A better Imperial Japanese Navy

What would you do/ what could be done to improve the Imperial Japanese navy in time for its war efforts?
keep in mind they will stay within OTL's budget.
 
Larger scale pilot training programme that does not weed out the 'best' and the 'very best' in favour of retaining only the 'very very best'. Their OTL training program would wash out men that the USN and Luftwaffe would have found perfectly acceptable.

An air sea rescue service for downed pilots utilising H8K flying boats.
 
What is the POD?

There so many ways and means, just scratching the surface i go for smaller, more useful Yamatos, with big savings in steel and infrastructure build-up for them, 2 proper carriers instead of the Junyos together with priority and emphasis on carrier building and keeping carrier air groups to strength, reduce the number of rikkos built in favour of carrier planes, the absolute need of a 37 or 40mm flak asap, need for radar, at least a modicum of fuel tank protection for larger planes if nothing else, try to sort out the Zero radios, as said above more pilots graduated, and many, many more.
 
A better aircrew training program. Basically don't wash out so many actually good candidates, trying to make a Samurai Elite Arm. Rotate veterans out of combat and use them as instructors (like the US and UK did).
Dump the long range, land based heavy bombers. Massive waste of resources and personnel, created mainly to one-up the army and steal the anti-ship mission just for the IJN.
Much better short range AAA: something to replace the crappy 25mm, and something for the mid-tier role, ie a 37 or 40mm weapon. Their AAA was notoriously so bad right up to the end that USN/RN fighters could do straffing runs on heavy waships just to take these out!
Don't trust so much in the torpedo. They torpedo-based battle simulations were utterly unrealistic and basically assumed the enemy would do & sail exactly how, where and when the IJN wanted.
Invest in radar! Imagine Midway, but the IJN picks up the incoming USN planes...
Invest in ASW warfare and escorts sooner. Like mid-late 1930s.
 
Don't trust so much in the torpedo. They torpedo-based battle simulations were utterly unrealistic and basically assumed the enemy would do & sail exactly how, where and when the IJN wanted.
It might surprise many people, just how low the Long Lance's hit rate in proportion to number of torpedoes launched was.
 
It might surprise many people, just how low the Long Lance's hit rate in proportion to number of torpedoes launched was.
Yeah. People forget that torpedoes weren't guided. Yes it made massive damage, but first it had to hit... and dozens up dozens up dozens failed...
 
Red sword12 speaking with hindsight when they were (the Yamatos ) planned the battleship was still king
Dorknaught how will no Siberian intervention allow Japan to build 18 to 20 Nagatos
A they dont have the slips
B Washington naval treaty
 
In terms of actual ships: Abandon the Yamato's in favour of more fleet carriers. Scrap existing older battleships if you have to in order to free up resources.

Build a lot more destroyers, escorts and ASW ships to protect convoys. Possibly (if resources allow) Build more cruisers geared towards air defence and more specialised Amphibious warfare ships and landing craft.

For God's sake build a lot more merchant shipping!

Don't bother with large submarines such as the I-400 class and be a bit smarter about their deployment (change submarine doctrine to one based around interdiction and area denial rather than using them as fleet units).

Equipment: Put a lot more resources into the development and mass production of radar and sonar earlier on as this was a deficiency that caused Japan a lot of headaches earlier on during the war.
Develop better AA weapons and refit ships to carry a lot more AAA.

The most important and beneficial changes and smallest wouldn't be new ships and equipment but would be changes to the IJN's personnel:
Clamp down massively on internal factions and interservice rivalry to allow the various arms of the IJN and IJA to cooperate effectively and to actually developed a coherent strategy.

Be a lot more realistic in terms of planning and assumptions and a bit smarter about doctrine.

Try to lose the mindset of "Death before dishonor" and ritual suicide after defeat as this often prevents lessons from being learned due to being unable to debrief personnel after unsuccessful actions.

Massively ramp up pilot training and implement a policy of cycling experienced pilot's into instructor roles rather than keeping them in front line squadrons.
This policy should allow for a larger reserve of aircrew trained to a higher quality to help deal with losses.

Perhaps most importantly implement a much stronger institutional focus on firefighting and damage control.
Ensure that all officers and men have received significant firefighting training and design new ships and refit existing ones with a much stronger focus on damage control.
All personnel should be trained potential firefighters instead of the existing policy of damage control being a specialisation with only a small number of trained personnel onboard.
IOTL many Japanese ships were lost to otherwise survivable damage and especially fires due to inadequate training amongst their crews.
 
One point on the CV vs BB argument. Don't forget that, at the time these changes are discussed (and we can't go much latter than 1937, or there's simply no time), the argument for CVs is far from consensual anywhere. Bomber/torpedo aircraft were very limited in bomb payload and range; remember that, if a IJN admiral looked at his roster in, say, 1937-38, he'd see the Yokosuka B4Y (800kg payload) and the Aichi D1A (500kg payload) biplanes, with the brand new Mitsubishi A5M coming in as fighter. And in the mid 30s, because of the aircrafts short range, carriers were still very much at the mercy of a lucky run by enemy cruisers and/or destroyers. There's no way such planes would be used as basis for the center of an attack strategy. CVs don't really replace BBs as main strikers untill mid WWII, so there's no way you can plan a 1930s fleet using them as your core. You'd loose.
 
What is the POD?

There so many ways and means, just scratching the surface i go for smaller, more useful Yamatos, with big savings in steel and infrastructure build-up for them, 2 proper carriers instead of the Junyos together with priority and emphasis on carrier building and keeping carrier air groups to strength, reduce the number of rikkos built in favour of carrier planes, the absolute need of a 37 or 40mm flak asap, need for radar, at least a modicum of fuel tank protection for larger planes if nothing else, try to sort out the Zero radios, as said above more pilots graduated, and many, many more.
I knew I was forgetting something. The pod is 1917.
 
How about putting people in the correct areas like the U.S. Navy did. I mean Nagumo was the wrong person to command the first air fleet. It should have been someone who knew more about carrier tactics than he did.
 
Yeah, carriers were bit overated. I mean how battleships were actually sunk at sea by carrier aircraft.
Also, keep in mind you only have control over the navy.
 
Last edited:

DougM

Donor
Are we assuming 1935 knowledge or 2023 knowledge?
The difference is HUGE.
1935 Yamato makes reasonable sense. 2023 knowledge it would be better to pitch most BBs for as many Aircraft carriers as you can build and man and get aircraft on.

So a lot of this is after the fact knowledge.
In reality Japan did a reasonable job with what they had and what they knew. So with 1935 knowledge they can’t really be expected to do much better.
The older ships were built as they were for a reason. Treaty’s technical limitations ect.
Even the huge BBs were logical when you look at it from Japans point of view. It was much like the concept of the Dreadnaught. Build a ship bigger and badder then your enemy is building and move the goalposts. In this case with the additional benefits that anything that can reasonably be expected to compare with them can’t fit through the Panama Canal. If you build anything smaller/lesser then the US can easily match it and produce more of them then Japan can.

So if WW2 was still a battleship war which on Dec 6 1941 pretty much all navies thought it was and that it wasn’t until after Midway that Japan trully got that message and by then it was to late for them.

So do creat a better Navy you need to have post 1941-45 knowledge.

With that Knowledge then get rid of all BBs, turn them into Anit Aircraft platforms or get ride of most of them outright. Build escorts and carriers. As many as you can equip with aircraft.

Any extra money/resources you sue to build support ships. Tankers/refuelers supply ships etc.
Also you do everything you can to try and increase your merchant ships.
 
Japans Pride in their fleet was a little to big.
Massive battleships were outdated, and building huges ones like the Yamato, was expensive and inefficive, making them huge targets for aircraft.
The Japanese Submarine production wasn't properly considered beofre declaring war.
 
I knew I was forgetting something. The pod is 1917.
Ah, in that case there could be massive changes. They could build better ships, maybe get a better ratio at the 1922 WNT, cheat more on the treaty construction so they don't end up with the massive structural issue of many of the treaty ships especially post 1930 LNT, and many other things.
 
If you dump Yamato, Musashi and Shinano for more Shokaku-hulls - and I think the IJN would ideally like to do this - then are there going to be the planes to fill them with?

Carrier planes need a shift of focus to put more emphasis on ease of production, ease of maintainability, and crew survivability than OTL.

As others have mentioned, radios on planes are good, and a more generous pilot-training programme is necessary. Radar is also good, but may be out of reach.

Talk to the Germans on engine manufacture and metallurgy - and on avgas refining. If Japan can run on higher-octane gas, then the horsepower is there to put a radio in the A6M, protection in the G4M, all that good stuff.

Sell the Germans the 1931 aerial torpedo and train up some RIKKO crews to speak German to go over there and teach in the late 30s. Any RN ship the Luftwaffe sinks in 1939-40 is one you don't have to worry about.

The underlying assumption of kantai kessen is that the USN will steam fat, dumb, and happy from San Diego/Pearl to Manila being torpedoed every now and again for the IJN's amusement. Put some smart guys in a room (yes, okay, Genda is not quite as smart as he thinks he is) and have them come up with three alternate plans for the USN to do if they don't want to be attrited by submarines, RIKKOs, carrier air strikes, and nightime destroyer actions - and then think about what to do there. e.g., what if the US wants to attrite you in the Solomons, how do we avoid it being a campaign of attrition? We don't like attrition - they have more ships, planes, guns, bases, yards, factories, people, money, iron, aluminum, and oil than we do. We want decisive victories that destroy their power projection capability. We don't want to fight their planes, we want to sink their carriers and capture their airfields. For instance, maybe we need a really good plan to get that airfield on Guadalcanal operational within six months of the balloon going up so it's our bombers hitting their fleet and not the other way around?

If we start in 1917, then in the 1922 WNT negotiations accept the scrapping of everything on the slips as part of the deal.
Which is totally cheating with ASB foreknowledge so we don't lose Amagi due to the Kanto earthquake, but there you go.
 
Even without building more anti-submarine escorts, the Japanese using (or at least losing) subchasers and kaibokan (escorts) instead of faster and torpedo loaded destroyers should lead to a better IJN. Preferably with better depth charges just to be safe.

Pod: On 17 December 1941, the bombing of Shinonome bombs and sinks minesweeper W-7 instead. Afterwards, the Japanese decide to put the subchaser CH-7 and the minesweeper W-6 in a better position for anti-submarine warfare and when the Dutch submarine K-XVI sinks CH-7 instead of Sagiri on 24 December 1941, the minesweeper W-6 sinks the Dutch submarine K-XVI the same day. The minesweeper W-6 is sunk on 26 December 1941 as in otl. Sagiri and Shinomome share the same fate as Murakumo. Minesweeper W-3 shares the same fate as its otl counterpart.

On 1 February 1942, the Japanese detachment of subchasers CH-1, CH-2 and CH-3 are detached from Ambon to Kendari and save Suzukaze from being torpedoed by USS Sculpin on 4 February, the subchasers sinking USS Sculpin and losing CH-3 instead. On 8 February 1942, instead of losing Natsushio to USS S37 off Makassar, the Japanese lose CH-1 to USS S37 off Kendari and CH-2 finishes off and sinks the USS S37. CH-2 does the same duties and is sunk like its otl counterpart, just without its sister ships. Natsushio shares the same fate as the destroyers of Destroyer Division 15 on 8 May 1943.

The Japanese military conquest campaigns from December 1941 to June 1942 proceed as in otl. On 25 June 1942, USS Nautilus sinks subchaser CH-13 instead of Yamakaze. Then, the victorious CH-14 escorts Chiyoda to Kiska, reinforced by Ukishima and CH-15. On 4 July 1942, USS Triton sinks minesweeper Musashi Maru instead of Nenohi and Ukishima sinks USS Triton. The USS Growler sinks Ukishima instead of Arare on 5 July 1942 and CH-14 finishes off the USS Growler. On 3 April 1943, CH-14 is sunk instead of CH-13 by USS Pickerel, which shares the same fate as otl in USS Pickerel's case. USS Grunion sinks subchasers CH-25 and CH-27, then, mutually destroys itself in a gun battle with CH-26.

In December 1942, the Japanese decide to add kaibokan Hachijo and Kunashiri to reinforce Okikaze. USS Trigger sinks Hachijo instead of Okikaze before a depth charge attack by Okikaze and Kunashiri sinks USS Trigger on 10 January 1943. The Okikaze sinks USS Guardfish after the latter sinks Kunashiri on 23 January 1943. On 24 January 1943, the CH-38 is sunk by USS Wahoo, but Okikaze sinks USS Wahoo shortly afterwards on the same day and Harusame shares Harusame's otl fate while Okikaze is sunk at Surigao Strait. On 19 December 1942, Arashio sinks USS Albacore after the latter torpedoes and sinks Tenryu and Isonami that day.

On 9 April 1943, with Shimushu torpedoed by USS Tautog while rescuing shipwreck survivors, Japanese destroyers including Oshio finish off and sink the USS Tautog. Subchaser CH-9 is sunk instead of Kisaragi on 26 September 1943, allowing Kisaragi to sink USS Bluefish.

On 18 December 1943, USS Grayback sinks the Etorofu instead of Numakaze and Numakaze sinks the USS Grayback. On 20 December 1943, USS Puffer sinks the CH-5 and Fuyo destroys USS Puffer in return.

By 14 January 1944, USS Guardfish will be too non-existent to sink Sazanami. Sazanami, however, will be able to evade USS Scamp's torpedoes and sink USS Scamp that day. On 16 January 1944, Convoy HI-31 is reinforced by Oki and Tsushima and USS Redfin sinks Oki before being sunk by Chitose's planes, saving the faster escorts of Amatsukaze, Yukikaze and Chitose until they are withdrawn from convoy escort after escorting Convoy HI-32. On 26 January 1944 (Japan time), USS Skipjack hits and sinks Fukue instead of Suzukaze and Suzukaze sinks USS Skipjack in return.

On 16 February 1944, after cruiser Agano is torpedoed and sunk by USS Skate, the USS Skate is sunk by destroyer Oite and subchaser CH-28, the latter 2 ships sharing the same fate as their otl counterparts. On 13 April 1944, USS Harder sinks kaibokan CD-2 instead of Ikazuchi and Ikazuchi sinks USS Harder instead. On 10 May 1944, USS Cod sinks Kurahashi instead of Fuyo and Fuyo sinks USS Cod in return. On 14 May 1944, USS Bonefish sinks CD-5 instead of Inazuma and Inazuma sinks USS Bonefish. On 22 May 1944, Asanagi avoids sinking by USS Pollack because USS Pollack sinks subchaser CH-51 after sinking subchaser CH-54 and USS Pollack is destroyed by CH-48 in retaliation on 25 March 1944. On 5 June 1944, Takasaki and Ashizuri are sunk by USS Hake instead of USS Puffer and USS Hake is sunk in return. On 9 June 1944, CH-16, having retreated to Yokosuka instead of Woleai from Saipan, is sunk (instead of Matsukaze) by USS Swordfish, allowing Matsukaze to sink USS Swordfish that day. On 19 June 1944, USS Albacore is no more and Taiho is spared, despite the loss of Shokaku that day (with USS Cavalla's sinking of Shokaku being revenged by Tanikaze destroying Cavalla). The Battle of the Philippine Sea proceeds as in otl, but with one more American submarine lost in exchange for saving the Taiho.

On 6 July 1944, USS Paddle sinks CH-23 instead of Hokaze before Hokaze sinks USS Paddle and minesweeper W-22 shares the same fate as its otl counterpart before Hokaze sinks USS Batfish, but Usugumo and Tanamami avoid sinking the next day, when USS Mingo and Miyake are lost instead of Tanamami due to Kanju's actions against the USS Mingo and both Kanju and Miyake replacing fleet destroyers as escorts for Kokuryo Maru and the absence of USS Skate saving Usugumo. On 19 July 1944, after USS Flasher sinks the cruiser Oi as in otl, Shikinami sinks USS Flasher. On 22 August 1944, after USS Haddo hit and sank the kaibokan Matsuwa and Hiburi, the Sado rams and sinks the USS Haddo. USS Picuda is sunk by CD-22 after the former sinks the Sado on 24 August 1944 off Manila. USS Growler's absence saves Shikinami and Hirado on 12 September 1944.

On 23 October 1944, the Battle of the Palawan Passage against Japanese cruisers proceeds as in otl, but the survival and usage of carrier Taiho and destroyers Hayanami, Tamanami and Tanikaze to escort Taiho with the Centre Force means that after the sinking of Atago and Maya, Japanese aircraft carrier Taiho's planes sink the USS Darter and USS Dace can only add a contact report of plane sightings and the Japanese destroyer Tamanami to its successes before being sunk by Tanikaze. On 24 October 1944, US torpedo planes focus their attention on sinking Taiho instead of sinking Musashi and damaging Myoko and bomber planes damage Hayanami and Tanikaze instead of Hamakaze and Kiyoshimo.

At 4:20 a.m. on the morning of 25 October 1944, after the losses of Yamashiro, Yamagumo and Michishio at Surigao Strait and the breaking and imminent sinking of Fuso, Admiral Shima's Force does not collide with Mogami. Then, Admiral Shima decides to continue with the advance on Leyte with his manuevrable forces, causing Shima to lose 2 heavy cruisers, 1 light cruiser and 10 destroyers including the saved until the battle Umikaze, Suzukaze, Usugumo, Shirakumo, Hibiki, Ikazuchi and Inazuma (the destroyer Wakaba sank the previous day and its surviving sister ships returned to Manila without having ever taken part at Surigao Strait) by 9:00 a.m. on 25 October 1944. Only 2 crippled survivors (Mogami and Asagumo) from Nishimura's force will return to Manila and the Brunei (Fuso's broken parts sinking from torpedo damage after running aground), and both crippled survivors in Manila will be sunk by an air raid in Manila on 5 November 1944. The Americans will lose to sinking only 6 destroyers (Albert Grant, USS Robinson, USS Halford, Bryant, Halwood L. Edwards and Richard Leary), a light cruiser (Phoenix) and 2 Australian ships (Shropshire and Arunta) to the Battle of Surigao Strait. HMAS Shropshire will be replaced by USS Minneapolis in name and service after the battle. The charge of the second class destroyers and torpedo boats in the battle will lead to USS Mississipi being wrecked aground to avoid sinking contributing to the only US battleship and the only US non-sinking permanent loss of the battle.

At Samar, Kurita sinks USS Johnston at 8:10 a.m. on 25 October 1944, faster than otl with the aid of Musashi. By 9:00 a.m., the USS Samuel B. Roberts has been sunk. Hoel and Gambier Bay will sink as in otl. After USS White Plains is left sinking by torpedo hits from Myoko and the crippling and sinking of Chokai by USS White Plains, Yamato and Kurita, with some determination at 9:09 a.m. on 25 October 1944, decide to charge into Taffy 3 and sink the entire Taffy 3 force. The addition of destroyer Hamakaze will allow Hamakaze, Amatsukaze and Isokaze to sink the USS Kalinin Bay with torpedoes hitting the USS Kalinin Bay's bow after Isokaze's torpedoes were exploded by USS St. Lo's planes and gunfire from the USS Kalinin Bay. The rest of Taffy 3's carriers (USS Fanshaw Bay, USS St. Lo and USS Kitkun Bay) would be sunk by Kamikaze planes by 10:50 a.m., the USS Fanshaw Bay being hit and sinking due to Japanese naval ships to the extent only USS St. Lo and USS Kitkun Bay were purely sunk by kamikaze planes.

The Battle of Samar will initially cost the Japanese 4 heavy cruisers sunk (Chikuma, Chokai, Suzuya and Haguro), 1 heavy cruiser damaged (to be sunk on 25 November 1944 off Santa Cruz as Kumano), 1 light cruiser and 5 destroyers sunk. Later, Kurita's decision to charge into Oldendorff's force will cost him his life, in addition to 2 battleships, all his remaining cruisers and 5 of his remaining destroyers in exchange for 6 American battleships, 2 American heavy cruisers (Louisville and Portland), 1 American light cruiser (Denver) and 5 destroyers. Later, on 26 October 1944, in exchange for USS New Jersey sunk (only by a lucky explosion), a light cruiser (Vincennes) sunk and a destroyer sunk and USS Iowa sunk, the Japanese lose all ships of the Centre Force sunk at Leyte Gulf, excluding torpedoed Takao (deemed irrepairable upon reaching Singapore), its escort of 2 destroyers (Asashimo and Naganami), torpedoed Kumano and 2 destroyers laden with Taiho and Musashi survivors (Hayanami and Tanikaze).

The Ozawa force's 4 carriers, 8 destroyers (including the surviving Shikinami, Kiri and Sugi and the reinforcing Nokaze, Numakaze and Kamikaze) and cruiser Tama are destroyed as in otl, but its night counterattack on 25 October 1944 using the Ise class battleships costs the US 3 cruisers (Santa Fe, Mobile and Wichita) and 8 destroyers in exchange for the cruiser Oyodo and 5 destroyers. The next day, airstrikes from Halsey sink the battleships Ise and Hyuga and cripple the Isuzu that a night surface action destroys Isuzu and all destroyers of Ozawa's force.

In the aftermath of the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the Japanese Navy was heavily decimated by losses. The battle, combined by land defeats and TA convoy losses at Leyte, leaving Japan with not only its Leyte Gulf losses and the losses of an air raid on 5 November 1944 against Manila in this scenario (including a patrol boat), but also the losses of Naganami, Asashimo, a Kaibokan (CD-11), a minesweeper and Kinu on 11 November 1944 when escorting TA Convoy No. 3, the losses of Kiso, Hatsuharu and Kaibokans Okinawa (in drydock with its bow destroyed 3 days ago) and Oshio after its delayed fate on 13 November 1944 (resulting in Kaibokan CD-13's loss on 30 July 1945, 15 days earlier than reality and kaibokan Mikura's and CD-47's fatal torpedoing by USS Atule on 14 August 1945), TA convoys 4 to 6, 8 and 9 suffering the same losses as their otl counterparts, TA convoy No. 7 losing destroyer Take and Kuwa in exchange for 2 American destroyers and the otl losses (including Kumano) of air raids on Manila and Dasol Bays on 25 November 1944.

In addition, having lost its escorting destroyer of Akikaze on 3 November 1944 to USS Pintado in exchange for USS Pintado's loss to depth charges, carrier Junyo, after sortieing in support of TA convoys and accidentally ramming USS Jallao (which sank Tama on 25 October 1944) on 13 November, will leave Mako on 20 November 1944, only to be sunk the next day by USS Sealion together with destroyer Ume the next day. Hayanami, after repairs, will be sunk on 31 January 1945 instead of Ume. Subchaser CH-60 will be sunk by USS Hawkbill instead of Momo, and Momo destroys the USS Hawkbill, on 15 December 1944. Convoy HI-81, which will proceed as in otl, will be attacked, suffering the same losses as its real-life counterpart including the escort carrier Shinyo and a submarine chaser.

On 4 December 1944, a kaibokan, CD-17, and Yurijima, now without Kishinami, USS Flasher and Oyodo, will reach port safely and CD-17 will be sunk on 12 January 1945 while Yurijima will be sunk as in otl. The Unryu-class aircraft carriers Unryu and Amagi will take over Ise's and Hyuga's otl transport and bombardment (of Leyte in this scenario) duties, which will cost Japan the Tanikaze during Leyte bombardment and bombing on 26 December 1944. On 13 December 1944, Uranami, damaged by bombs exactly a month earlier and after sinking USS Bergall, will tow Takao to Singapore, with Takao declared irrepairable after reaching Singapore on 25 December 1944, wrecked by a British midget submarine attack on 30 July 1945 and the wrecked heavy cruisers will be permanently scuttled in 1946 off the Straits of Malacca. Uranami will return to Tokyo in January 1945 and stay crippled and irrepairable there for the rest of WW2. The Katsuragi, aided by Ultra, will be sunk on 19 December 1944 by USS Redfish in exchange for USS Redfish's sinking by Hinoki and Momi. Finally, subchaser CH-21 will be sunk on 30 December 1944 by USS Razorback together with a kaibokan and several merchant ships bombed in Kuretake's convoy that day in exchange for USS Razorback's sinking by Kuretake. The Leyte Campaign will end a month later than otl and the invasions of Mindoro (costing the US USS Ommaney Bay sunk on 4 January 1945), Luzon, Iwo Jima (costing the US USS Bismarck Sea sunk on 21 March 1945) and Okinawa (costing the US USS Enterprise sunk on 7 May 1945 and USS Sangamenon sunk on 14 May 1945 by planes which attacked USS Enterprise in otl) will be delayed by a month but last as long as otl compared to their otl counterparts. Japanese torpedo boats Sagi and Hiyodori will save themselves by having CH-20 sink due to USS Gunnel instead of Sagi on 8 November 1944 and Sagi sinking USS Gunnel. Subchaser CH-49 is sunk instead of Manazuru by US carrier aircraft on 1 March 1945. On 17 October 1944, the USS Besugo is sunk by the soon to be destroyed Wakatsuki and this saves Suzutsuki and Fuyutsuki (after repairing their torpedo damages) to escort Shinano. Kari will be sunk by USS Gabilan and USS Charr on 7 April 1945 instead of Isuzu in exchange for both submarines sunk by minesweepers W-12 and W-34, although W-34 will be sunk by HMS Spark and W-12 shares W-34's otl fate. Patrol boat PB-36 failed to survive July 1945 in this scenario unlike reality as it was torpedoed on 16 July 1945 instead of otl's torpedo boat Kari.

With the delay in the invasions of Luzon and Mindoro, the raid in the South China Sea in January 1945 goes as in otl and inflicts as much damage as in otl on Japanese ships, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Formosa, but to support the invasion of Mindoro and not the invasion of Luzon. In February 1945, Operation Kita results in Unryu and Amagi returning to Japan with Hatsushimo successfully. With Haguro and Ashigara sunk at Leyte on 25 October 1944 and Namikaze without its fellow destroyers from Destroyer Division 1 after its repairs, Namikaze will be sunk on 20 February 1945 in exchange for USS Pargo's loss, Patrol boat PB-109 will be sunk on 16 May 1945 by British destroyers, Kiji on 8 June 1945 by HMS Trenchant (HMS Trenchant will be sunk by PB-36) and patrol boat PB-36 will be sunk by USS Baya on 16 July 1945 in exchange for USS Baya's loss to subchaser CH-41. Japanese patrol boat, kaibokan and subchaser losses will be the same as in otl unless mentioned.

On 19 March 1945, a US air raid will render the Ryuho a total loss and damage the Kaiyo that it is beached in exchange for USS Franklin severely damaged. On 6 May 1945, a month later than otl, Operation Ten Go will result in the sortie of carriers Shinano, Unryu and Amagi (Archerfish having sank Suzutsuki on 29 November 1944 instead in exchange for Archerfish's destruction by Fuyuzuki, after Suzutsuki's survival of its torpedo damage by USS Sturgeon on 16 January 1944 and USS Besugo on 16 October 1944 in exchange for both submarines lost to depth charges and Suzutsuki being saved by Hayutsuki and Wakatsuki respectively as mentioned), with all carriers' and Fuyuzuki's destruction the next day in exchange for USS Enterprise's destruction that day, the destruction of the remaining Japanese torpedo boats, fast enough to escort Shinano destroyer derived patrol boats and 2nd class destroyers, the destruction of 6 US destroyers and the torpedoing and sinking of USS Nevada by Ro-113 after the Ro-113's survival instead of USS Batfish's on 7 May 1945 and severe damage to USS Bunker Hill 4 days later, 3 days after total Allied victory in Europe and the German surrender. The Sarawak Maru convoy attack on 24 January 1945 will sink the frigate Kanju (with Hodaka being fatally mined on 15 August 1945 and CD-13's sinking of USS Blackfin on 24 January 1945) and damage the tanker Sarawak Maru (with the latter sunk on 27 March 1945). On 11 May 1945, US airstrikes which crippled and left irrepairable the Hachijo in otl will inflict the same damage and fate to Hirado, Hirado having stayed afloat longer than otl.

US air strikes over 28 June to 28 July 1945 and mines over the same period will cost the Japanese 4 Matsu-class destroyers and 3 kaibokan, the 14 July 1945 carrier air strikes on northern Japan being postponed to 22 July 1945 but with the same results as otl. In addition, US carrier raids on Kure and the Inland Sea on 24 July 1945 will finish off 2 Unryu-class carriers, the escort carriers Kaiyo and Shimane Maru, Hosho, destroyer Nashi and 2 armoured cruisers while British air strikes will sink 2 escort ships and an incomplete escort carrier on 28 July 1945. Finally, on 28 July 1945, the wrecks of ships sunk at Kure and the torpedo-damaged Aoba will be sunk by US carrier air strikes together with destroyers Matsukaze and Asakaze, the latter destroyer having sank PT-boats that torpedoed and sank Yuzuki and Uzuki. On 30 July 1945, Hatsushimo will be fatally mined while evading an American air attack (the same day as the sinking of USS Indianapolis) and subchasers CH-15 and CH-21 will be sunk instead of CH-14 and CH-26 on 28 July 1945 and 30 July 1945 respectively. Tokiwa will be sunk on 9 August 1945. CH-41 will be sunk by USS Blenny on 12 August 1945 in exchange for USS Blenny being the last US submarine lost in WW2 that day due to minesweeper Wa-7.

By the Japanese surrender of 15 August 1945, to be signed on 2 September 1945 on USS Missouri, after the Soviet declaration of war on Japan and the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, only the light cruisers Kashima, Sakawa and Kitakami, 3 armoured cruisers (one decommissioned), 1 crippled and sunken heavy cruiser at Singapore, 2 aircraft carriers at Sasebo (incomplete Ibuki and barely completed Kasagi), the abandoned Ryuho, several incomplete Shimane Maru class carriers, 2 destroyers converted into a training ship, target ship Yukaze and 19 completed destroyers (at least 4 irrepairable, including Harukaze despite its sinking of USS Sailfish and USS Sailfish sinking Shinnan instead of damaging Harukaze on 4 November 1944 because Harukaze will be damaged on 15 January 1945 by US carrier aircraft as in otl, the Hatakaze will survive because its sinking on 15 January 1945 by US carrier aircraft will sink Yashiro instead) were able to constitute a decent Japanese Navy surface ship battle fleet. Except for 10 destroyers ceded to the WW2 Allies, the mined destroyer Sawakaze and Sakawa's nuking at Operation Crossroads on 2 July 1946 (targets in the operation same as its otl counterpart and not returned to service after the operation excluding already destroyed by October 1944 Nagato and mentioned here as sunk US battleships), all the above ships and the wrecks at Kure will be scrapped by August 1948. More reliance on USN ships for Japanese repatriation from ex-Japanese conquests to mainland Japan post-war. The Japanese will also be left with 71 Kaibokan surviving WW2 as well, with at least 4 irrepairable (plus Ukuru and Tsushima joining the mined and irrepairable kaibokan postwar instead of Miyake's and Fuyuzuki's mining). US aircraft carrier, battleship and cruiser losses, in addition to those lost in otl and mentioned in this alternate timeline, will include the USS Reno, which was sunk by a Japanese submarine (I-41) on 3 November 1944.

However, the Japanese Navy and both Japanese Navy and Army Air Forces were able to be more successful than otl, particularly against US and Australian destroyers, US and Australian cruisers, US escort carriers, US fleet carriers and US battleships, due to using more expendable with slow speed and lack of torpedoes subchasers, slower patrol boats and kaibokan while keeping as many of the Japanese destroyers (including torpedo boats, second class destroyers and destroyer derived patrol boats fast enough to catch up with the 27 knot Shinano) saved and used for fleet combat with their speed and torpedoes, allowing the Japanese to have a better navy by using it to sink more US and Australian destroyers, US and Australian cruisers, US escort carriers, US fleet carriers and US battleships than otl.
 
Last edited:
Top