View Full Version : Japan ignores US targets
January 22nd, 2007, 11:20 AM
WI Japan had attacked the Dutch East Indies and French Indo China but had ignored US and UK interests In December 1941.
Would Roosevelt have asked for a declaration of war on Japan?
Would he have got it?
How would Churchill have reacted?
January 22nd, 2007, 11:42 AM
1. FDR would've asked. Indochina is one thing, but the Indies with their oil...
2. Not sure. There were quite some isolationists around.
3. He'd probably like to, but being at war with Germany, and as long as there's no war with Russia...
January 22nd, 2007, 11:50 AM
If he gets it is bad. Pacific Fleet sails out under the current war plan and gets carrier jumped on the route to the Phillipines. Ships can not be easily raised and WWII is forever then known in America' as "Roosevelt's War".
Worst case scenario for the world? He fails to get the Declaration of War at all damaging his prestige with Congress. Through successful lobbying and public relations buisness interests get the embargo on Japan cancelled claiming (innaccurately so) that it is costing American Job's. With many Americans still suffering from the effects of the depression it becomes good domestic politics to end the Embargo before Japan can get extraction of DEI resources up to snuff.
January 22nd, 2007, 01:41 PM
Japan declaring war on DEI but ignoring both UK and USA would put the Japanese in a very vulnerable position, as control of Singapore is essential to controlling all of SEA, besides Malaya holds a lot of strategically important stuff. Anything but a succesful surprise attack like in OTL will probably have the British initiate Plan Matador (taking up defensive positions in N. Malaya and S. Thailand) which will make any Japanese invasion of Malaya and Singapore much more difficult if not impossible.
USA would probably declare war too, anyway Roosevelt had promised Churchill he would so in case of further Japanese aggression. I doubt the congress would have voted against it, as a majority after all had supported the embargo vs. Japan, which by most contemporaries was seen as an inevitable step towards war with Japan.
The Japanese bases in FIC wasn't a result of invasion, but an agreement between the Vichy French and the Japanese. The French of course were in no real position to refuse the agreement, but at least formally they invited the Japanese. These bases were very important for any prospect of invading Malaya and Singapore however.
I agree that initially ignoring the USA would be much smarter by the Japanese, as USA not inside the first 6 months or so will be able to effectively intervene across the Pacific anyway - no need to wake (piss off) the sleeping bear. And if they try anyhow to cross the Pacific immediately, they seriously risk a big defeat, but without the "day of infamy" to keep up the determined war effort.
January 22nd, 2007, 06:30 PM
Since the occupations/invasions of Indochina and Indonesia involved the territory of states occupied by (The Netherlands)or in bed with(Vichy) Germany, clever diplomacy could perhaps have allowed the Japanese to present this to the UK and US as not necessarily hostile to their interests, although that is asking a lot from the group which ruled Japan then. What if Japan made if clear to the Anglo-Americans (even if they were lying thru their teeth) that this move was more in the nature of a temporary (mandate-like) occupation to ensure stability and to ensure neither territory falls under German control - even supporting this with a pledge to keep the markets and resources open to the UK and US? This would go against previous years of Japanese rhetoric, but I would not be surprised to see the UK and the US give strong consideration to looking the other way. The UK might have legitimate security concerns and still go to war with Japan, but I think Roosevelt would have a very hard time securing a declaration of war without an attack on US territory - and if a US-Japanese war DID develop under these circumstances, it would run the risk of becoming an unpopular war if US losses mount. There is still the Sino-Japanese war however, which was from the American "moral" perspective a more pressing reason for war with Japan than Dutch and French colonies anyway, so unless Japan combined this move with some sort of apparent compromises in China it might not work.
January 22nd, 2007, 09:17 PM
Not my specialty, but I suspect that Roosevelt only asks for war against Germany, calculating that he won't get Congress to agree to a 2-front war, and not wanting to put it up for vote only to be denied. FDR then silently hopes that Germany bullies the Japanese into declaring war on us, ideally after a 6-month delay so that we're ready for them.
January 22nd, 2007, 09:56 PM
I just don't see how Roosevelt can get a DoW on Germany. Even in OTL he was happy Germany declared first spairing him the fight in Congress to get a DoW on Germany.
Take out Pearl Harbor and getting anysort of DoW to enter Great War 2.0 is going to be hard enough without reminding all those Dough boy vet's of the Western front by trying to get one on Germany.
January 22nd, 2007, 10:51 PM
The United States put an embargo on Japan to force them to retreat from China and end hostilities. They will not allow the Japanese to 'bargain' with them for the Duch East Indies or Indochina, that would defeat the purpose of the embargo! The US would sooner alleviate some of the pressure of the blockade, while attaining promises from Japan that they would not go into Indochina or the Dutch East Indies.
The British and the United States would start sending substantial aid to the Chinese, if the Japanese made so bold of a move to just attack non-UK/US possessions. Moreover, the United States retains the Philippines, the United Kingdom Malaysia and Singapore... which means that the Chinese could be given even MORE aid than during World War 2. Lend-Lease could support Indonesian insurgents as well. Occupation could become A LOT harder for the Japs.
I think the oil problem is still going to be huge for the Japanese, even with these new territories. They will become so mired into their wars they might just start backing off, and submit to UK/US pressure, abandoning their new territory for maybe just North China, Manchuoko, Korea, and Taiwan.
But even after Japan starts getting oil once they come to an armistice, the Chinese probably won't let up. They'll continue to get aid from the Allies to wage a long guerilla war against the Japanese Empire. Unless, of course, the Chinese Civil War explodes and distracts them.
January 23rd, 2007, 07:05 AM
IF it worked, the best move for Japan could have been to hit DEI and all the UK targets, ignoring only US assets (Philippines basically, and Guam).
I dont think a US DoW would have been immediate. Roosevelt would have pushed for it sure. But even in OTL, the British were quick (2/42) to offer Japan a separate peace through backchannels that would have let them keep some gains and close the Burma road.
Without the US entering the war immediately theres a good chance that with the war in Europe, Japan could pull such a coup de force. However if this thing dragged on, i suspect the US would have gotten involved (against Japan only) in the second half of 1942.
January 23rd, 2007, 11:37 AM
It depends on how Roosevelt packages it to Congress - the "China First" lobby were far more influential than those who wanted American intervention in Europe.
Roosevelt knew that so long as the Japanese government were dependent on the USA for resources, they could be controlled. As soon as they made a grab for the Dutch and British and French volonial possessions (and Portuguese), the Americans would have no choice but to move in.
Hong Kong would definitely fall but it was strategically worthless. Singapore would probably stand as the American fleet could reinforce the British there.
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