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  #41  
Old May 30th, 2012, 06:37 PM
Ivan1GFP Ivan1GFP is offline
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This may be a bit off topic, but how far back would the timeline need to change to really have affected the war?

What if in the design of the 12-shi fighter (A6M), Shibata had won the argument against Genda (Better performance versus Better maneuverability)? This affects much more than it first appears because the result would have been a more short-legged fighter that would not have been able to fly missions against the Philippines from Taiwan. There would not have been the ability to fly long range missions against Guadalcanal. Without that particular weapon, perhaps plans would have been different. The long range and performance of the A6M was such that the Japanese believed it was the equivalent of about 3 fighters from other nations.

What if there had been a third strike against Pearl Harbor that took out the Navy Yard and fuel storage. Pacific fleet would not be able to operate out of Pearl Harbor at all....

Japan clearly wasn't able to really "win" the last two wars it had fought against China and Russia. China and Russia had enough internal conflict that they had more threats internally than externally. Neither of those wars ended up with the loser totally defeated and occupied.

- Ivan.
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  #42  
Old May 30th, 2012, 06:38 PM
Ivan1GFP Ivan1GFP is offline
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Almost forgot.... Except for Fighters, the Japanese actually developed better carrier planes than US did. Problem is that fighters rule.

- Ivan.
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  #43  
Old May 30th, 2012, 06:39 PM
SergeantHeretic SergeantHeretic is online now
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These are interesting possible PoD's I'll consider them.
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  #44  
Old May 30th, 2012, 06:55 PM
NickBana NickBana is offline
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Another one, I think we should have POD around Russo Japanese War? Make them defeated?
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  #45  
Old May 30th, 2012, 07:57 PM
CalBear CalBear is offline
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Originally Posted by Ivan1GFP View Post
Almost forgot.... Except for Fighters, the Japanese actually developed better carrier planes than US did. Problem is that fighters rule.

- Ivan.
Uh, no they didn't.

The TBF was the best torpedo plane of the war. The U.S. made the Dive Bomber obsolete with the Hellcat and Corsair, although the SBD was a far better aircraft than the D3A, and the later SB2C was actually an excellent, if unnecessary due to events, aircraft.

Japan tried to improve but they lacked the industrial capacity.

edit: Let me make that best carrier torpedo bomber of the war. I have to give best to the Beaufighter (hell of a nice aircraft).
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Last edited by CalBear; May 30th, 2012 at 08:14 PM..
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  #46  
Old May 30th, 2012, 09:10 PM
Flying Sorcerer Flying Sorcerer is offline
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Originally Posted by SergeantHeretic View Post
The objective of Midway was not the capture of the island, it was luring the American carriers into a trap and wiping them out as well as sinking as much more American sea tonnage as they could in order to bloody the AMericans int osuing for peace with Tokyo.
True, but seizing Midway was a subsidiary part of the plan. In any event the Japanese fleet was maldeployed to take on the American carriers; the carrier force was out front with Yamamato far behind them. Could Nagumo's carriers have been more survivable if Yamamoto provided close support? In terms of ships providing anti-air defence, the carriers were practically naked. Once Nagumo learned that there were American ships in the area (if memory serves, he had some inkling in the early hours) he should have ditched the plan to attack Midway and focused on finding and destroying the enemy carriers which he should have realized were nearby.I think one of the most fundamental problems the Japanese had was that Nagumo was temperamentally unsuited to command the Midway operation - they really needed someone more aggressive, like Ozawa.
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  #47  
Old May 30th, 2012, 10:56 PM
CalBear CalBear is offline
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Originally Posted by Flying Sorcerer View Post
True, but seizing Midway was a subsidiary part of the plan. In any event the Japanese fleet was maldeployed to take on the American carriers; the carrier force was out front with Yamamato far behind them. Could Nagumo's carriers have been more survivable if Yamamoto provided close support? In terms of ships providing anti-air defence, the carriers were practically naked. Once Nagumo learned that there were American ships in the area (if memory serves, he had some inkling in the early hours) he should have ditched the plan to attack Midway and focused on finding and destroying the enemy carriers which he should have realized were nearby.I think one of the most fundamental problems the Japanese had was that Nagumo was temperamentally unsuited to command the Midway operation - they really needed someone more aggressive, like Ozawa.
IJN doctrine called for carrier to defend themselves. The AAA on the escorts was, in general, barely sufficient to defend themselves. This is covered in some depthin several works, perhaps the best being the superlative Shattered Sword. The IJN's defensive doctrine was very different from that of the U.S. (The best example of being that escorts vessels were supposed to fire their main batteries into the water ahead of an attacking aircraft, not to shoot them down with the splashes as is sometimes stated, but to alert the CAP that there was a threat. This was necessary since, even though the A6M was equipped with, and had space for, a radio IJN pilots would remove the radio to reduce weight and, they thought, improve maneuverability.)
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  #48  
Old May 31st, 2012, 12:24 AM
Hyperion Hyperion is offline
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Originally Posted by CalBear View Post
IJN doctrine called for carrier to defend themselves. The AAA on the escorts was, in general, barely sufficient to defend themselves. This is covered in some depthin several works, perhaps the best being the superlative Shattered Sword. The IJN's defensive doctrine was very different from that of the U.S. (The best example of being that escorts vessels were supposed to fire their main batteries into the water ahead of an attacking aircraft, not to shoot them down with the splashes as is sometimes stated, but to alert the CAP that there was a threat. This was necessary since, even though the A6M was equipped with, and had space for, a radio IJN pilots would remove the radio to reduce weight and, they thought, improve maneuverability.)
They would have had a better chance with Junyo and Ryujo and Zuiho mixed in. As warships they wheren't great, but they did carry Zeros, and the former two where all but wasted in the Aleutians, which in and of itself was a theater that drained the Japanese worse than anywhere else in 1942.
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  #49  
Old May 31st, 2012, 12:34 AM
Alcatur Alcatur is offline
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The best example of being that escorts vessels were supposed to fire their main batteries into the water ahead of an attacking aircraft, not to shoot them down with the splashes as is sometimes stated, but to alert the CAP that there was a threat.
Another method of contacting CAPs was to make writing on decks from white-painted wood pieces. Sounds really effective...
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  #50  
Old May 31st, 2012, 12:48 AM
SergeantHeretic SergeantHeretic is online now
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I just cannot get past the monumental fundamental self deceptive self deluding idiocy of the Japanese stragety.

"The AMericans are all weak, solf cowardly playboys and shopkeeps and so all we need to do is bloody their noses a sufficient amount and they will bend to our will and give us the central Pacific."

"Anyone who questions the above strategy is a weak cowardly treasonous defeatist."

What boggles my mind is that they NEVER changed that mode of thinking, not at any point i nthe war.

I just don't get it.
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  #51  
Old May 31st, 2012, 12:57 AM
Blue Max Blue Max is offline
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If the USA loses more carriers it makes more carriers; the USA was very good at making more ships.

Japan's doomed even if the USN doesn't close on the home islands at all: The Soviets will crush the Kwangtung Army, grab Sakhalin and, time permitting, Korea. The Red Army is entirely capable of continuing this offensive into the rest of China, which means the main crop of the IJA will be crushed by Soviet force of arms.

The US will begin nuclear bombardment of Japan around August 1945. I could see the USAAF being allowed basing rights in Southern Korea to launch bombing raids.

Japan, perhaps, could weather more nuclear hits than OTL. But the USA built 7 nuclear weapons in 1946 and probably would have made more if WWII were still ongoing.

I defer to the greats, like CalBear, on why the USN wouldn't need until 1947 to crush Japan.
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  #52  
Old May 31st, 2012, 12:57 AM
Astrodragon Astrodragon is offline
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Originally Posted by Geon View Post
Many who study alternate history think that if Midway had gone according to the IJN plan that the Japanese would be:
  • Invading Hawaii
  • Raiding the West U.S. Coast
  • Attacking the Panama Canal
  • All of the Above
I think the posts on this thread point pretty conclusively to the fact that while Midway in OTL sealed the Japanese Navy's fate, a victory for the Japanese Navy at Midway would not have done anything but delay at most by a few months (maybe a year) the inevitable. Calbear nailed it with the supply problems. The Japanese could not have supported their troops on Midway even assuming they made a successful invasion. An invasion of Hawaii would have been sheer suicide given the number of U.S. troops and the airpower stationed there. Finally raiding the West Coast and/or the Panama Canal (a tactic which was attempted by the Japanese in the excellent AH book The Moscow Option) would have ended with the annihilation of the entire fleet.

At best there is a delay or postponement to Guadalcanal. The Japanese may actually succeed in taking all of New Guineau and be able to bomb Austrailian ports. But I don't think they had any plans for after Midway other then to reinforce their island ring.

Bottom line they were looking for the U.S. to fold after a decisive naval battle and that was just not going to happen.

Geon
Not really, no.
Those fantasies tend to be believed by those who don't understand the basic concept of warfare (as opposed to battles),which is that LOGISTICS RULES. End of story.

None of those things were remotely possible with the available logistics.
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  #53  
Old May 31st, 2012, 01:01 AM
SergeantHeretic SergeantHeretic is online now
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Astrodragon is right, Calbear is right, and know what, if I think about it, I am right too.

The Imperial Japanese simply did not pack the gear for a protracted war and Admiral Yamamoto KNEW IT!.

The United States DID have abundant resources and logistics and Yamamoto knew that too.

He tried to warn the Diet and the militarists and the Industrialists, but that just was not what they wanted to hear.
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  #54  
Old May 31st, 2012, 01:02 AM
BlondieBC BlondieBC is offline
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Originally Posted by Ivan1GFP View Post
What if in the design of the 12-shi fighter (A6M), Shibata had won the argument against Genda (Better performance versus Better maneuverability)? This affects much more than it first appears because the result would have been a more short-legged fighter that would not have been able to fly missions against the Philippines from Taiwan. There would not have been the ability to fly long range missions against Guadalcanal. Without that particular weapon, perhaps plans would have been different. The long range and performance of the A6M was such that the Japanese believed it was the equivalent of about 3 fighters from other nations.
According to a book written by senior designers of the zero, if the original plans had the six carriers used to support the Philippines attack. So a shorter range plane means no Pearl Harbor. It is not just the design of the Zero, great efforts went into running on very lean fuel mixtures and other pilot skills to extend the range of the zero.
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  #55  
Old May 31st, 2012, 01:05 AM
SergeantHeretic SergeantHeretic is online now
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Originally Posted by BlondieBC View Post
According to a book written by senior designers of the zero, if the original plans had the six carriers used to support the Philippines attack. So a shorter range plane means no Pearl Harbor. It is not just the design of the Zero, great efforts went into running on very lean fuel mixtures and other pilot skills to extend the range of the zero.
None of which does a blessed thing to change the sad bad mad fact that the Imperial Japanese military did not have the LOGISTICS to wage a protracted war.

And the United States DID!
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  #56  
Old May 31st, 2012, 01:08 AM
Alcatur Alcatur is offline
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I just cannot get past the monumental fundamental self deceptive self deluding idiocy of the Japanese stragety.

"The AMericans are all weak, solf cowardly playboys and shopkeeps and so all we need to do is bloody their noses a sufficient amount and they will bend to our will and give us the central Pacific."

"Anyone who questions the above strategy is a weak cowardly treasonous defeatist."

What boggles my mind is that they NEVER changed that mode of thinking, not at any point i nthe war.

I just don't get it.
But Japaneese behaviour in WW2 was so idiotic over and over again. If we were reading a story about tit, it would be bashed more than Drakaverse.

I was always boggled by Guadalcanal campaign. So you have a theatre when there are multiple gunnery and torpedo engagements. You outnumber enemy significantly in BBs and have special torpedo cruisers. So obviosuly the best solution is to keep them away; gods help if they become useful.

I was never persuaded by the arguments that they were waiting for Decisive Battle. Japaneese had to know they sank majority of US battleships in Pearl Harbour and any sort of Battleship decisive battle cannot happen because US has only few working. So what, was IJN staff waiting for Americans to build new battleships so that there can be a decisive battle? Its kind of absurd.
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  #57  
Old May 31st, 2012, 01:11 AM
BlondieBC BlondieBC is offline
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Originally Posted by SergeantHeretic View Post
Having just reviewed the film "Midway" I wondered, What would have been the result if the Japanese got the battle they thought they were getting in the battle of Midway, and Halsey Dommanded an outmatched force of three carriers after the island was attacked in complete suprise?

How would the Pacific war have played out fro mthere?
The Japanese thought their codes were secure, and if this was true, the Japanese should sink more carriers than they lose. Midway probably does a successful defense.

There are some rather lengthy discussions of how Japan would do if they sank more USA carriers in previous threads, but generally, a delay of a few months in the USA timetable is the general consensus, but it could actually speed up the war if the butterflies get the USA to do a Central Pacific only plan. I think the delay in the Japan sinking all the USA carriers at midway and losing nothing could be as much as 12 months, but I am in minority on this position, and all the butterflies would have to go just right for the Japanese. The problem for the Japanese is that even if the USA is say 9 months behind OTL, they still drop the nuclear weapons on Japan in August and the USSR still enters the war.
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  #58  
Old May 31st, 2012, 01:22 AM
Just Leo Just Leo is offline
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Originally Posted by CalBear View Post
This was necessary since, even though the A6M was equipped with, and had space for, a radio IJN pilots would remove the radio to reduce weight and, they thought, improve maneuverability.)
Carrier-based Zeroes carried the radio for the homing function. Land-based Zeroes removed the radio usually, because the voice-com was unusable.
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  #59  
Old May 31st, 2012, 01:27 AM
Alcatur Alcatur is offline
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The problem for the Japanese is that even if the USA is say 9 months behind OTL, they still drop the nuclear weapons on Japan in August and the USSR still enters the war.
With sufficient delay US may not have bases in August 1945 enabling it to drop the nuclear bombs on Japan, or at least enabling sufficient security of such mission. 9 months behind OTL makes US take Saipan in April 1945. I believe that this alone may slightly delay nuclear bombings since US airforce would have to first gain knowledge and experience in bombing Japan before dropping nukes.
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  #60  
Old May 31st, 2012, 01:27 AM
BlondieBC BlondieBC is offline
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But Japaneese behaviour in WW2 was so idiotic over and over again. If we were reading a story about tit, it would be bashed more than Drakaverse.
It was not so much idiotic, but based on one assumption that both the US Army G-2 and the Japanese Army agreed upon in late 1941. Russia would be knocked out of the war. If this assumption had happened, and FDR was looking at the Pacific war where Russia makes peace in mid 1942, a negotiated peace becomes possible. You have to think about what would be happening on the other side of the world. The Germans likely switch a great deal of resources back to the Navy and Army. The old Panzer and other equipment are plenty good enough for occupation duty, counter insurgency, and mass executions. The Germans likely start to place some divisions in reserve status to free up needed skill laborers. Franco could easily join the Axis. If combined with a reasonable peace offer from Japan, the USA might accept.

The Japanese lacked quality fighters, but what if the Germans used the TransSiberian railroad for its own Lend/Lease type program? What happens if FDR decides only Marine divisions are to be used in the Pacific until after the Nazi's are defeated. What if the Axis are producing 2-3 times more U-boats? What happen if Malta and Gibraltar fall in 1942, and the Italian Navy is able to sortie into the Atlantic?


It takes the right butterflies and wins for the Axis, but it is understandable how the Japanese believed they could win.
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