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Japanese Invasion of the USSR

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  • Japanese Invasion of the USSR

    The scenario is this.
    The North Strike group comes to dominance in Japan and the Japanese decide to attack the USSR instead of moving South.
    This includes the occupation of Indo-China.
    The attack will either take place in 1941 or 1942.
    My question to you is how do you think the Japanese would do?
    Here as the Japanese plans to help reach your conclusion.

    Policy from 1934

    Under these circumstances, Japanese operational planning was revised in 1934: the opening round of a hypothetical war with the USSR was contemplated in the neighborhood of the Manchurian frontiers. In 1934 the Soviet Tupolev TB-3 (ANT-6) four-engined "Super Heavy Bomber", reportedly capable of striking the Japanese home islands, was deployed in the Maritime province of Siberia (the first direct threat to the Japanese islands). In view of this situation the Japanese Army Staff effected radical changes in its operational planning for eventual hostilities with the Soviet Union:

    a. From a mobilizable force of 30 fully equipped ground divisions, some 24 were earmarked for commitment to operations against the USSR.
    a. Great importance was to be attached to air operations from the very outset of war.
    a. Japan should seek to wage battle on Soviet soil from the beginning of hostilities.
    a. The primary axis of offensive operations should be eastward, from Manchuria.
    a. Submarine bases and bomber aircraft sites aimed at Japan must be wiped out at the beginning.
    a. After the success of eastward operations, forces should be deployed for an offensive northward, the objective being the Lake Baikal district.

    The idea of launching an eastern offensive was first conceived at the time of the new plan of 1934. Three years later Japanese operational planning was again revised:

    b. At the outbreak of a war, the forces stationed in Manchuria will mount an offensive against the Soviet Union; reinforcements thereafter dispatched from homeland will join in the attack. This plan differed from its predecessor, which had called for an offensive only after the reinforcements had arrived in Manchuria.
    b. After successfully concluding the eastern offensive, Japanese forces should not immediately drive toward the Lake Baikal region, but should instead consolidate along the Greater Khingan Mountain Range and prepare for subsequent operations.
    b. Operational planning must attach prime importance to actions against both China and the Soviet Union.

    In devising operational plans against the USSR, the hypothetical movements of the Soviet Far Eastern Army were a major consideration. The Japanese Army General Staff made the following estimate of the situation: the Soviets could be expected to commit 55-60 divisions to the Far Eastern Operations. They would launch simultaneous, converging offensives from the east, north and west of Manchuria. The enemy would strive to cut off communications between the Japanese homeland and the Asiatic continent. If a war broke out with the Soviet Union, the most important problem would arise: how to terminate the hostilities? The Army General Staff feared that the Russian territory was so boundless that Japan would be unable to deal a finishing blow to the enemy.

    Within the Army, the prevailing and expert opinion concerning the solution to this trouble was to employ subversion; in other words the Army therefore placed as much importance upon "political sabotage" as did upon field operations, in planning for hypothetical operations against the Soviet Union. These measures were designed to counter Soviet activities as well as to foster Japan's own strategic ends. The program was accelerated after Japanese troops reached the Soviet frontier subsequent to the Manchurian incident in 1931, and constituted a prime consideration of the Kantogun Intelligence Section.

    The idea was to use the White Russians, Koreans, Chinese, Mongols, Buriats and others living there. Important to anti-Stalinist and anti-Soviet doctrine was the knowledgeable defector General Lushkov of the NKVD, together with other Russian ex-Soviet officers then in the service of Japanese Army intelligence. Principally responsible for Mongol, Buriat and other North Asian agents was Lieutenant General Kanji Tsuneoka, for whom the Kantogun established the "Central Academy" in Kalgan, Mengjiang. Mongol saboteurs and agitators during the late 1920s and early 1930s provoked some disorder in the Western area of Outer Mongolia, suppressed by the Russian and Mongol authorities; this was possibly under his orders. He was a North Asian expert and studied in depth the issue of controlling Central Asia.

    Japanese military experts placed weight on the experience during Russo-Japanese war of 1904-1905 when Colonel Motojiro Akashi had used subversion. His tactics of contacting in Europe all the opponents of the Czarist rule — Zilliakus and Plekhanov, as well as nationalists — was considered to have undermined the Russian state and was cited as a brilliant example of "political sabotage".

    The failure of certain attempts at subversion in 1938 was later attributed to the exaggeration of the struggles of minorities within the USSR - the recurrent theme of the "Confrontation of Races", as well as to the overconfidence of agents. Japanese military missions in Germany received information of Nazi schemes of political subversion too, particularly being interested in the attempts by the Abwehr and Brandenburg unit to make use of Ukrainian and other Slavic Eastern minorities. They were in close touch with White Russian émigrés in Germany. Other Japanese reports mentioned similar comments recovered from a Serbian Communist residing in Siberia on the resentment of the whole Siberian population towards the Soviet central authorities: their sense of being treated as second class citizens; how the workers liked to take weapons for a new and just social revolution; how students would bet on the alternatives of German Nazi or Japanese Victory over the Soviets in Siberia; and how local politicians discussed secretly collaboration with the Axis powers in case of a defeat of the Stalinist government.
    Detailed planning of Japanese operations against the USSR
    See also: German-Japanese relations

    In 1934 Japanese Kantogun forces had four complete armored divisions, 18 air squadrons and 164,100 in infantry divisions. At a secret military conference they fixed July 2 as X-day for the fight against the Soviets. They concluded the following points: (a) initially not to intervene in a Russo-German War; (b) to proceed with prudent diplomatic negotiations, while consolidating secret preparations against USSR; (c) if a Russo-German War turns out favorably for Japan, to settle the Northern problem by force and maintain stability in recent northern conquests. Accordingly, from the outbreak of a Russo-German War the Chungking operation (Chinese war) should be suspended. Army High Command was traditionally watchful towards the Soviet Union. They considered the settlement of the 'China incident' incomplete, because Japan was tied down by the USSR. At the root of the High Command attitude towards the USSR lay the following consideration: conflict between Japan and Russia was just a matter of time. It was taboo for Japan to demonstrate weakness towards the Soviet Union. Armaments were therefore the only means of stabilizing matters with Russia.

    The main objective of the Imperial Army would be to build up to the strength necessary to occupy all the Maritime Province and Sakhalin Island, while at same time securing Manchuria and occupying exterior Mongolia and the Lake Baikal. Other probable objectives added to the basic war plan were a possible invasion of Irkutsk-Krasnoyarsk (East-Central Siberia), and/or an incursion to occupy Central Asia mainland.

    After this secret conference, Imperial Headquarters ordered the implementation of the revised policy toward the Soviet Union by commencing large scale reinforcements of the Kantogun. To keep the true reasons secret, the build-up was called the "Special Manoeuvers of Kantogun" or "Kantokuen" for short. The 400,600 troops of the Kantogun suddenly rose to over 700,000 and some billion Yen in military funds were allocated. These manoeuvres prepared the use of force against Soviet Union, based upon the prospect that the Russo-German war might rapidly take a favorable turn for Germany. In the event that force was used against the USSR, the new operational plan of 1939 was scheduled to go into effect, whereby simultaneous offensives were to be mounted north and east from Manchuria. Additionally the new plan included landings in Soviet Far East islands and coastal areas, and land operations in Outer Mongolia. Japan also had in Manchuria 150,000 to 200,000 troops.

    The Imperial Army anticipated the German offensive to commence in 1941-42. The Russians had to transfer several divisions from the Far East to European sectors, but the USSR would never leave Siberia defenseless, even if the war with Germany turned badly for her. It was thought to be almost beyond the realm of possibility for the Soviet Union to participate in a war between Japan and United States, of her own accord, thereby having to wage two-front operations. Certain reports mentioned the sending of 20 or 30 divisions to the European battlefront.

    Although the Kantogun had been reinforced, the Russo-German War for which the Japanese Army had held such great expectations might not turn out favorably for Germany, despite Hitler's boasts. A serious problem consequently demanded response: how could the expanded Kantogun pull through the rigorous cold of a Manchurian or Siberian winter? Military materiel was geared to hypothetical mobile operations against the Soviet Union, characterized by light weapons, large scale logistical systems, light armored groups and many horses. If after the southern operations are underway, the Soviet Army appeared to be mounting an invasion of Manchuria, requisite forces could be diverted there in ample time.

    As defensive measures against any Soviet counteroffensive, Japan had the primary goal of knocking out the Soviet Far Eastern Air Forces, as necessary to protect Manchuria and Japan. The Kantogun laid plans for a border defense system in 1934, but construction work did not begin until 1935. To begin with, to 1938 only four zones were fortified in East Manchuria, plus three in the north and one in the west.
    Other Japanese military technical details

    The Japanese during the 1918-1927 armed intervention in Siberia had studied geographical features serving for possible fortification in the Russian Far East. Most important were the Trans-Siberian Railway and the recent Amur-Baikal Railway. In Manchukuo a system of nine railway lines reached towards Soviet lands. To cut Russian railways Japanese experts considered paratroops. The Siberian river system was also looked on as possibly important. The strength of Russian fortifications demanded the use of heavy artillery, that had been sent to Manchukuo for use on Chinese positions.
    Soviet Far East military dispositions

    With respect to Russian Forces in the Soviet Far East, the reports are various.

    The Soviet Far East Front (official name of the relevant military district) was under the Red Flag Special Army from 1929. This army was divided into First and Second Red Flag Army during 1938. These forces had 450,000 to 600,000 armed soldiers; other sources mention 225,000 men, 5,000 tank pilots and 15,000 frontier guards for a total of 290,000 or 840,000 units.

    The regular Soviet division always counted as 20,000 soldiers. In the Baikal region are estimated to have been 630,000 men, 3000 aircraft, and 2,300 armored vehicles. The Soviet government funded construction of 4,000 defensive fortifications on the Manchukuan-Soviet frontier.

    The Soviet Air Force in the Russian Far East had airbases in Chita, Blagoveshchensk, Khabarovsk, Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Nikolayevsk-on-Amur, and other sites. It is supposed that these sites were heavily armed, with anti-aircraft guns and fortified positions, as was the case for the Moscow and Leningrad defenses.

    The Soviet Pacific Fleet is estimated at 100 or more vessels. According to one source, in 1938-39 this fleet consisted of 18 destroyers, 90 diesel submarines, 80 coastal patrol boats, 30 gunboats, 75 armored light boats (mosquito boats), with bases in Nikolayevsk-on-Amur, Vladivostok, Ohkostk, Nagayevo, Petropavlovlsk-Kamchatsky, Komsomolsk-on-Amur, and Khabarovsk. Also 60 "shark" boats, 42 other submarines, and river patrol boats. Others preparations were the construction of the Amur-Baikal railway, industrial development in the Baikal area and the rapid production from Zabaikalsk and Konsomolsk factories of 1,000,000 tonnes of steel per year, for a prolonged war in the Soviet Far East.

    During the war with Germany, Pacific naval personnel built and fortified Soviet naval bases. The navy was stripped of many sailors who were sent to fight on the front in the west. In 1943 the Soviet Pacific Fleet trained for amphibious and combined operations.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Originally posted by Philip F View Post
    The scenario is this.
    The North Strike group comes to dominance in Japan and the Japanese decide to attack the USSR instead of moving South.
    This includes the occupation of Indo-China.
    The attack will either take place in 1941 or 1942.
    My question to you is how do you think the Japanese would do?
    Here as the Japanese plans to help reach your conclusion.
    Appallingly. The terrain is not helpful, the weather is unkind, and the Red Army is waiying. Unlike in the West, the Red Army has the measure of the IJA, having beaten twice in the past two years.

    The one area the Japanese may have the advantage is Sakhalin, where the IJN can offer assistance. But beyond the coastal strip, the IJA will be on its own. Just to remind you of distances: Manchukuo is about the same size a France, Germany and the Benelux, maybe bigger. And there are beggar all roads.

    Comment


    • #3
      There is absolutely no reason for the Japanese to attack the USSR. The Khasan and Khalikin Gol incidents were just that: incidents where adventurism got out of hand. Japan went to war for economic reasons. There was nothing they needed in Manchuria or Siberia, which is why they went south.

      Had they gone north, even if they had done really well, they would still have run out of gas a thousand miles from the nearest intersection.

      Regards
      Scott Fraser
      Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

      A contentedly cantankerous old fart

      Comment


      • #4
        If they attack in 1942 I can see the Japanese taking Sakhalin and the Maritime Province in the initial assault.
        But any moves West will be defeated by superior Soviet armour.
        In 1943 it would be another bad year for the Japanese.
        Only by 1944 when they had developed some decent armour would they be able to launch a decent push to Lake Baikal.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Scott Fraser View Post
          There is absolutely no reason for the Japanese to attack the USSR. The Khasan and Khalikin Gol incidents were just that: incidents where adventurism got out of hand. Japan went to war for economic reasons. There was nothing they needed in Manchuria or Siberia, which is why they went south.

          Had they gone north, even if they had done really well, they would still have run out of gas a thousand miles from the nearest intersection.

          Regards
          Scott Fraser
          Revenge and living space would be two good reasons.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Philip F View Post
            Only by 1944 when they had developed some decent armour would they be able to launch a decent push to Lake Baikal.
            What are they going to use for fuel?
            Signing out.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Philip F View Post
              Revenge and living space would be two good reasons.

              Those may be reasons, but they are not "good" reasons.
              Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                What are they going to use for fuel?
                Imported Oil.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Philip F View Post
                  Imported Oil.
                  Which they can't pay for.
                  Signing out.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                    Which they can't pay for.
                    Before the oil embargo Japan imported 80% of its oil from the USA, 10% off East India of Netherlands in 1940. The remains were from Mexico, South America etc.
                    Last edited by Philip F; 03 Nov 13, 07:50.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Philip F View Post
                      Before the oil embargo Japan imported 80% of its oil from the USA, 10% off East India of Netherlands in 1941. The remains were from Mexico, South America etc.
                      So? If they couldn't pay for the Mexican oil they were importing in 1940 how would they pay for anything in 1944?
                      Signing out.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                        So? If they couldn't pay for the Mexican oil they were importing in 1940 how would they pay for anything in 1944?
                        What were they paying for American oil with?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Philip F View Post
                          What were they paying for American oil with?
                          Currency that was evidently running out.
                          Signing out.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I could understand probes and demonstrations launched to tie down Soviet troops and assist an 'ally' so that Japan could annex/occupy what they wanted once the USSR fell apart. I'm not saying it would have worked, but there is some logic behind it.

                            Invading the USSR from the east... that's just madness. All you are doing is spending blood and treasure trying to capture giant tracts of bugger all that you can't realistically supply or hold.
                            Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

                            That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Philip F View Post
                              Before the oil embargo Japan imported 80% of its oil from the USA, 10% off East India of Netherlands in 1941. The remains were from Mexico, South America etc.
                              Let's get things straight, eh? Japan, and Germany, bought their oil from Esso, Texaco, and Shell, who owned and controlled the oilfields in Mexico, Venezuela, Texas, and the Dutch East Indies. There is no "et cetera". Oil was (and largely still is) controlled by a small monopoly of seven companies, the so-called "Seven Sisters". With the exception of Shell and BP, all are (or were) owned 100% by US interests.

                              The US embargo ended Japanese oil imports. Unlike the Germans, the Japanese were unable to persuade the US oil companies to break the embargo by purchasing and shipping through third parties. The Japanese had no oil after the US embargo was implemented. Their prospects of getting oil from other sources were zero. There were no other sources! The Germans had no oil, either, even if they felt generous enough to supply the Japanese.

                              So, Japan has no oil. No fuel for their ambitious navy, no fuel for their formidable air force, no fuel for their few sad tanks and trucks. Japan's military might has effectively ceased to exist, unless they get oil. They are not going to get that in Siberia. There is no oil in Siberia, not in 1940. Unless Japan is willing to convert all their cars, trucks, ship and aircraft to burning wood, there is nothing in Siberia for Japan. Like the Nazis, they have no choice but go after the oil they desperately need and do not have.

                              Regards
                              Scott Fraser
                              Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

                              A contentedly cantankerous old fart

                              Comment

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