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Axis Joint Strike on the USSR


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#1 GermanStrategist

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 03:32 AM

What if the German High Command made it a super-high priority of getting the Japanese to realize the only way the Axis powers could win the war was to knock out the USSR in 1941, and the Japanese buy it; this means the Japanese re-evaluate their strategy and coordinate to throw their entire Navy/Army into Russia right when Operation Barbarossa is launched (a full out 'go north' strategy).

This means the Siberian divisions move to engage in combat with the Japanese in the far east, and the Wehrmacht heaves itself upon Moscow... could the Germans have taken Moscow if the Siberian divisions hadn't counter-attacked? And even if the Germans took Moscow, could the USSR win a two-front war without its capital in 1942?

In my opinion, the USSR would have capitulated... if Moscow was taken, it's probable that Stalin would have been killed/committed suicide during the surrounding of the city... and even if he escaped, the Red Army's will to fight might have been exhausted by the time 1942 rolled around because the loss of their capital would have had a huge psychological effect (not to mention the logistical loss of the railroad/communications heart of the country). If the USSR is dead, the Axis survive to fight another day because America isn't going to conquer two continents (which it could probably do) without some kind of serious provocation (like Pearl Harbor) that never comes.

#2 brndirt1

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 06:34 PM

First off, let’s consider the wording of the various pacts and treaties which the different governments had signed. The Japanese, Italians, and Germans had signed the Tri-Partite Agreement which allowed that each would come to the aid of another IF ATTACKED by someone else.

This didn’t cover the Germans attacking the Soviets, nor the Japanese attacking the USA. In both those cases the members of the Axis were the attacking, not the attacked parties. So that treaty really didn’t require any of them to declare war in response. And Japan didn’t declare war when the Germans attacked the Soviets, just as the treaty specified. The Japanese were more "honorable" in diplomatic agreements on occassion, and this must have frustrated Hitler to no end. He thought nothing of lying to make a pact, treaty or promise, and then breaking them when it served his own selfish purpose.

Then add to this that the non-aggression pact they had signed with the Soviets, stated that if the USSR were attacked, Japan would remain neutral. And Japan honored this until the pact was negated by the Soviets in 1945.

The Japanese had been handed their hats with their heads in them by the Soviets in their two experiences, and had nothing to gain by invading the bleak and resource barren Siberian territories. They (Japan) had removed a great deal of their experienced manpower from the Mongolian/Manchurian area for their work in both their garrisons on their island strongholds, and in southeast Asia (Burma/Indo-China) where they occupied those former French territories.

And BTW, there were more Soviet troops left in the far east than you think. Soviet troops in the far east on 22 June 1941:

17 rifle divisions, 1 cavalry division, 3 rifle brigades, 1 airborne brigade, and 12 fortified regions organized into five rifle corps and four rifle armies.

Soviet troops in the far east on 1 January 1942:

19 rifle divisions, 1 cavalry division, 2 rifle brigades, 1 airborne brigade, 2 cavalry regiments, 1 rifle regiment, and 12 fortified regions organized into four rifle corps and five rifle armies.

Apparently, even when units were sent west, they were replaced by new formations, so the Soviets didn't really let down their guard vis-a-vis Japan. There are also artillery and tank units listed in the order of battle, what is listed above are the major combat formations, and does not include units assigned to the Trans-Baikal Front. The Soviets well remembered the embarrassment of the 1904 Russo-Japanese war.

This now sometimes dead link to a source is in Russian, but I had it translated for my post by a friend on another now defunct forum (Historic-Battles):

Goto:

????????? ?? ???? "????????? ?????????????? ????????? ?? ??????? ?????? ??????? ?????"

The Japanese couldn't afford to engage this Far East portion of the Red Army, especially as it was supplemented by about 80,000 Mongolian regulars supplied with Soviet weaponry. Coupling this with the divided power base in the Japanese Central Command (as mentioned by Karma in another thread) and it is pretty easy to understand why the Japanese were loath to "aid" the Nazis in their ill-advised attack on the Soviet Union.

So let’s see, the Japanese couldn’t help him manpower wise, and honored their agreements with the Soviets, and they had felt betrayed when he broke their "Anti-Commintern Pact", and signed his own "non-aggression pact" with Stalin.

In reality, the Nazis had little to no chance of taking Moscow, and even if they had done so the Soviet Union wouldn't have collapsed. There might have been a short "armistice" of sorts while the "new" Soviet re-formed east of the Urals. When they were strong enough they would have dealt with the Germans as they did historically. Stalin may have been ousted, but the Soviet itself would survive. (in my opinion)
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#3 GermanStrategist

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 08:33 PM

Yes I'm aware of what historically happened in context of what the Imperial family thought about invading the Soviet Union... but what I'm suggesting is that the Emperor/Generals had already decided that knocking out the USSR was the only way of winning the war; and despite not knowing about Operation Barbarossa from the beginning, the Japanese could have improvised their 'go north' strategy in 1941 and made significant gains in the North after hearing about Operation Barbarossa's commencement.

I am aware that the Soviets never 'let down their guard' with roughly 700,000 troops placed in the east that had access to superior tanks and more aircraft to counter the 700,000 soldiers in the Kwantung army; however, had the Japanese improvised a plan to go north immediately after June 22, and dropped their 'go south' strategy, they could have mobilized a numerically larger force of over a million battle-tested men, over 1200 superior aircraft, and beaten the Russians with an overwhelming thrust of their first-rate Navy coupled with the Army and wiped out the Russian Navy in the east, taken key ports... and most likely had defeated the 700,000 Russians defending the east, making moderate territorial gains sometime in August.

The Russians were in no position to go on the offensive, so if the Japanese had made the first strike, the air force could have knocked out hundreds of Russian aircraft in the first few days, and then had air superiority and taken out the superior tanks the Russians had.

I'm not saying it would be easy for Japan, but it was achievable; and strategically, it made a hell of a lot more sense to take out the USSR first, and deal with the colonies later, rather than leave Germany on its own in the face of uncertainty. Even U.S. intelligence caught up on this possibility, and fortunately, the Japanese were too focused on their own small sphere of influence to grasp the big strategic picture, and made their ill-advised decision to fight the anglo-powers instead of the slavs.

Had the Japanese made these gains, those transferred divisions and supplies from the Far East would never have made it to Moscow; furthermore, the entry of the Japanese into the eastern front may have motivated Hitler to take Moscow faster before the Japanese made anymore territorial gains before winter set in. With the prospect of fighting two fronts, Stalin and the Red Army very well might have lost the will to fight and/or Moscow, and retreated to the Urals. Had this happened, the Axis powers would appear to be in a position of overwhelming strength in 1942.

#4 brndirt1

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 10:03 PM

I believe this is seriously flawed thinking. The Siberian tundra had nothing the Japanese could use in their raw material deprived nation, the southeastern asian area did. The Germans had nothing they could share, nor aid the Japanese with in that endeavor. It simply isn't a feasible option from the German nor Japanese viewpoint. Modern armies don't march on "nothing" nor can they fight with captured material in most instances. I just don't see this as an option for the Japanese, and after the betrayals of Hitler and the Nazis diplomatically, I don't see why they should attempt to help a person like him, nor a party like his.

Sorry, just don't buy it as an option. Not enough raw material, not enough POL (petroleum, oils, lubricants) to gain or share, not enough food stuffs to gain, nor other needed commodities for modern warfare. The Soviet rail gauge was different from both the German and Japanese, so even the Tran-Siberian Railroad couldn't be captured and used with ease. And don't forget that until post war it didn't go across Lake Baikal at all. It used ferry boats in the summer, and termporary rails laid on the ice in winter. That would be the "plug" for the invaders from the east.

Logistically a "non-starter", and the Japanese high command knew it.
Happy Trails,
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#5 GermanStrategist

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 11:23 PM

It's only flawed thinking if your goals are short term... the Germans needed all the help they could get bringing down the giant Soviet war machine. Clearly, the Japanese felt betrayed diplomatically and whatnot, but their fate was tied to Hitler's. It makes more sense to help Hitler anyway possible and throw your lot in with him rather than face millions of blood-thirsty Soviets 5 years later with whatever few supplies the Japanese were able to extract from these islands. Your thinking is like when Hitler told Army centre to divert attention to Ukraine citing 'food stuffs' and 'economic reasons' that would somehow be instantly absorbed into Germany's economy.

The only way the Axis powers were going to win was if they took down Moscow, obliterated the standing Red Army in 1941, and destroyed the Soviets' will to fight. Japan should have realized it was all or nothing when Hitler attacked the Soviets. They should have helped tie down the Red Army anyway possible even if it meant low short-term gains. You cannot wait a few years to gather some extra supplies that you need for your own self-interested gains if it means losing your only chance at winning the war. The outcome of the war was decided in 1941, and the Japanese didn't even fight on the right front.

#6 brndirt1

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 02:41 PM

It is flawed thinking believing that it could be acheived in the short term, nor could it be sustained in the long run.
Happy Trails,
Clint.

#7 green slime

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 05:49 PM

The Japanese army was spectularly poorly equipped for modern warfare: they had no tanks worthy of the name, and they knew it. They also desperately needed resources, resources not found anywhere but south.

The Germans may have "won" the war had they played their cards differently, but The Nazis could never have done so. Neither could the Japanese.

#8 Mark4

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 06:06 PM

Look at it from here the Japanese needed fuel,rubber and other natural resources attacking russia is not going to help them in that goal.Also I my be wrong but I really dont know how a Japanese army is going to perform in the russian winter.Also look at it from this stand point....The russians far out gun Japanese troops that is evedent in the previous broder wars in the late 30's. Also the russians would be ready for a Japanese attack because they were expecting it they fought each other in that area what was it twic already?
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#9 HaoAsakura

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 08:34 AM

It is flawed thinking believing that it could be acheived in the short term, nor could it be sustained in the long run.


The argument or reasons may be flawed, but as it is by the debate standard. This is a What-If we are not here to debate if the Japanesse were to help or no, but what would happen if they had. Regardless if they had or not reasons to help is irrelevant, the thread is about what would had happened IF they did, not if they had any real reason to help or if they would alone.

#10 TiredOldSoldier

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 11:27 AM

One way they could have helped is by blocking lend lease, IIRC most shipments were through pacific ports on US built ships under the USSR flag often sailing within sight of the Japanese mainland. But apparently the Japanese culture didn't allow for this sort of "dishonorable" operation. AFAIK when Thor, one of the German armed merchant raiders, made port in Yokohama Japanese collaboration was reluctant, eventually the raider accidentally blew up removing the cause of embarassment.

If the Japanese had so little to gain in Siberia why did they attack there in 1939? seems to me the decision between the "northern" and "southern" strategies was still undecided at the time.

IMO the contribution the very badly equipped IJA could have brought to Germany's cause is hard to calculate, they had a lot of troops in the mainland though many were fighting the Chinese, had they made a 1905 like push for Vladivostock supported by naval forces it would have required a major force commitment to stop, the Soviets had no navy to speak of in the Pacific.
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#11 Kai-Petri

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 12:33 PM

Some things I recall reading on this:

1.) the Japanese were really shocked by the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact, and the Japanese would not easily trust Hitler again.

2-) Also the Japanese made the pact of non-aggression in spring 1940 with Stalin.

3.) The Japanese naturally had plans for attacking "any direction" but in July-August 1941 they themselves had realized Hitler was not going to win the Barbarossa as he promised.
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#12 lwd

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 07:02 PM

The argument or reasons may be flawed, but as it is by the debate standard. This is a What-If we are not here to debate if the Japanesse were to help or no, but what would happen if they had. Regardless if they had or not reasons to help is irrelevant, the thread is about what would had happened IF they did, not if they had any real reason to help or if they would alone.

I disagree. If you can't come up with a good basis for someone doing something then how can you tell how it proceeds? If a "what if" is to be a tool for learning which I think is the intent of most here then the foundation and development should be well based in fact and logic. Most "good" what if's of this type proceed from a single well described POD (point of departure). If some limits aren't applied then threads and posts will tend to devolve into the LGMs (little green men) did it.

In this case if you can't determine why they are helping then how do you determine how much effort they are willing to put into said hell and for how long? Like wise how do you determine the reactions of other players to said aid and the Japanese reaction to the reactions, etc?

#13 HaoAsakura

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 08:16 PM

I disagree. If you can't come up with a good basis for someone doing something then how can you tell how it proceeds? If a "what if" is to be a tool for learning which I think is the intent of most here then the foundation and development should be well based in fact and logic. Most "good" what if's of this type proceed from a single well described POD (point of departure). If some limits aren't applied then threads and posts will tend to devolve into the LGMs (little green men) did it.

In this case if you can't determine why they are helping then how do you determine how much effort they are willing to put into said hell and for how long? Like wise how do you determine the reactions of other players to said aid and the Japanese reaction to the reactions, etc?


But the OP already determind how much effort they are willing to put, he said they are all-out. In short they are bloodlusted. Based on the assumption that they are all-out and bloodlusted he is asking "How would the war go?". Assuming the Japenesse went to war and are bloodlusted. I dont think having X or Y motivition or logical reasons for the scenario to happen matter as the OP already determined they are bloodlusted.

#14 lwd

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 02:51 AM

But the OP already determind how much effort they are willing to put, he said they are all-out. In short they are bloodlusted. Based on the assumption that they are all-out and bloodlusted he is asking "How would the war go?". Assuming the Japenesse went to war and are bloodlusted. I dont think having X or Y motivition or logical reasons for the scenario to happen matter as the OP already determined they are bloodlusted.

Or not. He said that the German's convinced the Japanese that the only way the axis would win was if Japan helped vs the Soviets. Now some Japanese might take that as a pointer to reevaluate their status as a member of the axis. There's also the question of how dedicated they would be to the destruction of the Soviets. Then there's the question about how they think the allies will act. Take away surprise and they aren't going to have an easy time getting access to more oil and they don't have much of a reserve or supply. As stands this is a rather poorly founded what if. Discussions of what if anything could enhance it via the POD are about the only way to save it.

#15 HaoAsakura

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 04:16 AM

Or not. He said that the German's convinced the Japanese that the only way the axis would win was if Japan helped vs the Soviets. Now some Japanese might take that as a pointer to reevaluate their status as a member of the axis. There's also the question of how dedicated they would be to the destruction of the Soviets. Then there's the question about how they think the allies will act. Take away surprise and they aren't going to have an easy time getting access to more oil and they don't have much of a reserve or supply. As stands this is a rather poorly founded what if. Discussions of what if anything could enhance it via the POD are about the only way to save it.


What does POD mean? And yes OP didnt specified it now that I am looking at it, but I think it is safe to assume he is saying that the Janesse are bloodlusted.

#16 belasar

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 07:33 PM

I tend to agree with lwd that this is an extreme what if similar to what if Turkey/Spain/Ireland joined the axis. The real problem lies in that it only helps one partner, Germany, and not Japan. Most countries will not act so comepletely against their own needs in this manner. While we know now that oil and gas are abundant in Siberia, this wasn't known then. There was little of obvious value within reach of Japan's military in 1941. Such a course gives the IJN almost nothing to do, and considering the investment made to create a first class battlefleet to rival that of the Royal Navy and US Navy, virtually unthinkable.

For Japan to have a realistic chance to effectively attack and advance against the Red Army, it would need a military more like Germany's. Medium tanks of a Pzkw III/IV quality, in numbers of around 1,500-2,000 at least. Modern artillery with prime movers to keep up with the tanks. Motor transport and a robust logistical tail to keep the army in motion. Lastly, an air force like the Luftwaffe that had strong air to ground support capabilities to aid the army's advance.

In the spring of 1941 Japan had none of these. Indeed the army it did have was largely stuck in China, not strong enough to win, not desparate enough to withdraw.

For this scenario to have any chance to succeed, Japan would have had to decide in 1935, '36 at the latest, that this was the one and only course it would follow. The tanks, artillery and trucks would have to come at the expence of the Navy's battlefleet. The IJN's divebombers would have made credible ground attack aircraft, but they alone would not be enough. The" Kate" torpedo bombers would either need to be reconfigured for ground support, or have "Val's" built in their place. This, of course, effectively guts the IJN Carrier Air Fleet. Japan also would have had to stop at Manchurian conquests as any other Chinese operations would simply dilute the Army force needed to invade Siberia.

On the positive side the western embargo would have eased with no full invasion of China, but would almost certainly resurface after a Siberian invasion. The US stays nuetral longer without a Japanese 'Southern' offensive. There is however no garruntee that Britain would not declare war on Japan for its attack on her ally Russia. With no large battlefleet, Japan's Pacific bases are at risk, and completely indefensable with a US entry in the war.

Edited by belasar, 02 April 2011 - 07:55 PM.

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#17 lwd

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 10:01 PM

What does POD mean?

As I mentioned in my original post Point Of Departure.

And yes OP didnt specified it now that I am looking at it, but I think it is safe to assume he is saying that the Janesse are bloodlusted.

I don't see why? The OP stated that the Germans had convinced them that that was the only way for the axis to win. However it was a war that the Japanese didn't want, didn't gain them much, and would likely lead them to disaster in the long run. I can't see why they would be gung ho on it.

#18 mille125

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 03:22 AM

I agree with the majority of the responses. Japan has no natural resources of its own and was certainly stressed by the "embargo" imposed by the USA. The move towards Siberia makes no strategic sense especially given the results of the previous encounters there. I also agree that if this did happen it may have prolonged the war. However, the Soviets would have still prevailed. I dont see any way that Germany or Germany and Japan together could have won the Eastern Front War.

#19 freebird

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 06:26 AM

What if the German High Command made it a super-high priority of getting the Japanese to realize the only way the Axis powers could win the war was to knock out the USSR in 1941.

The only way the Axis powers were going to win was if they took down Moscow, obliterated the standing Red Army in 1941, and destroyed the Soviets' will to fight. Japan should have realized it was all or nothing when Hitler attacked the Soviets.


I don't see that as a "given" at all, that the only way for the Japanese to win was to knock out the Soviets.

they could have mobilized a numerically larger force of over a million battle-tested men, over 1200 superior aircraft, and beaten the Russians with an overwhelming thrust of their first-rate Navy coupled with the Army and wiped out the Russian Navy in the east, taken key ports... and most likely had defeated the 700,000 Russians defending the east, making moderate territorial gains sometime in August.
.


The only really important port is Vladivostok, and how is the Navy going to make a major impact?
There is no way that Japan can deploy and supply a million man army via the limited transportation available into Siberia. If hard pressed the Russians would withdraw towards Khabarovsk, while some forces hold out in Vladivostok.

For Japan to have a realistic chance to effectively attack and advance against the Red Army, it would need a military more like Germany's. Medium tanks of a Pzkw III/IV quality, in numbers of around 1,500-2,000 at least.


The German tanks were very effective in the west because of the large, mainly flat farmlands in Ukraine. They would be of little use in Siberia, where the wooded, rugged terrain means that tanks can be used mainly along the primary road/rail. What is very effective is artillery, which the Russians had loads of.

The russians far out gun Japanese troops that is evedent in the previous broder wars in the late 30's. Also the russians would be ready for a Japanese attack because they were expecting it they fought each other in that area what was it twic already?


I think you are correct.

#20 Black6

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 07:28 PM

What if the German High Command made it a super-high priority of getting the Japanese to realize the only way the Axis powers could win the war was to knock out the USSR in 1941, and the Japanese buy it; this means the Japanese re-evaluate their strategy and coordinate to throw their entire Navy/Army into Russia right when Operation Barbarossa is launched (a full out 'go north' strategy).

This means the Siberian divisions move to engage in combat with the Japanese in the far east, and the Wehrmacht heaves itself upon Moscow... could the Germans have taken Moscow if the Siberian divisions hadn't counter-attacked? And even if the Germans took Moscow, could the USSR win a two-front war without its capital in 1942?


I think to answer this you need to look at what the Japanese role would have to be in order to have significant enough of a strategic impact to force the Soviets to surrender.
To me, looking at the Trans-Siberian railroad and the proximity of the Chinese Eastern Railway (Manzhouli) File:Chinese Eastern Railway-en.svg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia it would appear the most logical point to build forces to attack the Soviets. The two major questions I would look at first are what would hurt the Soviets the worst if denied to them and are those objectives attainable (and the operations supportable). I would look at cutting the Trans Siberian Railway directly north of Manzhouli and directly north of Vladivostok while the Japanese Navy destroys anything floating there and bombards the defenses. Some interesting sources:
The Kwantung versus the Siberian Army, October 21, 1941.

Battles of Khalkhin Gol - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If you look at the Khalkhin Gol series of battles the Japanese performed poorly operationally but were not in anyway soft or incompetent. They were alse outnumbered and involved themselves piecemeal into combat. I believe if a major operation were planned there would be at least force parity and plenty of local superiority to take advantage of. If the Japanese field in the neighborhood of 6-700 Type 95 and 97 tanks with supporting aircraft emanating from a logistical supply hub based from the Eastern Chinese Railroad they can cut the Trans Siberian Railroad and eliminate Vladivostok.
The result of this operation being successful would bear fruit in 1942 when the Soviets were desperately trying to recover from Barbarossa. The added strategic and political pressure along with Lend Lease being cut off from the East may very well force a peace on Axis terms.

#21 Sloniksp

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 10:59 PM

Dont hold your breath gentlemen, it seems GermanStrategist has not been on for quite some time??? Last activity, December 15th, 2010 04:31 AM....

One also can immediately tell his agenda by simply reading his name, had it been JapanStategitst, he would most likely not be trying to convince us of a "Northern thrust" :D

PS,
If the Germans were really cold in front of Moscow, I dont even want to know what the Japanese would have felt like in Siberia (getting goosebumps just thinking about it) and with no armor or mechanized infantry?!?! Napoleon anyone? :D
The war against Russia will be such that it cannot be conducted in a knightly fashion. This struggle is one of ideologies and racial differences and will have to be conducted with unprecedented, unmerciful and unrelenting harshness. -Adolf Hitler


#22 belasar

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 12:04 AM

I realized this was a old thread, but with threads about no fly zones, islamic fundamentalist's, crazy Babtist's and such, it was nice to argue about WWII for a change.:)
Wars are rarely fought in black and white, but in infinite shades of grey

(Poppy is occasionaly correct, or so I hear)

#23 GermanStrategist

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 09:10 PM

It's been awhile since this thread has been active so I've refrained from posting, but now that I've spent some time analyzing this scenario I've come to a few conclusions:

Firstly, it is pretty unlikely that the Japanese will help the Germans if they are only given less than a year's notice before Operation Barbarossa begins. Most of their army is tied down in China, but their navy is essentially unused. If they helped, their impact would likely be limited to knocking out whatever Russian ships existed in the Pacific, ruining Vladivostok, capturing Sakhalin island, and perhaps advancing a few tens of miles into Soviet territory due to the initial surprise factor that they would have.

If the Japanese want to have a major impact in the east, I've come to agree that the POD will have to be much farther back than what I set it to. I actually made another thread on this possibility where the Japanese begin preparing for a USSR invasion much earlier and develop the tanks and artillery they will need.

The Japanese would have to be convinced much earlier (say 1936) that the USSR posed an existential threat to Japanese ambitions... I honestly don't believe this is that hard of a sell (historically the Russians had attempted to take their lands in the Russo-Japanese war only 30 years earlier and the Japanese spanked them). If the Japanese prioritize the USSR over China and shift their military strategy towards one involving war in the north, then they have ample time to set up heavy railroad lines in Manchuria, shift resources from the navy to the army, and develop stronger tanks.

All of this is possible because we assume the Japanese do not engage China and that this factor means the United States does not declare an embargo on Japan for at least 5 years. This will help Japan enormously in getting the oil, supplies and other raw materials she needs to ugrade her army so that it will be able to make a much larger impact against the USSR. When hostilities do commence in 1941, Japan will have had 5 years to prepare without any embargo limitations. In this scenario, I can imagine the Japanese making a much larger impact, taking much of the Russian Far East and causing an enormous psychological effect on the Soviets' will to fight. The USSR could find itself damaged so badly in 1941 by the combined efforts of the Germans and the Japanese that by 1942 it completely loses chain of command and collapses or sues for peace.

#24 Sloniksp

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 02:52 AM

It's been awhile since this thread has been active so I've refrained from posting, but now that I've spent some time analyzing this scenario I've come to a few conclusions:

Firstly, it is pretty unlikely that the Japanese will help the Germans if they are only given less than a year's notice before Operation Barbarossa begins. Most of their army is tied down in China, but their navy is essentially unused. If they helped, their impact would likely be limited to knocking out whatever Russian ships existed in the Pacific, ruining Vladivostok, capturing Sakhalin island, and perhaps advancing a few tens of miles into Soviet territory due to the initial surprise factor that they would have.

If the Japanese want to have a major impact in the east, I've come to agree that the POD will have to be much farther back than what I set it to. I actually made another thread on this possibility where the Japanese begin preparing for a USSR invasion much earlier and develop the tanks and artillery they will need.

The Japanese would have to be convinced much earlier (say 1936) that the USSR posed an existential threat to Japanese ambitions... I honestly don't believe this is that hard of a sell (historically the Russians had attempted to take their lands in the Russo-Japanese war only 30 years earlier and the Japanese spanked them). If the Japanese prioritize the USSR over China and shift their military strategy towards one involving war in the north, then they have ample time to set up heavy railroad lines in Manchuria, shift resources from the navy to the army, and develop stronger tanks.

All of this is possible because we assume the Japanese do not engage China and that this factor means the United States does not declare an embargo on Japan for at least 5 years. This will help Japan enormously in getting the oil, supplies and other raw materials she needs to ugrade her army so that it will be able to make a much larger impact against the USSR. When hostilities do commence in 1941, Japan will have had 5 years to prepare without any embargo limitations. In this scenario, I can imagine the Japanese making a much larger impact, taking much of the Russian Far East and causing an enormous psychological effect on the Soviets' will to fight. The USSR could find itself damaged so badly in 1941 by the combined efforts of the Germans and the Japanese that by 1942 it completely loses chain of command and collapses or sues for peace.


Why look who came back from the dead! :D

As im sure you are aware, Japan just like Germany suffered from the lack of resources. IMO, you would be very hard pressed convincing Japan to use the last of her resources for Germany's victory (with nothing to guarantee it or insure it....).

The way I see it, Japan had two bad options if she decided to side with Germany in her conquest:
1. Win and receive nothing in return.
2. Lose it all

Only guarantee is a tremendous lose of life and resources.

Japan needed oil and she wasnt going to get any from Siberia and Germany wasnt sharing.
Having very limited resources, Japan did not have the luxury of building a land and sea war machine; instead, she had to chose one. It was either going to be a navy or a land juggernaut. Considering that Japan is an island nation which needs to protect her fishing, fragile trade routes, protect her nearby islands, be able to retrieve desperately needed resources from other nations to her own and all this while supporting her army which was engaged elsewhere.... a navy was essential. A land army with thousands of heavy guns, tanks and mechanized infantry is a no go for Japan and her historical army would not exist with out her navy.

1936 wouldnt work for Japan because she already invested heavily in her navy and during this time Germany had better relations with Russia than Japan.

Curious. Why would the U.S. not issue the same embargo on Japan for attacking Russia as she historically had for attacking China?

PS,
Japan's signing of the non-agression pact with Soviet Russia can be compared to Hitler signing one; "Secure peace with one while going for the other". Japan was very aware of a growing problem across the Pacific....

Edited by Sloniksp, 12 April 2011 - 03:05 AM.

The war against Russia will be such that it cannot be conducted in a knightly fashion. This struggle is one of ideologies and racial differences and will have to be conducted with unprecedented, unmerciful and unrelenting harshness. -Adolf Hitler


#25 LJAd

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 08:20 AM

About the embargo:if Japan had attacked the SU,there would not be a lot of missionaries spreading stories about the poor Russian peasant,persecuted by the bad Japanese ,and there also was no myth about 500 million of Russians waiting to be civilised by the US and waiting on the possibility to buy US products (for a lot of people,the same thing as being civilised)




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