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if war was declared after the sinking of the reuben james...

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  • if war was declared after the sinking of the reuben james...

    was there any realistic possibility that pearl harbor could have still occurred, or are we all fairly certain formally being in war would have had the forces in hawaii sufficiently prepared and paying attention enough to prevent a catastrophic attack, if the attack still even occurred at all.
    the answer is on the floor- john roseberry

    A tiger dies and leaves his fur,
    A man dies and leaves his name,
    A teacher dies and teaches death.
    Seikchi Toguchi 1917-1998

  • #2
    Might have made matters worse - say if some or all of the carriers had remained in Pearl

    Until they got the Radar system properly integrated in to the defences Pearl Harbour was still going to be vulnerable to surprise attack by air. Being formally at war didn't help the Italians at Taranto, A radar installation might.
    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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    • #3
      On a war footing though, you'd expect all the aircraft at Pearl not to be lined up like ducks in a row, and more primed to respond if attacked. Probably there would be more aerial reconaissance sorties and more cruiser patrols?
      Maybe the Japanese fleet would think a second sortie would be too risky?

      OTOH a much greater proportion of the US fleet might be in the Atlantic!

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      • #4
        Given the isolationist mood of the country at that time, the USA would have had a much harder time going to war. FDR would not have been able to take the hard line with Japan that he did, since he would have been fighting for his political life (he had ordered the Neutrality Patrol, which was anything but neutral), so without the oil embargo Japan wouldn't have been up against a deadline.

        A Pacific theater might not have come into being. China would have been abandoned to Japan's depredations, which would serve to occupy Japan, and the USA would be in a long, extremely unpopular war. FDR would be unlikely to have secured his last term.
        Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by MarkV View Post
          Might have made matters worse - say if some or all of the carriers had remained in Pearl

          Until they got the Radar system properly integrated in to the defences Pearl Harbour was still going to be vulnerable to surprise attack by air. Being formally at war didn't help the Italians at Taranto, A radar installation might.
          the battle taranto might have had an effect on the US if they were in a state of war rather than peace.

          the answer is on the floor- john roseberry

          A tiger dies and leaves his fur,
          A man dies and leaves his name,
          A teacher dies and teaches death.
          Seikchi Toguchi 1917-1998

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          • #6
            Originally posted by General_Jacke View Post
            the battle taranto might have had an effect on the US if they were in a state of war rather than peace.
            How so?
            Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
            Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
              Given the isolationist mood of the country at that time, the USA would have had a much harder time going to war. FDR would not have been able to take the hard line with Japan that he did, since he would have been fighting for his political life (he had ordered the Neutrality Patrol, which was anything but neutral), so without the oil embargo Japan wouldn't have been up against a deadline.

              A Pacific theater might not have come into being. China would have been abandoned to Japan's depredations, which would serve to occupy Japan, and the USA would be in a long, extremely unpopular war. FDR would be unlikely to have secured his last term.
              By late October '41 I don't think the USA was that isolationist anymore. That America would be involved in war was accepted as inevitable by the majority at this time. Just look at the gigantic scale of the rearmament in progress.
              The question was rather when, not if.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Gooner View Post

                By late October '41 I don't think the USA was that isolationist anymore. That America would be involved in war was accepted as inevitable by the majority at this time. Just look at the gigantic scale of the rearmament in progress.
                The question was rather when, not if.
                War in the Pacific, possibly. Rearmament was extremely good for the economy.

                Lend Lease was still a bitterly-fought issue; FDR had campaigned on the promise that no American soldier would die in a European war on his watch. Keep in mind that the US involvement in WW1 was seen as a wasted effort even before WW2 started.

                Note that even after Pearl Harbor the US did not declare war on Germany.

                The mood in the USA was not in favor for a European war. Look at the SS St Louis affair: the US was extremely reluctant to accept Jewish refugees.

                FDR wanted war with Germany, but he had to campaign to the opposite in order to get re-elected.

                That's why the US was so quick to settle the Reuben James affair; FDR was hoping that the Neutrality Patrol would result in an incident that would provoke the Germans into declaring war. When Hitler did not rise to the bait the affair
                Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post



                  The mood in the USA was not in favor for a European war. Look at the SS St Louis affair: the US was extremely reluctant to accept Jewish refugees.
                  Whilst constantly urging other countries to accept Jewish refugees the US never relaxed its own quotas even after Germany had declared war. The St Louis business was due to basic prejudice not a worry about provoking Germany. The Nazis had no issues with Jews fleeing abroad provided that they took no money with them and the St Louis incident was a propaganda coup for them allowing them to say that the US might support the Jews in every way except actually giving them refuge - hypocritical America.
                  Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                  Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                  • #10
                    Dudnt Japan have a mutual defence treaty with Germany so if the US declared war in Germany Japan would have declared war on the US two months early.

                    Probably no Pearl Harbour as the US would already at war. Though US old battleships may have been ambushed if they attempted to reinforce Phillipines.

                    "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MarkV View Post

                      How so?
                      learning the lesson of how devastating a sudden surprise attack by air could be on an anchored fleet.

                      the USN could have learned and been more careful, had more more observers up, more picket ships around the islands, fighters rotating on patrols etc. to try to prevent being surprised like that
                      the answer is on the floor- john roseberry

                      A tiger dies and leaves his fur,
                      A man dies and leaves his name,
                      A teacher dies and teaches death.
                      Seikchi Toguchi 1917-1998

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Gooner View Post
                        On a war footing though, you'd expect all the aircraft at Pearl not to be lined up like ducks in a row, and more primed to respond if attacked. Probably there would be more aerial reconaissance sorties and more cruiser patrols?
                        Maybe the Japanese fleet would think a second sortie would be too risky?

                        OTOH a much greater proportion of the US fleet might be in the Atlantic!
                        IIRC, from Farrago's the Broken Seal, Short was warned , along with his staff, to disperse , fuel, and arm his aircraft,- and to build individual revetments to minimize bomb and strafing damage. Short was more concerned about saboteurs form the local Nisei.

                        In his defense, the lean years had developed a mentality of " hoarding your equipment', and radar was seen as Voodoo.
                        The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by General_Jacke View Post
                          was there any realistic possibility that pearl harbor could have still occurred, or are we all fairly certain formally being in war would have had the forces in hawaii sufficiently prepared and paying attention enough to prevent a catastrophic attack, if the attack still even occurred at all.

                          It's not as if Pearl was the only place to be attacked. The Japanese would have still wanted the Dutch oil and the British rubber, and the Philippines were too much in the way. Maybe Pearl would not be attacked, maybe it would be but with less of a smashing result due to wartime heightened alert levels. But the Japanese aren't going to say, oh, we were wrong, sorry everyone, we're leaving China.

                          The interesting question is what the Japanese do with the assets historically committed to the Pearl attack, instead, if they decided not to launch that attack (not necessarily just because they feared they had lost the advantage of surprise, but, possibly, also because part of the Pacific fleet would have been moved to the Atlantic). What's their alternative opening move?
                          Michele

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                          • #14
                            Good topic....If the Pacific fleet was weakened, you may have seen an early invasion of the Phillipines -or an navy , followed by an army attack on Singapore. Perhaps a south Malaysia landing.

                            The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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                            • #15
                              The IJN had finally built up a sizable reserve of crude oil by around September or October. When war came, the Admirals were very surprised to learn they had to share this oil with the Imperial Army and the Civilian Economy.

                              I can't say if the ILA was ready to launch attacks into Malaya.

                              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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