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

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2018
    Nope the money can be spent on whatever you think would be the best idea.
     
  2. trurle bored blue collar worker

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2013
    Location:
    Kyoto
    Well, then it is better to return to my original proposal of "large live-fire drills". Having design and usage failures uncovered in all sorts of military equipment instead of mass-producing would be most cost-efficient in the pre-war years up to beginning of 1940. Fixing design error costs a dollar during design, a thousand dollars during prototyping, and a million dollars during production.
    Just building more guns and torpedoes to faulty or obsolete specs is not a very effective investment to the war which is going to happen 4 years later.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019 at 9:47 PM
  3. Dave Shoup Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Tuesday
    Give the scale of the naval construction programs authorized (historically) in 1934 and 1936, and the fact the Washington/London treaties didn't expire until New Year's Eve, 1936, seems like personnel would be as much a bottleneck as procurement. Even if Congress agreed to the additional funding because of Japan's aggression in China, the obvious question would have been if Congress would agree to fund a peacetime expansion in the regulars?

    The peacetime draft only came in 1940 after the Fall of France, after all, and that's what it took to increase naval personnel from 125K in 1939 to 215K in 1940 to 383K in 1941, and army personnel from 190K in 1939 to 270K in 1940 to 1.462 million in 1941...

    Shipbuilding:
    http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/USN/77-2s202.html

    and

    https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ship/scn-1933-roosevelt.htm

    Personnel:
    https://www.history.navy.mil/resear...-alphabetically/u/usn-personnel-strength.html

    and
    https://www.nationalww2museum.org/s...tarters/research-starters-us-military-numbers

    Equipment without personnel to use it (ideally, well-trained personnel with lots of realistic field training) is basically going to go into the warehouses or be of low operational capability.

    Simply bringing the existing US Army and US Navy organizations up to strength in personnel in 1937-38 would have made for a more effective force in 1938-39 than going beyond the historical procurement, honestly.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019 at 1:42 AM
  4. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2017
    Location:
    Somewhere where rockets fly.
    I'll get to this in a mo...

    1. I'm going to say right now that the highest priority for the USN is weapon proof and personnel. You build a trained naval reserve of at least 80,000 men, 10,000 submariners and 20,000 aircrew USNR. These are your high casualty replacement categories.

    2. Building program. I'm going to go 2 Ocean Bill prototype, with these changes...

    a. 4,000 tonne fleet destroyer/frigate, probably armed with 3 x 2 DP 5"38 and 2 x 5 TT battery for fleet work.
    b. cruisers of about the Atlanta's 8,000 tonne hull size but rationalized 5 x 2 DP 5"38 and 2 x 5 TT battery, also for fleet work.
    c. DEs of the 1,500 tonne variety probably 3 x 5"38 and with the prototype ASW mortars being proposed.
    d. NC/SoDaks but no more than 4 initial because I need that money for manpower, training, and weapon proof.
    e. What I really want is a sub force at least 2X the RTL one.

    Mr. Arty.

    Agree with most of this, but:

    [​IMG]

    (^^^) Nothing says, "Goodbye North Africa" problem like a 90 mm TP gun. Rommel has some Tigers? Say hello to my little friends.


    Battleships don't win naval wars, RIKKOs destroyers and subs do./

    How about sub machine guns?

    No.

    Do this.

    [​IMG] US model T23E1. Rejected as being too expensive because of milling and at 26 pounds all up it was "too heavy". Compared to the 2 Bars it was intended to replace? Look at that !@#$ thing. It even has the advantage over the MG42 with a BREN style QC barrel and it carries a walking fire SAW capability that neither the MG42 or ANY other machine gun of the time has.

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

    No. You can do better.

    [​IMG]


    Too early. Buggy M-3 hull needs powertrain and suspension kinks fixed.

    Useful.

    Useful.

    Useful.

    Already covered.

    Go to Congress for a supplemental of $100MUSD

    Developmental chickenfeed.

    I'm still saying that some of that money needs to go into TRAINING, boots, rations research, medical research, and industrial mobilization rationalization so COTs stuff can be adapted for the military.

    1 thing not covered, is how about an auto-cannon for US aircraft?

    [​IMG]

    The Clever shall be rewarded.

    Use your espionage money and steal that. It is called a ShVAK.
     
    Spencersj345.346 likes this.
  5. jsb Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    This really hits the question of do you have hindsight and do you want to deter or win a war?

    I think you end up with 4 different answers depending on the above,

    Hindsight - Win, SS, mines and B17s with guided bombs (not Rikkos we could do better :) )
    Hindsight - Deter, 100M$ cash in an envelope to France to stand up to Germany
    None hindsight - Win, balanced fleet (as we don't know what will actually work?)
    None Hindsight - Deter, battleships heavy as that's what will actually make IJN think far more than better secret stuff or RTC colleges in US...... (I was going for this one with my 6+6 BB fleet)

    I think building 6 NCs in 37-40 and then a second batch of 6 Iowas 39-ealry 42 would be a significant deterrent to IJN more so that any light/reserve force/internal development as it would make a surface BB action wildly unbalanced with Y&M only completing in 41/42.

    As to your fleet,
    A- like but its new so will need a longer redesign than simply building an existing class, I would also go 4x2 DP to make totally sure v any DD in a surface fight.
    B-Yes but again new and will face the problem of why v the Frigate I would only build one type (and people will want a 6" ship as well as 5/38" will be to weak in daytime surface fire)
    C- 1,500 is DD not DE territory in 37, since they are not limited by 2LNT I would simply build a quick set of the last 1500t design why waste time?
    D- But this is the main public deterrence agaisnt IJN I would want 6 to over match any IJN building program, ie 2 Y&M or more likely in USN mind 4 35,000t ships.
    E- Destabilizing and only works if you intend to break treaties and might get IJN to work on ASW don't want that...... (and they are quick to build so just a few and solving torp problem would be sufficient with hindsight)
     
  6. Dave Shoup Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Tuesday
    There's another option, of course, if we're going to give Congress more willingness to spend money because of Japan's attack on China ... if the intent is to take action in response to Japanese aggression, then imposing economic sanctions - simply cutting off US oil sales to Japan in 1937 (rather than in 1941, as historically) - is going to frustrate any Japanese threat to the US in the Pacific. Providing military aid to the Chinese before the Japanese can close/take the Chinese ports is much simpler than what the US and UK did historically in 1941-45, as well.
     
    McPherson and jsb like this.
  7. jsb Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Would simply declaring it a war not activate the neutrality acts?
     
  8. trurle bored blue collar worker

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2013
    Location:
    Kyoto
    The production of ShVAK do include manual filing of metal parts as an obligatory part of manufacture. Not very good for productivity.
     
  9. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2012
    The Neutrality Acts as they stood in 1937 would have to be altered to provide military aid of significance to China. That requires Congressional action, which would require a PoD in US politics.
     
  10. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2017
    Location:
    Somewhere where rockets fly.
    So did the Merlin in the British tech base. Rolls Royce pfui.. The Soviet Union does not have Chicago Machine Tool or PACKARD or Remington. If you can reduce the Merlin to machine tool semi-skilled labor mass production and make the !@#$%^& Garand work, then the ShVAK is a piece of American pie.

    What makes me infuriated is why does Uncle expect clowns like GM and Colt to know how to reverse engineer and produce foreign technology examples like the MG-42 or the HS 404?

    [​IMG]



    Colt could not even get that thing (American designed (15.24 mm) (^^^) to work right.

    The stupid shall be punished.

    [​IMG]

    When all else fails, think Japanese. (^^^)

    And if you don't like the stolen ShVAK, try the Nudelman-Suranov NS-23. I rather prefer the ShVAK. It doesn't jam when you look at it funny.
     
  11. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2017
    Location:
    Somewhere where rockets fly.
    You are OP-20G, (the NGS) not the General Board. You just came out of WW I and you have to figure out the navy problem for the next 20 years.

    What do you know from WW 1?

    Mines, torpedoes, shells, bombs (dud rates high), fire control issues, failures of naval reconnaissance, failures of naval communications, failures of fleet command and control, damage control procedures, COMMERCE WARFARE (subs), and MANPOWER issues.

    This is where the British, Germans and Americans fell down.

    Battleships don't rank very high on that issues list. Neither does planning the naval campaign (ORANGE), but that will be what physicists call an emergent solution as one addresses with foresight, not hindsight, the perceived known problems.

    1. Mines, torpedoes and shells. Addressed, but not with enough peacetime effort. That peacetime failure had to be fixed 1942-1943 with 3x the money that would have been spent in proof and exercise and Murphy knows how many lives to make the developmental prototypes into working proofs. Live war-shots in peacetime mean less hassle in war.
    2. Fire control issues. No matter how one slices and excuses the USN's poor shooting in WWI, there is no doubt that the RN was better than the USN and the KM better than the RN. This will be fixed.
    3. Despite the belief that I have that the Battle of Jutland was an aberration and a misread of Colbert and MAHAN, the three issues of naval recon, comms, and fleet control will be addressed. The radios will work, USN recon doctrine by air and sea will be first rate, (in theory) but fleet control (staffing) will be a major problem. There are 2 fixes. Fleet-exes and krieg-spiel (German wargame methodology to test battle drill concepts), but the one thing the USN does not do is weed out the !@# !@#$ Brownings, Mitschers, and Englishes in the gaming process like the Germans between the wars did and Marshal for the Army does. King will get around to it by 1944, but it costs lives, a lot of lives
    4. To go with 3 is "battle drill". It is one thing at the NWC to train your future tacticians with Papierkarte Kriegsf├╝hrung (War play on paper). It is another thing to be in the middle of the southern Philippine Islands making mock destroyer attacks on op-for "Team Orange" in the rough weather with live stupid human beings, faulty machines, futzed communications and at NIGHT. The USN will get this training with a live op-for in 1942 in the Solomon Islands. It will not go well. Goof up in peace and learn, kill the enemy easier in war.
    5. Damage control procedures. RTL actually good, because the HSF fleet reports post Jutland were eagerly studied and DC lessons learned applied, but op-analysis of the Lexington and Saratoga peacetime fires and incidents should have rung alarm bells and made aviation induced damage control incidents a high priority. Lexington, Yorktown and WASP were preventable.
    6. Commerce Warfare. This is what WW I actually teaches, so destroyer and cruiser classes for convoy and fleet defense against Mister Sub is the overriding ship-building action indicated and Mister Sub for offensive naval warfare, early and often, based on what the USNGS knew in 1920.


    I think you end up with 4 different answers depending on the above,
    I've answered (1).

    Cruiser/frigate/destroyer/destroyer escort choices.

    a. ^ 15.2 cm/53s are too specialized for the general threat, but if you want an improved Omaha (5 x 2 15.3 cm/53 4 x 2 12.7/38 and 2 x 5 TT for fleet escort, convoy protection and cruiser destroyer flags, I'm not adverse. 10,000 tonnes covers a LOT of sins if you don't overload and you remind yourself it is supposed to control a fight more than fight the fight. Leave that to your frigates and destroyers. Frigates exploit a loophole in the naval treaties. USCG cutters (DEs) same.

    b. Answered under B.

    Because with all 3 classes you have to factor in PACIFIC ocean endurance factors. Steel is cheap, big hull, big fuel bunkers and Fletcher is killing IJN flattops instead of constantly topping off his destroyer's fuel bunkers. Also with USN DP guns EVERYWHERE, you are not Tanaka, Raizo raging against McCain's Cactus Air Force as he bombs the Murphy out of your Tokyo Express day and night. You will be Moosebruger able to run under your air cover in daylight and not too afraid of IJN Rikkos because you have the AAA to beat them off and the AshW capability to sink the Express day or night.

    Finally with reference to Rikkos, you need to be able to Bismarck Sea from Day 1 and you will not have BAT yet. So, you train Dambusters style and you bomb skip against target sleds. That means B1B (R)s and a lot of practice with retarded fall and bouncing Betty bombs.

    The USNGS already knows "Through Ticket to Manila with a Jutland style coda":, is nonsense. It's Spanish American War with a sub campaign and aerial bombing thrown in for G and Gs, so why build for the wrong thing? .
    Not just fighting Japan.
     
    trurle and Spencersj345.346 like this.
  12. NHBL Long Time Member, CMII

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    An important consideration is when you're planning/expecting/worst case expecting a war. If you need to be ready ASAP, then light units. If you have more lead time, then build the units that take a long time to commission, such as battleships and carriers. Battleships are generally considered to be the king of the seas.

    Lighter units can be built faster--you still need enough, but they can be replaced in wartime, battleships and the like can't be. You need sufficient ammunition, but it can be mass produced fast in time of war; this is the USA...

    I expect that the extra tanks and planes will be obsolescent at best in '42.

    More R&D, more training, more infrastructure--perhaps enough of a paycheck for soldiers that more see it as a career. Encourage people to re-up so you have more medium term NCO's.
     
    jsb and McPherson like this.
  13. Dave Shoup Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Tuesday
    Yes, but given the POD is the US Congress is willing to take additional actions - beyond what was done historically - in reaction to Japanese aggression in China, seems as reasonable a path as simply piling up equipment in the depots in the US.
     
    McPherson likes this.
  14. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2012
    I can see the the point in the abstract. The reality is the equipment would not be piling up in depots. With the production capacity for ordnance in 1937 everything out of the factories in 1938 would be insufficient to reequip the 8-9 divisions & several separate regiments the Army was authorized. The Air Corps & Navy Aviation were even worse. OTL the America First proponents had a persuasive argument. Why export modern weapons when the US Army lacked them to train with.

    When in 1938 the budget for 1939-40 was passed the Army and Navy Aviation started early orders that caused the US aircraft industry to make plans for expansion. That expansion did not really get underway until 1939 & actual significant new capacity not in production until 1940. 18 to 24 months ramp up time. The Brits and French placed orders for aircraft in October 1939 after the Neutrality Acts were changed. By May 1940 France had received just a bit over 300 aircraft, Britain a bit more. The Army Airdrops had at that point not yet filled out its 1939 organization let alone equipped all the new squadrons.

    So, little to nothing piling up in depots in the first year or more of this scenario. But, if you want to send all the aged & near obsolescent arms surplus to the Regular Army, or the National Guard thats a different matter. Enfield rifles, water cooled Browning MMG, 75mm cannon. M1918 tanks...
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 12:46 AM
  15. marathag Well-Known Member with a target on his back

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2013
    But going from the 6pdr/57mm to the M3 75mm, that was going from 379tons of ME to 427, and the M6 37mm was 112 tons vs 142 for the 2pdr/40mm

    The 25pdr had 555 tons of ME, and given that it could penetrate 54mm of armor at 1000 yards for an 1100 pound tube weight, shows where they should have been looking for a tank gun in the late 1930s.

    And it had an awesome HE round, too.
     
  16. marathag Well-Known Member with a target on his back

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2013
    Eh?
    the M2A4 that became the M3 was pretty solid, and the British were falling overthemselves with praise for the M3 'Honey' given where their armor was at, if you want to talk about bugs wit tracks/drivetrain/powerplant were at in 1940

    as WWII started, the M2 Light was probably the most reliable tank on the planet, with the best radio gear

    The only problem with the M2 family, is was what's sitting on the hull in 1938
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2012
    Unfortunately it took over two years to see why the multi purpose mount was important & near another year to get it in production. The original specs for the 90mm AA gun were issued 9 June 1938. & multi purpose mounts dismissed until September 1942. Beyond that there were never more than a dozen Tiger tanks operational in Tunisia or Sicilly, usually less, out of their 'battalion'.

    I'd agree the earlier development of the 90mm gun T7 would have been a good thing, but for whatever reason the development was slower than we might hope.
     
  18. Dave Shoup Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Tuesday
    If the road not taken is the US agrees to what amounts to L-L for China beginning early in 1938, along with an oil embargo three years earlier than historically, the USN is certainly capable of escorting convoys from Manila to Canton, which was not under Japanese control until the end of the year.

    With reinforcements from the US, the Asiatic Fleet (Harry Yarnell was the commander from 1936 to 1939) could have covered US, Philippine, and (presumably) Chinese flag shipping moving equipment and petroleum to China, while a 1938 equivalent of the AVG (presumably flying P-36s) would have made Japanese air operations chancier as well. Claire Chennault was in China from July, 1937 and was one of the organizers of the mercenaries who augmented the surviving Chinese aircrew in 1938 - flying a mix of US and Soviet-built monoplanes.

    As far as what to send, small arms, ammunition, WW I surplus (and, for that matter, pre-WW I surplus would not have been turned down by the ROC, all in all; the typical Chinese infantryman was still carrying a Hanyang 88 rifle at this point; some of them had German made '88s, or even Austrian-made Mannlichers of the same vintage), plus a limited amount of new production equipment would have all been useful.

    Little far afield from the OP, but in for a penny, in for a pound.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 12:55 AM
    McPherson likes this.
  19. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2012
    A economic action of that scope is likely to have the same result as in 1941 OTL. Theres a few other threads on that subject, so I won't start here, but one factor is cargo ships to China may be scarce as things get a bit crazy.
     
  20. Dave Shoup Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Tuesday
    Except the Japanese wouldn't have had the time to build up their oil and gasoline stockpiles in 1937-38 as they did historically in 1937-41. Japan relied on the US for 80 percent of their petroleum before the embargo.

    Even the Japanese were sharp enough to realize they were not ready for war with the US in 1937-38... there's a reason they settled up over USS Panay, after all.

    As far as shipping goes, the US had hundreds of the ships built or acquired under the WW I emergency program laid up on both coasts; as it was, more than 90 were transferred to the UK in 1940-41 to become "Empire" ships, and others went to various Allies or even neutrals in 1939-45, for example. Of the 16 big USSB 535/Design 1029 AP/APAs put into service, two were sold to Spain and one each to Belgium and the Phillippines in 1940. Same holds true for the USSB 1024/HI Type Bs, of which no less than seven were transferred to Belgium in 1940. Same for the pure freighters, as well.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 1:35 AM
    McPherson likes this.