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Thread: Why was the Imperial Japanese Army deficient?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    Battle of Kohima - Wikipedia
    Battle of Imphal - Wikipedia

    Not fortified but these were prepared defences. Absent the concrete barriers, the British enjoyed and applied overwhelming firepower without fear of running out of munitions. The IJA could not breach these mass fire defences and they themselves did not believe in mass artillery fire, they did not engage in counter-battery operations.

    They sufferred some 58,000 casualties - that's an entire army, three entire corps.

    You can imagine the slaughter had it been a Maginot Line.
    I never doubted that they would lose a lot of men. I would like to know how they would attack such a position?

    E.g. would they mass charge the enemy with bayonets?

    Would they try to press towards the enemy using fire and movement and smoke til they reach grenade range, where they would then clear out the enemy with grenade spam?

    Etc..

    Hypothetically, if you're in command of the entire Kwantung Army, and you're ordered to attack the Maginot Line head-on, how would you do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    hell, the Japanese at Imphal couldn't even -supply- themselves. they starved to death!
    Why didn't they just eat their fallen comrades?
    Last edited by hboGYT; 08 Jul 19, at 14:40.

  2. #17
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    Why didn't they just eat their fallen comrades?
    if i recall correctly, they did.
    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

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by hboGYT View Post
    I never doubted that they would lose a lot of men. I would like to know how they would attack such a position?

    E.g. would they mass charge the enemy with bayonets?

    Would they try to press towards the enemy using fire and movement and smoke til they reach grenade range, where they would then clear out the enemy with grenade spam?
    One of the reason why they emphasized the banzai charge so much is that they didn't have that much munitions. Never mind food, they ran out of ammunition. They did not have the concept of covering fire or rolling barrage. Their reasoning is that it's a waste of ammunition.

    Quote Originally Posted by hboGYT View Post
    Hypothetically, if you're in command of the entire Kwantung Army, and you're ordered to attack the Maginot Line head-on, how would you do it.
    I would surrender.

  4. #19
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    hboGYT,

    The Colonel and astralis are far more knowledgeable than me on matters concerning China, Japan, and East Asia, both in the present-day and historically. I'm not sure what kind of pre-conceptions you're working with that shapes how you think about and perceive Japan's capabilities in the 1930s/40s, so I'd like to make a few broad points.

    • modern Japan has a nominal GDP per capita about 2/3 that of the US and roughly equivalent to that of the modern UK and France
    • 1937 Japan had a nominal GDP per capita of roughly 35% of US and UK levels
    • to illustrate the economic gap, though the UK and Japan are equivalent today on a per capita basis, in the 1930s/40s comparing Japan to the UK would be like comparing Poland, Romania, or Argentina to the UK today
    • while modern Japan is a first world country with economic output and industrial production comparable to other first world countries, in the 1930s/40s Japan was only at 1/3 US-UK level on a per capita basis
    • Japan was only able to succeed to the extent it did early on against Western powers in the Pacific theater, because the Western countries were pre-occupied (and also occupied) elsewhere
    • as far as the sum total of the US war effort in WWII was concerned, ~80% of US expenditures and resources went toward the European theater. Only ~20% was devoted to the Pacific theater.
    • the total US economy and output was 10x or more than that of the Japanese economy in WWII
    Last edited by Ironduke; 08 Jul 19, at 19:48.
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  5. #20
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    if i recall correctly, they did.
    Not just their own comrades. There are stories from the fighting in PNG, where Japanese supply lines over the Owen Stanley Range were bad to non-existent, of the remains of Australian soldiers being found that indicated cannibalism. I believe my Grandfather saw some evidence of that, though even 40 years on he was reluctant to go into details.


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  6. #21
    Senior Contributor Triple C's Avatar
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    IJA didn't do too well in Shanghai and flat out lost to the nationalists in Tai-er-zhuan. I am revisiting an old book and might add a few post after reading the relevant chapters.
    All those who are merciful with the cruel will come to be cruel to the merciful.
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