Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Was it a political or a military decision?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Was it a political or a military decision?

    When the Americans decided to attack the Japanese occupation forces in the Aleutian Islands off Alaska in 1942, what was their primary motivation? Did they really believe that the Japanese were capable of advancing into Alaska or possibly even Canada? Or was it that they needed to evict the Japanese from North American soil in order to placate a nervous American public?
    If there are no dogs in Heaven, then I want to go where they went when they died-Will Rogers

  • #2
    Originally posted by sherlock View Post
    When the Americans decided to attack the Japanese occupation forces in the Aleutian Islands off Alaska in 1942, what was their primary motivation? Did they really believe that the Japanese were capable of advancing into Alaska or possibly even Canada? Or was it that they needed to evict the Japanese from North American soil in order to placate a nervous American public?
    It was more political than military IMO, but I don't think it can be considered either exclusively. When you're driving the enemy back, you knock them off your own soil ASAP.
    Go is to chess as philosophy is to double-entry bookkeeping. - Nicholaï Hel in Shibumi

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by sherlock View Post
      When the Americans decided to attack the Japanese occupation forces in the Aleutian Islands off Alaska in 1942, what was their primary motivation? Did they really believe that the Japanese were capable of advancing into Alaska or possibly even Canada? Or was it that they needed to evict the Japanese from North American soil in order to placate a nervous American public?
      To add to trebuchet's point, it's also not wise to allow you're enemy to gain morale by occupying your sovereign territory even if it's a relatively unimportant part.
      Signing out.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by sherlock
        So the consensus so far would be that it was a political decison, right?
        Well, the military benefit to occupying the Aleutions was pretty small and there was no clear threat of a major Japanese offensive developing from that direction. However, it should be recognised that during war there are few strategic decisions that do not have a political element to them.
        Signing out.

        Comment


        • #5
          Clausewitz: "War is a mere continuation of politics by other means."
          If stupid was a criminal offense Sea Lion believers would be doing life.

          Shouting out to Half Pint for bringing back the big mugs!

          Comment


          • #6
            To October 1941 the USSR had been using the North Pacific route for shipping material from the US to Vladivostock. They were attempting to use that route again after over a year. The Japanese bases in the Alteutians were making both Allies nervous on this account. There was also a need to establish a air route through the same area. Along a different line the USAAF wanted to experiment with using the area as a base for long range bomber attacks on Japan. Later some B24 raids were launched on Hokkaido out of that area. A miserable & expensive effort.

            Comment


            • #7
              Also, and I wish I could remember the exact date that it happened, but it was somewhere in early 42' that a Japanese sub successfully shelled
              Ft. Stevens,Washington. So, it was evident that they were ballsy enough and far too close to American soil.
              "You listen to the ol' Pork Chop Express on a dark and stormy night......"

              Comment


              • #8
                If I recall correctly, one of the reasons was to put the Japanese in a more precarious position with the U.S. being able to threaten them from the north. As already stated it was not a worthwhile route for bombing but it did give cause for thought and allocation of military resources which the Japanese did not have. The ALCAN highway was part of this deception and also a real asset to the defense of North America.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                  To October 1941 the USSR had been using the North Pacific route for shipping material from the US to Vladivostock. They were attempting to use that route again after over a year. The Japanese bases in the Alteutians were making both Allies nervous on this account. There was also a need to establish a air route through the same area. Along a different line the USAAF wanted to experiment with using the area as a base for long range bomber attacks on Japan. Later some B24 raids were launched on Hokkaido out of that area. A miserable & expensive effort.
                  In addition to any air transported supplies the US transfered 3000 of so lend lease aircraft to the USSR through Alaska.
                  "Put guards on all the roads, and don't let the men run to the rear."
                  Major General John Buford's final words on his deathbed.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I agree with most all of what Carl posted, except the part about Japan sitting on the North Pacific LL sea routes. Russia Japan had a non aggesion pact. All ships afaik were Russian. I know of no attack by the Japanes on any of the Russian ships. The supplies going to Russia were not being used against the Japanese. 20/20 hindsight tells me we should have just left the Japanese up there in thier self made prison camps, If it wasn't for the LL aircraft being flown through that area we should have left them to rot. Actually the route was some distance to the south.
                    "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                    Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                    you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It might have been humanitarian. I have been to the Aleutians. It is a desolate place, almost a wasteland, and a truly horrible place to be ten months of the year. Worst weather on the planet, AFAIK.

                      More seriously, it was both political and military. It was bad press to have the Japs on US soil, despite the fact they were little threat there, and it cost an awful lot to deploy forces against them, both US and Canadian. Easier just to run them off...

                      Cheers
                      Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

                      A contentedly cantankerous old fart

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
                        I agree with most all of what Carl posted, except the part about Japan sitting on the North Pacific LL sea routes. Russia Japan had a non aggesion pact. All ships afaik were Russian. I know of no attack by the Japanes on any of the Russian ships. The supplies going to Russia were not being used against the Japanese. 20/20 hindsight tells me we should have just left the Japanese up there in thier self made prison camps, If it wasn't for the LL aircraft being flown through that area we should have left them to rot. Actually the route was some distance to the south.
                        Very true. There arrival there was merely a diversionary tactic in the Midway Operation.

                        I agree with Scott that the operation to remove them was primarily of a PR nature.

                        Regards,
                        Dennis
                        If stupid was a criminal offense Sea Lion believers would be doing life.

                        Shouting out to Half Pint for bringing back the big mugs!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I can't buy into the PR part guys. After all the Aleutians were little different than the PI's and they had been under Japanese control since the start.

                          PR????? At that time in history I doubt that most Americans had even heard about the Aleutians let alone know where they were. The people knew because the government told them.
                          "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                          Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                          you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
                            I can't buy into the PR part guys. After all the Aleutians were little different than the PI's and they had been under Japanese control since the start.

                            PR????? At that time in history I doubt that most Americans had even heard about the Aleutians let alone know where they were. The people knew because the government told them.
                            Is this when I mention the Falkland Islands?

                            Cheers
                            Last edited by Scott Fraser; 22 Apr 10, 17:59.
                            Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

                            A contentedly cantankerous old fart

                            Comment

                            Latest Topics

                            Collapse

                            Working...
                            X