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Thread: Fall of France

  1. #466
    Senior Contributor Monash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    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.
    OOE, agree their primary objective was China. My point was that as soon as the oil embargo came into play that objective became unobtainable - sans war with the US and GB.

    Faced with this dilemma Japan let their ambitions blind them to the long term (in this context 12 months or more) consequences of such a war. Any realistic assessment of war with the US would have told them firstly that the US would win a long term struggle and secondly and most importantly, any war with the US would almost certainly be a long term commitment.

    So what did they do - choose the one scenario (a short term war) that gave them exactly what they wanted to see i.e. some means of achieving all their geoploitical goals in Asia. Despite the lack of evidence.

    My point is, assuming a more cool headed, realistic assessment of their chances the Japanese should have realized that attacking the US was an 'anti-survival' choice.

    That being the case, withdrawal from China on the best terms possible would be their only real option. This still leaves Stalinist Russia in place as an existential threat to their existing Empire however. And dealing with that threat (if they can) also let's them expand their Empire albeit not in their preferred direction.
    Last edited by Monash; 04 Apr 18, at 05:44.
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  2. #467
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    I'm afraid I'm not following you. Where would they expand their Empire if not into China?

  3. #468
    Senior Contributor Monash's Avatar
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    As we've previously discussed there's only one direction they could go, north and north west into the Russian Far East.

    I know you've already pointed to problems with this. Not least of which is that in early 1941 their TO&E wasn't up to the job.

    However that problem was at least potentially solvable, particularly if they had learned the proper lessons from their last clash with the Russians and sought outside technical advice. Winning a war against the US however was a different matter - that wasn't a 'solvable' problem.
    Last edited by Monash; 03 Apr 18, at 03:02.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monash View Post
    However that problem was at least potentially solvable, particularly if they had learned the proper lessons from their last clash with the Russians and sought outside technical advice. Winning a war against the US however was a different matter - that wasn't a 'solvable' problem.
    Sought outside technical advice from whom? German Panzer Armies couldn't solve the Soviet problem and you think the Japanese would able to adapt with Foot Armies?

    The Japanese at least could emerged victorious against Chinese Foot Armies in set piece battles. They had no answer to Soviet tank armies. No Axis power did.

    Once they decided on conquering China, they were doomed regardless whom they tried to take on. If they decided to just keep Manchuria and allow the Chinese to fight amongst themselves, the Chinese will come back to take Manchuria sooner or later once a victor emerged. I don't think they could keep Korea either looking at the forces committed to the Korean War in real history.

    Frankly, I see no other outcome. They had to attack China in 1937. They wait any longer and China gets stronger. At the very least, China would be adding Western trained divisions to their Order of Battle. In 1937, China was still fragmented but CKS had the Communists on the ropes and the NRA was far more powerful than all the provincial warlords combined, including the Communists. There was simply no better time to attack. That set the inevitable collision course with both the USSR and the US.
    Last edited by WABs_OOE; 03 Apr 18, at 04:00.

  5. #470
    Senior Contributor Monash's Avatar
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    As I see it China was their 'three course banquet' option but that got taken of the menu as soon as the oil embargo came into play. Leaving them with two choices, going for the Russian Far East (the hot dog of imperial ambition if you will) or lastly, not expanding any further and skipping dinner entirely.

    In hindsight, from Imperial Japans perspective at least the best option would have been the last. At least then when the shooting stopped they would still have had their Empire, such as it was. China might have decided to go after Japan eventually as you say but if Japan had complied with the Allies wishes (mostly) concerning withdrawal back to their pre-1937 borders the Allies IMO would probably have intervened and pressured the Chinese government into pulling it's head in, after all China was still heavily reliant on Allied financial and technical support.

    Also then as now Japan would simply have been too valuable as a bulwark against Soviet expansionism for the US to ignore, particularly if it was playing nicely with all the other children in the post war sandbox.

    On a final note I don't actually consider this last option very realistic. The military members of the prewar Japanese Cabinet were to blinded by racial destiny to listen to the advice of calmer heads (and there were some) who argued against war with the Western powers. Still it was an option on the table, even if they did chose to ignore it.
    Last edited by Monash; 03 Apr 18, at 14:31.
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  6. #471
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    [QUOTE=WABs_OOE;1038562] They had no answer to Soviet tank armies. No Axis power did./QUOTE]

    Not entirely fair. A WWII were the UK bows out in 40 is very winnable by Germany. It would add 3 panzer and 1 motorized divisions to Barbarossa and an entire Luftflotte while radically reducing the diversion of men and material to the Kreigsmarine. Germany's downfall wasn't invading the Soviet Union, it was doing it and trying to fight another major war. The overall number of men detailed to fight the UK may not have been much in comparison to Barbarossa, but the material was component was significant.

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    that margin, plus the stuff detailed to the Tunisia Campaign + U-boat campaign + Siegfried Line + anti-aircraft defenses, was indeed considerable.

    is it enough to wipe out the USSR...I think if Stalin panicked and fled Moscow in '41, or worse yet got assassinated, then the collapse in Soviet morale then would have done the trick. otherwise my guess is that both sides get utterly exhausted along roughly '39 lines.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Not entirely fair. A WWII were the UK bows out in 40 is very winnable by Germany. It would add 3 panzer and 1 motorized divisions to Barbarossa and an entire Luftflotte while radically reducing the diversion of men and material to the Kreigsmarine. Germany's downfall wasn't invading the Soviet Union, it was doing it and trying to fight another major war. The overall number of men detailed to fight the UK may not have been much in comparison to Barbarossa, but the material was component was significant.
    Doesn't change the fact that no matter what help the Germans give to the Japanese, their foot armies stood no chance agains the Soviets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    that margin, plus the stuff detailed to the Tunisia Campaign + U-boat campaign + Siegfried Line + anti-aircraft defenses, was indeed considerable.

    is it enough to wipe out the USSR...I think if Stalin panicked and fled Moscow in '41, or worse yet got assassinated, then the collapse in Soviet morale then would have done the trick. otherwise my guess is that both sides get utterly exhausted along roughly '39 lines.
    In an ATL where the only thing changing is the UK bowing out in 40. I think the stalemate is somewhere in Belorus/Ukraine. I think 4 extra mobile divisions means either Lenningrad or Moscow falls. But then the weakness of the German economy and lack of long term planning comes in to play. The lack of trucks going into 42 simply can't be fixed in time to prevent Case Blue going pear shaped. By late 43 when the German's can really make use of the extra material they probably win Kursk, but increasing Soviet competence and increasing amounts of American LL on the defense means its not likely to translate into another strategic drive. But the increase in Luftwaffe and other combat power, secure sources of tungsten and other materials but not oil for the Germans along with Zhukov's fixation on double offensives means the Soviets can't really push back either.

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    Soviets wouldn't get any Lend-Lease if the UK bows out. US would just look on Europe in disgust and just concentrate on Japan, assuming Japan still attacks the US.

    which is up in the air, because I dunno that Japan would try to attack the UK Far Eastern possessions if the UK wasn't engaged in a war with Germany.
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    Soviets wouldn't get any Lend-Lease if the UK bows out. US would just look on Europe in disgust and just concentrate on Japan, assuming Japan still attacks the US.
    War was coming no matter what. Both sides were preparing for war. Pearl Harbour was an assembly area.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    which is up in the air, because I dunno that Japan would try to attack the UK Far Eastern possessions if the UK wasn't engaged in a war with Germany.
    Then, they lost their primary objective, China.

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    Then, they lost their primary objective, China.
    been thinking it through-- while oil was absolutely necessary for the IJN's colonial empire, i don't think the IJA absolutely needed it in China...it was a foot army after all. plus Siberia has oil.

    given a worse situation for the USSR in 1941 and the potential for fighting both the UK and the US, IJA might win its political war and have another go at the Soviets.

    IJA was prone to massive over-reach. they had no need to invade Burma let alone India.
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    been thinking it through-- while oil was absolutely necessary for the IJN's colonial empire, i don't think the IJA absolutely needed it in China...it was a foot army after all. plus Siberia has oil.
    It wasn't developed and given the then state of Japanese technology, it would be 5-6 years before they can develop the area and then only available 6 months of the year. Too little, too late.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    given a worse situation for the USSR in 1941 and the potential for fighting both the UK and the US, IJA might win its political war and have another go at the Soviets.

    IJA was prone to massive over-reach. they had no need to invade Burma let alone India.
    Planes, artillery, rifles, and munitions need oil for manufacturing and transport.

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    wonder how much oil the japanese seized and brought online in SE Asia. i was always under the impression that it never quite replaced the amount they were buying from the US pre-war.
    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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    WWII IJE at peak got 50% less oil than before the embargo and got smaller as time went on because the DIE fields were damanged and the Japanese Merchant Fleet was sunk. They had stockpiled 2 years worth of oil to get ready for war which was really only 6 months since the IJN, in charge of the stockpiling, was just stockpiling for itself and not the Japanese home islands.

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