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Thread: Fall of France

  1. #406
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    Albany Rifles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tantalus View Post
    Like

    So as always it's a combination of many things at once and defies simple generalisation or cliche. Is it not the case that the charges usually occurred when the Japanese faced defeat anyway?, so they wasted lives instead of opportunity?

    The reality is that most Japanese problems started at the grand strategic level,or from limited understanding in advances in military doctrine in the years preceding the war and everything else that follows are bad choices versus terrible choices stemming from that reality.

    Often I have seen the Japansese kamikaze program as another example of Japanese folly but when you consider Japanese losses in the air before the initiation of the program, a strong case can be it was that it was an effective use of the resources at hand and delivered good results. It was just meaningless in the context of the outcome.
    Well stated.

    I would say there were 2 major issues which doomed Japan:

    1) The ruinous rivalry between the IJN & the IJA. The Western Allies may have had interservice rivalries but nothing on the scale between those two. If they weren't fighting the Allies they may have ended up fighting each other!

    2) In a word, logistics. Their logistics sucked! No ability to UNREP their fleets, poorly designed ASW doctrine and execution (which ties to their inability to transport much of anything), an inefficient arms industry and the total lack of a sustainment infrastructure to support such a far flung force.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tantalus View Post
    The reality is that most Japanese problems started at the grand strategic level,or from limited understanding in advances in military doctrine in the years preceding the war and everything else that follows are bad choices versus terrible choices stemming from that reality.
    I say it's much more fundamental. Japan was never conquered until WWII and their military tradition was limited to their homeland, never experiencing the bloodbaths the Asian and European continents experienced.

    This resulted in two very major deficencies that listening to the Good Capt DesertSWO is not even rectified today, Calvary and deception/masking. 1939 is just a sympton but there is something fundamentally wrong when you allow the Chinese surround you six times and destroyed at least 4 entire armies. The Japanese simply did not understand what being surrounded means, especially when they had the superior force.

    I mean, come on, you were surrounded 3 times at Changsha! 3 times! By contrast, the Chinese learned the hard way what a Mongol retreat was.

    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    I gave up on the not looking dumb part years ago!
    The two dumbest words I've ever said, "I do."
    Last edited by WABs_OOE; 01 Feb 18, at 23:19.

  3. #408
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    I miss the 'like' function.
    That's not all you're missing from where I'm sat

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    That's not all you're missing from where I'm sat
    Yet another devastatingly insightful post.

    You've had quite the time recently. More stupid, unsupportable claims. More refusals to do even the level of research required for a High School paper. Thinking the Colonel was a 'noob', then pretending you knew who he was all along, then a series of snide remarks directed at people who have actually bothered to inform themselves well enough to have an adult level discussion. A bit of a sulk, and now back to snide remarks absent any content.

    What the fuck are you even doing here? Do you have any contribution to make, or are you one of those sad people who gets some sort of self esteem boost by posting endless amounts of crap & trolling adults?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    or are you one of those sad people who gets some sort of self esteem boost by posting endless amounts of crap & trolling adults?
    That seems to be your department, an Anger management course would do wonders for your mental state and your heart. Might cut down that waist line and reboot that tired sponge you call a brain. Take care of yourself and go easy on the beer and fried chicken. cheers!

  6. #411
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    That seems to be your department, an Anger management course would do wonders for your mental state and your heart. Might cut down that waist line and reboot that tired sponge you call a brain. Take care of yourself and go easy on the beer and fried chicken. cheers!
    I'm not angry, I drink very little & I don't eat fried chicken. I am confused about why someone who is apparently an adult insists on continually behaving like a child. You can't or won't make a contribution, so why bother posting here? It clearly fulfills some need, but I'm damned if I can work it out.

    Just go back to complaining about the EU. At least then you can just work from the daily papers.


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    Contributor cataphract's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    I say it's much more fundamental. Japan was never conquered until WWII and their military tradition was limited to their homeland, never experiencing the bloodbaths the Asian and European continents experienced.

    This resulted in two very major deficencies that listening to the Good Capt DesertSWO is not even rectified today, Calvary and deception/masking. 1939 is just a sympton but there is something fundamentally wrong when you allow the Chinese surround you six times and destroyed at least 4 entire armies. The Japanese simply did not understand what being surrounded means, especially when they had the superior force.

    I mean, come on, you were surrounded 3 times at Changsha! 3 times! By contrast, the Chinese learned the hard way what a Mongol retreat was.
    This is not quite true. The Japanese did have limited experience fighting on the mainland - the 1905 Russo Japanese War and the wars against China in 1884 and 95. Their experience in land combat in 1905 was just as bloody as WWII.

    As for deception, they pulled off Pearl Harbor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cataphract View Post
    This is not quite true. The Japanese did have limited experience fighting on the mainland - the 1905 Russo Japanese War and the wars against China in 1884 and 95. Their experience in land combat in 1905 was just as bloody as WWII.
    I'm speaking of maneuver experience. If you want to be factual, Japan was fighting on the Asian mainland between 1521-1567. But within the context I was speaking off, the Japanese never experienced a Mongol Retreat that the Chinese used so well at the first 3 battles of Changsha, the old saying if your advance is going too well, you're walking into a trap.

    This lack of experience left them even more vulnerable to Deep Battle when they thought they were doing extremely well repulsing the fixing force, not knowing that was the purpose of the fixing force - to fix you in place while the envelopment forces flank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by cataphract View Post
    As for deception, they pulled off Pearl Harbor.
    That was unintentional. The IJN wanted to declare war 30 minutes before the first bomb hit. Their embassy screwed up. Short notice perhaps but deception wasn't on their minds.

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    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cataphract View Post
    This is not quite true. The Japanese did have limited experience fighting on the mainland - the 1905 Russo Japanese War and the wars against China in 1884 and 95. Their experience in land combat in 1905 was just as bloody as WWII.

    As for deception, they pulled off Pearl Harbor.
    The war the Japanese fought against the Russians in 1904-05 was a limited war with an extremely narrow set of objectives. The experience gained and lessons learned there aren't applicable to a scenario of unlimited war against China, or in a hypothetical war scenario against the Soviet Union.

    Their experience in the outcome of the Russo-Japanese War furthermore worked against them with regards to their attack on Pearl Harbor. The Japanese did not foresee the consequences that their attack on Pearl Harbor would entail. Their calculation was that the United States would sue for peace and withdraw from interfering in what the Japanese perceived to be their sphere of influence, as the Russians did in 1905.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 04 Feb 18, at 21:42.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    I'm not angry, I drink very little & I don't eat fried chicken. I am confused about why someone who is apparently an adult insists on continually behaving like a child. You can't or won't make a contribution, so why bother posting here? It clearly fulfills some need, but I'm damned if I can work it out.

    Just go back to complaining about the EU. At least then you can just work from the daily papers.
    You missed the bit where you confess to having no sense of humour either..lighten up you daft sod...there's another pint on the bar for ya lad... I'm going to be broke at this rate....

  11. #416
    Senior Contributor Monash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    Well stated.

    I would say there were 2 major issues which doomed Japan:

    1) The ruinous rivalry between the IJN & the IJA. The Western Allies may have had interservice rivalries but nothing on the scale between those two. If they weren't fighting the Allies they may have ended up fighting each other!

    2) In a word, logistics. Their logistics sucked! No ability to UNREP their fleets, poorly designed ASW doctrine and execution (which ties to their inability to transport much of anything), an inefficient arms industry and the total lack of a sustainment infrastructure to support such a far flung force.
    Agreed and if I may add my 10c worth;

    - Given the IJAs heavy commitment too an ongoing war with China and the ever present prospect of a war with Russia versus the IJNs total focus on the prospect of war with the US Navy its hardly surprising inter service co-operation was screwed from the onset.

    - Also figures I have seen (have to try and find them again) on Japanese mercantile tonnage indicate that in 1940 their civilian fleet could at a stretch could just about service the country's prewar industrial needs. Note however that this is not sufficient to cope with the demands of a nation on a war footing. The result - increasing shortages of vital materials (or at least delays in delivery) almost from the start of the Pacific war. In fact long term this shortage of tonnage would have been an issue for the Japanese even without the ruinous effects of the US submarine campaign. I think this all goes straight to heart of the whole logistical sucky thing AR commented on.

    - Then dealing with the another issue that relates to Japanese infantry tactics. Here I believe the key issue was simply the terrain. The type of mobile, mechanized warfare adapted by all sides in the European and African theatres was (by and large) not possible in South East Asia and the Pacific. There was simply no space where you could deploy large numbers of tanks IFVs and massed, land based artillery even if the Japanese had had them in large numbers to start with. Add the absence of significant road and rail networks to resupply your tank's and artillery etc and you can see why infantry tactics dominated battles in way it wouldn't anywhere else.

    - So IMO closed tropical terrain makes the infiltration a viable tactic on a scale not practicable elsewhere. Likewise banzai charges (at least in the first 12 months of the war when Japanese were advancing and allied units were easily isolated from one another & lacking any significant air or naval gun fire support. Someone can correct me if I am wrong but if the Japanese had launched a war against Russia rather than America in the 40's I doubt we would have seen such a large scale use of either tactic by the Japanese and a more 'conventional' campaign utilizing massed armour, artillery, rail and motor transport instead. Or at least as much as the Japanese had anyway.

    - I also think the IJA's tactics can be seen to start unraveling during the course of the Burma Campaign. At the start the the campaign the British faced the situation I described above but as they were pushed back three things happened which reduced the IJAs effectiveness. Firstly the British got closer to their road and rail networks in India while the Japanese got further away from their supply points. Secondly geography meant the British defensive line shortened (and deepened) making infiltration and banzai charges that much less effective. Lastly the allies slowly built up air superiority and used that superiority for ground support in a manner the Japanese couldn't match or counteract.

    Just my thoughts anyway.
    Last edited by Monash; 10 Feb 18, at 10:38.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Monash View Post
    - Then dealing with the another issue that relates to Japanese infantry tactics. Here I believe the key issue was simply the terrain. The type of mobile, mechanized warfare adapted by all sides in the European and African theatres was (by and large) not possible in South East Asia and the Pacific. There was simply no space where you could deploy large numbers of tanks IFVs and massed, land based artillery even if the Japanese had had them in large numbers to start with. Add the absence of significant road and rail networks to resupply your tank's and artillery etc and you can see why infantry tactics dominated battles in way it wouldn't anywhere else.
    Except Bill Slim figured it out. Maneuver and relief by air. The IJA was pounded by air artillery and BIA defence boxes were resupplied by para drops. The BIA, however, never figured out that their massing to banzai charge these defence boxes gave the air arty perfect targets.

    Quote Originally Posted by Monash View Post
    - So IMO closed tropical terrain makes the infiltration a viable tactic on a scale not practicable elsewhere. Likewise banzai charges (at least in the first 12 months of the war when Japanese were advancing and allied units were easily isolated from one another & lacking any significant air or naval gun fire support. Someone can correct me if I am wrong but if the Japanese had launched a war against Russia rather than America in the 40's I doubt we would have seen such a large scale use of either tactic by the Japanese and a more 'conventional' campaign utilizing massed armour, artillery, rail and motor transport instead. Or at least as much as the Japanese had anyway.
    The evidence says otherwise. At both the 1939 Soviet-Japanese War and the 1945 Soviet Invasion of Manchuria, the Japanese did not recognize that they were being surrounded. So, they have not learned anything from the German experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Monash View Post
    - I also think the IJA's tactics can be seen to start unraveling during the course of the Burma Campaign. At the start the the campaign the British faced the situation I described above but as they were pushed back three things happened which reduced the IJAs effectiveness. Firstly the British got closer to their road and rail networks in India while the Japanese got further away from their supply points. Secondly geography meant the British defensive line shortened (and deepened) making infiltration and banzai charges that much less effective. Lastly the allies slowly built up air superiority and used that superiority for ground support in a manner the Japanese couldn't match or counteract.

    Just my thoughts anyway.
    I'm arguing that they were militarily ignorant of operations and strategy and their lack of maneuver experience doomed them. The Japanese never experienced Hannibal, Fabius, Napoleon, Wellington, Subetai, Timur, Sherman, Grant. And thus, they could not recognize that they were being surrounded. They old saying if your advance is going too well, you're walking into a trap. The Japanese walked into a Chinese trap 3 times at Changsha. THREE TIMES. And these were traps set by a Chinese FOOT army.
    Last edited by WABs_OOE; 14 Feb 18, at 08:33.

  13. #418
    Senior Contributor Monash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    Except Bill Slim figured it out. Maneuver and relief by air. The IJA was pounded by air artillery and BIA defence boxes were resupplied by para drops. The BIA, however, never figured out that their massing to banzai charge these defence boxes gave the air arty perfect targets.
    Yes, exactly. However my point was simply that the terrain restricted the use of massed artillery and armor in the manner not seen on other fronts. That being the case both sides had to find alternative means of concentrating force at perceived weak points in the enemy lines. With their supply situation improved and access to air support the allies developed their own unique solution this problem. Sans either of the above the Japanese were stuck with one solution - massed infantry charges.

    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    The evidence says otherwise. At both the 1939 Soviet-Japanese War and the 1945 Soviet Invasion of Manchuria, the Japanese did not recognize that they were being surrounded. So, they have not learned anything from the German experience.
    Yes but I was referring to the use of banzai charges and infiltration as the principal offensive tactics of the Japanese army in SEA and the Pacific and not to defensive operations where they were they were usually the method of last resort when all hope was gone. In 1939 the Japanese did utilize conventional tactics (armour, massed artillery and air support) - just not as effectively or in sufficient enough quantities as their opponents. Bayonet charges may have played a part in the 1939 war with Russia (don't know to what extent) but they did not predominate the way they did later in WW11 because in Manchuria the Japanese had alternatives and the open terrain made such tactics less effective.

    Meanwhile by 1945 the Japanese in Manchuria were fighting defensively, had been stripped of most of their best units and were facing highly mobile (mechanized) formations supported by large quantities of artillery, armour and air support including paratroop formations. When they didn't retreat it was simply because they coudn't - they were outpaced by the Russians.

    As far as learning form the Germans go I'm sure they pored over whatever material was provided on the German experience in Russia but applying those lessons outside of Manchuria (or China) would have been next to impossible because the terrain, lack of transport infrastructure and naval situation all combined to create a different strategic environment to the one Germany faced. I think given the chance they would have applied those lessons to any later war with Russia but as it was they never had that opportunity.

    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    I'm arguing that they were militarily ignorant of operations and strategy and their lack of maneuver experience doomed them. The Japanese never experienced Hannibal, Fabius, Napoleon, Wellington, Subetai, Timur, Sherman, Grant. And thus, they could not recognize that they were being surrounded. They old saying if your advance is going too well, you're walking into a trap. The Japanese walked into a Chinese trap 3 times at Changsha. THREE TIMES. And these were traps set by a Chinese FOOT army.
    Agreed but for the reasons stated previously I'm not sure the Pacific war would have allowed the Japanese to utilize those lessons even of they had learned them. Indeed at the start of the war the the British in particular had to re-learn them (which they did, very quickly for exactly the reasons you've provided) but unlike the Japanese they also had the supplies and equipment needed to adapt and re-apply them.
    Last edited by Monash; 18 Feb 18, at 04:13.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Monash View Post
    Yes, exactly. However my point was simply that the terrain restricted the use of massed artillery and armor in the manner not seen on other fronts. That being the case both sides had to find alternative means of concentrating force at perceived weak points in the enemy lines. With their supply situation improved and access to air support the allies developed their own unique solution this problem. Sans either of the above the Japanese were stuck with one solution - massed infantry charges.
    Actually, they should not have even attempted it. Capturing British stock was part of their battle plans and at the end, had to resort to cannibalism. Military stupidity to say the least.

    Quote Originally Posted by Monash View Post
    Yes but I was referring to the use of banzai charges and infiltration as the principal offensive tactics of the Japanese army in SEA and the Pacific and not to defensive operations where they were they were usually the method of last resort when all hope was gone. In 1939 the Japanese did utilize conventional tactics (armour, massed artillery and air support) - just not as effectively or in sufficient enough quantities as their opponents. Bayonet charges may have played a part in the 1939 war with Russia (don't know to what extent) but they did not predominate the way they did later in WW11 because in Manchuria the Japanese had alternatives and the open terrain made them less effective.

    Meanwhile by 1945 the Japanese in Manchuria were fighting defensively, had been stripped of most of their best units and were facing highly mobile (mechanized) formations supported by large quantities of artillery, armour and air support including paratroop formations. When they didn't retreat it was simply because they coudn't - they were outpaced by the Russians.

    As far as learning form the Germans go I'm sure they pored over whatever material was provided on the German experience in Russia but applying those lessons outside of Manchuria (or China) would have been next to impossible because the terrain, lack of transport infrastructure and naval situation all combined to create a different strategic environment to the one Germany faced. I think given the chance they would have applied those lessons to any later war with Russia but as it was they never had that opportunity.
    Forgive me. This maybe new to you but there are a whole bunch of concepts that the Japanese knew nothing about while the Germans actually learned from the Soviets having Officer exchanges with the USSR before WWII. Allow me to clarify.

    1st is Operations. The HQ level between tactics and strategy. An operational objectives can have as many as three seperate battles going on. A victory at only one of these battles should give you the operational objective. In 1945 AUGUST STORM, the OPOBJ was the destruction of the Kwantung Army. Three separate fronts were tasked with this job. The North, East, and West Fronts. The North Front was the Fixing Force and the East and West Fronts were the envelopment force. A victory by any of these Fronts doomed the Kwantung Army.

    2nd is Encirlement. Simply put, the Japanese did not believe in an evelopment that they couldn't see. Never mind the Chinese at Changsha, they were outmaneuvered by a Muslim-Chinese warlord's horse calvary. Their Indian campaign brought about the same issue. They were surrounded from the air and instead of spreading out to avoid air attack, they massed for company level attacks to be bombed to smithereens.

    3rd is Soviet Deep Battle and I really can't blame the Japanese for this one simply because even the Germans had no real response. Simply put, any attack should seek to destroy an enemy's reserves, not his main force. This concept was developed in the 1920s by the Soviets and put into deadly practice during WWII. Akin to the feign retreat where your main force walks into a trap but this time, the enemy fixes your main force in place so you can't move and his flanks moved forward to surround you, to destroy your reserves ... which also as military practice goes, also your protection force for your HQ. In 1939, the Japanese was fixed in place and in 1945, the Kwantung Army was also fixed in place. They believed they won a great victory by pushing back the North Front, never realizing that they just gave the North Front everything the Soviets wanted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Monash View Post
    Agreed but for the reasons stated previously I'm not sure the Pacific war would have allowed the Japanese to utilize those lessons even of they had learned them. Indeed at the start of the war the the British in particular had to re-learn them (which they did, very quickly for exactly the reasons you've provided) but unlike the Japanese they also had the supplies and equipment needed to adapt and re-apply them.
    The point here is that the British had to relearn those lessons while the Japanese were NEVER taught those lessons until 1939 and their arrogance did not allow them to learn it then.

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    Senior Contributor Monash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    This maybe new to you but there are a whole bunch of concepts that the Japanese knew nothing about while the Germans actually learned from the Soviets having Officer exchanges with the USSR before WWII.
    Thank you for these insights. However they do lead to (in my mind) an obvious question. Assuming for arguments sake the Japanese had been in a position to learn the lessons you referred to, how do they apply them in South East Asia? I only ask because as pointed out previously the difficulty would be in applying those lessons in a geography where you don't have the room, terrain, transport infrastructure or indeed firepower available to support rapid maneuver on a grand scale. Fighting in the tropics was like swimming in treacle.
    Last edited by Monash; 18 Feb 18, at 06:54.

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