How would you improve the IJN?

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
dunmunro
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Re: How would you improve the IJN?

Postby dunmunro » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:32 am

Japan was waging a genocidal war in China, and Roosevelt imposed the embargo due to public outcry over Japanese atrocities. Japan could have made peace in China and would have still retained Manchuria. It is quite a stretch to suggest that the USA was guilty of anything in regards to the Japanese attack on the USA, NEI and the Commonwealth.

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Re: How would you improve the IJN?

Postby Byron Angel » Sat Apr 09, 2011 5:47 am

dunmunro wrote:Japan was waging a genocidal war in China, and Roosevelt imposed the embargo due to public outcry over Japanese atrocities. Japan could have made peace in China and would have still retained Manchuria. It is quite a stretch to suggest that the USA was guilty of anything in regards to the Japanese attack on the USA, NEI and the Commonwealth.



..... While fully conceding that the Japanese army was notably bloodthirsty in China, their behavior does not IMO equate to a campaign of genocide, as the word is strictly defined. That distinction is better reserved to the Nazis and the Communists under Stalin's rule. I've also never read of any major groundswell of popular demand by the people of the USA for war with Japan over their activities or atrocities in China. If you could point me to any reference material along that line, I'd be most interested to read it. My understanding is that strong support for isolationism prevailed in America all during the '30s. Even the Japanese attack on the USS PANAY failed to produce major support for war in the US.

As far as stretching points goes, that depends upon whether one views the matter from an American perspective or from the Japanese perspective. I consider it unreasonable to simply dismiss the powerfully damaging effect that the US economic embargo acts had upon the Japanese economy. Then there is the military support provided by the US to China. Add to this the US decision to conduct for the first time in 1940 large-scale naval maneuvers in the Pacific off Hawaii, the re-location of the Pacific Fleet from the West Coast to Pearl Harbor in early 1941, and the simultaeous massive expansion of Pearl Harbor as a major military base, and it is by no means unreasonable for Japan to have interpreted these as anything other than portents of an impending war.

You seem to view these acts of the US as irrelevant; I view them as premeditated.


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Re: How would you improve the IJN?

Postby Bgile » Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:47 am

Byron Angel wrote:You seem to view these acts of the US as irrelevant; I view them as premeditated.


Do you think the US would have done those things if the Japanese hadn't invaded China?

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Re: How would you improve the IJN?

Postby Byron Angel » Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:55 pm

Bgile wrote:
Byron Angel wrote:You seem to view these acts of the US as irrelevant; I view them as premeditated.


Do you think the US would have done those things if the Japanese hadn't invaded China?



..... That calls for "a conclusion of the witness", as they say in TV courtroom dramas. My best guess is probably not, assuming that Japan refrained from any other equally annoying adventurism. On the other hand, I find Japanese restraint to that degree unlikely, given the nature of her government and the thrust of its foreign policy strategy at that time. Japan was unquestionably the most powerful state in East Asia at that time and, after the dismissive snub it had received from the West at Versailles, was irrevocably committed to charting its own course of economic expansion in that region. That meant a collision with either China or the colonial possessions of the West was inevitable.

In the interests of full disclosure, I will say that I view Roosevelt's attitude toward Japan as being fundamentally of a geo-political and economic nature rather than one of moral outrage over her bad behavior in China. The moral aspect, I believe, simply provided a convenient and more publically palatable veneer.


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Re: How would you improve the IJN?

Postby Seekanone » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:14 pm

What does most of the last ten threads have to do with how to improve the Nihon Kaigun? Little or nothing that is what. Political semantics aside, what could have been done to improve the Nihon Kaigun? Begin pre-war with the Fleet Replenishment program that included Yamato, Musashi and the two Zuikakus as well as many other ships by deleting the two Yamato class BBs and replacing them with four to five additional Zuikaku class CVs. Provide trained aircrews and technical crews for the carriers in way of personnel and this alone would give Japan a second carrier strike force with which to hit the Allies.
Build smaller, faster battleships, not the B65 class but something about 40,000 tons, speed 31 knots, 8-41cm, 20-10cm AA and sufficient protection against 14inch guns. Four at least would be sufficient to complement the Kongo class as screens for the carriers.
Emphasize convoy defense and ASW techiques in order to prepare for US subs and their war of attrition. Focus on electronic warfare improvements, especially radar in order to counter US techniques. These would not be easily done but instead of building two giant battleships, one huge carrier, have a fourth battleship 30 per cent complete, spend the resources on new carriers, smaller battleship escorts, more aircraft, crews and service personnel. This would not have spelled victory for Japan but it would have made the war much more difficult to win. :?:

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Re: How would you improve the IJN?

Postby RF » Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:52 pm

Byron Angel wrote:
US government cuts off scrap steel sales to Japan. US cuts off oil exports to Japan. US freezes Japanese assets. Taken together, these spell economic ruin for Japan, whose options are then reduced to either: (a) subordinating their entire foreign policy and plans for Asian expansion to American permission and effectively making Japan a vassal state of the US; or (b) going to war in the hope of breaking free from US domination.
B


The US imposed sanctions because Japan attacked China. Japan had no need to attack China or to pursue militaristic expansion. No Japanese aggression, no US sanctions.

Japan wasn't a vassal state of the US at any time.

I repeat, this is blatent propaganda, a complete distortion and twisting of the facts that Dr Geobbels would be proud of.
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Re: How would you improve the IJN?

Postby RF » Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:07 pm

Byron Angel wrote:
Exactly what threat did Japanese incursions onto the Asian mainland pose to vital US interests sufficient to provoke the above-mentioned hostile acts on the part of the US government?


As the US government had made clear to the Japanese government in 1917 any attempt by the Japanese to reduce China into being a Japanese vassel state was unacceptable because it interfered in the free trading relationships between China and the US. The war from 1937 onwards not only interfered with US trade with China, it broke the trading right protocols arising out of the settlement of the 1900 Boxer Rebellion in China which Japan had signed up to. US property in China was attacked and damaged, US citizens harrased and one US warship (USS Panay) was attacked and sunk, a warship there by international agreement which the Japanese government had signed up to.

Incidently I would make the point that the US was under no obligation to trade with Japan or anybody - Japan has no ''right'' to American oil unless the Americans agree to sell it to them. Japan pushed itself into a corner, with oil sanctions applied not just from the US but also Britain and the Netherlands.
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Re: How would you improve the IJN?

Postby RF » Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:14 pm

Seekanone wrote:What does most of the last ten threads have to do with how to improve the Nihon Kaigun?


As you say, nothing. It is unfortunate that threads like this are hijacked for propaganda.

I believe the point has also been made that improving the IJN is rather pointless if Japan could not be on the winning side - it might make Japan harder to defeat, but defeat is still arrived at.

If Japan is to win, then improvements must be made in foreign policy and strategic planning, which takes a much wider ambit than just improving the navy.
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Re: How would you improve the IJN?

Postby neil hilton » Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:45 am

Byron Angel wrote:My opinion strictly - based upon a certain amount of reading on the topics over the years:

The Spanish American War was the result of:
[1] a pretty shameless propaganda campaign on the part of the Hearst newspaper empire.
[2] US discomfort with any sort of European colonial presence in the Americas.
[3] The interest of US business in commercial opportunities offered by Cuba.
[4] Efforts on the part of the indigenous Cuban rebel movement to attract US support for their cause.
The loss of USS MAINE simply offered a convenient rationale and political justification to take the plunge.

US entry into WW1 was the result of:
[1] An intensive long term internal US public relations campaign on the part of the Entente to induce American entry into the war.
[2] Woodrow Wilson's preening Princeton ego.
[3] The very large domestic industrial and business opportunities offered by a massive expansion of US armed forces.
The Zimmerman telegram again offered a convenient political excuse to take the plunge. Mexico, at that point in time convulsed by internal civil war and revolution, was in absolutely no position to undertake anything remotely resembling a credible invasion effort against any neighbor, least of all its powerful neighbor to the North - and Wilson knew that.

B



The point I was trying to make wasn't the 'behind the scenes' reasons for these wars but the way the US public was convinced of the necessity for going to war in these cases. Casus Belli, at least something the masses could understand, right or wrong.
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Re: How would you improve the IJN?

Postby Djoser » Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:13 pm

While I am always appalled when reading about Japanese atrocities, and am very glad for the world they lost the war, it shouldn't be forgotten that the Allies were also guilty of atrocities, and certainly made aggressive use of propaganda--much of which is still blithely accepted by the ignorant masses (what few remain who even care about WW II--this is ancient history to the MTV generation).

No one who reads about the bombing of Dresden--that is, from sources other than those justifying the massacre of untold thousands of civilians (not involved in munitions manufacture) in firestorms as a military necessity--can still regard the Allied record as being so squeaky clean as wartime and post-war propaganda would have it.

The biggest mistake the US made when reacting to Japan's Chinese aggression was to believe that the economic sanctions would actually work, instead of propelling the Japanese at greater speed towards starting a war, as actually transpired. The mindset of the Japanese leaders was completely misunderstood. In trying to avoid war, the US unwittingly brought it on a lot sooner than it might have come.

Or maybe not. Maybe Roosevelt actually did suspect that the Japanese would feel they had no other choice, and that he was therefore egging them on deliberately. Roosevelt was certainly far, far more a hardass in his political/personal dealings than the common people of the USA realized (even years afterward he is still being portrayed as a saintly figure). Surely he realized war would benefit industry and economic recovery.

But I tend to doubt he was really trying to pick a fight.

Nonetheless, I think Byron Angel raises some valid points.

Certainly the Hearst publishing empire did far more than the sinking of the Maine to bring on war in 1898. To mention only one point. 'That happened more than a century ago', some would say. But there are many (myself included) who believe the US citizenry was just now led by the nose ring right into an entirely unnecessary war by Bush Jr, with the aid of a massive jingoistic propaganda campaign. One hundred years from now, people might laugh at the slick gleaming logo and dramatic theme song of the Fox News 'War on Terror' series, and wonder how anyone could have taken it seriously. Or they might still be nauseated and appalled, as I still am.

We also shouldn't forget that less than a hundred years before the Japanese atrocities in China, the USA was engaging in genocide (it's hard to call it anything else, whether it was premeditated or not).


My favorite uncle was a Marine on Okinawa. I am certainly very glad he wasn't tortured to death or starved to death in those incredibly vile POW camps. But it doesn't mean I can't take an honest look at the record of the USA in fighting wars. It's far from spotless.

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Re: How would you improve the IJN?

Postby lwd » Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:23 pm

This is wandering pretty far off topic.
Djoser wrote:... certainly made aggressive use of propaganda--much of which is still blithely accepted by the ignorant masses

While the allies did indeed make aggressive use of propaganda it's worth noteing that the US and perahps to a lesser extent tended to tell the truth (although sometimes a selective version of it) in their propaganda where the axis propaganda often consisted of pure fiction.
No one who reads about the bombing of Dresden--that is, from sources other than those justifying the massacre of untold thousands of civilians (not involved in munitions manufacture) in firestorms as a military necessity--....

It was hardly "untold thousands" and it was indeed a valid military target. This should be continued in an appropriate thread however and not here.
The biggest mistake the US made when reacting to Japan's Chinese aggression was to believe that the economic sanctions would actually work, instead of propelling the Japanese at greater speed towards starting a war, as actually transpired. The mindset of the Japanese leaders was completely misunderstood. In trying to avoid war, the US unwittingly brought it on a lot sooner than it might have come.

Again OT and a worthy topic but not here. I suggest that the situation however is more complex than you imply.
We also shouldn't forget that less than a hundred years before the Japanese atrocities in China, the USA was engaging in genocide (it's hard to call it anything else, whether it was premeditated or not).....

Again I would disagree but let's not do it in this thread.

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Re: How would you improve the IJN?

Postby Djoser » Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:28 pm

Getting back to the topic...

Seekanone wrote:What does most of the last ten threads have to do with how to improve the Nihon Kaigun? Little or nothing that is what. Political semantics aside, what could have been done to improve the Nihon Kaigun? Begin pre-war with the Fleet Replenishment program that included Yamato, Musashi and the two Zuikakus as well as many other ships by deleting the two Yamato class BBs and replacing them with four to five additional Zuikaku class CVs. Provide trained aircrews and technical crews for the carriers in way of personnel and this alone would give Japan a second carrier strike force with which to hit the Allies.
Build smaller, faster battleships, not the B65 class but something about 40,000 tons, speed 31 knots, 8-41cm, 20-10cm AA and sufficient protection against 14inch guns. Four at least would be sufficient to complement the Kongo class as screens for the carriers.
Emphasize convoy defense and ASW techiques in order to prepare for US subs and their war of attrition. Focus on electronic warfare improvements, especially radar in order to counter US techniques. These would not be easily done but instead of building two giant battleships, one huge carrier, have a fourth battleship 30 per cent complete, spend the resources on new carriers, smaller battleship escorts, more aircraft, crews and service personnel. This would not have spelled victory for Japan but it would have made the war much more difficult to win. :?:


We all know nothing could have prevented Japan's defeat. But your suggestions are as viable a course for making that defeat a lot tougher, as any I have seen yet. I do think the training program for pilots being relaxed to increase numbers of carrier pilots would have been as good a move as any. And certainly this would have had to happen to fill out the additional carrier strike force.

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Re: How would you improve the IJN?

Postby Djoser » Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:39 pm

lwd wrote:This is wandering pretty far off topic.

It was hardly "untold thousands" and it was indeed a valid military target. This should be continued in an appropriate thread however and not here.


I was using Dresden as an example of an unjustifiable major bombing attack, and commenting on the vast numbers of civilians killed in that and other raids in Germany and Japan. There were many hundreds of thousands of civilians burned to death, who were not engaging in military production, in the Axis dominated countries. 'Only' 25,000 in Dresden may not seem too high a figure to you, but it certainly seems so to me.

However I agree another thread is the place to take this. And I certainly mean no antagonism, I respect you (and others here I could disagree with concerning this and other issues) a great deal. It wasn't us shooting at each other back then, and I certainly don't wish to do it here--even in words. Debate and discourse, not needless dissension.

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Re: How would you improve the IJN?

Postby RF » Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:01 am

Djoser wrote:Getting back to the topic...

We all know nothing could have prevented Japan's defeat.


Semantically you are incorrect.

I have posted several scenario's where Japan could have been on the winning side of an Axis alliance. But that goes far beyond just improving the IJN.
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Re: How would you improve the IJN?

Postby Djoser » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:50 am

How is that semantically incorrect?

But I'll grant you that had there been some major changes in history (say a Union defeat in the Civil War!), the vast, irresistible American military/industrial juggernaut might not have existed. Though the Northern states would still have been formidable opponents, having most of the heavy industry.

Had Germany's military not been dismantled so thoroughly after WW I, it could have been much more difficult to win the next war. But without that crushing humiliation, would Hitler have gained absolute power?

An early Russian defeat could have been disastrous to the Allied cause, to be sure. But unless Japan had made even greater advances in industrial production that was done in the 50 years before WW II, we still would have beaten Japan. There would have been a much slower buildup due to diversion of resources to the much more challenging European Theater, and it could have taken many more years to achieve final victory perhaps, but I'm inclined to think it was inevitable.

There are lots of ways that Japan could conceivably have won some kind of victory, had history taken a dramatic turn or two. But it would have had to happen well before '39! So I'm inclined to side with Yamamoto on this one!


Now, the one most likely way I think Japan might possibly have achieved some sort of standoff peace treaty such as they desired? If they hadn't attacked Pearl Harbor, and the US Pacific Fleet tried the original Plan Orange. Imagine losing not just the Arizona and the Oklahoma, but the entire battleline? That could have happened, had the Long Lances hit them in deep water. From planes and destroyers as well in a night action perhaps.

The loss of the battleline might not have had such a disastrous effect in and of itself, given that the old battleships were never used for much more than artillery support and slow escorts (other than Surigao of course, but most of the work was already done by the time the BBs opened fire). But the loss of naval personnel alone would have been devastating. And rather than uniting the nation in a desire for furious vengeance after Pearl Harbor, the loss of the entire battleline due to a possibly unpopular US declaration of war without severe provocation could have delivered a serious body blow to US morale.

Please post or PM links to your posts positing a Japanese victory, I would love to see them. I have a couple of books I really enjoyed reading that had many essays on different outcomes to the Pacific War. I'm always up for well-thought alternate history!


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