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Darwin, the importance of being Earnest!

 
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Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 11/22/2011 3:07:21 PM   
dr.hal


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Folks, I know this has been discussed before in other threads but NOT unto itself that I know of. It appears to me that due to many factors including location on the map board, Darwin has an importance within the game FAR exceeding its actual role in the real Pacific war. From reading much about the real events of the Pacific, with the exception of a few attacks (and one in particular) Darwin was a backwater. Do others agree? Or not? Hal
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RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 11/22/2011 3:26:53 PM   
CT Grognard

 

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Hi dr. hal,

My understanding of Japanese strategy after they secured the Southern Resource Area - or "Stage Two" - are as follows:

1) There was a strong push by elements of the IJ Navy for an invasion of northern Australia for a number of reasons:
a) It was lightly defended and geographically removed from major Australian population centres (and as a consequence difficult to reinforce);
b) As a consequence you would need a small Japanese landing force to secure it;
c) Securing it would deny northern Australia as a base from which the Allies could launch a counter-offensive to liberate the Dutch East Indies.

Notably, Yamamoto was firmly opposed to such an invasion.

The IJ Army, who would need to provide the bulk of the troops for such an operation, were very much opposed to it. There were a number of reasons for this:

1) IJ Army doctrine was to defend the perimeter of Japanese conquests, and they believed they would be over-extending their supply lines and expanding the perimeter to a level where it was stretched too thin;
2) The IJ Army was always focused on China and Manchuria, where the top leadership always felt the main threat was Russia. As a result there was a supreme reluctance on the part of the IJ Army to consider stripping any troops from China or Kwantung for such an operation.
3) The IJ Army believed it was not feasible to only occupy north Australia given likely Allied counteroffensives there. It was their contention that an invasion of Australia would need to involve an attempt to conquer the ENTIRE Australian continent, which was simply not possible.

The IJ Navy thought they would only need 60,000 men to secure north Australia. The IJ Army estimated they would need far more - more than 200,000.

As a result the Army felt that such an invasion simply required too many resources - troops and shipping - for relatively little value, i.e. in their opinion the risk-reward was out of kilter.

Finally the decision was taken to isolate Australia by cutting them off from the United States by securing Fiji, Samoa and New Caledonia and denying the South Pacific link.

A further leg was to advance through the Central Pacific to capture Midway Island.

Then came the Battle of Midway, and the rest is history.

Ultimately Darwin and north Australia became backwaters in the real war because of these strategic considerations. I believe WITP-AE, however, allows for a number of "what if" scenarios and one of these is for Japan to attempt the strategy of invading northern Australia that was very strongly considered up until February 1942.

(in reply to dr.hal)
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RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 11/22/2011 3:33:25 PM   
CT Grognard

 

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In fact, the only Japanese landing in Australia that occurred took place on 19 January 1944 when four Japanese officers on a small fishing boat departed Kupang in Timor and went ashore for a day in the York Sound region (closest base in WITP-AE would be Broome) to investigate reports that the Allies were building large bases in the area.

(in reply to CT Grognard)
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RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 11/22/2011 3:35:57 PM   
CT Grognard

 

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It was interesting reading the house rules that Fletcher and cantona2 set up for their "AE Historical Game Project".

To reflect the extreme IJ Army opposition to an invasion of northern Australia, they had a house rule if I recall stating that the Japanese player had to have accumulated a total of 3,000 (or something of the sort) political points "held in reserve" and any IJ Army units landing there had to have at least 80 preparation points.

(in reply to dr.hal)
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RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 11/22/2011 3:45:59 PM   
dr.hal


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Ct, thanks, good stuff... I didn't know about those house rules, in my game we have nothing like that! As for the real thing, I agree, circumstances of strategy seem to have put Darwin in the background YET I can't help but see that Darwin would be a front line player in any strategy within the game let alone a push on Northern Australia. Hal

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RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 11/22/2011 3:48:51 PM   
CT Grognard

 

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I'll try to find Fletcher's historical house rules. They certainly do tie the Japanese and Allied player significantly in terms of game flexibility, but make for an extremely interesting game!

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RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 11/22/2011 3:50:16 PM   
CT Grognard

 

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Hi dr.hal, here is the link to Fletcher's AAR.

Makes for great reading!

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2440843&mpage=1&key=

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RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 11/22/2011 7:15:42 PM   
dr.hal


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Thanks Ct, that's going to be a long read, but INTERESTING.... one heck of a set of rules... but it would have to be to recreate the political atmosphere in any of the waring parties.... Hal

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RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 11/23/2011 3:12:31 PM   
Disco Duck

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: CT Grognard

Hi dr.hal, here is the link to Fletcher's AAR.

Makes for great reading!

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2440843&mpage=1&key=



Wow, very interesting set of House Rules. Thanks for the link

(in reply to CT Grognard)
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RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 11/23/2011 3:19:28 PM   
CT Grognard

 

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Indeed they are.

I've been using most of them for a game I'm playing as Japan against the AI, I find it adds to the enjoyment of the game immensely.

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RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 5/16/2012 2:02:25 PM   
adsoul64


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My feeling is that Darwin is over important in the game due to the plain fact that many players are going for it. Maybe because it's so easy to capture, indeed for the Allies Darwin is nearly indefensible bacause it's more like an island than a part of the Continent due to his awful roadnet. But I can't imagine the advantage in invading Darwin. Maybe to build some bombardment campaign? Because as starting point for Australia conquest it just doesn't work.

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RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 5/16/2012 2:13:57 PM   
Q-Ball


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The main point in taking it is to deny it to the Allies. As the Japanese, if you could, I would sink Darwin into the ocean.

If you leave it alone, it can become a major pain the rear, literally. Though the road net stinks, the Allies can spend 1942 marching base units up there, and pull supply overland, making it a big base. Getting there via ship can't happen until the Torres Strait or Timor are cleared, but it can still be a problem.

It's better to chase away the Aussie into the desert

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RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 5/16/2012 2:19:36 PM   
adsoul64


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OK, but in order to effectively deny it to the Allies you need to set a strong garrison and I mean troops and A/C. Otherwise Alies will take it back just after clearing Torres Strait that they would make anyway. Just my two cents

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RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 5/16/2012 4:54:07 PM   
Nikademus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: dr.hal

Folks, I know this has been discussed before in other threads but NOT unto itself that I know of. It appears to me that due to many factors including location on the map board, Darwin has an importance within the game FAR exceeding its actual role in the real Pacific war. From reading much about the real events of the Pacific, with the exception of a few attacks (and one in particular) Darwin was a backwater. Do others agree? Or not? Hal



Yes. Darwin and the entire SRA area around it are overimportant in the game because of the way the abstracted logistics work and the overgenerous SPS values therein. When MacArthur was traveling through Northern Oz to where he'd end up in Brisbane, he saw for himself the logistical nightmare that would have been trying to stage a major offensive through Northern Australia into the SRA which is why the SWPac theater eventually opted to strike Japan through New Guniea.

In addition to being sparcely populated with few developed industries, even the rail gauge between N. Oz and SouthE. Oz was different. The situation in AE was improved recently by map changes which make Darwin hard to supply overland but this can be easily solved with a few big supply convoys. After that one just needs to land at any of a dozen SRA points, all with generous SPS values and quickly turn them into major air and/or sea bases.

Some people (including myself and Treespider) try to further represent the logistical and geographical difficulties of this Theater by greatly lowering SPS values for Darwin as well as the surrounding bases.

As for real life. The Australian government was set to cede all of N. Oz to the Japanese if they had too. The heart of the country was S. Oz in terms of economic and people resources. The "Brisbane Line" may have had some hysterial to it, but it also represented a realistic plan by a government with a limited size military to concentrate on the most important areas. Oz being as immense as it is, the loss of Darwin would have been a major morale blow and further secured the SRA but would have changed little in the SW Pacific Theater other than to drain away some land forces which might have slowed down the buildup to offensive power a bit.

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RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 5/16/2012 6:57:03 PM   
vettim89


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Good points, all.

Another point is that various points on the map became important because one or both sides decided it was important. This occured in RL as well as in game. A good example of this would be Guadalcanal. Before the war, probably few military planners on either side knew where the island was, yet it became a focal point of the entire PTO for six months (not entirely as the Buna Campaign ran parallel to it). It became important because both sides decided to fight there. The strength of WITP-AE is that it allows players to explore avenues that the RL commanders chose not to go down. Darwin could have become an important base in WWII if either side decided it should have been.

_____________________________

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry

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RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 5/17/2012 8:06:37 PM   
Nikademus


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a long held fantasy idea was to create an alternate version of WitP whereby the SPS values of the undeveloped bases (such as Lunga) were randomzed and would have to be scouted/surveyed before said SPS could be determined, but it would have required a rewrite of the entire game. Some also had issues with a map that could be wildy "ahistoric".

Remained an intriging idea though. Unfortunately with rigid "historical" values, hindsight inevitably plays factor. The Solomons/NG axis is one of the best examples. You see it in most AAR's. Port Morosby is important from turn 2 onward when in real life it only became decisive after the Japanese got settled into Rabaul and started making threatening moves toward Oz.


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RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 5/17/2012 8:40:32 PM   
LoBaron


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Q-Ball
The main point in taking it is to deny it to the Allies.


Straight to the point. Welcome back Q-Ball, I missed your comments when you left for WitE...

quote:

ORIGINAL: adsoul64
OK, but in order to effectively deny it to the Allies you need to set a strong garrison and I mean troops and A/C. Otherwise Alies will take it back just after clearing Torres Strait that they would make anyway. Just my two cents


Maybe, but in order to effectively defend your Southern flank - with Darwin in Allied hands as staging base for attacks - you need to garrison a lot of potential targets spreading from Timor to Dutch NG,
look at the map, there are a lot of attractive invasion propositions that can originate from a strong Darwin area. It is easy to see what is less cost-intensive.

_____________________________

S**t happens in war.

All hail the superior ones!

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RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 5/17/2012 11:49:36 PM   
Crackaces


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I beleive Mac was hell bent on invading the Solomons mainly because it brought him closer to the PI's.. somehow this forum forgets how the British maintained supply through the Libyan desert . If we wanted to have a contest in Northern Oz we could bring the logistics to bare .. Mac was determined to return to PI .. no matter what the consequinces.

But the IJA felt that all of Northern Oz would have to be secured not just Darwin .. that meant exposure to 4E's in open desert terrain without air cover.. the good news from this would have been more factual data of hitting troops in the open using 4E ground attacks from 5,000 feet ....

As it is they went for Midway and the rest is history ...

Myself scenario #1 I demonstrated why attacking Darwin was such as bad idea .. the IJA lose 2 full divisions plus and have little to gain from it .. plus while the IJN/IJA are consumed with Darwin I blitzed Burma ..

Maybe in scenario #2 a house rule is needed but I would invite the IJ for tea if they want to come to Darwin for a fight ...

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RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 5/18/2012 12:02:00 AM   
Nikademus


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Mac was determined to return to the PI no matter what yes. His choice however was not the Solomons, that credit went to King who was looking for a quick way to take the offensive after Midway. Mac's idea was to springboard from the SE and E coast of Oz (where logistical support and resources were the most concentrated....but still a shambles through much of 1942) and drive on Rabaul itself via New Guniea. Thus Port Morosby and later Buna and Lae became important targets.

The northern part of Oz could have been built up to support an offensive into the SRA......eventually, but it would have taken a long time, and massive effort and expense and the strain on shipping would have been that much more given the increased distance. NG and the Coral sea would still need to be secured to prevent flank attacks on the shipping. Japan's whole idea for occupying the lower Solomons was as part of a measure to cut the US-Oz pipeline.

Just mussing here....but the AE map size increase has always made me wonder about that pipeline.

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RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 5/18/2012 1:54:26 AM   
sandman455


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John Curtin, Prime Minister of Australia, 12/27/41

That reddish veil which o'er the face
Of night-hag East is drawn ...
Flames new disaster for the race?
Or can it be the dawn?

So wrote Bernard O'Dowd. I see 1942 as a year in which we shall know the
answer.

I would, however, that we provide the answer. We can and we will. Therefore I
see 1942 as a year of immense change in Australian life.
The Australian government's policy has been grounded on two facts. One is that
the war with Japan is not a phase of the struggle with the Axis powers, but is a
new war. The second is that Australia must go on a war footing.
Those two facts involve two lines of action - one in the direction of external
policy as to our dealings with Britain, the United States, Russia, the
Netherlands East Indies and China in the higher direction of the war in the
Pacific.

The second is the reshaping, in fact the revolutionising, of the Australian way
of life until a war footing is attained quickly, efficiently and without
question.

Now with equal realism, we take the view that, while the determination of
military policy is the Soviet's business, we should be able to look forward with
reason to aid from Russia against Japan. We look for a solid and impregnable
barrier of the Democracies against the three Axis Powers, and we refuse to
accept the dictum that the Pacific struggle must be treated as a subordinate
segment of the general conflict. By that it is not meant that any one of the
other theatres of war is of less importance than the Pacific, but that Australia
asks for a concerted plan evoking the greatest strength at the Democracies'
disposal, determined upon hurling Japan back.

The Australian Government, therefore, regards the Pacific struggle as primarily
one in which the United States and Australia must have the fullest say in the
direction of the democracies' fighting plan.

Without any inhibitions of any kind, I make it quite clear that Australia looks
to America, free of any pangs as to our traditional links or kinship with the
United Kingdom.

We know the problems that the United Kingdom faces. We know the constant threat
of invasion. We know the dangers of dispersal of strength, but we know too,
that Australia can go and Britain can still hold on.


Summed up, Australian external policy will be shaped toward obtaining Russian
aid, and working out, with the United States, as the major factor, a plan of
Pacific strategy, along with British, Chinese and Dutch forces.

Australian internal policy has undergone striking changes in the past few weeks.
These, and those that will inevitably come before 1942 is far advanced, have
been prompted by several reasons. In the first place, the Commonwealth
Government found it exceedingly difficult to bring Australian people to a
realisation of what, after two years of war, our position had become. Even the
entry of Japan, bringing a direct threat in our own waters, was met with a
subconscious view that the Americans would deal with the short-sighted,
underfed and fanatical Japanese.

The announcement that no further appeals would be made to the Australian people,
and the decisions that followed, were motivated by psychological factors. They
had an arresting effect. They awakened the somewhat lackadaisical Australian
mind the attitude that was imperative if we were to save ourselves, to enter an
all-in effort in the only possible manner.

That experiment in psychology was eminently successful, and we commence 1942
with a better realisation, by a greater number of Australians, of what the war
means than in the whole preceding two years.

The decisions were prompted by other reasons, all related to the necessity of
getting onto a war footing, and the results so far achieved have been most
heartening, especially in respect of production and conservation of stocks.
I make it clear that the experiment undertaken was never intended as one to
awaken Australian patriotism or sense of duty. Those qualities have been ever-
present; but the response to leadership and direction had never been requested
of the people, and desirable talents and untapped resources had lain dormant.
Our task for 1942 is stern ... The position Australia faces internally far
exceeds in potential and sweeping dangers anything that confronted us in 1914-
1918.

The year 1942 will impose supreme tests. These range from resistance to
invasion to deprivation of more and more amenities ...
Australians must realise that to place the nation on a war footing every citizen
must place himself, his private and business affairs, his entire mode of living,
on a war footing. The civilian way of life cannot be any less rigorous, can
contribute no less than that which the fighting men have to follow.
I demand that Australians everywhere realise that Australia is now inside the
firing lines.

Australian governmental policy will be directed strictly on those lines. We
have to regard our country and its 7,000,000 people as though we were a nation
and a people with the enemy hammering at our frontier.

Australians must be perpetually on guard; on guard against the possibility, at
any hour without warning, of raid or invasion; on guard against spending money,
or doing anything that cannot be justified; on guard against hampering by
disputation or idle, irresponsible chatter, the decisions of the Government
taken for the welfare of all.

All Australia is the stake in this war. All Australia must stand together to
hold that stake. We face a powerful, ably led and unbelievably courageous foe.
We must watch the enemy accordingly. We shall watch him accordingly.



The remarks bolded is the only instance I can recall of a national leader referring to his country in a past tense. The underlined part is a rather unusual remark about a hated enemy. Read on for an interesting story and some food for thought.

In college I took a simple course on WWII history that I fully expected get an “A” by just enlighten the masses with my presence. It was pretty much true, but there was a paper or two that I had to do. I’m not sure what I did them on, but do remember a quick and dirty on the Doolittle Raid that I pretty much pulled from my head and ass. After all, I had been playing the largest and most detail war games about WWII since my early teens. Such a background was more than enough to float by in this class.

Even the professor, who was of British decent seemed to be a little lost in the material. The guy was nice enough and genuinely sincere but his specialty was clearly not military history. I was more than happy to earn college credit hours, on some sugar coated course of WWII, but don’t make me actually pay attention. Besides, this instructor had a terrible tendency to drift off into stories about his childhood experiences that revolved around his father’s diplomatic duties serving as a British diplomat in the USA in the 30’s and 40’s.

Anyway I typed a 10 page paper on Doolittle and his raid while drinking beer or something. A superior grade was expected and deserved. Yet, to my surprise, the paper was returned covered in red pen comments in the margins. How? No matter, there was an “A” on the cover page and I wasn’t in school to learn anymore. Working 40 hour weeks, while being a full time college student had worn me out. I was ready to graduate and leave.

After a week or two, the professor asked me if I had any ideas about his comments he made on my paper. I was stunned. I kind of gave one of those “oh yeah, well I was thinking hard on it. . . “ reply that made it clear I hadn’t even read them. He kind of laughed and said “here read this paper, It was one I wrote 30 years ago.” I thanked him and was off to my next class or work. All I could think about was that I just got handed a reading assignment.

I never really read much of his paper. Towards the end of the semester he hinted that he wanted it back. So as I was walking to class to return it, I flipped through some of it. Heh, he got a C- and his professor was none too impressed. Great, he wanted me to read a C- paper.

As best I can gather from skimming the thing, he spent 30 pages detailing diplomatic maneuvering that was going down in December 1941. Makes sense, since he was kind of there being a son of a British diplomat serving in Washington DC. He actually stated in the paper that the volume of cables between Australia and the US during 12/10 and 12/20 was incredibly high. During this period he claimed that John Curtin and his government made it perfectly clear to Roosevelt that they were terrified. Their best military units were out of the country and they had nothing significant left to defend their shores. The Japanese on the other hand were rolling up Malaysia and had earned a very bad reputation from their atrocities in China. The people of Australia were basically waiting for them - bent over with their pants down.

All of this is pretty much true. And we all know how easily it would have been for Japanese to take much of the northern parts of the continent even with significant US and British assistance. With no help at all, IMHO Japan could have taken the continent at their leisure.

Back to the C- paper from my professor: He claimed that in December 41, John Curtin told Roosevelt that he wasn’t going to stand alone. Either the USA gets jumps into action with their ships and men or he was going to pull a Vichy and negotiate a surrender before his people literally start getting raped. Whoa?! Rather crazy assertion I thought. He went on to state that Roosevelt’s promised he’d do something to stale the Japanese if he would just hold tough for a few months. Help was coming and he would keep the Japanese busy. Curtin’s response was – do it already and like yesterday.

Back then, I kind of thought the idea had some merit. After all, the planning for Doolittle’s raid started at the insistence of President Roosevelt himself on 12/21/41. By all rights, it was a worthless risk that netted nothing militarily. The text book story that it was for American morale doesn’t hold much water. American civilian morale was never higher in the weeks following Pearl Harbor which was when planning for the raid was started. Roosevelt also need little political capital or national support, he was in his 3 term as president.

So Roosevelt was knee deep in the Doolittle raid. What about Coral Sea? Again we have a rather risky operation for what? To check the Japanese in the Solomons or New Guinea? Why? And then you get to Midway. Stake all of our naval striking force for a worthless rock in the middle of the Pacific? We know all about the risks – a thunderstorm could have changed the outcome. I most certainly believe they knew risks as well. You lose your carriers at Midway you’d think it would be pretty bad news for the allies? Or would it?

We don’t play WitP/AE like Roosevelt and Nimitz. But then we don’t have HR’s that have AU pushing away from the table either. Today, if you factor in the speech by John Curtin on 12/27/41, I seriously wonder if my professor’s had hit the nail on the head. The further you look the more it seems to make sense. And it would go a long way in explaining USN aggressiveness in early 1942. Perhaps Roosevelt told Nimitz/Navy to get out there and fight; not caring at all about any consequences since he knew that they would all be replaced come 1943-44 anyway. What he need was to buy time which would be accomplished with either victories or defeats. We know from our WitP/AE play that battle damage and air losses can push out our time tables. Was Roosevelt betting that no matter what the outcome of these early battles, the US would be keeping Japan busy and telegraphing to the Aussies that they must stand firm for everyone’s sake?

BTW, if you run with that idea, you can easily see why there was no effort to do much with Darwin. Nobody wanted to give Japanese any reason to invade the place.

AFB’s try this HR for something different –
John Curtin Home Rule: If the allies can’t sink major IJN units or don’t come out and contest IJN operations during the first six months of the war, the moment a Japanese lands on Australia, the continent surrenders and is off limits to everything but AU units. All AU units stop playing


_____________________________

Gary S (USN 1320, 1985-1993)
AOCS 1985, VT10 1985-86, VT86 1986, VS41 1986-87
VS32 1987-90 (NSO/NWTO, deployed w/CV-66, CVN-71)
VS27 1990-91 (NATOPS/Safety)
SFWSLANT 1991-93 (AGM-84 All platforms, S-3 A/B systems)

(in reply to Nikademus)
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RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 5/18/2012 3:20:26 AM   
Crackaces


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quote:

We don’t play WitP/AE like Roosevelt and Nimitz. But then we don’t have HR’s that have AU pushing away from the table either. Today, if you factor in the speech by John Curtin on 12/27/41, I seriously wonder if my professor’s had hit the nail on the head. The further you look the more it seems to make sense. And it would go a long way in explaining USN aggressiveness in early 1942. Perhaps Roosevelt told Nimitz/Navy to get out there and fight; not caring at all about any consequences since he knew that they would all be replaced come 1943-44 anyway. What he need was to buy time which would be accomplished with either victories or defeats. We know from our WitP/AE play that battle damage and air losses can push out our time tables. Was Roosevelt betting that no matter what the outcome of these early battles, the US would be keeping Japan busy and telegraphing to the Aussies that they must stand firm for everyone’s sake?


You hit the point .. Let us play a game of chess .. evertime I exchange a piece with you I get that piece back 20 chess moves from now .. the game becomes exchange pieces as fast as possible ..thus the world that Nimitz was working under ..get engaged as soon as possible and take away the tools of aggessiveness as soon as possible ..

In fact, the United States was always under the impression that the IJ would never start anything since the United States could turn loose almost limitless industry. The IJ was thinking US == weak and concerned only with domestic problems and recovering from a depression ....they were thinking imperialist Russia 1908 ... what a miscalculation!! Not only did they wake the tiger .. they p*ss the tiger off ...

My contention is scenrario #2. The US did not ramp up because the IJ was seen as still weak and eventually containable .. if the IJ built up the force in scenrario #2 Congress would be voting down WPA projects and voting in emergency measures like Montana class BB and Essex class CV's .. alas ..

(in reply to sandman455)
Post #: 21
RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 5/18/2012 3:58:19 AM   
dekwik


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Interesting. He seemed quite Churchillian from what I read, but underneath it all......

(in reply to sandman455)
Post #: 22
RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 5/18/2012 4:50:16 AM   
Disco Duck

 

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Sandman455 you have some interesting assertions but I have problems with most of them. Roosevelt was a master politician. He knew that a raid on the home islands would get the politicians more involved in the war planning and make the military worry about things that didn't matter from a military standpoint. Churchill did the same thing with Hitler. The Luftwaffe was on the verge of destroying the RAF before Churchill sent a night raid to Berlin. Militarily meaningless, but Hitler ordered the Luftwaffe to switch emphasis from factories and airfields to cities. This gave the RAF a chance to regroup. The Doolittle attack really rattled some cages in a similar manner.

I don't think King and Nimitz needed any pushing from Roosevelt to be aggressive. Because of code breaking the Navy knew the operations in the Coral Sea would be a 2-2 fight. Same is true of Midway, 4-4 if you count Midway as a carrier with the advantage of long range search planes it's a better than even fight for the U.S.. The book "Combined Fleet Decoded" even states this. The biggest defensive armament a carrier group is the ability to hit and run. Once it's location is known it is very vulnerable. An early raid on Rabaul was aborted because Japanese search planes had spotted the U.S. carrier group. It still got attacked by Betties without escorts. The biggest mistake the Japanese made at Midway was not pulling out when they were spotted.

I think any threat to take Australia out of the war was political grandstanding. I am sure Curtin was terrified but Japan would not have signed a peace treaty without being able to use occupation troops. Then the whole reason for surrenduring goes away. Besides, where would Australia get the oil to run it's factories? Now not allowing Australian troops to be used under American leaders could be a real threat. I could see a house rule for that if the Americans aren't aggressive enough. I can see it making the game very difficult indeed for AFB's.

As far as Roosevelt not caring about early losses that is not true. He had to worry about voters and we don't. When a ship sinks it upsets a lot of voters back home. 1942 was a Congressional election year, and if Roosevelt was going to continue to drive his agenda he couldn't afford to have defeats that might give the Republicans an opening in Congress. Just look at the mid-term elections of Clinton and Obama and the political effects of those elections.

Thanks for posting a very interesting speech but I don't get the part about Russian aid.

As far as Darwin is concerned my understanding is that it was pretty much abandoned. Perhaps with the view that if it wasn't important it wouldn't be attacked again. The same would be true about building up the road to Darwin. Why improve it just for the Japanese to use. If you check out the websites about Darwin in WWII a number of them hint about some grand conspiracy regarding Darwin and why it wasn't better protected.

(in reply to sandman455)
Post #: 23
RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 5/18/2012 6:50:11 AM   
LoBaron


Posts: 4526
Joined: 1/26/2003
From: Vienna, Austria
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Crackaces
I beleive Mac was hell bent on invading the Solomons mainly because it brought him closer to the PI's.. somehow this forum forgets how the British maintained supply through the Libyan desert . If we wanted to have a contest in Northern Oz we could bring the logistics to bare .. Mac was determined to return to PI .. no matter what the consequinces.

But the IJA felt that all of Northern Oz would have to be secured not just Darwin .. that meant exposure to 4E's in open desert terrain without air cover.. the good news from this would have been more factual data of hitting troops in the open using 4E ground attacks from 5,000 feet ....

As it is they went for Midway and the rest is history ...

Myself scenario #1 I demonstrated why attacking Darwin was such as bad idea .. the IJA lose 2 full divisions plus and have little to gain from it .. plus while the IJN/IJA are consumed with Darwin I blitzed Burma ..

Maybe in scenario #2 a house rule is needed but I would invite the IJ for tea if they want to come to Darwin for a fight ...


I agree with you except for the italic part.

Yourself scenario #1 you only demonstrated that it is a bad idea to attack Darwin with lack of fire support, and to slug it out further South while either lacking
or mistiming an evacuation plan to move back out again when the time comes.

Even so, Darwin was out of Allied control for months. The same time the Allies could invest to build up the base as a major staging area.

One of the weapons the Japanese player has got is the ability to buy time. The further he is able to keep the Allied player at arms´ lenght from vital areas, the better.
The real problem the Japanese player faces against a good Allied player is different options to get attacked combined with limited ressources.

A good Allied player knows how to create one option after another to advance, and then select the most promising, the most destructive, the least obvious,...
or several of those at once, you get the picture.

Darwin is a great option. Whether you use it or not depends on the situation and your personal preference, but for the Japanese it is a "damn if he wanted he could
launch an attack from there and which I have to defend against"-option you really really hate. Better let 2 Div worth of troops rot in Australia for as long as possible.

Clearly from an Allied perspective Darwin might just another potential meatgrinder to force attrition on the IJA, but that only shows that against a dedicated Allied play Japan faces
a lot of problems. You will always get more respect for Darwin from an experienced Japanese player than an Allied player, independent of what they chose to do.


Obviousely there is an alternative to taking Darwin: Permanently shut it down using Air assets from in the Timor Sea. There are always alternatives.

_____________________________

S**t happens in war.

All hail the superior ones!

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Post #: 24
RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 5/18/2012 9:27:35 AM   
adsoul64


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Sandman, although I disagree with you on several points I’ve found much food for thought in your post and I thank you for posting. I don’t think Roosevelt were “not caring at all about any consequences since he knew that they would all be replaced come 1943-44 anyway”. We’ve clues that seem going to the opposite direction and Disco Duck highlighted many points I share with him. More, you could think of Midway, Fletcher and Spruance orders were forcing them to be very cautious indeed because their CVs were the last weapon left between IJN and Hawaii or any other target Jap could have ever chose.

But I totally agree with you when you say “We don’t play WitP/AE like Roosevelt and Nimitz. But then we don’t have HR’s that have AU pushing away from the table either”. Most wargames fail to simulate the real reason because WW2 (and likely every one 20th Century war) has finished: the civilian morale. Arguably, it’s very very difficult modeling this facet but failing to do means we’re playing in a very different way than RL (as you point off). Needless to say, I have no idea how Matrix Games could have find a way to keep track of Japanese - Australian – Indian – British – American – Dutch and a lesser extent French morale

(in reply to sandman455)
Post #: 25
RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 5/18/2012 1:47:49 PM   
USS America


Posts: 16072
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nikademus

Just mussing here....but the AE map size increase has always made me wonder about that pipeline.


Nik, I've had exactly the same thoughts after getting familiar with the larger AE map. There is just WAY too much room for the "Allied pipeline" to shift SE, again and again. The best Japan can really hope to do without actually occupying the East Coast of Australia is to make the trips longer between US and Oz.

_____________________________

Mike

"Good times will set you free" - Jimmy Buffett

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(in reply to Nikademus)
Post #: 26
RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 5/18/2012 4:07:58 PM   
Nikademus


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From: Alien spacecraft
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quote:

ORIGINAL: USS America


quote:

ORIGINAL: Nikademus

Just mussing here....but the AE map size increase has always made me wonder about that pipeline.


Nik, I've had exactly the same thoughts after getting familiar with the larger AE map. There is just WAY too much room for the "Allied pipeline" to shift SE, again and again. The best Japan can really hope to do without actually occupying the East Coast of Australia is to make the trips longer between US and Oz.



indeed. I've yet to intercept a single convoy, even when i send out subs and surface raiders.


(in reply to USS America)
Post #: 27
RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 5/18/2012 4:20:41 PM   
Nikademus


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From: Alien spacecraft
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quote:

ORIGINAL: sandman455
We don’t play WitP/AE like Roosevelt and Nimitz. But then we don’t have HR’s that have AU pushing away from the table either. Today, if you factor in the speech by John Curtin on 12/27/41, I seriously wonder if my professor’s had hit the nail on the head.


Bingo. I've felt for a long time now that it is a mistake to make the player(s) both CiC of their armed forces 'and' be the leader of their respective countries at the same time like The Dictator Sasha Baron Cohen. Having a set of rules and triggers above the player to act as a civilian or military government kingpin tapping you on the shoulder (and slapping you in the back of the head if you act rashly) would go a long way towards creating more realistic play.

While i never played TOAW.....i'd heard it had a very simple but elogent political model that triggered certain events including allowing another countries units to activate if the player did or didn't do a set of tasks within the scenario. I'm hoping the next generation of games will focus on ideas like this vs. ways to increase micromanagement even more with 29 different supply types, 6000 ship and civilian ship classes to maintain, convert, deploy, send to dry dock etc etc and pilot and indiv. soldier managemnet with the ability to promote Privates to master Sgt.

On Curtin and FDR. After some recent reads, I have no doubt there's truth in what your professor wrote. FDR i'm learing more and more was indeed a "master" politician, but in being so he was deceitful and opaque at times in order to protect his position and keep the ball rolling so to speak. His ultimate goals were in the right IMO, but some of the methods and tactics used are more grey but thats the way the world is vs. what alot of us would like to imagine it is. (I believe another Oz citizen, a well known activist and former lead singer for a famous Oz band "Peter Garrett" currently the Minister for School Education and Early Childhood would agree with this given he's been periodically accused of "Selling out" since joining the political spectrum)

FDR was in the habit of making empty promises in order to keep Allies in the fight. He did so with the PI's president, promising aid and succor 'very soon' when he had no intention (or ability granted...) to do so. Said similar things to MacArthur which is allegedly a primary reason behind the tension between the two.

It sounds like Curtin was astute enough as a politician to recognize a sales job when he heard one. After all Churchill was a master or Oration as well so he'd had good practice. I can perfectly see Curtin saying to FDR....."make it soon" aka "Actions speak louder than words" "Words won't save my country" DO SOMETHING.

I also agree that people like King and MacArthur also had no issues with wanting to take the fight to the enemy as soon as possible. The reality of the matter though was that priorities had to be made....deals made...egos soothed, different country's agendas addressed. Difficult in the extreme. FDR and others 'had' to be Master politicians to weather this storm. We were lucky to have such capable men even if there's dirty underwear to be sorted through in the process of learing about how things worked under the hood and behind the scenes.

(in reply to sandman455)
Post #: 28
RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 5/18/2012 4:51:07 PM   
Crackaces


Posts: 2607
Joined: 7/9/2011
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: LoBaron


quote:

ORIGINAL: Crackaces
I beleive Mac was hell bent on invading the Solomons mainly because it brought him closer to the PI's.. somehow this forum forgets how the British maintained supply through the Libyan desert . If we wanted to have a contest in Northern Oz we could bring the logistics to bare .. Mac was determined to return to PI .. no matter what the consequinces.

But the IJA felt that all of Northern Oz would have to be secured not just Darwin .. that meant exposure to 4E's in open desert terrain without air cover.. the good news from this would have been more factual data of hitting troops in the open using 4E ground attacks from 5,000 feet ....

As it is they went for Midway and the rest is history ...

Myself scenario #1 I demonstrated why attacking Darwin was such as bad idea .. the IJA lose 2 full divisions plus and have little to gain from it .. plus while the IJN/IJA are consumed with Darwin I blitzed Burma ..

Maybe in scenario #2 a house rule is needed but I would invite the IJ for tea if they want to come to Darwin for a fight ...


I agree with you except for the italic part.

Yourself scenario #1 you only demonstrated that it is a bad idea to attack Darwin with lack of fire support, and to slug it out further South while either lacking
or mistiming an evacuation plan to move back out again when the time comes.

Even so, Darwin was out of Allied control for months. The same time the Allies could invest to build up the base as a major staging area.

One of the weapons the Japanese player has got is the ability to buy time. The further he is able to keep the Allied player at arms´ lenght from vital areas, the better.
The real problem the Japanese player faces against a good Allied player is different options to get attacked combined with limited ressources.

A good Allied player knows how to create one option after another to advance, and then select the most promising, the most destructive, the least obvious,...
or several of those at once, you get the picture.

Darwin is a great option. Whether you use it or not depends on the situation and your personal preference, but for the Japanese it is a "damn if he wanted he could
launch an attack from there and which I have to defend against"-option you really really hate. Better let 2 Div worth of troops rot in Australia for as long as possible.

Clearly from an Allied perspective Darwin might just another potential meatgrinder to force attrition on the IJA, but that only shows that against a dedicated Allied play Japan faces
a lot of problems. You will always get more respect for Darwin from an experienced Japanese player than an Allied player, independent of what they chose to do.


Obviousely there is an alternative to taking Darwin: Permanently shut it down using Air assets from in the Timor Sea. There are always alternatives.


Three things happened in that fight thanks to Crsutton, derp, and NY59Giants ..

1. I built up and stored supply at Alice Springs and Tennant Creek way before the invasion happened
2. I had the 1 AUS Corps ready to move .. way before the invasion ..
3. I bought out enough Indian Forces and positioned them that once the IJA comitted . the blitzkrieg of Burma began ..indirect attack

Then no home rule against 4E's against troops in the open and the slaughter began .. If a home rule existed it would have been tougher ...

I would disagree with your thoughts of "buying time" I would phrase it as playing with time unitl '44 ..assuming no SCLS once April '44 arrives the march starts no matter how ingenious the IJ .. BTW) PzB's match was scenrario #2 and even then he did not want to pay the piper for the pilot training ..

(in reply to LoBaron)
Post #: 29
RE: Darwin, the importance of being Earnest! - 5/18/2012 6:03:09 PM   
LoBaron


Posts: 4526
Joined: 1/26/2003
From: Vienna, Austria
Status: offline
Good move on your part building up stocks in Alice and TC. I do not think our understanding of the situation is much different.

To adress your points:

Depending on the situation you require much more forces to defend the Timor to Dutch NG line than to dig in at the Darwin area. Independent of the shape
of the Japanese Timor Sea/N Australia operations, Burma would have worked in your case.
The only relation of the two operations is their contrubution to accellerate the Japanese demise and their good timing.

Phrase "buying time" any way you like, every action the Japanese player undertakes to achieve 'it' influences the date of the Japanese capitulation.
Which is the basic driving force behind any Japanese strategy (except to achieve autovictory which is practically impossible when equally matched players meet
in scen #1, and improbable in scen #2).

_____________________________

S**t happens in war.

All hail the superior ones!

(in reply to Crackaces)
Post #: 30
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