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Thread: Japanese Military Strength

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    Default Japanese Military Strength

    The Japanese probaly had the strongest military during WWII.Their navy was also incredibly powerful.It was by far the largest during the whole war.The Japanese also had considerible air power.

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    Default Re: Japanese Military Strength

    Really?



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    Default Re: Japanese Military Strength

    Quote Originally Posted by DavisC12 View Post
    The Japanese probaly had the strongest military during WWII.Their navy was also incredibly powerful.It was by far the largest during the whole war.The Japanese also had considerible air power.
    Care to elaborate, such as by letting us know the number of Japanese divisions deployed against the Allies in the Pacific and Burma theatres with, say, the number of Russian and German divisions, and comparing the USN fleet with the IJN fleet?
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    Default Re: Japanese Military Strength

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    Really?
    And how the has Japanese broke the US/UK otherwise during first year of war?

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    Default Re: Japanese Military Strength

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Care to elaborate, such as by letting us know the number of Japanese divisions deployed against the Allies in the Pacific and Burma theatres with, say, the number of Russian and German divisions, and comparing the USN fleet with the IJN fleet?
    The numbers of divisions is not everything yet.You yourself wrote that Japanes were outstanding warriors.
    Soviet did have an impressive number of division in 1941 , but poorly managed , they were not capable to stop Germans ( but , at lest, the German have been critically dalayed till the most winter, thus haven't finished barbarossa in time ).
    If to look at the some yearly pacific balltes when Japanese were able to crush the superior forces ( kinda battle of Singapoo) , having twice less strenghts - the Japanes officer corp was acting like a professional one.( except whom have been "busy" , commited the crimes against civils and pows)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    The numbers of divisions is not everything yet.You yourself wrote that Japanes were outstanding warriors.
    And as a nation they were outstandingly stupid in some respects, essentially revolving around a poor or virtually absent appreciation of the response of the US and Japan's ability to resist it and to hold what it grabbed in its initial advance phase.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    Soviet did have an impressive number of division in 1941 , but poorly managed , they were not capable to stop Germans ( but , at lest, the German have been critically dalayed till the most winter, thus haven't finished barbarossa in time ).
    Maybe, but the Soviets gave the Japanese a flogging in 1939 which was sufficiently harsh to discourage the Japanese from (a) attacking the Soviets in 1941 in pursuit of their primary objective of expanding into China and Siberia, deciding instead to go south, and (b) not attacking the USSR during the whole of the war.

    If, as the OP asserts, Japan probably had the strongest military in WWII, it was careful to avoid any conflict with the supposedly weaker Soviets. Which doesn't suggest that Japan was stronger than the USSR.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    If to look at the some yearly pacific balltes when Japanese were able to crush the superior forces ( kinda battle of Singapoo) , having twice less strenghts - the Japanes officer corp was acting like a professional one.( except whom have been "busy" , commited the crimes against civils and pows)
    This brings us back to the problem of determining whether numerically superior forces were incompetent by being defeated by numerically inferior forces just by comparing the numbers, which goes back to your point that the numbers aren't everything, or whether one had to look at other factors.

    In Malaya / Singapore Japan, on my analysis, actually had a numerical advantage where it mattered because the British and Commonwealth forces were dispersed in tactically bad positions to defend dispersed airfields and related areas. Japan, on the other hand, was able to concentrate its forces on an advance which largely ignored these areas which the defender had to defend, so that the defender's forces often were where the war wasn't.

    It also needs to be recognised that Japan had huge air superiority; about 200 tanks against zero British tanks; generally battle hardened troops from China against green British troops; Japanese troops unified in their cause unlike elements of Britain's Indian troops; and the huge advantage of being able to land unopposed in the initial phases because Britain wanted to avoid being seen as an aggressor by invading Thailand to reinforce the beachheads where Japan was expected to, and did, land. If the attacker can get ashore completely unopposed; establish his beachhead; and advance many miles inland and past the defensible choke points before he encounters his enemy, the 3:1 or thereabouts ratio which favours the defender is irrelevant.

    Japan's conquest of Malaya was a great piece of planning and soldiering, and put together very quickly by the relevant Japanese commanders, but if poor old General Percival had been given a free military hand to do what was necessary then Japan might not even have got past the Thai beachheads.
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    Default Re: Japanese Military Strength

    Do I smell a troll???

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Schwamberger View Post
    Do I smell a troll???
    It is difficult to discriminate between the scent of a troll and a fool, for both spring from the same worthless womb.
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    Default Re: Japanese Military Strength

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    In Malaya / Singapore Japan, on my analysis, actually had a numerical advantage where it mattered because the British and Commonwealth forces were dispersed in tactically bad positions to defend dispersed airfields and related areas. Japan, on the other hand, was able to concentrate its forces on an advance which largely ignored these areas which the defender had to defend, so that the defender's forces often were where the war wasn't.
    It also needs to be recognised that Japan had huge air superiority; about 200 tanks against zero British tanks; generally battle hardened troops from China against green British troops
    That i was meaning. The ability to concentrate the forces proper and fast is a right sign of professionalism of the command and officer corps.
    The Bitain still had have enough troops in Asia.But hasn't concentrate it.
    Honestly , their primitive "200 tanks" wasn't match even for ..dozen of Shermans, and might be destroyed with Molotov coctail,if to meet them proper.
    Aslo the Singapore's garrison did has a number of Artillery,that could be used with better effect.
    The other hand is - did even Brits want to resist Japane harsh?I heard the Gen Percival did not plan to defend the city seriously

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    Default Re: Japanese Military Strength

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    And how the has Japanese broke the US/UK otherwise during first year of war?
    A lot of reasons, many of which involved a well executed, as well as a wasted opportunity, attack on Pearl Harbor which severally disrupted the US Navy's "Plan Orange" coupled with the "Germany First" policy that was agreed upon prior with Britain. The US Navy quicly realized that there was no hope of relieving the Philippines after Pearl..

    I'm not saying the Japanese were terrible or anything, as soldiers they were excellent. But they lacked the industry, mechanization, and modern doctrine to wage a strategic war against first class powers...



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    Default Re: Japanese Military Strength

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    That i was meaning. The ability to concentrate the forces proper and fast is a right sign of professionalism of the command and officer corps.
    The Bitain still had have enough troops in Asia.But hasn't concentrate it.
    It doesn't matter. You can have all the troops in the world, but if they get cut off and are isolated, they're done for.

    An interesting stat I recently read is the same amount of shipping that could sustain five (American) soldiers in the European Theatre could only sustain two in the Pacific because of the immense distances of the Pacific Ocean. One of the main reasons why the "Anglophobe" contingent, such as Admiral King, in the US Navy and Army were marginalized in strategic planning circles by 1942...

    Honestly , their primitive "200 tanks" wasn't match even for ..dozen of Shermans, and might be destroyed with Molotov coctail,if to meet them proper.
    The 200 tanks were effective against infantry that had few antitank weapons, and I believe they were coming out of the jungle with swarms of infantry support...

    Aslo the Singapore's garrison did has a number of Artillery,that could be used with better effect.
    The other hand is - did even Brits want to resist Japane harsh?I heard the Gen Percival did not plan to defend the city seriously
    Not as much artillery as you might think, the British expected an amphibious landing and I believe the coastal guns were virtually useless against inland targets. I believe Percival also feared for the civilian population if he persisted vainly, as he had no hope of relief..



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    Default Re: Japanese Military Strength

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    I'm not saying the Japanese were terrible or anything, as soldiers they were excellent. But they lacked the industry, mechanization, and modern doctrine to wage a strategic war against first class powers...
    Nick , when they bombed Perl Harbour , they din't even look like they felt shortage of modern doctrine and mechanization
    Their doctrine was effective , ther fleet and aviation were modern.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    It doesn't matter. You can have all the troops in the world, but if they get cut off and are isolated, they're done for.
    Singapore had a big stocks of ammunition and food.Japanes had not.
    The CHurchil was in fury when has learned that Percival surrendered the city.
    Besides you forgetting, that Yamashita himself had a shortage of supplies and amunition.
    His attack was a .....pure bluff.But excellently organized bluff ( that again proves the hight professionalism of Japan corp).
    BTW that what CHurchill wrote himself.

    I think you ought to realise the way we view the situation in Singapore. It was reported to Cabinet by the C.I.G.S. [Chief of the Imperial General Staff, General Alan Brooke] that Percival has over 100,000 [sic] men, of whom 33,000 are British and 17,000 Australian. It is doubtful whether the Japanese have as many in the whole Malay Peninsula… In these circumstances the defenders must greatly outnumber Japanese forces who have crossed the straits, and in a well-contested battle they should destroy them. There must at this stage be no thought of saving the troops or sparing the population. The battle must be fought to the bitter end at all costs. The 18th Division has a chance to make its name in history. Commanders and senior officers should die with their troops. The honour of the British Empire and of the British Army is at stake. I rely on you to show no mercy to weakness in any form. With the Russians fighting as they are and the Americans so stubborn at Luzon, the whole reputation of our country and our race is involved. It is expected that every unit will be brought into close contact with the enemy and fight it out

    Obviously Percival didn't wish to die at all, neither with his troops nor in Japane camp alone
    The Shame of Singapore just proves that at the moment, the British hight staff wasn't able to manage the troops proper.
    Even the SOviet officer corp ( usialy claimed as "purged out from professionals") fought much more desperative in Kiev pocket to stop the GErmans advancing to East, that the British idiotic generals in Singapore.
    An interesting stat I recently read is the same amount of shipping that could sustain five (American) soldiers in the European Theatre could only sustain two in the Pacific because of the immense distances of the Pacific Ocean. One of the main reasons why the "Anglophobe" contingent, such as Admiral King, in the US Navy and Army were marginalized in strategic planning circles by 1942...
    But you are ignoring tha fact that Japanes also felt the same suppliing problems.
    My attack on Singapore was a bluff - a bluff that worked. I had 30,000 men and was outnumbered more than three to one. I knew that if I had to fight for long for Singapore, I would be beaten. That is why the surrender had to be at once. I was very frightened all the time that the British would discover our numerical weakness and lack of supplies and force me into disastrous street fighting.
    —- Tomoyuki Yamashita

    You see, the Japanes themself was close to surrender indeed.
    But they even can't to hope that the destiny presents them such a great "profesional" like a Percival.
    The 200 tanks were effective against infantry that had few antitank weapons, and I believe they were coming out of the jungle with swarms of infantry support...
    Oh don't make me to laugh ...
    Their stupid "tanks" might be easy destroyed even with the 20 mm AA gun with all their "swarms of infantry"( endeed just couple of soldiers in best case)

    Not as much artillery as you might think, the British expected an amphibious landing and I believe the coastal guns were virtually useless against inland targets. I believe Percival also feared for the civilian population if he persisted vainly, as he had no hope of relief..
    You believed in vain, Nick..
    The Coastal big caliber artillery ( that act around 360 degrees) endeed migh be very effective against infantry troops.
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi..._Singapore.jpg
    In Sevastopol during the last assault of 1942 , the ONLY Coastal artillery whole 2 months hold the superior german forces, leading by Mainstain ( the probably best general of ww2). Germans had to use the monstrous Karl and Dora guns to destroys the Coastal bunkers.
    If the Persival was charged to defend the Sevasopol , the city would be surrender befor the GErmans even arrived to Crimea

    "I decide who is a Jew and who is an Aryan "- Hermann Goering

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    Default Re: Japanese Military Strength

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    That i was meaning. The ability to concentrate the forces proper and fast is a right sign of professionalism of the command and officer corps.
    The Bitain still had have enough troops in Asia.But hasn't concentrate it.
    Percival couldn't concentrate his forces because he was forced to defend airfields dotted around Malaya in tactically bad positions, to prevent the Japanese landing troops on them. It wasn't his fault the airfields had been constructed in places virtually designed to create the maximum problem for a commander in disposing his forces.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    Honestly , their primitive "200 tanks" wasn't match even for ..dozen of Shermans, and might be destroyed with Molotov coctail,if to meet them proper.
    200 tanks of any type is 200 tanks better than an enemy with none, which is what Percival had. Or, more accurately, didn't have.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    Aslo the Singapore's garrison did has a number of Artillery,that could be used with better effect.
    No, that's an enduring myth.

    The arcs of fire and ranges didn't reach where they needed to be to be of any real value in resisting the final Japanese assault on Singapore and the types of ammunition available weren't much help either as they were designed to resist naval ships attacking from the sea, not infantry attacking from the mainland.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    The other hand is - did even Brits want to resist Japane harsh?I heard the Gen Percival did not plan to defend the city seriously
    Percival did the best he could with what he had, which was a shithouse hand carefully dealt to him by Churchill who refused to provide Malaya command with what the chiefs of staff, and a very accurate pre-war assessement by a staff officer being Percival, rightly said was needed to defend Malaya from accurately anticipated Japanese attacks.

    Maybe somebody else could have done a bit better than Percival, but the end result was always going to be the same.

    What buggered Percival, and what would have buggered any other commander, in the end was the loss of water supply to Singapore, without which the defenders could not continue to fight and without which the civilian population would be subjected to dehydration and disease.

    I have yet to see anyone come up with a solution to the absence of water for a force and population under siege. Until someone does, Percival can't be blamed for surrendering and, in my view, he made the right decision to minimise military and civilian suffering and death by surrendering instead of continuing a doomed defence.

    Churchill deserves all the blame for losing Malaya, not poor bloody Percival who was hamstrung in his defence by Churchill from the outset by, chiefly, denying him the air forces he needed and preventing him initiating Matador until after the Japanese had attacked, which was at least 24 hours and probably 48 to 72 hours too late.
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    Default Re: Japanese Military Strength

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    Singapore had a big stocks of ammunition and food.Japanes had not.
    The CHurchil was in fury when has learned that Percival surrendered the city.
    Churchill's fury at the loss of Singapore and Malaya, which was almost entirely his fault through another of his spectacularly bad military tactical decisions (but not necessarily a bad strategic political decision by avoiding circumstances which would lose Malaya but avoid Britain being seen as the aggressor in isolationist America which might have influenced America to keep out of the war, ignoring Pearl Harbor which Churchill could not foresee - and I am not getting into the 'Churchill let Pearl Harbor happen to drag America into the war' conspiracy theory), does not demonstrate that Singapore had ample stocks of anything.

    Churchill's reactions, beliefs and comments are not always accurate guides to the true situation.

    For example, Churchill blamed the Australians for losing Malaya, of which Singapore was the last part. The fact that he did this does not demonstrate that Australians, who were a relatively small proportion of Britain's forces, actually managed to lose Malaya and Singapore all by themselves. They had some considerable assistance from the rather larger British and Indian forces who in most cases were also doing their best at the same time to resist the Japanese, also without any sign of continuing success.

    Rational assessments of disasters brought about by his own actions or inaction were not Churchill's strong point, not that that makes him any different from most of us.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    Besides you forgetting, that Yamashita himself had a shortage of supplies and amunition.
    He didn't bother to tell Percival that before he unleashed a huge and sustained artillery attack to cover his amphibious assaults on Singapore.

    The fact is that the Japanese very quickly brought up a lot of artillery ammunition for the assault, as they were very good in quickly bringing up ordnance and heavier weapons in their advance phase. Yamashita was a long way short of being down to his last artillery round when he attacked Singapore. He was actually adequately supplied for the assault he planned and succesfully executed, which is all a commander needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    His attack was a .....pure bluff.But excellently organized bluff ( that again proves the hight professionalism of Japan corp).
    It was not a bluff.

    It was a serious, sustained and successful amphibous assault supported by artillery and, most people seem to be unaware, air attacks including on the coastal guns which are the focus of so much myth and which suppressed or put some of them out of action.

    It was the Japanese troops who got ashore in large numbers and who pressed the defenders back who delivered the final blows, including getting control of the water supplies.

    It was a series of vicious battles, and nothing like a bluff. Many men died and were injured on both sides during them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    BTW that what CHurchill wrote himself.

    I think you ought to realise the way we view the situation in Singapore. It was reported to Cabinet by the C.I.G.S. [Chief of the Imperial General Staff, General Alan Brooke] that Percival has over 100,000 [sic] men, of whom 33,000 are British and 17,000 Australian. It is doubtful whether the Japanese have as many in the whole Malay Peninsula… In these circumstances the defenders must greatly outnumber Japanese forces who have crossed the straits, and in a well-contested battle they should destroy them. There must at this stage be no thought of saving the troops or sparing the population. The battle must be fought to the bitter end at all costs. The 18th Division has a chance to make its name in history. Commanders and senior officers should die with their troops. The honour of the British Empire and of the British Army is at stake. I rely on you to show no mercy to weakness in any form. With the Russians fighting as they are and the Americans so stubborn at Luzon, the whole reputation of our country and our race is involved. It is expected that every unit will be brought into close contact with the enemy and fight it out
    Big and empty words from an arrogant man who created the whole ****ing problem and who had no solution to it other than to demand that the poor bastards he'd put into a hopeless position should fight to the death in an unwinnable situation, from the man who denied Malaya the air support that lost the Repulse, Prince of Wales, Malaya and Singapore.

    Churchill is full of shit in these statements.

    As is his post-war statement to the effect that he didn't realise during the war how bad the situation was in Malaya before and during the campaign. Well, it was his ****ing job to know, particularly when he had excellent advice from his military advisers and he was making the decisions about what Malaya command could and could not have and do. He was an arrogant fool at best and a woefully negligent and incompetent leader at worst, Or maybe the other way around.

    Churchill chose to give priority to things closer to home, notably the Med (where as far as I am aware he didn't, as apparently he did in Malaya, require several divisions to fight to the death to any purpose, let alone no good purpose). And so the poor bastards in Malaya were doomed from the outset and ended up in incredibly bad conditions as POWs of the Japanese.

    But still poor old Percival gets blamed for being a poor commander and for losing Malaya.

    If MacArthur had been hobbled with the same constraints as Percival, he would have lost in Papua New Guinea and would never have returned to the Philippines. And so on for other commanders.

    Percival mightn't have been the best commander in WWII, but he was competent with what he had in a shithouse situation designed to deprive him of every element for a successful defence of Malaya, some of which came from Churchill and some of which came from other factors.

    Percival doesn't deserve the ridicule and contempt which has been heaped upon him since he surrendered.

    I'd like to see an armchair, or any other, general who could fight the Malayan campaign better and win when operating under all the constraints placed upon Percival.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    Obviously Percival didn't wish to die at all, neither with his troops nor in Japane camp alone
    The Shame of Singapore just proves that at the moment, the British hight staff wasn't able to manage the troops proper.
    Even the SOviet officer corp ( usialy claimed as "purged out from professionals") fought much more desperative in Kiev pocket to stop the GErmans advancing to East, that the British idiotic generals in Singapore.
    So what should Percival have done when he was on the verge of military defeat and having his troops and civilians in Singapore die from dehydration and disease?

    Follow Churchill's idiotic demands about fighting to the last man so that the loss of Malaya, as well as being Britain's greatest military defeat, could also go down as losing every man in several divisions? And what would people then say of Percival? Call him The Butcher of Singapore, and so on, and revile him for ever more as the general who lost thousands of British soldiers to absolutely no point?

    I think that Percival is one of the most unfortunate commanders in WWII, as are the troops under his command, as they are still subjected to unfair criticisms based on simplistic assessments of the Malayan campaign by people who have not studied it in even slight detail and who cling to untenable assertions and myths about Singapore, such as the various myths surrounding the coastal guns.

    Well, here's a fact which never appears in all the uninformed comment about the coastal guns pointing the wrong way, which guns in fact in various emplacements could be and were brought to bear on the enemy attacking from the mainland: Percival, the supposedly stupid commander of the island with the guns supposedly pointing the wrong way, requested HE shells for the coastal guns before the war, to overcome the lack of effect of naval AP on infantry and counter-battery fire etc, but it was never supplied.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    But you are ignoring tha fact that Japanes also felt the same suppliing problems.
    My attack on Singapore was a bluff - a bluff that worked. I had 30,000 men and was outnumbered more than three to one. I knew that if I had to fight for long for Singapore, I would be beaten. That is why the surrender had to be at once. I was very frightened all the time that the British would discover our numerical weakness and lack of supplies and force me into disastrous street fighting.
    —- Tomoyuki Yamashita
    There is nothing unusual in military history in commanders at the limit of their resources gambling everything on one final assault. Sometimes it works and they are heroes, sometimes it doesn't and they are fools. Both assessments ignore the realities of the difficulties facing commanders in these situations. Rommel was perhaps the greatest gambler of WWII but most people think he was a genius when often he was just lucky, and they ignore his failures and poor planning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    You see, the Japanes themself was close to surrender indeed.
    I think you omitted a smiley there.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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