D-Day
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06-06-2016, 08:06 PM (This post was last modified: 07-06-2016 01:01 AM by RocketSurgeon76.)
RE: D-Day
(06-06-2016 06:02 PM)Banjo Wrote:  What if Japan won Midway etc?

I'm almost certain they would have, if the Japanese had ordered the final strike on Pearl Harbor, instead of retreating out of fear of the missing aircraft carriers (a justified fear, considering what happened at Midway) that had recently been in port.

Having already neutralized Midway's [Edit] Pearl's air defenses and fields, as well as crippling the fleet, they could have moved on to bombing the strategic objective-- the entire fuel supply for the US Pacific Fleet was effectively in one spot, just adjacent to Battleship Row. Had they taken that out, the US PacFlt would have been forced to base out of the US west coast, plus a few small bases not really equipped to handle a heavy fleet, and would not have been nearly as effective in the early stages of the war. The US submarine fleet would have had difficulty extending their patrols into the Japanese territorial waters, especially if the Japanese (relieved of the issue of dealing with the US fleet carriers out of PH) then managed to neutralize or capture Brisbane and Perth, the two major Australian sub bases.

Admiral Yamamoto had already warned the Japanese High Command that the best he could do would be to dominate/contain the US and allied forces in the Pacific for 18 months... which is about how long he managed to do so, even without successfully neutralizing the base at Pearl Harbor (he was more successful at destroying our fleet than prewar planning had anticipated, even without the carriers there). Had we been forced to cross the entire ocean, and thus been less able to strike at the Japanese islands in the South Pacific, it might have been a very different war.

I don't think the Japanese were capable of engaging the Russians on equal terms. The (non-upgraded) T-34 might have been obsolete by 1942-43, but it was more than a match for the pathetic tanks the Japanese fielded at the time. They had little need of armored units in the swamps and mudflats and jungles and mountainous terrain found in their part of the far east, but to engage the Soviets in an offensive move would have required moving out into the steppes, where the Red Army would have cut them to ribbons.

A more likely scenario of cooperation would have been the completion/success of their campaign to invade India through Burma, and the domination of the Indian Ocean which would have allowed the Japanese to make contact with German and Italian forces in Egypt, I think.

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06-06-2016, 08:33 PM
RE: D-Day
Quote: Perhaps Hitler's biggest mistake was not rolling onto England following Dunkirk? What if Japan won Midway etc?


Perhaps if he could have neutralized the Royal Navy he would have. But invasion barges were not going to stand up well to a pounding by heavy guns and the weather in the channel could easily have grounded both air forces.

There was a fantastic history of the Pacific War called "The Rising Sun" by John Toland. In it he made the point that the industrial differential between the US and Japan was such that if the IJN had sunk every American ship that was in the Pacific as of Dec. 7 by the summer of 1943 the American fleet would have out weighed the Japanese in every category. Capturing Midway would have given the IJN a 2,000 mile salient to nowhere. Its value was as a lure for the "decisive battle."

Worse, to the western mind at least, was that the navy high command was fully cognizant that they had no chance to win a war of attrition with the US but if they did not strike they would not be in a position to fight at all.

I suppose that made sense to them.

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06-06-2016, 11:33 PM
RE: D-Day
(06-06-2016 06:02 PM)Banjo Wrote:  Perhaps Hitler's biggest mistake was not rolling onto England following Dunkirk?

To add to Min's point:

It wasn't militarily practical. The Kriegsmarine at the start of the war was no match for the Royal Navy, and had suffered recent heavy losses in the Norway campaign right before the Sichelschnitt. An army sufficient to win on English ground would require a massive escort (both air and sea) to ward off the RN, but such escort would be vulnerable to both the RN and the RAF (weather permitting; but barges on open seas in weather is not a good way to go either); hence the campaign to write down the RAF's strength in the Battle of Britain.

Additionally, the RAF was conducting somewhat effective night-raids on continental ports hosting the gathering German bottoms planned to ferry the army over.

An amphibious assault is, to my understanding, second only to parachute-drop in tactical/operational difficulty; our own American experiences at Tarawa, Omaha, and Peleliu demonstrate that. The Germans in 1940 had nowhere near our capability, no forces trained specifically for that sort of operational evolution (unlike our Marines), and I think would have suffered defeat in detail had they even managed to arrive relatively intact. As an operational approach blitzkrieg requires an ample frontage in order to "leak through the holes" -- frontage a ten-mile beachhead doesn't allow.
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06-06-2016, 11:59 PM
RE: D-Day
(06-06-2016 11:33 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  An amphibious assault is, to my understanding, second only to parachute-drop in tactical/operational difficulty; our own American experiences at Tarawa, Omaha, and Peleliu demonstrate that. The Germans in 1940 had nowhere near our capability, no forces trained specifically for that sort of operational evolution (unlike our Marines), and I think would have suffered defeat in detail had they even managed to arrive relatively intact. As an operational approach blitzkrieg requires an ample frontage in order to "leak through the holes" -- frontage a ten-mile beachhead doesn't allow.

This.

Even with all our preparation, heavy naval and air support, and massive collection of landing craft and support ships, the tiny amount of troops (more importantly, supplies, heavy guns, and tanks) we landed on D-Day were in serious danger of being cut off by armored counterattack, had Hitler's incompetence not stopped Rommel from launching the attack until the Allies had enough time to finally ship the equipment across and dig in for the counterattack.

The Wehrmacht, with far less naval support and related equipment, would have been overwhelmed on the beaches unless they could achieve absolute and unquestioned air superiority. That's why the Battle of Britain was so crucial.

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07-06-2016, 12:14 AM (This post was last modified: 07-06-2016 01:35 AM by Thumpalumpacus.)
RE: D-Day
Exactly. Seelowe relied upon the Luftwaffe being able to assist neutralizing the RN. So long as the RAF was a "force-in-being" (to paraphrase Mahan), the same weather which would ground the Luftwaffe and the RAF would likely keep the barges in port, and even it if didn't it reduced the table to navy-vs-navy, and we all know where that goes.

You want to bring over a large ground force, you better have a lot of covering forces. And the Germans didn't have them.
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07-06-2016, 03:20 AM
RE: D-Day
(06-06-2016 08:06 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Having already neutralized Midway's [Edit] Pearl's air defenses and fields, as well as crippling the fleet, they could have moved on to bombing the strategic objective-- the entire fuel supply for the US Pacific Fleet was effectively in one spot, just adjacent to Battleship Row.

"I recently watched a documentary and there was an interview with a JN pilot who commented on this. They were worried the smoke would obscure the second attack, so left it alone."

Admiral Yamamoto had already warned the Japanese High Command that the best he could do would be to dominate/contain the US and allied forces in the Pacific for 18 months... which is about how long he managed to do so, even without successfully neutralizing the base at Pearl Harbor (he was more successful at destroying our fleet than prewar planning had anticipated, even without the carriers there). Had we been forced to cross the entire ocean, and thus been less able to strike at the Japanese islands in the South Pacific, it might have been a very different war.

"Indeed."

I don't think the Japanese were capable of engaging the Russians on equal terms. The (non-upgraded) T-34 might have been obsolete by 1942-43, but it was more than a match for the pathetic tanks the Japanese fielded at the time. They had little need of armored units in the swamps and mudflats and jungles and mountainous terrain found in their part of the far east, but to engage the Soviets in an offensive move would have required moving out into the steppes, where the Red Army would have cut them to ribbons.

"With the chaos and confusion in the east coupled with an attack on the west at the same time.... We shall never know."

A more likely scenario of cooperation would have been the completion/success of their campaign to invade India through Burma, and the domination of the Indian Ocean which would have allowed the Japanese to make contact with German and Italian forces in Egypt, I think.

"I think Germany already had its hands full. And Hitler was obsessed with the east. He speaks about it all through Mein Kampf."

(06-06-2016 08:33 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  
Quote: Perhaps Hitler's biggest mistake was not rolling onto England following Dunkirk? What if Japan won Midway etc?


Perhaps if he could have neutralized the Royal Navy he would have. But invasion barges were not going to stand up well to a pounding by heavy guns and the weather in the channel could easily have grounded both air forces.

There was a fantastic history of the Pacific War called "The Rising Sun" by John Toland. In it he made the point that the industrial differential between the US and Japan was such that if the IJN had sunk every American ship that was in the Pacific as of Dec. 7 by the summer of 1943 the American fleet would have out weighed the Japanese in every category. Capturing Midway would have given the IJN a 2,000 mile salient to nowhere. Its value was as a lure for the "decisive battle."

Worse, to the western mind at least, was that the navy high command was fully cognizant that they had no chance to win a war of attrition with the US but if they did not strike they would not be in a position to fight at all.

I suppose that made sense to them.

"Everyone was confused on both the German and British side. Adolf Galland speaks about it at length in his book, The first and the last. All it achieved was time for the British to rearm, train more pilots, perfect radar etc The weather was also very good that summer of 1940.

The Luftwaffe could have dealt with the navy as the RAF was decimated following the French debacle. Look how easily the Japanese took out the prince of Wales and Repulse. 109's and 110's would not have to travel so far. Certainly not over London. And the British army had no weapons, having left them at Dunkirk. The Germans also had a large glider force. The British home guard was armed with broomsticks. Not much trouble for paratroopers.

The real reason is Hitler did not wish to fight the British. The war was never meant to go west. It was supposed to hit Poland and then go east. Lebensraum."

Of course it's all speculation.

Personally I believe it all began with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand."

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07-06-2016, 05:19 AM
RE: D-Day
(06-06-2016 08:06 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  
(06-06-2016 06:02 PM)Banjo Wrote:  What if Japan won Midway etc?

I'm almost certain they would have, if the Japanese had ordered the final strike on Pearl Harbor, instead of retreating out of fear of the missing aircraft carriers (a justified fear, considering what happened at Midway) that had recently been in port.
There was no "third attack" planned at Pearl and such an attack would not have put Pearl Harbor out of business. The raid was intended to temporarily immobilize a significant portion of the US Fleet. Combatants were targeted, not infrastructure, because that's what the IJN could damage. They couldn't destroy the repair facilities, they couldn't destroy the fuel storage. Their targets were, first priority, "four battleships and four carriers".
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07-06-2016, 05:20 AM
RE: D-Day
(06-06-2016 08:06 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Admiral Yamamoto had already warned the Japanese High Command that the best he could do would be to dominate/contain the US and allied forces in the Pacific for 18 months... which is about how long he managed to do so, even without successfully neutralizing the base at Pearl Harbor (he was more successful at destroying our fleet than prewar planning had anticipated, even without the carriers there). Had we been forced to cross the entire ocean, and thus been less able to strike at the Japanese islands in the South Pacific, it might have been a very different war.

"I will run wild for six months to a year. After that I promise nothing."
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07-06-2016, 10:28 AM
RE: D-Day
(07-06-2016 05:19 AM)Gawdzilla Wrote:  There was no "third attack" planned at Pearl and such an attack would not have put Pearl Harbor out of business. The raid was intended to temporarily immobilize a significant portion of the US Fleet. Combatants were targeted, not infrastructure, because that's what the IJN could damage. They couldn't destroy the repair facilities, they couldn't destroy the fuel storage. Their targets were, first priority, "four battleships and four carriers".

The Japanese strategic disregard of the fragile oil infrastructure was incredible. They simply did not attack oil supply at Pearl Harbor, neither US oilers nor tankers in the Pacific.

On top of that a second strike (originally planned to focus on the dockyards, fuel tanks, and remaining ships) was canceled, which reflected preoccupation of Japanese commanders with tactical rather than logistical targets.


[...]

Whereas, the fuel supplies at Pearl Harbor were crucial for the US Navy to bring the war to the Japanese Navy. Admiral Chester W. Nimitz summed up the situation best, “Had the Japanese destroyed the oil, it would have prolonged the war another two years.”

[Image: Slide1.jpg]

http://karbuz.blogspot.com/2006/10/oil-l...wii-2.html

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07-06-2016, 10:35 AM (This post was last modified: 07-06-2016 10:46 AM by RocketSurgeon76.)
RE: D-Day
(07-06-2016 05:20 AM)Gawdzilla Wrote:  
(06-06-2016 08:06 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Admiral Yamamoto had already warned the Japanese High Command that the best he could do would be to dominate/contain the US and allied forces in the Pacific for 18 months... which is about how long he managed to do so, even without successfully neutralizing the base at Pearl Harbor (he was more successful at destroying our fleet than prewar planning had anticipated, even without the carriers there). Had we been forced to cross the entire ocean, and thus been less able to strike at the Japanese islands in the South Pacific, it might have been a very different war.

"I will run wild for six months to a year. After that I promise nothing."

The actual quote is:

“In the first six to twelve months of a war with the United States and Great Britain I will run wild and win victory upon victory. But then, if the war continues after that, I have no expectation of success.” – Isoroku Yamamoto

I was referring to the MAXIMUM figure Yamamoto provided to the JHC in prewar planning, as reported by Toland (I forget the reference and frankly don't want to go dig the book out of my box of books) which was that the US would be able to ramp up industrial production by that point in order to strategically overwhelm the IJN.

The tactical probability, which is expressed in the more frequent quote, was that the US would be able to repair the damage done at Pearl--being a shallow harbor where ships can (and were) raised and repaired [Edit to Add: as well as transferring ships from Pacific Coast and Atlantic commands, not just the repairs, which did take longer than 6 months in most cases, sorry for confusion of statement]--sufficiently to neutralize his dominance of the Pacific within 6-12 months. He underestimated the amount of damage they were able to do to the fleet in the attack, and of course they missed the carriers, but he turned out to be right on in terms of how long it took us to start winning against the IJN.

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