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Japan succeeds at Guadalcanal

Discussion in 'What If - Pacific and CBI' started by chromeboomerang, Sep 28, 2006.

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  1. chromeboomerang

    chromeboomerang New Member

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    What would be the shorterm & longterm fallout in new Guinea? & beyond, Australia, pacific campaign in general.
     
  2. Ali Morshead

    Ali Morshead Member

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    The Japs did capture G'canal, the Marines took it back.

    But,Its a long way from G'canal to anywhere. And the Japanese base building ability is third world so its not a major base like Rabaul.

    The Allies land on Malaita, build a base to stop any further Japanese advance.

    The way back is just 1 island longer.
     
  3. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    I agree with Ali on this one....Japan never really had a chance to beat the U.S. all they could off done were the delay tactics but not an actuall decisive battle.
     
  4. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    Pretty much that's it. Japan had little or no chance of successfully holding Guadalcanal against a determined US invasion. First, the island was really too big to defend adequitely. Japan also showed a reluctance to use their sea power effectively to truly deny the US control or at least contested use of the sea around the island. Given that the largest Japanese amphibious operation of the war was conducted by just 2 infantry divisions it is very unlikely the Japanese could provide sufficent troops to hold off an assault.
     
  5. Col. Hessler

    Col. Hessler Member

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    I don't see the Americans just giving up if the Japs were able to hold on. But if for some reason they did, the US could have just captured the other islands of the Solomans and cut the Japs off or bypassed the islands all together. I don't see the Japanese taking another chance at Australia after being pushed back at Coral Sea since their Navy was already in bad shape from Midway.
     
  6. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    another good point, I think the strongest weapon that the Japanese had was their navy after midway its safe to say that their navy was no longer as strong as it has been before or after.
    Also like TA said the ineffective use of their navy played a huge role in their demise.
     
  7. chromeboomerang

    chromeboomerang New Member

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    The Japanese had a good chance to win at Guadalcanal, but the 3 pronged attack they made was very poorly executed. They outnumbered the Americans, but each prong was launched individually allowing the Americans to deal with each one singly. & they allowed their men to cook rice on open fires which gave their position away on the 3rd prong. Quite stupid the American commander thought. Had all 3 prongs arrived simultaneously, different story.

    The transport craft,( 100 of em ), were mistakenly fitted with 5 machine guns each, plus ammo. These were requisitioned by the soldiers ashore giving Americans huge firepower boost.

    & the Japanese didn't at 1st take the American landing seriously at 1st as they were busy elsewhere & they were suffering from overconfidence.

    Points above are sound.
     
  8. Ted

    Ted Member

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    The largest naval defeat the U.S. had since Pearl was at Guadalcanal. Guadalcanal was a very decisive battle. Midway is often looked at as the turning point, but it was infact Guadalcanal. It was to determine if we'd win or lose the war. It affected the Pacific as well as Africa and the Indian ocean and China. The japs were going to use it as a base of operations to launch attacks against Austraila. It would be from the solomons that Japan would've eventually invaded Austraila. Guadalcanal turned the war around. It put us on the offensive and the japanese on the defensive. It stopped the japanese advance in its tracks. It was a battle of attrition. It would prove who was the dominant power and the victor would be the one who could keep his troops supplied. Guadalcanal was a battle where the odds were even, or even possibly against us. It became a desperate struggle for both sides. Everything we had in the Pacific at that time was committed to the battle. It probably was the determining battle of the Pacific. If we lost it, we would've probably lost the Pacific war.
     
  9. chromeboomerang

    chromeboomerang New Member

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    Japan had 10.000 troops committed there I heard a documentary say. I don't think we would've lost the war if they'd won it, just a setback.
     
  10. Ted

    Ted Member

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    The documentary you watched must have been incorect. Because they lost more than 24,000 troops on the ground alone. :eek: Not to mention the sea, air, etc. Their original strength was somewhere in the likes of 30,000 or so. Here's a link to wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guadalcanal_Campaign

    I honestly have never heard that statistic before. I wonder where they got that number from? :confused:
     
  11. chromeboomerang

    chromeboomerang New Member

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    Might've been reinforcements.
     
  12. Ted

    Ted Member

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    probably was. They didn't send in 30,000 troops in all at once. They sent first only about 500, then after they were massacred. They sent in more, then more, and more... Eventually they sent almost a quarter of the men they had a Rabaul. Men that were supposed to be used in the Indian ocean operation.
     
  13. Ali Morshead

    Ali Morshead Member

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    What units were used in the Guadalcanal operation that you say were earmarked for "The Indian Ocean Operation" ??
     
  14. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Please explain.
     
  15. Ted

    Ted Member

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    Sorry for not responding to this thread in a while. I was watching/participating in others and this one didn't get a whole lot of attention. So I kind of just forgot about it.

    I don't know specific units that were used.

    I could explain myself. But why, when I can let good ole "Wiki" do it for me. [​IMG]
    From Wikipedia.com:

    "The Battle of Midway is widely considered to be the turning point in the Pacific theater, as it was a strategic naval victory which stopped Japan's eastern expansion toward Hawaii and the U.S. west coast. However, the Empire of Japan continued to expand in the southern Pacific, until receiving two decisive defeats at the hands of the Allies. Australian land forces had defeated Japanese Marines in New Guinea at the Battle of Milne Bay in September 1942, which was the first land defeat suffered by the Japanese in the Pacific. And, by the end of 1942, it was clear that Japan also had lost the Guadalcanal campaign, a far more serious blow to Japan's strategic plans and an unanticipated defeat at the hands of the Americans.

    The Guadalcanal campaign was costly to Japan both strategically and in material losses. Japan lost control of the Solomons Islands and the abiltiy to interdict Allied shipping to Australia. Japan's major base at Rabaul was now directly threatened by allied air power. Most importantly, scarce Japanese land, air, and naval forces had disappeared forever into the Guadalcanal jungle and sea. The Japanese aircraft and ships destroyed and sunk in this campaign were irreplaceable. Thus, it can be argued that this Allied victory was the first step in a long string of successes that eventually led to the surrender of Japan and the occupation of the Japanese home islands.

    The Battle of Guadalcanal was one of the first prolonged campaigns in the Pacific. The campaign was a battle of attrition that strained the logistical capabilities of both sides. For the U.S. this need prompted the development of effective combat air transport for the first time. Japan was forced to rely on reinforcement by barges, destroyers, and submarines, with very uneven results. Early in the campaign the Americans were hindered by a lack of resources due to the "Germany First" policy of the United States. However, as the campaign continued, and the American public became more and more aware of the plight and perceived heroism of the American forces on Guadalcanal, more forces were dispatched to the area. This spelled trouble for Japan as their military industrial complex was under no circumstances able to match the output of American industry and manpower. Thus, as the campaign wore on the Japanese were losing irreplaceable units while the Americans were rapidly replacing and even augmenting their forces.

    After Guadalcanal the Japanese were clearly on the defensive in the Pacific. The constant need to reinforce Guadalcanal had weakened Japanese efforts in other theatres, leading to a successful Australian counteroffensive in New Guinea, which culminated in the capture of the key bases of Buna and Gona in early 1943. In June, the Allies launched Operation Cartwheel, which initiated a strategy of isolating the major Japanese forward base, at Rabaul, and concentrated on cutting its sea lines of communication. This prepared the way for the island hopping campaigns of General Douglas MacArthur in the South West Pacific and Admiral Chester Nimitz in the Central Pacific towards Japan.

    According to U.S. historian Gerhard L. Weinberg, Guadalcanal's broader effect on the war has often been overlooked. Japan's leaders planned a major offensive in the Indian Ocean and so notified their German ally, but the ships and planes required for the undertaking were instead drained into the Guadalcanal quagmire. At the time Guadalcanal began, Britain was struggling to hold the Afrika Korps away from the Suez Canal. Resupply and reinforcements who contributed to the victory at El Alamein could be sent because the Indian Ocean was still open to Allied shipping.[50]

    In addition, vital Lend-Lease supplies from the U.S were able to travel through the Indian Ocean and across Iran just as the Soviet Union was struggling to defeat Germany's Operation Blue. British power in India was at its weakest in 1942; the Axis' one and only chance of toppling the Raj, and severing the last supply routes to Nationalist China, slipped away in the Southwest Pacific."

    Wikipedia was the best source I could find on the internet with the most summarized explaination. But I have read about this elsewhere and in several books.

    Thanks, Ted
     
  16. ANZAC

    ANZAC Member

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    Wonder why the Japanese didn't press on in battle of Coral sea in early May 1942,and Guadalcanal?
    At that time they still had superiority at sea, and actually came out with a tactical victory at Coral sea using only a fraction of their fleet.

    Bringing the majority of their battle fleet into the Coral sea/Guadalcanal area, capturing Port Moresby, reinforcing Guadalcanal instead of heading off for a showdown at Midway might have been the best option.

    They seemed to loose their bottle at Coral sea.
     
  17. skunk works

    skunk works Ace

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    A question for the ages anzac. The Japanese were holding all the cards after Coral Sea. I think they may have found more opposition than they expected (having not allocated enough resources (to that battle) for a total victory).
    I think (perhaps) they were a "tad" greedy/arrogant (after their successive victories), and expected to sweep all before them, where ever they went.
    This combined with poor intelligence (of the "Big Picture"), and not sticking to one thing at a time.
    If...they would have stuck to "Austrailia" (East Coast)(their plan), they would have lured the Allied fleet (as Midway intended), much further from home, and into the range of (their) land based bombers/supplies/Navy (home-court), and may very well have given them a good spanking.
    Or...the Allies would see that a counter attack so far from home against a superior force with land bases (reason for Guadalcanal) would be foolish. In either case another victory for Japan.
     
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