A proper attack on Pearl Harbor

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Carl Schwamberger
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Re: A proper attack on Pearl Harbor

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 09 Jun 2020 05:33

paulrward wrote:
08 Jun 2020 22:10

It is Noon on Dec. 7th. You are an anti aircraft mobile battery commander. You have been
moved into place to guard the Tank Farms. You need ammunition. First, you have to find
a truck. Then a driver. Then some guys to load and unload the truck. Then a guy who knows
how to get to the Crater. Then, you load everybody up, and drive to the Crater, and a 45 year
old Supply Sargeant tells you that YOU NEED A REQUISITION FORM, AND HE IS NOT GOING TO
[/ ...

I don't know what military Mr Ward was in, but my experience was the 45 year old Master Sergeants would be the first ignore the paperwork & cut any annoying locks.

Richard Anderson
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Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: A proper attack on Pearl Harbor

Post by Richard Anderson » 09 Jun 2020 07:49

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
09 Jun 2020 05:33
I don't know what military Mr Ward was in, but my experience was the 45 year old Master Sergeants would be the first ignore the paperwork & cut any annoying locks.
I think it was in a made up one.

In any case, Aliamanu Crater was where the ammunition for the mobile batteries was stored, all the fixed battery ammunition was stored on site. The stories about breaking open the ammunition bunkers is apparently based on possibly a single case, where the duty officer with the keys could not be found. The mobile batteries were almost all in place, with ammunition, and ready to fire, within two to three hours of the start of the attack. Ditto all the field artillery and infantry.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: A proper attack on Pearl Harbor

Post by Peter89 » 09 Jun 2020 08:33

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
07 Jun 2020 13:01
Peter89 wrote:
07 Jun 2020 09:41

Not clear what grand strategy you are referring to here. The starting strategy I am familiar with, from Costellos 'The Pacific War' or Beaselys 'The Rise of Modern Japan' was the US would roll over and seek a cease fire within a few months. By May discussions of peace terms would be starting. The long strategy elected by Tojos government as 1942 spun out was a improvised one made when the initial strategy failed. A long neither the plan nor intent when the decision for war developed.

As for the grand strategy:
Given the expectation of a long war with the United
States, how did Japan expect to survive? Did Japanese
leaders have a theory of victory, or at least of defeatavoidance?
Japan was not strong enough to threaten
the American homeland, but was not the war going to
be fought in East Asia and the Western Pacific, which
the Japanese controlled or would soon control (after
Tokyo’s conquest of Southeast Asia)? Might Tokyo be
able to fight the United States to a bloody stalemate
on the Japanese side of the Pacific and extract from
that stalemate some kind of political settlement with
Washington that would preserve Japan’s core imperial
interests on the Asian mainland?

These questions point to a third Japanese
assumption, or at least hope: namely, that by swiftly
seizing and fortifying the Central and Southwestern
Pacific, the Japanese could force the Americans
into a murderous, island-by-island slog that would
eventually exhaust their political will to fight on to
total victory. Japan would raise the blood and treasure
costs of the war beyond Washington’s willingness to
pay. “The Japanese theory of victory,” contends Colin
Gray, “amounted to the hope—one hesitates to say
calculation—that the United States would judge the cost
of defeating Japan to be too heavy, too disproportionate
to the worth of the interests at stake.”
This was the strategy choosen after the failure to bring the US to negotiations in 1942. It was not created out of air then then, there had been theoretical discussions of it and other possibilities pre Dec 1941. But, there was a understanding a long war would be severely damaging even if the US eventually gave up. Its a myth that Yamamoto was the only leader who understood end result of US economic power. While many were ignorant or blind there was still a general understanding the costs of a long war would leave Japan no better off in the long haul that it had been in 1937 or 1932. Hence the choice of the fast victory hope. The idea the US would be unable to prosecute a longer war against a sustained defense was another desperate hope siezed from a set of bad options. Tojos supporters really could not contemplate any other option than 'victory' however unlikely that was.

To put it another way plan A, the most favorable outcome, did not work. So one of the strategies leading to a less favorable outcome was chosen as next best.
paulrward wrote:
08 Jun 2020 21:05
Hello All :

Mr. Glenn239 stated :
I don't see how the war is shortened if Japan succeeds in taking Hawaii. The fall of
Hawaii will lengthen the war. The question is, what good does that do for Japan, having a
longer war in which defeat is still inevitable? If to lose, then best done quickly.

Perhaps another viewpoint: What if, following a successful occupation of Hawaii, and
the subsequent occupations of the Midway, Wake, Guam, the NEI, Malaya, and the Philippines,
and a couple of nasty defeats of the USN as it fights to hold or regain Hawaii, the citizens
of the United States look at the board and say, " No Mas ! "

If the Japanese take Hawaii early on, and have the time to base some long range flying
boat squadrons there, along with a few squadrons of twin engine bombers and a couple of
hundred A6Ms, you would have a very tough air complement to crack in 1942.

Add to this the ability to move some of their submarine tenders into Pearl Harbor and Midway,
and putting a few squadrons of long range submarines into patrols around the Hawaiian chain,
and the waters become very dangerous for the USN ( Remember Saratoga, Yorktown,
North Carolina, Wasp, and Indianapolis- all damaged or sunk by IJN submarine torpedoes )

You might have a ' Fortress Hawaii ' situation that the United States is unable to reduce
before the beginning of 1944. And, if the USN, goaded by Roosevelt, attempts a counter
attack with all of the USN's available carrier strength in 1942 ( that would be five CVAs,
two CVLs, and four or six CVEs ) they would be facing an IJN force of as many as eight CVAs,
four CVLs, and two CVEs, along with the Chitose, Chiyoda, and Nishin, which could be used for
scouting with their floatplanes.

A battle at these odds would be essentially a toss-up. Meaning that it might be possible that
the IJN, after winning against the USN in a major fleet action in the summer of 1942, would
be in a very strong position to continue to fortify Hawaii while consolodating their gains in Asia.

At the same time, the United States citizens, faced with defeat after defeat, and having lost the
major part of their navy, might be in less of a mood to continue the war. After all, at this point,
the Atomic Bomb is still a ( top secret ) dream, the B-29s have no place to fly from, and the USN's
submarines are now sortieing from San Diego and Alaska, and are still making fruitless attacks with
defective torpedoes.

If the Japanese, at this point, ( late 1942 ) proposed a peace settlement, with all PoWs returned,
the Philippines evacuated by Japan, Hawaii returned as a de-militirized territory, and talks to begin
a re-establishing trade, a portion of the American Public might want to go along with it, rather
than continue to fight a long, bloody, and possibly unsuccessful War in the Pacific.

If the Japanese were willing to send a group of Peace Envoys to negotiate the settlement in the
White House, it might shorten the war, but in Japan's favor.

Just a thought

Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
At least a good number of the IJN officiers were well aware that the US has the resources and the capacity to wage a costly war through the Pacific, because they studied there themselves.

However, they tried to build their strategy on the wear and tear of the US forces, and that they'll lose their will to fight. As Allied victory became inevitable, the strategy could not work, because Japan was hostile with all of the Allied powers. The US might lose the appetite to fight, but not with the SU and the BE (and the better part of the world) at their back or in their pocket.

Also, the whole US entry to the war was shaped by the strategic goal of world dominance, where the abolition of the colonial empires and the promotion of free trade and capitalism (and in conjunction, the government style "democracy") could give the US an edge in all primary skills in the global competition of power, including brain drain.

The US would never have abandon this political goal for some extra thousand losses or for some extra capital ship losses.

However, my question was aimed at "How could the successful invasion of the HI change the war in the Pacific?". I certainly do not believe that it would have lasted longer or had a different outcome. But I believe that the Japanese might have retained some edge in the fight in 1942 /1943, they might have had different results around the Solomon Sea / Coral Sea engagements. I base on that belief on the fact that the most important IJN / USN fleet engagements in 1942 were mostly fought with forces even or with Japanese numerical / strategical inferiority.

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Terry Duncan
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Re: A proper attack on Pearl Harbor

Post by Terry Duncan » 09 Jun 2020 09:14

Thread temporarily locked until David Thompson can decide how he wishes to procede.

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