Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Larger Japanese Navy


  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
14 replies to this topic

#1 Balderdasher

Balderdasher

    Dishonorably Discharged

  • Dishonorably Discharged
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 91 posts

Posted 11 June 2007 - 07:15 AM

Starting in 1943 with help from the Germans but never fully accepted till post-war, the combining of the Japanese/Korean/Taiwanese culture, education and western pre-fabricated mass production assembly lines, by 1948 Japan alone overtook the USA in shipbuilding and by 1952 both the USA and UK and never looked back.
Source "The Pacific Dragons" A&E documentary, 4 part series(Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore) made for Economics available to universities upon application.

Question.

What if Japan(remember to include Korea and Taiwan) had employed this mass production miracle before rather than after the war instead?
What do you think would have happened?

#2 Slipdigit

Slipdigit

    Good Ol' Boy

  • Administrators
  • 14,846 posts
  • LocationAlabama

Posted 11 June 2007 - 06:57 PM

How long before the war?

Were they using home-grown iron ore or imported iron after the war?

Their weakness has been the lack of raw materials to make steel.

Best Regards,  
JW :slipdigit:

SlidigitAxe.png


#3 Sloniksp

Sloniksp

    Ставка

  • TrusteeOKF Trustee
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,494 posts

Posted 11 June 2007 - 07:06 PM

Production by itself is not the sole factor in winning the war.

Though more Japanese ships would have made things more complicated for the U.S., I without a doubt believe that the overall outcome would have been the same. Not to mention that the lack of oil, would have made it very difficult to put those ships to good use.
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


#4 Seadog

Seadog

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 355 posts

Posted 11 June 2007 - 09:10 PM

The problem was not the number of ships, but the number of trained replacement personnel. The Japanese started the war with superior numbers of trained aviators, but as they lost pilots, they were still only producing them a few at a time. At Pearl Harbor, the pilots had trained intensely, but afterwards, they failed to maintain training or to learn new lessons.
Lord, let me be the person my dog thinks I am.

#5 T. A. Gardner

T. A. Gardner

    Genuine Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,855 posts

Posted 11 June 2007 - 10:05 PM

Japan originally did try and standardize their ship building industry. Starting about a year before the war began they came out with a standard set of merchant ship types. Many of their warship classes were based on similar hull designs, like destroyers and cruisers. This was later expanded to carriers too.
The problem for them was simply one of lack of capacity at all. To expand naval production would have required a top down overhaul of their entire shipbuilding industry. The marine engine industry, for example, was geared to producing smaller expansion engines with only a few large firms being capable of naval turbine work. Welding had not been widely introduced and was almost completely unused in 1941; riveting was the norm.
Much of Japan's success post war was due to introduction of US methods many of which had sprung up during the war so would not have been available in any case to Japan.
Even the idea that somehow Japan did not recognize personnel shortages is largely myth. They did. The problem here was two-fold. First their programs typically remained rigorous in nature with high washout rates, such as their vastly expanded pilot program following Nomohan / Kalikin Gol. Japan had expanded this program to provide 15,000 pilots but the program still had a70%+ failure rate so was producing only small, albeit larger than before (ie., hundreds instead of tens per month), numbers of pilots.
To compound their problems, the Japanese had to strip much of their merchant ship capacity to support military operations once the war started. This left a huge deficit in shipping to support the economy. Further problems were encountered because almost 40% of all merchant shipping supplying Japan's economy pre-war was foreign based and no longer available.
Then there was the doctrinal flaw of disregarding the value of merchant shipping in the face of a submarine guerre de course against it. No convoys. Few or no escorts. Poor ASW equipment on available ships, etc.
To top all of this off, it is very unlikely that Japan could have greatly improved on the rate of construction either. That is, it would still have taken about 18 months to build a destroyer, 24 for a cruiser, and even longer for capital ships.
For Japan, a major was was largely going to be 'come as you are.' They had to win with what they started with. If they couldn't; they were finished.
  • Slipdigit likes this

#6 FramerT

FramerT

    Ace

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,570 posts

Posted 11 June 2007 - 11:34 PM

The problem was not the number of ships, but the number of trained replacement personnel. The Japanese started the war with superior numbers of trained aviators, but as they lost pilots, they were still only producing them a few at a time. At Pearl Harbor, the pilots had trained intensely, but afterwards, they failed to maintain training or to learn new lessons.



I agree and will add Japan seemed like the German invasion of Russia. It had to be a "short" war. Not enough trainining of new pilots for a drawn out war.
Not to mention, oil,steel,etc.

#7 Slipdigit

Slipdigit

    Good Ol' Boy

  • Administrators
  • 14,846 posts
  • LocationAlabama

Posted 11 June 2007 - 11:39 PM

Very succinctly put TA. I've read entire books that spent hundreds of pages to say what you just said.

Good Job!

Best Regards,  
JW :slipdigit:

SlidigitAxe.png


#8 Balderdasher

Balderdasher

    Dishonorably Discharged

  • Dishonorably Discharged
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 91 posts

Posted 12 June 2007 - 01:34 AM

To top all of this off, it is very unlikely that Japan could have greatly improved on the rate of construction either. That is, it would still have taken about 18 months to build a destroyer, 24 for a cruiser, and even longer for capital ships.
For Japan, a major was was largely going to be 'come as you are.' They had to win with what they started with. If they couldn't; they were finished.


According to both Conway's and Jane's at least, starting in 1943 and launching in 1944 those Escorts using simplified pre-fabricated building techniques lowered equal quality completion times from 5-12 months to 4-5 months and other 'construction time reduced between 3 and 8 months.

That's significant to those authors.

As for resources, the more ships you build the more resources get through.
The more escorts you build, the fewer of the above you lose.(not to mention aircraft in asw support like how we defeated the Uboat).

Although I agree with the point that alot of the post-war boom was benefit from war-time, not pre-war lessons, the Germans were already more efficient than the Americans and that's supposedly where the Japanese got their ideas from eventually.

As for crews. Ironically enough, one of my clients is part of the S Korean shipping industry who taught me that it was the Japanese expansion of industry, companies(that became independently Korean) and Korean man-power which he taught me was also why so many Koreans and Taiwanese were not only part of the Japanese military after 1943(though he said htey would have been better off allowing from start) but also merchant marine and new Korean and Formosan companies started up.

But I get your points thank you.

It still seems that if Japan could have been at least as efficient as the Americans, that even if they only produced 1 for every 3 US cruisers or battleships or aircraft carriers, that it would have made a significant difference.

Given that for the early part of the war their advantage nearly cost us to lose Guadalcanal etc with what they actually had, it would seem logical to assume they could have done even better had theyhad more of each type of ship.

In the same way I think Rommel could have won, or at least done alot better in North Africa if he had only 25% let alone 50% more tanks, I think the Japanese Navy could have, especially early in the war, have done similarily but in naval terms instead.

#9 Slipdigit

Slipdigit

    Good Ol' Boy

  • Administrators
  • 14,846 posts
  • LocationAlabama

Posted 12 June 2007 - 02:58 AM

It certainly would not have hurt.

The Japanese planned on losing 800,000 tons of shipping the first year of the war but lost over 1,123,000. They were woefully unprepared. This 300,000+ may not seem like much, but to a maritime nation dependent on shipping and that started out short (See TA Gardner's post above), to loose even more than planned and not have a way to significantly make up the loses, it was catastrophic. Even in 1944, when they built 624,290 tons of shipping, they lost 754,889 tons. Throughout the war, shipping losses were never less than new tonnage launched. They started out at a deficit of escorts (only 30 in Dec 1941), started too late to build them and then could not get what they needed built quickly enough.

Another major problem was that the Japanese did not initiate a proper convoy system until Mar 1944! It was not uncommon before that for empty ships to pass each other, headed for the port the other just left from, thus making a critical shortfall of bottoms even more so.

The two escort fleets created in 1942 and 43 to provide security consisted of only 24 destroyers, 5 coast defense frigates and five torpedo boats. At the outbreak of the war, they only had 30 total escort boats, none of them armed.

Even the 5 convoy escort carriers, all in need of repair, they allocated to escort were less than adequate. Four were sunk in less than a year. The Japanes never seemed to grasp the necessity of their merchant fleet, so I am left to wonder if additional shipping would actually have been of use for very long. They didn't seem to want to protect it very well.

Best Regards,  
JW :slipdigit:

SlidigitAxe.png


#10 T. A. Gardner

T. A. Gardner

    Genuine Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,855 posts

Posted 12 June 2007 - 05:26 AM

The Japanese had more problems than just a measure of tonnage. A related problem was the size and type of ships they could build. Their war program construction of which there were 4 different programs primarily built much smaller vessels than their US counter parts did.
For example, of the standard tankers only the TL group (15 hulls) really matched US construction weighing in at just over 10,000 GRT. The other tanker programs the TM and TS both were much smaller ships at about 5,000 GRT. The various freighter programs likewise only ran 4 to 6,000 GRT at best. These vessels were also usually much slower at 7 to 10 knots.
Their escort programs started in mid 1943 when the Japanese decided to implement some degree of convoy measures and escorts were likewise very marginal. For example, their various subchasers in the Ch and Cha classes were very marginal ships. They typically could make about 10 knots, had a barebones hydrophone array, if any sound gear at all, and typically carried two Y guns and a depth charge rack. This made them very marginal at hunting and fighting submarines. Their DC patterns were smaller at just 5 to 7 charges versus the standard US or British 10 to 14 charge patterns.
The larger escort vessels, similar to smaller British or US frigates likewise had just a single DC rack and one or two Y guns for pattern firing. Few, if any, had radar and most lacked sonar having to do with just a hydrophone array.
So, even when they were trying to provide escorts, the convoys were slow making them more vulnerable and the escorts were often of dubious quality. It did little to help.

#11 Balderdasher

Balderdasher

    Dishonorably Discharged

  • Dishonorably Discharged
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 91 posts

Posted 13 June 2007 - 04:17 AM

Thanks Gardner:
maybe you should start a post on how Japan might have done better, within her means, if she had gone back to learning from the Royal Navy and lessons already being learnt in the Atlantic even Mediterranean Uboat wars?

It always amazed me how, apologies, 'dense and arrogant' some nations can be in refusing to learn lessons from others. In particular, even if you say the RN Victory at Taranto was at least the main surge of a reputedly already existing plan by the Japanese for Pearl...why not then also learn and adapt and change production in even 1940 to learn lessons from the Battle of the Atlantic?

Also, I just saw Korean video on Utube where in English subtitles they indicate that the post-war super-tankers and giant cargo ships were in fact based on dreadnought and large carrier hull works in Japan, Korea and Formosa(Taiwan). I have to find the link again. But it claimed in English translation(I can't read Korean, have trouble with english lol) that the reason the Japanese chose to build smaller ships from 43 on was the greater chance of 1 ship of 5,000 tons getting through of 2 ships as opposed to 1 ship of 10,000 tons being sunk or damaged and laid up for so long. If you find that, please link me back, thanks.

Someone paged me an interesting question too.
And i think it is related to your point?

If this increased production ability were realized, would it be wiser to build larger or smaller warships?

#12 tikilal

tikilal

    Ace

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,133 posts

Posted 13 June 2007 - 09:45 PM

While undoubtedly any ship is better than no ship. Simply building more ships would not have changed the outcome unless they fit into a successful strategy. More battle ships and heavy cruisers would help in small battles, but only more aircraft carriers would help change the outcome of the war. But more aircraft carriers would be useless with out more airplanes. Japan had problems making enough airframes and guns to go in them. On top of this the new Japanese carries carried around 10 planes less then their American counterparts.

More capable escorts and supply ships would also have helped and that has been discussed above.

The Japanese did not understand the importance of their merchant marine, this is demonstrated most clearly by the lack of their attack upon the American merchants. The Japanese preferred to use their submarines in a more direct military role, in the beginning the Japanese had more and better subs but kept most of them close to home and protecting sea lanes. The only effort made to put subs off the US coast was in early 42 and its primary mission was to watch war ships leaving port.

The problems faced in Japan were not limited to naval construction but were rooted deep in the Japanese economy. Post war they sough to learn from the US (the best manufacturers in the world) because everything had been destroyed. This is how they got to be where they are today. Had they won, they would have kept on doing what they had been doing.

#13 Balderdasher

Balderdasher

    Dishonorably Discharged

  • Dishonorably Discharged
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 91 posts

Posted 13 June 2007 - 11:00 PM

The Japanese did not understand the importance of their merchant marine, this is demonstrated most clearly by the lack of their attack upon the American merchants. The Japanese preferred to use their submarines in a more direct military role, in the beginning the Japanese had more and better subs but kept most of them close to home and protecting sea lanes. The only effort made to put subs off the US coast was in early 42 and its primary mission was to watch war ships leaving port.


It was ironica that Nimitz wrote on behalf of Donitz convicted of war crimes for the very same thing we did he pointed out. Also, as you mentioned, the Japanese Navy thought it 'dishonourable' to attack civilian targets. Yamamoto wrote he was surprised the West did so as it was, as Nimitz pointed out, a clear violation of their own laws.

Critics point out that the Japanese had orders not to attack the 'civilian' port facilities and oil storage etc, when clearly destroying those would force the US fleet to retire back to the continent for fuel supplies.

I just find it incredible that the Japanese, as you said, still refused to prepare and take seriously enough, till too late, the threat of a naval blockade by submarines. They had the best submarines in the world too, yet tied down to ill-advised roles supporting surface elements then dis-armed and running supplies to cut-off island garrisons for the rest of the war.

I just wonder how different it would have been if the IJN had learnt the lessons of the RN and USN vs Uboats as they supposedly did in Taranto to Pearl Harbour.

Not that we don't get locked in our own immobile though wrong philosophies on war, look at trench warfare in ww1 and how keeping that mentality through to ww2 cost us severely.

#14 tikilal

tikilal

    Ace

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,133 posts

Posted 14 June 2007 - 01:59 PM

Not that we don't get locked in our own immobile though wrong philosophies on war, look at trench warfare in ww1 and how keeping that mentality through to ww2 cost us severely.



Care to elaborate on this?

#15 Balderdasher

Balderdasher

    Dishonorably Discharged

  • Dishonorably Discharged
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 91 posts

Posted 17 June 2007 - 06:35 AM

Care to elaborate on this?


To the British including Canadians, the word 'Paschandale' was a foreboding term regarding the tens of thousands sent to deliberate slaughter because the inertia at the top to change minds on how to fight this new trench-warfare was too great. WW1 started with grand Napoleonic-yet strategies of whose rail network was superior to drop of which armies more mobile or quick-marched and hundreds of thousands of cavalry to turn flanks and exploit eachother's rear. That still happened on the Eastern Front and Middle-east, but on the Western Front the trenches and massive artillery and new machine guns completely changed the face of warfare. Yet month after month, year after year, no new tactics were accepted. Like butting your head against the wall over and over.

"It has to be this way because the manual says so."

The British invented the tank and although not really as successful as our propaganda made it out to be, both sides realized it was the end of static defenses. Or did they?

The French fell into the Maginot Line philosophy and their entire military planning was hinged on that one contingency. There was no 'Plan B'.

Despite the lessons of the Chinese and Spanish Civil Wars, all sides still believed that 'the bomber will always get through', despite the rise of new fighters like the Me109.

Despite watching what the RAF did to the Luftwaffe bomber formations throughout the first half of the war, the USAF refused to believe it needed fighters to escort its daylight bombers over Reich targets. The Fortresses in box formation were invinvincible even to the 109 and the Marauders and Baltimores were too fast to be detected, plotted and intercepted in time.

US Admiral King despise the British so much he refused to take their advice on even coastal black-outs, convoys, escorts and land-based recons and asw squadrons. It took a threat of dismissal from FDR for him to listen to his British advisors.

To this day, according to the American Ordinance Bureau and weapons lab records, the Goat Island monopoly on torpedos was never admitted a failure. Lobbied Congressmen prevented the diversification, outsourcing and independent testing by just American labs leaving American submarines and torpedo bombers working with what is still by American Weapons Testing Manuals 'the best torpedos in the world', when they were horrible, till replaced late in the war and even then, just adequate.

The M4 Sherman could have been replaced by a far superior tank had America the Will to do so. The argument for numbers is justified only if you accept that America didn't fully mobilize herself till almost 1944, by her choice.

Despite months of 'mercenary'(terrorists to Japanese) reports from Gen Chennault fighting the Japanese with American planes in China during that Civil War of superior Japanese fighters and bomber accuracy, the US State Dep't brushed him off saying such planes were assured by the US weapons experts to be 'impossible'. Then they met the Zero. Then 2 British battleships were sunk by 'near-sighted monkey people with no sense of balance because their monthers carried them on their backs as children'(quoting, no offense).

The list goes on and on, not only a Japanese or German or Italian failing, but every nation suffered these in some way or another.

Today we're spending trillions on a Star Wars program that still hasn't passed our initial test qualifications from 10 years ago.
We're focusing spending on a missile defense shield when we say we're in a war against terrorism.

We have leaderships out there that are conciously refusing even majority consensus advice on issues. Military or not.

The United States is still spending and planning for conventional even tactical and strategic nuclear war vs Russia even China and totally unprepared to deal with rogue states like North Korea and Iran.

It's like the British taking so long to figure out that the Colonial Revolutionists weren't playing by the rules anymore. Were't lining up as expected and pounding it out like 'gentleman', but instead firing from hidden positions even without uniforms. George Washington even had one of his few successes in attacking during the Christmas truce. But the thick-headed British leadership just couldn't learn in time.

That's some examples to go along with my criticism of Japan, Germany and Italy.

ok?




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users