D-Day
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08-06-2016, 09:25 PM
RE: D-Day
(08-06-2016 04:32 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  
Quote:Indeed. Between the Kokoda Trail and the Guadalcanal campaign, their Pacific resources were already strained severely.

They also had to support troops in the Aleutians, in the Philippines where a partisan insurgency was beginning, in Burma/India agains the British, and China. Add that to the pre-war garrisons of the Marshalls, Marianas, Gilberts, Truk, Iwo Jima, etc. and the logistical overload becomes apparent.

They lacked the industrial base and the transport capacity. Nor could they properly escort those ships they did send out.


Of course. I think their involvement in China was the backbreaker. Rather than the 1937 invasion, consolidate the 1931 conquest, and economize troops for use elsewhere. Also, don't attack America when your production is only a fraction of your victim's.

But what do I know? I'm just some idiot online.
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09-06-2016, 01:02 AM
RE: D-Day
I think the Japanese underestimated American stubbornness (as they would have seen it). They thought they could damage us just enough-- enough to cause us to allow them to "consolidate" what they had captured, and have a settled end to the conflict with us. They failed to grasp the depth of genuine American outrage.

The Pearl Harbor attack, whether premeditated surprise or an accident of failure to deliver the war declaration in time, "awoke a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve" (Yamamoto didn't actually say that, btw), in which we would flex our massive economy and in doing so capture most of the resources of the world, allowing the massive economic boom of the late 40s to the early 70s.

Why settle for allowing the Japanese Empire to dominate the economy of Southeast Asia and the South Pacific, when we can take the whole world for ourselves?

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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09-06-2016, 01:15 AM
RE: D-Day
(08-06-2016 02:25 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  
(08-06-2016 02:00 PM)Deesse23 Wrote:  The common definition of aircrew does not include mechanics. Mechanics are way less important than actual flight crew. They can be replaced much easier.

I would disagree. A non-flying airplane is a big paperweight, no matter how many flying crew are available. And the skill to diagnose and repair carrier planes in that demanding environment doesn't come easy. But having said that, even those 110 aircrew you mention were largely veterans of the Kido Butai's six-month run, and represented a fantastic loss. Whether you want to call maintenance crew aircrew or not, the fact is that large numbers of them were lost at Midway, and that loss was felt.

Have you looked into the inefficiencies of the Japanese pilot-training programs? The Americans rotated experienced pilots home to fill a training billet as a atter of policy; the Japanese kept their aces in combat insofar as they could, much like the Germans. Training washed out large numbers, graduating small numbers, making each flier that much more valuable.

A nice overview of several of these issues can be read here: http://www.historynet.com/japans-fatally...r-ii-2.htm

Its called Aircrew for a reason i think, Wiki also supports this (but we all know Wiki is not the be all end all). The people in the plane define its performance, not the ground crew (thats what mechanics are). For mechanics you need technicians which can be trained fairly easily, on the ground, with handbooks, etc. The experience of flying personnel can only be gained with flying time. Thats why air crew is so much more valuable and costs so much time.

I was responding to your argument that the Japanese lost "hundreds" of pilots/aircrew at midway. Facts are that in fact the loss of personnel amongst those werent as high as in some later battles. In at least two of the 4 carriers that were hit, the major losses of life were due to crews trapped in engineering spaces below the hangars, thats why they were able to do still 30kn for quite some time before they had to be stopped and abandoned.

No question the 110 pilots lost at Midway were a fantastic loss, but even more so, the 145 at Santa Cruz. Midway was a loss, Santa Cruz a Phyrrus victory which can be even worse than a loss, thats why we kept that word until today. In summary after Midway and Santa Cruz the elite of Kido Butai was done, we surely can agree on this one i guess.

I guess i forgot to give my evaluation about the most decisive point of the struggle in the pacific:

There is none, not even Midway.

The whole concept of the US was to avoid the decisive battle the japanese were looking for, and thats what happened. Midway just demonstrated that Yamamoto was correct in his asessment of how the war vs the US would turn out. Id didnt change anything fundamentally or decide anything. The japanese fleet and army was still strong enough to make it a damn close call at Guadalcanal, even given all the horrific decisions they made there.

If Midway was lost to the americans, some other battle 6 or 12 months later would have torn the heart of the japanes carrier fleet. sooner or later it was doomed, and thats exactly what Yamamoto promised. I am not downplaying the excellent performance (and luck lets be honest Wink ) of the american commanders and aircrews, Midway was spectacular, but *only* a signpost.

By the way, same for Stalingrad, which so many depict as decisive for the eastern front. I see Stalingrad like Midway: A signpost.
The eastern Fron was doomed when in summer of 1942 (as the wehrmacht renewed its efforts, and even given the failure in winter 1941 was still capable of anything) it was decided to go for 2 separate war goals at one. The capture of the Baku oil fields and denying the Wolga river to the soviet union. Its quite possible theat each goal could have been achieved separately, and we dont know what would have happened if germany have had enough oil, but with split forces running into the caucasus and for the Wolga simultaneously it was only a matter of time, the russians would find a weak spot in the far overstetched lines of Heeresgruppe Süd, namely 6th army with its weak flanks covered by far less well trained and equipped german allies.

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09-06-2016, 04:45 AM
RE: D-Day
(09-06-2016 01:02 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  .

The Pearl Harbor attack, whether premeditated surprise or an accident of failure to deliver the war declaration in time, "awoke a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve" (Yamamoto didn't actually say that, btw), in which we would flex our massive economy and in doing so capture most of the resources of the world, allowing the massive economic boom of the late 40s to the early 70s.

The 14-part message (Teikoku Seifu no Taibei Tsucho Oboegaki) was not a declaration of war. It did not break off negotiations with the US. It was not an ultimatum. The actual declaration of war by Japan against the US was not written until after the Gaimudaijin was informed of the attacks on Hawaii and Malaya. It consisted of one sentence.
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09-06-2016, 01:52 PM
RE: D-Day
(09-06-2016 04:45 AM)Gawdzilla Wrote:  
(09-06-2016 01:02 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  .

The Pearl Harbor attack, whether premeditated surprise or an accident of failure to deliver the war declaration in time, "awoke a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve" (Yamamoto didn't actually say that, btw), in which we would flex our massive economy and in doing so capture most of the resources of the world, allowing the massive economic boom of the late 40s to the early 70s.

The 14-part message (Teikoku Seifu no Taibei Tsucho Oboegaki) was not a declaration of war. It did not break off negotiations with the US. It was not an ultimatum. The actual declaration of war by Japan against the US was not written until after the Gaimudaijin was informed of the attacks on Hawaii and Malaya. It consisted of one sentence.

I stand corrected. I still don't quite understand the outrage over the surprise attack. It seems insane to me to declare you're going to attack an enemy before you do it, giving them time to mitigate the damage you intend to inflict upon their warmaking capacity. The US-led coalition did the same thing against Saddam Hussein in 1991, knocking out his air defense capabilities through the use of helicopters flying at very low levels, followed immediately by stealth aircraft that pushed through the gap in coverage created by the helos in order to knock out almost every element of Iraqi C3I capability before they were even fully aware they were being attacked.

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09-06-2016, 02:39 PM
RE: D-Day
(09-06-2016 01:52 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  
(09-06-2016 04:45 AM)Gawdzilla Wrote:  The 14-part message (Teikoku Seifu no Taibei Tsucho Oboegaki) was not a declaration of war. It did not break off negotiations with the US. It was not an ultimatum. The actual declaration of war by Japan against the US was not written until after the Gaimudaijin was informed of the attacks on Hawaii and Malaya. It consisted of one sentence.

I stand corrected. I still don't quite understand the outrage over the surprise attack. It seems insane to me to declare you're going to attack an enemy before you do it, giving them time to mitigate the damage you intend to inflict upon their warmaking capacity. The US-led coalition did the same thing against Saddam Hussein in 1991, knocking out his air defense capabilities through the use of helicopters flying at very low levels, followed immediately by stealth aircraft that pushed through the gap in coverage created by the helos in order to knock out almost every element of Iraqi C3I capability before they were even fully aware they were being attacked.
First off, Hussein knew we were coming. He just didn't know when. He had been given an ultimatum and failed to comply.

Ambassadors Nomura and Kurusu were still negotiating while the Nagumo Kido Butai was enroute from Hittokapu Bay in the Kuriles to Hawaii. We knew from reading their diplomatic traffic that this was just a stall, designed to hopefully wrong foot us when the attacks came. Sorta worked.

BTW, the rumor that Yamamoto Isoruku was outraged when he heard the "declaration" was delivered late is another fable. He mentioned it once, railing at the Gaimudaijin's incompetence rather than at the "dishonor" the late delivery did to the attack.

In point of fact his only reaction when asked if the Foreign office could send the 14-part message was to demand that it be delivered no more than one-half hour before the schedule time of the attack. Nothing said about it being later than the kick-off of the Pacific War.
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09-06-2016, 02:59 PM
RE: D-Day
Quote: For mechanics you need technicians which can be trained fairly easily, on the ground, with handbooks, etc.


Hmmm..... this is where the discussion moves into sociology. The Italian Air Force had a similar problem: A lack of educated recruits who could be trained.

You can take a rice farmer from the fields, hand him a rifle and train him to use it and fire it in a couple of weeks. But, if you want to train people with handbooks then they have to be literate because you aren't going to teach them sufficient literacy in a wartime training regimen. There are other demands from other services for that pool of people.

Japanese pilot training was woefully ineffective compared to our own. Add in the general obsolescence of their planes compared to Hellcats and Corsairs and top it all off with superior numbers and radar vectoring and it becomes clear that the Kamikazes weren't so fanatical after all. Virtually every mission was a suicide mission against such a well trained/armed opponent.

I would suspect that Japanese ground crews operated on an apprentice system. The senior guy trained someone and, if there was an opening elsewhere, the best trained man got the job. But when both were killed that knowledge was lost.

Fortunately for them, so many of their planes were shot down that they probably didn't have to do a lot of "repairs."

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09-06-2016, 03:06 PM
RE: D-Day
BTW, I agree with you Deese. Japan lost because they had no chance to win. Ever.

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09-06-2016, 06:37 PM
RE: D-Day
(09-06-2016 03:06 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  BTW, I agree with you Deese. Japan lost because they had no chance to win. Ever.

If you read the five monograph set titled "Political Strategy Prior to the Outbreak of War" it's clear that most Japanese agreed with that. But they didn't see a way out of the trap the militarists had put them in and there was a fair chance of being assassinated if they even proposed something along those lines.
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09-06-2016, 06:53 PM (This post was last modified: 10-06-2016 02:07 AM by Thumpalumpacus.)
RE: D-Day
(09-06-2016 01:15 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  Its called Aircrew for a reason i think, Wiki also supports this (but we all know Wiki is not the be all end all). The people in the plane define its performance, not the ground crew (thats what mechanics are). For mechanics you need technicians which can be trained fairly easily, on the ground, with handbooks, etc. The experience of flying personnel can only be gained with flying time. Thats why air crew is so much more valuable and costs so much time.

I am not arguing that maintenance crews are equally difficult to train. I am arguing that their loss is also telling. A plane that cannot take off is a target, and nothing more. The experience the Japanese lost at Midway resounded much more than just in aircrew.

(09-06-2016 01:15 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  I was responding to your argument that the Japanese lost "hundreds" of pilots/aircrew at midway. Facts are that in fact the loss of personnel amongst those werent as high as in some later battles. In at least two of the 4 carriers that were hit, the major losses of life were due to crews trapped in engineering spaces below the hangars, thats why they were able to do still 30kn for quite some time before they had to be stopped and abandoned.

The thing is, McClusky and Leslie hit the Japanese carriers while they were re-re-arming a strike. You had a bunch of airedales in the area, a bunch of bombs laying around, a bunch of torpedoes racked, and wet fuel lines. The guys who were working the nuts and bolts of the operation were at ground zero. Are they replaceable? Sure, sure they are. Does the time required to train their replacements matter in war? It sure does.

(09-06-2016 01:15 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  No question the 110 pilots lost at Midway were a fantastic loss, but even more so, the 145 at Santa Cruz. Midway was a loss, Santa Cruz a Phyrrus victory which can be even worse than a loss, thats why we kept that word until today. In summary after Midway and Santa Cruz the elite of Kido Butai was done, we surely can agree on this one i guess.

Absolutely. As I said upthread, I think Midway or the 'Canal might either one be the most decisive. I don't think Santa Cruz was, although your point about attrition is well-made. The more I think about it, the more Guadalcanal seems heavier, insofar as it ran down resources for their war effort as a whole. Not counting combatant losses, simply the losses in shipping and the expended energy in reinforcing a defeat that seems in hindsight inevitable from the middle of November 1942 strikes me as more decisive.

(09-06-2016 01:15 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  I guess i forgot to give my evaluation about the most decisive point of the struggle in the pacific:

There is none, not even Midway.

The whole concept of the US was to avoid the decisive battle the japanese were looking for, and thats what happened. Midway just demonstrated that Yamamoto was correct in his asessment of how the war vs the US would turn out. Id didnt change anything fundamentally or decide anything. The japanese fleet and army was still strong enough to make it a damn close call at Guadalcanal, even given all the horrific decisions they made there.

If Midway was lost to the americans, some other battle 6 or 12 months later would have torn the heart of the japanes carrier fleet. sooner or later it was doomed, and thats exactly what Yamamoto promised. I am not downplaying the excellent performance (and luck lets be honest Wink ) of the american commanders and aircrews, Midway was spectacular, but *only* a signpost.

No argument here, either. Even Yamamoto understood that any victory could only be political. Military victory was not within the Japanese grasp, due to economic factors.

(09-06-2016 01:15 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  By the way, same for Stalingrad, which so many depict as decisive for the eastern front. I see Stalingrad like Midway: A signpost.
The eastern Fron was doomed when in summer of 1942 (as the wehrmacht renewed its efforts, and even given the failure in winter 1941 was still capable of anything) it was decided to go for 2 separate war goals at one. The capture of the Baku oil fields and denying the Wolga river to the soviet union. Its quite possible theat each goal could have been achieved separately, and we dont know what would have happened if germany have had enough oil, but with split forces running into the caucasus and for the Wolga simultaneously it was only a matter of time, the russians would find a weak spot in the far overstetched lines of Heeresgruppe Süd, namely 6th army with its weak flanks covered by far less well trained and equipped german allies.

I personally think the Germans lost the war when Zhukov's Moscow offensive kicked them back towards Minsk. That war, too, was a war in which the aggressor could only reasonably hope for a political victory. A military victory simply could not happen for the Germans.

As soon as the Russians were able to stop the tide and husband their strength, the Germans were doomed. Even the offensive in 1942, with its bifurcated goals, seems like an act of desperation, from the perspective of hindsight on the Internet. Smile
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