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Old 11-12-2012, 12:08 AM   #126
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Logistically it's very clear that the US had an advantage but it should be noted that wars are not won by logistics alone. They're won by who kills more people or who reaches the capital. This is what really makes the Russian perseverance so amazing. They lost 20 plus million and didn't give up.

In the Pacific theater though we lost about 160,000 soldiers. Japan lost over 100,000 in just one night of firebombing on Tokyo.

The real question really is if Japan could ever have inflicted mass American casualties. There was little chance of them reaching our capital and forcing a capitulation. It wasn't even part of their plan. However if they had wiped out Hawaii and killed 100,000 soldiers in the beginning of the war things could have ended much faster - and not in our favor.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:08 AM   #127
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So if the Japanese never attacked Pearl Harbour and instead focused on strengthening its position in East Asia (like totally controlling China & Taiwan or South East Asia for instance) would they have been in a better position?

Or instead they HAD to attack pearl harbour because the US would've gotten involved either way?
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:56 AM   #128
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Their other mistake was that the Japanese failed to destroy the dry dock facilities in Pearl, and failed to destroy the fuel tanks on Oahu. By doing so, they allowed the Navy to repair much of the damage to the fleet ships that weren't sunk, and return many of those ships to the fleet, much faster than they could have if they'd had to be towed to San Diego. Leaving the fuel tanks intact allowed the fleet to be able to sail immediately into battle, with full bunkers, and return to Hawaii to refuel (versus the west coast).

If the Japanese had appreciated either of these facts, and destroyed those targets, it would have made the Navy's entry into battle happen much later, and could have led to the invasion of the Hawaiian islands, without much that we would have been able to do about it.
100% correct. Its mindboogling that the japanese brass did not consider the dry docks and every drop of fuel the navy had stored in above ground tanks a strategic target to hit in the first wave. If the did so it would have been a death blow to the pacific fleet.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:02 AM   #129
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So if the Japanese never attacked Pearl Harbour and instead focused on strengthening its position in East Asia (like totally controlling China & Taiwan or South East Asia for instance) would they have been in a better position?

Or instead they HAD to attack pearl harbour because the US would've gotten involved either way?
They pretty much had to, US intervention was likely inevitable.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:29 AM   #130
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They pretty much had to, US intervention was likely inevitable.
But if they didnt touch pearl harbour they will get another 6 months - 1 year to secure their foothold in east Asia

IMO they got greedy, if they only secure China and not overextend themselves China would be Japan speaking by now.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:51 AM   #131
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actually if the Japanese had concentrated on making the Klingon Empire subservient to their every wish they could have controlled the world and we all would be speaking Japaklingonese.......
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:09 AM   #132
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From my limited knowledge on Japan's motivations to attack the U.S., it seems like it might be the equivalent of Iran launching large scale conventional military attacks on our bases in the Middle East, with the goal of dislodging us. Then they are surprised when we invade them.

Maybe only in retrospect but that seems like a foolish strategy. I guess they assumed the Pacific fleet would take so long to rebuild, that years later the Americans would no longer have the resolve to retaliate?
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:12 AM   #133
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Japan was stupid.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:18 AM   #134
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Japan in the end fell victim to it's own collective xenophobia and in believing in the concept of Kamikaze (not the suicide variant, but the idea that they were protected/chosen by a 'divine wind').

Fundamentally, the decision to antagonize the most capable industrial/production nation on earth into war was spectacularly unwise. "Awaken a sleeping giant" indeed.

If they were wiser, they would have read Mein Kampf, realized that Hitler was going to kick Stalin's door down, and made a deal to invade simultaneously from the East in exchange for rich fuel opportunities, and left the US out of it. That's one thing that always bothered me about the vaunted 'Axis' powers during WW2, they really sucked at coordination. The closest were Hitler and Mussolini, but Il Duce was a shitty motivator, and the Italian people didn't much feel like sacrificing themselves for stupid fascist leaders for stupid fascist reasons. That, and one might say they're just historically crappy soldiers ever since the old empire days. At least the French had Napoleon making them look tough for a period of time.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:21 AM   #135
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Wow, really interesting stuff. So I guess when we couldn't get our war started with Germany, we tried Japan, and they took the bait. We basically stepped on their neck and hoped they'd fight back:

http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute...les/PUB905.pdf
http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1930
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:24 AM   #136
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Wow, really interesting stuff. So I guess when we couldn't get our war started with Germany, we tried Japan, and they took the bait. We basically stepped on their neck and hoped they'd fight back:

http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute...les/PUB905.pdf
http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1930
Yes, that is most certainly the case. Their wisest play would have been largely to fall back and let the Pacific go for the time being. There wasn't much of value there anyway. The USN wouldn't have had 1/100th the budget/resources/manpower or directive to invade islands in the middle of the Pacific without them being in a declared war.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:25 AM   #137
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I just quickly glanced through the posts here....but it looks like no one mentioned OIL? Where did you gets get your WW2 edumacation? Japan was resource poor....the U.S. oil embargo really put the screws to Japan. The attack on Pearl Harbor was meant to cripple the U.S. Pacific fleet (but many of the ships weren't there)....if it would have been more successful the Japanese would have had an easier go of capturing more islands/territory and gain more resources (most importantly oil) that they desperately needed.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:27 AM   #138
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Yes, that is most certainly the case. Their wisest play would have been largely to fall back and let the Pacific go for the time being. There wasn't much of value there anyway. The USN wouldn't have had 1/100th the budget/resources/manpower or directive to invade islands in the middle of the Pacific without them being in a declared war.
It sounds like the fight wasn't just for the Pacific, though. With the economic sanctions imposed upon them they would have had to abandon their East Asia holdings and step off the world stage. The U.S., Britain, and France were dismantling their military slowly, so Japan felt the best (only) play was to attack while strong.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:32 AM   #139
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I just quickly glanced through the posts here....but it looks like no one mentioned OIL? Where did you gets get your WW2 edumacation? Japan was resource poor....the U.S. oil embargo really put the screws to Japan. The attack on Pearl Harbor was meant to cripple the U.S. Pacific fleet (but many of the ships weren't there)....if it would have been more successful the Japanese would have had an easier go of capturing more islands/territory and gain more resources (most importantly oil) that they desperately needed.
Well where in the Pacific in the 1940s was there oil to be gained?

And as they were already ravaging China/Manchuria with virtual impunity, what value did further sanctions hold over them? They truly botched their strategy by poking the US into war.

It is my final analysis that Japan acted as it did, decided by a tiny number of insane men, for pride and in gross ignorance of the reality seen by even many of their senior military commanders.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:32 AM   #140
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Well where in the Pacific in the 1940s was there oil to be gained?

And as they were already ravaging China/Manchuria with virtual impunity, what value did further sanctions hold over them? They truly botched their strategy by poking the US into war.

It is my final analysis that Japan acted as it did, decided by a tiny number of insane men, for pride and in gross ignorance of the reality seen by even many of their senior military commanders.
After the U.S. oil embargo, Japan had enough oil reserves for two years only. Japan previously had received a lot of oil via the United States. They weren't in a good position after the embargo. Indonesia had oil...they also eyed the Philippines but they knew that taking the Philippines would definitely bring the U.S. into the war. Instead of first taking the Philippines and inevitably getting into war with the U.S. by that action...they first launched Pearl Harbor as a surprise attack in order to cripple the U.S. Pacific Fleet before they took the Philippines and other islands.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:33 AM   #141
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Eh, the USA was going to destroy their ability to project power one way or another. They knew it, and that wasn't an acceptable outcome. They also had no real concept of the vastness of America or the nature of the people. They couldn't think outside themselves... they seemed to think that losing San Diego would be to America what losing Kyoto would be to them. Yamamoto understood better, but he was largely ignored on strategic matters.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:38 AM   #142
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Pearl Harbor attack: December 7th, 1941
Initial landings near the Philippines: December 8th, 1941

Japan wanted to attack first to cripple the Pacific fleet in a surprise move...control their own destiny instead of waiting for the U.S. to start pounding on them in full force AFTER they took the Philippines.
EDIT: You have to remember the Philippines were an American territory at that time.

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Old 11-12-2012, 03:59 AM   #143
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Just watched the movie "Isoroku" released late last year about Isorouk Yamamoto, the commanding officer of Japanese Imperial Navy and the one who led the attack on Pearl Harbor. It's interesting that he was also one of Japanese who opposed starting the war with American.

Yamamoto made a prophetic statement on war with the US: If ordered to fight, I shall run wild considerably for the first six months or a year, but I have utterly no confidence for the second and third years.

Bottom line, Japanese had solid arm force, but lack the resources in a prolong war. They were spread too thing with the war in China, war in South East Asia and the Pacific. Once American took care of their Navy, their Army became stranded in each location and lack supply and reinforcement.

There is no way they could have won ww2.
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:23 AM   #144
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Once American took care of their Navy, their Army became stranded in each location and lack supply and reinforcement.

There is no way they could have won ww2.
It's a good thing both Japan and Germany became too aggressive...I'd hate to think what would have happened if Germany had respected the treaty of non-aggression with the Soviets....or even worse if the Soviets would have become part of the Axis powers. It wasn't totally out of the question since the Soviets had signed a neutrality pact with Japan as well.
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:33 AM   #145
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It didn't hurt that the IJN and the army HATED each other and couldn't coordinate a damned thing.
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:45 AM   #146
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Very interesting read: German-Soviet Axis Talks Didn't realize how close to a deal they were...had it not been for Hitler's obsession with attacking the Soviets it could have come to fruition. Japan, Germany, Soviet Union, Italy.....had it happened the British would certainly have fallen and the U.S. might have decided it was wise to leave Europe and the Pacific islands to its own devices. But then it would have only been a matter of time before the Axis Powers starting fighting themselves since Germany and Japan both had no love for the Soviet Union.

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In an unannounced November 25 visit in Sofia, the Soviets told the Bulgarian Prime Minister that, if Bulgaria permitted the Soviets troop transfer access, the Soviets were prepared to drop their objections to Bulgaria's entry into the Axis and, most surprisingly, stated that it likely would not be an issue as it would "very probably, almost certainly" lead to the Soviets' own entry into the Axis.[76] The stunned Bulgarian Prime Minister stated that this required further contemplation.[76] The Soviet negotiators had concluded that the Bulgarian government "is already committed to Germany to the hilt."
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:57 AM   #147
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Originally Posted by z0mb13 View Post
But if they didnt touch pearl harbour they will get another 6 months - 1 year to secure their foothold in east Asia

IMO they got greedy, if they only secure China and not overextend themselves China would be Japan speaking by now.
Not possible. There just wasn't enough Japanese soldiers. The deeper they got into China, the thinner they were spread, resupplying was a nigtmare.
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:02 AM   #148
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I just quickly glanced through the posts here....but it looks like no one mentioned OIL? Where did you gets get your WW2 edumacation? Japan was resource poor....the U.S. oil embargo really put the screws to Japan. The attack on Pearl Harbor was meant to cripple the U.S. Pacific fleet (but many of the ships weren't there)....if it would have been more successful the Japanese would have had an easier go of capturing more islands/territory and gain more resources (most importantly oil) that they desperately needed.
It was mentioned. I was the one that did.
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:06 AM   #149
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Well where in the Pacific in the 1940s was there oil to be gained?

And as they were already ravaging China/Manchuria with virtual impunity, what value did further sanctions hold over them? They truly botched their strategy by poking the US into war.

It is my final analysis that Japan acted as it did, decided by a tiny number of insane men, for pride and in gross ignorance of the reality seen by even many of their senior military commanders.
Due to their customs, the undelings rarely spoke up against a superior. The anti-war faction also were being assassinated.

Wars are always started by men that are greedy, mad or both.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:03 AM   #150
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Well where in the Pacific in the 1940s was there oil to be gained?
Indonesia.
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