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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/22/2014 8:31:49 AM   
wdolson

 

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For the public's morale if nothing else, they needed to keep a strong force at home. The Battle of Britain followed by the Blitz was very hard on the public. The admiralty was also paranoid about raiders getting out into the Atlantic. Especially the Tirpitz and to a lesser extent the Gniesnau and Scharnhorst, as long as those ships were in a position to be a threat, the RN based an overwhelming force in home waters to counter them.

The battleship fleet was of little use anywhere else anyway. The Med was a high threat zone from the air and they had enough BBs there to counter the Italians for most of the war and they really weren't of much use in the Far East.

Bill

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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/22/2014 9:42:23 AM   
warspite1


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I do not think that public morale would be affected if say a few squadrons of Spitfires* were sent to the Far East - would they even know? But the loss of Malaya and - more importantly - the fall of Singapore was a real dampener in terms of morale! Hindsight of course.

* assuming they had them spare.

Re the battleships, I'm glad you said most of the war! There were occasions where the RN was without any battleships in the Med - and late 1941 was particularly bad for the RN in that - and just about every - theatre. Didn't one convoy contain the de-militarised WWI KGV or Centurion to try and fool the Italians into thinking there were was a battleship protecting a convoy to Malta? A battleship or two would have been handy at the 2nd Battle of Sirte.

If Cunningham had had some proper battleships (HMS Warspite aside) he may have hurt the Regia Marina early in the war - but sadly the 21-knot R-class relics he was given could not bring the RM to battle at Calabria nor Spartivento (although this was 1940 and not the period we are discussing).

I agree that battleships in the Far East - without carrier support - was simply asking for trouble - and December 1941 of course was confirmation of that.

No, the what-if all hinges on the extent to which the UK had trained fighter and armoured formations (would not necessarily need to be a full division - an armoured or tank brigade may have sufficed) in the UK that could have been sent to the Far East.

Re Malaya not being tank country I agree, but what effect their presence may have had on both the CW troops and the enemy is of course unknown - but likely only to have been positive for the former and the opposite for the latter.




< Message edited by warspite1 -- 10/22/2014 11:17:46 AM >


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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/22/2014 4:26:01 PM   
dcpollay


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Late to the game, but...What if the Japanese had not turned around and gone home after Samar?

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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/22/2014 6:19:45 PM   
HansBolter


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Colonel Mustard

Late to the game, but...What if the Japanese had not turned around and gone home after Samar?


What if Halsey hadn't taken the bait....what if he had actually formed and detached TF 34....the world wonders!


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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/22/2014 7:38:02 PM   
Banzan

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: witpqs

Now that would make a substantial subplot in the movie Midway!


Why not combine all of it?

Bismark, Tirpitz and some crusiers like Prinz Eugen bombarding Midway to support the japanese attacks, and getting sunk by the USS Nimitz coming from the future - led by Ben Affleck.

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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/22/2014 9:51:50 PM   
LargeSlowTarget


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...led by Ben Affleck which after sinking the German Kriegsmarine (except Bismarck which is scuttled by her crew) scares away the Japanese with a display of full frontal...

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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/22/2014 10:17:00 PM   
LoBaron


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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/22/2014 10:54:17 PM   
geofflambert


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lecivius

What others come to mind? It is this "What if...?" that intrigues me about this theater.




What if Tokyo Rose had been a guy in drag?

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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/22/2014 10:56:02 PM   
geofflambert


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quote:

ORIGINAL: geofflambert


quote:

ORIGINAL: Lecivius

What others come to mind? It is this "What if...?" that intrigues me about this theater.





What if Rosie the Riveter had been a welder?

< Message edited by geofflambert -- 10/22/2014 11:56:26 PM >

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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/22/2014 10:58:54 PM   
Insano

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: kaleun

As far as what if the US torpedoes had worked, that is easy to simulate


What if the German torpedoes had worked at the beginning of the war in 1939-1940?

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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/22/2014 11:01:23 PM   
geofflambert


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What if Julia Child and Marlene Dietrich had been married (to each other)and Dietrich had never sung Lily Marlene?

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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/22/2014 11:06:12 PM   
geofflambert


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What if they had been filming "The Wizard of Oz" in Czechoslovakia? Ooh, and "Gone with the Wind" in Poland? Which would've won best film then? What if it was reversed?

< Message edited by geofflambert -- 10/23/2014 12:07:33 AM >

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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/22/2014 11:14:36 PM   
Numdydar

 

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What if the Big Bang never happened Might as well go directly for the source of all 'what if's'

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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/22/2014 11:18:32 PM   
wdolson

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Colonel Mustard

Late to the game, but...What if the Japanese had not turned around and gone home after Samar?


quote:

ORIGINAL: HansBolter
What if Halsey hadn't taken the bait....what if he had actually formed and detached TF 34....the world wonders!



It was the only time any Iowas were near enough to a Yamato that they may have squared off. If Halsey had parked TF 34 in the right spot at the exit to the San Bernadino Straits, it probably would have been a one sided fight. The Japanese had to come out in single file, but the USN ships could be arrayed to bring down maximum effect on one area.

If, on the other hand, the Japanese had not fled after Samar, they would have had to get through Olendorf's screen, which was low on ammo, but he still had more ships than the Japanese did. The Japanese would also have been low on ammo after Samar. It would have taken the Japanese some time to get back into an organized formation. Meanwhile TF 38.1 was steaming at top speed up from Ulithi. After the first day of battle when it looked like the Japanese carriers weren't going to show, Halsey detached TF 38.1 to return to Ulithi for R&R. When the Center Force was spotted, TF 38.1 was recalled and they arrived off Samar late on the day of the battle. If the Center Force was still around, TF 38.1 would have been attacking them. Additionally all the CVE TFs were attacking the Center Force too.

The Center Force may have inflicted some damage on the screen for the transports and may have even landed a few shells among the transports, but the IJN's losses almost certainly would have been much higher too.

Bill

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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/23/2014 8:11:23 AM   
Alfred

 

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Two huge lucky breaks, one for the Allies the other for the Axis.

1.  The awful weather pre D-day which confirmed to the Germans that there would be no early June invasion and which Eisenhower was on the verge of confirming by calling off the  invasion.  But the weather did break just in time to provide a very limited window of opportunity which the Allies with their natural meteorological advantage could see but not the Germans.  No break and the invasion probably would be delayed until July and find the Germans (and Rommel) better prepared to react immediately.

2.  Force Z being deprived of its aircraft carrier, a factor which the Japanese had no control whatsoever.  Present a British aircraft carrier and the chances of the two capital ships being sunk on 10 December 1941 drops markedly and has huge ramifications for how the Malaya campaign would have been conducted.

Alfred

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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/23/2014 10:16:21 AM   
HansBolter


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Numdydar

What if the Big Bang never happened Might as well go directly for the source of all 'what if's'


Going to the source requires the question: "What if God never Spoke?"

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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/23/2014 10:20:46 AM   
LeeChard

 

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What if the Luftwaffe had adopted drop tanks for the 109 before the Battle of Britain?

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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/23/2014 1:16:37 PM   
Lecivius


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ranger5355

What if the Luftwaffe had adopted drop tanks for the 109 before the Battle of Britain?



What if that one evening the night of August 15th the Luftwaffe had not gone off target and bombed Harrow. The RAF was on the ropes. Hitler had, until this time, forbidden targeting British cities. When the Luftwaffe changed to civilian targets, the RAF was allowed to recover. Who knows if Germany ever would have tried to cross the channel, but this was the moment that possibility died.

These are the things that intrigue me. The butterfly effect of one action, that was literally the flip of a coin in results, and that actually occurred, that changes the course of the entire war.

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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/23/2014 5:53:25 PM   
warspite1


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You've started a great, thought-provoking thread Lecivius, but one absolutely key event, one that affected WWII profoundly, has not been raised:;;

What if Captain Rafe McCawley had never been born?

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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/23/2014 6:16:59 PM   
Lecivius


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

You've started a great, thought-provoking thread Lecivius, but one absolutely key event, one that affected WWII profoundly, has not been raised:;;

What if Captain Rafe McCawley had never been born?


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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/23/2014 6:20:11 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lecivius


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

You've started a great, thought-provoking thread Lecivius, but one absolutely key event, one that affected WWII profoundly, has not been raised:;;

What if Captain Rafe McCawley had never been born?


warspite1

I agree - it would have been curtains for the Western Allies (loss of the Battle of Britain) and probably the US too (no way of totally destroying Tokyo after Pearl).


< Message edited by warspite1 -- 10/23/2014 7:20:37 PM >


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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/23/2014 10:40:47 PM   
Joe D.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: HansBolter


quote:

ORIGINAL: Colonel Mustard

Late to the game, but...What if the Japanese had not turned around and gone home after Samar?


What if Halsey hadn't taken the bait....what if he had actually formed and detached TF 34....the world wonders!



That last phrase -- the world wonders -- has a story all its own.

"The words, intended to be without meaning, were added to hinder Japanese attempts at cryptanalysis, but were mistakenly included in the decoded message given to Halsey and interpreted by him as a harsh and sarcastic rebuke ...

"When Nimitz, at CINCPAC headquarters in Hawaii, saw Kinkaid's plea for help he sent a message to Halsey, simply asking for the current location of Task Force 34, which due to a previous misunderstanding, was unclear:

"Where is, repeat, where is Task Force Thirty Four?

"With the addition of metadata including routing and classification information, as well as the padding at the head and tail, the entire plaintext message to be encoded and transmitted to Halsey was:

"TURKEY TROTS TO WATER GG FROM CINCPAC ACTION COM THIRD FLEET INFO COMINCH CTF SEVENTY-SEVEN X WHERE IS RPT WHERE IS TASK FORCE THIRTY FOUR RR THE WORLD WONDERS

"U.S. Navy procedure called for the padding to be added to the start and end of the message, which were vulnerable to cryptanalysis due to the use of common phrases and words (such as 'Yours sincerely') in those sections. The words chosen for padding should have been obviously irrelevant to the actual message, however Nimitz's enciphering clerk used a phrase that '[just] popped into my head'.

"While decrypting and transcribing the message, Halsey's radio officer properly removed the leading phrase, but the trailing phrase looked appropriate and he seems to have thought it was intended and so left it in before passing it on to Halsey, who read it as:

"Where is, repeat, where is Task Force Thirty Four? The world wonders.

"The structure tagging (the 'RR's) should have made clear that the phrase was in fact padding. In all the ships and stations that received the message, only New Jersey's communicators failed to delete both padding phrases.

"The message (and its trailing padding) became famous, and created some ill feeling, since it appeared to be a harsh criticism by Nimitz of Halsey's decision to pursue the decoy carriers and leave the landings uncovered ... Recognizing his failure, Halsey sulked in inactivity for a full hour while Taffy 3 was fighting for its life – falsely claiming to be refueling his ships – before eventually turning around with his two fastest battleships, three light cruisers and eight destroyers and heading back to Samar, too late to have any impact on the battle.

"The padding phrase may have been inspired by both a sense of history and a knowledge of poetry. The day the message was sent was the 90th anniversary of the Charge of the Light Brigade in the Battle of Balaclava. A famous poem about the charge was written by Tennyson, and contains the stanza:

"Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turned in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army while
All the world wonder'd"

http://www.ask.com/wiki/The_world_wonders?o=2801&qsrc=999&ad=doubleDown&an=apn&ap=ask.com






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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/23/2014 10:55:42 PM   
Lowpe


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What if Japan didn't go to war?

I believe there was still a way for Japan to get oil from US...but I think Dean Acheson blocked it, under Cordell Hull's very nose.


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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/24/2014 2:19:25 AM   
wdolson

 

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The US was trying economic pressure to get the Japanese to withdraw from China. An embargo on oil to Japan was in effect.

If Japan had backed down and given back at least a bit of their gains in China, the US probably would have dropped the embargo. The US wanted more time before going to war with Japan. War Plan Orange depended on the Philippines being properly ready to be besieged. MacArthur had gone there to help the Philippines to get ready, but the preparations were still in the early stage when the war started.

Japan looked at the US's plans for the Philippines and decided late 41 was a "now or never" point. If they didn't take the PI before the US fortified them, it would have been impossible to take them from the US.

Bill

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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/24/2014 5:04:48 PM   
Natali

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lowpe

What if Japan didn't go to war?

I believe there was still a way for Japan to get oil from US...but I think Dean Acheson blocked it, under Cordell Hull's very nose.

Then this is a silly game to play, isn't it?

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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/24/2014 7:32:43 PM   
jmalter

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: wdolson

The US was trying economic pressure to get the Japanese to withdraw from China. An embargo on oil to Japan was in effect.

If Japan had backed down and given back at least a bit of their gains in China, the US probably would have dropped the embargo. The US wanted more time before going to war with Japan. War Plan Orange depended on the Philippines being properly ready to be besieged. MacArthur had gone there to help the Philippines to get ready, but the preparations were still in the early stage when the war started.

Japan looked at the US's plans for the Philippines and decided late 41 was a "now or never" point. If they didn't take the PI before the US fortified them, it would have been impossible to take them from the US.

Bill

IIRC, it was the IJ occupation of (Vichy) French Indochina in July 41 that triggered the change from US 'economic sanctions' against IJ to full-boat 'economic blockade' & complete freeze of Japanese assets in the US. This move caused the IJ to decide on war, to seize the DEI oil & knock out British/US ability to respond militarily. AFAIK, Cordell Hull was aware of the extent to which the IJ government would get upset by the US action, but he was really PO'd, too. I don't think Dean Acheson pulled the wool over Hull's eyes by initiating a move on his own, he'd've had to have at least tacit approval from Hull.

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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/24/2014 8:00:00 PM   
Lowpe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Natali
Then this is a silly game to play, isn't it?


Isn't it?

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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/24/2014 8:09:42 PM   
Lowpe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jmalter

I don't think Dean Acheson pulled the wool over Hull's eyes by initiating a move on his own, he'd've had to have at least tacit approval from Hull.


I read it in this 1993 book...I don't own it, read it from the library, but I believe it was very well documented and Acheson did indeed pull a fast one over on Hull and by the time Hull cottoned to it he had to acquiesce.

It shocked me at the time when I read it, and has stuck with me ever since.




Attachment (1)

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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/24/2014 8:35:58 PM   
Lowpe


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More than you ever wanted to read:


Bankrupting the Enemy: The U.S. Financial Siege of Japan Before Pearl Harbor Hardcover – September 10, 2007
by Edward S. Miller (Author)

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1591145201

From the review on Amazon:

While researching newly declassified records of the Treasury and Federal Reserve, Miller, a retired chief financial executive of a Fortune 500 resources corporation, uncovered just how much money mattered. Washington experts confidently predicted that the war in China would bankrupt Japan, not knowing that the Japanese government had a huge cache of dollars fraudulently hidden in New York. Once discovered, Japan scrambled to extract the money.

But, Miller explains, in July 1941 President Roosevelt invoked a long-forgotten clause of the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917 to freeze Japan s dollars and forbade it to sell its hoard of gold to the U.S. Treasury, the only open gold market after 1939. Roosevelt s temporary gambit to bring Japan to its senses, not its knees, was thwarted, however, by opportunistic bureaucrats

Dean Acheson, his handpicked administrator, slyly maneuvered to deny Japan the dollars needed to buy oil and other resources for war and for economic survival. Miller's lucid writing and thorough understanding of the complexities of international finance enable readers unfamiliar with financial concepts and terminology to grasp his explanation of the impact of U.S. economic policies on Japan. His review of thirty-seven studies of Japan's resource deficiencies begs the question of why no U.S. agency calculated the impact of the freeze on Japan's overall economy. His analysis of a massive OSS-State Department study of prewar Japan clearly demonstrates that the deprivations facing the Japanese people were the country to remain in financial limbo buttressed its choice of war at Pearl Harbor. Such a well-documented study is certain to be recognized for its significant contributions to the historiography of the origins of the Pacific War.

< Message edited by Lowpe -- 10/24/2014 9:37:46 PM >

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RE: Pondering on random events - 10/24/2014 10:55:27 PM   
wdolson

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: wdolson

The US was trying economic pressure to get the Japanese to withdraw from China. An embargo on oil to Japan was in effect.

If Japan had backed down and given back at least a bit of their gains in China, the US probably would have dropped the embargo. The US wanted more time before going to war with Japan. War Plan Orange depended on the Philippines being properly ready to be besieged. MacArthur had gone there to help the Philippines to get ready, but the preparations were still in the early stage when the war started.

Japan looked at the US's plans for the Philippines and decided late 41 was a "now or never" point. If they didn't take the PI before the US fortified them, it would have been impossible to take them from the US.

Bill


quote:

ORIGINAL: jmalter
IIRC, it was the IJ occupation of (Vichy) French Indochina in July 41 that triggered the change from US 'economic sanctions' against IJ to full-boat 'economic blockade' & complete freeze of Japanese assets in the US. This move caused the IJ to decide on war, to seize the DEI oil & knock out British/US ability to respond militarily. AFAIK, Cordell Hull was aware of the extent to which the IJ government would get upset by the US action, but he was really PO'd, too. I don't think Dean Acheson pulled the wool over Hull's eyes by initiating a move on his own, he'd've had to have at least tacit approval from Hull.


You're probably right. They say memory is the second thing to go...

Bill

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