would have rolled over japan but the casualties would have been pretty bad. war planners thought if both Olympic and Coronet took place, there would be over 1 million casualties (250K-500K fatalities). that's probably way too high, but even 10% of this number would have been equivalent to 2 okinawas.

    i can't even imagine street fighting through Tokyo, or trying to flush holdouts in the mountains....
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Planners at the time did not underestimate the number of casualties expected....we are still issuing Purple Heart medals which were cast in 1945 in preparation the Invasion of Japan.
    "The genius of you Americans is that you make no clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them we are missing." - Gamal Abdel Nasser

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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    z,

    total war is different from limited war. the US economy was beginning to overheat by late 1944, which is why the US began massively throttling back by then. everyone was tired and just wanted to finish it. again, this and the threat of the Soviets coming in drove the timeline. in the absence of this (and of course the atom bomb), I'd agree that the Navy plan was better.
    I think with the defeat of Germany there would be enough slack to convert some lines back to civilian production and ultimately there would be little need for the bulk of the troops in Europe who had already fought and won their war. So while the public was tired, I don't think it was exhausted.

    not really a huge driver from my POV, although it was for MacArthur (more of a matter of PERSONAL honor for him). given the blockade operations the japanese on the Philippines were effectively imprisoned while the main action would be on the japanese mainland.
    The scene of our greatest military defeat on land demanded retribution and we had to go back and win. Not only that, but unlike the people of Taiwan or Malaysia, Filipinos in 1945 were pseudo-Americans. It was just Mac who had a special relationship but the country as a whole.


    IIRC the manhattan project was scaled way back in '46 because each bomb was ungodly expensive. they cranked out two more anyway for tests by Jul '46. keeping the line open, you probably could have had rather more given the expected length of Operation Downfall.
    1. I'm not sure we had the fissile material to do so. We had one more war shot a PU bomb and might have been able to make one more bomb of various types a month through 46. This leaves the planned November landings lacking atomic support. 2. When did planners learn about the A-bomb? I wonder how much of the talk of atomic carpet bombing is wishful thinking from the post war. 3. I think the Japanese will to resist would have broken down rapidly. Units at the front would have tried to fight, but once the full scale of the US effort became undeniable I think even the most die hard leadership would have been looking for an out. Until Okinawa, Japan never really got a taste of just how vast the resources arrayed against them were.

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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    gun boat,



    there was a huge buildup. however, allied intel -badly- underestimated the japanese defenses.

    there was absolutely no doubt that the US would have rolled over japan but the casualties would have been pretty bad. war planners thought if both Olympic and Coronet took place, there would be over 1 million casualties (250K-500K fatalities). that's probably way too high, but even 10% of this number would have been equivalent to 2 okinawas.

    i can't even imagine street fighting through Tokyo, or trying to flush holdouts in the mountains....
    I understand the defences as found upon surrender may have appeared formidable but what would they look like after 6 months come the invasion?

    Total air-superiority and the complete attention and focus of a war machine with the most destructive power the world has ever seen. The build up to the invasion would destroy the moral of the Japanese. They are only human beings and humans can only take so much before they crack.

    Imagine what it would be like to live through that. The skies full of enemy aircraft day and night. Any vehicular transport down to the horse and cart would attract the attention of strafing aircraft, every piece of even the most basic infrastructure bombed repeatedly. Warships steaming up and down the coast bombarding anything and everything. I don't think the focus of what the US could have done to Japan takes into account the Japanese people. It would be hell on earth for them.

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    twas the same on okinawa, and countless other crappy little islands. where the US had total air dominance, naval fire support, vastly superior logistics, intelligence, and coordination.

    the outcome was never in doubt but that didn't prevent the japanese from reaping a butcher's bill every time.

    same thing with germans fighting in Berlin against the Soviets.

    breaking morale against a defender fighting on home soil with even half-competent leadership is extremely, extremely difficult. usually it takes a complete beat-down and attrition warfare until so many of them die that the rest sicken of it.

    it was a damn good thing we had the atom bomb-- and even better for the japanese.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    There was sufficient materiel to have 5 bombs available for use in preinvasion bombardment for OPERATION OLYMPIC on 1 NOV 45.
    "The genius of you Americans is that you make no clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them we are missing." - Gamal Abdel Nasser

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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    twas the same on okinawa, and countless other crappy little islands. where the US had total air dominance, naval fire support, vastly superior logistics, intelligence, and coordination.

    the outcome was never in doubt but that didn't prevent the japanese from reaping a butcher's bill every time.

    same thing with germans fighting in Berlin against the Soviets.

    breaking morale against a defender fighting on home soil with even half-competent leadership is extremely, extremely difficult. usually it takes a complete beat-down and attrition warfare until so many of them die that the rest sicken of it.

    it was a damn good thing we had the atom bomb-- and even better for the japanese.
    I wonder how much terrain near the beach would influence causalities. Even on bigger islands like Okinawa there is limited beach space and really limited flat spaces but lots of defensible mountains. In Japan the US had greater ability to find beaches that didn't immediately give rise of cave riddled volcanic mountains. Southern Kyushu seems to favor the attacker as it allows mobility and fewer really good defensive areas compared to say Iwo Jima or Okinawa. Though I don't know how heavily forested it was, or how built up the regions cities were. Could any Japanese cities offer the type of strong points to the defenders that Manila or Berlin did?

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    If we didn't allied with the USSR? Stalin would own China. Mao and Chiang Kie Shek would be dead. By extension, Stalin's reach would have gone all the way down to the South Asia, Nehru against Stalin (are you kidding me?). Stalin would have bought peace with Hitler before restarting that war with overwhelming armies (Japan, South Korea, and China) ... Actually, nothing would have changed. Germany would have been bled white defeating the USSR but not killing the USSR and the two world power blocs would have been still Soviets and the US ... with Germany being the European Somalia.

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    AR,

    I think the last of the Purple Hearts from WWII was used up last year. It's on the papers somewhere.
    All those who are merciful with the cruel will come to be cruel to the merciful.
    -Talmud Kohelet Rabbah, 7:16.

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    Could be....but
    "The genius of you Americans is that you make no clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them we are missing." - Gamal Abdel Nasser

  12. #42
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    That's a helluva lot of medals.
    All those who are merciful with the cruel will come to be cruel to the merciful.
    -Talmud Kohelet Rabbah, 7:16.

  13. #43
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    Just reading an article about Okinawa. It said that if you total up all the American casualties of killed, wounded, and shell shocked you get a total of 83,000 men. When compared to Japanese casualties you get a ratio of 1:1.2. At the time it was thought there were 4 million Japanese waiting for an invasion and there were really 6 million waiting. Doing the math and you get an unbelievable number of American casualties which is what the Japanese High Command wanted. A war of attrition where we would sue for peace and they could preserve themselves. That many casualties would have stunned the American population and no doubt they would have demanded an end themselves.

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    Stalin wouldn't mind sending couple of mil to fill the gap. After all, he wasted another 20 mil after the war.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    If we didn't allied with the USSR? Stalin would own China. Mao and Chiang Kie Shek would be dead. By extension, Stalin's reach would have gone all the way down to the South Asia, Nehru against Stalin (are you kidding me?). Stalin would have bought peace with Hitler before restarting that war with overwhelming armies (Japan, South Korea, and China) ... Actually, nothing would have changed. Germany would have been bled white defeating the USSR but not killing the USSR and the two world power blocs would have been still Soviets and the US ... with Germany being the European Somalia.
    If we had not allied with the USSR, the lend lease program, which supplied large numbers of trucks, tanks, and equipment for the Soviets would not have happened. Russia at the time was a third rate industrial power, and the Germans would likely have taken Moscow in '42, and then pushed Stalin (if he hadn't been captured at Moscow, where he refused to leave) back to the Urals. The Soviets would have sued for peace, similar to WW1. A big factor would have been how much territory the Germans and Finns gave back to the USSR after the cease fire, and if Japan would be granted Eastern Siberia. The USSR might have turned into a German puppet state and been remade.

    That's a lot of hostile territory to hold though, and the amount of troops the Germans would have been able to remove from the area and turn toward the west for defense would be an interesting debate. You're talking about +10,000 sq miles and 200 million people (counting Poland, France, the Balkans, Norway, and former USSR) that you have to keep in check, all the while beating off aircraft from the West.

    Bottom line is that it was probably for the best that we did make a deal with Stalin.

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