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No Pearl Harbor

Discussion in 'What If - Pacific and CBI' started by Roddoss72, Oct 28, 2007.

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  1. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Roddoss, you are still not answering the question. You point out what you WANT the Japanese to do but have neglected to point out as to how they were going to accomplish it. As for your ill disciplined and untried troops in the East, are you familiar with Khalkhin Ghol at all? As for the Japanese being so suicidal. Hundreds of thousands were captured in Manchuria when the Soviets came to visit.

    Not sure as to what the Soviet Pow's have to do with anything.

    And a believe it or not, tanks would be a factor. Khalkhin-Ghol.......

    And the Russians did not loose to the Poland.... And I challenge you to prove me wrong :D
     
  2. tikilal

    tikilal Ace

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    Nice addition there of the "Pacific Campaign".:)

    Is this a duel, if it is Roddoss choose swords.
     
  3. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    Some additional commentary that is relevant:

    In 1941 the Imperial Japanese Army stood at 42 divisions of which about a third were 'A' type square units with 2 brigades of 2 regiments each. These represent the peacetime regular army units. The balance were 'B' types that were triangular with a mix of regular, reserve, and draftees in them. There were also about half that number of independent brigades, mostly border guard and garrison units generally with two regiments of infantry and a weak artillery component in existance. These were later redesignated divisions in many cases during the war historically but did not receive alot of new capacity with that designation.
    Of the existing divisions just over half were in China. Therefore, one might expect the Japanese to be able to field say, about 25 to 30 divisions maximum in an effort against the Soviets. Historically, the Japanese used just 12 divisions and equivalents in their opening campaigns in the Pacific War.
    In addition, the Japanese had only a few tank brigades and regiments in existance. These represent a mere fraction of what the Soviets were fielding in armored vehicles. Making matters worse, Japanese divisions across the board were woefully under-equipped to deal with tanks. The typical division had 2 to 4 37mm guns per battalion and possibly another 12 to 24 at division level if an antitank battalion was attached. The infantry had little more than improvised molotov cocktails and a few mines to deal with tanks outside the few AT guns available.
    Their divisions had a general lack of communications equipment. In most radios and telephones did not exist below regiment level. Runners for communications was the norm in battalions. Battalions also lacked any headquarters staff to assist in operations. So, for the most part Japanese divisions fought as semi-independent battalions.
    In artillery, the Japanese had 75mm field guns as their main piece. Most divisions had one battalion of 105mm in general support. Antitank ammunition was not provided for these guns.
    On the plus side, the Japanese units were well trained and highly motivated.
    I won't go into alot of detail on the Soviets. Their units were typical of those in the Red Army in general. In artillery and tanks they had an overwhelming advantage in numbers.

    As far as lines of assault, the Japanese would really have just two options:

    Attacking into the very rough, forested, and rivered area between Vladivostok and Hotou in the east along the Pacific coastal region or out of Hailerh towards Borzya near the Mongolian border which would allow their troops to maintain a railhead as they advanced. This area is high desert steppe mostly devoid of cover, roadless, lacking water sources, and a quagmire when it rains.
    Neither is a particularly good avenue of advance for an army that is lacking in engineer assets and artillery support as the Japanese were.
     
  4. Roddoss72

    Roddoss72 Member

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    Thanx for the true nature of the Japanese Army at the time, it makes a difference to my senario but one thing that does add up and that by 1945 Japan had 107 Divisions serving overseas, and a further 100+ on home soil.
    Having said that, you still have yet to produce the question on how many T-34/76's served in the East, and several things bug me and that is what is the status of the Soviet Red Air Force in the East and could it compete with the combination of the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy Air Forces, could ports like Vladivostok and the like handle bombardment from carrier based aircraft and naval units and could the Soviet Red Air Force prevent the systematic destruction of the Trans-Siberian Railway.

    You state the lack of communications of the Japanese and that would impact on any offensive against the Soviets, well if the Japanese were that bad, then explain the Philipines, Malaya, Singapore, Thailand, Burma, Dutch East Indies, Papua Nui Guinea. They faced the United States, Britain, Australia, New Zealand etc..... and until 1942 kicked arse with less that 30 divisions, now imagine those troops solely focused on the Soviets with 42 Divisions, then progressively building up to 107 divisions or more, all the while the German and Axis forces are pinning down the Soviets on the Western front as well.

    All this without any help from the US or the other allies.
     
  5. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Fine lets say that Vladivostok was taken, then what? How far do you think the Japanese would be able to advance? Say that by some miracle they advanced 300 miles inland. Then what?

    Thailand, Burma and Nui Guinea, are hardly comparisons to the Soviet Union ;)

    And Great Britain was not concerned about Japan, it had a larger problem to worry about in Europe.
     
  6. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    The Japanese did well against the US, Britain, et al., mainly for two reasons: Utilizing their superior mobility at sea and marching speed on land to out maneuver the various Allied forces they faced and in doing so turning their own doctrine against them. That is, the Allies would discover the Japanese had turned a flank on their forces that were inadequite to hold a solid line or a line anchored on what was believed "impassable" terrain.
    And, the second reason was that much of the Allied forces they faced were ill-equipped, poorly trained, and often poorly led.
    In the Philippines the Japanese initially landed a single reinforced division and a single brigade. The only really useful forces in the PI at that time were the Philippine Division (US Army) and Philippine Scouts (cavalry regiment). While the US had two battalions of light tanks and two of M3 halftracks with 75mm guns the US command misused these badly along with not properly supporting them logistically. The Philippine Army itself was only recently raised, very poorly trained, badly equipped (there weren't even enough rifles for every unit), and poorly led. In combat these units generally fell apart almost immediately.

    In Malaysia the Japanese landed or invaded with initially 3 divisions and then added another later in the campaign. At several points the Commonwealth forces almost stopped them but then failed to do so for various reasons. Poor communications, poor training, and poor leadership at all levels led to a series of mistakes and reverses that eventually ended in the fall of Singapore.

    In Burma the Japanese again used initially a single division. The same thing occured. The British would find themselves outflanked and without fully understanding the situation withdraw to form a new front only to be out flanked again.

    The Dutch had the same problem. The Japanese could land almost at will and choose the time and location of their strikes. The Dutch forces were really inadequite in numbers, mobility, and leadership to deal with this and a collapse inevidably followed.

    The difference against the Soviets is that there are very limited avenues of advance that have to follow the existing rail system which is very sparse in nature. Otherwise, the Japanese are realistically limited to about 200 to 300 miles from their railhead for any sustained operation. They might be able to push an extra 100 miles for temporary advances on this.
    The terrain itself unlike where they fought in most of the Pacific is also not conducive to negating mechanzied force's mobility like it did elsewhere nor is it particularly conducive to infantry flanking operations. The Soviets could expect open flanks and deal with Japanese flanking thrusts by infantry with armored cars and tanks just as they did at Nomohan.
    The other problem for the Japanese is the Red Army is comparatively a bottomless pit of material and manpower compared to their own. If the Soviets are losing half again the troops the Japanese are the Japanese are losing their war. For the Japanese it would still be a come as you are war and the Soviets would simply throw more units into the line. Like I said earlier, the Soviets maintained about 50 division equivalents in the Far East throughout the war while raising about 75 divisions out of this area.

    The best the Japanese might hope for from a Sino-Soviet war is possibly giving Germany the edge they need to win. But, what does that buy the Japanese? Nothing. So, the question is now why would Japan engage in a war that only benefits others and has alot of risk for no return in it?
     
  7. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    There are divisions and there are divisions. Those overseas division were for the most part ilequiped fragments by 45. A lot of the home force was untrained or partially trained militia.
     
  8. Roddoss72

    Roddoss72 Member

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    If you bothered to read my post on this, my targets for the Japanese Army is to capture the Tran-Siberian railway from Vladivostok to Lake Baikal and go no further, with the 45 division that could be available, while this is going on the Japanese Army and Naval airforces have just wiped out any air units in the east, and that Japanese naval units/air wings pound ports into surrender, Sakhalin Island is taken. My whole point is this Japan does not go on a major offensive like their German counterparts in the West but to tie down the entire Central-Transbaikal and Far Eastern Fronts thus those 75 division you state would still be in the east, while the initial deployment of 45 Japanese divison might not seem much, but over the course of time this would build up to my hypothetical 107 divisions.
     
  9. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    I did read your posts. First, the entire Japanese army cannot participate in this offensive or any offensive any more than the entire German, US, Russian, or any other nation's military could. If all the Japanese have is 42 divisions probably less than half will be participants at best.
    Second, the above still begs the question: What's in it for the Japanese? Giving the Germans time and the possibility of conqueroring the western portion of Russia? That may be great for the Germans but it is a really raw deal for the Japanese.
    As for the air war: Remember, during the Nomohan incident the 2nd Air Army of the Imperial Army was all but destroyed. It literally was decimated. Of the approxmately 200 aircraft it had in service about three quarters were lost during that operation with no replacements. Yes, the Soviets lost about double that of the Japanese but they made good their losses. I would not count on the Japanese air forces to dominate this airspace anytime soon after the war started.
    But, in any case, it still comes back to what is the motivation for the Japanese to invade? How does it benefit them?
     
  10. Roddoss72

    Roddoss72 Member

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    So if we go by your assumption, who would attack Japan ?, i mean it who ?, the Americans !, not on in this thread as no US involement in WWII, China doubt it, no naval or air assets to launch an invasion. So Japan can and does deploy those 45 Divisions into the Soviet Union and over time builds up to 107 division, this is with the approximate 100+ home divisions. With the entire Eastern Soviet forces tied down troop movements west would be negated.
    And with no reinforcements coming from east of the Urals the German and Axis forces would be in a far better position to push the Soviets into either an Armistice, or outright surrender, plus this would affect supply now we have the Soviet Industry having to supply two fronts, and as i said the Soviets get no help from anyone.
    Yes the Nomohan incident had an effect, but in my senario which you ignore repeatedly, the Soviets in the East face the combined forces of Land based Imperial Japanese Naval and Army Air Forces and those based on the 6 to 8 Aircraft Carriers of the Sea of Japan and Sea of Okhotsk and those other units on Sakhalin and Kurile Island. Your faith in the Eastern Soviet Red Airforce is amazing to handle several thousand aircraft including the Mitsubishi Zero, has the Soviets at the time of 22nd June got anything comparible to the Zero.
    And onto the last statement, The expansion of the Japanese Empire. Enought Said.
     
  11. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    So, on top of getting nothing out of a campaign against the Soviets, the Japanese foolishly throw their entire army into Manchuria (etc.) leaving the home islands undefended along with other areas requiring garrisons. They denude their merchant fleet to move these troops to China and wreck their economy.
    Maybe you should rethink your above scenario a bit before making absurd claims about what could be done.
    By the by, the US Army Order of Battle of the Japanese Armed Forces 1 Sept 1945 lists only 125 divisions (including many that were previously destroyed) in existance during WW 2 for the Japanese. Just thought you might want to know that.
    If anything, it seems the whole scenario is geared to providing a means to give the Germans a win in the East rather than the Japanese. I doubt the later nation would have been so cooperative in a losing venture for another nation they had no close ties to.
     
  12. Roddoss72

    Roddoss72 Member

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    I have pointed out several key issues several times with you, you obviously avoid them, so there is not much more i can do, you avoided issues like

    Denied transference of troops from Eastern Commands westward and their no show on the Soviet Western Fronts which would have been millions of troops the Germans never faced.
    What numbers of T-34/76's were allocated in the east at the time.
    Topography, if Japan was hindered in mechanised movements then that also applies to the Soviets.
    Air Power, Red Air Force facing a combined Imperial Naval and Army Air Forces and Carrier Based Aircraft and Soviet aircraft comparibale to the Mitsubishi Zero as of 22nd June 1941 in the east.
    Allied help, No US involement at all, so Lend Lease, No Operation Torch (North Africa, Sicily, Italy), No Operation Overlord, No combined US, British bomber offensive on Germany.
    Trans-Siberian Railway and it's importance to the supply to the troops in the east from the Urals. "Et AL".
     
  13. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Minor correction or quibble.
    This means it was literally decimated 7 times over. Decimated literally means loosing 10%.
     
  14. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    No that's not what you said. You postulated that no attack on PH and a settlement with China would mean no US involvement. While that would have kept the US out for a while it by no means guarantees no US involvement in WWII. Indeed it probably only postpones it for 6 months or so at most.
    When and if it suites them they can attack the Japanese land forces in China and Siberia.
    There is also the Commonwealth. Who will have time to build up their strength and organize.
    No. Japan needs to leave quite a few in China and at least 1 or 2 in Korea. Plus keep some for defence vs the Common wealth. There is also the question of how many they can support in Siberia at least any distance from the coast.
     
  15. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Roddoss,

    It seems that you are strongly underestimating Soviet Union's ability to raise new divisions. This is the same mistake which the OKH made.

    I once again point out that from Sept. to Dec. 41' the Soviets raised 2 million men and brought them to reinforce the Eastern front, none of which were taken from the east.

    Also there were plenty of divisions left in the east to deal with the Japanese or at least delay them until help arrived. Unlike the Germans, the Japanese would not suprise Stalin as he was expecting them to attack ;)

    Like T.A. correctly pointed out, the Japanese have nothing to gain from Russia. To extend an empire you say? If you were the emperor of Japan would you sacrifice the majority of your army against a nation which has already beaten you once just to gain Vladivostok and worthless land, which you will not be able to hold due to lack of badly needed resources and huge casualties sustained in previous battles?

    By the way the Chinese suffered under the Japanese just as bad as the Soviets under the Germans. This is why there is still friction between the two nations till this day. Are you that naive to think that China would simply forgive and forget?
     
  16. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    Here's the line up for 6/22/41: The Japanese are going to get slammed....

    Trans-Bakal Military District:

    1 army
    6 rifle corps
    2 tank divisions
    1 mechanized division
    6 rifle divisions
    1 mechanized brigade
    "Trans-Bakal" fortified region (this is sort of a fortress unit regiment to division in size depending on the extent of the fortifications they man)
    4 independent artillery regiments
    1 mortar battalion (eg rockets)
    3 air defense brigades
    1 antiaircraft battalion (automatic)
    2 engineer regiments
    1 engineer battalion
    1 sapper battalion
    Air:
    1 fighter division
    2 mixed divisions
    1 bomber division
    1 mixed brigade
    1 fighter regiment
    1 air defense fighter regiment
    1 mixed regiment
    1 reconnissance regiment

    Far East Front (note the "Front" designation)

    6 armies
    4 mechanized corps
    16 rifle corps
    1 cavalry corps
    2 airborne corps
    11 tank divisions
    59 rifle divisions
    6 mechanized divisions
    7 cavalry divisions
    16 fortified regions
    3 rifle brigades
    1 mechanized brigade
    1 rifle regiment
    7 airborne battalions
    4 motorcycle regiments
    1 tank battalion (heavy)
    6 tank destroyer battalions (towed AT guns)
    1 tank destroyer battery
    65 artillery regiments
    6 artillery battalions
    6 mortar (rocket) battalions
    2 Air defense corps
    3 air defense brigades
    20 air defense regiments
    2 air defense regiments (automatic)
    19 air defense regiments (automatic)
    16 engineer regiments
    3 engineer battalions
    4 sapper battalions
    Air units:

    1 bomber corps w/
    2 fighter divisions
    5 mixed divisions
    2 bomber divisions
    1 mixed brigade
    1 air defense fighter regiment
    1 mixed regiment
    2 reconnissance regiments
    1 bomber corps w/
    10 fighter divisions
    2 air defense fighter divisions
    12 mixed divisions
    8 bomber divisions
    5 mixed brigades
    2 fighter regiments
    2 air defense regiments
    2 mixed regiments
    1 bomber regiment
    4 reconnissance regiments

    This literally shows the massive amount of material the Russians could have thrown against the Japanese.
    In tanks they outnumber the Japanese on the order of 20 to 1. The tank divisions alone represent nearly 2,000 AFV. The Japanese had a single brigade in Manchuria of about 100 tanks. Even culling their entire army they couldn't begin to match the Soviets in armor.
    The Soviets do literally have well over 1,000 available aircraft on this front and probably closer to 2,000.
    The Soviets literally also outnumber the Japanese in rifle divisions as well as having cavalry and mechanized divisions. The Japanese possess one of the former, and none of the latter. In fact, the Japanese have no armored or mechanized divisions at all! Their biggest tank unit is a brigade that would contain about 90 vehicles and had no supporting units whatsoever.
    The Soviet border is fortified as well. This means the Japanese are at an additional disadvantage in that they are ill-equipped to take on fortifications lacking both artillery and engineers for such tasks.

    What it seems to me Roddoss is that you simply want to make a scenario where the Japanese attack the Soviets to give the Germans a chance to win in the East. The Japanese were not idiots or fools. They would have never gone along with such a plan knowingly and could not have possibly been tricked into it by some political slight of hand.
     
  17. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    T.A.

    Where in the hell do you get this info? :D

    Nice job!
     
  18. Roddoss72

    Roddoss72 Member

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  19. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    PFM! PFM! Actually, for this one I used

    The Red Army Order of Battle in the Great Patriotic War by Poirier and Conner
    Companion to Colosus Reborn Glantz
    and
    Nomohan: Japanese-Soviet Tactical Combat 1939 by Drea

    It isn't too hard when you have amassed a library with literally thousands of titles and have been studying this stuff for decades. All I have to do is pull a few books off the shelves and volia! Instant massive data.
     
  20. Roddoss72

    Roddoss72 Member

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    Well in that case, i concede defeat to Japanese Ground forces, but you would have to say at least it would be brutal and bloody on both sides.
     
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