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Thread: Fall of France

  1. #451
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    AU and NZ were non-players in 41. The bulk of thier combat power was land troops in Egypt. The bulk of the RN was locked into the Atlantic and Med. That left the US as the only credible foe. The IJN may have modeled itself after the RN, but its doctrine was pure US Mahanian grand battle. They thought they could knock out our (pacific) fleet in one fell swoop and the German threat would prevent us from doing what Russia did in 1904 and sailing our other fleet half way around the world. They either did not know, or did not believe that we already had enough warships building or funded to beat them without a single ship sailing from the Atlantic. We already had 3 Essex class carriers building and 8 more funded before Pearl Harbor.
    They chose not to see it. The knowledge was either present or easily available (broadly speaking). Its actually a great example of ingrained racism & cultural biases seriously undermining important decision making.

    It is one thing for the ordinary soldier or sailor to believe fairy stories about other races - they learn quick enough or die. It is quite another for those commanding governments, armies & navies to be so stupid. Those mistakes destroy nations.


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  2. #452
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    One thing that had come to mind last night was Japan's oil problem and the actions it undertook in response to this problem. Historically, in the face of the American oil embargo, the Japanese, in dire need of oil for its war effort, and sensing an opportunity to secure Indonesia, Malaya, and the Philippines, undertook a risky all-or-nothing gamble and swung south to secure these territories and their resources. As we know from history, these gains were of a limited short-term nature and ultimately sealed Japan's fate as a result of war with the United States.

    If Japan had decided to exercise patience and play a longer game, they could have utilized the massive coal resources they had at their disposal in NE Asia and used the Fischer-Tropsch process developed by the Germans as the solution for most of their energy needs. Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa historically utilized the Fischer-Tropsch process in the face of lack of access to oil or embargoes.

    We would be looking at possibly the mid-1940s or early 1950s before Japan would be able to develop a mature petrochemical industrial base, but theoretically, Japan could retrench slightly, while continuing to play a more limited divide and conquer proxy warfare game in mainland China than was historically the case, while maintaining the pre-1931 Japanese Empire intact and remaining the dominant player in East Asia.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 31 Mar 18, at 17:04.

  3. #453
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    It should be pointed out that Japanese oil needs was in support of its primary goal of conquering China. Without the need to conquer China, Japan would not have needed that oil. Pearl Harbour and the subsquent Pacific War against the US must be viewed in that context. It was a side action aimed in supporting the conquest of China. Do recall that the IJE's primary goal was to knock the US out of the war, not to conquer the US. The US, of course, had other ideas and forced the Japanese to fight for their national survival.

  4. #454
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    basically if Japan was smart, she would have left the US and the USSR the hell alone, stayed out of mainland China with the exception of Manchukuo, and seized the islands (HK, Hainan). Maybe seize Singapore/Malaya/Dutch East Indies.

    she would have gotten all the resources she wanted, and then slowly play divide-and-conquer with China without fear of a US embargo. which is essentially what she was doing in the 1920s-early 30s before the militarists started to believe their own propaganda.
    I am going to argue that Japan didn't have a choice but to declare war on the US and did what she did.

    The primary IJE objective was to conquer China and there was no better time than 1937. China was balkanized but CKS was beginning to unite China under one banner. Slowly but surely. CKS destroyed his main rival, the Communists and has become the most dominant warlord in China. From the Japanese POV, a united China was an unconquerable China. Thus, they had to act when they did.

    From that point on, everything else was just a domino. They needed the oil in order to keep their Chinese campaigns going or even to just hold the line. That put them on the inevitable collision course with the US.

  5. #455
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    One thing that had come to mind last night was Japan's oil problem and the actions it undertook in response to this problem. Historically, in the face of the American oil embargo, the Japanese, in dire need of oil for its war effort, and sensing an opportunity to secure Indonesia, Malaya, and the Philippines, undertook a risky all-or-nothing gamble and swung south to secure these territories and their resources. As we know from history, these gains were of a limited short-term nature and ultimately sealed Japan's fate as a result of war with the United States.

    If Japan had decided to exercise patience and play a longer game, they could have utilized the massive coal resources they had at their disposal in NE Asia and used the Fischer-Tropsch process developed by the Germans as the solution for most of their energy needs. Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa historically utilized the Fischer-Tropsch process in the face of lack of access to oil or embargoes.

    We would be looking at possibly the mid-1940s or early 1950s before Japan would be able to develop a mature petrochemical industrial base, but theoretically, Japan could retrench slightly, while continuing to play a more limited divide and conquer proxy warfare game in mainland China than was historically the case, while maintaining the pre-1931 Japanese Empire intact and remaining the dominant player in East Asia.
    Then by 1944 she is a doomed second rate power. American ships already building, those not sunk permanently at PH plus the Arizona and several cruisers not lost at PH or early in the war. Philippines likely under a new commander or at least properly supplied and manned.... Going in 39 would have been a better gamble.

  6. #456
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    I am going to argue that Japan didn't have until 1944. CKS was winning in China and soon, he would have been strong enough to take back Manchuria from Japan, especially with Soviet and American help.

  7. #457
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Then by 1944 she is a doomed second rate power. American ships already building, those not sunk permanently at PH plus the Arizona and several cruisers not lost at PH or early in the war. Philippines likely under a new commander or at least properly supplied and manned.... Going in 39 would have been a better gamble.
    Indeed, my scenario assumes no foreign intervention. Like I mentioned in post #448, any foreign intervention immediately puts Japan on the backfoot.

  8. #458
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    I am going to argue that Japan didn't have until 1944. CKS was winning in China and soon, he would have been strong enough to take back Manchuria from Japan, especially with Soviet and American help.
    They had a tiger by its tail and dare not let it go. Without any major alternate foreign intervention, I do see scenarios though where Japan could have used proxy warfare to keep the Chinese tied up fighting one another.

  9. #459
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    They had a tiger by its tail and dare not let it go. Without any major alternate foreign intervention, I do see scenarios though where Japan could have used proxy warfare to keep the Chinese tied up fighting one another.
    The reason why they fought a war against the USSR in 1939 was to kick out the Soviet claims on Chinese resources. Also, they suck at proxy warfare and could not even get Manchuria right.

    However, outside of the Communists, the KMT had the better Generals and the better organization. The NRA stopped the IJA advance in 1939 and mounted counter-attacks in 41-42. Left unchecked to 1944, CKS would have driven the IJA from Manchuria.

  10. #460
    Senior Contributor Monash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    One thing that had come to mind last night was Japan's oil problem and the actions it undertook in response to this problem. Historically, in the face of the American oil embargo, the Japanese, in dire need of oil for its war effort, and sensing an opportunity to secure Indonesia, Malaya, and the Philippines, undertook a risky all-or-nothing gamble and swung south to secure these territories and their resources. As we know from history, these gains were of a limited short-term nature and ultimately sealed Japan's fate as a result of war with the United States.

    If Japan had decided to exercise patience and play a longer game, they could have utilized the massive coal resources they had at their disposal in NE Asia and used the Fischer-Tropsch process developed by the Germans as the solution for most of their energy needs. Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa historically utilized the Fischer-Tropsch process in the face of lack of access to oil or embargoes.

    We would be looking at possibly the mid-1940s or early 1950s before Japan would be able to develop a mature petrochemical industrial base, but theoretically, Japan could retrench slightly, while continuing to play a more limited divide and conquer proxy warfare game in mainland China than was historically the case, while maintaining the pre-1931 Japanese Empire intact and remaining the dominant player in East Asia.
    Unfortunately Imperial Japan at the time suffered from it's own version of the 'manifest destiny/master race' syndrome that doomed Nazi Germany to failure. By the 1940's that geopolitical delusion had just about played itself out but the Imperial Cabinet of the time wanted Empire and they wanted it 'now' and since all domestic opposition had been crushed the die was cast.

    Given their determination to expand IMO they only had tow broad options:

    1) Acquiesce to the the Allied demands for the return of the territory seized since 1937 to China and continue to receive access to vital oil supplies.

    2) Role the dice and proceed as they did - blinded by their own delusions that the Britain and the USA would fold in the first year of the war.

    With eagle eye hindsight the best alternative would have been option (A). This would at least have permitted them to still pursue the IJA's preferred option of a continued military campaign against Soviet Russia - with the aim of annexing part or all of the Russian far East. I 'think' this might have worked only because compliance with US and British demands for withdrawal from China would have largely negated opposition in those quarters to a renewed war with Russia on the basis that, lets face it Russia at the time did not have exactly the most popular of regimes in conservative western political circles a the time.

    Whether they could have won such a war is a question for another time, except to say that with proper preparation and after studying the campaigns in Western Europe - perhaps.

    The point is I simply don't think Japan has the political or ideological patience at the time to wait for the development of the technology that would free them from reliance on foreign oil. Perfecting the process is once thing, I suspect putting the infrastructure in place to exploit it on a nation wide basis is another. This would likely be the job of a decade or more and that is not withstanding the fact the home islands themselves only had (and have) limited reserves of relatively poor quality coal. They would still have needed to import 90% of their needs from Manchuria, that or build their entire coal/oil conversion infrastructure on the 'mainland', in other words within striking distance of Stalin. This means they would simply be swapping one strategic vulnerably i.e. dependence on 'Western oil' for another.
    Last edited by Monash; 02 Apr 18, at 11:22.
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  11. #461
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monash View Post
    Given their determination to expand IMO they only had tow broad options:

    1) Acquiesce to the the Allied demands for the return of the territory seized since 1937 to China and continue to receive access to vital oil supplies.

    2) Role the dice and proceed as they did - blinded by their own delusions that the Britain and the USA would fold in the first year of the war.
    Again, this ignores the primary Japanese objective. The conquest of China. Their attacks both North and South must be viewed in this context.

    A) They took on the USSR to deny Soviet claims to Chinese riches.
    B) They attacked south to get the oil needed to conquer China.

    Any delay in attacking China allows Chiang Kei Shek to unite China under his banner and then he would take Manchuria back.

  12. #462
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    The primary IJE objective was to conquer China and there was no better time than 1937. China was balkanized but CKS was beginning to unite China under one banner. Slowly but surely. CKS destroyed his main rival, the Communists and has become the most dominant warlord in China. From the Japanese POV, a united China was an unconquerable China. Thus, they had to act when they did.
    think this is way over-stating CKS ability.

    he had massive assistance from the US. starting from 1942 the US pretty much occupied the entire IJN and what, 80% of the Imperial Japanese Air Force. japanese shipping was getting massacred, LeMay was turning Japanese industry and cities into rubble, and still the Japanese could beat CKS in late 1944.

    yeah, it was an empty victory but by this point in time Japan shouldn't have been able to beat CKS like a drum. China had enormous resources but the attrition was so bad for the Chinese (and specifically the KMT) that it was part of the reason why the KMT collapsed as it did in 1949-- too much taxation and drafting made them unpopular.

    it would have been several orders of magnitude worse without direct US intervention and assistance.
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  13. #463
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    think this is way over-stating CKS ability.
    Not because of CKS but his generals. After all, the NRA did stalemated the IJA before Pearl and even launched counter-attacks in 1942.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    he had massive assistance from the US. starting from 1942 the US pretty much occupied the entire IJN and what, 80% of the Imperial Japanese Air Force. japanese shipping was getting massacred, LeMay was turning Japanese industry and cities into rubble, and still the Japanese could beat CKS in late 1944.
    And the NRA returned the favour in 1945. Even without the nukes, IJA days in China were numbered.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    yeah, it was an empty victory but by this point in time Japan shouldn't have been able to beat CKS like a drum. China had enormous resources but the attrition was so bad for the Chinese (and specifically the KMT) that it was part of the reason why the KMT collapsed as it did in 1949-- too much taxation and drafting made them unpopular.
    And CKS kept a hell of a lot back for the eventual war against the Communists. At no time did he threw the entire might of the NRA against the Japanese.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    it would have been several orders of magnitude worse without direct US intervention and assistance.
    CKS had the working basis. Good Generals who understood Mongol Maneuver Warfare. With a united China behind him and no threat from the Communists, I don't see how the IJA could tactically came out on top. Against good Chinese Generals, their victories were phyric and they never managed to destroy a maneuver Chinese army and a foot army at that.

  14. #464
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    not sure if CKS would have beat the Commies without much US aid-- he couldn't do it throughout the entire '30s, and he had Nazi help back then too. hell, he couldn't do it in the late '40s either and he had enormous US help as well.

    basically the argument is that CKS was holding enough back, he had good generals, and that the united might of China would have exceeded all the monies/supplies/equipment that the US gave to CKS (and all the damage that US did by herself to Japan).

    can't see it.

    I can see IJA bleeding itself white against China but I don't know how long China, or more accurately the KMT, could have sustained that sort of attrition warfare. nor do I think CKS had anything like the driving will of Stalin or the Russian state machinery/propaganda machine that allowed the Russians to fight to victory against the Nazis. generals can't fight a war by themselves, the political leaders have to be there too.

    Mao and the Commies did later on, but CKS...eh. he had to be goaded into war with Japan by getting kidnapped!
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  15. #465
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    The arguement is that there was no better time for the Japanese to attack than 1937. Any delay would have seen China united more and more united under CKS. The Communists were reduced to a mere 7,000 men from 86,000. Also, you're arguing from a post WWII POV, not from the 1937 POV. Can the Japanese afford to give CKS the time he needed to unite China under him. Could they have conquer a united China? Obviously, they answered no. Thus, their urgency to attack a fragmented China.

    I would also argue, the more they waited, the NRA would have become more and more able. Again, none of the Japanese victories were walked overs and they were stalemated before American aide came to be of effect.

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