In a recent discussion, the subject of Japans reason for not invading continental US was due to in part to US citizens being armed was brought up. I thought that it was mentioned in a WWII book. A quote by a member of the Japanese command?
I heard that the Battle of Midway was the battle that stopped the Japanese from attacking U.S. mainland. Their plans were to conquer Midway and Hawaii first and then proceed to U.S. mainland but due to their defeat in Midway those plans were stopped.
Not sure if I can agree with that. By all accounts Japan never tried to win a head to head war vs the US. They wanted to keep a steady rythm of victories over them, while establishing a double layer of ring defences on the pacific (phillipines-marianas-marcus island was the inner, NG-solomons-Marshalls-wake-eastern aleutians was the outter) to convince the US that a counterattack was unfeasible. They never intended to invade the US mainland as such, as far as I can tell.
Midway was never in the initial plans of Japan when the war started. It was out of the twin concentric defence rings they planned to set up in the pacific, and too far from the mainland (and too close to Hawaii) to set an easy invasion. The reasons to attack Midway rested mostly in the aftermath of the doolittle raid over tokyo. Pearl Harbor had crippled the US battleline but their carriers were still unharmed, and Yamamoto wanted those carriers to be sunk at all costs. The attack on Tokyo was an insult to the Japanese armed forces (and the IJN in particular), and had been launched from carriers. And the US Carrier striking force was the only offensive weapon left in US inventory by then, so it only made sense to force a major battle to trap and sink them. Midway was intended to be that battle, the island was of secondary or even tertiary importance, what Yamamoto wanted was the US carriers...things turned out to be pretty different tho.
Had Midway been a Japanese victory what would've happened?...probably not much. Hawaii was out of the scope of probable (or even possible) japanese targets because it was almost unfeasible to successfully invade it-it would've overstretched the japanese navy to the point of rupture.
US mainland was completely out of question-the distances involved were extreme.Remember aswell that both to invade hawaii and/or the Eastern US a lot of troops would've been needed. The Navy did not have enough manpower to pull something like that (the Japanese Marine force was mostly based on regimental combat teams for amphib operations of limited scope), and the Army was:
1-Absolutely not going to cooperate with the navy, at least not easily (japanese Army-Navy rivalry was extreme, they fought each other constantly). That would mean that one of the key points of any long range invasion like Hawaii or US would be poisoned from the start -no interbranch cooperation meant the operation would be a disaster from the start.
2-already heavily commited both in China, Burma/India, and New Guinea. There was a hefty manpower reserve in Manchukuo but neither the Imperial staff nor the Army staff wanted to weaken that force too much because they wanted it to act as a deterrent against possible Soviet agression. The Japanese Army without taking large units out of Manchukuo-which was politically impossible to pull off, would've had no resources to mount a successful large scale invasion in the US Mainland.
3-Lack of proper amphibious resources. The japanese landings at the start of the war were doing against unprepared enemies, and using barely adequate ships as amphibious transports. To land in USA would be very very different than landing on, say, Legaspi. The scope of the operation would be much different, the ammount of troops to be landed ,too, the distances from the Japanese supply sources (the mainland) would be all the way across the pacific meaning enormous travel times for the supply convoys, and Japan had not enough ships to keep such a invasion supplied.
Those 3 points were well known for all the IMperial staff and of course by the IJA. They would've never agreed to such an operation. There's also the important part of intel and recce. It was nigh impossible for Japan to conduct a proper recconaisance over the US mainland, and it would've been very difficult to the point of almost impossible to conduct a proper research on the possible landing locations.
We all know the ammount of preparation work the landings on Normandy needed, and the immense logistical problems faced by the allied force in france afterwards after one of the mulberries was put out of order, cherbourg port destroyed by the germans, and Antwerp not captured until late in 1944. The japanese had quite a stretch of water to cross (quite bigger than the Channel), no Mulberries at all (they were an allied improvisation), and would've needed a similar or bigger ammount of troops to succesfully invade US mainland.
Nope-it was impossible. Japan never planned nor intended to invade the US mainland. It was well out of reach for them, and they always knew it.
I don't honestly think that an untrained mob of civilian gun owners would deter any nation from attacking a country,let alone the Japanese of that time.
In all liklihood the armed civilians would have killed more of each other then any enemy soldiers.
I have seen films of American armed militias of today training and they are truly dreadful.
Any properly trained,lightly armed proffessional soldiers would make mincemeat of them in a very short time,probably without even raising a sweat.
Remember in war the opposittion is not constrained by warrants,legal procedures,verbal warnings or minimal use of force.
Actually history shows that a band of truly 'untrained' civilians defeated a British military to win independence.
Many civilian gun owners are former military or law enforcement. There are many places that train civilians above military standards, such as the former 'Blackwater'. A gun training course for a hunting license is required in many states. We have a real gun culture in this country. Switzerland is another.
I would have to disagree with the 'untrained mob' statement. Guerrilla warfare by 'untrained mobs' in latin countries has proven to be most effective.
The only real advantage by an invading military force is their weaponry and that can be defeated on occasion as illustrated by what William Wallace did.
The myth of the untrained colonist picking up his hunting rifle and defeating the British Army by sniping from the woods is just that,a myth.
The Fighters for American independance received formal military training and for the most part fought in formal set piece battles against the English.
But to be honest this is irrelevant as the the 20c world was a completely different kettle of fish to that of muskets.muzzle loaders and Blackpowder,and todays world is even more different.
As I have said I have seen American Militias training and they are appallingly bad.
Maybe some of the weapon owners are actually ex armed forces and maybe some of them were even teeth arm infantry or S.Fs rather then rear echelon support troops but I suspect not the majority judging by the reports of accidental shootings,negligent discharges,poor handling of weapons(pointing guns at people out of carelessness or as a joke )let alone actual fire discipline.
When a so called weapons instructor at a gun club does not know how to deal with a simple stoppage then its time to be concerned.
It has always been a mystery to the rest of the world that in a country where firearms are readily available to the populace that Americans as a general rule(with of course some notable exceptions)are so inept in their usage.
I suspect, though its only my opinion that it may be a case of familiarity breeds contempt,if you don't take weapons seriously then you will never become profficient in their use no matter how Macho you think you are.
Your postulating that Switzerland is a gun culture has its merits as every Swiss male adult has to undergo military training and keep a service weapon and ammunition at home.
These are trained soldiers NOT Walter Mittys who think that they are some sort of reincarnation of Davy Crockett.
Fighting in a war requires more then the ability to fire at static targets on a shooting range,it requires field craft,camouflage,N.B.C. and a whole host of other skills that can only be learned from a trained instructor NOT gleaned from third hand from someone who read a book or saw a T.V. programme.
alex, take a look at the chinese "armies" of the period. Some of the chinese militias that fought the japanese and kept them from invading all the country were using even black powder guns in some extreme instances. Militias could've very well stalled the advance of any japanese force. But we're digressing here. Noone said here that the US would be defended by militias only (at least I never did). So I won't try to debate that particular point at all. There would be some militia units for sure, but there were quite a lot of regular infantry formations ,and even tank units (against which the japanese had no proper means, because they were sorely lacking in AT weapons), based at the USA that could've handled any invasion by themselves.
Particularily if said invasion wasn't properly supplied. And Japan did have no means to adequately supplying a small invasion force, much less a big sized landing. I'm far away from my sources atm, but if I'm given enough time I'll be able to give you a thorough listing of the US land forces which could've perfectly been used to counter said invasion, already present in the theater (not counting those which could've been distracted from other theaters, such as Torch).
And all that without forgetting, what's the japanese going to invade with?. The Navy didn't have enough troops and the Army couldn't spare any big ammount due to it's commitments in NG, Burma/india, Manchukuo garrison, China, etc.
I would like you, Alex, since you seem to support that such an invasion could've happened, to give some hints as which japanese ground units could've been part of the invasion force
I would like you to give some insight, aswell, on how the Japanese navy could've acted to keep said invasion force supplied, keeping in mind the fact that the nearest supply line should've been established from mainland Japan, and that each available ton of japanese merchant shipping was already compromised in trying to keep the japanese industry fed with the raw resources said merchant shipping had to carry from the DEI to the japanese mainland, and to keep the armies on china supplied, and to keep the armies on Kwantung supplied ,and to keep the NG armies supplied, etc.
It would also be interesting to argue about the strategic purpose of said hypotetical invasion. What would be it's scope and targets?. A simple beachhead? a full invasion?. What would be the main objective strategically speaking?. Conquering the USA?. Conquering a part?. Raiding some ports and then retiring?.
In short:Mounting a major invasion through a water extension of 100km proved to be a logistical nightmare for the armies involved in the European invasion. I'd be interested to hear solid arguments that back up the affirmation that the Japanes could've done something similar over a stretch of water of 4500 miles (what's between Tokyo and San Francisco) with Hawaii sitting just in the middle of said stretch of water.
My personal opinion here is: they couldn't. For starters they lacked the troops, they lacked the sealift capacity for all the troops needed (even while that they didn't have said troops because they were already commited elsewhere), they lacked the proper size of merchant marine to keep said invasion working while the same merchant marine had to bring supplies from the DEI, keep the japanese armies afoot on Burma,China and New Guinea, and they didn't even have a REASON to do it strategically talking.
That's my personal opinion, but if anyone else differs, I'm more than waiting for some hard facts to back that opinion up
No my, response was going back to the O.P. who believed that the reason the Japanese didn't invade the U.S.was because they were scared off by the prospect of American armed civilians fighting them.
And on the contrary I totally support your opinion that an invasion was beyond the capability of the Japanese.
America is too big,too distant and the Japanese lacked the manpower or resources to even attempt such an undertaking.
oh, I see . Sorry, I did miss the intention of your posts then.
On the particular case of militias, however I'm not that sure I can fully agree with you. As I said, China showed that the Japanese troops could be (and actually were) stopped by an army mostly composed of untrained, low morale (except for the communists), badly equipped militias. Granted, they were a helluva chinese to fight, but nonetheless.
And to be honest, even the poorest militia in the US would've had much better equipment than the "average" chinese soldier had, and probably much more and better motivation and morale (the average chinese soldier was usually forced to fight, and to add over that, he had to fight under the orders of some **** warlord he couldn't care the less for, not for his country)
Particularily in the aspect of mecanization and/or armor, the Japanese would've had a serious trouble dealing with american militias because their army wasn't well fit for a mobile warfare and much less with dealing with armored units (their almost only AT gun was a crappy 37mm which couldn't deal even vs the Stuart). And the american militias would've always had the chance to count with some artillery and air support, something the chinese almost always had to do without.
We can take the battles of khalkin gol here as a comparison. I'll start to agree: the soviets were regulars, not militia. However the quality and training of their regular soldiers was pretty low, the equipment of the average soldier was lacking and it happened close enough to the Finland war to understand how poorly prepared the Soviets were for a war. The japanese kwantung army was the better equipped and trained part of the Japanese Imperial Army, comparing soldiers one by one, the Japanese soldier was well more motivated, had a much better training and was more or less the same in equipment.
However the soviets did the one and only thing the japanese couldn't counter: fight a mobile battle using their mechanized assets and they blew the japanese apart so hard the japanese didn't want to hear a thing about fighting them again.
If we're talking about an american milita vs Japanese army fight, and counting on proper and good leadership in the american army (is what made the difference in Kalkin gol) I'd say the japanese would've had a much tougher time than you would seem to expect. Quality wise the american militia was ****, that I give you. But their equipment would've been solid, if not good, and they would've counted with plenty of mechanized assets and even armor. that's a combo the Japanese never could diggest.
To be crude and real, the Japanese army only could kick poorly trained/equiped/led/motivated chinese ****, or fight in the jungle (that, they did very well) vs armies with were badly led and not really ready for jungle warfare.
But as soon as they had to fight a real mobile war in the open against an enemy with decent mechanization, they were always kicked in the nuts, without exception. I think that would've also been the case in a direct fight vs US militias (again, if the US militias had a proper leader understanding the concept of maneouvering warfare...if not, they'd be sold)
That was my thoughts exactly, on the militias and the Japanese.
Take a trip to Ireland, any small village will have a commemorative plaque, stone or the like. Armed with pitchforks, rocks and later guns we prevailed against our British invaders. No army can defeat and armed disgruntled nation short of using a nuclear bomb. We lost millions of our people in the fight, how different it might have been if we'd have had a gun culture since the 18th century with a firearm beside every fireplace.
Boys and girls with rifles, evertything to lose, and heart will surely prevail over the paid employee soldier, in time. Americans, don't give up your firearms, sure it's a 'stable' western world now but history has shown it won't last. Put yourself in a military commander's shoes - will I invade this country where every tiny hamlet has 50 barrels pointing in our direction, badly trained, poorly equipped but with an intimate knowledge of the local area. Guerilla warfare is surely the last thing an army commander wants to face, turn on the news.
You are absolutely right. Lately, wars seem to drag on after victory has been 'achieved'. We'll still have guns here right up to the point where the government throws out our Constitution. At that point we will all be using them extensively.
You're an idiot.
That's what the British thought of us during the Revolution. They are just untrained, civilian farmers.
Don't ever forget what one is capable of in the name a freedom.
Let's keep the discussion on an adult level.
I agree with your statement, that the British viewed us as 'just farmers'. I would also like to add that, at that time, civilians could be as well armed as soldiers. This is why the 2nd Amendment is worded as it is. I believe that all gun laws are absolutely unConstitutional. Excuses for 'gun laws' are just that, excuses.
The **** would not have invaded the US, even after Pearl Harbor the **** knew that a invasion would have cost them to may troops. Never under estimate the power of the American People, at the time lots of men to old for the Service were WW1 Veterans , Spanish American War Veterans , things might have gotten bloody real quick.
It has been proven by doing your home work on the Pacific Theater, the **** were brutal at bullying others that are weaker than them military.
The American resolve proved them other wise and today they depend on the United States for protection.
Hail O Hail O Infantry
Airborne Life for me
During the Spanish American War, my great grandfather (who died when I was a toddler) was in a squad of men who were all from the same town.
I distinctly remember classmates taking guns to school for a club. Although I didn't have a gun as a teenager, all my friends did.
During the WWII era, many teen age young men had their own guns.
dude some of the best snipers are only good because they have backround shooting and hunting as a kid.
The Japanese could never have invaded the Continental US. They seized some islands off Alaska (the Attus) but couldn't hold them. After ten years of fighting, they couldn't completely conquer China mainly due to the sheer size of the country alone. The only reason the Phillipines campaign only took less than a year was because MacArthur was a fool who didn't stockpile food and medicine as well as he did rifle ammo (16 million rounds at the start of the campaign)and allowed his air force to be caught on the ground 9 hours after Pearl Harbor. The Japanese never conquered New Guinea and were stopped by the Australian Militia (who were under equipped, and except for a few WWI vets, totally green). Even if they had somehow magically bypassed everything else in the Pacific and didn't have to worry about supplies(like fuel and ammo) the sheer size of american territory and its population would have overwhelmed them. Most adult Americans had some kind of military training. From WWI vets and peacetime draftees or ex-regulars to ROTC members or graduates, they would have formed up with the existing National Guard and matched anything the Japanese could throw at them.Almost any bit of WWI surplus was a match or superior to what the Japanese were equipped with. The Japanese Fleet's Zero fighter may have been more agile than the P-36s and P-40s the 1942 USAAC had but again sheer numbers would have overwhelmed them. Let's face it, such speculation usually ends up sounding like a Gojira Manga fantasy, complete with super flying battleships! The only way this could happen is if the Japanese Empire had built a Fleet and conquered the Phillipines and Hawaii in the 17th century. Seeing how they couldn't even conquer Korea until the 20th century, that's highly unlikely too.