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  • Guadalcanal Campaign

    What if the Japanese had been prepared at Guadalcanal on August 7, 1942?
    If you sacrifice freedom to obtain some security, you deserve neither and will gain none.

    There never was a good war or a bad peace.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Lonewulf View Post
    What if the Japanese had been prepared at Guadalcanal on August 7, 1942?
    They were. Problem is, historically speaking, the Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces weren't the most motivated, couraged-filled and professional troops. When the first US Navy Heavy Cruiser rounds and aerial bombs started impacting all around them on the morning of 7 August, 1942, they fled into the jungle, rather than man their anti-ship guns and make a fight of it. To their credit, they did fight well on Tulagi and Florida Island and later, fought to the last man.
    "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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    • #3
      perhaps more plausible (as I don't see a afew hundreds SNLF troops holding up a full marine division) is what if the US fleet turns away (for fear of a Japanese fleet beeing in the area). and thus Guadalcanal is never fought over (at least not in the summer 1942). then what?
      "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

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      • #4
        Not much. The ultimate outcome was never in doubt

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        • #5
          Originally posted by piero1971 View Post
          perhaps more plausible (as I don't see a afew hundreds SNLF troops holding up a full marine division) is what if the US fleet turns away (for fear of a Japanese fleet beeing in the area). and thus Guadalcanal is never fought over (at least not in the summer 1942). then what?
          That is a good point, The IJN versus the USN would eventually end with a Japanese defeat if only by attrition. US could replace the losses, Japan could not. However if the IJN could have truly destroyed the American Fleet I do see many different things happening fairly quickly by the Japanese.
          If you sacrifice freedom to obtain some security, you deserve neither and will gain none.

          There never was a good war or a bad peace.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by piero1971 View Post
            perhaps more plausible (as I don't see a afew hundreds SNLF troops holding up a full marine division) is what if the US fleet turns away (for fear of a Japanese fleet beeing in the area). and thus Guadalcanal is never fought over (at least not in the summer 1942). then what?
            The overall battle was already in progress before the Watchtower operation. A ground/air/naval battle had been building up around New Guinea and the Solomons fight was a exapansion of of that same general struggle. The Japanese move into the Solomons was part of the second round of expansion started after April. It was to provide a extended buffer for screening the core Pacific territorys from Allied raids, and for advanced bases to raid and interdict Allied sea routes and operations. The New Guinea campaign and the Midway operation were part of the same effort.

            East and south of the Solomons there were many more Allied occupied islands such as Espiritu Santu, the Fijis, New South Wales... The IJN had contingency plans in the works for advancing further into these islands if necessary, so perhaps that would precipitate the attritional battles that broke the IJN. Otherwise those attritional battles would develop around the battle in New Guniea. Both US soldiers, air units, and naval actions were committed to the battle there and with nothing committed to Watchtower more would be available for the New Guinea fight.

            Alternately the USN might start executing its Central Pacific offensive sooner. In that case a different version of the air and naval battles of the Solomons would occur in the Central Pacific. That is intially there would be more Japanese counter attacks against the USN as it picked off the islands it needed.

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            • #7
              Henderson Field

              Had the Japanese maintained control of Guadalcanal and the
              airfield(s) there, the islands east and south that harbored US and Allied troops would have been most likely bombed and strafed regularly. Islands like New Caledonia and perhaps even the northeast coast of Australia would have been in jeopardy from long range Japanese bombers.
              However, eventually Guadalcanal would have been taken just as all the other Japanese garrisoned islands were. The long lines of supply from Japan were even more vulnerable there in the extreme south of their influence. The "sleeping giant" which was awakened at Pearl Harbor would have his due...


              ARRRR! International Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19th
              IN MARE IN COELO

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              • #8
                Well yes they would have attacked the next set of US garrisoned islands. the situation would have been even more unfavorable for the Japanese bombers. Longer ranges, more US airbases, and supporting operations by the IJN ever furhter away from their bases and consuming yet more precious fuel. The further Japan reaches the fast their supply chain breaks.

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                • #9
                  All and All, I think we all can agree win or lose at Guadalcanal, The japanese day's are just plain numbered.
                  If you sacrifice freedom to obtain some security, you deserve neither and will gain none.

                  There never was a good war or a bad peace.

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                  • #10
                    Japan does have one chance. If Roosevelt fails to win election in 1932, 1936. or 1940 he might (its not certain) be replaced by a bumbling isolationist. Some fiscal and political conservative who would both both fail to effectively oppose Japans imperialist policys diplomatically, and continue the stingy & grossly inadaquate military budgets of the Cooledge & Hoover administrations.

                    Imagine. No M1 Garand ready for production, no Essex class aircraft carriers on the drawing board, the B17 as canceled & forgotton prototype specification, Eisenhower, Patton, Collins, Clay, and many other highly talented officers 'retired' from the army to save paying them. The National Guard system abandoned by the Federal government and reverting to the old state militias.

                    The US begain serious mobilization in the late summer of 1940. sixteen months later when war came we still difficultly coping with the intial emergency and were unable to take the intiative until some eight months later. Consider how much better for Japan had Roosevelts efforts to preserve US military power between 1933 and 1940 not occured and the US policy been one of unmitigated isolationism.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
                      They were. Problem is, historically speaking, the Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces weren't the most motivated, couraged-filled and professional troops. When the first US Navy Heavy Cruiser rounds and aerial bombs started impacting all around them on the morning of 7 August, 1942, they fled into the jungle, rather than man their anti-ship guns and make a fight of it. To their credit, they did fight well on Tulagi and Florida Island and later, fought to the last man.
                      Weren't the Japense troops on Guadalcanal labor troops? IIRC, they were not SNLF. The SNLF are the ones who landed shortly after the marines and who fought the battle of the Tenaru. SNLF-Japanese marines' were very motivated, couragoius and professional -look at the battle of the Tenaru and later, Tarawa

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                      • #12
                        From John Costello 'The Pacific War 1941-45' there were 2,300 SNLF men scattered about the Solomons, with the majority on Tulagi Island and the airfield site on Gudacannal. Another 1,400 men designated a "Arfield Construction Unit" were sent when the decision to build the airfield was made.

                        The construction unit was originally housed on Tulagi as it lacked the mosqiuto and fly infestation of the other islands so Malaria and other diseases did not set in as fast. The laborers were ferried acros the narrow strait each day. They were prevented from crossing the strait the morning of 7 August as some 2,000+ Japanese corpses were counted on Tulagi when the fighting there ended. The usuall number given for Japanese on Guadacannal, near the airfield, is 1,100. Their commander made a brief delaying action between the beach and the airfield and then made a sort of skimishing withdrawll west.

                        The attack at the Tenaru river was made by Japanese Army infantry. This was the Ichiki detachement, from the regiment intended for the assualt on Midway. That occured on the east side of the US perimeter. The SNLF remained on the west screening the beachhead and improving landing landing sites further west.
                        Last edited by Carl Schwamberg; 22 Oct 08, 06:57.

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