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Anyone interested in some intellectual exercise?

Discussion in 'War in the Pacific' started by USMCPrice, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    I'm not sure it's O.K. to post this here, it's kind of a what if, and relates to a computer simulation, but I figured this was the best place to find some rougues interested in the PTO. Moderators and Trustees, if I am in error I apologize and move this to where you feel it is appropriate.

    Here's your briefing:
    Situation-It's November 30th 1941. All the historical situation remains unchanged. You are in command of Japan's military and have control over it's economy. You have every ship, aircraft, merchantship, troop formation, etc that historically existed.
    Question-What strategy would you use to carry out Japanese Imperial ambitions? How would you secure the necessary resources? Would you attack the US? Where would you focus your industrial capacity? What weapons would you research and develop?

    I've been playing War in the Pacific: Admiral's Edition for months now. I've tried my hand at most of the scenarios that came with the game. The game comes with a very good game editor and includes incredible detail. What I'd like to do now is examine what Japan might have achieved had she adopted a different strategy. Japan had a very formidable military in 1941, if she'd made different choices could she have drawn out the war sufficiently to achieve a negotiated settlement with the U.S.

    What I'd like is a couple members to be the Japanese Army command, a couple for the Navy, a couple that must decide on political, economic, and industrial areas, and maybe a trustee or someone appointed as kind of a Prime Minister to resolve disputes. What I mean by "resolve disputes" is the Navy wants to go with plan A, the Army with plan B. Each side makes it case and someone decides which course or combination is carried out. The Navy wants tankers, the army wants transports, the industrial board is short on steel and might have to suspend the manufacturing of bombs to undertake one or the other, but has a source of steel in X that is not being fully utilized and can't be without reallocating shipping assets from campaign Y. That sort of thing. If we have additional people interested we could even assign someone to command specific theaters or commands. The commander in China is asking for X assets to undertake his plan. The commander in SOPAC has conflicting but pressing needs, where do you allocate the military assets and shipping?

    I think we can all learn a lot about the war by understanding the strengths and limitations that the protagonists faced, and what factors that might have been changed that would have made a difference. A better pilot/aircrew training program? A change in submarine doctrine? Build more merchant shipping? Implement convoys early on? Research and build more advanced aircraft? Remember you start with the historical resource, industrial base, merchant shipping and economy. Do you focus on seizing and developing more resources? Improve your industry? Build new industry and where?

    All questions are welcome and will help me flesh out how to pull this off?
     
    Birdymckee and freebird like this.
  2. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    That sound very challengeing and need some work to do before playing that"Game", but i would take part at it if i´m qualyfied enough.
    To the briefing as a quick shot:

    Trying to conquer asian territories like China, Vietnam, Cambodia and if neccessary Russia,to get minerals and enough bases to spread out my Army. War with the USA, yes but not yet. Weapons to develop were, the idea of the german jet fighters, better and more tanks, long range bombers and better basic armament of the Army for the first step.

    Hope that isn´t to stupid.
     
  3. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Of course you are qualified. Welcome aboard.

    In no way is it stupid. The only stupid idea or question is the one not expressed. So you'd focus on the Asian Mainland, does that mean you'd like to be on the IJA Command Staff or be a theater commander?

    Start studying maps. When we get our personnel lined up I'll prepare an intell summary giving current unit locations, types, capabilities, major resource source areas, logistical assets estimates of enemy forces, capabilities, etc.

    One other factor I didn't mention is commanders, they have all the historical figures and they have a number of attributes that cause them to perform in a historical manner. I guess I'll need to provide some type of summary that allows you to best utilize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. Their political pull is also modelled so for instance, Roosevelt couldn't replace MacArthur without taking a political hit. The political cost goes up and down with their success' or failures' in order to mimic public opinion. It even models down to the individual pilot level. Their victories, skill level, etc. changes each time they fly a mission. They can be killed, wounded, shot down and rescued, killed or wounded during a takeoff or landing mishap, lost to mechanical failure, etc. One thing I had thought would be a good idea, would be to return them to Japan at some pre-set point to train new crews and provide their leadership and experience to make new or rebuilt squadrons more effective. This what what the US did. Germany and Japan tended to leave most of their veteran pilots in combat till their luck ran out.
     
  4. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    I would have infiltrated German industry. Take back to Japan...Tank design and tactics...Latest aircraft design, 004 blueprints, copied the thompson sub-machine for jungle usage. In other words made sure i was technologically superior...of course i'd need my ministers for industry and education to come aboard, id get a Hirohito dictate to train a technical elite, kidnap a couple of scientists if i had to. Japan suffered for its lack of firends. - Securing resources is ALWAYS a problem. I would have wooed Australia (instead of threatened it) - Kept peace and the best "front" possible with the US, payed top dollar and "include" Australia deeper into its economic life...whilst building "conveniance" bases in Papua to relay product, to be used as a constant threat to Australia of an easy invasion. My big plan would be to bring China over to my side, using a combination of econiomic binding, cultural exchanges and passive agressive threat. I would NEVER attack the US...instead pushing my luck until they had no option but to attack me. Then, play the "poor bugger me" card to the rest of the world...hopefully garnering support from previously unknown quarters and putting the US in the "heavy handed bully" category publically...Industrial capacity centred in China, further away from the coast the better.
    Obvioulsy, diplomatic warfare is key here...
     
  5. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    If I'm the Japanese Prime minister how do prevent my assination when I subvert the Army's or Navy's position? :)

    If I were Navy minister I would better organize convoy and asw assets, even to the point of using the smaller carriers like Shoho to preform as the jeep carriers did for the allies. Submarines used not as fleet units but commerce raiders. Still gonna get my but kicked though :)
     
  6. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    So would you be interested in fleshing out your ideas as a participant CAC. I hope so. Would you be more interested in being in charge of the economic, industrial, technological side or the military side. One of the reasons that I had suggested two or more people over each of several different areas, is that this mimics what it was like in the real world. You have competing interests that have to be reconciled.
    Like you, I'd considered the industrialization of China also. One technological area I thought should get more attention is in electronics, like improved and widely employed radar. Imroved performance aircraft engines are another area.
    Being an Australian, I'd really be interested in your opinion on a couple of the ideas you mentioned. Could, in your opinion, Japan have through mutual interests and/or the threat of military force drawn Australia into a closer relationship or would Australia's ties to the UK have prevented that? Wouldn't this preclude attacking British interests in Hong Kong, Singapore. etc. Was it possible to attack the Dutch East Indies and French Indochina without drawing Britain into the contest?
    Let's flesh these ideas out. When we come up with an overall plan we'll start the simulation and see how it turns out. Then make adjustments to take into account events as they occur.
     
  7. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Hey USMCPrice!
    To be honest im still not one hundred percent sure what it is you want to do...is this an itellectual excersice or a real game of some sort? If its a mind excersice, count me in! I would like to be in charge of manufacturing and technical industries - Whilst probably majoring in the Diplomatic side...id need total freedom though...one plan, one direction. I reckon i could play these men...except maybe McArthur...that dolt never listened to anyone.
    I think many people dont realise just how "exposed" Australia felt...and still feels to some extent. We (and the Kiwis) are the only white mob for thousands of miles...and we dont originally come from here...and we have more of everything than anybody. We've known not to trust the UK since our inception (the left us to starve in Sydney Cove)..."sink or Swim" they told us...we swam, like buggery! The words coming out of England were always a fobbing off...dont worry, we'll be there. nothing will happen etc etc...Yeah right. I think if a major power took a SERIOUS interest in us an had a plan that suited, we WOULD have thought about it...a good trading partner and you cant be invaded by a friend. No need for England when the threat is a friend and big enough militarily to protect you form all other foes in the region. But Japan has NEVER had the ability to make friends and influence people globally...too stiff and starchy...too proper...so it would have been tough for sure.
    We would train with them militarily, but ALWAYS on the understanding that we wont assist in a war against the US or Britain...or any other European country....we would have helped fight the Asian countries though, still making us handy. But it would be our resources Japan would want from us...The more they wanted/needed, the more we could have influenced their decision making...Meanwhile the US is angry with us, frustrated...we would help them too...as today, we ride TWO horses...
     
  8. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Be assured that the Emperor has full faith and confidence in your fidelity and abilities Belasarson. Now if those playing the role of the Army and Navy chiefs decide to bump you off, well I guess we'll just have to deal with it. At least it would just be a virtual assasination and not a real one!

    As for your naval ideas, those are some of the ones I'd considered also. I don't know about getting our butts kicked though. Japan was extremely strong and we very weak initially. The logistical and long term planning necessitated by the vast distances was really daunting when I played the US. I still don't see how we didn't lose the Solomons campaign even with bad Japanese decisions. Forward bases are essential. If you can cut off or as CAC mentioned, neutralize Australia you can really put a monkey wrench into what the US can do. If you can still hold the Marianas line when the A-Bomb becomes available, they can't use it on us and there is a good chance a negotiated settlement could be reached.
    Who knows, but that's what I'd like to investigate. So, if you participate would you prefer the job of Prime Minister or as a Naval Staffer?
     
  9. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    CAC, it's both. I want to have the intellectual exercise of determining a different course here, with real people to determine, hash out, and refine what the course of action would be. I will then take their strategy/orders etc. edit them into the game and let it run. The US would be played by the computer A/I based upon historical assets/plans/industrial capacity/percentage of the US military/industrial output allocated to the Pacific, etc.,etc., etc. I report back on the war situation and we alter, refine, our strategy as required.

    I can't promise you total freedom though, it wouldn't be realistic. There has to be the interplay within the different factions. We may be fortunate or you may be convincing enough to sway everyone into following your agenda. More likely though is that we will need to compromise in certain areas or to meet unforseen requirements. That's what I think will make it fun and challenging. Belasar has mentioned being either a naval command staffer or Prime Minister, if you felt strongly enough about an issue you could appeal to him to overide the others. If Prime Minister, he would have the ear of the Divine Emperor you know.

    Once everyone understands what I'd like to do, I'm open to how best to organize and implement it.
     
  10. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Oaky, getting a better idea now...and it makes sense...people like me always want total freedom...and never get it. Thats REAL life...compromise.
    What say you Prime Minister Belasar? I know the Devine one has an interest in all things western...perhaps we could send some agents to Germany...bring the Devine one back some...coats and hats....and some blueprints? I'll make all arrangements, and choose from our "foreign" agents...This is worth it Sir, it could put us at least ten years ahead of where we are now...at a fraction of the cost and effort. We could surprise the arrogant Amercians with machines they can only dream of...What say you?
    I'd also like to travel to all nations and have an audience with all leaders, if your office could arrange that, there are many fence sitters out there im sure i can push off...this time next year we will have friends Sir, friends to share in the Glorious Nippon Empire!
     
  11. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Well, some points to the responses so far.
    Returning veterans to act as instructors would help Japan slightly in the short run. But what really hindered Japan was that she trained very few pilots in the beginning of the war. Only the top physical & intellectual students were chosen for flight training, thus limiting Japan's ability to churn out new pilots, whereas the Americans quickly abandoned only taking "the best of the best". So, even with the benefit of combat-seasoned instructors, Japan will still only be able to turn out relatively small pilot classes. The only way around this would be to drastically reorganize her pilot selection process.

    Except, you are forgetting that the Japanese really had no use for tanks, unless they were going to go fight the Soviets. Not to mention that it is November 30th, 1941, and any new tank designs and tactics would be at least a year or more from seeing actual combat. Further, the Germans relied heavily on the radio, and the Japanese had few good ones in their inventory.

    On the plus side, the Jumo 004 required a fairly low octane fuel, which would be easier for Japan to produce. But, there are far more negatives, such as; the engines never lasted very long and would require far greater maintenance hassles, how would the engines hold up in the rather "corrosive" climes of the Pacific Islands, how quickly could the Japanese retool to produce the engine, such an aircraft would be useless aboard an aircraft carrier.

    IIRC, Japan never had a problem designing high-powered aircraft engines, what they lacked was the ability to design and produce reliable ones.

    The Japanese were never really keen on to the submachine gun, they only produced some tens of thousands of the Type-100. Of course the Type-100 was stuck in "development hell", being designed in 1940, but not entering service until 1942.

    This has to be the product of some fine Australian beer:D or are you following the wisdom of "You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone." Then again, you could be a politician who promises to make no promises...

    Yes, placing your largest industries as close as possible to Chinese air bases and Nationalist Chinese territory is sound strategic thinking...Perhaps you meant Manchukuo, but that would put you on the doorstep of Russia.

    You'll need to increase production of your escort and seaplane carriers, since Japan never had enough to go around.

    WRT submarines...Japan was planning on a short war, so any whole-hearted attempt at commerce raiding with submarines would be counter-productive to your goal. Since the United States was self-sufficient in raw materials, and could outproduce you with merchant hulls, commerce raiding would have little effect on the overall outcome. It might have an effect on some of the very early invasions, but by 1943, the invasion convoys are too well protected. Further, Japanese submarine tactics were to remain submerged during daylight hours and surface only at night, and that is not a very conducive way to fight commerce warfare.
     
  12. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Damn CAC, I think you could almost pull this off, hell you've almost convinced me.

    Do you think I should, for realisms sake, recruit a German expert to play your counterpart? That would force you to negotiate and make promises/concessions to get what you want from them. I hadn't thought about using Germany's spy network. Since we'll have to make some kind of trade off, I wonder what we should make our priority and what we could develop on our own if we committed the resources. Makes you think, there are few easy choices.
     
  13. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    I like Takao's additions..."You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone." - Precisely...mostly points for "us" to look at before the war...Im putting in a submission to have Takao as my domestic advisor, releive him of all current duties, i will see him in my office tommorw at 8. Tell him not to be late. Id love a German counterpart, (and Russian)...Of course blueprints are useless unless one can "build' said technology (or know someone else who can - and deal...) I will talk to Australia...they have a fine technical group down there...perhaps with the promise of some tech sharing, they can begin preliminaries...
     
  14. gunbunnyb/3/75FA

    gunbunnyb/3/75FA Member

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    hey guys dont forget that germany and japan did have some "trade agreements" in place before the war,and if i remember correctly, japan had just concluded a non-aggression pact in early nov. with Stalin so the northwest border and Manchukuo would be secure.
     
  15. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    So for that, that i never was in a Command Staff a Theater Commander would fit more. But to reach my targets i should be a member of the IJA Command Staff....not a easy decision. Give the command of a theater, sometimes you should better stay with the things you´ve learned.
    To me it makes sense to stay at the Asian mainland but not to forget the islands surounding Japan and the Russian island of Sakhalin with its wealth in oil.
     
  16. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Takao, I'm glad to see you post here, I have enormous respect for your knowledge and analysis and reasoning. I have purchased and read several of your books and really enjoyed them. Many times I've purchased books and when reading the authors interpretation of the information he presents, thought does he really understand his subject? Does he not understand that there are other factors that make his analysis flawed? Not you, I think you have a thorough grasp of your subjects on multiple levels.

    You're entirely correct, you would have to expand the pilot training pool. I was really just trying to give some examples of what I was wanting to accomplish. First we need some people to fill the different roles. Then we would need to sit down and hash out an overall strategy. Then the different groups would need to develop plans to execute their part of the strategy. These would be debated between the different parties involved and refined. Down to which units would be involved, which air and naval assets would be needed, which logistical assets would be required to support it. We would need to develop both short range operational strategies, and long range strategic plans. Weapons system, ships, etc. have long lead times and must be planned for months and years before they are available. Bases, airfields, port facilities, have to be planned for and built before they can be used. Engineer/construction units have to be assigned, as does material, they have to be transported and then it takes time. Even the US with it's formidable engineering/construction capability couldn't develop the necessary facilities overnight. Then if you build a naval facility or airfield you have to have support personnel to make them function. If you don't have the necessary unit just laying around, they have to be recruited, organized, trained and equipped. Hope this helps flesh out what I'm looking for.

    This is the kind of thing that could be changed and examined. What if Japan had planned for a long war? What if they hadn't attacked the US? What if they'd seized and developed the Solomons, New Hebrides, etc. before they went to war with the US. Then operated submarines and aircraft against Australia's LOC. I don't want to exclude any ideas, from there the weapons and/or tactics to implement the strategy can be developed. As an example, historically, if Japan had hit the oil/fuel storage facilities at Pearl Harbor and then had used their submarines against the supply line to the US west coast, especially tankers, which were in short supply, they could have severely restricted US naval operations for a time. You don't have to sink a ship if you cut off it's fuel. During the Guadalcanal Operation we had a number of old BB's that would have been useful in opposing Japanese surface combatants and protecting our supply shipping from them. We couldn't employ them because we lacked sufficient shipping to get fuel to support them, so they were retained on the west coast. There is also the fact that there were needs for shipping in the Atlantic that reduced what was available for employment in the Pacific.
    What I'd like to examine is what could Japan have accomplished if they'd adopted a different strategy.
     
  17. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    It seems that to stay at the Asian mainland isn´t that wrong. Lets see what minerals do they have:

    Korea: Coal, iron ore, tungsten, magnesite and graphite. In addition, gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc and molybdenum

    Vietnam: Phosphates, coal, manganese, bauxite, chromate, offshore oil and gas deposits

    Cambodia: Rubies, sapphires, phosphate, ores, gold

    Malaysia: Tin, petroleum, timber, copper, iron ore, natural gas, bauxite

    There is a lot to find to keep the war industry running.
     
  18. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    How much was known in 1941? The baulbles and gold are only good if you can trade with someone and once we wake the sleeping dragon thats going to be tough. If Russia is tied up with Germany it should be possible to move at some of the Kwatung army elsewhere, shouldn't it?
     
  19. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Im urging you NOT to wake the sleeping Dragon...Keep it dopey and lethargic. China WILL trade...Australia WILL trade...
     
  20. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Well...you know the geishas do like the pretty baubles.
     

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