Discussion in 'What If - Pacific and CBI' started by Tom, Oct 3, 2006.
Could the attack on pearl be advoided or how long could the us stay out of the war itself?
By not pressurizing the Japans too hard to get out of China -> No Pearl Harbor.
FDR`s politics closed the oil supply to Japan which meant the Japanese fleet and the emperor had 6 months of oil supply left- after which the Fleet would be useless. I´d guess you should realize something might happen FDR ??!
This makes us come back to the topic of shallow water torpedoes....
Over the summer of 1941, Japan secretly created and tested torpedo modifications that could be expected to work properly in a shallow water drop. The effort resulted in the Type 95 torpedo which inflicted most of the damage to U.S. ships during the attack.
Then again FDR was getting serious about the European situation and was ready to join Churchill in the fight against Hitler. If not the Japanese front then at least Europe by 1943 at the latest, I guess. That would mean Overlord 2 years later as well if Adolf had not declared war to the US.
I agree with Kai.
FDR actually wanted to get involved in WW2 before the average American did. FDR needed an excuse to enter the war Pearl Harbor was that excuse. This is why till this day there are conspiracy theories that point to FDR for the reason off Pearl Harbor, saying that FDR actually knew and was aware of the oncoming attack but did nothing just so he could enter the war. This ofcourse isnt verified and once again only a belief sharred by some.
But also like Kai said placing an oil embargo on Japan really sealed the deal for U.S. entry into the war.
that is a good conspiracy theory, as i am somewhat of a conspiracy theorist myself, but i think pearl harbor could be something like 9/11....people suspected it would happen, but other people were saying...no it cant happen...
I really think that the Pacific war between Japan and the US was an inevidability. Japan's actions in China and the Imperial Army gaining control of the government virtually assured that Japan would end up at war with the US.
The US obviously thought likewise. From about 1939 on the US military was expanding at an incredible rate. Between 1939 and 1941 the US Navy alone had nearly a billion dollars in contracts let for base construction both in the US and abroad. With the ending of the Washington Naval Treaties the US was also openly beginning to build Roosevelt's "Two Ocean Navy." With a draft going an huge expansion of the US Army as well it would be very hard to miss that within a couple of years any window to effective offenisve action by Japan would close.
If the US and Japan had somehow continued to avoid war (with some degree of continued political hostility going) the Philippines military situation would have become untenable for a Japanese invasion. By early 1942 the US would have had 2 M3 light tank battalions, 2 M3 medium tank battalions, 2 SP 75mm gun battalions, 2 full infantry divisions and another 6 to 8 Philippino infantry divisions, a cavalry regiment and full artillery and engineering supporting arms on Luzon along with a relatively huge air force. Most US island possessions would have likewise had relatively heavy defenses. Note how a single Marine defense battalion with minimal preparation repulsed one and almost repulsed a second Japanese amphibious assault at Wake.
With the position of the Imperial Japanese Army being one of arrogant superiority and self-assured confidence in victory over the US the current strained relations between the two nations would end in war. The longer the Japanese waited for that to happen the worse off they were.
As TA pointed out, war between Japan and America was inevitable. It was just a case of who would strike first. If the Japanese continued to expand, the United States would surely step in. So the Japs decided to attack America before attacking elsewhere to gain the upper hand. They believed that they could have all the resources they needed to hold out by the time the Americans recovered from Pearl Harbor.
that is very true...
FDR did fully realize the serious threat of the axis. He did want to get involved. He knew war was inevitable, so did his cabinet and advisors, no question about it, war was coming soon. But he had a delemma. Should he committ a pre emptive strike? He could attack the axis while they were still in infancy and eliminate them early. But he wouldn't have the people's support and this would make the U.S. look like the bad guy. Or he could wait. A confrontation with the axis was inevitable. Should he wait till he is attacked. then he has public's support and looks like the good guy. But the longer you wait to act, the more time your future enemy has to grow and become stronger. therefore making him a tougher opponent. Thus making it a harder war and possibly risk losing. I personally think FDR handled it fine, certainly better than he handled the depression. He did all he could from where he was standing. If you look closely at history you'll see a build up of American military from 1938-1940. A draft was installed. troops were sent to the philipenes, guam, and iceland. The main American fleet was sent to Hawaii. The flying tigers were formed so that U.S. pilots would gain dogfighting experience with the japs. FDR even sent a small junk boat with an American flag on it to harrass a japanese destroyer in the philipenes. He sent a handful of men on this little boat. told them to raise the colors and put a gun on the bow. to circle around and taunt the japanese boat into firing on them, to do everything but shoot at the jap destroyer. That way he could go the public and say that the japanese fired on us and that was an act of war. But Pearl harbor happened before this could be put into action. Everything points to one thing: FDR prayed for peace and prepared for war.
P.S. look up "Plan Orange".
I have also recently read some ideas on FDR that he was looking to free more than just what was occupied by Japans. That is India (especially). And that also explains why Winston was getting a bit worried and like we have seen FDR and Stalin got closer and Winston was getting "out of buziness" because it was his job to keep the Empire running. And FDR was going for democracy everywhere.
So it´d have been interesting to see what FDR would have done next in 1945 and what would he have done with Stalin as it seems FDR was starting to realize Stalin was not letting the Eastern Europe get the same kind of freedom as before WW2.
Truman, at least according to the quotes in his diary, was never present when FDR did big decisions so he had no idea about the previous political decisions and discussions between FDR and Stalin and Churchill. I don´t know if any FDR´s ideas were even close to his own politics...
FDR needed Pearl Harbour to finally convince congress and the US population to get involved in the war. Now i am not gonna go through all the conspiracy theories. But had Pearl Harbour not gone ahead ever, then the US would have sat out the war as it was constrained with it's neutrality act, yes it could supply arms but could not directly involve itself in the war.
The U.S. would have become involved, but at a slower pace and with less fervor. The population was already accepting the inevitability of war. The only thing Pearl harbor did, was to make it more personal.
The more I think about it, the more I believe that the outcome of WWII would have been considerably different if there was no Pearl Harbor.
The American public has never been found of any lengthy war. Public opinion dwindles for any war as the war progresses. Support in the beginning for the Vietnam War, the Korean War, and the War in Iraq was very high but just kept falling and falling as each respective war went on. Americans demand swift and decisive action such as in Desert Storm.
I believe that the only exception to this rule is that if we are attacked first. This is clearly evident even today. Look at the war in Afghanistan compared to the war in Iraq. We have been in Afghanistan longer than we have been in Iraq yet there is significantly more support for the war in Afghanistan for the simple reason that they attacked us first.
Eventually, Americans would have become fed up with WWII. And in the words of General Fred C. Weyand, former MACV commander:
"Vietnam was a reaffirmation of the peculiar relationship between the American Army and the American people. The American Army really is a people's army in the sense that it belongs to the American people who take a jealous and proprietary interest in its involvement... When the Army is committed the American people are committed, when the American people lose their commitment it is futile to try to keep the Army committed."
It is not the length of the war that is the factor, it is the attention span of the public. Korea lasted for a long time, but because we had just been through the total immersion of WWII. It was not as much of an impact. WWI was a short war, comparitively, and WWII was fought by populace that was used to long term coping. The soldiers and families had survived the Great Depression. It was just one more struggle. But they came home to a period of prosperity and the children were taught new values. They were spoiled with things unimagine a decade before. If they wanted something, it would likely come true. And not after scrimping and saving, but right away, thanks to the deception of easy credit. The wars have changed, but not the villians. The public has changed, but not the dangers in the world.
I'm glad (some-what), that the Battleships there never went to war (as is). They would've been Thrashed by the IJN. Slow, alot of hours on those engines, no radar, pathetic anti-aircraft, sad range.
Bravado would've led to catastrophy.
Perhaps a favor, in a different perspective, (not the loss of life/sneak attack aspect..of course).
Speed, range, anti-aircraft, radar directed fire grew in leaps with the newer Navy.
The Black-shoe Admirals gave way to the Brown-shoes, perhaps while/all-the-while, but definately after.
A needed wake up call. Without it the war may have ended up with giving consessions, after delaying to get all the way into it, and suffering even more and bigger defeats.
Just an opinion.