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What If Australia and New Zealand had been lost?

Discussion in 'What If - Pacific and CBI' started by Kiwi Ace, Oct 2, 2002.

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  1. von Rundstedt

    von Rundstedt Dishonorably Discharged

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    Sir Winston Churchill was a very sharp operator he never wrote about his hatred towards Australia and Australians but he often made damn sure that in conversations he would condem Australians as i put it "Colonial Sleaze" He often berated Australian officers under his command, he also blamed the Galipoli fiasco directly at our feet to him that sad military failure wasn't a British but an Australian failure
     
  2. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    I sense Liberation! :D
     
  3. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    So that's a no then for any verifiable source?
    I must have read Dozens of books relating to, or written by, Churchill. Not once have I heard this allegation. If it did come up it would surely have been mentioned in Alanbrooke's rather candid and often critical diaries, but no, quite the opposite is the picture formed. Even Roy Jenkins's frank and thorough biography makes no mention of it. There does seem to have been an attempt by a Time journalist to present this untruth too, an attempt that involved contacting Churchill study centres worldwide with a similar 'quote' and asking them to back this up, not one reference appears to have been found by people who devote their lives to the man, both pro and anti.
    The main emotion Churchill ever displayed in later life over the Dardanelles/Gallipoli business was intense regret, it figured largely when his 'black dog' of depression was upon him and led to much hesitation by him whenever similar style operations were on the cards during the second war to an extent that exasperated Alanbrooke. He certainly tried to lay the blame for that disaster elsewhere, but the nationalities of those he hunted about looking to blame were not apparently an issue.
    Churchill berating officers? Hardly any surprise. He berated senior officers, again, regardless of nationality or achievement, and then the next day was as likely to be warm and congenial towards them.
    If Churchill was so anti-Australian then it would have been widely known amongst the 'great and good' of that country, there would be nowhere near so many honours and honorifics heaped upon him, or trusts and fellowships raised in his name there.
    Try typing "colonial sleaze" (with the quotes) into Google... 3 results... none of them relating to churchill, rather surprising if such a well studied man had actually uttered the phrase. It also strikes me that he would be most unlikely to have used such a phrase given his own strongly 'colonial' background. It doesn't even sound right as a contemporary expression to me.

    In short; It simply ain't so.
    Churchill's multiple flaws may have very near outweighed his genius over many issues, but a distaste for Australians does not appear to have been one of those flaws, whether in public life or private conversation.

    Hmmm... :rolleyes:
    Time for a lie down... :D

    Cheers,
    Adam.
     
  4. von Rundstedt

    von Rundstedt Dishonorably Discharged

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    I said that "Colonial Sleaze" was my saying, but the inferrence of his loathing towards Australians stands. Just the other day i visited a museum run by Ex-Servicemen and i asked them if i was correct about Sir Winston Churchill' and his absolute hatred towards Australians, well I was wrong. He just did not like us.

    Have taken tablet and now lying down.
     
  5. Spitfire King

    Spitfire King Member

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    Ok...so...The attack on pearl harbour resulted in the destruction, beyond repair of the pacific fleet as originally planned by the japanese, and the following battle of the coral sea, due to the japanese recon planes sighting the main body first rather than the other way around. The main body of the fleet at that stage is minus the ones repaired in reality, so is a weaker force. The defeat of the allies results in a severely hampered pacific front for the Americans. Japan proceeds with its initial idea of invading northern Australia for the purpose of stopping America using it as a staging point over Timor and Indonesia, Papua (modern names I know). There is no further push south as Australian forces pull back to the prepared Brisbane line of defence. The purpose of the invasion is to control the pacific and hold territory, to strengthen positions, gain more oil to increase production, to hold off the allies until peace is sued for...the result is their co-prosperity sphere extending from manchuria down to north Australia...plausible?
     
  6. von Rundstedt

    von Rundstedt Dishonorably Discharged

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    I wanted to see this question again and to address it as is.

    Firstly if the Japanese did take Australia and New Zealand then it would certainly change the war. It would mean that Japan would have one of the largest iron ore deposits in the world, it would also have some of the best steel maunfacturing cities under control such as Newcastle and Illawarra. Also it would have Australia's vast agriculture production with wheat and wool and then let us not forget Australia's industrial capacity.

    Japan would have mined,

    Gold, lead, silver, kobalt, manganese, copper, tin, iron, Bauxite (Aluminium) Uranium and many more minerals.

    This would have made the Japanese Empire almost unbeatable.

    The USA had a Germany first policy with the British and if that was to carry out the day then the USA would have to come to our liberation sometime in 1946, giving the Japanese some 4 years to entrench itself.

    Yes but like the USA most likely in 1946.

    One aspect is that Australia did have the Brisbane Line of Defense but that was realisticly nothing we had at most 7 Infantry Divisions and two Armoured Division in formation.

    To be continued.......
     
  7. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    But would possession of iron ore fields translate into production? They still would have faced the same crippling US submarine threat they faced anyway. Lack of oil is what plagued the Japanese more, anyway. The oil was there, it simply could get to Japan, where it was used, which is why the Japanese moved the fleet to Lingga Roads, to be near the oil fields.

    I don't have independent numbers for Australia, but I do have productions numbers for the British Commonwealth as a total. As it was the US alone outproduced the entire British Empire:
    4:1 in steel production
    8:1 in aluminum
    2:1 coal
    3.5:1 iron ore

    Don't have gold and silver numbers, but they are useless if you don't have someone to trade with.

    Most of the other metals are useful in conjuction with the above metals.

    Uranium?

    I don't see adding Aussie and Kiwi materials numbers to the Japanese having a great impact on Japanese strength as to make them "unbeatable". Captured Antipodal assets would have very little impact before late 1942 or early 1943 at the earliest and by then the US Submarine offensive was already staggering the Japanese.
     
  8. von Rundstedt

    von Rundstedt Dishonorably Discharged

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    I could be wrong but before America placed it's embargo on Japan wasn't Australia the largest exporter of iron ore to Japan. And yes possession of iron ore fields would translate to steel production as Australia at the time had two of the top 50 steel production facilities in the world at Newcastle and Illawarra north and south of Sydney, also Newcastle was a main constructor of shipping both naval and mercantile. Also Australia was by in large one of the largest exporter of Coal, some of the Greater Hunter coal seams cover more area that most European nations.

    Also Australia had large Bauxite mines and produced decent quantities of Aluminium, very good in aircraft production, and another point Australia was at the time self sufficient in oil production. Plus our agriculture could sustain 100's of thousands of Japanese troops.

    So Japan with it's knowledge of Industrial power and having Australia under it's thumb with all that i have mentioned would become an industrial powerhouse,.
     
  9. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I don't think you realize the absolute proponderance of raw material production the US enjoyed in all categories during the war. An example of this is that the city of Pittsburgh alone produced more steel than did all Axis countries combined. Against such prodigous production, a top 50 means little.

    I'm digging around for actual numbers. Not finding anything much on Australia, but I did find this, the top 9 iron ore and coal producers of the war.
    The US produced 400 Million metric tons of iron ore during the war.
    Japan produced 21 million.
    Canada came in at #9, producing 3.6 million.
    That means that Aussie iron ore production was less than 3.6 million metic tons and even if by some miracle full production is obtained after fighting over the mines, production facilities, etc, then total Japanese + Aussie production would be less than 25 million or 6.25% of US production.

    As far as coal is concerned, Australia didn't figure in the top 10 producers in this commodity either.
    The US produced 2420.3 million metic tons of coal
    Romania came in #9 with 1.6 millions metric tons, added to Japan's 184 million, with the same assumption as above, then you're still looking at 13.2% of the US production. Australia may large coal reserves now, but apparently they were not in production in the 1940s. I guess it would be like the Germans holding Libya in WWII, they had the oil (even if they didn't know it), but got no use from it.

    Aluminum production. The US produced more aluminum than all other beligerants, Allied and Axis, combined. 4132.2 million metic tons US vs 3024 million metric tons all Axis and Allied countries, including the USSR. I don't see Australian production being a show stopper.

    I don't have hard number on shipping production by the Australians, but I am not aware of them being a major ship producer during the war. They did well for their population, just not enough to be much more than a minor player. I'm looking at my copy of Janes for 1945, Australia's navy covers 4 pages in the book, the Royal Navy, nearly 80 and US slightly less, which is interesting considering the US Navy number nearly 15,000 ships at war's end, with more carriers built and in action than all the other beligerants combined.

    Japan would still continue to be dependent on shipping, even if it were from Australia. The United States Navy conducted the only successful anti-shipping submarine campaign in history during the war, with nearly 80% of all Japanese ships lost, war and transport combined, being sunk by subs. And this was with less than half the number of boats built by the Germans. I see no reason that the historical outcome would change.

    Edit --- Found this after I posted
    Iron ore was thought to be scarce in Australia in 1952. So scarce, in fact, that for the few ore producers in business, exporting was not allowed. The government estimated that the country had less than 350 million tonnes of the stuff—hardly enough to build a world-class industry on.
    Iron Ore in Australia: A History of Red Gold in the Pilbara
     
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  10. von Rundstedt

    von Rundstedt Dishonorably Discharged

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    You without realising one important fact and that is population at the time of the outbreak of WW2 Australia had a population of 7 million, we had during the war had something like 800,000 in our defence forces slightly higher that 10% of the entire population, this would equate to having at the time nearly 14 to 18 million serving in the US armed forces, yes our ship building was small but we batted well above our weight with such a small population. Could the US have done so much with 7 million population and that having more than 10% in the US Armed Sevices be able to produce the vast amount of war materiel it did and that would be a equivical NO it would not, the US would have only produced only 5% of what it did on the available manpower. Our population this year finally hit 21 million.
     
  11. Spitfire King

    Spitfire King Member

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    Um...to continue with the "what if" part of the thread, what if Australia had been invaded after proper planning by the Japanese, if only to control the northern airfields that enabled the allies to mount an air offensive on Papua and surrounding Islands. To continue with the Japanese 'take and hold' method, to deprive their enemies of assets, and protect their interests in the north. This does not mean that Japan wins the war, and History follows the general trend that it did, as the power of the allies would eventually win out, BUT, WHAT IF...Japan invades northern Australia after winning the battle of the coral sea, taking Papua, and the fall of Singapore, entrenching themselves until prised out by the allies. What if it took till 1946/47/48 to get rid of them? Would the "bomb" have been used to devestate them, or bitter fighting like the island wars ensued.
    Take this scenario with a grain of salt, knowing that the allies do win, and nor would have the assets of Australia provided much to the Japs, other than delaying the inevitable (which fits with their mindset, and the attitude of famous senior officers) but happened. What scenarios would we have seen? I look forward to the comments of those living in Australia and those outside our waters,
    SK
     
  12. Falcon Jun

    Falcon Jun Ace

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    I agree that it would be possible for the Japanese to land and hold certain areas of the Australian continent. I concede that it would be a logistical nightmare but still it would be doable.
    It would be not be feasible for the Japanese to actually attempt to conquer the whole of Australia considering that a large part of their army is involved in mainland Asia.
    From my point of view, I think the Allies would limit their objectives in this hypothetical situation since The Japanese forces there have nowhere else to go. The Allies would adopt the same strategy of going for the Japanese jugular via island hopping and a vigorous submarine campaign.

    The only thing I can think of that might force the Allies to be more agressive is if the Japanese transform their controlled areas in Australia as bases for further operations in the Indian Ocean. This is unlikely but not impossible since this is, of course, a what-if.

    Another point that is also highly probable in my view is heavy Allied sub activity off the coast of the Japanese controlled areas. If successeful, it's possible for the Australians themselves to root out the Japanese on their own because the Japanese would be short on supplies, namely ammo and fuel. The Japanese would have to ship them in and since the Japanese historically had a poor convoy record, I definitely do think the Australians can handle the Japanese on the continent.

    I also don't think it would lengthen the war if the Japanese had forces on Australia.
     
  13. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    You fail to realize that I am not making light of the contribution of Australia. Facts are facts and your statement about the net effect of loss of Australia and NZ to the Japanese having a substantial positive effect on Japanese war production is misguided.

    What I am left to wonder, reading your statement about the production abilities of the United States with a reduced population, is what factual data you could possibly reference to back this assertion and what possible relevance, if any, it has to the discussion of whether or not Japan would be significantly better off in possession of the Antipodes as to be considered a “industrial powerhouse.”

    I will answer your statement in this thread later tonight.
     
  14. von Rundstedt

    von Rundstedt Dishonorably Discharged

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    I will say that in your first paragraph, at the time yes Australia was a bit player in production and resources, i know that and that is is a fact.

    Onto your second paragraph you have mentioned time after time of the industrial capacity of the United States and the vast quantities of war related materiel it produced, i assert that if the situation was reversed and the United States had a 7 million population with almost 10%+ serving in the armed forces throughout WW2 it could never have produced what it did, it would have lacked man power, but i will grant you one thing if Australia had your population, Japan would never have invaded.
     
  15. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I had planned on confronting this missive with some numbers, but then I decided that if you can make the statement, you can defend it. Do you have anything to prove this claim, other than biased opinion?

    I normally shy away from nationalistic bravado but I feel your besmirching the effort of the US cannot go unchallenged. As it serves no end, I have striven to avoid belittling the efforts of New Zealand and Australia, while still provided factual numbers. Can you do the same?
     
  16. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Well said. While Australia put up a gallant fight, the US contribution to the war effort ( while not the largest ) can not be downplayed!
     
  17. von Rundstedt

    von Rundstedt Dishonorably Discharged

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    Let me state for the record i am not saying Australia is anyway better than America, look you guys really helped our arses in WW2 with the convoys and the deployment of men and the importation of war material that we could never have achieved by ourselves. We here in Australia were restricted to a small population of 7 million.

    But i have to say one thing when did i besmirch America, did i call them cowards and the like, no i did not, without America Australia would have certainly have fallen to the Japanese, and if that were to happen then it would have been up to America to rescue us once they had dealt with the Germans. And you want to know something the Americans would have welcomed with open arms as our liberators, hell we could have become the 51st state.
     
  18. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    von Runstedt,

    Let's work together and pull this thread out of the dumpster.

    Australians put up one heck of a fight where ever they fought, North Africa, Bougainville, New Guinea and even Singapore, when their senior officer apparently bailed on them, and the people of the country are first rate. I consider Aussie as some of our best friends.

    I took your statement to imply that US workers were not as dedicated to bringing an end to the war as were Aussies and you provided nothing more than opinion to support your statement. The US was able to parlay huge natural resources and strong work force into great wealth and arms production. Couple that with the lack of enemy within gun or bombing range of the nation and a country is bound to have a massive industrial capacity. I don't think a lot of people realize just how expansive US industry was during that era.

    Anyway, lets move on.
     
  19. von Rundstedt

    von Rundstedt Dishonorably Discharged

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    Slipdigit

    I have done some more research and my previous numbers were incorrect

    Autralia's Population was

    6,900,000 not 7,000,000

    and total service personel throughout the war was

    1,395,000 not 800,000 brining our percentage to 19.175% of the population.

    And to finish off yes we should work together, but also have passionate dissagreements when the time arises.
     
  20. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    That's a mighty contribution, I applaud the Australian effort.:flag_oz:
     
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