Japanese Victory at Midway

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minoru genda
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Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby minoru genda » Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:54 pm

It has been discussed many times before but here we go again.

Background. June 1942, Yamamoto gets the big victory he is looking for: the Kido Butai sinks the three USN CVs and the Japanese capture Midway. Don't ask how just let this be the starting point for this thread. What do you think could heppen next?
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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby lwd » Sat Dec 06, 2008 10:40 pm

You really should supply more background info with your PODs. For instance a very significant question is what's the status of the Japanese naval air after the battle? It's not going to be in great shape but do all their CV survive and in what shape how about losses to naval air?

Note also that they may well be better off if they don't capture Midway.

In the long run they are overwhelmed pretty much along historical lines. The collapse may even come quicker if they get more aggressive.

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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby Bgile » Sat Dec 06, 2008 10:54 pm

Well, Japan just helped it's submarine problem, because US Submarines based in PY will now have to travel about 2500 miles more to get to and from their operating area. The Japanese now have a recon and submarine fueling station less than 1500 miles form PH. The US will need to begin harrassing that base asap.

The US is now faced with trying to hold the line in the SW Pacific while preparing to take back Midway. I don't pretend to know enough to be able to predict what happens, but the loss of the carriers plus the survival of the Japanese carriers is huge and might set back US offensive action for a year, just as a guess. That assumes the "Germany first" plan stays intact.

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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:55 pm

OK. Japans wins Midway. So what´s next. I believe that not even Yamamoto knew.

The Japanese moved into Midway so they have a new logistic problem to solve, maybe divert important military transports for the Midway garrison instead of trying to go to Port Moresby or as South as Australia. Japan´s industry cannot prepare many aircraft or ships as the US is already doing.
Somewhere in the Western Coast a huge armada is being assembled whilst US Army poured reinforcements into Hawai, which apart from individual bombing raids is uncontested.
Sometime in 1943 the US retakes Midway with their new CVs and BBs. For the end of the year the Solomon´s are the late stage of a decisive battle, maybe that this time, during one night South Dakota enters combat not against aging Kirishima but with Yamato. The underwater graves of 2,000 US sailors are still in Iron Bottom Sound were a monument proclaims their last measure of devotion.
Anyway, any of this didn´t matter...

August 1945: european born, bred and educated scientists have built the A-Bomb for the US Goverment in order to prevent Hitler to have it first. But Hitler is dead and Germany defeated against numerical masive superior forces. The Bomb will be dropped by a B-29 against Japanese cities. USA wons the war.

Midway will be, as always be, a footnote in History. A very interesting and exciting one. The one note by which I still feel admiration to the US navy, Admiral Nimitz, Spruance and, above all, the fly boys that achieved that victory.

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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby minoru genda » Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:35 am

lwd wrote:You really should supply more background info with your PODs. For instance a very significant question is what's the status of the Japanese naval air after the battle? It's not going to be in great shape but do all their CV survive and in what shape how about losses to naval air?

Yes all IJN CVs survive undamaged. A considerable number of aircraft and pilots are lost and it will take a couple of months to replace I guess but the ships are fine.

lwd wrote:Note also that they may well be better off if they don't capture Midway.

OK we can put up two different scenarios if you want:
1. Japanese victory and capture of Midway.
2. Japanese victory without landing at Midway but reducing the Island to ashes by heavy naval bombardment.

My scenario is more about the the first because historically the Japs wanted to land 5,000 men at Midway but it's ok. In case number 2 if the Japs dont take Midway, how much trouble would the Americans have to supply Midway? Could it become a "bleading ulcer" (like you once said) for the US? Japanese subs would be around.

lwd wrote:In the long run they are overwhelmed pretty much along historical lines. The collapse may even come quicker if they get more aggressive.

I think we all agree in the long run the Japs get overwhelmed but let's talk about how and when. Let's say the Japs get the Salomon's after Midway and then go to the defensive.
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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby lwd » Sun Dec 07, 2008 7:05 am

minoru genda wrote:...
Yes all IJN CVs survive undamaged. A considerable number of aircraft and pilots are lost and it will take a couple of months to replace I guess but the ships are fine.

If it's a considerable number it's going to take more than a couple of months to replace them. If it's some smaller number then they may not start trying to ramp up pilot training which means long term they are in even worse shape that way.
...My scenario is more about the the first because historically the Japs wanted to land 5,000 men at Midway but it's ok.

Shattered Sword cast considerable doubt on the ability of the Japanese to take Midway even if they won the CV battle.
In case number 2 if the Japs dont take Midway, how much trouble would the Americans have to supply Midway? Could it become a "bleading ulcer" (like you once said) for the US? Japanese subs would be around.

The Japanese didn't use thier subs that way and I see no reason this alternative would push them in that direction.
...I think we all agree in the long run the Japs get overwhelmed but let's talk about how and when. Let's say the Japs get the Salomon's after Midway and then go to the defensive.


My guess is they would have stayed on the offensive a bit longer. Maybe throughout 42. This would result in a larger more fragile perimeter with fewer resources in particular oil to support it. It's probably going to collapse faster so sometime in 45 the win is pretty much canceled out.

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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby minoru genda » Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:07 pm

lwd, two questions for you:
If the Japanese stay on the offensive what do you think would be their next move?
If it were up to you what would you do to dalay the American offensive after your Victory at Midway?
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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby minoru genda » Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:23 pm

Bgile wrote:Well, Japan just helped it's submarine problem, because US Submarines based in PY will now have to travel about 2500 miles more to get to and from their operating area. The Japanese now have a recon and submarine fueling station less than 1500 miles form PH. The US will need to begin harrassing that base asap.

The US is now faced with trying to hold the line in the SW Pacific while preparing to take back Midway. I don't pretend to know enough to be able to predict what happens, but the loss of the carriers plus the survival of the Japanese carriers is huge and might set back US offensive action for a year, just as a guess. That assumes the "Germany first" plan stays intact.

Just like in the other thread I agree with most of what you say Bgile. If the Japanese shipping is less affected by the US submarine campaign (until they retake and put Midway back in service again) then I guess they could supply their conquests better than they did historically and somehow delay the US advance and make it more costly. But of course this all may change if after the defeat at Midway the US decides on a "Japan Fist" policy or if they move their Atlantic Fleet to the Pacific which in turn would help the Germans in Europe. It is interesting to speculate about it. I think the only chance the Japanese had to avoid defeat was if Germany could have won the war in Europe. Small chance but with the Third Reich victorius in Europe maybe (just maybe) the US-Japan could have reached a negociated peace.
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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby minoru genda » Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:33 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:August 1945: european born, bred and educated scientists have built the A-Bomb for the US Goverment in order to prevent Hitler to have it first. But Hitler is dead and Germany defeated against numerical masive superior forces. The Bomb will be dropped by a B-29 against Japanese cities. USA wons the war.

Hello Karl. Let's say that after years of fierce Japanese defense in the Pacific in August 1945 the US has still not taken the Marianas. Is Japan in range of the B-29? From where could the B-29s take off?
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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Sun Dec 07, 2008 5:34 pm

Minoru:

Hello Karl. Let's say that after years of fierce Japanese defense in the Pacific in August 1945 the US has still not taken the Marianas. Is Japan in range of the B-29? From where could the B-29s take off?


For 1945 if they didn´t already held the Marianas they would have been forced to do it in order for their B-29 to take off from there. The other alternative is a "Doolitle" kind of attack in order to deliver the bomb and then crash land the plane somewhere in China. But I believe they could be able to have the necesary island in order to perform the bombing raid.

Best regards.

P.S. For "Doolitle kind of attack" I don´t mean to take off from a CV. Maybe taking off from another but far island. Just to get it straight.
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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby lwd » Sun Dec 07, 2008 8:37 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote: The other alternative is a "Doolitle" kind of attack in order to deliver the bomb and then crash land the plane somewhere in China. ....

Why not just launch from and return to China?

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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:01 pm

lwd:

Why not just launch from and return to China?


When you are right I´ll be the first to admitt it, though. It´s quite a good posibility. I believe that many raids against mainland Japan were indeed done from China.

Being that the case it makes stronger the argument that Japan could have never won the Pacific Theatre.
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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby lwd » Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:47 am

In a way they had the right idea. They knew that in order to win they had to get the US to give up. They though PH would do it and it essentially did the opposite. For them to win they have to attack the US moral/public opinion successfully. I'm not sure how they could have done that in the 40's. Some sort of limited concessions in China might have worked but they didn't seam capable of that.

Earlier I was asked how I thought the Japanese would have followed up a victory at Midway. I think Shattered Sword has some good suggestions but my copy has gone missing and I really don't know what they could or would have done.

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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby bobtdwarf » Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:31 am

wow here I am replying to a post that I found the originating board from a google search on the cost of the Hipper'....

As to your question on the affects of a Japanese victory at Midway....

Everyone forgets the political costs.

The USN losing the flattops at Midway and Midway itself doesn't just end with three carriers going down, a chunk of the surface force is going to go with it unless the taking out of the carriers involves losing the bulk of the IJN pilots and aircraft; there are going to be subsequent strikes launched to attempt a full scale annihilation of the US Pacific fleet. How successful that is is a a matter of conjecture but it can be presumed that losses would be in the "not so good" range.

So the USN has lost and I mean LOST the bulk of her pilots and deck crew.. check that EXPERIENCED pilots and deck crew, an untold number of experienced seaman and moreover officers. Even with the corner cutting that the USN was doing to rapidly expand the air wing that is going to leave a mark... And even with the IJN sticking to a pre-war training regime (which they pretty much were which is why they did not replace pilots as quickly), they should recover qualitatively faster then the USN: It is really great to have all those Essex class CV's coming online in a year or so, but it doesn't do you as much good if every pilot and deck hand on them is greener then spring wheat and just as easy to cut down; it leaves you open for a really, REALLY ugly spiral of increasing incompetence and eff ups (it's not like deck crews have not been known to make a boo boo now and again and light the carrier on fire). If experienced crews are yeast is the USN going to have enough of it to make bread or do they end up with a lot of saltines?

But the real costs are all going to be political: It will affect elections which affects outcomes. It is going to send a chill across the American electorate that this nation has never seen and my prayer is that it never does; because it is an unpredictable one beyond the initial panic. Will that panic take the form of a capitulation or a massive redirection of the war effort into the obliteration of Japan? That one is hard to tell, but odds slightly favor a collapse of domestic morale and if the war effort was to continue a likely defensive withdrawal to build up the nations strength with a focus on Japan first. It is necessary to keep in mind the large anti-war movement in the US before PH as well as the war departments projection that the US population would not support a war effort of greater then 48 months politically even WITH Pearl! This is not the modern America that we know today after nearly 50 years of being a cold warrior; no it is a far different animal.

Best case scenario is that the US continues the war but pulls back operations for 18 months or more as it replaces losses and builds up a massive force for a counter attack on Japan, Europe being forced to the back burner.

Worst case? Massive electoral backlash in the midterm elections that November that force the US to contemplate a negotiated peace.

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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby winterfell » Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:01 pm

I am going to present you two scenarios of developments following Japanese victory at Midway. First of them is rather conservative one and thus more probable to occur, while the second is more crazy but IMO it would be giving the Japanese some chances of not loosing that war.

The first scenario.

1. The Japanese are taking:
• Midway and maybe some more Aleutians than Attu and Kiska.
(BTW, at that point of war American submarines were so ineffective that I think that effect of the loss of submarine base on the island wouldn’t had serious impact on prospects of American submarine war for approximately next 12 months of war. And still there were bases in Pearl Harbor and Australia.)
• Solomons Islands and the whole New Guinea (Midway + 2-3 month)
• Some islands below the Equator that are sitting on communication line between the US and Australia (Midway + up to 6 months)

2. Imperial Japanese Navy (with Kido Butai) is screening above operations and making some runs against Northern Australia (in order to supplement planes from Port Moresby) and winning several battles with US Navy.
3. I would also expect another raid in Indian Ocean.
4. I don’t think however that there would be no another attack on Hawaii (and I am quite sure that invasion on Hawaii would be for the Japanese completely out of question).

I believe that the Japanese would go on defensive circa 9 months after the Pearl Harbor.

And Americans now.

In my opinion defeat at Midway would drive Americans mad. “How is possible that those little Japs are sinking our ships?” or ‘Jap invasion of California imminent’. I believe that despite the real strategic importance of the battle (whatever it was), its psychological effect on American public opinion and also US Navy and US Army would be tremendous.

In consequence I am sure that there would be a change of strategy from ‘Germany first’ to ‘Japan first’. Remember that in reality the choice of the ‘Germany first’ was matter of much squabbling.

1. American would pour tremendous resources in building much bigger fleet than in reality and direct additional US Army divisions to Pacific Theatre.

2. There would be no invasion of North Africa in 1942. US Navy would commit on Atlantic only ships needed for escorting convoys to the UK with American troops (in much lower however number than in reality).

3. In the fall of 1943 the US Navy begins offensive against Japanese. After loss of New Guinea and Solomons only one direction is possible: Central Pacific – maybe even Midway rerun on the beginning. I agree that it would be quite probable for US Navy to suffer some defeats due to lack of experience, but forced abandonment of two-thrust strategy would present an occasion for Americans to make-up part of delay existing in relation to real history events. But all in all, defeat would be looming on Japan somewhere in 1945.

Interestingly there are chances that American defeat at Midway would have bigger impact on war in Europe. ‘Japan first’ strategy could result in:
1. Later invasion of North Africa, Italy and France or
2. Invasion in Normandy in June 1944 without earlier invasions in North Africa and Italy.
3. Longer war in Europe and drop of an atomic bomb on German or Soviet conquest of bigger part of Europe.

The second scenario.

After victory at Midway the Japanese know that they are still doomed. It is only a matter of time even if a little longer than in reality as they know that Americans won’t be able to go on offensive for a year or so. So they decide to make another gamble – to attack the USSR. They are making deal with the Third Reich and the Germans pledge to commit, after defeat of the USSR, all possible resources against USA and not to conclude without Japan a peace with it.

1. In June 1942 Germans are conducting a very successful offensive against Russians who at that time lost almost all troops transferred from Siberia for the Moscow counteroffensive. Japanese attack from China would be a very nasty surprise and a big problem for them as I believe that Russians wouldn’t be able to transfer to Siberia any troops from the German front.
2. Imperial Japanese Navy (with no reason to expect US Navy to conduct any serious operations), strikes to the west and takes command of the Indian Ocean. In process the Japanese are thwarting any Royal Navy attempts to stop them.
3. Imperial Japanese Navy successes at Midway and Indian Ocean enable them to cut two (Pacific and Indian Ocean ones) of three Allied routes of shipping supplies for the USSR.

I believe that the Japanese attack on the USSR would be enough to defeat it in its dire situation in 1942. After that the Axis would be able to conquer the whole Africa and Asia. I think that in that situation the USA would have no choice but to sign peace with the Axis.

Regards,
winterfell


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