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What if the IJN win at Midway?

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  • What if the IJN win at Midway?

    Please just answer the question as asked.
    If you don't like the question or would prefer it worded another way, then please start your own post and don't clog the string up with criticisms of the question itself. Thank you.

    Here's the scenario.The Japanese win the Battle of Midway.They sink all 3 US Carriers including my favourite Hornet
    as well as some cruisers and other warships in exchange for say the Hiryu sunk and a couple of minor warships the other way as well.
    Despite unexpectedly high losses, they do take the island atolls as well.

    How does this affect the war for the next year say?
    What happens next?

  • #2
    http://www.combinedfleet.com/economic.htm

    Strategic Implications
    So America had an advantage; so what? Well, as an example, let's take a moment to consider the importance of the Battle of Midway. Midway is often cited as the 'Turning Point in the Pacific', the 'Battle that Doomed Japan,' and a string of other stirring epithets. And there's no question that it broke the offensive capability of the Japanese Navy. The question I ask is: what difference would America's economic strength have made if the Americans had lost badly at the Battle of Midway? Let's take the worst case scenario (which, incidentally, was very unlikely, given our advantage of strategic surprise) in which a complete reversal of fortune occurs and the U.S. loses Enterprise, Yorktown, and Hornet, and Japan loses none of the four carriers which were present. After such a hypothetical battle, the balance of carrier forces available for Pacific duty would have looked like this:

    The question is, would losing Midway really have mattered? How long would it have taken America's shipyards to make good the difference and dig us out of the hole? Let's find out. We'll take the table just presented above and extend it out until the end of the war (in 6-month increments). Here are the assumptions I'll use while doing so:
    I am only including carriers which were capable of conducting fleet operations. In practice, this means the vessel must be capable of speeds of 28 knots or more and be able to both launch and recover conventional aircraft. That leaves Junyo, Hiyo, Ryuho and the converted Mogami, Ise, and Hyuga out of the picture. [Yes, I know the Japanese tried to use Junyo, Hiyo, and Ryuho with Combined Fleet, and they had some limited success. But they also were either too slow and mechanically unreliable, or too structurally unsound (in the case of Ryuho) to be really useful to the Combined Fleet. Furthermore, we used our little CVEs all the time in combat areas, and some of them participated heavily in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Not only that, we also had the older but still somewhat capable Ranger available for refit as well. So, if you want Hiyo, Junyo, and Ryuho in the picture, you really have to count Ranger and all those American CVEs, too, and that adds about a zillion (i.e. 2,000+) planes to the American totals. I just didn't feel like messing with all that, so I didn't. The point is clear enough without including the marginal players.]
    A carrier could be placed in combat within three months of its completion date.
    The war will probably last longer, so I am extending the build totals into the first half of 1946
    As part of the longer war scenario, I further assume that the Japanese and Americans complete some vessels which were discontinued late in the actual conflict. I have taken my best guess as to their likely completion dates under wartime conditions.

    The question is, would losing Midway really have mattered? How long would it have taken America's shipyards to make good the difference and dig us out of the hole? Let's find out. We'll take the table just presented above and extend it out until the end of the war (in 6-
    In other words, even if it had lost catastrophically at the Battle of Midway, the United States Navy still would have broken even with Japan in carriers and naval air power by about September 1943. Nine months later, by the middle of 1944, the U.S. Navy would have enjoyed a nearly two-to-one superiority in carrier aircraft capacity! Not only that, but with her newer, better aircraft designs, the U.S. Navy would have enjoyed not only a substantial numeric, but also a critical qualitative advantage as well, starting in late 1943. All this is not to say that losing the Battle of Midway would not have been a serious blow to American fortunes! For instance, the war would almost certainly have been protracted if the U.S. had been unable to mount some sort of a credible counter-stroke in the Solomons during the latter half of 1942. Without carrier-based air power of some sort there would not have been much hope of doing so, meaning that we would most likely have lost the Solomons. However, the long-term implications are clear: the United States could afford to make good losses that the Japanese simply could not. Furthermore, this comparison does not reflect the fact that the United States actually slowed down it's carrier building program in late 1944, as it became increasingly evident that there was less need for them. Had the U.S. lost at Midway, it seems likely that those additional carriers (3 Midway-class and 6 more Essex-Class CVs, plus the Saipan-class CVLs) would have been brought on line more quickly. In a macro-economic sense, then, the Battle of Midway was really a non-event. There was no need for the U.S. to seek a single, decisive battle which would 'Doom Japan' -- Japan was doomed by it's very decision to make war.
    The final evidence of this economic mismatch lies in the development of the Atomic bomb. The Manhattan Project required an enormous commitment on the part of the United States. And as Paul Kennedy states, "...it was the United States alone which at this time had the productive and technological resources not only to wage two large-scale conventional wars but also to invest the scientists, raw materials, and money (about $2 billion) in the development of a new weapon which might or might not work." In other words, our economy was so dominant that we knew we could afford to fund one of the greatest scientific endeavors in history largely from the 'leftovers' of our war effort! Whatever one may think morally or strategically about the usage of nuclear weapons against Japan, it is clear that their very development was a demonstration of unprecedented economic strength.
    Conclusion

    In retrospect, it is difficult to comprehend how Japan's leadership managed to rationalize their way around the economic facts when they contemplated making war on the U.S. After all, these were not stupid men. Indeed, internal Imperial Navy studies conducted in 1941 showed exactly the trends in naval shipbuilding I have outlined above. In the end, however, the Tojo government chose the path of aggression, compelled by internal political dynamics which made the prospect of a general Japanese disengagement in China (which was the only means by which the American economic embargo would have been lifted) too humiliating a course to be taken. Consequently, the Japanese embarked on what can only be described as a suicidal venture, against an overwhelmingly large foe. However, their greatest mistake was not just disregarding the economic muscle which lay partially dormant on the other side of the Pacific. In actuality, their chief error lay in misreading the will of the American people. When the American giant awoke, it did not lapse into despair as a result of the defeats that Japan had inflicted upon it. Rather, it awoke in a rage, and applied every ounce of its tremendous strength with a cold, methodical fury against its foe. The grim price Japan paid -- 1.8 million military casualties, the complete annihilation of its military, a half million or so civilians killed, and the utter destruction of practically every major urban area within the Home Islands -- bears mute testimony to the folly of its militarist leaders.
    The tables mentioned have been delted due to space. See link for the contents.

    HP
    Last edited by Half Pint John; 27 Jun 07, 07:09.
    "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


    • #3
      Thread Moved To Alternate Timelines

      No worries, Dr What... you'll get the hang of it.

      Interesting 'What If'!

      On the Plains of Hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of victory, sat down to rest-and resting... died. Adlai E. Stevenson

      ACG History Today

      BoRG

      Comment


      • #4
        it could have been very much possible that Midway was a Japanese victory. very possible due to either luck or simply to the failure from US cyphering to decode Japanese code.... all in all luck.

        as HP showed, it's really not important in the end.

        but short term, if 3 US flattops are down... for 1 or even 2 sunk or damages Japanese ones, it would mean two things:

        - US Fleet might be reshuffled in a very defensive position untill the Essex classes arrive - possibly for anothe 6 months - allowing Japanese initiative for a while and isolating a bit more Australia. Reschuffle might happen in US navy leadership as well. but america's resolve woudl still be strong.

        - Japanese ambitions might run even wilder... and fantasy aims for Australia, India, etc. might become reality (and disasters)... the Japanse disasters started at Midway and Guadalcanal.... victory at Midway would mean another "midway" later somewhere else - even farther from Japan's line of communications, and, and even worse "guadalcanal" campaign...
        "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

        Comment


        • #5
          The Japanese would overextend themselves even more.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks Admiral.

            Again, please answer the question as asked.

            I thought it obvious it wasn't put out there just for the typical patriotic American 'we couldn't lose no matter what' which is obviously not why anyone bothers to ask such questions.

            Example.
            In my American History class I remember an American naval officer, veteran of ww2 as a guest speaker. He quoted a British friend of his. Something to the effect that the typical above propaganda that America couldn't possibly lose a war because of its economic and military might ignores history. That the American Revolution, therefore should never have been tried and would never have succeeded. The British won most of the battles, had by far the greater economy and military and military industry and support system. And the British had infinitely more to lose beyond face by making peace with the Rebels than the Americans would making peace with Japan.

            It is ironic that Americans especially, but also Russians I notice, use an argument to put down such 'what ifs' that would have argued against their own Revolutions even being tried as well. Let alone succeed.

            The point is not who is stronger, the point is what is it worth to which side?

            I remember listening to some American veterans at Pearl Harbour, some who were then commanders even Admirals by that time, get very upset at such 'rhetoric' by we 'armchair generals' , that it 'demeaned the bravery, risk and sacrifice' of the American, indeed Allied, fighting man in the Pacific War. That at the time, it was very clear that America could have 'lost the war' at many points.

            By Japanese win or American loss, NOT meaning Japanese troops would be marching into Washington DC like the British did, not even San Francisco, but like China, Korea, Vietnam or the diplomatic war with Stalin, whether they can make you accept conditional terms for peace.

            So please leave out the 'Britain couldn't possibly lose the American Rebellion/Revolution because it had 10 times the men, money, industry and weaponry and would never ever let the insult of losing a piece of their Empire go.'

            I've already gotten 3 private messages with some fascinating thoughts on the topic whom won't post here because they fear being ridiculed by those who simply answer "all these what ifs on forums are a waste of time because America couldn't possibly do anything but march into Berlin, Rome and Tokyo anyways."

            I'm pretty sure that discourages others from participating in forums too.

            So please, keep to the question as asked.
            What do you think would happen tactically on both sides for the next year?
            Who would win where?
            What effect would that have on the war effort?
            At what point could Australia call it quits and/or FDR decide terms in the Pacific were worth it now that he was facing the 'greater threat' in Eurpe and North Africa?
            Any other neat thoughts, ideas, what ifs?

            Thank you.

            Comment


            • #7
              Dan Van Der Vat ('The Pacific Campaign') makes the general point that with each 'grab' of territory in the quest for autarky the burden on the already overstretched Japanese economy increased!

              Bearing this in mind, now that the Japanese have a free hand in the Pacific for a good year or so what can they do to exploit it? Answer, not really a lot apart from some consolidation of their defensive positions. Their best bet is to use the breathing space to mount an assault on India using the Combined Fleet to raid the Indian coastline and support amphibious operations. If they can show that the British are weak they might be able to foment enough unrest to make their position untenable jeopardising the supply routes into China. Swift exploitation of success might have finally bought about the collapse of Chiang Kai-Shek's armies and close 'The Manchuria Incident' for good.
              Signing out.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                Dan Van Der Vat ('The Pacific Campaign') makes the general point that with each 'grab' of territory in the quest for autarky the burden on the already overstretched Japanese economy increased!

                Bearing this in mind, now that the Japanese have a free hand in the Pacific for a good year or so what can they do to exploit it? Answer, not really a lot apart from some consolidation of their defensive positions. Their best bet is to use the breathing space to mount an assault on India using the Combined Fleet to raid the Indian coastline and support amphibious operations. If they can show that the British are weak they might be able to foment enough unrest to make their position untenable jeopardising the supply routes into China. Swift exploitation of success might have finally bought about the collapse of Chiang Kai-Shek's armies and close 'The Manchuria Incident' for good.
                Here is another well researched site that could possibly explain why the Japanese were so completely overmatched in their Aircraft Carrier Battles in the Pacific against the Allies, even before the Royal Navy was ever seriously engaged in late 1945.


                http://www.combinedfleet.com/economic.htm
                "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
                  Here is another well researched site that could possibly explain why the Japanese were so completely overmatched in their Aircraft Carrier Battles in the Pacific against the Allies, even before the Royal Navy was ever seriously engaged in late 1945.


                  http://www.combinedfleet.com/economic.htm
                  It's the same one as posted by Half Pint above.
                  Signing out.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                    Dan Van Der Vat ('The Pacific Campaign') makes the general point that with each 'grab' of territory in the quest for autarky the burden on the already overstretched Japanese economy increased!

                    Bearing this in mind, now that the Japanese have a free hand in the Pacific for a good year or so what can they do to exploit it? Answer, not really a lot apart from some consolidation of their defensive positions. Their best bet is to use the breathing space to mount an assault on India using the Combined Fleet to raid the Indian coastline and support amphibious operations. If they can show that the British are weak they might be able to foment enough unrest to make their position untenable jeopardising the supply routes into China. Swift exploitation of success might have finally bought about the collapse of Chiang Kai-Shek's armies and close 'The Manchuria Incident' for good.
                    I think you make a good point here. Such a victory for the Japanese and loss for the Americans could have a major impact on the morale of other nations as well. What if China or Australia lost support and decided to consider Japanese overtures. Chiang already had seriously considered it. What happens without one or both of them pulling out of the war?

                    With all due respect to the CombinedFleet work, and I think it's great, I've often used them myself, they do tend to take the Allied best number given of 3 say and the enemy the worst number of 3.

                    For example. According to the latest WW2 Naval Encyclopaedias, the commission dates for the following are a fair bit later than indicated there.
                    Essex Dec31,1942
                    Yorktown Apr43
                    Intrepid Aug43
                    Independence class Jan43, Feb43, Mar43, May43, Jun43 and Aug43.

                    That doesn't change the long-term point, but it does change the short-term status.

                    I think we're missing a very major factor here.
                    [U]It's unavoidable that we 'armchair generals' just cannot see and feel things the way the people in command and service did at the time.[/U]I think we're not giving enough credit to experience, morale and therefore confidence.

                    The total loss of experience wouldn't hurt America as bad as it did the Japanese, but it would be significant.
                    The more I read books, auto/biographies, quotes of the actual veterans who were there, logs and journals during the war and reflections after the war, the more I see why people like Rr Admiral Lee would write that America would lose the war if he lost one of two battles or both his remaining battleships.
                    He's not just being arrogant about his own importance, if you read up on him, he's quite the opposite of Halsey.
                    You read the same from Nimitz, Spruance, King and Fletcher.

                    When I read this I think 'are they nuts?', they couldn't lose in the long run.
                    But as my grandfather would say, 'you had to be there under those circumstances at the time'.
                    Every single war that ended with an armistice or conditional peace was led for calls of unconditional surrender and take no prisoners and liberty or death.

                    Would FDR's Administration survive such a loss as Midway, especially so soon after Pearl?
                    Even if it did, why would so many American commanders and advisors to FDR say that with this or that loss America could be forced to make peace with Japan and focus on, save for MacArthur, who was the real threat to America, 'Hitler'...if it weren't a serious consideration?

                    On the otherhand, the same arrogance and pride that prevented Japan from pulling out of China (eventhough the gov't wanted to), is the same fate America finds herself in today in Iraq. You have the one side saying that right or wrong, imminent threat to you or not, to honour those dead already and fighting now, you can't pull out of the war.

                    Americans at the time cared more about the claimed attack without a declaration of war than they did about German concentration camps and hundreds times more English and European dead. That's why even after declaring war on Japan, FDR still couldn't get Congressional support for a declaration of war on the Axis.

                    My point is, as my grand-dad said, we today, armchair generals or historians/experts, just can't see the war from their viewpoint back then.

                    I think that must be why I don't understand all these leaders quoted as saying we could have lost the war here or there.

                    Again, reminder, when I say 'lose', I do not mean British troops marching in Washington DC to stay, I mean you make a conditional peace, or at least what we ended up doing in Korea. e
                    Eventhough the world knows that if she really wanted it that bad, America could have all of Korea today.
                    But to those there at that time, place and occasion, it just wasn't worth it.

                    Just a consideration imho.
                    Last edited by Dr What; 28 Jun 07, 02:04.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      That quote from combinedfleet.com about sums it up. An elaborated version can be found in Purshall and Trundy's book "Shattered Sword".

                      If the Japs won, all they got was a tiny island that was difficult to resupply and defend, there for the Americans to retake any time they want to, or as target practice to acclimitize rookies.

                      If they sank every carrier in the American fleet, they will still not be able to take Hawaii or Australia.

                      The slogging match in Guadacanal would be delayed by about a year, but by then the Americans would have their new Essex-class carriers, new aircraft types, and many more troops. The end result would still have been the same.

                      PS: I think the combinedfleet.com's assessment should be the last word on this subject.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The Australia Factor

                        Nice concise summary thanks.

                        Personally I'll take a well-known recognised published book source over an internet webpage.

                        I know Jon Parshall and Trundy are also published author's but I also know that, as I said, when it comes to a topic with 3 sets of numbers given as fact, for us they take the best number and for them the worst. However well studied they are on Nihon Kaigun, it's always only to highlight how much greater the American navy is.

                        Like those who claim to be fans of Foreman and know everything about him, but are in fact greater fans of Ali, so when they look to see how great Foreman is, it is always in the context that it must be lesser than Ali.

                        But I still like alot of Jon's work.

                        The huge irony of those attacking me for being skeptical of some of Jon's work is that these are the same people attacking my 'Myths of Pearl Harbour' string out there that if you bothered to watch the entire series, you would actually see Jon on video spelling out what I agree with him about. lol.

                        --------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Someone just paged me to ask my prediction.
                        Sorry, hoped to read alot more of others first.
                        One of my suppositions is as follows...

                        "Australia"
                        I must thank my Australian branch friend for educating me on the following danger. He already predicts the responses I'll get. We'll see.

                        With the air-superiority tables reversed in the Solomons, the Japanese will take all of the Solomons, Port Moresby and could even take the New Hebrides, New Caledonia, Fiji and/or Somoa if they really wanted. But they would throw everything they could into invading Australia instead.

                        With such a defeat so soon after Pearl, in order to stay in office Roosevelt would have no choice but to withdraw priority support of Australian defense for American instead, Hawaii and America herself.

                        The Japanese were so sure of their intelligence on this issue that they even convinced the moderates to go for an immediate all out invasion of Australia should the Midway Operation succeed as planned. They had correctly(for once) measured the Australian mood and conditions here. There seems little doubt that the Japanese would invade Australia had they won that decisively at Midway.

                        The Oxford Companion to World War II

                        p79 "A survey of public attitudes in 1941 revealed the 'disillusion, disappointment, futility, distrust, disgust, diffidence and indifference which so many possess with regard to politics and society in general and the war in particular."

                        p80 "The fall of *Singapore in February 1942 had an even greater psychological impact on the country. *Curtin, who had replaced Robert *Menzies as prime minister a few months before, told Australians that is capture 'opens the battle for Australia'. Another blow fell when, a few days later, on 19 February, the Japanese raided *Darwin. ... The raid caused widespread panic: shops were looted, wholesale drunkeness took place, and evacuation plans against an expected invasion deteriorated into a farce."

                        p278
                        While Menzies was for appeasement from the start, Curtin and his Labour Party were even more so. Curtin risked imprisonment in the First World War for opposing Conscription. His own greater appeasement stance won him his own seat because of the support of a parcel of votes sent by dis-illusioned Australian troops fighting in the Western Desert campaigns.

                        P279
                        In his controversial speech in 1942 he said "We know the poblems with which the United Kingdom is faced; we know too that Australia can go on and Britain can still hold on."

                        With the subequent consternation(this was obviously covered up)
                        he wrote personally to the King stating his personal loyalty and that the Crown was still 'at the very core' of the country's being, but that he had to do what was in the best interest of his country and he begged the King to be supportive 'without Australia being forced to become a Republic'.
                        The irony being that the leader Australia had to rely on even more than Britain at this time was the same Roosevelt who had never stopped trying to encourage the dissolution of even the British Empire.

                        Given that Curtin had the Australian military vote, even his fondness for America would not shake him in this resolve. Both Menzies and Curtain were frustrated at first only with Churchill for refusing Dominion Prime Ministers a seat in the Imperial War Cabinet, then later America for refusing the same in 'Allied' decision-making.

                        Such an American defeat, refusal to treat Australia as an equal, American priority for the defense of Hawaii and America's own territories over Australia alone would probably see Australia follow through in its threat.

                        If the Japanese actually did land, there seems little doubt that Curtin would follow through on his threat to pull out of the war, even Commonwealth if needs must, if Churchill didn't make peace with Japan.

                        Australia was still having difficulty repaying British loans for capital works, and when Churchill refused to waive them and the struggling Treasury was already against further 'lend-lease' putting them in even further debt.

                        Japan, on the otherhand, had offered easy terms to accept. The immediate return of all Australian POW's and confiscated assets and guarantee of the return of Australian territory unless the Allies refuted the peace and as with Vichy France, invaded Australian territory.

                        The Japanese weren't all fools. By neutralizing Australia it reduced the amount of territory they had to garrison and defend. It took away vital geograhically strategic bases the Allies needed to war against Japan.

                        There you have the supposition:
                        If the Japanese succeed at Midway as planned, they not only take the Solomons and Port Moresby but invade Australia leading to Curtin following through on his threat for an independent peace if Churchill doesn't.

                        The Allies then seem to have three choices.

                        a) make peace with Japan

                        b) respect Australia's neutrality and continue the war around them.

                        c) the King dismisses the Prime Minister, dissolves the Parliament, suspends the constitution and democracy and America supports Britain in establishing a coup leadership.

                        Bad. This makes the Allies look no better than the enemy they are fighting.
                        It shows internal dissent and lack of respect for the independence of world states, even democracies.
                        Good. But the Allies will retain control of Australia and her geographically strategic territories for bases.

                        Aside.
                        Dan (Australia) asked me 2 interesting questions.
                        a) is this proposal any less incredulous to the British than when the American colonists started making similar demands?
                        b) given the stated circumstances, would Australia then have more or less cause than for the American Revolution to make demands on England on her behalf or go their own way?

                        Part of the terms of the bet is that the predicted responses will prove that Australian sentiment.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hmmmm, not sure I can agree to the 'Australia' scenario. The Japanese might be able to use their temporary naval superiority to isolate Australia, but they simply lack the strength to mount a full-scale invasion unless they pull forces from South-East Asia. The opportunity to destroy British prestige and knock them out of the war in the Far East would surely have been too great to pass on. From there, Australia would surely have to make a separate peace with no apparent hope of succour from Britain or the US.

                          Your argument on the political impact of a Midway disaster is an interesting one. I can't see FDR's administration falling simply because of the way the US political system works. There might be greater pressure for a 'Japan First' strategy but, in truth, the Pacific received a far greater share of US resources than the 'Germany First' agreement allowed for.

                          The total loss of experience wouldn't hurt America as bad as it did the Japanese, but it would be significant.
                          Not sure what you mean by this. The number aircrew lost by the Japanese at Midway was relatively small (surely the most potentially significant 'loss of experience') and for the Americans the same would have been true. Would there have been an impact on the higher levels of command? That would surely depend upon the reasons for the defeat. If Nimitz and/or Spruance had resigned their loss would have been serious, if not catastrophic, but ultimately the only real change would have been for the US to have pursued a single strategy against Japan (MacArthur's obviously) rather than the wasteful dual one they did historically.
                          Signing out.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                            Hmmmm, not sure I can agree to the 'Australia' scenario. The Japanese might be able to use their temporary naval superiority to isolate Australia, but they simply lack the strength to mount a full-scale invasion unless they pull forces from South-East Asia. The opportunity to destroy British prestige and knock them out of the war in the Far East would surely have been too great to pass on. From there, Australia would surely have to make a separate peace with no apparent hope of succour from Britain or the US.

                            Your argument on the political impact of a Midway disaster is an interesting one. I can't see FDR's administration falling simply because of the way the US political system works. There might be greater pressure for a 'Japan First' strategy but, in truth, the Pacific received a far greater share of US
                            resources than the 'Germany First' agreement allowed for.



                            Not sure what you mean by this. The number aircrew lost by the Japanese at Midway was relatively small (surely the most potentially significant 'loss of experience') and for the Americans the same would have been true. Would there have been an impact on the higher levels of command? That would surely depend upon the reasons for the defeat. If Nimitz and/or Spruance had resigned their loss would have been serious, if not catastrophic, but ultimately the only real change would have been for the US to have pursued a single strategy against Japan (MacArthur's obviously) rather than the wasteful dual one they did historically.


                            Agreed. FDR wouldn't be up for re-election until 1944 and by that time, the crisis would have been long past.

                            Lastly, there were already US Navy plans to convert a number of ocean liners into aircraft carriers, much the same way that the Japanese had done, in order to fill in the gaps until the new, purpose-built, aircraft carriers came on line.
                            "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              And then, there's the alternative of fighting from land bases. As Guadacanal showed, land-based land power can be relatively devastating too, as long as you can keep the fight in one particular geographical location.

                              By Jun 1942, the Pacific War had more or less stabilised along certain vectors. Even if the Japs had won at Midway, they could not have made any more headway along the mid-Pacific vector.

                              Only the South Pacific vector remained open, and here, the Allies had many more air bases that were being stocked with more and more aircraft.

                              Guadacanal might not happen, but the great South Pacific attrition fight would still be on, perhaps taking place in New Guinea instead of the Solomons.

                              Given that it was really the six months grinding attrition over the skies of Guadacanal that killed off the cream of the Japanese naval aviation, the end result might still have been the same.

                              (BTW, the book SHATTERED SWORD is a must-read. Very well researched and argued.)

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