Japanese winning move for WWII?

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neil hilton
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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by neil hilton » Thu May 20, 2010 1:41 pm

Bgile wrote: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.
Wasn't Hitlers Atlantic Wall already under construction in late 1941 early 1942?
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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by Bgile » Thu May 20, 2010 2:54 pm

neil hilton wrote:Wasn't Hitlers Atlantic Wall already under construction in late 1941 early 1942?
I don't know, but I think that was a good idea. Hitler didn't have to defend a very large island where the enemy had many viable choices of places to land. Every situation is different.

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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by lwd » Thu May 20, 2010 4:23 pm

neil hilton wrote: ... 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.
I'm pretty sure that one initial plan was to fall back to Battan and defend from there. I think another was to counter attack the landing beaches. The Philipines simply had too many beaches and were too large to defend all of them. Fuirthermore assaults on some areas could be easily contained. If Mac had planned on defending all the beaches why didn't he in the historical case? Note that pretty much all the Japanese landings were unopposed.

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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by neil hilton » Fri May 21, 2010 10:07 am

If you don't have enough to defend the whole perimeter then I suppose MacArthur was forced into defending only what he could and hoping Plan Orange could bring over reinforcements in time.
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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by lwd » Fri May 21, 2010 2:31 pm

Given a few more months he might also been in postion to counter attack the Japanese landings. Particularly if they weren't significantly stornger than the historical ones.

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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by neil hilton » Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:43 am

Not sure if a few more months would make a difference. Americas pre-war standing army was what? 100000 men total. Not enough to make much of a difference even if they did elect to send every man under arms to the Philippines.
It takes months to recruit, train and equip an army and even then most of those new troops would be prioritised for home defence I think rather than being sent overseas. I believe the Philippines were pretty much indefensible, but I think the intention would have been to create a guerilla war to tie down the Japanese troops and hold out as long as possible.
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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by lwd » Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:40 pm

The combination of US and Philipino troops on Dec 7 out numbered the attacking Japanese. This is somewhat misleading as a lot of the Philipino troops were poorly trained and didn't have weapons. However given even 2 or 3 more months that could well have changed. Training was underway at the time as were shipments of weapons and munitions. Now in the long term the Japanese can just commit more forces but the campaign is going to be a lot more costly in terms of men, material, and time. The Japanese can't really afford any of those.

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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by RF » Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:54 am

Unless they scaled down their military commitments in China, which is where the bulk of non-navel forces were commited.
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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by Bgile » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:30 pm

RF wrote:Unless they scaled down their military commitments in China, which is where the bulk of non-navel forces were commited.
Sure, but isn't the debate about whether the actual invasion could have been defeated? In any case the Japanese were convinced that they were racially superior and it probably didn't matter to them very much how many US troops were committed, within reason.

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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by RF » Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:44 pm

The point I was making was that without the major commiments the Japanese were increasing in the land war in China their Philipines invasion force could have been landed bigger forces to tip the balance against an enhanced defence, where the invasion is thus not defeated.
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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by lwd » Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:03 pm

I suspect they could have. Whether they would have or if they did whether they would have raised it enough is another problem. Historically the Japanese seemed to discount the fighting capability of their opponents. Given the increase in quality, equipment, and numbers of Philippino troops I'm not sure they would have compensated enough. Particularly since Mac wouldn't have been taken by surprise in this scenario (he didn't seem to react well to surprises) and the longer time frame would favor the numbers more than some of the other battles the Japanese fought early in the war.

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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by neil hilton » Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:33 am

Regarding the small arms shipment to the Phillipines before the war started, does anyone know what triggered this? Was it the Japanese occupation of French Indo China or something else?
If the Japanese had tried a more diplomatic approach in Indo China and the Dutch East Indies (ie not just stomping in but pressing for a softer occupation just to secure resources rather than full military control) then the British and US may not have been as annoyed. Thus no embargos, no excessive raising of tensions in the area. So that would allow Japan to concentrate exclusively on China.
How would that end?
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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by lwd » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:00 am

I believe the Japanese incursions into French Indochina were a major contributor. It was becoming clear in mid to late 41 that avoiding war with Japan was probably not possible and the Philippines weren't ready for it.

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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by RF » Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:23 pm

neil, how do you have a ''softer occupation?'' You are either under occupation or control - or not.

If there is such a thing then the Japanese could have ''toned down'' their aggression in China.
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Re: Japanese winning move for WWII?

Post by neil hilton » Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:58 am

RF wrote:neil, how do you have a ''softer occupation?'' You are either under occupation or control - or not.

If there is such a thing then the Japanese could have ''toned down'' their aggression in China.
The idea I had was instead of just piling lots of troops into a country and completely occupying it militarily just browbeat them diplomatically and then send in fewer 'military advisers' and civilian administrators keeping it all low key. The intention is to secure the resources. In a similar way to many of the early european colonisation efforts went. After all the Japanese were basically trying to make an empire.
To be honest I don't think the Japanese aggressive military mindedness at that time would have allowed them to do this, because it would have left the diplomats in charge rather than the military.
In all I don't think its realisticaly possible for Japan to avoid war with the west while still at war with China. Not without a major shift in attitudes.
The Japanese army was basically out of the governments control, doing whatever they wanted.
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