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Carl Schwamberger
11-05-2008, 07:45 AM
In the last eight months of WWII three major campaigns were launched by the Allied armys against the Japanese, All three were sucessfull despite theoretical difficulties. In each case the Japanese were unable to make their plan for the expected campaign work. A comparison of the details of each of these might be interesting.

Rising Sun*
11-05-2008, 07:51 AM
In the last eight months of WWII three major campaigns were launched by the Allied armys against the Japanese, All three were sucessfull despite theoretical difficulties. In each case the Japanese were unable to make their plan for the expected campaign work. A comparison of the details of each of these might be interesting.

Is your reference to Manchuria to the Soviet assault?

If so, it was nearer eight days than eight months.

If so, there were few theoretical difficulties with the forces massed by the Soviets against the depleted and deficient Japanese, who were also caught in the process of moving mostly poorly trained troops to major fixed defensive positions.

Carl Schwamberger
11-05-2008, 08:24 AM
Is your reference to Manchuria to the Soviet assault?

Yes, the attack launched in August 1945.

Carl Schwamberger
11-07-2008, 05:16 AM
Falcon Wrote:

"Okay, the Luzon campaign was primarily American, the Burma campaign was predominantly British with American support. I'm not really familiar with the Manchurian campaign but from what little I know, that was primarily Russian.
For the Americans in Luzon, the Japanese they faced were essentially isolated and forced to fight in an area were the civilian population was against them. So whatever the Japanese did, they would eventually wither on the vine.
As for the Burma campaign, the Japanese, I think would be in a better position than their counterparts in Luzon.
That's just what immediately come to mind off the top of my head.
Carl, feel free to correct me if any of my notions are mistaken.
Since you brought it up, I now have to find the time to review these campaigns and as for Manchuria, to start studying from almost scratch."


Carl Wrote:

Yes the Japanese army (techincally several armys) on Luzon was isolated by the USN. Their strategy recognized that & the comand sought to preserve his army in the forrested hill regions where they could await a eventual end of the war. As a 'force in being' this army would divert down US soldiers from other operations and presumablly kill a lot of them. Eventually the remaining Japanese presence in the Phillipines could serve a part of Japans bargaining postion when the US finally came around to negotiating a peace treaty. At least that seems to have been the Japanese view.

The other two I have less understanding of.

In Burma the strategy appears to have been one of holding onto the remaining territorry at all cost.

The defense of Manuchuria is susposed to have been one of fighting a delaying battle between the borders and the industrial heartland. Then making a stand in defense of the south/central industrial cities.

On Luzon the strategy was partially sucessfull as Japanese soldiers still held portions of the island in a organized manner in August 1945. Their condition was very bad and they did not attrition the US as much as they hoped.

In Burma the defense collapsed and it appears the defending army was destroyed.

In Manchuria the delaying forces near the borders seem to have been rapidly overrun or isolated and pocketed. In just eight days. How the central defense might have held up I cant assess as the war ended before Soviet forces made a large scale attack on it.
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Rising Sun*
11-07-2008, 06:23 AM
Carl,

Here's an informed and moderately detailed but reasonably short consideration of the Soviet campaign in Manchuria. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/1986/RMF.htm

I thought I'd posted that link at least a couple of times in other threads on this site where that campaign was discussed, but the search function doesn't reveal it, and as I can't remember what I had for lunch today ;) :D I have no idea where it is.

In the West the Soviet campaign in Manchuria and, probably even more forgotten but much more important psychologically from the Japanese perspective at the time, the Kuriles are little known. It was, however, as with so much that happened in China in WWII that barely registers in Western histories, on a massive scale.

I've posted in some other threads here that I can't find about the significance of this short but stunning campaign involving mammoth forces on the thinking of the Emperor as he faced the rampaging Soviets and the prospect of destruction by more atom bombs, both of which were probably more or less equally significant in influencing him to surrender.

The American atom bombs are credited in popular Western history with bringing Japan to surrender, but the Soviet assault, which in one sense was the other pincer in a crushing closing attack on Japan, is rarely mentioned and even less often given the credit due it.

I have limited knowledge of the Luzon and Burma campaigns, but I think neither had the opportunity for the Allies to build up and supply the massive forces against a more or less static enemy (ignoring Japan's retrospectively poorly time major movements to other defensive positions at the time of the Soviet attack) which the Soviets were able to do in the months between defeating Germany and attacking Japan. The Soviets held significant forces against Japan in Manchuria during the whole of the war with Japan (which also forced Japan to hold forces against the Soviets and limited Japan's ability to exploit its gains by redeploying its major forces in China elsewhere), so there were substantial forces in place even before the defeat of Germany released more forces and, importantly, very experienced battlefield commanders and battle hardened troops. The Soviets moved troops and had LOC etc from west to east across their secure land mass rather than across the (by then not greatly) threatened oceans as the British and Americans had to do in Burma and Luzon.

Carl Schwamberger
11-07-2008, 10:26 AM
From my brief reading of the politics of the inner circle of the Japanese government it was the fact of the Soviet decalration of war and that they were willing to attack that influenced the government. From the start the Imperialist or pro war factions had held the idea that eventually the US would be forced to negotiate a peace. They dismissed the Unconditional Surrender policy as both unacceptable on Japans part and uneforcable on the part of the US. They clung to the idea that the US would not be able to force Japan into such a situation.

In July 1945 the Japanese navy had been defeated, but the Army leaders did not see 'Japan' as defeated yet. They saw the situation as a failure of the Navy, which tho difficult could still be saved by the Army. After all the Army still held onto most of Japans conquests. Only a few islands in the Pacific, and Burma had been lost. So the optimists thought Japans position still strong enough that a favorable peace could be negotiated. Nevermind that Tokyo had just been burned to the ground.

The people who make so much of Japans 'peace feelers' in the summer of 1945 ignore that Japanese diplomats were directed to ask for negotiations not surrender, and that Japans negotiating position was that it woud retain a significat part of its empire. The leaders inside Japans government thought that they could play off the USSR against the US. A nuetral and friendly USSR could give Japan a backstop and some stratigic depth.

Instead three things occured that demonstrated the bankruptcy of the 'Negotiate' policy. The atomic bombs were dropped, the diplomats were told there would no negotiations only surrender, and the USSR declared war.

By themselves the atomic bombs were suffcient to show Japan could not be properly defended. There was also a surge in USN naval raids, including stepped up submarine patrols. These showed that Japan could not defend its home waters even using its last reserves of aircraft in suicide attacks, or bring suffcient food from mainland Asia.

The USSR DoW left Japan without a politcal or economic ally. Even if not a single Soviet soldier had stepped into Manchuria the simple act of declaring war destroyed the international diplomacy leg of Japans strategy. The critical meeting where the Emperor spoke, effectively accepting the Unconditional Surrender, occured just a few days after the USSR started its ground attack. The magintude of the defeat in Manchuria was not yet clear.

Carl Schwamberger
11-07-2008, 10:35 AM
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I have limited knowledge of the Luzon and Burma campaigns, but I think neither had the opportunity for the Allies to build up and supply the massive forces against a more or less static enemy (ignoring Japan's retrospectively poorly time major movements to other defensive positions at the time of the Soviet attack) which the Soviets were able to do in the months between defeating Germany and attacking Japan. The Soviets held significant forces against Japan in Manchuria during the whole of the war with Japan (which also forced Japan to hold forces against the Soviets and limited Japan's ability to exploit its gains by redeploying its major forces in China elsewhere), so there were substantial forces in place even before the defeat of Germany released more forces and, importantly, very experienced battlefield commanders and battle hardened troops. The Soviets moved troops and had LOC etc from west to east across their secure land mass rather than across the (by then not greatly) threatened oceans as the British and Americans had to do in Burma and Luzon.

I suspect the Allied force directed at Burma & Luzon were designed for skill & not mass. As you point out the US did not have luxury of assemblying a huge army for attacking Luzon, and the British simply did not have a large army anyway. The Soviet military could afford to use both its skill and mass.