6 years ago#1
questura
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OK, this is sort of a tangent from the Japanese-American relocation thread.

It seems that, after Pearl Harbor, the common populace of California was expecting iminent Japanese invasion of the West Coast. Several questions: 1. How likely did the US military deem invasion to be? 2. Did the Japanese military believe invasion was feasible, or plan for it? 3. How much military action actually took place on the West Coast?

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6 years ago#2
mortimer
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iminent Japanese invasion of the West Coast<

You got that right. A Japanese General said early in 1942 'When we take over California, the Californian,s will have to live like us(meaning Japanese) he was the same one who said 'the Emperor would ride his white horse down Pennsylvnia Avenue' BTW

Very likely if you go by there actions! I live about 20 miles from Huntington Beach one of the only beaches not covered by Coastal Artillery at the time. In 30 days (Jan 42) concrete Bunkers were built to house coastal artillery guns, and 50ft trees 'grew' to hide the guns. BTW there still there, they had an article in the LA Times about 6 mo. ago, some devloper wants to tear them out to make way for a houseing project. Boy has he got a job!! We had blackouts, brownouts all the usual things that that would prepare you for Military action If the Japanese had wanted to invade they could have walked ashore without getting there feet wet in some places, and we all new it!! We were totally unprepared and the Japanese Military new it, it was common knowledge in Southern California!! BTW We had 80 to 90 % of the Military Aircraft Production 20 to 30 miles from the Coast at the time!!

Trick question!! They said they were, see above, only someone from the Japanese General Staff during that time period can answer that, or there files from the period!!

A Japanese Sub came up and shelled a Standard Oil refinary early in 1942, about 60 miles north of LA. The Japanese had a large long range Sub that could carry a small scout plane. One night the AA guns up on the hill in back of our house let go about 2 or 3 in the morn, they said they cought sight of a scout plane in the search lights(?) Could be I dont know!! After the war we found it out that a number of our ships had been sunk off Santa Catalina Island 20 miles from LA harber etc: etc:

Jim Carew

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6 years ago#3
limerpharm
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If the public and more importantly the military authorities didn't expect that a Japanese invasion or aerial attack was not likely, we certainly spent a lot of time and wasted a lot of resources going through black out drills, placing buckets of sand and water around the house, buying and installing special black blinds to eliminate light outside, and doing a lot more to prepare for this posibility. A tanker was sunk right off Monterey -Big Sur coast. I believe there may have been other ships sunk as well. The massive fortifications on both sides of the entrance to San Francisco still stand as testimony to the preparations that were made to defend the city. The whole area of these of course was 'off limits' during the war. And the city amusement part south of Cliff House, which was forced to close during the war, never did regain popularity and remained closed.

As I have mentioned previously in related discussion, I have the hand written minute by minute logs from my father's office in San Francisco for the first few months of the war. They show the highest level of concern on the part of the 6th Army and the Naval District and especially on the part of the air defense command. The plan for shutting down radios and setting up the civil defense radio system that was practiced for years during the Cold War was developed at this time between that office and the larger commercial stations in SF and throughout the coastal area. Radio silence was so stringent that some police departments and sheriff's offices complained or sought guidance on how they could continue to conduct their important part during such emergencies if their radios were forced off the air too. And the agricultural community objected to the elimination of weather reports valuable for those planting crops, such elimination was considered important because the Japanese would want to have first hand weather information handed to them. I won't go again into the efforts to track down clandestine radio operations, but they were extensive.

best wishes john sloan

John Sloan

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6 years ago#4
dslonline
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Concievavble, definely Possible, maybe. Probable, ahhhh, no.

For a invasion of the mainland to be credible, Japan would either have to end the war with china, or better yet, actually create the Co-prosperity sphere they envisions. Japan, with the active participation of China, Korea, Phillipines, Indochina, ect.......

Big problem.

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5 years ago#5
dickson
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there was no way the Japanese could have attempted an invasion of the North American mainland. Remember that the entire 1941-1942 south pacific campaign was accomplished with only 10 divisions. The rest of the Japanese army was in China or facing the Soviets. Also the Japanese navy and merchant fleet was incredibly over extended in the south Pacific
and not capable of supplying let alone transporting a major attack over such a long distance.

dickson

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5 years ago#6
DavisGL
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You ask some excellent questions.

1. How likely did the US military deem invasion to be?

There was widespread belief in the likelihood of an invasion. There were numerous popular depictions of both Japanese and German invasions of the United States at that time. The US military was concerned about attacks on the West Coast and added to existing defensive networks in many area (in many places these WWII era bunkers have emerged as the ground they were built into eroded away in the years since their construction).

2. Did the Japanese military believe invasion was feasible, or plan for it?

There was some thought that they might occupy parts of the US after a surrender. There were no plans for an invasion of the West Coast itself, although the Midway campaign was intended as a prelude to the invasion of Hawaii.

3. How much military action actually took place on the West Coast?

Almost none - a Japanese submarine did fire a few shells at Goleta, California.

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4 years ago#7
Justakid
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I'm surprised that the Japanese invasion of Alaska has not been previously mentioned. Japanese soldiers actually held land in Alaska for a couple months, dug into a mountain Iwo Jima style. There's plenty about this that I don't know, but it's worth looking into.

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