Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

U.S. Carriers were at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7th 1941

Discussion in 'What If - Pacific and CBI' started by JTF-2, Jul 8, 2007.

  1. JTF-2

    JTF-2 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    490
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Ottawa Valley
    This could of crippled the U.S. navy long enough to give Japan the needed edge to finnish them. Eventually the U.S. would of caught up to them in carriers, but how long would it take, and how much would the japanese advance in that time?


    I think that's a good what if!!
     
  2. Richard

    Richard Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Messages:
    5,847
    Likes Received:
    333
    This is interesting If Japan had destroyed America's aircraft carriers, in a documentary I saw they seemed to suggest America would have come to some sort of agreement with Japan. In fact it went as far too suggest America would surrender on the grounds of a feared invasion by Japan on American soil.
     
  3. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    Messages:
    17,543
    Likes Received:
    2,136
    Location:
    Alabama
    I just don't see how the Empire of Japan could have managed two large offensive ground wars at the same time, one in China, the other half a world away.
    They simply didn't have the shipping to handle supporting a large enough army to be effective on the North American continent, they were barely able to support their current 1941-42 operations and garrisons at subsistance levels with the bottoms they had. Add to that the menace of the US sub fleet, which endured no losses on Dec 7, 1941 and they never could have sustained an army in the Western Hemisphere. They couldn't even adequately support armies on New Guinea or the Solomons. Shipping was major limiting factor in the US getting divisions to Europe and the Allies were lavishly supplied in shipping bottoms when compared to the Japanese.

    By early 1942 (the earliest in my estimation) the Japanese would have finished off the Western Pacific conquests and only then be able to get prepared to move to the US or Canadian West coast. During that time the US Army had gained considerable strength, enough to effectively stymie any Japanese landing attempts. Add to that the Canadian and US troops having access to a great rail system, they would be able to get troops to the landing sites a heck of lot faster than could the Japanese, even provided the Japanese could acquire an large, intact port early, which is highly unlikely.

    Given the Japanese propensity for bold action early in the war, bordering on rashness, it is quite evident they knew that they could not pull it off either, so they made no effort to attempt it.
     
  4. Richard

    Richard Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Messages:
    5,847
    Likes Received:
    333
    Slipdigit, I agree with you the suggestion of surrender to prevent an invasion is one hell of a wide card, no I don't see America bowing down to Japan after what they did. It's true to say America would have been slowed down in her entry in to the war but the result would still be the same, Japan would be defeated.
     
  5. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    Messages:
    17,543
    Likes Received:
    2,136
    Location:
    Alabama
    Richard,

    I didn't really think that you thought it possible. I just irritates me when shows are so irresponsible and make statements like that. A lot of news shows will bring in soime crackpot to spout an unbelievable idea and have only one rational, knowledgeable person to refute it. This action tends to give unearned weight to crackpot's theory, because it makes it look like the idea is accepted by a equal number of people. If they do place a disclaimer, it will be at the botom of the screen, at the end of the piece, long after the viewer has headed to the john.;)
     
  6. JTF-2

    JTF-2 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    490
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Ottawa Valley
    So, what are you guys thinking about the chance that the Japenese would be able to advance further west. I'm not thinking of the homeland here, but more of Wake, and maybe even Pearl? With the lack of Carriers the advantage would be for them
     
  7. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    5,945
    Likes Received:
    762
    Location:
    Phoenix Arizona
    First, the US would have lost at most three carriers: Enterprise, Lexington and, Saratoga. These would initially have been replaced by Hornet, Yorktown and, Wasp. Admiral Pye's battleline by May 1942 would have stood at 10 to 12 BB in addition, just as it did historically.
    So, even sinking all three carriers gives Japan an ephemerial advantage that evaporates quickly.
    Next, had the US been truly pressed for more carriers in a hurry part of Warplan Orange was to convert a dozen large passenger ships to carriers with the first completing about four months after being taken in hand by the yards. These could have filled the gap until new construction came on line.
    The US also had options in the SWPA for persuing a more land based war just as they did originally.
    Japan has absolutely, and I mean absolutely, no chance of successfully invading and taking Hawaii. Their largest amphibious assault was two divisions in size with no real follow on force. The US had in Hawaii two full infantry divisions plus a large number of additional units along with various marine forces. Ohau also had some of the heaviest coastal defenses of any location in the US....much heavier than in the Philippines for example. Also, unlike other areas where the Japanese invaded and were successful their tactics of maneuver, flanking operations, and exploiting their opponet's inability to respond these are not the case in Hawaii where they are invading a relatively small island and will have to go head to head with the US defenders.
    So, at best, the loss of the three carriers based out of Pearl Harbor would have changed little in the Pacific war.
     
  8. JTF-2

    JTF-2 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    490
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Ottawa Valley
    WOW.. well put!!! :) End of discussion
     
  9. syscom3

    syscom3 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,240
    Likes Received:
    183
    The US was going have one fleet carrier per month join in operations beginning in the summer of 1943.

    Japan's fate was essentially sealed by this fact, and theres nothing they could have done to change the outcome.
     

Share This Page