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View Full Version : WHAT IF: September 3 1939 Japan declares War on Germany



Adrian Wainer
09-19-2008, 07:10 PM
In democratic Japan there had been increasing consternation at the ever worsening events in Europe. After the German leader Adolf Hitler's blatant disregard for his promises that after the Sudetland he would have no more territorial demands in Europe in brutally annexing the now defencless rump state of Czechslovakia, there had been wild scenes in the Japanese parliament as the opposition party denounced the Government for failing to show greater support for the Czechs. Given Herr Hitler pronouncements on racial matters, and the leading Japanese newspaper response in its editorial that the Nazi regime posed a clear and present danger to the survival of the Japanese people, this precipated the fall of the Government and the instilation of a more hawkish coalition ruleing party which signed the Japan Britain Imperial Defence Pact. With the invasion of the Poland by Germany and declaration of War by the United Kingdom on the Third Reich, Japan has invoked on 3 September 1939 the aid and assistance clause of the Japan Britain Imperial Defence Pact. Admiral Yamamoto has been instructed by the Emperor to sail for British waters with a carrier battle group. Meanwhile in America, President Joseph Kennedy has said not withstanding such developments the United States would be "Maintaining its policy of strict neutrality and avoiding all foreign Wars and European entanglements".

So WW2 in the makeing

Japan, France and Britain at War with Germany. America from a military aspect strictly neutral but ideologically somewhat biased in favour of the Third Reich, so no military supplies to the UK and France from the USA but that could change if things start to go wrong for Germany. China neutral under Chiang Kai Shek but with good relations between Japan and China established after Japan provided transport to move Chinese troops used in the crushing of a communist upriseing led by Mao Tse Tung and agrees to respect china's territoral integrity, China is friendly towards the Allied powers. All else as was. What happens next? E.G. would the Norwegian Campaign been a success if supported by Japanese carrier air power? Would Hitler have been strong enough to attack France in 1940 if he had got mauled in Norway as a result of Japanese air support to the Allied cause? Could the Japanese have halted the German Blitzkrieg in France? Would the USSR have attacked Japan with Japanese forces involved in Europe?

Adrian Wainer

Adrian Wainer
09-19-2008, 07:16 PM
The Japan I am proposing is one radically different to that which actually existed in 1939, the issues for Japan become different, in that this Japan is concerned to become a major economic power and merely sees its armed forces as a defense to its trade routes, its home territory and colonial posessions. They are well aware that the Third Reich is an aggressive power with designs to become the over-riding power in Europe, they are also aware that Russia and Germany have signed a non aggression pact and and that Russia is being extremely helpful in providing essential War supplies to Germany. They are concerned that should Germany prevail against France and Britain, that would leave Japan to be ground up between Germany and Russia, had Franklin Delano Roosevelt been in office they would have had some confidence that a commercialist Japan under threat from either a Communist Russia or a Nazi Third Reich would have attracted American support but with the death of FDR from a heart attack just fifty days after taking office and the assassination of the Republican party politician Wendel Wilkie by a Jewish Communist and the failure of FDR's sucessor in implementing FDRs "New Deal" to get America back to Work, America has become increasingly introspective and has at times viewed the Third Reich as an example of efficency. A tendancy which Hitler's Third Reich has only been too keen to exploit, such as the spectular arrival of the Zeppelin Hindenburg at Lakehurst New Jersey on the 6th of May 1937, said to be the safest and most luxurious form of transport in the World thanks to its German engineering and American helium filled gas bladders and its tour across America from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco via Chicago. Which was filmed by the Nazi film maker Leni Refinstal as part of her epic film "America the beautiful".

The Hindenburg over New York after having arrived back from San Francisco and before its departure for Germany

http://www.geocities.com/hydrogenpower1data7/images/essays/hindenburg_full.jpg


President of the United States of America Joseph Kennedy

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fd/Joseph_Kennedy.jpg


Special Advisor to the President Colonel Charles Lindberg's speech on the US attitude to the War in Europe
September 15th 1939

http://www.charleslindbergh.com/pdf/9_15_39.pdf



Best and Warm Regards
Adrian Wainer

Adrian Wainer
09-19-2008, 08:28 PM
Japanese special envoy Chiune Sugihara met with Jewish leaders in Paris France yesterday to assure them that the Japan China co-prosperity sphere emigration scheme by which Jewish refugees from increasing persecution in Germany have been able to find refuge and a new life in Shanghai, would still continue despite the declaration of War by Japan on Germany.

Chiune Sugihara
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e8/Sugihara_b.jpg/210px-Sugihara_b.jpg

Best and Warm Regards
Adrian Wainer

Adrian Wainer
09-19-2008, 08:49 PM
The Times London

The Japanese Naval Attache on a visit to the British naval base at Portsmouth England in response to press enquiries refused to confirm or deny reports that Japan's Carrier Battle Group would include the Japanese new wonder aircraft believed to be called the "Zero".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsubishi_Zero

Best and Warm Regards
Adrian Wainer

pdf27
09-20-2008, 05:59 AM
Joseph P Kennedy as president? Jeepers, that's bad for the Allies. OK, first a couple of guesses about Japan:
1) As they're not invading anyone, they won't have a very strong army - having one tempts you to use it, and no matter what universe you in Japan at this time will have a strong sense of racial superiority over it's neighbours (true even today - the word for "foreigner" has strong overtones of "barbarian").
2) Conversely, they will have a very strong navy. This is needed for security (Japan is an island nation like the UK, totally dependent on imports) and given the poisonous relations between the Army and Navy in @ one being weak almost certainly implies the other will be strong. Better yet, the senior ranks in the IJN were all RN-trained prior to 1914 and the IJN was modelled on the RN. If the IJN are willing to cede operational control to the Admiralty (probable, subject to some obvious restrictions like slotting in Japanese offciers to it to save face) that will make the combined fleets many times more effective.

Effects of this?
1) Brittania rules the waves, absolutely. With Japan friendly there is virtually no need for naval forces between Suez and Pearl Harbour.
2) The US will be getting on far better with the Japanese - historically much of the animosity was stirred up by reports from missionaries of the atrocious behaviour of the Japanese Army in Manchuria. No army in China, no problem.
3) The US will be getting on far WORSE with the British - Kennedy didn't like them, and with their alliance with Japan they pose a threat (if only theoretical) to the US. Expect them to launch some minor naval rearmament and start dusting off War Plan Crimson - which was only a few years old at this point. This also has all sorts of knock-on effects - for instance US 100 Octane petrol led to greatly improved performance in the Battle of Britain, so without US support the RAF would have been using 87 Octane with consequently reduced performance.

Ok, following on with effects on the war. Norway and France fall as in @, although the Kriegsmarine will suffer a lot worse - indeed it may be virtually exterminated. It suffered very badly in @, and with a friendly Japan the RN forces available will be much stronger, with any avalable Japanese carriers being very useful indeed. In the case of France, there is very little the Japanese can actually contribute.

Next we come to the first big difference. Will Italy declare war? In @ Mussolini waited until pretty much the last second when France was clearly defeated and he thought the UK was going the same way. With Japan as an additional enemy and the Norwegian campaign more costly for the Germans, will he go the same way?
I'd have to guess probably not, in which case this is strategically a massive victory for the allies. The Germans are effectively locked out of the Mediterranean - yes, they could take Greece and maybe Crete if they wanted to, but they just don't have the shipping to go any further. North Africa and the Middle East are safe.

The Battle of Britain will happen as in @, slightly tilted towards the British - the loss of 100 Octane will hurt, but the additional Japanese pilots will help a lot more.

Beyond this it gets very murky...

Rising Sun*
09-20-2008, 07:31 AM
I don't know why I'm doing this, because my brain began to hurt about three lines into Adrian's opening post. :D

The significance of Japan as an ally is not so much what it contributes to the war but what it releases on the Allied side.

Among other things:

German naval forces and merchant raiders face Japanese opposition in the Indian and Pacific oceans, which could be satisfactorily controlled by the Japanese. The British ships and substantial fleet train used to support those fleets and exercises like, for example, the hunt for the Graf Spee, would have been available in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, with consequent reductions in fuel usage and wear and tear and maintenance on ships.

NEI and Burmese oilfields remain in Allied hands with significant fuel advantages over Germany.

Malayan etc tin and rubber remain in Allied hands with equally significant advantages over Germany.

Many extra divisions of Indian, British and Australian forces in Malaya, Burma and India are available for the ME or elsewhere, along with aeroplanes, naval forces including psychologically significant ships like Prince of Wales and Repulse etc, plus the Allies lose the considerable strain of LOC to those areas remote from Britain and its sources of supply.

There is no need for forces to be disposed to prevent Germany and Japan linking up through the Iranian oilfields.

The Soviets do not need to hold substantial forces in their east against the Japanese in Manchuria, releasing huge forces which might well have tipped the Barbarossa balance in Soviet favour.

The Allied effort to get supplies to the Chinese by air over The Hump and by road is not required, nor is it necessary to supply Chiang and others with money and supplies to support their at times indifferent fight against the Japanese.

And so on, with the result that even without America coming in on the Allied side there is a great chance that Germany will be defeated or at least contained by the British and Japanese and later the Soviets.

And if, as was suggested, Italy doesn't get involved, then there is no need for Greece and North Africa is very different, so that Allied land forces are conserved and can be concentrated and transported with naval and air support in ways that weren't possible in the real war to produce a very different result to the real war.

But then again, if that had happened, Japan wouldn't have had its post-war reconstruction and we wouldn't have the magnificent Lexus V8 six bolt main. ;)

Adrian Wainer
09-20-2008, 08:26 AM
Joseph P Kennedy as president? Jeepers, that's bad for the Allies. OK, first a couple of guesses about Japan:
1) As they're not invading anyone, they won't have a very strong army - having one tempts you to use it, and no matter what universe you in Japan at this time will have a strong sense of racial superiority over it's neighbours (true even today - the word for "foreigner" has strong overtones of "barbarian").
2) Conversely, they will have a very strong navy. This is needed for security (Japan is an island nation like the UK, totally dependent on imports) and given the poisonous relations between the Army and Navy in @ one being weak almost certainly implies the other will be strong. Better yet, the senior ranks in the IJN were all RN-trained prior to 1914 and the IJN was modelled on the RN. If the IJN are willing to cede operational control to the Admiralty (probable, subject to some obvious restrictions like slotting in Japanese offciers to it to save face) that will make the combined fleets many times more effective.



All agreed on that! Great speed of response on your part as it took me several days to cook up the scenario and you got back with a response within hours, genuinely impressed!



Effects of this?
1) Brittania rules the waves, absolutely. With Japan friendly there is virtually no need for naval forces between Suez and Pearl Harbour.

All Agreed on that!



2) The US will be getting on far better with the Japanese - historically much of the animosity was stirred up by reports from missionaries of the atrocious behaviour of the Japanese Army in Manchuria. No army in China, no problem.
Well that issue is taken out of the equation, but there is a new one in that the Kennedy administration is hugely racist just listen to this radio broadcast by special advisor to the President Colonel Charles Lindberg, so I think the relationship between Japan and the USA is going to be frosty at best.

http://tw.youtube.com/watch?v=vTG1vDGKYHA



3) The US will be getting on far WORSE with the British - Kennedy didn't like them, and with their alliance with Japan they pose a threat (if only theoretical) to the US. Expect them to launch some minor naval rearmament and start dusting off War Plan Crimson - which was only a few years old at this point. This also has all sorts of knock-on effects - for instance US 100 Octane petrol led to greatly improved performance in the Battle of Britain, so without US support the RAF would have been using 87 Octane with consequently reduced performance.

Yes relations with the US will be bad to terrible, and whilst the US will have been supplying armaments to the UK and France till they declared War, on the basis of a pure commercial arrangements, after they declare War that stops. There are a number of issues, which I would feel would be important in Kennedy's relations with Britain and France. America is largely made up of imigrant communities, many of them which would backing the folks back home. With Kennedy in office, one can expect the German community to be pitching for the Third Reich, but there are lots of other communities too like the Poles, the Dutch, the Italians, the Irish, the Japanese, the American Jewish Community, etc etc. One the one hand the Kennedy administration has some fascistic leanings but against that, America is still a democracy and he does not have the state security machine of the likes of the Third Reich, so he is much more dependent on gathering support for his policies than Hitler or even Mussolini. The American Jewish community is pretty much out of the equation, in that they have been hit by the murder of Wilkie by a Jewish Communist and Nazi elements within the US have sought to blame them on the Wall Street crash and the failure of Roosevelt's New Deal [ with his tragic death after just fifty days in office ] which left the American economy in a mess with much un-employment and hardship, so that the American economy did not really start to recover, till the America National party with the backing of the "America First" organization took power, so the Jews are too concerned about their own position in America to lobby for Britain. The American Polish community are obviously totally against the Third Reich and for Poland, Britain and France. The American Dutch haven't had their homeland threatened at this stage, so they are not that much involved in any lobbying. The Italians are more pro-German than pro-British in that Hitler and Mussolini have enjoyed good relations and the Kennedy administration has enjoyed good relations with both Fascist Italy and the Third Reich, the American Italian community though are keeping an eye on how Mussolini is going to jump, which is very unclear so they are not making much lobbying about the War. The Irish American community, which one might expect to be over the moon about Kennedy in office are acting in a bit of a more complicated way than that, the rise of Japan as an Asian economic power has given them the idea that it might be possible to copy some of the Japanese ideas and apply them to Ireland to make Ireland economically strong and thus independent of British Colonialism and whilst the idea of giving the brits a kick in the As... courtesy of the Third Reich appeals to them, they have got the feeling that the medecine in the form of Hitler might be a lot worse than the disease ie the Brits. So I think Kennedy has some constraints on what he can do as opposed to what to what he would like to do in making things difficult for the Brits and helping the Third Reich, he can stop all military supplies like aircraft, machine guns etc to the likes of Britain and France from the get go of the start of the War as he can cite peaceful intent and nobody in the USA can criticize him for that, but if he stops dual use products like petrol he would attract criticism from US industry for losing commercial opportunities for the US and as many Americans still have positive feelings for the likes of England he would run in to additional criticism from those folks. Also he would be hedging his bets, in that he would like to see a German victory in Europe, and would like to help the Reich as far as he can but he does not want to go so far out on a limb in opposing Britain and France that if the War goes horribly wrong for Germany and he has previously heavily aligned the USA with the Reich he could end up a refugee in some South American Banana Republic being hunted by the FBI for extradition to the US to face a grand jury. So I am sure he would cut off the overt military stuff like fighter aircraft and machine guns but the petrol embargo I am not so sure about.



Ok, following on with effects on the war. Norway and France fall as in @, although the Kriegsmarine will suffer a lot worse - indeed it may be virtually exterminated. It suffered very badly in @, and with a friendly Japan the RN forces available will be much stronger, with any avalable Japanese carriers being very useful indeed. In the case of France, there is very little the Japanese can actually contribute.

It quite a while since I read up on the Norwegian campaign, so my memory is hazy. The Royal Navy would presumably have a lot more ships available, since the far East is now defended by the IJN and the Japanese have dispatched a carrier battle group to British Waters. Could things go so wrong for the Germans in Norway that they actually lose? So the question would be with the extra ships the Royal Navy has because of such ships not being needed in the Far East, could that have turned Norway in to a catastrophe for the Germans. With the Japanese carrier battle group how long would it take them to arrive in Britian, so that one could factor in that they might or might not be ready to participate in the Norwegian campaign. One limitation on the Japanese is though whilst Kennedy has no intention of attacking them at this stage, they would likely estimate the possibility that he would attack them as greater than the reality of the possibility of such an attack, so they can not give too many ships and aircraft to the assist the RN and French Navy in Europe as that would leave themselves open to an American attack. A thing I am interested is, is that apparently the A5M fighter was being replaced by the famous A6M Zero circa 1939/40, would the Japanese have had A6M Zeroes to send with the carriers that have left within days of Japans declaration of War?



continued on, in next posting

Adrian Wainer
09-20-2008, 08:28 AM
Next we come to the first big difference. Will Italy declare war? In @ Mussolini waited until pretty much the last second when France was clearly defeated and he thought the UK was going the same way. With Japan as an additional enemy and the Norwegian campaign more costly for the Germans, will he go the same way?
I'd have to guess probably not, in which case this is strategically a massive victory for the allies. The Germans are effectively locked out of the Mediterranean - yes, they could take Greece and maybe Crete if they wanted to, but they just don't have the shipping to go any further. North Africa and the Middle East are safe.

This is a complicated one, Germany has been very sucessful so far, she has annexed Czechoslovakia without firing a shot, she has built up a big armaments industry with lots of top rate weapons but her armies are un-tested except for the Spanish civil war and the Poles have a large army and might put up stiff resistance and so should prove a tougher nut to crack than the Spanish Republic, so Mussolini will be looking how well the Wehrmacht does in Poland, he probably would rate the Japanese as worthless until they go in to battle and get good results. He wants to be on the winning side in this but he knows Italy is too weak to help one side or the other decisively, so he is either going to stay neutral or wait until one side looks like it is going to win and then join them.




The Battle of Britain will happen as in @, slightly tilted towards the British - the loss of 100 Octane will hurt, but the additional Japanese pilots will help a lot more.

Well, even with the Japanese carrier battle group on their Way to help and the RN having more ships in European waters, I don't think there is much which can be done to help the Poles [ if there are any Navy experts out there that might have ideas to the contrary, would be glad to hear them ] so I think Poland is lost, so Norway then is the first big issue, if the Nazis get hammered in Norway even if they pulled off a narrow tactical victory, so they were not ejected from Norway but suffered huge losses, it might make an attack on France in 1940 much more difficult, if they have lots of soldiers killed or seriously injured in Norway, they [ ie those troops ] are out of the equation for France/Holland/Belgium 1940 and if they lose lots of planes in Norway, the Nazis are going to have issues there too. Since, the Campaign in France/Holland/Belgium 1940 had minimal naval content, even if the German Kriegsmarine and Merchant Navy are hugely damaged in the Norwegian Campaign, it would make little difference but aircraft and manpower losses in the Norwegian campaign might effect France/Holland/Belgium 1940. So I think it is going to be a good bit more difficult for the Nazis in France/Holland/Belgium 1940 in that [ 1 ] They have lost more man-power and equipment in Norway [ 2 ] The Japanese may have enough Zeroes produced by then that they could influence the air-battle over France [3] the Japanese Army is small and not particularly well equipped but the IJN has a relatively large Marine Corps and have dispatched a large part of this to Europe ie the Japanese Marine Corps Expeditionary Force and whilst not equipped with heavy weapons they might cause problems to an enemy using Blitzkrieg tactics by refusing to yield their ground.



Beyond this it gets very murky...

re the above something of an understatement LOL.......time for a gin and tonic


And thanx again for the superb input!

Best and Warm Regards
Adrian Wainer

Adrian Wainer
09-20-2008, 09:34 AM
I don't know why I'm doing this, because my brain began to hurt about three lines into Adrian's opening post. :D

LOL



The significance of Japan as an ally is not so much what it contributes to the war but what it releases on the Allied side.

Among other things:

German naval forces and merchant raiders face Japanese opposition in the Indian and Pacific oceans, which could be satisfactorily controlled by the Japanese. The British ships and substantial fleet train used to support those fleets and exercises like, for example, the hunt for the Graf Spee, would have been available in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, with consequent reductions in fuel usage and wear and tear and maintenance on ships.

NEI and Burmese oilfields remain in Allied hands with significant fuel advantages over Germany.

Malayan etc tin and rubber remain in Allied hands with equally significant advantages over Germany.

Many extra divisions of Indian, British and Australian forces in Malaya, Burma and India are available for the ME or elsewhere, along with aeroplanes, naval forces including psychologically significant ships like Prince of Wales and Repulse etc, plus the Allies lose the considerable strain of LOC to those areas remote from Britain and its sources of supply.

There is no need for forces to be disposed to prevent Germany and Japan linking up through the Iranian oilfields.

The Soviets do not need to hold substantial forces in their east against the Japanese in Manchuria, releasing huge forces which might well have tipped the Barbarossa balance in Soviet favour.

The Allied effort to get supplies to the Chinese by air over The Hump and by road is not required, nor is it necessary to supply Chiang and others with money and supplies to support their at times indifferent fight against the Japanese.

And so on, with the result that even without America coming in on the Allied side there is a great chance that Germany will be defeated or at least contained by the British and Japanese and later the Soviets.

And if, as was suggested, Italy doesn't get involved, then there is no need for Greece and North Africa is very different, so that Allied land forces are conserved and can be concentrated and transported with naval and air support in ways that weren't possible in the real war to produce a very different result to the real war.

All agreed



But then again, if that had happened, Japan wouldn't have had its post-war reconstruction and we wouldn't have the magnificent Lexus V8 six bolt main. ;)

LOL Yes but if Japan had come out on the wining side, you might have a super sleek bullet train services out of your local city and be traveling to your holiday destination on a Mitsubishi supersonic Jet liner!

Great response much appreciated!

Best and Warm Regards
Adrian Wainer

Rising Sun*
09-20-2008, 10:02 AM
Yes but if Japan had come out on the wining side, you might have a super sleek bullet train services out of your local city and be traveling to your holiday destination on a Mitsubishi supersonic Jet liner!

Yeah, well, we have shithouse trains and the Mitsubishi Magna isn't exactly supersonic, or even remotely subsonic due to its normal condition of chronic inertia. :D

pdf27
09-20-2008, 10:10 AM
Can't be bothered to quote bits...

Kennedy/Racism: He doesn't actually have all that much power over relations with Japan - it was always largely driven by grassroots outrage. With them behaving themselves he might not like them very much but the actions which really hurt them (the embargos on steel and oil) will never get through Congress. Hurting American businesses because he doesn't like the look of their customers? That would be seriously politically damaging.

US/UK relations: Not going to be as bad as you are suggesting - there will be plenty of suspicion, etc. but the UK are generally following the script to be the "good guys" in American eyes here, and the two countries were on the same side in a major war against the Germans only 20 years earlier. The US may be isolationist, but it will be downright hostile to the Germans.

Lindbergh: I would suggest the evidence here is more towards him being scared off by the power of the Luftwaffe/Germany than seduced by the politics of National Socialism. He's something of a chequered character, but all the same I tend to the view he was naive rather than bad.

Norway: Given that the Germans were attacking through the Baltic by and large, the RN/IJN would be unable to do much to hinder them south of Narvik. The Japanese on side may have enabled them to hold Narvik, but frankly it was of little use to them and they would have evacuated it as soon as France fell anyway.

France: One of the reasons the Japanese were so fanatical was this whole concept of nation that was imbued in them from an early age. A democratic Japan wouldn't have had this, leaving them with a mediocre marine corps not equipped or trained to stand up to an armoured threat. They would have come apart at the seams far worse than either the French or British did.

Adrian Wainer
09-20-2008, 10:36 AM
Military Parade for Departing Japanese Naval Forces

http://www.geocities.co.jp/Bookend-Kenji/8885/arubamu/ginza-1.jpg

Special Naval Landing Forces

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Naval_Landing_Force

Best and Warm Regards
Adrian Wainer

Adrian Wainer
09-20-2008, 10:49 AM
Can't be bothered to quote bits...

Kennedy/Racism: He doesn't actually have all that much power over relations with Japan - it was always largely driven by grassroots outrage. With them behaving themselves he might not like them very much but the actions which really hurt them (the embargos on steel and oil) will never get through Congress. Hurting American businesses because he doesn't like the look of their customers? That would be seriously politically damaging.

US/UK relations: Not going to be as bad as you are suggesting - there will be plenty of suspicion, etc. but the UK are generally following the script to be the "good guys" in American eyes here, and the two countries were on the same side in a major war against the Germans only 20 years earlier. The US may be isolationist, but it will be downright hostile to the Germans.

Lindbergh: I would suggest the evidence here is more towards him being scared off by the power of the Luftwaffe/Germany than seduced by the politics of National Socialism. He's something of a chequered character, but all the same I tend to the view he was naive rather than bad.

Norway: Given that the Germans were attacking through the Baltic by and large, the RN/IJN would be unable to do much to hinder them south of Narvik. The Japanese on side may have enabled them to hold Narvik, but frankly it was of little use to them and they would have evacuated it as soon as France fell anyway.

France: One of the reasons the Japanese were so fanatical was this whole concept of nation that was imbued in them from an early age. A democratic Japan wouldn't have had this, leaving them with a mediocre marine corps not equipped or trained to stand up to an armoured threat. They would have come apart at the seams far worse than either the French or British did.

So it looks like the score so far is the Anglo French expeditionary force withdrawn from Norway after France falls, leaving Norway, France, Belgium, Holland, Poland, Luxembourg, Denmark and Czechoslovakia under the occupation of the Third Reich. So we are BoB with Zeroes over London and the Home Counties!

Well if Mussolini was going to to join the Axis, it would be now he is hardly going to do it after the Luftwafe has failed in BoB to secure air superiority over England. From a gameing point of view: Italy neutral that is interesting. On the other hand having Italy on the Axis side gives an opportunity for say the Japanese to e.g. land troops on Sicily [ at a later stage in the War ] and clash with Italian or German forces and that would be interesting too. The Third option would for Italy to stay out of the War ie neutral and join it on the Allied side, when the War goes seriously wrong for the Third Reich.

Best and Warm Regards
Adrian Wainer

pdf27
09-20-2008, 10:58 AM
Unlikely - more likely the Japanese pilots would be converted over to Spitfires/Hurricanes and fly them in Japanese colours. The logistics of supporting a major force on the other side of the world are horrendous, and the Zero (aside from it's outstanding range) was actually a pretty mediocre fighter. The Gloster aircraft company actually proposed something very similar in the late 1930s and the RAF rejected it out of hand.

Adrian Wainer
09-20-2008, 11:37 AM
Unlikely - more likely the Japanese pilots would be converted over to Spitfires/Hurricanes and fly them in Japanese colours. The logistics of supporting a major force on the other side of the world are horrendous, and the Zero (aside from it's outstanding range) was actually a pretty mediocre fighter. The Gloster aircraft company actually proposed something very similar in the late 1930s and the RAF rejected it out of hand.

Like pdf27 you are usually pretty hot ( ie very accurate ) on your weapons comparisons so I'll just have to say that I would keep a certain degree of skepticism as to the Zero being as inferior as you suggest. The Japs as best as I remember had an Me Bf 109 for evaluation purposes, so there is probably research materiel somewhere on the net comparing the two aircraft probably in Japanese though, unfortunately. Anyway as you say the logistics of supporting the Zero half way across the World are bad news so even if it was as good as a Spifire or Hurricane, it would be certainly worth equipping any metropolitan UK land based Japanese Navy Squadrons with Spits and Hurricanes rather than Zeroes. A question with Spits and Hurricanes would there really have been enough to go round for air defence UK purposes to supply a large quantity of Japanese pilots in BoB 1940?

Best and Warm Regards
Adrian Wainer

pdf27
09-20-2008, 11:47 AM
A question with Spits and Hurricanes would there really have been enough to go round for air defence UK purposes to supply a large quantity of Japanese pilots in BoB 1940?
Easily - the RAF had problems with number of pilots during the BoB, but I can think of no cases where a pilot fit to fly was unable to do so due to lack of aircraft.