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  • A better prepared Japan

    Here's a thought:

    A lot of people talk about the inevitable defeat of Japan in the Second World War. While I don't believe anything is impossible, it is difficult for me to imagine Japan getting out in one peace without of string of good fortune in heavy battles with the US Navy. But if we're so smart, what would we do differently? Assume you are the 'guiding spirit' of the Japanese government, starting, say at the coronation of Hirohito. What would you do to better prepare the nation for war with China and war with the USA? And winning against both is not necessarily the objective, just make them especially the US, hurt more.

    What can be done? More factories? Research into synthetic oil? Looking for iron deposits inside the Japanese Empire? Modernize the military's badly outdated equipment? What (realistically) could be done to make Japan better able to engage in the wars they felt they had to fight?
    Last edited by Wolery; 24 Apr 10, 17:43.
    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

  • #2
    Originally posted by Wolery View Post
    Here's a thought:

    A lot of people talk about the inevitable defeat of Japan in the Second World War. While I don't believe anything is impossible, it is difficult for me to imagine Japan getting out in one peace without of string of good fortune in heavy battles with the US Navy. But if we're so smart, what would we do differently? Assume you are the 'guiding spirit' of the Japanese government, starting, say at the coronation of Hirohito. What would you do to better prepare the nation for war with China and war with the USA? And winning against both is not necessarily the objective, just make them especially the US, hurt more.

    What can be done? More factories? Research into synthetic oil? Looking for iron deposits inside the Japanese EMpire? Modernize the military's badly outdated equipment? What (realistically) could be done to make Japan better able to engage in the wars they felt they had to fight?
    Do I have the benefit of hindsight? Because if I do, I could cause a lot of damage to the united states. I would have not wasted so much resources on battleships, built an occupation force to take the Hawaiian islands during pearl harbor, wait for the date the carriers were originally scheduled to return to pearl harbor before attacking. Then use my submarines in anti-shipping roles against the united states, unleashing the power of unrestricted warfare against America. I would also make a more serious effort to attack and invade india, and before the war I would have sent some people to America to learn the Navajo language then once they have learned the language, call them back to Japan to teach our code-breakers the language. As the Navajo language was used as an American code, this would be a great boon to my operations.

    I'd allocate more funds and resources into the atomic bomb project, procuring the needed Uranium before the war with the benefit of knowing how to make a nuclear bomb, as well as making a long-range strategic bomber with a range of 10,000 miles and a capacity to carry my bomb. I would build eight of these and have them Bomb Los Angeles, San Fransisco, Sacramento, San Diego, and use two on India, and another two on China. I would send a fleet to destroy Panama Canal and thus force America to have to take the long route to the pacific.

    I would tell Roosevelt and Churchill that if they did not give up America's pacific territories and sue for peace, I would continue to drop Nuclear bombs on American and Indian cities and if need be, invade.
    Last edited by Czin; 24 Apr 10, 17:45.
    Standing here, I realize you were just like me trying to make history.
    But who's to judge the right from wrong.
    When our guard is down I think we'll both agree.
    That violence breeds violence.
    But in the end it has to be this way.

    Comment


    • #3
      No hindsight, that's cheating, especially learning Navaho!

      Without hindsight, except to know war is coming and you cannot prevent it. I personally would have gone about heavy, heavy industiralizing insteel proudction, a massive refinery and synthetic oilworks. But I suspect that would not be enough.
      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


      • #4
        Originally posted by Wolery View Post
        No hindsight, that's cheating, especially learning Navaho!

        Without hindsight, except to know war is coming and you cannot prevent it. I personally would have gone about heavy, heavy industiralizing insteel proudction, a massive refinery and synthetic oilworks. But I suspect that would not be enough.
        Or coming back with my knowledge of exactly what is needed to make an atomic bomb. Because if I brought back the little boy schematics to Japan or Germany, a lot of cities would be radioactive.
        Standing here, I realize you were just like me trying to make history.
        But who's to judge the right from wrong.
        When our guard is down I think we'll both agree.
        That violence breeds violence.
        But in the end it has to be this way.

        Comment


        • #5
          Steel production. Unless the Japanese could out produce the US in steel they were dead in the water the moment the started the whole shooting match.
          Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

          That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Rojik View Post
            Steel production. Unless the Japanese could out produce the US in steel they were dead in the water the moment the started the whole shooting match.
            Then they need to start breaking out the white flags. Absent the essentials for production at home.......stick a fork in 'em.

            They will have to move militarily to secure the resources, so more preparation won't happen, at least not in secret. Without the resources they can't prepare more.

            Looks like Catch-22 coming true.
            If stupid was a criminal offense Sea Lion believers would be doing life.

            Shouting out to Half Pint for bringing back the big mugs!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by D1J1 View Post
              Then they need to start breaking out the white flags. Absent the essentials for production at home.......stick a fork in 'em.
              I know Japan itself has no industrial scale pockets of Iron, which is why the rich samurai with steel swords could cut through peasant levies like nothing. But there has to be iron in Taiwan or Manchuria or maybe even Korea. Coal is more important because it's needed to make steel, but can be turned into oil with the right equipment. Really the Japanese do not need a lot of oil, just enough to supply fuel to their navy, merchant marine, and air force. The civilian economy has almost no automobiles.

              And besides, there's no rule saying you can't buy on the open market. Until the US embargoes you, you can be all the essential materials and process them into value added goods. This is how Japan makes it's money today.

              I think we can establish that Japan needs steel and oil. Not as much as the US by any means, but still. It seems to me what the Japanese needed was a five year plan to modernize old factories and bring new ones online. How much this would have to be cut back once the war in China starts, how knows? But what else could they do?
              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


              • #8
                At some point right after the fall of France, before the Soviets and the US, there were many in the United Kingdom and Germany pushing for peace between the two.
                I understand at this point Japan would not be in its best readiness, but if Japan attacked the British, before the US made the embargo, scored a few impressive hits like sinking a flagship or the like, right in the time where the British were most fragil in terms of resolve...
                Isn't it possible the United Kingdom would have accepted a peace with some concessions over to the Japanese (nothing crippling or they wouldn't accept), plus the Dutch and French asian colonies?

                This would be in my mind the best japan could hope for.
                At this point, Japan would have the resources from the aquired territory and a Germany with no western front to worry about, the USA will hesitate a lot before doing anything as the UK is now out of immediate danger, France already fallen, and the Soviet Union still menacing.
                Without the embargo, imagine a coordinated attack on the Soviet Union by Germany and Japan? Although Japan would be unable to penetrate deep, they could with proper planning score some significant victories, and the German barbarossa would be stronger with nobody else to worry about and an ally fighting on the other border of the Soviets. If the Bear is defeated and sues for peace, Japan would have more resources to challenge the USA in the pacific.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If there was a coordinated German-Japanese attack on the USSR wouldn't that require the Japanese to attack across Siberia? What would they gain by that.
                  "The first time those bastards encounter US Marines, I want it to be the most traumatic experience of their miserable lives."
                  -Gen. James Mattis, USMC

                  Psalms 144.1

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by IronMan15 View Post
                    If there was a coordinated German-Japanese attack on the USSR wouldn't that require the Japanese to attack across Siberia? What would they gain by that.
                    Across Siberia? No. Use the navy to control the coast, take vladivostok if possible, hold the ground in mainland Asia and overall harass the Russians, focusing on strategical targets within reasonable range. It is the Germans that need to win this war, Japan isn't supposed to enter Moscow, however, even if for morale purposes alone it could cause a very significant impact.
                    When it ends Japan could expect territorial gains, quite likely access to natural resourses.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by IronMan15 View Post
                      If there was a coordinated German-Japanese attack on the USSR wouldn't that require the Japanese to attack across Siberia? What would they gain by that.
                      No, just tie up the Siberian border guards which the Japanese should be able to do (just the Siberian troops, the Red Army in whole would CRUSH them). If the USSR survives and capitulates, raw material across the border, including precious oil from the Caucuses and iron and coal which are found everywhere in Russia (not that Russia is abnormally blessed, it's just that big).

                      Fighting the Red Army would be difficult if war continued, but at least Siberia has vast amounts of timber. Take 40,000+ Chinese prisoners and have them fell logs all day long and ship them to Japan where they can be made into Polsgas (gas equivalent made of wood). Hey it's something
                      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


                      • #12
                        Makes sense. Japan would gain the needed natural resources. Although a counter attack would be tough for the Soviets there would be a danger of the Japanese over-extending there supply lines through inhospitable terrain, wouldn't there?
                        "The first time those bastards encounter US Marines, I want it to be the most traumatic experience of their miserable lives."
                        -Gen. James Mattis, USMC

                        Psalms 144.1

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Wolery View Post
                          I know Japan itself has no industrial scale pockets of Iron, which is why the rich samurai with steel swords could cut through peasant levies like nothing. But there has to be iron in Taiwan or Manchuria or maybe even Korea. Coal is more important because it's needed to make steel, but can be turned into oil with the right equipment. Really the Japanese do not need a lot of oil, just enough to supply fuel to their navy, merchant marine, and air force. The civilian economy has almost no automobiles.

                          And besides, there's no rule saying you can't buy on the open market. Until the US embargoes you, you can be all the essential materials and process them into value added goods. This is how Japan makes it's money today.

                          I think we can establish that Japan needs steel and oil. Not as much as the US by any means, but still. It seems to me what the Japanese needed was a five year plan to modernize old factories and bring new ones online. How much this would have to be cut back once the war in China starts, how knows? But what else could they do?
                          Iron, coal, oil...........it doesn't matter. Those resources, plus limestone only cover the basic process, making pig iron. You haven't even started making steel yet, at least not the specialty steels needed for armor plate, shells, bearings and so much more.

                          Who is going to sell the material/resources to them? The Chinese, Tiawanese and Koreans aren't exactly buddy-buddy with the Japanese to begin with! The war in China and the movement into Korea ARE all about getting the resources they don't have. They attacked Dutch holdings to get the oil that nobody was selling them.

                          At than point surprise or extra time to prepare is gone. You return to my white flag, Catch-22 situation.

                          Also, how do you figure the Japanese need less steel and oil than the US? They will begin by waging aggressive war, and they will need to prepare to hold what they can take against the counter-offensive launched by the US/Allies.
                          Last edited by D1J1; 25 Apr 10, 04:28. Reason: Change Chinese to Japanese in 2nd paragraph! Oops!
                          If stupid was a criminal offense Sea Lion believers would be doing life.

                          Shouting out to Half Pint for bringing back the big mugs!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by IronMan15 View Post
                            Makes sense. Japan would gain the needed natural resources. Although a counter attack would be tough for the Soviets there would be a danger of the Japanese over-extending there supply lines through inhospitable terrain, wouldn't there?
                            This doesn't help, in fact it dilutes the Japanese forces even more! Now they're engaged in Manchuria, occupying Korea, planning their thrust toward Dutch, British and American holdings in the Pacific AND trying to help the ratzis against the Soviets?

                            The only gas they get in Siberia is from eating spoiled rice!
                            If stupid was a criminal offense Sea Lion believers would be doing life.

                            Shouting out to Half Pint for bringing back the big mugs!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by D1J1 View Post
                              Also, how do you figure the Japanese need less steel and oil than the US? They will begin by waging aggressive war, and they will need to prepare to hold what they can take against the counter-offensive launched by the US/Allies.
                              I'm not really taking this on as a 'Japan wins,' more of, make the Allies conquest of them far more painful. A glorious death. Fighting the US is suicidal unless you can wear down morale home. As I said, you start with the coronation of Hirohito. That's 1928. And what's more until the occupation of French Indochina, the US was hand over fist selling things to the Japanese. They were our biggest customer in scrap iron. The Dutch went along with FDR's embargo, as did the British, but until then, open markets. That was early 41. The US will do business with anyone with money, even if our government won't. Who do you think buys all the Afghan heroin? It's not the Chinese.

                              As to why Japan doesn't need the steel, it's simple. Japan had half of the US's population, and the civilian sector was completely unmoterized. The Kwantung Amry had no tanks of note, certainly not enough strain the oil supply too bad. Japan, in war economy, needs fuel for airplanes and ships. You'd have to start at the Meiji Restoration to get Japanese shipbuilding to produce capital ships like the American naval yards could. Seriously, the Japanese shipyards built three, count em, three, carriers after Midway. Even in America a carrier was an 18 months project. By the time any new capital ship was ready, the war would be decided in the Pacific, barring a breaking of morale, which could not happen if Japan strikes first.

                              The only vessels Japan might need to replace are cruisers, destroyers, and submarines. And on the civilian side merchant marine loses. Motorized infantry and tanks, are not part of the equation, except in the best case, where the industrial capacity of Japan to sustain those units in the field will be problematic. Historically, adopting the Sten gun was considered beyond Japan's arms making capacity. At least that's what I remember from Richard Overy. And Japan's logistics train and how they fed their troops was so ludicrously shoestring that if it were fictional no one would believe it. It's interesting in a horrible way about what the Japanese could have done if they were feeding the troops properly.

                              Anything that Japan produces over what it did historically depends on an industrial sector that much bigger. And besides, the Japanese were able to convert their entire merchant marine to coal, which was problematic, but eliminates the need for that much gas. The biggest losses for Japan were it's naval pilots at Midway and Guadalcanal, perhaps a bigger highly trained pilot reserve was necessary, but that has nothing to do with material shortages, until after the embargo and subverted by occupying Indonesia.
                              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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