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USSR Bombs Tokyo in 1939?

Discussion in 'What If - Pacific and CBI' started by Gromit801, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Sources vary on the I-16 some say it became dangerously unstable in a dive and had trouble with the high G forces of pullout. IIRC, the wings were later strengthened, but there are Japanese reports that they would avoid the diving I-16s and then shoot them down when I-16 pilot struggled to pull out of their dive. There are also many reports that the I-16 was an unstable gun platform.


    Why didn't Stalin want to pursue an all-out war with the Japanese...
    His concerns lay elsewhere. Japan had been given a "bloody nose", and as a result, her political relations with Germany were at their lowest ebb. Then, Is is pure happenstance that as soon as a cease fire was agreed to, Stalin's forces almost immediately moved into Poland. Further, the Soviets had begun their planning in September, 1939, for the upcoming "Winter War" with Finland, and it was set to begin in November of that year. So, no, it was not Soviet Logistics that held the Soviets back, but Stalin's will, and Stalin's will alone that prevented an all-out war with Japan.
     
  2. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    Again Stalin was in the middle of negotiating with the west over a possible role if war broke out and he did not want a war with Japan if war with Germany broke out. In fact in Stalins mind getting in a war with Japan may have started Hitler and the west thinking about joining together against the Soviets.
     
  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    From the accounts I've read that is vastly over stating the case.
     
  4. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    "From the accounts I've read that is vastly over stating the case."

    In numerical losses I agree with you, but tactically the IJA was no match for the Red Army. Even so, numerical losses, or losses in general were never one of Uncle Joe's redeeming factors in prosecuting the war. Tactics, armor, AT, artillery, motorization, logistics and other items needed for modern western-style modern was severely lacking in the IJA. After getting their a$$es handed to them in the border wars of 1938-39, Japan bent over backwards and jumped naked through flaming hoops to adhere to the non-aggression pact that the signed with the Rooskies in 1939. Of course that contributed to the Imperial staff to adopt the South Strike Force strategy and abandon the North Strike Force strategy, which brought us into the war.
     
  5. Jenisch

    Jenisch Member

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

    The Japanese regrouped and planned a third major offensive against the Soviets for 24 August.[12] However, with war apparently imminent in Europe, Zhukov planned a major offensive on 20 August, to clear the Japanese from the Khalkhin Gol region and end the fighting.[21] Zhukov assembled a powerful armored force of three tank brigades (the 4th, 6th and 11th), and two mechanized brigades (the 7th and 8th, which were armored car units with attached infantry support). This force was allocated to the Soviet left and right wings. The entire Soviet force consisted of three rifle divisions, two tank divisions and two more tank brigades (in all, some 498 BT-5 and BT-7 tanks[22]), two motorized infantry divisions, and over 550 fighters and bombers.[23] The Mongolians committed two cavalry divisions.[24][25][26]
    By contrast, at the point of contact, the Kwantung Army had only Lieutenant General Michitarō Komatsubara's 23rd Infantry Division, which with attached forces was equivalent to two light infantry divisions. Its headquarters had been at Hailar, over 150 km (93 mi) from the fighting. Japanese intelligence had also failed to detect the scale of the Soviet buildup or the scope of the imminent offensive.
     
  6. Jenisch

    Jenisch Member

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    If the info I posted above was from any battle on the Eastern Front, with European armies instead, or if it was the Japanese forces who had such an advantage over the Soviet forces, the Soviets would probably be defeated as well. I'm not saying that the IJA was equal to the Red Army, but I think the IJA is underestimated today. It was with this kind of thinking that some Westerns were surprised by what the Japanese done in the Pacific War. They used to say things like "oh, those stupid yellow monkeys, we have superior stuff than them!". In those situations, it's better to analyze also what the Japanese had of good insted of cherry-pick a thing or two just to convince oneself of a supposed superiority (this is arrogance, it's not good). It's necessary to see not only what the Soviets had of good to offer, but also what Japan had. For instance, how much troops they could put against the Soviets in total war? Did Japan threatned significantly Transiberian railway in the theater of operations? What if the Japanese decide to fight close to the coast, in a terrain that does not valuable so much armored forces? This kind of questions. Anyway, the very fact that the Soviets let the region higly defended suggests they did not underestimate the IJA as some people do today.
     
  7. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    Now you are going off on a tangent and taking things out of context. Nobody said or even implied a racial superiority angle against the Japanese on this thread. And nobody suggested that the Japanese ever threatened Transiberian Railway or tried to either. Everything that I had posted was in support of the Russians being able to clear the Japanese off the continent if they desired, and being a what-if thread, all speculation that's all. I have my position, you have yours. Really none of it matters since it didn't happen.
     
  8. Jenisch

    Jenisch Member

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    I didn't accuse you of racism, just mentioned that at the time some people took the superiority over the Japanese armed forces with underestimation, either by racism and/or arrogance. Ultimately it proved correct in some aspects as for the Japanese war material, but even so the Japanese caused surprises to the Allies.


    Maybe this would envolve not involve invade Poland with Hitler, and maybe FInland together. I agree with you that the Russians had overall superiority in material, and this seriously affected the Japanese in Nomonhan. However, if the Russians started to advance without stop, the Japanese would stop the war in China and put all their forces against the Soviets. If the Soviets they were ready for this, I do not know.
     
  9. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    Yes, they owe their early successes to cowardly sneak attacks.
     
  10. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I would not call the Japanese attacks "cowardly", most successful attacks are carried out where the enemy is weakest...and let's face it, in the Pacific the Allies were weak...oh...near about everywhere. The Americans were waiting for the Japanese to fire "the first shot," and essentially conceded the initiative to the Japanese. Whereas the British were unsure of where the invasion convoy was headed - Thailand or Malaya - and did not want to jump in the "wrong direction," again conceding to the Japanese the initiative. But this was the essence of Japanese amphibious invasions - Land where the enemy is not and quickly form up to attack the main objective. Those rare times that the Japanese had to conduct an amphibious assault always, or almost always, ended very badly for the Japanese. You would think that an Army with a penchant for the "Hey diddle diddle straight up the middle" Banzai attacks would have performed better with their amphibious assaults.

    The only Japanese attack that could be considered a "sneak attack" was Pearl Harbor, where the Japanese carriers struck without warning. The British and Americans had the Malaya bound Japanese invasion convoy under aerial surveillance for sometime before they lost it, and then regained contact...And the Philippine Invasion was no surprise at all.
     
  11. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    What would you call attacking another country without provocation, murdering and butchering millions? An honorable act? How can something like that be justified? Sugar coat it all you want, a sneak attack is a cowardly act. The Jap(anese) were wrong in their attempts to expand their empire and responsible for millions of lives lost during their attempts to subjagate China, east Asia and the Pacific under their Co-Prosperity Sphere. They got what they deserved in the long run. It's just unfortunate that so many lives were lost at the expense of the imperialistic desires of the peace loving Jap(anese) b@$tards.
     
  12. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

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    Could we try to get back on topic please?
     
  13. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    Sure thing, pardon me please. I tend to get carried away at times on some things. Back on track to what-if land we go. It would have been nice if the Soviets bombed the ever-livin sh1t out of the Japanese in 1939, then procede to clear the continent of the IJA post haste. That could have been done in about a year or so. Of course they wouldn't have all those extra troops available to stab Poland in the back in September of 1939, or to occupy Bessarabia, or to invade Finland later that same year. The Russians could have occupied eastern Poland since the Poles didn't engage Soviet troops when they poured across the border being that they were sort of busy with the Germans already. But after clearing the IJA out of east Asia, and transporting much of the veteran troops west, they could have invaded Finland in late 1940 and be done by 1941. Or they could have waited to invade Finland in the summer of 1941, and while they were locked in mortal combat with those pesky Finns, Hitler could have come to the rescue and got the Barbarossa thing going a bit early.

    This scenario would change up the historical timeline a bit, and more than likely the US would not come into the war until later, if at all. Just my idea you know.
     
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  14. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    That seems highly unlikely to me. I seriously doubt the Soviets were up to supporting their forces over that big of area in that time frame. Especially with a single rail line (in places) leading back to their main logistical depots.
     
  15. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    How important were Vladivostok and other Far Eastern ports to the Soviet economy in peacetime? I'm not aware of the Japanese navy making any attempt to cut off commerce while their army comrades were fighting the Reds in far-off Mongolia, but that might have been a way to retaliate for attacks on the home islands.
     
  16. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    While the tank force was still in decent shape, the Soviet army was still in the midst of its purges and I doubt in any shape to fight a extended war with Japan, look how poorly they fared against the Finns.
     
  17. Jenisch

    Jenisch Member

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    I'm skeptical about this. Stalin was was a "realpolitician" (i.e. if he didn't expelled the Japanese in 1939, it was because he didn't feel ready to do so).
     
  18. Jenisch

    Jenisch Member

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    The Imperial Conference July 2, 1941
    At the Imperial Conference held on July 2, 1941, the following policies were decided upon:
    #Do not intervene in the Russo-German War;
    #Proceed with prudent diplomatic negotiations while consolidating secret preparations against the U.S.S.R.;
    #If the Russo-German War turned out favorably for Japan, settle the Northern Problem by force and maintain stability in the north. Because of these decisions, which resulted from the outbreak of the Russo-German War, the Chungking operation had to be suspended.

    The Army High Command had traditionally strong tendencies of watchfulness toward the Soviet Union. There thus arose criticism that the settlement of the China Incident by force had been incomplete because Japan was nailed down by Russia. At the root of the High Command's attitude toward the U.S.S.R. lay the following considerations: conflict between Japan and Russia was just a matter of time. It was taboo for Japan to demonstrate weakness toward the Soviet Union. Armaments were therefore the only means of stabilizing matters with Russia.

    Mention has already been made that the Japanese Army had originally utilized the conclusion of the Russo-Japanese Neutrality Pact to contemplate the launching of an offensive against Chungking, by diverting part of the Kwantung Army from Manchuria to China. These plans had had to be abandoned, and the Kwantung Army Special Maneuvers (KANTOKUEN) were instead instituted, with a view toward awaiting a good chance of participating in the war against the Soviet Union.


    Strategies and tactics in Japanese plans of Siberian invasion
    The lines of strategies and tactics in Japanese plans to Siberian invasion basically after the Indochina occupation, with some reinforcements from Japan proper, the Imperial forces planned the next operations:

    *Naval bombardments preceded the subsequent disembarkations from Shumushuand Paramushiro in Kamchatka, to occupy Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky other forces from Karafuto enter in North Sakhalin and make some landings in Alexandrovsk and Ohka; optionally other forces landed in Kommadorsky islands and Anadyr in North Pacific area.

    *As similar naval operations from Hokkaido and North Honshu against Nikolayevsk, Soviet Bay, and Vladivostok. Some naval forces navigated inside of Amur River against Konsomolsk and striking Khabarovsk.

    *Later if followed with landings for occupying Ohkostk and Nagaevo; another option was possibly occupation of Southeast Yakutsk area also

    *Aerial operations were leaving against Petropavlovsk, Khabarovsk, Vladivostok, Konsomolsk, Blagoveschesk, Chita, Ulan-Ude and possibly Ulan-Bator and Irkutsk. The principal points Trans-Siberian (Vladivostok/Ulan-Ude and/or Irkustk-Krasnoyarsk lines) and Baikal-Amur lines (incomplete in period) was taken with airborne or paratrooper forces

    *Land operations was simultaneous leaving against Khabarovsk, Birobidjanand Blagoveschensk with massive artillery strikes and entering infantry accompanied with Armored forces at same time other forces advance from East Outer Mongolia to occupied Ulan Bator.

    *Other advances were the entry in West Outer Mongolia, along the land incursion at Irkutsk area for taken the Trans-Siberian and Baikal-Amur link.

    *Another optative operation implied the finalizing the occupation of West Outer Mongolia, enter in Tannu-Tuva andinvasion at Krasnoyarsk how springboard of possibly operation against Novosibirsk and Central Asia.



    Japanese observations over nature of Siberian front
    Although the Kwantung Army had been reinforced, the Russo-German War-about which the Japanese Army had held such great expectations-was not turning out favorably for Germany, despite Hitler's boasts. A serious problem consequently demanded resolution: How could the beefed-up Kwantung Army pull through the rigorous cold of a Manchurian winter?

    By their very nature, armaments must be perfectly adapted to combat methods and to battlefield topography; the optimum application of military force cannot otherwise be manifested.

    There was thus a strong requirement that operations and armaments be linked together. In the Japanese Army, however, military material was geared to hypothetical mobile operations against the Soviet Union. This implied fighting on the Continent, in severe cold, amidst sparse population, and with inconvenient transportation facilities. Operations of such a type were characterized by light weapons, large-scale logistical systems, and a plethora of horses.

    After the finish of Japanese operations in Siberia
    If war broke out with the Soviet Union, a most important problem would arise: how to terminate hostilities? The General Staff feared that Russian territory was so boundless that Japan would be unable to deal a finishing blow to the enemy.

    Within the Army, the prevailing and popular opinion concerning the solution to this problem was to employ stratagem (subversion) simultaneously with military operations-as Colonel Akashi had so successfully done during the Russo-Japanese War.

    The Army therefore placed as much importance upon "political sabotage" as it did upon field operations, in planning for hypothetical operations against the Soviet Union. Research was pursued and preparations laid for implementing certain aspects of the over-all program.


    Possible Japanese administrative division of Siberian occupied lands
    Japanese administration was possibly decided to convert the next conquest Siberian lands in next political divisions:

    *Outer Manchuria: (Amur, North Sakhalin and Maritime) (ancient Khabarovsk and Blagoveschensk) was presumably in New White Russian anti-Soviet Far East Republic under management of Russian anti-communist leaders, possibly returned at Manchukuo how your coastal provinces or in last instance was managed directly how another coastal Kens how Chosen, but Russian natives under Japanese rule.

    *Occupied and unified Mongolia: (as Inner and Outer) converted into the unified Republic of Mengjiang with Japanese support.

    *Birobidjan was pretend to convert in one Jewish autonomous territory in newly conquered lands or was possibly integrated to Zionists Jewish administration from Harbin with Japanese guidance.

    *Yakutsk: in the case of occupation of this territory it would be converted in another autonomous territory with local administration with Japanese support.

    *Buriat territory: (ancient Chita-Ulan Ude) one "independent State" Buriat with your own Buriat pro-Japanese servers under Japanese control or possibly unified under Mengjiangstate.

    *Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk: in one pretend advance, was possibly why these lands if convert in Japanese military-controlled frontier territories for watching at Soviets in land, future springboard for next operations against Novosibirsk and Central Asia or any more probably other White Russian Pro-Japanese Country under more Japanese strict military control debt at your nearest of Soviets also.

    Japan also promised to Mongols and Buriats in similar terms the prompt return of their "legitimate lands" for their own management with Japanese aid.


    Japanese Army alleged interests in Soviet Siberian land
    The Japanese Army (with roots of Chosu Clan) alleged that its ancient ancestors proceeded from the Amur Valley, Hulun and East Tartary (Outer Manchuria), Inner Manchuria and Kamchatka was more interested in recovering the motherland of their "fathers" to integrate into their own direct dominion. Inclusive with orders of "Strike North Group" as Army thought group, Japanese scientists and historians used some archaeological works in Manchuria and North Korean area to find some archaeological evidence to support the purpose of converting the ancient Russian Far East to a new Japanese land territory under Japanese Army control. Chosen, Kwantung arranged territory or Karafuto, to exploit its peoples and natural resources to their benefit and later served as a springboard for future actions in the North Asian mainland including watchtowers of Soviets inland.

    On the other hand, the "local" Japanese establishment related at Kangde Emperor of Manchukuo why if possibly Imperial forces used some operations to return the Manchu ancestors' lands to Manchukuo as new coastal provinces; at the same time, the Kwantung Army was promised to White Russians leaders for the "liberation" from Soviet hands of their "legitimate territories" to establish a new anti-communist and pro-Japanese reformed government. With its capital in Khabarovsk, Vladivostok or possibly Irkutsk. At Manchu, the Kwantung Army also promised Jews the administration of Birobidjan territory with Japanese advice.

    Japanese-planned Republic of the Far East
     
  19. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Its hardly surprising that the IJA had contingency plan put together to cover the case if the Soviets collapsed in the Autumn/Winter of '41 vs the Nazis.

    Its also true that they weren't really willing to get involved in yet another war with Russia. There is nothing there they immediately needed or wanted. No rubber plantations, no great population centres, no POL, Just empty land. Endless of miles of Steppes, Forests, Bogs, and Mosquitos. And that's the good season.

    German troops felt swallowed up in the vastness of European Russia. That is nothing compared to the Far East Asian Russia. It is still incredibly underdeveloped even today. Japan's forces were so far away from any major Russian production sites, its not even funny.

    The IJA could never have inflicted a defeat so serious to the USSR that the Soviets would give up, and they knew it. The plan was strictly to be implemented upon the collapse of the Red Bear. It would only be through the prior crushing of the central authority, that the perifery would spin off to the degree that the Japanese hoped would allow them to take advantage of in this scenario.

    Additionally, wrt the Japanese paratroops, they probably would have lost them all. Japan only started to really notice airborne operations after Germany's successful use of them in 1940, and even using German instructors. Dropping paratroops 100 kms behind the lines to sieze and hold railway junctions would've been a death sentence. But very Japanese.
     
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  20. Jenisch

    Jenisch Member

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    Actually they had independent offensive plans, and according to that link they wanted to "stop" the war by subversion of the Soviet people.

    As for Nomonhan, it showed serious faults in the IJA. The Japanese logistics was poor compared to the Soviet, and their artillery was very bad compared to the Soviet artillery. Not only the Japanese pieces had inferior range than the Soviet ones, but the artillery doctrine was also inferior. The Japanese apparentely didn't gave much consideration to counter-battery fire.
    Having said that, there were also the Soviets tanks, which were superior and in much larger quantity than the Japanese tanks. In respect to fighter planes, the situation was also not good for Japan. I already wrote previously that the latest I-16s were for the Ki-27 what the Hellcat was for the Zeros (the Soviets pilots just needed to fly high, together and with energy tactics. Then they were in advantage. The Soviets had pilots sufficiently trained to deal with the Japanese in 1939, included having experienced pilots from the Spanish Civil War. At the same time, the IJA was running out of trained pilots by the end of Nomonhan, whereas the VVS was only getting stronger).

    As for the hypotetical Soviet-Japanese War, the first thing we need to considerate is how much the RKKA could penetrate in the Japanese territory. Also, now that the USSR would be at war with Japan, it would be interesting to bring Mao's personal to fight the Japanese alongside the Red Army The bombing against the Japanese Islands campaign also becomes an interesting thing if the ground war does not advance as it should. However, there's the question of much bombers the Soviets could have and what kind of consequences the bombing campaign would generate.
     

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