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Thread: Why was the Imperial Japanese Army deficient?

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    Why was the Imperial Japanese Army deficient?

    Was it because of dogma, or simply a lack of funds?
    Last edited by hboGYT; 03 Jul 19, at 21:56.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hboGYT View Post
    Was it because of dogma, or simply a lack of funds?
    You're defined by your enemies. Japan chosed her enemies well. Warlord China and Colonial Police. The one true enemy who can stomped her, the USSR, was too busy fighting for her life against Nazi Germany.

    A lot of it is cultural. You do things by the book. Do not question authority and the authorities were those who written the books. Japanese armoured forces is a reflection of that. The Japanese first imported tanks and doctrine from the French in the 1930s. At that time, French tanks and thinking were developed as answers to WWI problems, ie infantry support, to get the infantry across no-man's land and through the trenches.

    It was the British and the Soviets who saw tanks as a calvary force. The Japanese had zero calvary decisive maneuver force experience. They were clobbered during WWII by Chinese Mongolian horse calvary. But since the Japanese were never clobbered by calvary in their historic experience, they ignored its true nature, espeically since the world has never seen armoured calvary before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hboGYT View Post
    Why was the IJA shit?
    Any chance you could change the thread title?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    Any chance you could change the thread title?
    I don't know what you're talking about. Ok i tried again, it doesnt work.
    Last edited by hboGYT; 03 Jul 19, at 22:07.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hboGYT View Post
    Was it because of dogma, or simply a lack of funds?
    I recommend starting here

    Japan's Imperial Army: Its Rise and Fall (Modern War Studies)
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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    You're defined by your enemies. Japan chosed her enemies well. Warlord China and Colonial Police. The one true enemy who can stomped her, the USSR, was too busy fighting for her life against Nazi Germany.

    A lot of it is cultural. You do things by the book. Do not question authority and the authorities were those who written the books. Japanese armoured forces is a reflection of that. The Japanese first imported tanks and doctrine from the French in the 1930s. At that time, French tanks and thinking were developed as answers to WWI problems, ie infantry support, to get the infantry across no-man's land and through the trenches.

    It was the British and the Soviets who saw tanks as a calvary force. The Japanese had zero calvary decisive maneuver force experience. They were clobbered during WWII by Chinese Mongolian horse calvary. But since the Japanese were never clobbered by calvary in their historic experience, they ignored its true nature, espeically since the world has never seen armoured calvary before.
    Didn't the Kwantung Army get clobbered by Soviet armour in a few skirmishes, as seen in this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScETCRwj6bQ?

    What was the lesson they learned from that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hboGYT View Post
    Didn't the Kwantung Army get clobbered by Soviet armour in a few skirmishes, as seen in this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScETCRwj6bQ?

    What was the lesson they learned from that?
    The IJA started to implement those lessons and I mean they just STARTED. They had plans to add at lesat 2 armoured divisions and at least 1 more artillery division to the KA. However, I do caution that they were only meant to use field artillery and not the long range guns that was prevelant in the ETO. Plus, the tanks they were going to use were the Type-87/89 tanks, 1930 designs. While a match for the T26 and BT tanks, they were hopelessly outclassed by the T34s and KV1s.

    Those plans got sidetracked by Pearl Harbour. After that, victory disease took over. If the IJA and IJN marines were clobbering British and American troops, aka the superpowers of the day, then what happened in Siberia was a fluke and due to not enough Banzai spirit.
    Last edited by WABs_OOE; 04 Jul 19, at 18:18.

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    the truly impressive thing in my book is how the Red Army managed to fix itself so relatively fast despite Stalin's hobby of shooting officers left and right.

    correct me if i'm wrong, but the Soviets were still a foot army up until what, the early '30s? 5 years later they were already busy giving the IJA lessons in mobile warfare.
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    the truly impressive thing in my book is how the Red Army managed to fix itself so relatively fast despite Stalin's hobby of shooting officers left and right.

    correct me if i'm wrong, but the Soviets were still a foot army up until what, the early '30s? 5 years later they were already busy giving the IJA lessons in mobile warfare.
    It has been argued that Stalin's purge got rid of a lot of dead wood. That the maneuver war machine could not have been developed with Generals still believing in the bayonet charge.

    This youtube author argued that George Marshall did the same thing by sacking alot of Colonels and Generals. Eisenhower was a LCol before the war. Of course there's a big difference between a pink slip and a vacation in Siberia.


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    IMO a lot of the IJA's issues came down to a basic dilemma concerning the allocation of military and industrial resources and its nationalistic foreign policy. In the late 1930's it faced the two stark and opposing options. Focus on becoming a true 'continental' style military power - which would necessitate focusing resources on building up the IJA or becoming a great 'maritime' power. Of course it wanted to be both, the problem is at the time it didn't have the population or industrial base to be both.

    Unfortunately for the IJA like pre-war Great Britain strategic concerns over securing its supply lines and access to natural resources necessitated a focus on its navy. So it's army lost out.

    This decision was reinforced by the fact that with the exception of Russia their local enemies (China) were at best 'B-Grade' continental powers that lacked large quantities modern armor, artillery and air power themselves (or for that matter the training & doctrines needed to really use them effectively). This meant the IJA could and did achieve significant early success despite the relative lack of such assets themselves. Their per-war clashes with Russia should have/would have warned the IJA's leaders of their own relative deficiencies in such areas but again their Government's focus was on the Pacific. This meant that so long as Japan avoided direct confrontation with Russia (and Russia was busy elsewhere) they could hope for time in order to deal with this issue later on - unrealistic? yes but then pre-war Japan was nothing if not driven by nationalistic ideology.

    As I have mentioned in another thread it also 'helped' that the geography worked against the deployment of large numbers of 'heavy' ground forces as was the case in the European and Mediterranean theaters. The jungles, rivers and mountain ranges etc of South East Asia simply didn't allow for the large scale deployment of conventional armor and artillery forces - assuming Japan had them to start with. Initially at least light infantry and bayonet charges were well suited to the type of war they were facing. The problem is of course that when those types of resources were needed later in the war they simply didn't have the them let alone the training & doctrines needed to exploit them effectively. And all their opponents did.
    Last edited by Monash; 07 Jul 19, at 02:50.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monash View Post
    IMO a lot of the IJA's issues came down to a basic dilemma concerning the allocation of military and industrial resources and its nationalistic foreign policy. In the late 1930's it faced the two stark and opposing options. Focus on becoming a true 'continental' style military power - which would necessitate focusing resources on building up the IJA or becoming a great 'maritime' power. Of course it wanted to be both, the problem is at the time it didn't have the population or industrial base to be both.

    Unfortunately for the IJA like pre-war Great Britain strategic concerns over securing its supply lines and access to natural resources necessitated a focus on its navy. So it's army lost out.

    This decision was reinforced by the fact that with the exception of Russia their local enemies (China) were at best 'B-Grade' continental powers that lacked large quantities modern armor, artillery and air power themselves (or for that matter the training & doctrines needed to really use them effectively). This meant the IJA could and did achieve significant early success despite the relative lack of such assets themselves. Their per-war clashes with Russia should have/would have warned the IJA's leaders of their own relative deficiencies in such areas but again their Government's focus was on the Pacific. This meant that so long as Japan avoided direct confrontation with Russia (and Russia was busy elsewhere) they could hope for time in order to deal with this issue later on - unrealistic? yes but then pre-war Japan was nothing if not driven by nationalistic ideology.

    As I have mentioned in another thread it also 'helped' that the geography worked against the deployment of large numbers of 'heavy' ground forces as was the case in the European and Mediterranean theaters. The jungles, rivers and mountain ranges etc of South East Asia simply didn't allow for the large scale deployment of conventional armor and artillery forces - assuming Japan had them to start with. Initially at least light infantry and bayonet charges were well suited to the type of war they were facing. The problem is of course that when those types of resources were needed later in the war they simply didn't have the them let alone the training & doctrines needed to exploit them effectively. And all their opponents did.
    I heard that the short attacks used by the PVA during the Korean war were learned from the IJA. Any validity in that rumour?

    Also, without tanks, how did the IJA attack fortified positions?
    Last edited by hboGYT; 07 Jul 19, at 18:38.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hboGYT View Post
    I heard that the short attacks used by the PVA during the Korean war were learned from the IJA. Any validity in that rumour?
    The PVA got their maneuver experience during the Chinese Civil War.

    Quote Originally Posted by hboGYT View Post
    Also, without tanks, how did the IJA attack fortified positions?
    What fortified positions did they attacked?

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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    The PVA got their maneuver experience during the Chinese Civil War.

    What fortified positions did they attacked?
    Not sure if they ever attacked a fortified position, but let's say, hypothetically, if they must attack a defensive line similar to the Maginot Line, how would they do it based on their doctrine at the time.

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    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.
    Last edited by WABs_OOE; 08 Jul 19, at 02:32.

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    hell, the Japanese at Imphal couldn't even -supply- themselves. they starved to death!
    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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