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How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of hindsight?

 
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How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of hind... - 7/27/2010 1:52:14 AM   
fbs

 

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Hindsight is 20/20, so nowadays everybody think "Whaaaaat were the Japanese thinking? Didn't they know that the US could produce aircrafts by the hundreds of thousands? carriers by the hundred? Hoooooow could they be so blind?"

Well, consider this: say we didn't know a priori the power the USA was going to have in 1945. Imagine you are looking from a 1940 Japan's point of view, with data available from 1938-1939. The US didn't look all that hot by then. This is a nice set of statistics from the League of Nations 1926-1944, that are quite interesting:

League of Nations 1926-1944

The US population in 1937 was estimated at 129m people, Japan had 71m people. The US had 11.9m tons of shipping in 1938, Japan had 5.0m tons (about 1:2). The US produced 18.3m tons of cement in 1938, Japan produced 5.5m tons (1:3.5 or so), so what's the point of US's vast consumer industries if our Japan is no more than 1:4 worse in basic industries? Of course, the US had much more railways and cars, but what could these do on a war half world away?

The primary sectors where the US has an out-of-this-world advantage are oil: 164m tons in 1937, against 0.4m tons for Japan; and steel: 51.4m tons in 1936, against 5.8m tons for Japan. Even DEI's oil cannot compete: only some 8.5m tons or so, total. So one can expect a huge surplus of oil by the US, but how that would benefit the US if it takes many years to build the ships?

So, if I have a nice, experienced army with the Japanese spirit, some really hot aircrafts, a comparable Navy, and then I destroy the US's navy in the first strike and grab the oil in the region... and the US is limited by shipping in the same way as Russia was in 1905... then who in Japan could predict nothing worse than a tough war, but one with a chance of victory? Even more if the US will be divided with a war in Europe too - one that of course Germany was going to win.

I mean, could anyone, even in the US, really have predicted the overwhelming superiority in ships and aircrafts the US would have by 1945?

< Message edited by fbs -- 7/27/2010 1:53:12 AM >
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RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 1:57:59 AM   
Canoerebel


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Admiral Yamamoto.

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RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 2:02:49 AM   
rtrapasso


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i think the US produced on 2 dry freight type ships in about 10 years as well (according to Willmott)...

However, could anyone have predicted the US potential? Well, yes, in fact, some people in Japan (i.e. Yamamoto) DID realize the US potential, and knew they (Japan) could not win a long term war... he knew that the US was in a big depression in 1938, and had seen what US industry could do (he was in the US in 1919 - 1921).

Japan had always gone up against continental powers in the past, and knew (or thought) her seapower could protect her against their incursions and it worked against China, Russia and Germany (WWI).

They(mainly the Army) thought that the devastating attack against Pearl Harbor would crush the effete spirit of the US people, and that it would be a rather short war... a rather bad miscalculation.

EDIT: (Post crossed with Canoerebel's as it took me a while to compose it)...

< Message edited by rtrapasso -- 7/27/2010 2:13:02 AM >

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RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 2:10:54 AM   
Bullwinkle58


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quote:

ORIGINAL: fbs

I mean, could anyone, even in the US, really have predicted the overwhelming superiority in ships and aircrafts the US would have by 1945?


Sure, lots of analysts could have. A 2:1 difference in population, that most basic of economic inputs? It takes 30 years to grow a mature, 30 YO engineer. Steel differences not trivial, but you don't mention aluminum. We had it (as did Canada) made by HUGE Depression-era hydroelectric dam projects. We didn't need to import fuel to make metals. We had a never-ending supply. Factory organization? Ever hear of Henry Ford? The Japanese economy was still making sub-assemblies in paper shacks with dirt floors.

How about regional factors? Our neighbors didn't hate us. We didn't tie down much of our army keeping Canadians at their slave-labor tasks. In fact, we like Canadians, and they us (mostly.) And Canada can flat out build some ships (and mine ore, cut lumber, pipe oil, grow food . . .)

But the biggest reason the Japanese screwed up the forecast was racial bigotry. They KNEW we'd go down and grovel once we were shown how inferior we were.

Ooops.

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RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 2:23:06 AM   
fbs

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel

Admiral Yamamoto.



Asking the other way around... anyone could have believed the overwhelming enemy advantage so strongly as to put his career on the line for that? From what I remember, Yamamoto was against the war but only expressed the thing about "roaming wild for a year" in confidence. I don't know about him going public about that.

Say that Yamamoto actually predicted the utmost doom that awaited Japan -- it would be his duty to save Japan from the disaster being engineered by the war party. Even if that meant internal fighting.

I mean to say: Yamamoto had his apprehensions, but who can say he accurately predicted the size of the hole Japan was going into?

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RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 2:26:44 AM   
Canoerebel


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History is littered with desperate people who convince themselves that the enemy won't fight or, if the enemy does fight, that one of "us" can whip ten of "them."

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RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 2:29:25 AM   
fbs

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bullwinkle58

Sure, lots of analysts could have. A 2:1 difference in population, that most basic of economic inputs?



Japan won in 1905 against a much more populous and industrialized Russia...

As for the regional factors, one could argue that the Asiatic colonies would raise against the European imperialists, that would support Japan in an Asiatic Co-Prosperity Sphere.

A lot of things could have happened differently in the political realm, specially if Germany had won. For example, Brazil was leaning towards supporting Germany - while Germany was winning, that is.


< Message edited by fbs -- 7/27/2010 2:34:16 AM >

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RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 2:35:37 AM   
Bullwinkle58


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quote:

ORIGINAL: fbs


quote:

ORIGINAL: Bullwinkle58

Sure, lots of analysts could have. A 2:1 difference in population, that most basic of economic inputs?



Japan won in 1905 against a much more populous and industrialized Russia...


Geography is destiny. Where was Russia's industry?

For that matter, Russia and Japan in 1905 were both basically still feudal societies. Russians were less disciplined and riven by ethnic and religious in-fighting as well. Population was a non-event in that short, one-sided war. If Japan had fought the Russians on the Asian mainland, for ten years, population would have been controlling, however.

< Message edited by Bullwinkle58 -- 7/27/2010 2:37:59 AM >


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RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 2:50:40 AM   
Califvol


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To me the big "what if" the Japanese had actually followed their war plan? They were suppose to establish a defensive perimeter and then sue for peace. Instead they kept on truckin trying for the big win. If they had stopped and sued for peace and America having a Germany first war plan what would have happened? With hindsight its easy to say, naw, wouldn't have worked. But, being on the losing end of the war for the first half of 1942, what would have changed if there was no Midway operation and the Japanese had gone for an early release of US POWs back to the US? Never really know, just a fun speculation.

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RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 2:54:40 AM   
fbs

 

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Still Russia was a favorite to win the 1905 war. They were one of the European power-players, and when they lost for a little guy in Asia, that was a severe blow to the Czar.

Let me ask from another perspective. Nobody expects a decisive win in the War Against Terror anytime soon, but everybody expects the fight to continue and eventually the terrorists will be defeated. Say that someone starts to jump up and down arguing that from A+B and from this and that statistic the USA is doomed, there is no chance, the bad guys will win, better give up now and live under a rock. That guy would be fried.

Similarly, one could argue that (except for steel and oil) Japan didn't look all that bad against the US in 1940, with stats from 1938, and if someone started to jump up and down with predictions of doom and how these stats didn't show the real picture -- that guy would be fried.

My point is: after the war ends everybody has smart arguments on why one side had no chance. But before it starts, it takes a very, very, but very courageous politician to argue the country will lose. On the first day of war politicians and generals always say their country will win.


ps: my point around War on Terror is just to argue that politicians never embrace defeatism, whatever the arguments. I'm not arguing anything else on this politically sensitive topic.

< Message edited by fbs -- 7/27/2010 3:02:52 AM >

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RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 3:45:09 AM   
noguaranteeofsanity


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IMHO and from what i have read, it was largely due to the nature of the Japanese leaders, politics and system of governance. It wasn't necessarily a logical decision and was based more on fanatical political beliefs and the rise of ultra nationalism and militarism, determined to establish the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, that is somewhat similar to the rise of fascism in Germany and the notion of establishing the Third Reich. It was their total belief in this ideology, rather than logic, that inevitably lead them to war, with the western embargoes making their ambitions, a necessity.

While unlike western nations and democracy, the Japanese were answerable to the Emperor, who was thought to be divine and a god, so they merely had to advise and convince him of their plans and and all of Japan would follow. It is again these illogical beliefs (to those of us in the West), that led Japan to war.

Once Japan had seized the SRA, the plan was to sue for peace, as others have said. It would seem that is partly their belief in the ideology and realization that the US and Allies would settle for nothing less than total victory and surrender, that put an end to that and left them with no choice, but to continue to fight. I especially doubt the Allies would have accepted any Japanese offers of peace, without their withdrawal from the SRA and even China, which were the reasons for the prewar embargoes.

< Message edited by noguaranteeofsanity -- 7/27/2010 3:54:43 AM >

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RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 3:47:59 AM   
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While I won't argue that some may have decided that 1941 would be the same as 1905 in Japan, it is hard to defend that this would be a rational analysis of the circumstances.  Sure, people sometimes do the math backwards.  They start with the desired results they want, and then fudge around until they think they found a magic bullet to get the right formula.   The Decisive Victory was just that.  Just because it worked once against Russia doesn't mean that you can simply "wish" the same event to happen against another country in another decade. 

Although you have to admit, the battle at Tsushima was something out of a shakespearean tragedy - sail half way around the world and someone opens the wrong door on a hospital ship, whops.  (not to say this was the only misstep of course).


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RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 4:55:47 AM   
fbs

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lomri

While I won't argue that some may have decided that 1941 would be the same as 1905 in Japan, it is hard to defend that this would be a rational analysis of the circumstances.



Oh, no, I don't defend the decision to go to war was anything rational. It was of course a completely misinformed and incredibly stupid and optimistic thinking by Mr. Tojo.

I just defend that it might have been very difficult for someone in Japan 1940 to predict the size of the storm that would fall on their heads. I don't think anyone could predict that the US would build 140 CV/CVE, 50 CA/CL and 770 DD/DE during the war; and 320,000 aircrafts; and 2.4 million trucks...

But say someone predicted 1/10th of that (still more than enough to beat Japan). He couldn't talk to anyone, or he could literally lose his head. Everybody in public only spoke of victory. And if he raised some actual data, would be called an alarmist, a traitor and a defeatist. In that environment, I doubt there was much incentive to find realistic data, and if someone found it, the reality would be so fantastic that I doubt many would have believed it.

If we were educated, informed Japanese in 1941, I wonder how many of us would think that we had a fair chance of winning the war. I'm pretty sure I would be in the crowd waving to the soldiers.

< Message edited by fbs -- 7/27/2010 4:57:29 AM >

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RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 4:59:21 AM   
Bullwinkle58


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Califvol

To me the big "what if" the Japanese had actually followed their war plan? They were suppose to establish a defensive perimeter and then sue for peace. Instead they kept on truckin trying for the big win. If they had stopped and sued for peace and America having a Germany first war plan what would have happened? With hindsight its easy to say, naw, wouldn't have worked. But, being on the losing end of the war for the first half of 1942, what would have changed if there was no Midway operation and the Japanese had gone for an early release of US POWs back to the US? Never really know, just a fun speculation.


If you study US social and political history, and not just military, this is so far from possible as to be ridiculous.

Let me try to put in it a modern context. If Osama bin Laden had offered NYC and the federal treasury $50 billion and an apology on October 1, 2001, would he have been off the hook?

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RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 5:09:23 AM   
Bullwinkle58


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quote:

ORIGINAL: fbs

quote:

Still Russia was a favorite to win the 1905 war.


Well, they were in the European press. Nobody in Europe knew a thing about Japan in 1905. It was only fifty years since their society had been opened to the West, and Europe hadn't fallen over themselves learning.

quote:

Similarly, one could argue that (except for steel and oil) Japan didn't look all that bad against the US in 1940, with stats from 1938, and if someone started to jump up and down with predictions of doom and how these stats didn't show the real picture -- that guy would be fried.


Yeahbut, as I said, there were a lot more negative statistics against Japan than steel and oil. But just on those two, their position was hopeless. The US had twice the population, plus all of the Commonwealth nations, some of SA, much of China as allies. Japan had two strong allies thousands of miles and ten cultures away, plus some unreliable, self-interested local sycophants. They were the mafia, not leaders of a strong coalition. Cultural blindness prevented them from seeing how weak they were, not stats.


quote:

My point is: after the war ends everybody has smart arguments on why one side had no chance. But before it starts, it takes a very, very, but very courageous politician to argue the country will lose. On the first day of war politicians and generals always say their country will win.

Quote from that classic movie, "War Games": "The only way to win is not to play." If Japan had stuck to the local area and not attacked US, Malaysia, the DEI, they might have been allowed to hold and bleed China for many years, or forever. The US populaiton had not been prepped to fight them. We had been prepped to fight in Europe all through 1940 and 1941. (USS Reuben James anyone?) Cultural hubris got the Japanese into the war, not necessity. Yes, we embargoed scrap metal and oil. They could have adjusted, with a lot of short-term pain. Their pride wouldn't let them.



< Message edited by Bullwinkle58 -- 7/27/2010 5:14:04 AM >


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RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 5:26:36 AM   
topeverest

 

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FBS,

Let me suggest you read the recent book..."The Making of Modern Japan" which has one of its focus on the events leading up to the start of WWII. That part of the book is a revealing, if academic, exposition on how Japan made the decision to go to war, including how the major commanders sided. As an oversimplified summary, the IJA wanted the war / thought it was winnable. The IJN did not want the war nor believed such a war was likely winnable. Anyway. It is a good and fair study that can help you gain perspective on the couse that was taken.



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RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 5:44:13 AM   
Terminus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Califvol

To me the big "what if" the Japanese had actually followed their war plan? They were suppose to establish a defensive perimeter and then sue for peace. Instead they kept on truckin trying for the big win. If they had stopped and sued for peace and America having a Germany first war plan what would have happened? With hindsight its easy to say, naw, wouldn't have worked. But, being on the losing end of the war for the first half of 1942, what would have changed if there was no Midway operation and the Japanese had gone for an early release of US POWs back to the US? Never really know, just a fun speculation.


Wouldn't have worked because of these six little words: Pearl Harbor and Bataan Death March.

The moment the first Jap bomb dropped on 12/7, the Japanese Empire was doomed.

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RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 6:29:40 AM   
LoBaron


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quote:

ORIGINAL: fbs
Let me ask from another perspective. Nobody expects a decisive win in the War Against Terror anytime soon, but everybody expects the fight to continue and eventually the terrorists will be defeated. Say that someone starts to jump up and down arguing that from A+B and from this and that statistic the USA is doomed, there is no chance, the bad guys will win, better give up now and live under a rock. That guy would be fried.


Interesting point. Maybe I am one of those guys that would be fried....
As it is now, my estimate is that the current methods implied in the War Against Terror will yield one significant result: More potential terrorists.
Not much else. But I don´t want to drift into politics here...

quote:


Similarly, one could argue that (except for steel and oil) Japan didn't look all that bad against the US in 1940, with stats from 1938, and if someone started to jump up and down with predictions of doom and how these stats didn't show the real picture -- that guy would be fried.

My point is: after the war ends everybody has smart arguments on why one side had no chance. But before it starts, it takes a very, very, but very courageous politician to argue the country will lose. On the first day of war politicians and generals always say their country will win.


I agree.
Yamamoto was an exception in the Japanese Empire at his time. An exception because he was one of the few people who had the benefit of actually witnessing the industrial
potential of the US before the war broke out, and the intellect to draw the right conclusions from what he had seen.
The Japanese Governement was imperialistic, expansionistic and isolationistic. There was not much interest to learn anything about the rest of the world, but to integrate or oppress
areas of interest into the Japanese culture.
The average educational level was extremely low. Just by comparing how easily a random population can be convinced by "facts" even now so that the few who think otherwise have to battle against
the majority of their own people to be heard, or even risk their lives, you get a rough picture of what the situation for somebody who thought at the same lines as Yamamoto but did not have
anything close to his political status would have been.

quote:


ps: my point around War on Terror is just to argue that politicians never embrace defeatism, whatever the arguments. I'm not arguing anything else on this politically sensitive topic.


Same applies to me...

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RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 7:24:06 AM   
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The Japanese war machine on the eve of war was already running at near capacity. The US was running at a small fraction of theres and had portions of it shut down due to the Depression and then in 1941-1943 added hundreds of new production centers. By late 1944 they were canceling projects and shutting down on production and by 1945 were again worrying about budget concerns and demobilization and taking ships out of the fleet and disbanding divisions.

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RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 7:36:36 AM   
Xxzard

 

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On an off topic point-

In my mind, looking at the oil statistics is especially impressive today because most of that oil is gone. Oil production in Japan peaked in the thirties, and production in the US peaked in the 70's. (if I recall) To think that all that oil is already mostly gone and that those indigenous reserves still weren't and aren't enough to fuel the US is a bit depressing.

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RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 8:13:43 AM   
mike scholl 1

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: fbs
I mean, could anyone, even in the US, really have predicted the overwhelming superiority in ships and aircraft the US would have by 1945?


British Minister Sir Edward Grey. He had stated more than 20 years earlier that "America is like a giant boiler. There is no limit to the power it can produce if only you can get a fire lit under it.." Pearl Harbor lit that fire with a blowtorch.

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RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 11:40:30 AM   
xj900uk

 

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quote:

Asking the other way around... anyone could have believed the overwhelming enemy advantage so strongly as to put his career on the line for that? From what I remember, Yamamoto was against the war but only expressed the thing about "roaming wild for a year" in confidence. I don't know about him going public about that.

Actually, what happened was that one of Yamamoto's Naval friends/admirals in the ruling political elite sent Yamamoto a letter asking him for his best opinion as to what would happen if war came before Christmas '41 and the IJN had succeeded in its primary aim of neutralising 'the main threat' (ie the US Pacific Fleet, althogh it wasn't referred to in the letter), I think the letter was sent in the late spring/early summer when Pearl Harbor was still being formulated/planned but nothing was definite yet. The letter also asked Yamamoto what guarantees (if any) he would be prepared to give.
Yamamoto's response was short and straight to the point :
'If we go to war before the end of 1941 I guarantee we can raise merry hell with them (the Americans) for six months. After that I guarantee nothing'.
Yamamoto's reply was read out to the War Cabinet but then seems to have been rather studiously ignored. There is a minuted comment on file somewhere that the majority of officers thought he was being far too pessimistic. Somebody (sorry can't remember their name) brought up the issue of America's industrial power and might, comparing it to the only recently mechanised and still largely fledgling Japanese modern industry. The response was something along the lines of 'The Americans have no stomach for a long fight this far out in the Pacific. They will eventually cut their losses and go to the negotiating table. In the meantime the superior 'fighting spirit' of our armies more than outweighs any matieral advantage the Americans and their Allies may superficially deploy'.

Hindsight sure is a great thing...

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RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 12:13:05 PM   
Terminus


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The decision had already been made, by the IJA, not the IJN.

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RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 12:35:47 PM   
invernomuto


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bullwinkle58

Sure, lots of analysts could have. A 2:1 difference in population, that most basic of economic inputs? It takes 30 years to grow a mature, 30 YO engineer. Steel differences not trivial, but you don't mention aluminum. We had it (as did Canada) made by HUGE Depression-era hydroelectric dam projects. We didn't need to import fuel to make metals. We had a never-ending supply. Factory organization? Ever hear of Henry Ford? The Japanese economy was still making sub-assemblies in paper shacks with dirt floors.




Also oil production. IIRC, USA was self sufficient in oil production in WW2.
German and Japan were not.




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RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 1:46:01 PM   
Panther Bait


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The indications for the US's potential should have been obvious for anyone able to remember the post-WWI-1920's era. US manufactuing potential exploded in a very short time. Skyscrapers, cars cheap enough for many/most people to own one, mass production of cotton/textiles, etc. Look at the early graphs in the economic data link posted above. The US increases in production dwarf those of Europe and the rest of the world for the most part.

What skews some of the 1930's numbers is that the US was slower coming out of the Depression than other nations. The 1930's production numbers are much, much lower than they could have been, and even then the scope of the WPA infrastructure projects were laying the foundation for incredible expansion when it was necessary.

Mike

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RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 3:14:14 PM   
fbs

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Panther Bait

The indications for the US's potential should have been obvious for anyone able to remember the post-WWI-1920's era. US manufactuing potential exploded in a very short time. Skyscrapers, cars cheap enough for many/most people to own one, mass production of cotton/textiles, etc. Look at the early graphs in the economic data link posted above. The US increases in production dwarf those of Europe and the rest of the world for the most part.



In the same way, the russian industrial production 20 years ago was that of a powerhouse. But if there was an attack that destroyed the remains of the russian fleet in Petropavlovsk, does anyone think that they can not only be back to 1970s-1980s industrial production, but multiply that by 4 and double their GDP, all in less than 4 years?

Or, the other way around, how much industrial production in modern Russia would increase upon an attack in Petropavlovsk? One can argue: nah, nothing, russian industrial power will be a "has-been" for the next 20 years... she can be pushed around and bullied, and will do nothing; production will increase 10% at best! Another person can argue: gee, keep in mind they used to have 70,000 tanks in the soviet army... they will be re-energized, will forget the internal differences, redirect the industry and will bring complete destruction to the attacker; she's a sleeping giant, and production will increase 300%!

Would you really believe in the second scenario if someone argued that? Enough to risk end of your career, prison and death to bring that public?

< Message edited by fbs -- 7/27/2010 3:16:09 PM >

(in reply to Panther Bait)
Post #: 26
RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 4:53:21 PM   
oldman45


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I think a more logical theory could be the the following question:

What would have happened if the Japanese had only attacked Great Britain and the Netherlands? They would have gotten the Southern Resource Area and never engaged the US.

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RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 4:54:30 PM   
Panther Bait


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You make some good points, but to be honest, I doubt highly that the US could do a repeat of it's WWII scale up in the same time frame today. Weapons are a lot more complex and skilled labor intensive to build nowadays to ramp up production like they did in the past. Factor in the increased lethality of today's weapons and I suspect everyone would run out of missiles, tanks, and planes in weeks or months of a large-scale conflict.

That being said, if the Russians were given a year or two to prep themselves like the US had going into WWII (most in the US knew that we were going to be in the war eventually as early as 1939 and production/militarization of the economy was starting to rise), I bet the Russians could start cranking up their industry again as well as anyone else in Europe could. For that matter, they are still one of the chief exporters of modern weapons now. They just can't afford to buy their own products at the moment.

Mike

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When you shoot at a destroyer and miss, it's like hit'in a wildcat in the ass with a banjo.

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(in reply to fbs)
Post #: 28
RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 6:04:41 PM   
anarchyintheuk

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: fbs

Hindsight is 20/20, so nowadays everybody think "Whaaaaat were the Japanese thinking? Didn't they know that the US could produce aircrafts by the hundreds of thousands? carriers by the hundred? Hoooooow could they be so blind?"



Japanese leaders were aware that the 2 ocean navy bill (and its contents) had passed by the US in mid-40. It shouldn't have been a surprise to them that they were going to be outbuilt nor by how much. Of course, the bill probably had a ticking clock effect on their decisions as well.

(in reply to fbs)
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RE: How to judge Japan's attack without the benefit of ... - 7/27/2010 6:48:46 PM   
m10bob


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As for Yamamoto not being real "public" in his feelings of America being a "sleeping giant", one must understand that he did know Americans well, having lived here in Conus for years, and Japan had a bunch of "nasties" running around killing and otherwise assassinating politicians and military leaders who did not go with the flow.

Mr Yamamoto did as all military people are trained.

He followed his orders.

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