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5 years ago#1
torchmanner
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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?

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5 years ago#2
copper
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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.

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4 years ago#3
RAMjb
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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.

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4 years ago#4
Alex
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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.

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4 years ago#5
torchmanner
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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.

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4 years ago#6
Alex
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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.

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4 years ago#7
RAMjb
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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

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4 years ago#8
Alex
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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.

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4 years ago#9
RAMjb
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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)

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4 years ago#10
torchmanner
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That was my thoughts exactly, on the militias and the Japanese.

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4 years ago#11
Ballyokyo
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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.

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4 years ago#12
Torchmanner
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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.

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3 years ago#13
Patriot
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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.

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3 years ago#14
Torchmanner
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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.

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3 years ago#15
Gregg
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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
11B

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3 years ago#16
torchmanner
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I agree.
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.

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3 years ago#17
dude
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dude some of the best snipers are only good because they have backround shooting and hunting as a kid.

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3 years ago#18
reddyeddy69
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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.

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3 years ago#19
RAMjb
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Reddeye, you seem to hold in very low steem the abilities of the japanese armed forces of the WW2 era. Be careful, historical US admirals/Generals of the era shared that error, and paid dearly for it.


reddyeddy69 wrote:

The Japanese could never have invaded the Continental US.



Correction: they could have done it. Establishing a beachhead in the US West Coast. A "lasting raid", establishing such beachhead, a defensive perimeter around it, and holding it for a sizeable ammount of time to evaquate afterwards was not beyond the ability of the IJN.

They just didn't want or give serious thought to it, and rightly so:It had no strategic point to try to do it, it made no sense from a logistic point of view on the long run, and would lock up vital shipping, troops and resources needed elsewhere. And eventually the invasion would've had to be called off and the beachhead evaquated.

But they -could-'ve pulled it off. At the cost of doing nothing in almost any of the other theaters of war from Burma to the pacific. It made no sense from a strategic point of view, but was it possible?. Yes, it was.

They seized some islands off Alaska (the Attus) but couldn't hold them.


Completely unrelated and different matter here. The japanese never wanted to keep a hold on the aleutians. They never had a strong presence there to start with. They were seen as little else than a feint/distraction to keep the US guessing over a wider area of the Pacific, and as advanced posts, but they never intended to establish themselfs there in strenght, or to keep a hold over them.

As such,that comparison makes no true sense.

After ten years of fighting, they couldn't completely conquer China mainly due to the sheer size of the country alone.


Call them strategic shortsighted, yes, the japanese were that and criminally so, and they got bogged down at china because of it.

But they -also- kept China shut off for almost 10 years. Given the size of the country and the 10 to 1 human resources advantage the chinese held over the japanese it was not an easy feat to pull either, yet they achieved it. And once they got -really- serious about China (1944-45 offensives), China only survived because of the direct support of the allied forces.


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 only reason the Phillipines campaign was the way it was, was because it was in a strategically impossibe position, because the US Navy was wiped out at Pearl making any relief operation an impossibility, and because the japanese had the definite operational and strategic upper hand in the whole campaign. They were lost as soon as a japanese soldier got a foot on Lingayen.

Sure, critize McArthur for his errors (he had many, and not just the refusal to stockpile supplies at Corregidor and Bataan, but still this doesn't detract from the quality of the japanese troops involved), and blame him for the loss. The truth is that the Japanese executed a very well thought-out plan and followed it succesfully.

Sure the campaign wasn't ended until Corregidor Fortress surrendered. But it was as good as over much, much prior to that (proven by the fact that the japanese were taking troops out of the phillipines to assist in the sumatra/java invasions much prior to even forcing the americans out of bataan peninsula). The japanese didn't make a serious effort to wipe the defenders out, they simply left them to starve with regular but half-hearted attacks to accelerate the starving.

BTW don't put too much emphasis on McArthur's blunder at Clark. The US ad-hoc and varied (from P-26 to P40Es, B-10s to B-17s, that was a collection of machines impossible to operate in any sensible way, and were facing the most expert air force of the hemisphere, themselves fielding untrained and green pilots to boot) air groups emplaced there would've been utterly destroyed either in the air or in the ground no matter they had been set aloft before the first strikes started hitting the base.

Japan wanted the phillipines to deny the US the advanced air and naval bases they had in the middle of the DEI-japan naval shiplines. As such, as soon as Manila and Clark were captured, and the air bases at Mindoro neutralized, the campaign was won by the japanese, no matter the fighting dragged on for months.
The phillipines campaign ,de facto, ended when the americans decided to pull back into Bataan and establish a bastion there. And that took A LOT less than one year for the japanese to achieve. By any means, this was a swift,brilliant, japanese success yet you seem to derate it a lot.


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).


Well, let me tell you advancing in New Guinea is not like a walk in the park. Also let me tell you, the Owens Stanley Range is not like a highway either. Advancing to Port Moresby from Madang/Lae by land was next to impossible because of the atrocious conditions in that island.

Oh, and there was OZ militia and WW1 vets there early in the campaign, when the Japanese weren't advancing on Port Moresby AT ALL, but waiting for operation MO to start. By the time the japanese -actually- tried to advance on PM by land (after amassing a sizeable force in Buna via sea transport), there were "some" "slightly better" allied troops defending port moresby and it's approaches.

Let me remind you that the japanese were undercommitted in the area for a good while, too. The land forces assigned to the area were few and apart, and they were never intended to actually reach to Port Moresby either. In fact they didn't advance on it at all in the beginning. They captured Madang and Lae and kept it at that. So it wasn't the "Australian militia and WW1 green vets" who stopped them. It was that they didn't advance at all because their plan to take Port Moresby consisted on an amphibious operation, not a costly and horrible treck from Lae to PM, through one of the most unforgiving ecosystems in the world by land, and one of the worse orographic profiles for that kind of advance (Owens Stanley Range).

There's a reason why the IJA and IJN got together (for once) to get operation MO going. Operation MO, of course,was intended to be a series of amphibious disembarks in Port Moresby under the cover of air power from Rabaul/Lae and IJN carriers, to invade Port Moresby bypassing the Owens Stanley Range alltogether. And quite probably would've been a success, had not the American carrier force intervened.

Once operation MO was called off after the battle of the Coral Sea, the japanese didn't push for Port Moresby again until mid 1942. And -THEN- it was when an offensive was tried, with a land offensive to cross the owens stanley range through the kokoda trail, and of course (and unsurprisingly) failed to do so.

But that was by Summer 1942. By Summer 1942 there were some tough allied troops defending Port Moresby. Not exactly militia, you know.

Now let me tell you, that the japanese failed to do so wasn't because their army sucked, or their soldiers underperformed, or because the japanese didn't know how to fight. that trail was 60 miles long, was only transitable on foot (thus making the use and movement of heavy equipment an impossibility, and the task of drawing a supply line through it a highly unlikely event) is emplaced in one of the most disgusting ecosystems of the world: selvatic, malaria ridden, areas, torrential rains, impassable terrain, huge temperature discrepancies between day and night, etc. Advancing through that trail was a serious matter ever if unnopposed,with a decent supply line, and if under total control of the skies.

And it happened that the japanese had to advance while theyfought fierce resistance, with an almost unexistant supply line, and under the umbrella of air power directed at them from Port Moresby.

The kokoda trail campaign was a failure for the japanese because of that. And of course because the OZ troops defending it, too...but even the best army in the world at the time woudln't fared much better under those conditions.

And if fact they didn't. In the NG counteroffensives the Australian troops advanced up the Owens Stanley range -only- after McArthur had put beachheads on the northern coastline of New Guinea, forcing the unsupplied, malaria ridden and almost rotting alive japanese troops to retire as "swiftly" as they could (in fact their withdrawal was on foot and as fast as a crawl) without putting up any kind of serious fight like the one the australians had put up during the japanese advance.
Had the allied troops had to advance through the Owens Stanley Range and Kokoda Trail alone (and not flanking it with amphib operations along the N-NE coast of New Guinea to force the japanese to withdraw), they'd probably have failed as miserably as the japanese did.

Bottom point: this is a scenario where qualifying the japanese troops as "better" or "worse" is useless. A selected collection of the best fighters of WW2 put in that scenario, in the japanese position, would've fared not much better than what the japanese did.

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.


I think noone has theorized in this thread about a total invasion of the US. Rather, it was wondered about the chances of a japanese invasion achieving a beachhead on the western coast, expanding it to include some important centers (such as San Diego,SanFran or LA), and keep it up for a meaningful time.

Of course a full scale invasion of the US was out of the question at all from the start. And of course I'm the first to say that the beachhead scenario is a highly unlikely one (if anything because the japanese had no real strategic reason to pull that off, compounded with the logistic nightmare it would've meant).

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.


Well, leaving historic reasons aside (japanese isolationism between the XVI-XIX centuries) which actually prove this paragraph as pointless...as far as I can recall, the US didn't get a hold on any meaningful pacific islands west from Hawaii until 1898 either, just 7 years before the Japanese spanked some major russian **** in Korea, Port Arthur and Tshushima. Had the US not forged a war of agression against Spain to steal their colonial possessions, phillipines could've very well been japanese instead of american by 1941...so be careful about what your what-if scenarios are painted like .


Oh, btw, I noticed you utterly failed to note the absolute crushing the japanese troops gave to the British, Commonwealth, Dutch and american armed forces, kicking their butts all around the Far East, and all the way from Hong Kong up to Imphal, going through Sumatra, Java, all the Indonesian islands, Burma, and most importantly, the Malayan campaign and capture of Singapore.

Quite little nice victory they got there, those pesky and futile japanese troops, right? .
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3 years ago#20
torchmanner
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I tend to agree.

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3 years ago#21
reddyeddy69
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Let's get something straight. I just looked over my post and I didn't say a single derogatory thing about the quality of the Japanese military! I know they were one of the best armies and navies in the world in spirit if not in material. The question was why the Japanese didn't invade the Continental US. I didn't see "could the Japanese launched a limited objective raid on the US?" The term 'invaded' implies an army staying and holding territory. I was simply stating what others have, the Japanese didn't have the physical capabilities of invading the US.
As for my paragraph about the possibility of Japan siezing the Phillipines or other Pacific territories back in the 17th century, I don't see it as useless! I was pointing out that if the Japanese had established themselves in outer territories and went from an isolationist society that shunned technological advances (particularly anything that endangered the position of the Samurai) they could have been ready to spread their power even further by the 20th. As a born Phillipino, I have deeply studied what could have happened if the Japanese or the British had been our overlords instead of the Spanish and Americans.
Remember Yamamoto told Tojo and the Emperor, before the war,that they would run wild for six months and then be overwhelmed by sheer weight of numbers. Apparently, we agree on that.
P.S. I didn't forget the defeat of the Dutch and British in places like Java, I simply lump it in there with the rest of the 'wild six months' the Japanese had!

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3 years ago#22
torchmanner
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It is obvious that the Japanese could not maintain a long term invasion force in the US mainland for many reasons. They were being defeated by sound US military tactics before the A bombs were dropped. The Japanese were suicidal in their resolve, but it was not nearly enough.
I assumed that they had planned no invasion because of the statement that I was trying to locate a source for.

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3 years ago#23
RAMjb
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reddyeddy69 wrote:
Let's get something straight. I just looked over my post and I didn't say a single derogatory thing about the quality of the Japanese military!


No, you did not. Not explicitly, at least. But yes implicitly. Bassically it seemed to me you were saying that the japanese won what they won in the first months of the war due to luck or because of allied incompetence rather than because of japanese competence. That equals to saying that the japanese army was a low quality entity that was able to wage a 4 year pacific and far eastern war just because of some kind of good luck or unfair initial advantage.

And, even with all their faults (which were many) that army was top notch during it's prime (that is until they were wasted in the strategically nonsensical 1944-45 offensives in China-Burma-India).

I know they were one of the best armies and navies in the world in spirit if not in material. The question was why the Japanese didn't invade the Continental US. I didn't see "could the Japanese launched a limited objective raid on the US?" The term 'invaded' implies an army staying and holding territory.


Well, many of the answers in this thread correspond to a "beachhead" scenario. I honestly think noone in his senses might argue or even wornder about the possiblity of a complete and true japanese invasion of the US continental lands. One just has to look at a map to understand how unfeasible was that for an army of the IJA size (that was overcommitted in other areas to boot), and even if facing no opposition.

Thus I think most of us who have posted in this thread have done so with the idea of a limited-scale invasion of the continental western shores of the US, and keeping it at that. That was feasible for the japanese (and there was some honest fear about that happening in the US military of the time, not to talk the civilian population), so most of the thread has been dedicated to that scenario by default, no matter the OP didn't specify.

I was simply stating what others have, the Japanese didn't have the physical capabilities of invading the US.


And I insist: that affirmation is only true if you're talking about a total invasion of the US continental territory. If you're talking about a limited scale of invasion in the western coast, they did had the capabilities. They'd have been stretched to do so but they could've pulled off.

thus, the Japanese DID have the physical capabilities of invading the US. Now...keeping that invasion supplied was a whole other proposition. And trying to find a solid and sound reason to conduct such an invasion is a whole different matter (as I stated repeatedly, it would've made no sense at all from a strategic point of view).

As for my paragraph about the possibility of Japan siezing the Phillipines or other Pacific territories back in the 17th century, I don't see it as useless! I was pointing out that if the Japanese had established themselves in outer territories and went from an isolationist society that shunned technological advances (particularly anything that endangered the position of the Samurai) they could have been ready to spread their power even further by the 20th.


I don't want to start a whole debate of japanese culture and history here, but the point I was trying to make is that the japanese of the XVI-XIX century were radically isolationist, so that picture makes no sense from any point of view. A japanese culture that bidded for agressive foreign postures, colonization and expansion would've been a very different one from the one that existed. Not to mention that the japanese didn't have the naval technology to conduct such an expansion, their ships were barely good enough to establish shipping on shore and restricted waters, let alone to go into the open ocean.

When analizing history and proposing what-ifs one has to give plausible scenarios. The one you proposed there was all the opposite.


Said that, you seem to place blame of the japanese isolationism on the samurais. Highly debatable. Asian cultures of the era were naturally isolationism, save for some very brief (yet very active) impulses of interests on foreign matters. Japan is a good instance of it, totally isolationist except for the brief (but intense) Hideyoshi's bids to invade korea (which were called off as soon as Hideyoshi died), but the quintaessential one was their neighbor to the west. Watch Chinese history, they never were interested in anything beyond their more immediate limits, bar for a very short and brief period of time where they suddenly found an interest in what laid beyond their immediate boundaries (Zheng-He expeditions era). But even that interest faded out quickly and sharply and China resorted to isolationism, like Japan, until the XIX century and only because Western powers forced them to opem themselves up.

Similarily after Hideyoshi's invasions of Korea, and the final shakes of the Sengoku Jidai that ended with the Tokugawa shogunate in power at Japan, Japan totally closed themselves up from foreign influences exception made of some very limited commercial contacts with mostly the dutch and the british, until the XIX century. Was it made to preserve the samurai way of life?. Partly so. But the truth is that the japanese as a whole, as a culture, was isolationist per nature and what the Tokugawa shogunate did was just re-establishing what had been a de-facto truth for centuries, the total isolation of japan from foreign influences.

It was also doubly justified by the alarming news they had received during the XVI Century contacts with the portuguese and spanish in the region. They felt themselves what a dependence on foreign religion could do to japanese independence, and they had news of what happened in the Americas during the spanish conquest where infiltration within the established native powers was vital before the actual invasion and conquest. The japanese had a good taste on what a skilled use of christian faith could do to the loyalty of a lot of daimyos and samurais. Samuray and big daimyo economies depended for decades on the commercial concessions given to the portuguese to keep the rich trade links open with China. And they were thoroughly alarmed by all those facts, for they (rightly) perceived that without proper action Japan could soon fall into western influence if not downright conquest. So the isolation edicts of the tokugawa shogunate had also a lot to do with that...not just to "preserve the samurai way of life"


P.S. I didn't forget the defeat of the Dutch and British in places like Java, I simply lump it in there with the rest of the 'wild six months' the Japanese had!:angry:


You can't disregard all those victories because they happened in "wild six months". What was that? a straight series of good roll dices?. Plain' ole good luck?. Planetary allignement with certain constellations that gave cosmologic powers that magically meant the japanese had an upper hand?...

Or were those six months the result of a brilliant series of well planned,thought out and executed operations, conducted with high professionalism by a powerful and competitive army and navy?. Seems like the invasions of Phillipines, DEI, Burma ,New guinea, Guam, Wake, aleutians...were all done just because of sheer luck or some kind of magical wand that somehow unfairly "buffed" the japanese armed forces...and don't get me started on the whole malay invasion theater because that was some serious brilliant stuff by Yamashita's army.

Those actually were a series of brighly conducted operations by a highly capable army and navy. No black magic, no "unfair buffing". Ok, in many times during those invasions and operations the japanese element of strategic suprise was a vital factor. In some instances allied command incompetence also was a factor. But strategic suprise and allied command incompetence were also vital factors of, let's say, the german invasion of france in 1940, the whole north african Afrika Korps adventures, or of the incredible success of the initial stages of Barbarossa in 1941, yet noone doubts about Blitzkrieg or german troops and commanders because of it,right?.

then why should we doubt about the japanese proficiency to wage war?. Why does people think that out of the 1942 campaigns they never gave a good fight?. Even by 1944 the japanese were kicking some serious allied butt in the CBI theater, and japanese troops gave allied troops a good run for their money in the Philippines even while they had an absurd disadvantage there...

I think some serious re-evaluation of some beliefs is in order. I'm not a special admirer of the japanese army of WW2 (as you can see in my prior posts in this same thread), and I do think that they were limited in what they could do, and where. But I also do think that they're never given enough credit for what they achieved. In fact it's even more suprising given their limitations in what regarded to mobile, mechanized warfare. The japanese were victorious only when certain factors were given, but they -always- gave a good show wherever they fought. And that holds true not just in the 1942 offensives, but on the war as a whole.

so, sure, they were not the top army in the world at the time. But also they weren't a collection of ragged dolls with toy rifles either. They deserve some credit, and honestly, I do think you don't give them enough of it.
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3 years ago#24
Chuck Mc
Guest

Alex, you are misinformed. Armed resistance not matter how poor is armed resistance. causes problems. look at our own Revolution against the most powerful Nation at that time in History. We were in the begining very poorly trained but fought, as time went on we actually grew into an army.

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3 years ago#25
Proud defender of this ...
Guest

okay skippy. try telling that to the blue coats under king Georges comand.Our "untrained" militia made us the free nation we were before obama began to **** things up.
Many people used thier firearms to put meat on the table and for home defense, not to mention the ww1 vetrans and the children they trained. It would have made for quite a militia force back then. And this was before congress and the democrats started putting a ban on every firearm above a pea shooter.
It's the pure gut determination of a bunch of pissed off Americans(from all origions and creeds) that make it possible for you to make such an assanine statement as that skippy boy.
So put on your big girl panties, wipe the snot from your nose on your mommas apron and go join the armed forces. Grow up, get some training for yourself, Buy a real firearm and learn the proper way to us it. then skippy you will have earned the right to mouth off about things you know nothing about.
Now go on princess, it's way past your bedtime.

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3 years ago#26
Tom
Guest

Alex. Just keep running your condescending mouth. In my world there is not one family that doesn't have a cabinet FULL of high powered deer rifles, shotguns, handguns, or all of the above. Your post and tone suggests that these fine Americans don't know how to use them. You are a FOOL. We know. And we didn't need to go around playing silly war games as you envision. You have been brainwashed by the un-American anti-gun ownership **** who spew hateful unwarranted garbage about American gun owners being "homegrown terrorists." They are the ones who paint us as ignorant gun-toting billy-bobs who would be better off if our precious "leaders" protected us from our guns.

Your ignorant posts suggest that American civilians with guns would not be a significant deterrence to a trained invading army. If I knew a squad of 20 invaders was about to enter my WI township I PROMISE I would be ready and at least, at least, five of them would die with me.

As you look down upon us country bumpkins from your pedestal, remember one thing. We pray, PRAY, that none of this would EVER occur. If it did, may God have mercy on the souls of those dumb enough to mess with us.

What you didn't know, your government does. They know what I have graciously explained to you. Any attempt to remove guns from households across this great land would end up in many bloody standoffs in every rural township in America.

Do you have neighbors who would gladly DIE to protect their land and rights? Every single one of many neighbors would. That is the spirit of rural America, not yet tainted by the efforts of some to wussify my beloved country.

Any questions? Come on up to the Wisconsin northwoods and you'll meet all kinds of loving folks ready to explain it further.

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3 years ago#27
History Guy
Guest

American civilians would of been able to repel the Japanese army.

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3 years ago#28
torchmanner
Guest

I agree History Guy.

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3 years ago#29
Harry Ballzonya
Guest

I can tell ya if those like "skippy out there" ever tried to invade my US of A, they would meet their fate with more than just firearms! Give me a section of 4" heating duct and a microwave oven's (gunplexer diode) and lets see how they handle a homemade MASER up close and personal. Would hear or know what hit him! Point being... we're far more resourceful than they realize. It's called American ingenuity.

God Bless America Baby!!!

LOL

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3 years ago#30
RAMjb
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I guess this last post is a joke. Not just because in WW2 microwave ovens weren't exactly common (in fact they were invented a couple decades later), but because the claim about turning one into a "deadly" maser weapon.

For starters, trying to do so would probably end with the user being MASER-ed, rather than the intended target (or, put in other words, such an "item" wouldn't be what I'd call "safe" to operate).

Not only that, but given the output of the standard home microwave oven, and the projected output of the so-called "homemade weapon", you'd better be off with a Remington 870 or a standard hunting rifle. 12 gauge, or rifle hunting ammo sure does the job better not only in accouts of operator safety grounds (standard weapons don't tend to blow up when you operate them,not at least if properly cleaned and used), but in accounts of range, damage, stopping power, accuracy and speed too.

Oh, and they're easy to operate aswell, and you don't need to build them, they're readily available at most homes, and in the closest armory to your home where you can purchase one (at least in the US, here in europe its a whole different matter in what regards to easy access to firearms. Which ain't easy.).

All I know is that if I am given the task to defend myself against some invaders and I'm presented with the choice of a .44 magnum Ruger Redhawk, or that ultra-duper-super-"cool" "homemade maser", my choice is easy to predict.





Some people should really step down from the sci-fi "wunderwaffe" syndrome. Really. And in any case we were discussing WW2, and as I said, microwaves by that time (When the cavity magnetron was a top secret discovery) weren't readily available for generic use.

Just sayin'.

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