The Battle of Midway goes according to plan for the IJN

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by SergeantHeretic, May 29, 2012.

  1. SergeantHeretic Eternal student of history

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    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?
     
  2. Hyperion Banned

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    If the Japanese had been able to successfully hit and sink say two of the three US carriers, and Midway perhaps not taken but bombed into the ground, you'd probably throw the US back maybe three months or so.

    Overall though, come 1943 and into 1944, the buildup of more US forces will simply overwhelm the Japanese similar to OTL. Casualties and ship losses in some operations might be higher than OTL, but overall the most this will do for the Japanese is buy them a small bit of time.
     
  3. SergeantHeretic Eternal student of history

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    The Japanese plan was to hand the U.S. a series of bloody crushing dfeats and convince us to sue for peace. Essentially a hopeless fantasy given the nature of the war they initiated.

    Is that essentially correct?
     
  4. Binky the Clown Elizabeth Warren's Number One Fan

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    Yes. Each defeat only made the American public angrier and more determined to beat the "Japs." The loss of the carriers at Midway would've bought the IJN some time, but they'd be facing a fleet of shiny new carriers within a few months. One possible effect of a Japanese victory at Midway is that the Alaska-class cruisers (or even the Iowa's) might be completed as Aircraft carriers instead of "conventional" warships.
     
  5. SergeantHeretic Eternal student of history

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    So, the worse they hurt us at the beginning, the harder we would come back at them i nthe long run.

    That makes the Japanese strategy incredibly naivee and childishly foollish.
     
  6. Snake Featherston Banned

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    Japan might in the right circumstances win a partial victory on sea, where its carriers deal a curbstomp to the US carriers, with US mistakes and luck. What it will never do is capture Midway Island through amphibious operations. Thus even in their best-case scenario a Japanese victory will be partial at best, more a naval Chickamauga than a new Tsushima. Japan was already going to be overwhelmed in the long turn solely by US production from 1940.....
     
  7. SergeantHeretic Eternal student of history

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    Something Yamamoto tried in vain to point out.
     
  8. Catspoke Member

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    Best case Midway:
    1) Japanese are repulsed on the actual invasion of the island, so there is no long term attrition in trying to hold such a place so close to American bases and the Americans feel complacent about the victory.
    2) Midway though is a Japanese carrier tactical victory with less Japanese carrier losses than OTL
    3) Americans end up trust their code breaking less.
    4) Americans don't really do anything then until the Essex class carriers are operational in November 1943 (no Solomons attrition hole)
    5) Then the Japanese don't commit fleet units to the big battle until American close to something important (like OTL Leyete Gulf), where land based air can be committed and American are tied to protecting a major land campaign.
    6) Hope something incredibly lucky happens and you actually do OK in this battle.
    7) Hope the Allies are bogged down in Europe and their energy and A-bombs are diverted there
    8) Hope the cold war gets really frosty early (not the Germans, but the Soviets put down the Warsaw rising brutally or something) and the Allies are willing to make a slighty less unconditional surrender with you.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2012
  9. SergeantHeretic Eternal student of history

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    SO there's no way the Japanese actually WIN the war, the best they can do is lose less badly.
     
  10. Brother Stormhammer Well-Known Member

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    Essentially correct. The Japanese were engaged in probably the most one-sided war in the history of humanity (or at least one of the top contenders for the title). There's a good summary at the Combined Fleet website: http://www.combinedfleet.com/economic.htm

    Just to cite a couple of numbers: Japanese aircraft production for the entire war (1939-1945): 76,320. US production in 1944: 96,318.

    The only way the Japanese could possibly win would be for the US to lose the will to fight...and given public sentiment after Pearl Harbor, even the Infamous Alien Space Bats can't fly far enough to reach that one...
     
  11. Daylight Savings Well-Known Member

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    The Japanese knew they were outmatched going into the war. They did it based on the assumption that the powers they were fighting had no stomach for long wars and lacked the guts to commit large amounts of men to be killed. They were wrong it was that simple.

    To take a page from science, if you run an experiment based on flawed assumptions you won't get the results you planned on. You can't change the laws of nature that led to those results, all you can do is change your assumptions or your set up and try to predict a new result.
     
  12. SergeantHeretic Eternal student of history

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    Both of you are correct, and you say it so well. There is just no way the war ends well for Japan.

    Their experiment was based on a fatally flawed assumption, to whit:

    "Americans are a weak honorless people, who lack the spirit of Bushido, all we need do is smach their navy and sufficiently bloody them and they will sue for peace with us in control of most of the Pacific rim."
     
  13. Color-Copycat Banned

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    I love how any time there's a Midway WI thread, someone always links to that excellent article. We should sticky it and make it mandatory reading for good measure :D
     
  14. SergeantHeretic Eternal student of history

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    Yeah, that is a good article and if I hadd read it first I never would have started this thread.
     
  15. Enigmajones Ours Is The Fury

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    Yep, the only way the USA was going to allow the Japanese to sue for peace was if we were either occupying Japan, or being occupied by Japan.
     
  16. SergeantHeretic Eternal student of history

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    The first was infinatly more likely than the second, the second requiring a brand new Kido Butai provied by the Alien Space Bat Shipyards.
     
  17. Hyperion Banned

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    The best estimates I've seen for extending the war give Japan an additional six months at the most.

    Any real chances of Japan doing better, even in defeat, would require one or more events going differently in Europe or elsewhere.

    Off the top of my head, the only event I've ever thought up where it might delay the US advance somewhat would be perhaps the West Loch disaster at Pearl Harbor in 1944 going somewhat worse than OTL.
     
  18. SergeantHeretic Eternal student of history

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    I have heard of that, wasn't that at first thought to be a second assault?
     
  19. SergeantHeretic Eternal student of history

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    My general assesment of the tactical and strategic situation i nthe pacific during world war two is that the better the Kido Butai does i nthe first year and one half of the war, the worse the second half of the war is going to be for them.

    If the win Coral sea, Midway AND guadalcanal, the eventual occupation of the Japanese home islands is going to be UGLY!
     
  20. Enigmajones Ours Is The Fury

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    Twas my point.