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Shattered Jade: Japanese Götterdämmerung, 1945-1947

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  • #31
    Originally posted by OpanaPointer View Post
    MacArthur wanted the Soviets to invade in the north to distract at least some of the forces away from the southern front.
    In "American Caesar" pg 428, William Manchester describes MacArthur's support for a Soviet attack on Manchuria, not the Home Islands, as a way to prevent the Japanese from reinforcing the Mainland.

    ...the Soviets "would have to be induced to come into Manchuria with sixty divisions if we were to conquer Japan."
    pg 431:
    He looked forward to Soviet entry in the Pacific war; by engaging a million Japanese and taking the sting out of their air force, he reckoned, Stalin would distract the enemy and save thousands of lives.
    Manchuria was not the Home Islands, and MacArthur was not the Pentagon.
    Divine Mercy Sunday: 4/21/2020 (https://www.thedivinemercy.org/message) The Miracle of Lanciano: Jesus' Real Presence (https://web.archive.org/web/20060831...fcontents.html)

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    • #32
      Well, he asked Marshall to make sure that they invaded Japan.
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      • #33
        Originally posted by OpanaPointer View Post
        Well, he asked Marshall to make sure that they invaded Japan.


        When? What reputable source says this?
        Divine Mercy Sunday: 4/21/2020 (https://www.thedivinemercy.org/message) The Miracle of Lanciano: Jesus' Real Presence (https://web.archive.org/web/20060831...fcontents.html)

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        • #34
          Originally posted by BobTheBarbarian View Post


          When? What reputable source says this?
          Tell you what, as soon as I get home I'll check. They tell me I should be released in a week or so.
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          • #35
            Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
            Another interesting thought which I'll expound on later is that the Soviet Union could find itself in a very poor position early in the cold war if the Japanese manage to hold out for another year. The falling out with the west is inevitable. But if the west still has reason to maintain a war footing. ...then stalin could find himself stretched thin trying to control Europe and fight in Asia while also maintaining his nation's ascendancy.

            A continuous war with Japan would keep the west on a war footing and mean that there would be a likely more aggressive response to Soviet action in Europe. I would not be surprised to see the US arming german pows and sending them back to Germany as a west german army in 1946. The west has this option in 46. The soviets do not yet have control of the eastern European countries to a reliable degree. ....and therefore they must deploy their reliable army in Europe as well as send it to the east. Plus maintain it and the country entirely on their own resources.

            Maintaining a Soviet China is also problematic in 46 as there is no red navy to speak of and the land routes between the two are crap. Otoh the sea routes to China are big and easily secured by the huge western fleets.
            This is an interesting premise. Could an extended Pacific War, and prolonged Western war footing, have weakened the USSR, and possibly softened the impact of the Cold War (or maybe brought it to an earlier end?) Something we should probably look into more...

            I wonder how a more extensive Soviet involvement would impact Mao and the ChiComs... would Stalin have set up a communist state in Northern China under Mao, ala North Korea under Kim Il-Sung?

            Another thing people seem to be forgetting: the US preparation for an invasion of Japan would have been severely hampered by natural disasters.

            From D.M. Giangreco, US Army Command and General Staff College, 16 February 1998:
            The Divine Wind, or Kamikaze, of a powerful typhoon destroyed a foreign invasion force heading for Japan in 1281, and it was for this storm that Japanese suicide aircraft of World War II were named. On October 9, 1945, a similar typhoon packing 140-mile per hour winds struck the American staging area on Okinawa that would have been expanded to capacity by that time if the war had not ended in September, and was still crammed with aircraft and assault shipping- much of which was destroyed. US analysts at the scene matter-of-factly reported that the storm would have caused up to a 45-day delay in the invasion of Kyushu. The point that goes begging, however, is that while these reports from the Pacific were correct in themselves, they did not make note of the critical significance that such a delay, well past the initial- and unacceptable- target date of December 1, would have on base construction on Kyushu, and consequently mean for the Honshu invasion, which would have then been pushed back as far as mid-April 1946.

            If there had been no atom bombs and Tokyo had attempted to hold out for an extended time- a possibility that even bombing and blockade advocates granted- the Japanese would have immediately appreciated the impact of the storm in the waters around Okinawa. Moreover, they would know exactly what it meant for the follow-up invasion of Honshu, which they had predicted as accurately as the invasion of Kyushu. Even with the storm delay and friction of combat on Kyushu, the Coronet schedule would have led US engineers to perform virtual miracles to make up for lost time and implement Y-Day as early in April as possible. Unfortunately the Divine Winds packed a one-two punch.

            On 4 April 1946, another typhoon raged in the Pacific, this one striking the northernmost Philippine island of Luzon on the following day where it inflicted only moderate damage before moving toward Taiwan. Coming almost a year after the war, it was of no particular concern. The Los Angeles Times gave it about a paragraph on the bottom of page 2. But if Japan had held out, this storm would have had profound effects on the world we live in today. It would have been the closest watched weather cell in history. Would the storm move to the west after hitting Luzon, the Army's main staging area for Coronet, or would it take the normal spiraling turn to the north, and then northeast as the October typhoon? Would slow, shallow-draft landing craft be caught at sea or in the Philippines where loading operations would be put on hold? If they were already on their way to Japan, would they be able to reach Kyushu's sheltered bay? And what about the breakwater caissons for the massive artificial harbor to be assembled near Tokyo? The construction of the harbor's pre-fabricated components carried a priority second only to the atom bomb, and this precious towed cargo could not be allowed to fall victim to the storm and be scattered across the sea.

            Whatever stage of employment US forces were in during those first days of April, a delay of some sort- certainly no less than a week and perhaps much, much more- was going to occur. A delay that the two US field armies invading Honshu, the First and Eighth, could ill afford and that Japanese militarists would see as yet another sign that they were right after all. This is critical. Various authors have noted that much of the land today contains built-up areas not there in 1946, but are blissfully unaware that, thanks to the delays, anyone treading this same, quote: "flat, dry tank country" in 1946 would, in reality, have been up to their calves in muck and rice shoots by the time the invasion actually took place.
            This seems like a disaster. Not only would such a long delay allow the Japanese to further prepare their defenses, it would also have given them a huge morale boost. Furthermore, as is pointed out, the weather during the monsoon season would make the terrain on Honshu unfavorable for large-scale tank operations. This gives the Allies two options: they would attack on schedule, or delay until the monsoon season ended and the ground dried (even so, the Japanese would likely have flooded their fields to hamper US/Commonwealth armored movement).

            Seems like bad news for the invasion...
            Last edited by BobTheBarbarian; 28 Jan 15, 13:16.
            Divine Mercy Sunday: 4/21/2020 (https://www.thedivinemercy.org/message) The Miracle of Lanciano: Jesus' Real Presence (https://web.archive.org/web/20060831...fcontents.html)

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            • #36
              Originally posted by BobTheBarbarian View Post
              This is an interesting premise. Could an extended Pacific War, and prolonged Western war footing, have weakened the USSR, and possibly softened the impact of the Cold War (or maybe brought it to an earlier end?) Something we should probably look into more...

              I wonder how a more extensive Soviet involvement would impact Mao and the ChiComs... would Stalin have set up a communist state in Northern China under Mao, ala North Korea under Kim Il-Sung?

              Another thing people seem to be forgetting: the US preparation for an invasion of Japan would have been severely hampered by natural disasters.



              This seems like a disaster. Not only would such a long delay allow the Japanese to further prepare their defenses, it would also have given them a huge morale boost. Furthermore, as is pointed out, the weather during the monsoon season would make the terrain on Honshu unfavorable for large-scale tank operations. This gives the Allies two options: they would attack on schedule, or delay until the monsoon season ended and the ground dried (even so, the Japanese would likely have flooded their fields to hamper US/Commonwealth armored movement).

              Seems like bad news for the invasion...

              THAT, Bob , raises an interesting topic all it's own!

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Pa...typhoon_season

              Typhoon season in the mid to North Pacific starts as early as April, peaks by August, then diminishes ...
              In the 1940's, long range weather prediction was still "iffy'.

              This would help explain the tight Japanese schedule for the November last ditch negotiations before Pearl harbour - any delay after December closes the weather window that much tighter...

              Had the post Atomic bomb surrender negotiations failed , I would suggest a fall defoliation campaign with locally improved aircraft sprayers to take out the late season soybean and winter vegetable crops, followed by a spring massive MCPA and 24,d spraying sequence to defoliate Japan and destroy the newly sprouting crops.

              Crop spraying is best done by converted medium bombers at low level.
              The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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              • #37
                Campaign in Japan

                Assuming the '45 Okinawa typhoon had come to pass, and the delay postponed the US invasion by roughly a month and a half as the analysts predicted, the invasion would be launched under very different circumstances:

                The Soviets would likely be nearly through eliminating organized Japanese resistance (save a few pockets) in Manchuria, and would probably also be fighting their way down the Korean Peninsula. The troops of the 2nd Far Eastern Front would have secured Sakhalin, and possibly the Kuril Islands. The Red Army might even have launched limited incursions into China proper.

                The Chinese Guangxi offensive would continue to tear into the 6th Area Army, and might be threatening Canton and Shanghai.

                The British Commonwealth Operations Tiderace and Zipper would be underway in Malaya amid savage Japanese resistance.

                The Japanese also would be suffering from a severe food shortage. Shigeru Yoshida, future Japanese Prime Minister, stated that the conditions were so grim that 10 million might die of starvation as a result of inadequate food supplies starting by the summer of 1946.

                However, the Japanese would be even better fortified for an invasion in early '46 than they would be in December '45, with a morale boost to boot. On Kyushu, the Japanese 16th Area Army numbered 917,000 men in 15 divisions and 11 brigades. There were also the fortress units on Iki and Tsushima, plus the option of reinforcement by 6 additional divisions from Honshu. The US 6th Army, which would be attacking them, numbered 766,700 men in 14 divisions, with the possibility of reinforcement by up to 6 more (this was not the original plan, but was recognized as a feasible contingency should an emergency arise). Its objective was to seize approximately the southern third of Kyushu, before digging in on the defensive. It was planned to drop six nuclear weapons on Kyushu prior to an invasion, and another three more to break up Japanese counterattacks (these would come in handy, as the 16th Area Army planned a counterattack with 4 divisions and 3 tank brigades on the main US landing at Ariake Bay).

                On Honshu, the Japanese 12th Area Army defending Tokyo consisted of 17 divisions and 13 brigades of unknown numerical strength, with 8 additional divisions arriving as reinforcements from inland staging areas. Operation Coronet, the Allied plan for the conquest of Central Honshu, involved an initial 28 divisions (1,069,000 men) of the US 1st and 8th Armies, followed by up to 12 additional divisions of the US 10th Army and British Commonwealth Corps. (Which could itself include up to 5 divisions.)
                Thus, the fight for Tokyo and the surrounding area would have ultimately involved 40 Allied divisions and their auxiliaries vs 25 Japanese divisions and 13 brigades. Japanese civilian militia and paramilitary forces (up to 31.5 million(!) throughout the Home Islands) would also be heavily involved. Even if the Japanese lost Tokyo, there was also the so-called "Nagano Redoubt," a massive fortified area in the mountains that they could fall back to and continue resistance from.

                There was also the threat of Japanese air attack. Giangreco states that the number of Japanese military aircraft in the Home Islands at the time of surrender was about 12,700, of whom half were kamikazes. The Japanese defined 'success' in terms of air operations as sinking about 20% of the invasion fleet before disembarkation. The USN, for its part, estimated around 10 percent losses. There were also thousands of suicide boats and human torpedoes available, in addition to a goodly number of submarines (130). The Japanese hoped that these would sink "about 60 transports."
                Against such forces, it would, in all likelihood, take the Allies years to secure the Home Islands.

                However, this raises another interesting Cold War question. With the main strength of the Allied armies impaling itself on Japan's defenses, how responsive would the Western Allies be to postwar Soviet aggression after having just presumably suffered millions of casualties finishing WWII? What if, for example, assuming Japanese resistance ended before 1953, Stalin decided to test the West with a forceful reunification of Germany under the Warsaw Pact, with East German leader Walter Ulbricht playing the role of a European Kim-Il Sung? Would the UN have had the same reaction as in Korea, with a nuclear-armed USSR backing E. Germany?
                Last edited by BobTheBarbarian; 28 Jan 15, 20:59.
                Divine Mercy Sunday: 4/21/2020 (https://www.thedivinemercy.org/message) The Miracle of Lanciano: Jesus' Real Presence (https://web.archive.org/web/20060831...fcontents.html)

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                • #38
                  On Kamikazes: Off Okinawa the Japanese launched something like about 6,000 of them against the US fleet. Of those less than 600 found a target.
                  If we take 10% as the hit rate and something like 1 or 2% of that as really causing serious damage or sinking a ship, the Japanese will not do any really significant damage to the invasion fleet.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                    On Kamikazes: Off Okinawa the Japanese launched something like about 6,000 of them against the US fleet. Of those less than 600 found a target.
                    If we take 10% as the hit rate and something like 1 or 2% of that as really causing serious damage or sinking a ship, the Japanese will not do any really significant damage to the invasion fleet.
                    According to John Ray Skates the Japanese had around 10,000 craft of all types to attack the invasion fleet. They would be ordered to go after the transports. The difference here is that the pilots wouldn't have to navigate across a large body of water, they'd have to fly over grandma's house and make a right. The speculations we can draw from that I leave to those who enjoy them.
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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                      On Kamikazes: Off Okinawa the Japanese launched something like about 6,000 of them against the US fleet. Of those less than 600 found a target.
                      If we take 10% as the hit rate and something like 1 or 2% of that as really causing serious damage or sinking a ship, the Japanese will not do any really significant damage to the invasion fleet.
                      The respective figures given in the linked US Air Force history site are an overall 14% hit rate and 8.5% of hits sinking a vessel.

                      "Despite radar detection and cuing, airborne interception and attrition, and massive antiaircraft barrages, a distressing 14 percent of Kamikazes survived to score a hit on a ship; nearly 8.5 percent of all ships hit by Kamikazes sank."

                      https://web.archive.org/web/20090505...aponspower.htm

                      As noted above, attacks on US forces invading the home islands would potentially be under circumstances more favourable for the Japanese.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by BobTheBarbarian View Post
                        This is an interesting premise. Could an extended Pacific War, and prolonged Western war footing, have weakened the USSR, and possibly softened the impact of the Cold War (or maybe brought it to an earlier end?) Something we should probably look into more...

                        I wonder how a more extensive Soviet involvement would impact Mao and the ChiComs... would Stalin have set up a communist state in Northern China under Mao, ala North Korea under Kim Il-Sung?
                        Another thing people seem to be forgetting: the US preparation for an invasion of Japan would have been severely hampered by natural disasters.

                        From D.M. Giangreco, US Army Command and General Staff College, 16 February 1998:


                        This seems like a disaster. Not only would such a long delay allow the Japanese to further prepare their defenses, it would also have given them a huge morale boost. Furthermore, as is pointed out, the weather during the monsoon season would make the terrain on Honshu unfavorable for large-scale tank operations. This gives the Allies two options: they would attack on schedule, or delay until the monsoon season ended and the ground dried (even so, the Japanese would likely have flooded their fields to hamper US/Commonwealth armored movement).

                        Seems like bad news for the invasion...
                        Hi Bob:
                        Probably. Another unfortunate side effect would be the high degree of malnutrition in Japan and Korea would hamper the ability to use Japan as a supply base in the Korean war. by 1950, light industry and ship repair services had recovered in Japan- everything that could be used for fishing or whale catching was hastily converted and put to sea.

                        A lot of the interisland small boat fleet would have been destroyed.
                        The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by marktwain View Post
                          Hi Bob:
                          Probably. Another unfortunate side effect would be the high degree of malnutrition in Japan and Korea would hamper the ability to use Japan as a supply base in the Korean war.
                          If the US took S.Korea, (which, if Japan continued resisting, it would not/did not plan to), then yes, this is a good point. (Assuming you mean the US would still be helping to feed the Japanese citizenry to bring them back from the brink of starvation.) But, as it is, it seems the Soviets would eventually bring all of Korea under their control in this scenario, which I noted earlier would bring the front lines of the Cold War much closer together, as the only border between the DPRK and Japan would be the Tsushima Strait.
                          Divine Mercy Sunday: 4/21/2020 (https://www.thedivinemercy.org/message) The Miracle of Lanciano: Jesus' Real Presence (https://web.archive.org/web/20060831...fcontents.html)

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                          • #43
                            Japanese Mobilization in the Home Islands

                            Some interesting information on the Japanese mobilization from Giangreco:

                            Mobilization. A mass mobilization, resulting in a tremendous increase in the strength of Japan's armed forces, particularly the ground forces, was one of the most important facets of defense planning. A series of three mobilizations were to be completed by late summer 1945...

                            ...Two types of divisions were formed during the mobilization period: Coastal Defense and Assault Groups. In general, the divisions in the 100 and 300 series were largely immobile and earmarked for coastal defense while those in the 200 series had assault missions. The Coastal Defense Divisions were strongly reinforced with artillery which increased their firepower but had decreased mobility. The Assault Divisions also had firepower superior to that of the average division but were highly mobile. These latter divisions were to be used as shock troops to hit the enemy after the invader had been contained by the Coastal Defense Divisions.

                            Note: In addition to numerous independent brigades, and excluding the last four divisions redeployed from Manchuria, IGHQ ordered the activation of eighteen First Stage Mobilization "100-series" coastal defense divisions on February 28, 1945. Eight very high quality "200-series" assault divisions were activated during the Second Stage Mobilization on April 2, and nineteen more as part of the Third Stage Mobilization on May 23. Of this group, eleven were organized as "300-series" formations, with the balance being made up of 200-series assault divisions. Some of the first divisions activated in the First and Second Mobilization stages also experienced delays in becoming combat ready due to incomplete mobilization plans. Seven divisions were formally assigned to the First General Army and five to the Second General Army by early May. Within a few weeks seven more divisions were added to the First General Army and four divisions to the Second.

                            Third Stage Mobilization. The final mobilization exhausted practically all the reserve manpower of Japan and the majority of those called up were either untrained or old. If Japan had been attacked in May or June it would have been impossible to conduct an adequate defense. However, the strong defense by the troops on Okinawa was buying time for preparations on the homeland.

                            Because the organization of the Second General Army was steadily improving and liaison with IGHQ and the area armies was further advanced, employment of units organized under the final mobilization was carried out smoothly in the most vulnerable area, Kyushu. The divisional size units were completely organized by early July (and the smaller units by early August). Both the newly formed coastal defense and assault divisions were, however, inferior in quality of personnel and equipment to those previously organized. This was partially offset by the final mobilization coastal defense divisions being strongly reinforced with artillery.
                            From Hell to Pay's Appendix B: G-2 Analysis of Japanese Plans for the Defense of Kyushu, U.S. Sixth Army, December 31, 1945:

                            27. Q. Artillery: What role would the use of artillery have played in the defense of KYUSHU? Would more emphasis have been placed on it than in previous operations? Would it have been used, against Allied amphibious units at any points? Where?

                            A. Artillery:

                            (a.) The principle object in defending KYUSHU was to defeat the Allied landing forces near the shorelines. Therefore, we put great stress on artillery. According to the military experience gained in fighting on islands of the Pacific, especially that on the PHILIPPINE and OKINAWA islands, the use of superior artillery was absolutely necessary in order to crush the establishment of beach heads.

                            For the invasion, the Japanese focused their defensive scheme on mass artillery support to overwhelm the attacking Allied troops. It is a given that they would be able to fire both conventional and chemical shells. Exactly how many guns they had, I am unsure, but I found an unusual figure presented by Lt. Col. Michael F. Trevitt in an article in "WWII History Magazine." In his article, "Taking on Counterinsurgency," about the US occupation of postwar Japan, he describes the efforts of Japanese forces under the command of SCAP destroying various caches of military equipment as part of Japan's demilitarization. Among the categories and numerical values Lt. Col. Trevitt lists is the apparent destruction of almost 190,000 artillery pieces.

                            By my thinking, that is ridiculous. If "artillery" is defined in this case as weapons of approximately ~70mm or more, then the IJA in Japan would have more artillery power than the entire Red Army! I think that this figure likely includes mortars of all kinds in addition to heavy guns, which would be far more reasonable. But since I do not have information on the amount of equipment the Japanese concentrated in the Homeland, I cannot be sure.
                            Divine Mercy Sunday: 4/21/2020 (https://www.thedivinemercy.org/message) The Miracle of Lanciano: Jesus' Real Presence (https://web.archive.org/web/20060831...fcontents.html)

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                            • #44
                              I would offer that the figure of 190,000 Artillery pieces would have included antitank weapons of 37mm up to the 70mm Battalion Howitzer/Mortars. The Japanese often used these antitank weapons in China as a direct fire weapon. The US Marines used a similar 37mm antitank weapon firing canister. I can't say if any Army used a 37mm HE round.

                              Pruitt
                              Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                              Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                              by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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                              • #45
                                Thanks, Pruitt.

                                Giangreco makes reference to the Japanese planning to employ large numbers of 37mm AT guns against Sherman tanks, striking them in the belly as they reared up over rice paddy dikes. They also planned on using 20mm AT rifles in this fashion as well.

                                The IJA hoped this strategy would compliment their more effective 47mm and 75mm AT weapons, as well as rocket launchers (like the Type 4 70mm).
                                Divine Mercy Sunday: 4/21/2020 (https://www.thedivinemercy.org/message) The Miracle of Lanciano: Jesus' Real Presence (https://web.archive.org/web/20060831...fcontents.html)

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