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. Driftless Geezer

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    Location:
    Out in the Driftless Area
    Would this US spending spree have any impact on Hitler's mindset, or would he remain focused on continental Europe?
     
  2. CalBear Your Ursus arctos californicus Moderator Moderator Donor

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2005
    Actually the construction it AUTHORIZED was even more than that (closer to $8B than $4B, just the 7 BB would have exceed $800M, Carriers would have been $1.5B and CB $480M, 115 Fletchers would have been $640M, etc.).

    Congress does things in really odd way. They say, yes, start all this construction, here $$$ to get you started. Then, the next budget cycle you have to come back and ask for more to continue until the project is complete (that how an approval for 750 ATF i.e. the F-22, turns into 187 airframes, Congress changes it s mind).
     
    ShockTrooper262, trurle, Asp and 2 others like this.
  3. Spencersj345.346 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2018
    That seems to be a feature of legislative bodies the world over.(poor Daring class destroyers)Now tell me what do you think the army should spend its $120 million on?
     
  4. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2012
    As I favored earlier, train more Regulars and National Guards to bring the divisions and corps/Army support to greater strength. The NG had 18 square divisions, but only 200,000 men to man them, the Regular Army was authorized eight or nine divisions plus corps units, but had far less than 200,000 men & 17,000 were in the Air Corps. Another 5,000 manned the Coastal Artillery, & I think you can see the problem. Some limited weapons production of new weapons for training and evaluation is essential, but the Armys critical shortage of 1937-38 was in human capitol. They had a small pool of 25,000 Regular officers and NCOs and another 80,000 Reserve officers NCOs. Out of that they were supposed to mobilize a Army of near two million men in 18 months. Adding and training new men of NCO and officer potiential counted for more than anything else.
     
  5. Alanith Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2013
    As far as I can tell, Imperial Japan essentially did not have a set in stone, defined plan with regards to China. That's what happens when you let junior officers get away with starting international incidents and dictating foreign policy without reprisal.
     
  6. Spencersj345.346 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2018
    If nothing else said junior officers should have been court marshalled and their names made a disgrace throughout Japan
     
  7. Alanith Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2013
    Personally I'd have drawn some names out of a hat and goddamn crucified them, and shame and dishonor their families. And furthermore, make it clear that this is government policy from here on out, and no amount of assassination attempts can change it.
     
  8. Raferty Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2017
    There is nothing more disgusting than Modernism infecting the venerable tradition of pork barrel project spending.

    If the government is going to waste money for political reasons, could they at least do it with appealing style?
     
  9. Raferty Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2017
    They had multiple plans, it seems. The Navy wanted in particular to focus on sending expeditions to seize territory along China's coast to spread their defenses, and cripple their economy. The Army seemed to value more on the push from Manchuria and Hebei.

    The Japanese did have an interest in making sure their control over Manchuria was not threatened by China. The extent to which China could project power is debatable, but perhaps a tangible objective could have been to continue to promote Chinese disunity. The border with Manchuria was defensible, I think, from the South, at the very least. Not so much from Soviet Mechanized Offensives.

    But the problem ultimately was two fold: the Japanese were in a state of military and political confusion over the objectives of the war, and the Chinese could trade territory for time with ease. The Japanese did not have a defined truce condition in mind, and their actions merely united the various Chinese factions together by necessity. If Japan had specific territorial or political conditions in mind, from borders to access to resources, to perhaps the acceptance of puppet regime impositions in certain places in China, then maybe they could have come out ahead by dangling the prospect and counting on Chinese disunity to rear its head once more. Japan did have military superiority over China in terms of actions close to their bases of logistics, and to their air and naval power. They could not however meaningfully get into the interior of China from a logistical perspective.]

    The imposition of an unequal treaty that both encouraged Chinese disunity but also hampered its ability to make war on Japan perhaps should have been their core political objective. However, if they wanted a limited war with tangible objectives, rather than total civilization war, they would not have carried out what was in essence a campaign of racial terrorism and attempted genocide in the process, or at the very least, they would have tried to restrain the army from doing so. Japan's political institutions were weak enough that this did not happen.

    Ichi-Go was an aberration of sorts, in that maneuver warfare worked quite well just as the KMT forces were in a state of collapse in the local area. However, the Japanese were never really able to get much semblance of rear area security, and their collaborationist armies were pretty pitiful.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  10. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2012
    The general idea was a preemptive war to: 1. Ensure China could not challenge Japans ownership of Manchuria for the foreseeable future.
    2. Conquer China.

    The first was the general idea as the KMT gained control, and began to promulgate a coherent national policy. It was increasing clear the KMT eventually intended to challenge Japan for its empire provinces of Formosa, Korea, and Manchuria. as the 1930s developed it was clear if Japan waited a couple decades for the KMT make this challenge Japan risked being outclassed.

    #2 Was the fantasy wet dream of a fair sized faction. Sort of like the B team player who wants to date the lead cheer leader.
     
    Spencersj345.346 likes this.
  11. CalBear Your Ursus arctos californicus Moderator Moderator Donor

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2005
    In 1937? Just the ground force?

    2 Million M-1 Garands - ~$15M (Navy need to get about $3M of these as well)

    Industrial espionage - $2M +/- to steal plans for MG39 (which went into full production as the MG42)

    1 Million M-1938 .30 cal LMG - ~$15M (yep this is the stolen MG42 ported over to .30-06) :D BTW: this actually just saved the Army a few million bucks since there is no no need for 400k M1918 BAR @ $313 or 200K M1919 @$600 each.

    $500K M2 Air cooled .50 cal (Navy need a decent numner of these for the Corps)

    $5M M3/M5 Stuart w/HV 37mm gun

    $8M M8 SP 105mm

    $4M 75mm pack guns

    $8M 105mm howitzers

    $10M 155mm howitzers

    $3M for medium heavy caliber AAA

    $10M munitions

    $5M prime movers/half tracks/trucks


    Reserved remaining funds - waiting for the M3 Lee/M4 Sherman
     
  12. Driftless Geezer

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    Location:
    Out in the Driftless Area
    If you are spending some cash on artillery in the late 30's, instead of "keeping up with the Jones" with a 37mm AT gun, how about a small hop to something in the 47-57mm category for both light tanks or towed? Get a gun that can also use a somewhat more useful HE shell in the process.The French were already heading there anyways...
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  13. Gannt the chartist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Plus conscription to man it.
     
    Dave Shoup likes this.
  14. trurle bored blue collar worker

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2013
    Location:
    Kyoto
    4:1 funding for armaments:munitions gives just an average 100 rounds per weapon. Not enough even for one-day fight (standard for rifle is 120 rounds/day and for 75mm gun is 200 rounds/day). You need to spend all the remaining $ ~70mln. for ammunition, and may be even slash some weapons - army officers like to have at least a week supply of ammunition in divisional level stockpiles only.
     
  15. Andrew Boyd Resident Rail Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2018
    A humiliating downfall for Japan. That's for sure.

    Even more so if the UK gets the same build-up idea.
     
  16. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2012
    Referring back to the 1920s T7 cannon. A general purpose 3" gun in 6-12 per infantry regiment. It can double as the regiments 'cannon' company for fire support, and as the AT company. This steps ahead a entire generation in AT cannon.
     
    Driftless and Spencersj345.346 like this.
  17. Spencersj345.346 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2018
    Of course its far easier to make more ammunition than more finished weapons. Not to mention that Congress really tends not like buying munitions until they are needed.
     
    trurle likes this.
  18. CalBear Your Ursus arctos californicus Moderator Moderator Donor

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2005
    I was actually looking at artillery and shells. There's millions of WWI .30-06 M1 Ball that MacArthur used as an excuse to not go with the .276 for the Garand. (Yes I know not a round of M1 Ball was used in the Garand)
     
  19. trurle bored blue collar worker

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2013
    Location:
    Kyoto
    I remember an anecdotal case i heard during my engineering practice. In late 1941, during a siege of Leningrad, an overworked Soviet engineer left the improperly calibrated gauge at artillery shell production line. A batch of slightly over-caliber shells was fabricated and promptly used, resulting in several tens of guns having their barrels "ballooned" to much larger caliber. In 3 days, same factory have started to produce a special shell variety for the damaged guns, and kept producing until end of siege.
     
    Spencersj345.346 likes this.
  20. trurle bored blue collar worker

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2013
    Location:
    Kyoto
    47mm AT gun (3-pounder) is 2-3 times the muzzle energy and cost of 37mm gun (one-pounder). 57-mm gun is 6-times the muzzle energy of 37mm. Not a "small hop". With a hindsight of 37mm gun soon becoming nearly useless in the AT role, the decision is obvious though..but large-caliber AT guns would be very difficult to push to Army in 1937.
    What would be really practical is the earlier adoption of 40mm Bofors gun. It was developed back in 1928, and US in 1941-42 had to ramp up a production frantically. Earlier small-batch production of Bofors 40mm would be highly useful in both AA and AT roles at the beginning of the war. This is out of OP conditions though - the talk is mostly of "how to spend additional money", not on "which technologies are to change". Also, it was not obvious until late 1939 what the 37mm M1 gun would not perform good enough as AA gun.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019