Türk porno yayini yapan http://www.smfairview.com ve http://www.idoproxy.com adli siteler rokettube videolarini da HD kalitede yayinlayacagini acikladi. Ayrica porno indir ozelligiyle de http://www.mysticinca.com adli porno sitesi devreye girdi.
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 38

Thread: Could Japan have won if they lost?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    357

    Default Could Japan have won if they lost?

    Sounds like a contraction doesn't it?

    But since Japan’s doctrine called for a ‘decisive’ battle where the U.S. fleet would sail toward Japan and Japanese subs, torpedo boats, aircraft, and finally the Japanese fleet would destroy the American fleet in a decisive battle what if instead at Pearl Harbor they had done poorly?

    That is, their attack was with far less aircraft and failed to achieve any real damage to the fleet (but enough to the civilian population to enrage the country.) And then, the U.S., pressed by a population out for Japan’s head, sent the fleet to Tokyo, just as the Japanese wanted and the pre-war American plans were set to do.

    But would the Emperor and Admiral Yamamoto be willing to do such a bold deed?

    Deaf
    “We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality” Ayn Rand

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    9,278

    Default Re: Could Japan have won if they lost?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deaf Smith View Post

    But would the Emperor and Admiral Yamamoto be willing to do such a bold deed?

    Deaf
    Almost certainly.

    The whole of Japan's naval thinking and strategy was focused on 'the decisive battle'.

    There was no assurance of victory at Pearl Harbor before the event. It was recognised that the IJN Pearl Harbor fleet was vulnerable on the way to and during the attack. It was accepted that the plan might fail.

    Failure at Pearl Harbor provoking the US to send its fleet to Japan would have played into Japan's hands.

    Whether Japan would have won 'the decisive battle' is unknowable, and very much dependent upon what forces America sent and how they used them.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    334

    Default Re: Could Japan have won if they lost?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deaf Smith View Post
    Sounds like a contraction doesn't it?

    But since Japan’s doctrine called for a ‘decisive’ battle where the U.S. fleet would sail toward Japan and Japanese subs, torpedo boats, aircraft, and finally the Japanese fleet would destroy the American fleet in a decisive battle what if instead at Pearl Harbor they had done poorly?

    That is, their attack was with far less aircraft and failed to achieve any real damage to the fleet (but enough to the civilian population to enrage the country.) And then, the U.S., pressed by a population out for Japan’s head, sent the fleet to Tokyo, just as the Japanese wanted and the pre-war American plans were set to do.

    But would the Emperor and Admiral Yamamoto be willing to do such a bold deed?

    Deaf
    It's quite untrue that "pre-war" US plans were to send the US Pacific Fleet to "Tokyo"; no such plans ever existed, and, in fact, the pre-war plan (Rainbow Five) for the Pacific Fleet was to stand on the defensive and protect a defensive perimeter stretching from Alaska to Hawaii to the Panama Canal (known as the "Strategic Triangle"). This defensive phase was to last until the threat of Germany had been countered.

    Even in the very beginning, War Plan Orange (WPO) did not contemplate a mad dash across the Pacific by the US Fleet to punish the Japanese for starting a war. It was always recognized by US Navy planners that it would be necessary to establish a fleet base, or bases, in the mid-Pacific before provoking a "decisive battle", probably somewhere between the Philippines and Japan. By about 1934, WPO did not even include plans to go beyond seizing Truk as an intermediate base. There were some vague references to further operations in the southern Philippines, but nothing about a fleet battle or the reduction of the Japanese Home islands.

    In 1939, Admiral Stark, possibly motivated by the resistance of Admiral James Richardson to the whole concept of WPO, reassessed US strategic policy in the Pacific, and produced the first of the Rainbow series of war plans. The Rainbow plans recognized the threat represented by Germany to be far greater than that of Japan, and changed the role of the Pacific Fleet from that of waging an aggressive offensive against Japan to a defensive role of ensuring the security of the US west Coast, Hawaii, and the Panama Canal.

    This certainly suited Admiral Richardson, who objected not only to WPO, but the entire US foreign policy vis a vis Japan; Richardson believed that a war with Japan was folly and that the US should accommodate Japan's territorial ambitions. The real reason Richardson objected to the Fleet's forward deployment in such strident terms was because he felt it facilitated an aggressive US foreign policy against Japan, and made WPO more realistic. Richardson may, or may not, have believed his criticism of Pearl Harbor as a Fleet base, but it was his failure to support the principles of US foreign policy that got him fired by Roosevelt.

    The appointment of Admiral Husband Kimmel, who was known as one of the more aggressive of US Admirals, to replace Richardson implied that the defensive role of the Pacific Fleet would not mean passivity. Edward S. Miller in his book "War Plan Orange", speculates that Kimmel may have had plans, in case of war, to lure a portion of the Japanese Combined Fleet into an ambush somewhere Southwest of Midway. Kimmel, one of the staunchest believers in the Big Gun ships, apparently planned to use his carriers as bait in the northern Marshalls, to draw out Yamamoto and provoke a Jutland-style battle between the opposing battleships.

    Whether this would have worked or not is debatable; Kimmel probably would have had a decided advantage in gun ships, but the IJN could have opposed Kimmel's two or three carriers with six of it's own. Whether it would have, and whether the opposing battle lines would have actually met, depends on several variables, not the least of which is how many carriers the Japanese might have committed to a less powerful attack on Pearl Harbor.

    Nevertheless, such a battle in mid-Pacific would not have decided the war by any means; even if the US Fleet had been annihilated, the US would have been able to replace the ships with units from the Atlantic, and still would have been able to adequately defend Hawaii. The US had started, in 1940, to build what was literally a "two ocean" Navy, i.e. a navy that was large enough and powerful enough to control both the Atlantic and the Pacific regardless of what the Axis powers did. The new units of that Navy began being commissioned at the end of 1942, so at best, Japan might have been able to delay it's defeat by six to nine months.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    West Lafayette Indiana
    Posts
    265

    Default Re: Could Japan have won if they lost?

    Wizard... interesting comments there. Had Kimmel been thnking that way I'd fear he'd stumble into a counter trap. Something like Bywater described in his novel 'The Great Pacific War 1934'. But, maybe Kimmel knew something I dont.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    9,278

    Default Re: Could Japan have won if they lost?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard View Post
    Nevertheless, such a battle in mid-Pacific would not have decided the war by any means; even if the US Fleet had been annihilated, the US would have been able to replace the ships with units from the Atlantic, and still would have been able to adequately defend Hawaii. The US had started, in 1940, to build what was literally a "two ocean" Navy, i.e. a navy that was large enough and powerful enough to control both the Atlantic and the Pacific regardless of what the Axis powers did. The new units of that Navy began being commissioned at the end of 1942, so at best, Japan might have been able to delay it's defeat by six to nine months.
    Wouldn't transferring ships from the Atlantic, in sufficient force to meet Japan effectively on the defensive let alone controlling the Pacific, have caused problems for the 'Germany First' policy and delayed that war?
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    334

    Default Re: Could Japan have won if they lost?

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Schwamberger View Post
    Wizard... interesting comments there. Had Kimmel been thnking that way I'd fear he'd stumble into a counter trap. Something like Bywater described in his novel 'The Great Pacific War 1934'. But, maybe Kimmel knew something I dont.
    Of course, such an event would always be possible, however, Admiral Kimmel was aggressive but far from needlessly reckless. The USN, at the beginning of the war, enjoyed a distinct advantage over the IJN in terms of long range over-water air reconnaissance by virtue of the fact that it was able to concentrate many more squadrons of patrol bombers (known as VP) in the Pacific. Kimmel had carefully prepared Wake to temporarily host three VP squadrons especially to act as scouts for his planned ambush. In addition, he wisely chose the ambush point so that it remained under the air search umbrella provided by three VP squadrons slated to move to Midway upon the outbreak of war. Thus, Kimmel would have been operating with strong tactical reconnaissance provided by six VP squadrons. He also would have had the air search capabilities of his three (two, if war had broken out in early December) carriers. By all accounts Kimmel should have been able to conduct his operation without worrying too much about a counter-ambush.

    However, this is not to say that such an operation would have been without danger to the Pacific Fleet. We know in retrospect that the IJN was carefully husbanding what it considered it's heavy naval forces in anticipation of a "Decisive Battle", and probably would not have committed any battleships in response to what amounted to mere carrier raids on it's outlying island bases. But there would have been no question but that "lighter" forces (considered by the IJN to be subs, cruisers, and carriers) would have, if possible, given battle in an attempt to attrit the heavy units of the Pacific Fleet.

    We know that at least 25 Japanese subs were stationed around Oahu in conjunction with the Pearl Harbor attack, and these would have had an excellent opportunity to attack the Fleet as it sortied and returned after the presumptive battle. In the historical event these subs weren't very effective, but one never knows how they may have affected an alternate history.

    Far more serious, in my opinion, would have been a confrontation between the US carriers and the IJN carriers. The IJN would have enjoyed a possible two, or three, to one advantage in numbers of flight decks, and near that in numbers of aircraft. More importantly, the training and experience of the opposing pilots was somewhat better on the Japanese side. I think a scenario where the IJN carriers overwhelm and sink or seriously damage the US carriers, and then go on to nullify Kimmel's air reconnaissance, and fall upon his vulnerable (to air attack) gun ships, is the far more plausible supposition. As Halsey was well aware, Kimmel's gun ships were slow (probably no faster than 19 knots), while the Japanese carriers and their escorts could do a minimum of 28 knots; if Kimmel had to run, he was going to be severely handicapped.

    Both Admiral Kimmel, and his chief planning officer, Charles "Soc" McMorris, were stalwarts of the "Gun Club" in the US Navy at the time, and while they clearly understood the value of air reconnaissance, I think Kimmel was overly dismissive of the potential danger of naval air attack on capital ships. In my opinion, he undervalued his carriers, and potentially exposed them to dangers he little understood. I think this was the chief danger in Kimmel's plan. That is, if it did indeed exist, as Miller speculates in his book.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    334

    Default Re: Could Japan have won if they lost?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Wouldn't transferring ships from the Atlantic, in sufficient force to meet Japan effectively on the defensive let alone controlling the Pacific, have caused problems for the 'Germany First' policy and delayed that war?
    If it had been necessary to transfer naval units from the Atlantic to the Pacific to replace ships destroyed in a notional battle at the very beginning of the war, it almost certainly would not have been on a one-to-one basis. In all likelihood, only two carriers, two modern battleships, six or eight cruisers and perhaps twenty destroyers would have been transferred. This is not significantly more than were actually dispatched from Atlantic to the Pacific in the first three months of the war.

    Given the historic reluctance of the British to engage in a major confrontation with German forces in 1942 and 1943, I don't think this small reduction in US naval forces in the Atlantic would have had much practical effect on the timing of the war in Europe. Probably the most important effect would have been a delay in Operation Torch.

    In the Pacific, the defense of Oahu was based, first of all, on the island's own air forces; naval units were needed primarily to keep the supply routes (never seriously threatened) from the West Coast open, and to prevent IJN heavy forces from raiding the island. The Japanese only seriously threatened the "Strategic Triangle" once, and that was the attack on Midway. If they had taken Midway, it would have been a setback for the Americans that would have to be rectified. But, in any case, Japan had no real chance of holding Midway for any length of time.

    The Allied buildup in Australia would have suffered and it's possible that MacArthur's campaign in the Southwest Pacific would have had to have been curtailed or eliminated; the defensive battles fought to protect Australia were mostly fought by Australia troops and would still have occurred. The Doolittle raid may not have happened; that would free up two carriers to defend at Coral Sea. The net effect would have been to delay the USN's offensive in the Central Pacific for several months, until the USN's forces could be built up by the naval construction program begun in mid-1940. There is no doubt that the destruction of the Pacific Fleet in a battle early in the war would have been an Allied setback, but not significantly worse than what actually happened at Pearl Harbor. Such an event would not have that much of an effect on the European war because, except for light naval forces (destroyers, patrol craft, and naval aviation), the USN was not a significant factor in defeating Germany.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    9,278

    Default Re: Could Japan have won if they lost?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard View Post
    The Allied buildup in Australia would have suffered and it's possible that MacArthur's campaign in the Southwest Pacific would have had to have been curtailed or eliminated; the defensive battles fought to protect Australia were mostly fought by Australia troops and would still have occurred.
    But, depending upon when the 'decisive battle' occurred, possibly with a different result for Australia as it was Japan's need to focus on Guadalcanal which contributed to Australian success on Kokoda, which was the turning point in the first phase of what became the New Guinea campaign.

    The US campaign and victory at Guadalcanal was in turn heavily dependent upon USN resources.

    A significant reduction in USN forces at Guadalcanal might have seen a different result there, albeit not necessarily an American defeat but not necessarily a victory either if the force became isolated by superior IJN forces.

    That, in combination with lack of Australian success on, or even defeat on, Kokoda, would quite possibly have made Eisenhower's earlier assessment that America need not defend Australia a lot more attractive. In turn, and as you say, the desirability of MacArthur's build up and campaigns might well have been rejected. Then again, Guadalcanal might not have occurred after the 'decisive battle'.

    I'm already well into alternative history here, so I might as well keep going.

    The consequence for the Central Pacific thrust would probably have been to impose much higher casualties on America as the New Guinea campaigns sucked the life out of the IJA in the Pacific. As Henry Frei points out

    In a way, for three years the Pacific war really took place in New Guinea. It was an important side theatre that for the length of the war conveniently pinned down 350,000 elite Japanese troops as MacArthur island-hopped his way to Tokyo.

    In New Guinea, Japan lost 220,000 troops.[46] In a land that was never imagined to become a battlefield, not by late-Tokugawa southward advance protagonists who envisaged the Philippines as a possible war theatre, not by Meiji intellectuals who saw the prize in Malaya and in Indonesia, not even by the General Staff at the outbreak of war.

    It is an irony of Pacific war history that several other islands come to mind immediately when we speak of action in the Pacific, but not New Guinea. The many battles there are little known, except to specialists who study that place and period and to people in Australia, although the war on that island was the most drawn out and frustrating of battles in the Pacific war.
    http://ajrp.awm.gov.au/AJRP/remember...6?OpenDocument

    A Japanese victory in Papua in late 1942 - early 1943 would have released the vast bulk of those 350,000 (although I have seen other figures at 400,000) troops to Central Pacific defence.

    Moreover, it would have greatly shortened Japan's lines of communication and relieved it of the burden of supplying forces in New Guinea and relieved it of the losses in shipping incurred in that process. This would have enabled stronger defences in the Central Pacific, both in troop numbers and materiel, to face the advancing Americans.

    However, that might be balanced by the US forces actually allocated to MacArthur being diverted to the Central Pacific thrust. On one hand this creates a 'local' shipping problem as the distance from supply in America to the advancing fronts in the Central Pacific is much greater than from Australia to Papua-New Guinea, but overall it avoids the burden of shipping troops and materiel from America to Australia. This may increase the supply capability of America in the Central Pacific, but minus whatever was lost from Australia as the source of a good deal of supply and transport for American troops in Papua-New Guinea and elsewhere in the region throughout the war.

    Meanwhile, there is every prospect that the American thrust across the Pacific would occupy Japan's attention and forces so that there would be no further advance towards Australia from Papua-New Guinea.

    This would leave Australia to sit out the Pacific War fearing invasion and holding forces against it, in a stalemate not unlike the Soviet-Japan forces facing but not fighting each until the last weeks of the war.

    And MacArthur might then have been captured in the Philippines and be remembered now only as the commander who managed to lose half his bomber force on the ground on the first day of the war and all his forces a few months later.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    334

    Default Re: Could Japan have won if they lost?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    But, depending upon when the 'decisive battle' occurred, possibly with a different result for Australia as it was Japan's need to focus on Guadalcanal which contributed to Australian success on Kokoda, which was the turning point in the first phase of what became the New Guinea campaign.

    The US campaign and victory at Guadalcanal was in turn heavily dependent upon USN resources.

    A significant reduction in USN forces at Guadalcanal might have seen a different result there, albeit not necessarily an American defeat but not necessarily a victory either if the force became isolated by superior IJN forces.

    That, in combination with lack of Australian success on, or even defeat on, Kokoda, would quite possibly have made Eisenhower's earlier assessment that America need not defend Australia a lot more attractive. In turn, and as you say, the desirability of MacArthur's build up and campaigns might well have been rejected. Then again, Guadalcanal might not have occurred after the 'decisive battle'.

    I'm already well into alternative history here, so I might as well keep going.

    The consequence for the Central Pacific thrust would probably have been to impose much higher casualties on America as the New Guinea campaigns sucked the life out of the IJA in the Pacific. As Henry Frei points out

    http://ajrp.awm.gov.au/AJRP/remember...6?OpenDocument

    A Japanese victory in Papua in late 1942 - early 1943 would have released the vast bulk of those 350,000 (although I have seen other figures at 400,000) troops to Central Pacific defence.

    Moreover, it would have greatly shortened Japan's lines of communication and relieved it of the burden of supplying forces in New Guinea and relieved it of the losses in shipping incurred in that process. This would have enabled stronger defences in the Central Pacific, both in troop numbers and materiel, to face the advancing Americans.

    However, that might be balanced by the US forces actually allocated to MacArthur being diverted to the Central Pacific thrust. On one hand this creates a 'local' shipping problem as the distance from supply in America to the advancing fronts in the Central Pacific is much greater than from Australia to Papua-New Guinea, but overall it avoids the burden of shipping troops and materiel from America to Australia. This may increase the supply capability of America in the Central Pacific, but minus whatever was lost from Australia as the source of a good deal of supply and transport for American troops in Papua-New Guinea and elsewhere in the region throughout the war.

    Meanwhile, there is every prospect that the American thrust across the Pacific would occupy Japan's attention and forces so that there would be no further advance towards Australia from Papua-New Guinea.

    This would leave Australia to sit out the Pacific War fearing invasion and holding forces against it, in a stalemate not unlike the Soviet-Japan forces facing but not fighting each until the last weeks of the war.

    And MacArthur might then have been captured in the Philippines and be remembered now only as the commander who managed to lose half his bomber force on the ground on the first day of the war and all his forces a few months later.
    The problem with alternative history is that you can spin it pretty much anyway you like, and I have to reply with, "Yes, it's possible that could have happened." Nothing ever really gets settled in alternative history.

    I will only say that a disastrous defeat for Admiral Kimmel in mid-Pacific in early December, 1941, especially the early loss of two carriers, would change the whole dynamic of the Pacific War and make any predictions about specific campaigns and battles highly speculative. But in reality, the loss of two carriers a few months before US carriers were lost historically, would have little overall effect on the end results of the war.

    I speculated that the Doolittle raid might have been aborted in the interest of conserving existing carriers. If that had happened, it would have, most likely effected the timing of Japan's Midway operation. Admiral Yamamoto had already received the approval of Navy Chief of Staff, Admiral Nagano for the operation, but the timing was still not settled, other operations in the South Pacific still being in competition for the scarce carrier resources, and the IJA was still fiercely expressing opposition to the plan. Only after the Doolittle raid did the IJA drop it's opposition and back the immediate launch of Yamamoto's Midway operation.

    If Yamamoto had already destroyed some of the US carriers in December, 1941, and the Doolittle raid did not occur, it's unlikely that the Midway attack would have taken place in June, 1942. It was only Yamamoto's obsession with destroying US carriers that gave urgency to the Midway plan. And it was the results of the Midway battle, more than anything else, which prompted the launch of the Guadalcanal offensive in August, 1942. Suppose no Allied Midway victory, but the Japanese still complete an airbase on Guadalcanal; if no American ground invasion is possible, that airbase would still be within reach of US heavy bombers from New Caledonia and Espiritu Santo. There would be more than one way to neutralize such a base. So the chain of events may easily have precluded any ground invasion of Guadalcanal, at least in mid-1942. I would argue, however, that Guadalcanal, while helpful to the Australian victory on the Kokoda Track, was not essential to that development.

    With what amounted to a reinforced Australian division spread between Port Moresby and Milne Bay, and being able to attack only on what was essentially a squad front, and having to move every grenade, bag or rice, and artillery round by foot over one of the most imposing mountain ranges in the world under appalling climatic conditions, I would contend the Japanese had zero chance of prevailing in the Kokoda campaign. And even if they had somehow managed to take Port Moresby, exploiting the area as an offensive air base against northern Australia would have required far better logistics than they were ever capable of in that area. The whole New Guinea campaign might have ended in a stalemate, but such a stalemate neither favored Japan nor threatened Australia.

    I don't think a Japanese "victory" in New Guinea in late 1942, would have had the effect you attribute to it; it would not have "released" anything like 400,000 troops for duty in the Central Pacific because the Japanese would have had to guard against a potential attack out of Australia, unless they knew for certain that there was no Allied buildup there; of this they could never be certain.

    Moreover, where could 400,000 troops be usefully deployed? Kwajalein? Tarawa? Eniwetok? They might have been employed in the campaigns of 1944 on some of the larger islands like Saipan, Guam, Tinian, or later on Okinawa, but by 1944, the Japanese had lost the ability to move significant numbers of troops anywhere in the Pacific due to the depredations of the US sub fleet, and the dominance of the US 3rd/5th. Fleet. The Japanese were extremely fortunate to be able to evacuate 13,000 starving, disease ridden, scare-crows of soldiers from Guadalcanal. Even then, the Japanese IGHQ was loath to try to re-incorporate these sorry survivors back into organized, combat-worthy units for fear of destroying the morale of the fresher units.

    In any case, restricting the US counter-offensive in the Pacific to the Central Pacific would have offered a number of advantages and some disadvantages as well. Probably the biggest advantage would have been avoiding the interservice squabbles over who was to be supreme commander, and the resulting split command. Personally, had I been Roosevelt, I would have taken great pleasure in putting MacArthur in command of all service troops in Greenland, or sending him to Moscow to be the US military representative to Stalin (we could have started the Cold war three years early!), or sending him to China in place of Stillwell, show Chiang what a real tyrant was like!

    I still think the Pacific war would have ended on schedule because, once we had captured the Marianas, Japan was doomed. The Manhattan project was going ahead regardless of what happened in the Pacific, and with Tinian in our hands, there was no escape.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    9,278

    Default Re: Could Japan have won if they lost?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard View Post
    With what amounted to a reinforced Australian division spread between Port Moresby and Milne Bay, and being able to attack only on what was essentially a squad front,
    That's a popular misconception, no doubt derived from the fact that parts of the track are quite narrow and hemmed by jungle which limits movement.

    Some engagements were on a very much larger scale than squad contacts, in unit and battlefield size. There are good schematics here of these engagments. Click on the date table that will come up on the left of the map for troop movements.
    http://kokoda.commemoration.gov.au/i...at-isurava.php
    http://kokoda.commemoration.gov.au/i...i-disaster.php
    http://kokoda.commemoration.gov.au/i...aiwa-ridge.php


    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard View Post
    and having to move every grenade, bag or rice, and artillery round by foot over one of the most imposing mountain ranges in the world under appalling climatic conditions,
    The Australians had exactly the same problem, but the further the Japanese advanced the more the positions were reversed in Australia's favour.

    The position was different for the Japanese when the Australian counter-offensive pushed them back towards the Buna beachhead as by that stage the Japanese supply line was very poor and the Japanese were generally ill and starving and in a far worse condition than the Australians had been during their retreat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard View Post
    I would contend the Japanese had zero chance of prevailing in the Kokoda campaign.
    I think they had a reasonable chance of succeeding.

    The real test would have been when the depleted and not very healthy force tried to break out of their most advanced point at Ioribaiwa Ridge where, to that point, they remained undefeated. But General Horii was ordered to retreat when he was in sight of Moresby, because of the situation on Guadalcanal.

    The probability is that the Japanese, by then reduced by disease and hunger, would not have been able to take Moresby.

    However, if the early stages of the campaign had gone better and quicker for Japan, as it could reasonably have expected when battle hardened Japanese forces were faced by outnumbered green Australian militia troops, Japan would have been in a significantly better condition to attack Moresby. This probably would have been without having some of the battles along the way as these occurred in part because of the time bought by the unexpectedly strong and effective defence by the green Australian troops, ably led by some battle-hardened officers and NCOs transferred in for that purpose.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard View Post
    I would argue, however, that Guadalcanal, while helpful to the Australian victory on the Kokoda Track, was not essential to that development.
    I’m not so sure about that.

    The interrelationship between Guadalcanal and the Papuan campaign is dealt with nicely here, starting at p.134. http://books.google.com.au/books?id=...page&q&f=false

    It is significant that the Japanese, having defeated the Australians in every battle, were in sight of Moresby when ordered to retreat because of the Guadalcanal situation.

    Although the Japanese were by then not in good physical condition and poorly supplied, they still managed to expel a solid Australian force from Ioribaiwa Ridge under those poor circumstances. The Japanese often demonstrated during WWII a great ability to carry on under such adverse conditions. Maybe they could have taken Moresby. The incentive of access to stores might have helped spur them on.

    As it was, the defence of Moresby wasn’t put to the test because of the retreat order to Gen Horii, so we’ll never know if he could have taken Moresby in the absence of Guadalcanal, but it is also the case that Australia got a huge advantage from being able to chase troops ordered to retreat rather than forcing them by feat of arms to retreat.

    In the absence of the retreat order, and regardless of whether or not Horii could have taken Moresby, it doesn’t follow that the Australians could readily have dislodged him from Ioribaiwa and forced him into retreat.

    I think the retreat order was crucial in initiating the Australian advance along Kokoda, which in turn was attributable to the Guadalcanal situation.

    In the end, however, Papua and Guadalcanal were both due to Japan’s ‘victory disease’ and to Japan badly over-extending itself, which was due to Japan’s lack of strategic vision which contributed significantly to its eventual defeat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard View Post
    And even if they had somehow managed to take Port Moresby, exploiting the area as an offensive air base against northern Australia would have required far better logistics than they were ever capable of in that area.
    Apart from the major US air base at Townsville in North Queensland, there wasn't much on land in northern Australia to hit from the air from Moresby.

    Moresby was the only natural deep water harbour in the region. It would have been better used as a back-up to the IJN base at Rabaul, which in turn was backing up Truk. That assumes, of course, that Japan had the ships, IJN and merchant, to utilise it.

    A Japanese naval and or air base at Moresby would have given Japan a good deal of control over movements through the Torres Strait between Australia and New Guinea, which would have interfered with sea supply from the east coast centres to Darwin and anywhere else west of the Torres Strait. It would also have protected Rabaul from air attack from Townsville as Moresby was a necessary staging point on those long missions, although the impact of that on the war as a whole would have been minimal.

    The loss of Moresby would have had a greater impact in morale terms in Australia, positively for some and negatively for others, with Japan firmly on our doorstep and apparently poised to invade.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard View Post
    The whole New Guinea campaign might have ended in a stalemate, but such a stalemate neither favored Japan nor threatened Australia.
    With the benefit of hindsight we know that, but MacArthur and his commanders didn't share that view nor did the Australia public. All of them, quite reasonably, saw the advance to Moresby as a prelude to Japan's announced intention to conquer Australia.

    MacArthur's panic was in part attributable to his fear of losing his command if he lost Moresby.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard View Post
    Personally, had I been Roosevelt, I would have taken great pleasure in putting MacArthur in command of all service troops in Greenland, or sending him to Moscow to be the US military representative to Stalin (we could have started the Cold war three years early!), or sending him to China in place of Stillwell, show Chiang what a real tyrant was like!
    On that, we agree.

    Maybe Roosevelt thought that keeping MacArthur as far away from him as possible for the duration of the war was the ideal arrangement, and that Australia fitted that bill.
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 09-14-2010 at 06:19 AM. Reason: typo
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    334

    Default Re: Could Japan have won if they lost?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    That's a popular misconception, no doubt derived from the fact that parts of the track are quite narrow and hemmed by jungle which limits movement.

    Some engagements were on a very much larger scale than squad contacts, in unit and battlefield size....
    Nevertheless, the Kokoda Trail battles were typically fought as small unit engagements. The restricted terrain, and above all the difficult logistics, prevented both sides from conducting large scale battles. The Japanese, for instance, would have been very hard pressed to attack Port Moresby directly with fresh troops in anything larger than battalion-size formations.

    With the majority of of the veteran Australian 7th Division, and after mid-September, major elements of the US 32nd Division, in and around Port Moresby, the Japanese would have been fatally outnumbered in any attack on that locality, even if they had been able to somehow bring forward enough supplies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    The Australians had exactly the same problem, but the further the Japanese advanced the more the positions were reversed in Australia's favour....
    Perhaps, but they were able to solve it in different ways. In any case, the Australians benefited from the ability to supply their forward troops by air, difficult as that was; the Japanese never had the transport aircraft to utilize this means of supply. At no point, were the Australians in such a desperate logistical situation as the Japanese on the Kokoda trail. In fact, one of the Australian problems was destroying supply dumps, such as the one at Myola, so that they would not fall into enemy hands.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    I think they had a reasonable chance of succeeding.
    Only if they had been able to strike out of Buna and capture the Kokoda Trail in it's entirety in the first two to three weeks. This might have allowed them to bring enough force to bear on Port Moresby to capture it before it could be reinforced. The fact that the trail was even lightly garrisoned and the Japanese had very poor intelligence on it (IGHQ was under the impression that it was a "road" capable of supporting motor transport) and it's defenders (After the initial engagements, the Japanese reported that they had defeated an Australian force of 1,200 men; actual numbers, 77 Australians), meant that they never could move fast enough to accomplish their objectives.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    The real test would have been when the depleted and not very healthy force tried to break out of their most advanced point at Ioribaiwa Ridge where, to that point, they remained undefeated. But General Horii was ordered to retreat when he was in sight of Moresby, because of the situation on Guadalcanal.

    The probability is that the Japanese, by then reduced by disease and hunger, would not have been able to take Moresby....
    General Horrii's decision could not have been solely because of the Allied attack on Guadalcanal; he also believed that his troops were so depleted and in such terrible condition that they could not even withstand a determined assault on their positions overlooking Port Moresby, otherwise he would have dug in and awaited developments.

    Moreover, had the Americans not invaded Guadalcanal, MacArthur could have called on the First Marine Division (then under Nimitz's command) to reinforce Port Moresby, and the likelihood is that the Joint Chiefs of Staff would have granted the request. How likely is it that the Japanese, with their starving, disease ridden handful of troops, could have attacked and overwhelmed Port Moresby's defenses, manned by the veteran 7th. Australian Division, the 32nd. US Division, and the First Marine Division? I just don't see any chance for the Japanese, with or without Guadalcanal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    I’m not so sure about that.

    The interrelationship between Guadalcanal and the Papuan campaign is dealt with nicely here, starting at p.134. http://books.google.com.au/books?id=...page&q&f=false

    It is significant that the Japanese, having defeated the Australians in every battle, were in sight of Moresby when ordered to retreat because of the Guadalcanal situation.

    Although the Japanese were by then not in good physical condition and poorly supplied, they still managed to expel a solid Australian force from Ioribaiwa Ridge under those poor circumstances. The Japanese often demonstrated during WWII a great ability to carry on under such adverse conditions. Maybe they could have taken Moresby. The incentive of access to stores might have helped spur them on.

    As it was, the defence of Moresby wasn’t put to the test because of the retreat order to Gen Horii, so we’ll never know if he could have taken Moresby in the absence of Guadalcanal, but it is also the case that Australia got a huge advantage from being able to chase troops ordered to retreat rather than forcing them by feat of arms to retreat.

    In the absence of the retreat order, and regardless of whether or not Horii could have taken Moresby, it doesn’t follow that the Australians could readily have dislodged him from Ioribaiwa and forced him into retreat.

    I think the retreat order was crucial in initiating the Australian advance along Kokoda, which in turn was attributable to the Guadalcanal situation.

    In the end, however, Papua and Guadalcanal were both due to Japan’s ‘victory disease’ and to Japan badly over-extending itself, which was due to Japan’s lack of strategic vision which contributed significantly to its eventual defeat.
    As I indicated above, Horiis decision to retreat reflected his overall situation and wasn't due entirely to news from Guadalcanal. The fact that Guadalcanal meant he could not count on receiving fresh troops as reinforcements played a part, of course, but had the Japanese enjoyed adequate logistics, and had some prospect of achieving their objective, retreat would never have been considered.

    Yes, the Japanese often persevered in adverse situations and occasionally prevailed as a result, but Horii knew he couldn't take Port Moresby with the troops at hand, and had to consider that continuing to attack would open his base at Buna/Gona to possible counter-attack which would jeopardize whatever gains the Japanese had already made. Furthermore, given Horii's logistical realities, simply hunkering down and defending his advanced positions would eventually lead to defeat, so there was no sense in doing that.

    Guadalcanal was bad news for Horii, but reinforcing Port Moresby with the troops that were historically used to invade Guadalcanal would have been even worse news. So there were no good options for the Japanese. I agree with you that the real problem was that the Japanese were over-extended and susceptible to the mistaken idea that their opponents would always be as weak as those they had defeated in the opening months of the war. The reality was that the Japanese were beginning to suffer from the disparity in material resources between their Empire and the Allies. On September 23, 1942, there were some 86 Allied ships, totaling 661,200 tons, in Noumea Harbor, waiting to unload, while at the same time the officers of a shipping regiment in Rabaul were frantically searching for ships of any size to transport 1,200 Korean laborers and 16,000 tons of supplies to Buna.

    CONTINUED......

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    334

    Default Re: Could Japan have won if they lost?

    CONTINUED FROM ABOVE.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Apart from the major US air base at Townsville in North Queensland, there wasn't much on land in northern Australia to hit from the air from Moresby.
    Well, there was the major US air base at Iron Range, where in 1942, at least five bomber squadrons were based. There was also Cairns, where a US transport squadron was based, and Mareeba airfield, just south of Cairns where seven US Bomber squadrons and a three US fighter squadrons were based in 1942. Altogether, there were eight US military airfields on the northeast Australian coast within range of bombers from Port Moresby. This isn't counting RAAF installations in that area.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Moresby was the only natural deep water harbour in the region. It would have been better used as a back-up to the IJN base at Rabaul, which in turn was backing up Truk. That assumes, of course, that Japan had the ships, IJN and merchant, to utilise it.

    A Japanese naval and or air base at Moresby would have given Japan a good deal of control over movements through the Torres Strait between Australia and New Guinea, which would have interfered with sea supply from the east coast centres to Darwin and anywhere else west of the Torres Strait. It would also have protected Rabaul from air attack from Townsville as Moresby was a necessary staging point on those long missions, although the impact of that on the war as a whole would have been minimal.

    The loss of Moresby would have had a greater impact in morale terms in Australia, positively for some and negatively for others, with Japan firmly on our doorstep and apparently poised to invade.
    All of which more or less confirms my contention that Port Moresby probably wasn't worth the effort the Japanese put into taking it.

    The Japanese did not have the ships to keep Port Moresby supplied on the scale that would have been required to support either an air or naval base. Even if the Japanese could somehow find the logistical shipping, The Torres straits, a natural chokepoint with a shipping channel only about 20 miles wide, as well as the approaches to Port Moresby through the Coral Sea to the east, would have been heavily disputed by Allied air units based in northern Australia. Supplying Port Moresby, for the Japanese, would have been as difficult and as costly as supplying Guadalcanal. Maintaining any kind of forces there would have involved a very debilitating battle of attrition, and the Japanese would have lost that battle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    With the benefit of hindsight we know that, but MacArthur and his commanders didn't share that view nor did the Australia public. All of them, quite reasonably, saw the advance to Moresby as a prelude to Japan's announced intention to conquer Australia.

    MacArthur's panic was in part attributable to his fear of losing his command if he lost Moresby.
    This is true, but alternative histories are always argued with the benefit of hindsight.

    As for Japan's intentions, I don't believe they ever announced their intention to invade Australia. In fact, by September, 1942, American intelligence was certain, based on radio decrypts, that Japan had neither the desire nor the capability of invading Australia. I don't know whether this insight was shared with MacArthur or not. In any case, Mac was typically dismissive of any intelligence which did not accord with his current view of the situation, or which tended to negate the importance of his own personal involvement.

    Give the Devil his due, one thing MacArthur seldom did was panic. I don't think he ever feared loss of command while in Australia; he did fear not getting a regular ration of favorable press.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    On that, we agree.

    Maybe Roosevelt thought that keeping MacArthur as far away from him as possible for the duration of the war was the ideal arrangement, and that Australia fitted that bill.
    Seriously, I am quite convinced that Roosevelt tolerated, indeed encouraged, the absurd command arrangement in the Pacific precisely because he wanted MacArthur safely in Australia where he wasn't likely to stir up domestic political trouble for Roosevelt. Saddling the poor Australians with Mac was also one way of preventing possible bloodshed on the JCS which already Admiral King to contend with.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    9,278

    Default Re: Could Japan have won if they lost?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard View Post
    Perhaps, but they were able to solve it in different ways. In any case, the Australians benefited from the ability to supply their forward troops by air, difficult as that was; the Japanese never had the transport aircraft to utilize this means of supply.
    Agreed, but maybe not all that much of a benefit to some or all of the fighting troops. I heard an oral history recently in which several veterans of the Kokoda campaign said that the air dropped supplies rarely landed where they were accessible to them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard View Post
    At no point, were the Australians in such a desperate logistical situation as the Japanese on the Kokoda trail. In fact, one of the Australian problems was destroying supply dumps, such as the one at Myola, so that they would not fall into enemy hands.
    Some of those supplies fell into Japanese hands during the Japanese retreat, to their further disadvantage. The Australians fouled them before abandoning them. The Japanese were so desperate in retreat that some ate the fouled supplies and became ill.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard View Post
    ... the Japanese had very poor intelligence on it (IGHQ was under the impression that it was a "road" capable of supporting motor transport) and it's defenders.
    Poor intelligence wasn't limited to the Japanese.

    One of MacArthur's senior American officers in Australia (can't recall who), on learning that the Kokoda Track went through a pass, thought that it would be a simple measure to block the pass and hold the Japanese there. He seemed to think it was a narrow pass of the type beloved of cowboy movies, when in fact it was miles wide and incapable of a blocking defence.

    I think the greatest deficiency in Allied command of the Kokoda campaign was that MacArthur and, far worse, Blamey as field commander in Moresby never even flew over the Track in the crucial Australian retreat period and refused to accept their field officers' description of terrain and conditions. Neither had any realistic appreciation of the ground or conditions or what was feasible for the troops and local commanders. Consequently both of them made unrealistic demands of their subordinates and were unduly harsh in their adverse responses to their subordinates' defeats by the Japanese. Blamey was an excellent commander and tactician in certain respects, but his command during the Australian retreat was, at best, uninspiring.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    334

    Default Re: Could Japan have won if they lost?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Agreed, but maybe not all that much of a benefit to some or all of the fighting troops. I heard an oral history recently in which several veterans of the Kokoda campaign said that the air dropped supplies rarely landed where they were accessible to them.
    Yes, I understand that air-dropped supplies were as frequently lost in the jungle as retrieved by the intended recipients. However, the ability to air drop supplies at places like Myola (once the correct dry lake bed was identified) meant that not every pound of supply that reached the front-line Australian troops had to be man-carried; this was not the case for the Japanese.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Some of those supplies fell into Japanese hands during the Japanese retreat, to their further disadvantage. The Australians fouled them before abandoning them. The Japanese were so desperate in retreat that some ate the fouled supplies and became ill.
    Interesting. I also understand that the Japanese were so desperate that it was suspected, after some Australian corpses were found with body parts missing, that they were resorting to cannibalism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Poor intelligence wasn't limited to the Japanese.

    One of MacArthur's senior American officers in Australia (can't recall who), on learning that the Kokoda Track went through a pass, thought that it would be a simple measure to block the pass and hold the Japanese there. He seemed to think it was a narrow pass of the type beloved of cowboy movies, when in fact it was miles wide and incapable of a blocking defence.
    Probably Sutherland.

    MacArthur and his staff were frequently accused of ignoring or misusing intelligence information, particularly during the first year of the war. Mac's intelligence organization tended to distance itself from the usually very efficient Joint Intelligence Center/Pacific Ocean Area (JICPOA), and as a result Mac's planning staff was often not on the same page as the rest of the Allied forces in the Pacific. Even when they shared a consensus, MacArthur might easily discount intelligence information if it didn't match his preconceived notions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    I think the greatest deficiency in Allied command of the Kokoda campaign was that MacArthur and, far worse, Blamey as field commander in Moresby never even flew over the Track in the crucial Australian retreat period and refused to accept their field officers' description of terrain and conditions. Neither had any realistic appreciation of the ground or conditions or what was feasible for the troops and local commanders. Consequently both of them made unrealistic demands of their subordinates and were unduly harsh in their adverse responses to their subordinates' defeats by the Japanese. Blamey was an excellent commander and tactician in certain respects, but his command during the Australian retreat was, at best, uninspiring.
    Yes, I have read of incidents involving Blamey such as the "running rabbits" speech; I gather he was held in rather low esteem by his field commanders and troops.

    With MacArthur, it was probably more often a situation where reality conflicted with his plans and ambitions, with his subordinates getting caught in the middle. MacArthur's ego simply would not let him tolerate unfavorable press, and God help the subordinate who might encounter obstacles which could potentially result in making Mac look less than Olympian.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    9,278

    Default Re: Could Japan have won if they lost?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard View Post
    Yes, I understand that air-dropped supplies were as frequently lost in the jungle as retrieved by the intended recipients. However, the ability to air drop supplies at places like Myola (once the correct dry lake bed was identified) meant that not every pound of supply that reached the front-line Australian troops had to be man-carried; this was not the case for the Japanese.
    Another aspect which advantaged the Australians was that, unlike the Japanese who raided the local population's subsistence gardens and stock and oppressed them in other ways, the Australians didn't alienate the local population, so Australia had a significant and crucial force of native carriers (who despite contemporary myths which still inform popular opinion were perhaps no more than indentured labourers exploited by the Australians) to bring supplies up and take wounded down, as well as providing local knowledge. But that is not to say that the local population was universally opposed to the Japanese as there were many who aided them, although sometimes with fatal consequences under Australian control. http://exkiap.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=805

    The Japanese also lacked the local knowledge and intelligence gained from Australians and other Europeans who had long lived in Papua.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard View Post
    Interesting. I also understand that the Japanese were so desperate that it was suspected, after some Australian corpses were found with body parts missing, that they were resorting to cannibalism.
    It wasn't suspected. There was evidence of cooking the body parts.

    In fairness to the Japanese, it was probably driven by desperation rather than their common gratuitous torture and butchery of an enemy. When the Gona - Buna - Sanananda beachhead was being reduced by the Australians and Americans at the end of 1942, the Japanese resorted to cannibalism of their own dead. I think I posted something on this forum some years ago referring to or extracting entries in a Japanese soldier's diary concerning his and his comrades' starvation and desperate resort to cannibalism of their own dead. Can't recall whether the source of the diary was internet or paper, but quite possibly here http://ajrp.awm.gov.au/ which is a great resource.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard View Post
    Probably Sutherland.
    Although he was a ***** in so many respects, I'm inclined to think it wasn't him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard View Post
    Yes, I have read of incidents involving Blamey such as the "running rabbits" speech; I gather he was held in rather low esteem by his field commanders and troops.
    The troops probably had a generally low opinion of him, but he had some solid supporters among officers under his command.

    I've read a lot about him, both primary and secondary sources, and find it difficult to come to any firm conclusion about the man. Like MacArthur and many other important military figures, he is not a one-dimensional figure. His supporters and opponents often give diametrically opposed versions of the same event.

    The 'rabbit who runs' episode is a perfect example. His supporters say he was not hostile to the troops and his comments were misunderstood while some of those present say the troops became mutinous and a nasty event was avoided only by the control of NCOs and officers, even though some of those officers soon after declined, in what amounted to calculated and serious military rudeness bordering on insubordination to a superior, to attend a subsequent gathering with Blamey.

    In case you haven't heard of it, a sequel to the 'rabbit who runs' speech illustrates a lot about the Australian soldiers of the time, and something about Blamey. When he returned to Moresby, Blamey visited a hospital holding troops wouned on the Track. Accompanied by the usual retinue of medical staff and flunkeys, he entered a ward to find all the troops sitting up in bed munching on lettuce leaves, like rabbits. Blamey walked through the ward, saying nothing. Nothing eventuated from it.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •