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  • #16
    The problem alaska has is in defence, and though mineral rich and with good fishing grounds, minerals tend to run out after a time and fishing grounds can thin.

    I say Alaskas best option would be to join Canada or stay as they are.
    On its own Alaska is very vulnerable.
    Sealion would have failed..............runs,

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
      Weird as it seems, there simply were not enough Russians to go around in 1860s, not with all the Empire-building they were doing in the 1800s.
      Theres a historical divergence. The Russian policy was to fill out settlers in the new imperial territorys with imigrants from other European states or nations. A large portion of theose were Germans. Lets assume for a moment that several thousand Germans had immigrated to the Alaskan coast under Russian sponsorship. By 1860 the Russian/German population in the coastal enclaves is upwards of 50,000 with more on the way. This is not unreasonable. In the 19th Century there was a wave of German immgration to North and South America. Had the Russians provided more incentives they might have taken on a larger portion of the people leaving the German states or the German Empire.

      Does that affect Russian policy towards retaining Alaska? Would it create a Prussian/German interest in the area? Assuming this German immigration contiues post 1860 what would the effect be?

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      • #18
        Why not admit it, in the 1860s Alaska had no known potential...no nation wanted it and when the US offered to buy the area Russia was more than happy to unload the place. As an independent nation (I have to go lightly here as my attempt at humor was costly) Alaska could exist, but with its proven resources to continue to exist Alaska would have to have some strong friends or great diplomats.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by LtCol View Post
          Why not admit it, in the 1860s Alaska had no known potential...no nation wanted it and when the US offered to buy the area Russia was more than happy to unload the place. As an independent nation (I have to go lightly here as my attempt at humor was costly) Alaska could exist, but with its proven resources to continue to exist Alaska would have to have some strong friends or great diplomats.
          Sure, but why let facts get in the way of a good story?

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          • #20
            Originally posted by UeArtemis View Post
            How do Alaska look now if Russians were better colonists and didnít sell it.
            Can Alaska be a independent country? What history can it have?
            Absolutely not. The reason we picked it up at rock bottom prices was that the English were making inroads and moving into a position were they could have taken Alaska. The options were: Sell it to us for almost nothing; Or lose it to the English for nothing.

            But if they did in some alternate timeline achieve independence and not be absorbed by the Brits, Then they would have fallen to the Japanese invasion in the 1906-1907 Russo-Eskimo War.
            Many pelts were lost, but the Japs found a steady supply of oil and felt no compulsion to attack the US Navy in order to remove it as a threat in their drive towards the Malaysian-Indonesian oil fields.

            "Uh Ho here comes Hirohito from out West, making a real axis of himself" quote from one of those banned WWII Disney & WB cartoons
            Last edited by Cicero; 05 Feb 09, 21:08.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Cicero View Post
              .... invasion in the 1906-1907 Russo-Eskimo War.
              Many pelts were lost, but the Japs found a steady supply of oil and felt no compulsion to attack the US Navy in order to remove it as a threat in their drive towards the Malaysian-Indonesian oil fields.
              You mean the North Slope oil deposits? Could 1930s tecnology extract those deposits? Were they known in the 1930s? Weather or not the oil is available possesion of Alaska gives Japan a sizable 'Northern Resource Area'. Which was one of their long term stratigic goals for the later 20th Century. With that area in hand there would be reduced pressure for Japan to confront the Europeans over their south Asian colonys.

              Owning Alaska might give the Japanese a incentive to try harder to hang onto enclaves on the Siberian coast when Russia collapses in 1918

              Japanese naval bases in North America would give the US fits. Two Japanese efforts to establish a refueling station on the Pacific coast of the Americas (in Mexico I think) were adamantly opposed by the US government.

              All this could lead to a US/Japanese war much earlier. A Japanese entry into Alaska during the Russo/Japanese war in 1904-5 would probablly lead to the US taking a much different stance to that conflict.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                You mean the North Slope oil deposits? Could 1930s tecnology extract those deposits? Were they known in the 1930s? Weather or not the oil is available possesion of Alaska gives Japan a sizable 'Northern Resource Area'. Which was one of their long term stratigic goals for the later 20th Century. With that area in hand there would be reduced pressure for Japan to confront the Europeans over their south Asian colonys.


                Japanese naval bases in North America would give the US fits. Two Japanese efforts to establish a refueling station on the Pacific coast of the Americas (in Mexico I think) were adamantly opposed by the US government.

                All this could lead to a US/Japanese war much earlier. A Japanese entry into Alaska during the Russo/Japanese war in 1904-5 would probablly lead to the US taking a much different stance to that conflict.
                You make good points. Thank you for pointing out the oil extraction difficulties. I have done some quick checking and you appear to be right about Alaska not emerging as a serious oil exporter till decades later.


                On the naval coal stations and supply depots: I think your example of the Bases in Mexico is a false analogy for serving as support for predictions that of American resolve to prevent Japan having bases in Alaska. Remember to consider time and place. Japan signing refueling and naval shelter agreements with Mexico turns mexico into the staging point for an attack on the Panama Canal and the crippling of World trade. Bases in Alaska are far less relevant as the Japs already had bases in the Kuriles which are already near the far edge of the Aluetions. I do not think the Americans would view this as in any way comparable to the Bases in Mexico and the threat they posed in Panama.

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                • #23
                  Does anybody know what Japans ultimate objectives were in 1941?? I thought they attacked us, to clear our navy out of the way as they drove south to the Dutch colonies for oil to help their war effort.
                  Does anybody know under what conditions they would have settled with China and the rest of asia? How much land might have been enough for them?
                  Under what conditions would THEY NOT have attacked any of the western powers?

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                  • #24
                    John Costello in his 'the Pacific War 1941-45' has several chapters on this subject.

                    Originally posted by Cicero View Post
                    Does anybody know what Japans ultimate objectives were in 1941?? I thought they attacked us, to clear our navy out of the way as they drove south to the Dutch colonies for oil to help their war effort.
                    Yes. Oil was the most important. Rice and other agricultural products were urgently needed as well. The Tin, Bauxite, Iron, and other minerals of Indonesia were high on the list.

                    Originally posted by Cicero View Post

                    Under what conditions would THEY NOT have attacked any of the western powers?
                    Judging from their negotiation proposals in 1941, as outlined by Costello, they would not withdraw from China, Korea, or Manchuria. A armistice with the Chinese government, which Japan did not recognize , was given such a high price in conditions that it would ammount to the surrender of Chaing Kai Sheks Nationalist government. Similarly a withdrawl from French Indo China had so many conditions attached it ammounted to only a token withdrawl.

                    Complete cessation of the embargos and free acess of Japanese cargo ships to all ports was another key position. Attached to all this were new and favorable trade agreements between Japan and the Allied nations, including the US.

                    Originally posted by Cicero View Post
                    Does anybody know under what conditions they would have settled with China and the rest of asia? How much land might have been enough for them?
                    As late as July 1945 Japans leaders offered terms. They would withdraw from US and British territorys or colonies, and most of Dutch Indonesia. French Indo China may have been negotiable as well. China, Manchuria, and Korea were still nonegotiable. Although a armistice with the Nationalist government was now more likely. Keep in mind the Japanese leaders proposed these terms after their Navy had been destroyed, home islands such as Iwo Jima, and Okinawa were occupied by the enemy, the cargo fleet 90% destroyed &the population begaining to starve, and the cities were burning to to the ground. This was also after the worst of the war faction had left the government with Tojo in March 1944. The Prime Minister and cabinet of July 1945 were what passed for moderates in Japans politics.

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                    • #25
                      Thank You Carl

                      Well Thank you for your research Gen. Carl very informative.

                      Back to the topic at hand, even if Alaska gets lost to the Japs in the early 20th Century, the Japanese would have still made the drive to the south and attacked the Eurpean colonies. As nation after nation fell to Nazi Germany, hawk elements within japan(like Tojo) advanced to greater positions of power. For japan, the tumoil in europe created a unique opportunity for taking these colonies that would never come again. The time was now or never and it was worth the gamble if japan were to become militarily self-reliant and not have to worry about importing iron and fuel from the US.

                      Furthermore, the Japs made estimates of where arms flowing to chinese opposition were coming from and the siezure of these colonies would cut off the flow of arms to the Chinese (minus the 2% that came through Russia). So even with control of Alaska, they would have still made the drive for the Euro colonies because the lust and opportunity would never be matched again.
                      Oh well, conscripted Eskimos are brought in to occupy Korea. That's my prediction for Free Alaska

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                      • #26
                        Thanks. Hope I did not make too many errors trying to summarize Costellos several chapters.

                        Originally posted by Cicero View Post
                        if japan were to become militarily self-reliant and not have to worry about importing iron and fuel from the US.
                        Minor point, but I think Japans principle oil source were the Dutch fields in Indonesia. Need to find some prewar numbers for that. Not sure how much came from North or South America. Getting the Dutch onboard with the embargo program was one of the milestones in organizing it. High quality scrap steel was a important item from the US along with some crtical metals for alloys, chemicals, and industrial tools.

                        A Japanese Alaska brings up the question of what sort of campaign would be fought there. Cold wet and nasty obviously. Just the presence of Japanese naval and airbases would dictate a major shift in US strategy and prioritys. Would the critcal attritional campaign the broke Japans offensive powere be fought in the Pacific NW rather than in New Guinea & the Solomons? Would Canada make a smaller contribution to the war in Europe? Would Monty or Slim make their reputation leading a Commwealth Army across the Rockies? Would Japan be allowed to retain the Alaska territory after defeat, or would it be pried loose like Korea?

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                        • #27
                          That should be its own thread - How does WWII progress if japan holds alaska?

                          If my memory serves from High School, Japan relied on the USA for over 50% of its fuel imports. Remember that at the time, the USA was the Saudi Arabia of the day source of 63% of world oil production.


                          http://www.americanforeignrelations....rld-power.html

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Cicero View Post
                            That should be its own thread - How does WWII progress if japan holds alaska?
                            Priority would intially go to nuetralizing the Japanese army and naval forces based in Alaska. (Now theres a obscure wargame subject.) Once the Naval LoC had been cut the Japanese in North America would have been stranded the same as those in the Pacific and the area become a secondary theatre with forgotton battles trailing off to 1945. In 1942 there would have been some epic battles in the Pacific North West with Japanese and Allied soldiers scrambbling over steep mountains much like the Autralians on the Kokoda Trail in New Guniea.

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                            • #29
                              I wonder if we would have taken part in the N.Africa campaign if we would have been preparing for a N.America offensive in Canada-Alaska. I wonder what would have happened the captured Alaskan territory after the war...Set free like Korea probably. Or placed under joint US/Canadian administration till a nominally free government was created to sign defense pacts allowing us to put bases to watch and protect against Soviet threats in N.America

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Cicero View Post
                                I wonder if we would have taken part in the N.Africa campaign if we would have been preparing for a N.America offensive in Canada-Alaska. I wonder what would have happened the captured Alaskan territory after the war...Set free like Korea probably. Or placed under joint US/Canadian administration till a nominally free government was created to sign defense pacts allowing us to put bases to watch and protect against Soviet threats in N.America
                                Both could be practical, tho the decision might be different. In late 1941 there were roughly 12+ combat ready divsions in the US. Halfdozen were expected to reach that status in a few months. The trick was sustaining them overseas. Thats why only four went to the UK in 1942 and a total of seven were eventually sent to the Mediterranian. those plus the hand full in the Pacific were all that could be supported by the cargo ships remainming after all the other tasks were attended to. for instance supporting a heavy bomber wing of 100+ B17 required more cargo space than a infantry divsion to supply with bombs, spare engines, fuel ect...

                                In the case of fussing with a Japanese army in the far NW roads can be built into the area, and the short distance makes ships more effcient. So the other US divsions that could not be sent overseas in 1942 can be used on the Polar Front.

                                The need to retain Canadian soldiers for North American defense would be a greater problem. Fewer Canandians, or none in the UK in 1941-42 means the other British & Dominion units are spread thinner. Maybe the British could equip more of the Indian Armys regiments for service as divsion units in the Mediterrainian or Europe.

                                One upside would be the extra combat and operational experince this would provide the US Army early in the war. Even if only three or four divsions paricipated it would be valuable in exposing some of the good and bad points in US Army practice or doctrine.

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