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World War II: "Japan First"

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  • #61
    Originally posted by The Purist View Post
    Why worry about bombing Tokyo or Hiroshima or Nagasaki or any city at all. B17 and B24s can be used against targets in Formosa and China, to attack ports in range, rail yards in China, etc. Their bases will advance as the allies advance and soon eneough they will be within range to bomb the Imperial Palace if they so choose. You don't need P-51s against Japan, while the Zero was a fine fighter it was made of tinfoil. Allied pilots and P-40s and P-38s, once they got some experience (learning to not to try and turn w/ a Zero for example), were able to knock down Zeros with a sickening regularity because of the Japanese fighters fragile nature.

    Japan succeeded in early 1942 because of the weaknesses of the allied defences, once the allies got their feet under them the japanese never won a battle much less a campaign despite holy belly-bands, Zeros, Kates, or Bettys.

    A New Guinea-like campaign up the Asian coast instead? Instead of the briliant move to Hollandia, history would write about the jump to Shanghai and then directly to Pusan instead or Tsingtao?

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    • #62
      Originally posted by The Ibis View Post
      A New Guinea-like campaign up the Asian coast instead? Instead of the briliant move to Hollandia, history would write about the jump to Shanghai and then directly to Pusan instead or Tsingtao?
      That would be far sexier than our history. The liberation of millions of Chinese from Japanese occupation and a land campaign against the Kantung Army! More than that, it would almost certainly force the US to do long term occupation duty in China while the KTM tried to get it's act together. Americans would not have reacted well to losing China to Communism after liberating it directly. I'm thinking a kind of coalition government would be formed where Mao would be a fairly big player but not the big one. Incidently, this is what the Soviets though was going to happen OTL, and were taken aback by Mao's total victory.

      And Purist, don't strawman my argument. I didn't say you didn't need to have logistics and economy to win, far from it. I SAID that logistics and economy cannot in and of themselves garentee victory. We dropped more bombs on North Vietnam than we did to BOTH the Germans and Japanese and Saigon still fell, and America was scarred all the way up to today. I have not read Suntzu himself but I've read enough of his followers to say they don't speak of economy or logistics. Sun Tzu speaks of deception, and this actually supports my case because in the context of applied SunTzu, it is always how an undermanned and undergunned can win by wearing an enemy down or crushing him with a masterfull deception and annihilaitng totally, Diem Bein Phu style.

      The simple fact is that Germany could very well have won World War II. I hate to say it but there's probably a scenario in which Japan could have realistically won the Pacific War, although I am not a big student of the theater and have little idea how it could be done. But in any case, my point in the last post was that the Germans didn't need Soviet levels of production to win, they needed more than what they had. And we can both argue about Speer's genius. I am given to understand most of what he waanted was planned out by Fritz Toedt. But he died, and Hitler gave Speer the power to rationalize the German economy, which was so badly run one needed not be a genius to improve production figures. I mean, there were 380 plane variants and models in the German arsenal, all made on the factory to specs even though this was grossly inefficient.

      Furthermore you cannot have it both ways, saying the bombing campaign hurt the Germans AND it wouldn't have mattered anyway. If you take away the bombing campaign a whole litany of porduction costs are suddenly freed up. Germany would have produced far more than it did, not just because of no bombing in 44 and 45 but because the rationalization of 43 could have come to full fruition. Then there's oil. The trick isn't the oil, though more is always better, it was that American daylight raids knocked out the REFINERIES of said oil. Most of the 88s would have gone east and their they would have made the lives of those vaulted Soveit armor crews most henoius indeed.

      And one thing more: Without a DoW, the US was not ever going to go to war with either Japan or Germany. Killing Nazis is sexy, and for some a moral imperitive. This is not true for the American body politic. America would natually ally with Britian, for the Pacific War alone. Germany is a FAR bigger stregic threat than Japan, that's true, but can you tell the American people that they have to defer their undivided asskicking of Japan to wage a war of agression against Nazi Germany, to save the Soviet Union? That's political suicide. Roosevelt would need dictatorial powers to declare war on the Nazis, cause he wasn't going to get it from any Congress, and if he did somehow...well, I'm reminded of something my hard-left high school history teacher told me a decade ago. In studing the psych effects of what a general mobilization on the American people in 40-41, the office responsible came to the conclusion that the Ameican people would react more or less like they did in Vietnam. The war would be criticized, deeply unpopular, with deep and long lasting political consequnces. And this didn't happen because of Pearl Harbor. There is a world of difference between the US declares war on Germany and Germany declares war on the US. If the former happens, Robert Taft would be president in 1945.

      In the end, war is not about resouces or even ideology, but about what the leadership in power wants and can get. Roosevelt wanted war with Germany far more than Japan, and Hitler gave it to him. But if not he was still accountable to a people who wanted blood from the Japs and no desire to have another bloody adventure in a Europe that never seemed to grow tired of killing.
      How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
      275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

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      • #63
        Originally posted by The Purist View Post
        1.Why worry about bombing Tokyo or Hiroshima or Nagasaki or any city at all.
        2. B17 and B24s can be used against targets in Formosa and China, to attack ports in range, rail yards in China, etc. Their bases will advance as the allies advance and soon eneough they will be within range to bomb the Imperial Palace if they so choose.
        3. You don't need P-51s against Japan, while the Zero was a fine fighter it was made of tinfoil. Allied pilots and P-40s and P-38s, once they got some experience (learning to not to try and turn w/ a Zero for example), were able to knock down Zeros with a sickening regularity because of the Japanese fighters fragile nature.
        1. Because that is where the majority of the factories and naval construction yards were located.

        2.Please look at a map. Google Maps make it quite easy. B!7/24's CANNOT REACH TOKYO FROM CHINA OR ANYWHERE ELSE FOR THAT MATTER WITH A BOMBLOAD. In my previous post #59, which you have just responded to, I did go to the trouble of calculating some distances from the Tokyo region to various possible bases from which Allied aircraft may operate from. You seem to be ignoring the distance factor which is not open to interpretation or points of view- they are facts. ONLY the P51b/d, P47m and P38j had the range to reach Tokyo from Iwo Jima. Everywhere else was out of range of everything else.

        3. Japanese aircraft development did not stop with the introduction of the Zero. For example "Robust, capable, with excellent performance and maneuverability and powerful armament, the Nakajima Ki-84(Gale) was considered to be the finest Japanese fighter to see large scale operations during the Second World War.[1] Though hampered by poor production quality in later models, a high-maintenance engine, and lack of experienced pilots above all else, the Hayates that arrived in the Philippines proved to be very difficult opponents for American pilots.[2] They were able to out-climb any Allied fighter (including both the P-51D and the P-47N), out-turn all of them (including the Spitfire) [3] and to engage the B-29 at high altitude, though they performed much better at low or medium altitude. The "Hayate" would have posed considerable problems for its enemies had it appeared earlier and in larger numbers.[4] Just 3,514 were eventually built.""the Ki-84 used a 65 mm (2.56 in) armor-glass canopy, 13 mm (.51 in) of head and back armor, and multiple bulkheads in the fuselage, which protected both the methanol-water tank (used to increase the effectiveness of the supercharger) and the centrally-located fuel tank. [5]" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakajima_Ki-84 This is but one of a number of later design Japanese aircraft that surpassed the performance and combat effectiveness of the Zero.
        Last edited by At ease; 19 Jan 10, 13:30.
        "It's like shooting rats in a barrel."
        "You'll be in a barrel if you don't watch out for the fighters!"

        "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease."
        — Sergei(son of Igor) Sikorsky, 'AOPA Pilot' magazine February 2003.

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        • #64
          Originally posted by At ease View Post
          2.Please look at a map. Google Maps make it quite easy. B!7/24's CANNOT REACH TOKYO FROM CHINA OR ANYWHERE ELSE FOR THAT MATTER WITH A BOMBLOAD. In my previous post #59, which you have just responded to, I did go to the trouble of calculating some distances from the Tokyo region to various possible bases from which Allied aircraft may operate from. You seem to be ignoring the distance factor which is not open to interpretation or points of view- they are facts. ONLY the P51b/d, P47m and P38j had the range to reach Tokyo from Iwo Jima. Everywhere else was out of range of everything else.
          The distance from Shanghai to Tokyo is 1100 miles. From Wiki, the B-24's combat radius was 2100 miles.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B-24_Liberator

          So it would be a close call. Maybe reducing the bomb load might make the strikes possible? Ploesti was a 2100 mile round trip. I haven't found if the loads were reduced for that.

          Obviously, the B-24s would be flying without fighter cover, although I think Purist's point is that the Japanese wouldnt have much fuel for their own fighters. If thats the case, the absence of escorts could be a non-issue, at least after the first strikes eat up the Japanese stocks.

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          • #65
            Exactly. Moreover, Japanes production numbers are somewhere between deplorable and pathetic. With the US concentrating on the Pacific the Japanese, who were swamped in the OTL, would be buried by US kit. If the Japanese lack the fuel resources of the southeast Asia, their newer fighters won't net them much.

            In the OTL, with fuel and newer aircraft the Japanese aircraft did not fair well against the allies whether they were flying p-40s, P-38s, P-51s, Hellcats, Corsairs, whatever. What held the allies back from a quicker advance was the distances involved and the lack of amphibious shipping due to the need to concentrate on Europe's "Overlord". Once the shipping was transferred to the Pacific there was no stopping the US fleets, Marines and Army from going where it wanted even with Europe holding the priority of resources.

            A Japan First policy would level the Japanese much sooner. The Japanese infantryman may have been tenacious in defence but they still died in droves and in numbers Japan could not afford. The Pacific war was not even close to being a contest between equals. That is why the allies could put the Pacific on the back burner in the first place. It wasn't a threat to the US or British/ANZACs
            The Purist

            Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

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            • #66
              Originally posted by The Ibis View Post

              So it would be a close call. Maybe reducing the bomb load might make the strikes possible? Ploesti was a 2100 mile round trip. I haven't found if the loads were reduced for that.

              Obviously, the B-24s would be flying without fighter cover, although I think Purist's point is that the Japanese wouldnt have much fuel for their own fighters. If thats the case, the absence of escorts could be a non-issue, at least after the first strikes eat up the Japanese stocks.
              "The B-24 Liberators to be used were re-equipped with bomb bay fuel tanks to increase their fuel capacity to 3,100 gallons." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Tidal_Wave

              As the B24's need aux. tanks(reduced bomb load), the Japanese may decide to store a large proportion of their stocks of fuel out of attack range. If they can't reach them, they can't be destroyed. The Japanese managed to hang on to enough fuel stocks to intercept the B29 raids enough to require the protection provided by P51's. That's why the US was desperate to capture Iwo Jima.
              "It's like shooting rats in a barrel."
              "You'll be in a barrel if you don't watch out for the fighters!"

              "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease."
              — Sergei(son of Igor) Sikorsky, 'AOPA Pilot' magazine February 2003.

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by Dakooch View Post
                I'm sooooo confused!! Must have missed that back there.

                In any event, let's get back to your contention that the war ends much earlier in the Pacific because the Japanese military and economy were paper tigers.

                Although I mostly agree with that estimate I'm gonna stick to my later date for the reasons I've already stated (I must cordially agree to disagree) and, particularly if an invasion of Japan becomes necessary, its gonna get very ugly indeed.

                Unless, of course, I'm addressing an argument directed against whatever bozo thought Japan would attack the Soviet Union, in which case, to quote Roseanne Roseannadanna, "never mind".
                Nobody is claiming that Japan was a paper tiger. The point is that in comparison the US was a bull elephant compared to the Japanese tiger.
                Japan was defeated by 20% of the Amewrican war effort in WW2.

                Nonethless, I also place the date of the defeat of Japan somehwere in 1944 just because the production of ships and airplanes necessary to invade were already full out. Without having to divert men and materieals to Europe, the critical mass to isolate Japan occurs a year earlier IMHO so rather than the end of 1945, VJ Day is late 1944.

                As for the entire contention that "nobody would ever" anything, assuming rationality from all parties had not proven an effective solution in preventing the outbreak of the war in the first place so it is not reasonable to apply it to the execution of the war.
                "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
                George Mason
                Co-author of the Second Amendment
                during Virginia’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                  Purist has always been very dismissive of Axis capabilities in that war.

                  Something that does not bode well for our little war game.
                  When you have read the books he has, you too will grasp that what the Axis achieved was almost the best possible outcome they were capabable of given the limits of their economies.

                  Read Tooze's Wages of Destruction. It is boring as hell but seriously eye-opening.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
                    When you have read the books he has, you too will grasp that what the Axis achieved was almost the best possible outcome they were capabable of given the limits of their economies.

                    Read Tooze's Wages of Destruction. It is boring as hell but seriously eye-opening.
                    To reduce war fighting, or ANYTHING to economics is like painting by numbers. You fundementally fail to produce a product of any worth. Besides, America is the largest economy on earth and has been for over 100 years. Look at where it won and where it lost. Then compare the economics of the combatants. I call bullshit, because it is bullshit.
                    How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
                    275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

                    Comment

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