Japanese winning move for WWII?

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lwd
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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by lwd » Thu May 13, 2010 7:17 pm

There was a lot in the pipeline. I believe some if not most of the B-17's at PH were scheduled for the Philipines. There was at least one shipload of weapons that was between Pearl and the Philipines when the war broke out as well.
Here's a google book reference:
http://books.google.com/books?id=lnf4Wn ... &q&f=false
In part because the Philipines were scheduled for independence in 1946 the US had cut back on defences there but as the above source indicates priorities changed in 1941 and by the time of PH the US was devoting significant resources to their defence. Even a few months more could have made at least some difference.

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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by RF » Fri May 14, 2010 8:19 am

neil hilton wrote:
Heres another thought. Yamamoto predicted, quite accurately, the inevitable US reaction to PH with his '6 months to run wild' saying. But this thread has postulated that his strategy in those 6 months and later was questionable. Does this suggest Yamamoto would have made a better politician than admiral. Or is that too controversial?
As a politician Yammamoto couldn't have done any worse than Tojo. But the most likely outcome was that the IJA would have caused him to be assasinated. He was safer as an admiral.
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neil hilton
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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by neil hilton » Fri May 14, 2010 9:48 am

RF wrote:
neil hilton wrote:
Heres another thought. Yamamoto predicted, quite accurately, the inevitable US reaction to PH with his '6 months to run wild' saying. But this thread has postulated that his strategy in those 6 months and later was questionable. Does this suggest Yamamoto would have made a better politician than admiral. Or is that too controversial?
As a politician Yammamoto couldn't have done any worse than Tojo. But the most likely outcome was that the IJA would have caused him to be assasinated. He was safer as an admiral.
Not that safer it turns out after all! :wink:
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neil hilton
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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by neil hilton » Fri May 14, 2010 9:53 am

lwd wrote:There was a lot in the pipeline. I believe some if not most of the B-17's at PH were scheduled for the Philipines. There was at least one shipload of weapons that was between Pearl and the Philipines when the war broke out as well.
Here's a google book reference:
http://books.google.com/books?id=lnf4Wn ... &q&f=false
In part because the Philipines were scheduled for independence in 1946 the US had cut back on defences there but as the above source indicates priorities changed in 1941 and by the time of PH the US was devoting significant resources to their defence. Even a few months more could have made at least some difference.
Planes and weapons are good but its boots on the ground that stop invasions, how many troops would be necessary to make the Phillipines defendable?
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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by lwd » Fri May 14, 2010 2:15 pm

neil hilton wrote: ... Planes and weapons are good but its boots on the ground that stop invasions, how many troops would be necessary to make the Phillipines defendable?
The plans included training a large force of Philipino's. Some of this was to leave them with a capable defence force once they were independent.
From:
http://www.history.army.mil/brochures/pi/pi.htm
On 21 December 1935, the new Philippine National Assembly passed the Philippines National Defense Act that outlined the commonwealth's plan for its self-defense. It envisioned a small force of 10,000 men supplemented by a 400,000-man reserve, large enough to make any invasion prohibitively expensive.
There were also US troops there and the Philipine Scouts. I seem to recall reading elsehwhere that these numbers were increased but as pointed out in the above source they were short on equipment. That's one reason the equipment was so important it translated pretty quickly into "boots on the ground".

This seems to be a pretty balanced article on the defence of the Philipines:
http://philippine-defenders.lib.wv.us/p ... rt_one.pdf

It is a good question of how much it would take to make the force in the Philipines effective. The Philipinos have before, after, and during WWII shown themselves to be effective fighters the problem was getting them to be effective soldiers. Time and equipment were both key to this.

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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by neil hilton » Mon May 17, 2010 10:29 am

A 400000 man reserve is an impressive force. 10000 regular force is not.
So assuming it was adequately equipped and reasonably trained, how long would it take to mobilize. Remember the Phillipines is a small island, it does not have the territorial depth to absorb a surprise invasion in order to gain time to mobilize a large force, IMO.
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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by lwd » Mon May 17, 2010 7:19 pm

There were also a bit under 40,000 US troops there as well I believe (not sure if that includes the Philipine Scouts or not). I think I've read that they had already started training 100,000 of them but were severely hampered by a lack of supplies including weapons. In the light of the conditions at the time I suspect mobilization would occur fairly quickly and parts might be premobilized. Remember also that the Japanese were not a very well motorized force and didn't have much in the way of armor so there likely would be more time than one might think especially after looking at European engagements. I seriously doubt that all the 400,000 could be trained and equiped in the few additional months allowed but 100,000 or more might be doable. In the generally good defenceive terrain of the Philipines this could have been enough.

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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by neil hilton » Tue May 18, 2010 9:34 am

I think 100000...ish would not be enough to form a proper defensive line but would probably be enough to form strongpoints on defensive terrain features, like Corregidor. In the end these would cause a lot of problems but I don't think they would stop a sucessful invasion.
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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by lwd » Tue May 18, 2010 4:03 pm

neil hilton wrote:I think 100000...ish would not be enough to form a proper defensive line but would probably be enough to form strongpoints on defensive terrain features, like Corregidor. In the end these would cause a lot of problems but I don't think they would stop a sucessful invasion.
Why do you think so? What forces do you think the Japanese will leand with and where? Remember it's not just the 100,000 reservist there are also about 50,000 US and Philipine regulars.
According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippine ... 80%931942) the historical invasion force was only ~130,000 while the mixed Philipine US force was ~150,000 but illtrained and with only ~20% of the artillery called for. Given even a month or two I'm not at all convinced the historical force is sufficient.

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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by neil hilton » Wed May 19, 2010 10:15 am

The defending forces won't really know where the Japanese would land, maybe know a lot of possible beaches etc. And thats the point, they would have to spread the defending force to cover the beaches and 100000 isn't really enough to do that properly IMO.
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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by Bgile » Wed May 19, 2010 1:26 pm

neil hilton wrote:The defending forces won't really know where the Japanese would land, maybe know a lot of possible beaches etc. And thats the point, they would have to spread the defending force to cover the beaches and 100000 isn't really enough to do that properly IMO.
The Japanese showed that it was better when defending a large area not to try to defend all the beaches, but to set up an extremly good defense in depth in an area well suited to defense. Okinawa was a classic example of this. You can't defend all the beaches. What you can do is completely wreck any ports outside your defense locality when you retreat from them.

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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by neil hilton » Wed May 19, 2010 2:36 pm

Bgile wrote:
neil hilton wrote:The defending forces won't really know where the Japanese would land, maybe know a lot of possible beaches etc. And thats the point, they would have to spread the defending force to cover the beaches and 100000 isn't really enough to do that properly IMO.
The Japanese showed that it was better when defending a large area not to try to defend all the beaches, but to set up an extremly good defense in depth in an area well suited to defense. Okinawa was a classic example of this. You can't defend all the beaches. What you can do is completely wreck any ports outside your defense locality when you retreat from them.
This tactic was learned the hard way over the course of the war. Look at the early island defence strategies like Guam, Saipan etc. All defended initially at the waters edge.
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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by Bgile » Wed May 19, 2010 3:46 pm

neil hilton wrote:
Bgile wrote:
neil hilton wrote:The defending forces won't really know where the Japanese would land, maybe know a lot of possible beaches etc. And thats the point, they would have to spread the defending force to cover the beaches and 100000 isn't really enough to do that properly IMO.
The Japanese showed that it was better when defending a large area not to try to defend all the beaches, but to set up an extremly good defense in depth in an area well suited to defense. Okinawa was a classic example of this. You can't defend all the beaches. What you can do is completely wreck any ports outside your defense locality when you retreat from them.
This tactic was learned the hard way over the course of the war. Look at the early island defence strategies like Guam, Saipan etc. All defended initially at the waters edge.
Obviously. And they decided that was a mistake. And that is what you are suggesting the US should do in the PI.

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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by neil hilton » Thu May 20, 2010 9:45 am

What I'm saying is that the lesson of not defending at the waters edge hadn't been learned by any nation at the begining of the war.

Is this a double negative? Oops bad grammer. :wink:
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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by Bgile » Thu May 20, 2010 1:29 pm

Fair enough, but the "lesson" of trying to defend the beaches hadn't been learned either. Each situation is different. It's a matter of looking at your particular circumstances and deciding what is the best way to handle them. If you don't have enough troops to heavily defend all the beaches, you don't. Come to think of it, the Japanese looked at the whole idea from a different point of view anyway. I believe there was a plan for the defense of the Philippines, but there weren't enough troops to carry it out.

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