A more vigorous US military buildup to the second Sino-Japanese war

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Spencersj345.346, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. Spencersj345.346 Well-Known Member

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    As we all know on July 7th,1937 the second Sino-Japanese war began. So what if Congress concerned about this blatant aggression opens up the purse strings to the tune of $750,000,000.00 to expand the armed forces starting say August 2nd,1937. $630 million goes to the navy and the rest goes to the army. Congress also changes US law to be up to date with the latest naval treaties so no Wasp being a poorly protected death trap. What should the armed forces spent this windfall on? And how will it affect WW2?
     
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  2. James Ricker Own your mistakes

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    Heavy losses for Japan earlier. American bomber offensive against Germany starts about six months earlier and D-Day happens a year earlier.
    An earlier Allied invasion of Europe would mean heavy losses for the Wally's and less for the Soviet Union. Heavy losses for Japan earlier would mean Japan would be pushed back earlier resulting in a possible invasion of Japan before nuclear weapons are ready
     
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  3. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    Is this supposed to be the military budgets for 1938/39 or a supplement? Without looking anything up this appears to be the similar to the budget increases for the War & Navy Departments voted & passed on a year later in 1938 for the 1939 1940 fiscal years. So in simple terms this accellerates the revival of the US military by about a year. But without looking at the actual numbers I can't say precisely how big a boost this is.

    The 1938 budget bill allowed for bringing four of the US Army standing divisions to full strength and four more from a maintenance cadre to half strength with some increases for the Air Corps & service units. There was also a small stipend for the states to increase National Guard muster strength. The Navy was promised enough for two years to start construction of a couple battleships & assorted secondaries.
     
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  4. Spencersj345.346 Well-Known Member

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    What I'm asking is what should the extra money be spent on. For example proper testing of weapons,making Wasp a Yorktown class carrier,a dozen new fast oilers, and a another torpedo production facility would be on the top of my list for the USN
     
  5. trurle bored blue collar worker

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    750mln. USD in 1937 was equivalent to additional ~15 thousand tonnes of military equipment. Although it is equivalent to just one day of full-swing US production in wartime, effect would be disproportionately large in 1937 due low military spending of US pre-war.
    If such funding program is implemented, then likely it would be impossible for Tojo and others to convince Emperor Hirohito to declare war to the US. IOTL, it was already a difficult task.
    Ordering a dozen of oilers is likely to consume all of $630mln. USD. Therefore, oilers are out of question.
    Regarding other spendings, Navy commanders will like the idea to spend money on a live-fire drills, with new ammunition ordered to replace the expended WWI stocks. This new ammunition order will likely include torpedoes, especially in light of fact what live-fire drills would uncover torpedo fuse problems.
    One carrier refit may be ordered initially, but it is likely to be cancelled or cut short after torpedo problems are uncovered. Funding would still be in short supply.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
  6. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    OTL the 1938 increase was spent on expanding personnel/training, R & D of weapons for the Army, & same for the Navy. In 1937 the US Army was nothing more than a training cadre and experimental units like the 7th Cavalry Brigade Mechanized. Four Army divisions were at 50% strength, four more were nothing more than division & regimental staff. a few understrength brigades or regiments were scattered about in PI, Panama, Oahu, Alaska. The Army reserve mustered between 60 & 80 thousand officers & NCO as cadre for some additional paper divisions. the National Guard barely mustered 200,000 men.

    The Navy was in better shape, but needed a entire new generation of ships of all classes.

    There had been a lot of R & D & experimentation in the early 1920s, but even before the Depression Congress was continually reducing funds. ie: 1922-23 the Army had six of its eight motorized artillery regiments defunded & the two remaining operated at reduced strength. ie: None of the proposed artillery cannon of the 1920s were funded for reequipping the Regular Army.
     
  7. Tonrich Well-Known Member

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    I agree here. If the US becomes stronger (in the eyes of the Japanese) then the war with China would probably be a quicker border type war that gets settled within a year. I've said before that I'm not sure what Japan's long range goal was in regards to China. If they conquered it and had to administrate it still not sure it would have been worth it.

    The interesting point in this is had the US not been looked upon as so weak by Japan they probably wouldn't have kicked off. The leaders (at that time) were not strategic thinkers but more tactical in nature. The war with the US was viewed as an 'opportunity' choice. Japan probably would have been looked on more favorably by the West if they had attacked the SU. The problem with that scenario was that the SU had shown Japan that they were not the pushovers that Hitler thought they were.
     
  8. jsb Well-Known Member

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    Cimarron-class oilers
    So even if you cant just subsidise them you are talking 200 of them for 630M$.... ?

    12 at subsidy prices would only be 10.5M$ or 37.6M$ if bought outright.......

    630M$ is huge number especially if you don't just spend it on many 60M$ North Carolina class BBs.....This might thought be the best way to prevent a pacific war say build 6 on 1 JAN 37 even if they have to have 14" guns they would make IJN think they cant match your build rate.....
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  9. jsb Well-Known Member

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    My 630M$ shopping list for USN,

    No hindsight,
    530M$ for ships 100M$ for support and crew training (still part time and on a peacetime footing)

    6 North Carolina class 6/5 x 60M$ NC = 360M$ (can I remove 60 for OTL NC as this is extra money?) if so 300M$
    3 Hornet sub class (or Yorktown) 3 @ 32M$ = 96M$ (cant stop wasp its to late)
    12 Sims class @ (? fletcher's are 6M$ so maybe 5 or less ?) 60M$ (note top heavy fleet as its pre war like WWI USN DDs will be bought later......)
    12 Cimarron-class oilers 37.6M$
    Thats 494M$ at that point its just a matter of how many cruiser to buy?

    Just how much are congress willing to push?
    2LNT,
    So its USS Wichitas or really 6" if we don't want to open Pandora's box?

    Brooklyn class cruisers with 4x3 triple 6" to get under 8,000t? or early Atlanta class cruisers?
     
  10. trurle bored blue collar worker

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    How 8kt weight vessel would cost just $3.1mln in 1937?
    Extrapolating modern Chinese costs, and using 10/1 factor for conversion between 1937 and 2019 purchasing power of USD, only structural steel material bill would be $1.6mln. Extrapolating US costs give structural steel bill of $8.0 mln.
    I suspect $3.1mln was just advertisement, and real costs were much higher - this is common for US trade culture. Modern oilers cost is about $500 mln. each.
    P.S. Seems the problem is mostly batch size. Building a small batch for military specs costs roughly 10-times the cost of mass-produced civilian model.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
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  11. Father Maryland Enemy of Neo Secesh Everywhere

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    Any info on those proposed new artillery pieces in the early 20's?
     
  12. Ian Henderson Well-Known Member

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    They are mostly the US artillery of World War II that we know and love. After World War I, The US Army's Westervelt Board laid down recommendations for a new generation of artillery pieces, with the general principle of a matching gun and howitzer in each weight class sharing a common carriage, e.g. a 75mm gun and 105mm howitzer as the basic divisional piece, a 4.7 inch gun and a 155mm howitzer as the corps support weapons. What happened in practice is that some of the types just weren't built. The US decided that the 105mm howitzer could be the basic divisional piece. A proposed 4.7 inch gun was replaced with a 4.5 inch gun built to share ammo with a British 4.5 inch design, but relatively few were built in favor of either more generally useful 155mm howitzers or the more powerful 155mm gun (aka "Long Tom"). In sum, the balance produced shifted more towards short barreled but high elevation howitzers, and away from long barreled but low elevation guns. The artillery that was produced, was the result of the interwar design and testing process.

    ITTL with earlier rearmament, the US might produce more of the lighter guns like the 75mm gun as their main division piece, though with more motorized transport, there might be countervailing pressure to go to heavier weapons.
     
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  13. Driftless Geezer

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    Wouldn't this change functionally break the naval treaties in effect? Under this POD, might they throw more funds at forward bases in the Philippines, Wake, etc?
     
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  14. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    The two off the top of my head included the 105mm howitzer M1. This slightly modified went into production as the M2 variants from 1940 & became the standard US Army division cannon during WWII.

    The other was the 3" cannon T7. Prototypes were tested for suitability as antiaircraft, field artillery, and a direct fire assault or antitank weapon. In the secondary literature I've read a variety of contradictory claims for this weapon. The only really reliable item I've seen is is a 1920s article in the US Field Artillery Journal, written by a Army Captain who was a member of the development staff of the T7. Its incomplete, but does describe the testing of a universal mount for deploying the cannon in all three roles. It appears, but I've not confirmed, this prototype provided the basis for the Army 3" AA gun T9 of the 1920s through early 1940s. Similarly it may have provided the basis for the 3" gun on the M10 Tank Destroyer and AT gun M5.

    The GPF 155mm cannon was a French design directly adopted by the US for US production for the Great War. Those acquired from the French & those built here remained as the standard long cannon through 1940. While the carriage, recoil mechanism, sight mounts ect... were redesigned the cannon tube of the GPF remained little changed as the 155 mm Gun M1, the Long Tom, that was placed in production post 1940.

    There were assorted other designs and prototypes studied or tested, but I'd have to refresh my memory. Congress defunded much of the Army R & D after 1925. Fifteen years later the documents of those projects were dusted off & served as a starting point for upgrading the artillery & other weapons kits. But, I really can't provide details without looking at the books.

    What I found particularly interesting in those back issues of the FAJ was a proposal circa 1922 or 1923 that the US Army reequip the division artillery of the Regular Army divisions (8 divisions worth?) with the German made 10.5cm le FH 16 (10.5cm leichte Feldhaubitze 16) it appears some 460 of these would be required and were available. Since I have found at least a dozen of this cannon scattered about the Mid West as war memorials it confirms some were imported. If tested/studied and the data used for the design of the M1 105mm howitzer then the close parallel in performance between the M2 and and the German 10.5cm FH 18, ...18M. ...18/40, ect are more than coincidence.

    Other items tested in that era were the Garand rifle that went into production as the M1. Air cooled versions adapted from the 30 & 50 caliber water cooled Browning MG of the Great War. The Brandt mortar designs. Goddards 1918 design for a shoulder fired rocket launcher was not further tested post 1919 & the documents remained on the shelf until circa 1941 when some junior ordnance officers were told to see if there was anything to the idea. They built the prototype of what became known as the Bazooka
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  15. jsb Well-Known Member

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    Yes but IJN would be totally to blame as its not signed 2LNT, simply being out built by USN would simply show what WWII would be like without the blood. IJN would know by 41 that USN could sail to seek decisive battle to save the PI and nothing it could do would stop it.....say 12 (6NC+6Iowa) new USN BBs v 2 IJN larger (Y&M) doesn't work...
    Yes but slower spending money at shipyards in US electoral districts is more beneficial.....
     
  16. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    The countervailing pressure was long in place. The field artillery officers for fifteen years held firmly onto the idea of replacing the old French weapons with shiny new & more capable cannon. The 'experimental' 2d Division had custody of some limited production runs of the M1 howitzer & a few other items. Through the 1920s & 30s they hopefully trotted them out on dog and pony shows for visiting Congress Critters, But Santa never came through :(
     
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  17. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    The only thing that came close to the Navy for pork barrel were all those National Guard armories, built in nearly every county in the US in the early 1920s. Really nice masonry 1920s era construction with Sullivaneque and Art Deco features. Some still stand as monuments to quality design and construction, even tho the post 1950 imperative for more pork barrel contracts caused them to be replaced by Modernist post 1950 designs.
     
  18. CalBear Your Ursus arctos californicus Moderator Moderator Donor

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    I think you are vastly underestimating what can be done with this sort of money.

    The famed Two Oceans Navy Act of 1940, the one that produced the Navy and Air Force that pounded Japan into paste that provided for the construction of 18 CV, 7 BB (2 BB-61, 5 BB-67), 6 CB, 27 CL/CA, 115 DD, 43 SS, 15,000 aircraft, conversion of 100,000 tons of civilian shipping naval auxiliaries, $50M for escort and patrol vessels (not including the DD already listed), $150M for essential equipment and facilities, $65M for munitions, and $35M for expansion of facilities? That was a total of $1.5B.

    This just tossed half of that world changing Act's funding on top of the FY 1938 Budget, in addition to the 1938 Naval Act (which was the enabling act for the first three BB-61, 68K tons of cruisers, and tonnage for 8 submarines). So you are looking at 9 carriers, 4-5 BB, 3 CB (or 12-14 CA/CL/CLAA), 14 CA/CL, 55 DD, 21 SS, 7,500 aircraft, etc.

    Good news for the U.S. - Full employment is coming back early.

    Bad news for Tokyo - Japan is now faced with the hard fact that they only have two years to build up enough firepower to handle a massively expanded U.S., something that almost literally impossible given the relative construction rates for warships (North Carolina took 3.5 years, first steel to commission, Washington took 35 Months, South Dakota took 32, Yamato took 49 months, Musashi took 53 months; Hornet took 31 months, Essex took 20 months, Yorktown (CV-10) took 17 months, Franklin took an eye-popping 13 months first steel to commission, Shokaku took 44 months Zuikaku took 40 months). Not only is the U.S. going to build more ships they can build them anywhere from 50% to almost 300% faster, per hull. The U.S. also has four yards that can produce battleships and five that can build CV AT THE SAME TIME. The Japanese had to special build two slipways for Yamato and her sisters.
     
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  19. Spencersj345.346 Well-Known Member

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    Umm Calbear the Two Oceans Navy Act allotted just over 4 billion dollars for naval construction. But you're right in that it really puts the IJN under the gun as in regards to its window of opportunity as related to the USN
     
  20. raharris1973 Well-Known Member

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    Couple other major side effects:

    As CalBear alludes, Keynesian stimulus. Political consequence: better midterms and popularity for FDR

    The prices the Japanese have to pay fo US steel and oil goes up, with the US consuming more of its production on gear and maneuvers, so the China war becomes more expensive in real time, in addition to any deterrent effect achieved by the US over-build

    This factor above may also make British and French rearmament more expensive too.