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Who Would Replace Yamamoto?

 
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Who Would Replace Yamamoto? - 5/3/2010 6:26:17 AM   
John 3rd


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It has dawned on me that with the Reluctant Admiral Mod now in actual operation I have a small problem. The premise of the Mod is Yamamoto stays political and becomes Navy Minister in August of 1939.

The problem is fairly simple--who would replace him as C-in-C Combined Fleet? The replacement would have to be 'air-minded' like Yamamoto but also acceptable to the 'gun faction' of the Fleet.

Who do you think could do it and why?



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RE: Who Would Replace Yamamoto? - 5/3/2010 10:10:44 AM   
Local Yokel


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Interesting conundrum, but hard to say without a detailed understanding of how a range of factors might have interacted, e.g. officer corps politics, genuine considerations of merit and the "Buggins' turn" basis on which a number of IJN appointments were made.

I rejected Inoue Shigeyoshi for the appointment on the ground that he was too much of an iconoclast to be acceptable. I dismissed Ozawa Jisaburo on the ground that in 1939 he still a wee bit too junior. Both, however, are probably 'air-minded' enough to fill the bill.

Then you get the problem that many officers of the necessary seniority are too much in one camp or the other. Tsukahara Nishizo lacks the battle fleet experience. Conversely, Takasu Shiro, Kondo Nobutake, Hosogaya Boshiro and Koga Mineichi are too heavily imbued with a gun club outlook. Likewise Nagumo Chuichi, who in 1939 has yet to hold an air-related appointment.

So my choice is an admiral who doesn't figure prominently in histories of the Pacific War: V. Adm Katagiri Eikichi. He's a contemporary of Koga in Etajima's 34th class, elevated to Vice Admiral December 1937, at which time he takes command of the 3rd Sentai. The late 20's/early 30's sees him successively in command of Oi, Aoba and Haruna, so he has relevant gunship command experience. However, in November 1934 his career path takes an aeronautical turn, as he serves spells first as commander of 2 Koku Sentai, then as CO of Kasumigaura Kaigun Kokutai. In actuality he went to 4th Fleet as its commander in November 1939, but for your purposes an appointment to CinC Rengo Kantai at that time doesn't seem too outlandish.

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RE: Who Would Replace Yamamoto? - 5/3/2010 12:04:09 PM   
Sardaukar


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I think it'd have been this guy for 2 reasons:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shigeyoshi_Inoue

1. Inoue was a protégé of Yamamoto
2. As with Yamamoto, he was a strong proponent of naval aviation.

If he would been acceptable to "gun club" is debatable, though. Depends how much influence Yamamoto would be able to bring in...but I'd see that he'd not allow anyone but air-minded officer to occupy the position, acceptable or not.

< Message edited by Sardaukar -- 5/3/2010 12:23:00 PM >


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RE: Who Would Replace Yamamoto? - 5/3/2010 4:34:09 PM   
John 3rd


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V. Adm Katagiri Eikichi or Inoue Shigeyoshi? I would lean towards Inoue but he was an iconoclast as said above. Definite extremist who would have alienated the Gun Club. Eikichi is an interesting choice. Gonna do some reading about this.

Does anyone have something more to add?

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RE: Who Would Replace Yamamoto? - 5/3/2010 7:36:40 PM   
anarchyintheuk

 

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The IJN was pretty serious about seniority, can't see them skipping over that many people to get to a CinC. The prospect would have to be at least a vice-admiral as of 1939. Not a lot to choose from.

Yonei had already been CinC and Navy minister by 1939 so he's out (although he later came back out of retirement).

Toyoda is also an option but he was considered somewhat of a defeatist regarding war with the US.

Shimada had all of the proper connections and had served in the proper billets for CinC. I think he was Yammamoto's classmate but I don't know what he thought of him. Given the few choices, I'd probably go for him.

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RE: Who Would Replace Yamamoto? - 5/4/2010 10:47:44 AM   
xj900uk

 

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Inoue was considered by most fellow admirals to be far too eccentric and outspoken to ever be considered as C-in-C Combined Fleet, his wierd ideas of abandoning any idea of the 'decisive battle', scrapping the big-gun battlewagons and concentrating the shipyards on churning out fast ASW units and loads of CVE's to try and hunt down US subs and protect Japans convoy and sea-bound supply lines had made him few friends in Tokyo.
By the time the Pacific conflict started he had been virtually shunted into enforced retirement, and stayed on the fringes until (I think) October '44, after the Japanese War Cabinet had resigned and he was invited back to try and salvage something from the wreckage

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RE: Who Would Replace Yamamoto? - 5/4/2010 10:52:42 AM   
Sardaukar


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He would still be interesting choise as "what if".

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RE: Who Would Replace Yamamoto? - 5/4/2010 9:25:48 PM   
John 3rd


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I'm going to check their respective stats and mull over the choices some. Good contributions and thoughts guys.

Shimada
Inoue
Eikichi

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RE: Who Would Replace Yamamoto? - 5/4/2010 9:58:30 PM   
Canoerebel


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Darn interesting thread.

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