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How would WWII pan out if the Pearl Harbor attack did not happen?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Roddoss72 View Post
    Unless i am mistaken FDR had stated unless attacked outright (meaning directly) the USA would remain isolationist.

    So how does he get a declaration of war if the KB is either diverted back to Japan, or that the Fleet never sails.

    FDR is from that point stuck as far as getting into the war.
    He said he wouldn't be sending "our boys to any foreign wars." But he was already fighting the Germans. And the prediction by his cabinet was based on the mood of the public and Congress at the time.
    But lets not forget, that is was the US tacit declaration of war on Japan with the Scrap Steel and Oil Embargo that led to the attack, the US and not Japan made the first act of ecconomic aggression towards Japan.
    Not selling war material to a potential enemy is an act of war. Gotcha.
    The fact is that the victors write the history and that the USA was politically in the war well before 1st September 1939.
    That's just silly.
    In a way the US got it's false flag to send young men into the slaughter house.
    Ah, the CTer's mantra, "false flag".
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    • #32
      Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
      Based on the OP, here's a question:

      If the Japanese learned that they were busted on the Pearl Attack, say 3 days out or so, and turned around....

      And the Japanese continued as planned to attack the Dutch and British, but left the Americans alone for the moment since they hadn't done the job at Pearl....

      Would the US, in preparation for an intense war in the Far East, send a convoy containing a wing of P40s, additional B17s, Armored Cars/Light Tanks, Fuel, and Ammo to the Philippines? In anticipation of a declaration of war on Japan and a need to prosecute same to help the Dutch and British..
      The US had material enroute to the Phillipines, more scheduled & sitting on the docks or ordered. There was a plan on the table (Pennsacola) for organizing a escorted convoy from the U to the Phillipines with the material.

      British Admiral Hart had a conference with MacArthur on the 4th or 5th December 'Secret Allies' and 'Roosevelts Secret War' describe a number of the plans & agreements should Japan attack Britain or the Netherlands East Indies.

      Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
      And if so, would the US be likely to dispatch at least a division of BBs to the Philippines as well, along with Destroyers and some Light Cruisers?
      The PI lacked the base to support more than a quick stop by the BB or a large fleet of any size. Cavite had been fitted out for supporting a fair size submarine fleet, but not for a substantial surface force. In any case War Plan Orange, Rainbow 5, & Kimmels operational war plan did not contemplate sending the battle fleet to the Phillipines or any where else in the west Pacific in 1942, other than raids by fast ships. Fast hit and run raids were intended.

      conversely the Army was building up a substantial air fleet in PI. This combined with the submarines represented a serious threat in Japanese PoV. Any fleet or cargo ships headed to or from the battles in British or Dutch territories would be vulnerable to the percieved strength of the US submarine and air base on Luzon.

      Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
      If the Japanese are well and truly Busted, then the US will know that they have a short window before the Kido Butai could make it back to an anchorage to completely fuel up and do routine maintenance, and then sail for Pearl again. There are 7 BBs in Pearl ready to go, another 4 (including the NCs) that could be sent to Pearl in somewhat short order if need be. Plus a number of Heavy and Light Cruisers, and Destroyers. Based on known Japanese BB and BC figures, 7-9 BBs would be a division anticipated to be able to take on the full might of the Japanese Battle Line on December 8 1941. Considering that we were still thinking of BBs as line of battle ships, and the Japanese would have a maximum of 6 BBs and 4 upgraded BCs, most of a vintage equal or older than the US PacFlt BBs.

      Japanese going at the Philippines could be very interesting if there are 6 of the Standard BBs there (including the West Virginia with 16in guns and the Tennessee class with 12 x 14s). Especially if there are sufficient squadrons of P40s to really cut back on what the Japanese can do in the air. Force Z hadn't happened yet, so there was still some air of invulnerability about a BB being sunk in a seaway by airplanes alone. With air support Force Z would have been a tougher nut to crack, and the Division I'm proposing would be about 3 times larger than Force Z, and have a useful number of P40s able to be called in to help it fight off air attacks.
      This had been gamed out multiple times in various forms during the previous decades & the results were not favorable for a aggressive USN action. I recall Kimmel had played the 'Red' force in one of these exercises. Hence the intent to raid and attrit the IJN through the first 12-18 months of war. Until the new construction programs placed a larger and more modern fleet at sea. No USN leader, even Halsey, saw any use in charging off into the western Pacific with the aging battle fleet to seek a showdown with the IJN. Kimmel & the others intended to be aggressive in raiding and seeking opportunities, but not to the point of reckless stupidity.

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      • #33
        "Which of these two things do you think is the more important for the United States to do: to keep out of war ourselves or to help England win, even at the risk of getting into war?"

        In May 1940, a majority of respondents wanted to stay out of the war at all costs.
        By January 1941, about 60% of respondents were willing to risk war in order to help "England" (sorry, British readers).
        In two months - March 1941 - nearly 70% of the respondents were willing to risk war.

        Likewise, in June/July 1941 a majority supported using US Navy assets to escort convoys to Britain (59% to 61% in July).

        But the most enlightening question is the following, asked in December 1941, after Pearl Harbor (and admittedly after the german declaration of war):

        "Which do you think we should consider our number one enemy Japan or Germany?"

        56%: Germany
        35%: Japan.

        By March 1942 - with no land action against the Germans but with US troops under attack in the Philippines, 47% still said Germany, and 29% Japan. The fall of Bataan and Corregidor came and this ratio barely shifted in May, to 48%-31%.
        Michele

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