Days of Infamy: Invasion, Occupation, and Liberation of Hawaii (1941-1943)

Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by Alterwright, Jan 23, 2019.

  1. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    What's on Palmyra and Johnston? What's the strategic value of these places in relation to Hawaii's security after the islands are liberated? Would the Japanese still hold on to them after losing Hawaii?
     
  2. Matt Wiser Well-Known Member

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    Both had airfields and facilities for seaplanes. They could be useful as outposts for the Japanese when the Central Pacific Offensive gets going. Both can also support H8K Emily recon or raids against Hawaii with submarine support. Nimitz will want to take them, while the Japanese would want to keep them.
     
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  3. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    Uh-huh, do you imagine the islands to be taken with much force? Sounds like the Japanese would heavily contest them? Where exactly are these islands? Do you have a map?
     
  4. Matt Wiser Well-Known Member

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    While Hawaii's occupied, there may not be that much of a garrison: air base personnel and maybe some SNLF to man the AA and coastal guns. Post-liberation, they would try to reinforce the islands, and stopping that will be a job for Submarines Pacific now that they can base at Pearl again.

    Johnston Atoll is at: 16-44-13 N, 169-31-26 W. Southwest of Hawaii
    Palmyra Atoll is at : 05-52 N, 162-05 W. South of Hawaii.
     
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  5. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    Royal Hawaiian Army --- Uniform and Equipment: 1941-1943

    https://turtledove.fandom.com/wiki/Royal_Hawaiian_Army <--- Wiki article

    King Stanley Owana Laanui was able to raise a small army with he was in power. Although ceremonial at first, mostly used to garrison Iolani Palace, during the US Invasion of Hawaii in 1943 the army saw action against US soldiers while fighting along side Japanese troops. Their performance was mixed, with units either surrendering without a fight or battling US soldiers in tenacious combat to the death.

    At roughly battalion strength, the Royal Hawaiian Army may have been somewhere between 300+ to 800+ men, divided into multiple companies. They were said to be armed with captured Springfield 1903 rifles, but were not issued ammunition since they were, for the most part, used for ceremonial duties and due to Japanese mistrust. It was not until the US invasion that Royal Hawaiian Army was issued ammo in the coming fight.

    I haven't read that far yet, but for now I'd be willing to take a guess at the equipment and uniform of the Royal Hawaiian Army. This will exclude a possible ceremonial uniform and focus more on a practical combat uniform.

    M-Militaria-US-Khaki-1941.jpg
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    ^^^ --- I think the uniform might be the old summer service uniform used before the occupation. Due to the logistical restraints on the Japanese, I imagine the Royal Hawaiian Army would be issued with surplus/captured US equipment and uniforms. This would include using the Brodie helmets as well. All US markings would have to be removed and perhaps simple insignia or armbands might be used to identify Royal Hawaiian units.

    s-l300.jpg
    springfield-rifle-1903-5.jpg

    ^^^ --- As such they would most likely be kitted out with the M1903 Springfield and ammo belt, removing any US markings.

    s-l640.jpg 41BPnF8Ku6L.jpg
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    ^^^ --- I do think, however, that the Japanese Army might issue the Royal Hawaiian Army with Japanese equipment as well. This would help if only to identify the Hawaiians as being on their side and not mistaking them for US soldiers. They could probably issue them with Japanese caps, helmets, and ammo belts.

    jap99.jpg

    ^^^ --- Also likely is the Japanese Type 99 Arisaka being issued to the Royal Hawaiian Army, if in sufficient quantities.

    As such, I think we would be looking at a Hawaiian Army that is kitted out in pre-invasion fatigues with a mix of Japanese and US weapons. I believe that with the logistical constraints on the islands by 1943 that the Hawaiian Army would be kitted out in a very simple manner, with identifying armbands used to denote them, if at all.
     
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  6. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    I see now. So we may be looking at the beginnings of the island hopping campaign here, with battles over small islands akin to Eniwetok or Tarawa, depending on how tenacious of a defense the Japanese put up in these locations. I'm wondering what the terrain would be like there...
     
  7. lordroel Well-Known Member

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    Nice list, we know from the second book that the carriers USS Bunker Hill, USS Essex, USS Wasp, USS Hornet and the USS Ranger took part in the Second Battle of the North Pacific as it is called, thus seeing your list makes a lot of sense.
     
  8. rob2001 Well-Known Member

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    Their is one thing missing from the list. Their were also several escort carriers that accompanied the fleet. That was also mentioned in the second book.
     
  9. Matt Wiser Well-Known Member

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    I only gave the CVs and CVLs, as figuring out which CVEs would be there would be an issue, with the ASW Hunter-Killer groups forming up for the Battle of the Atlantic and closing the Air Gap which the U-Boats exploited.
     
  10. rob2001 Well-Known Member

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    They did mention one escort carrier in the second book. It was the one that was hit by the bomb carried by Lt. Saburo Shindo on his suicide mission when he struck the Bunker Hill. She was the Copahee. Just out of curiosity, They said in the book that one light carrier was lost, while a fleet carrier and an escort carrier were both damaged. Any idea which ones they were?
     
  11. Matt Wiser Well-Known Member

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    It could be that Princeton was the CVL that was sunk-she was sunk OTL at Leyte Gulf. Not sure as to the damaged big carrier or the CVE.
     
  12. lordroel Well-Known Member

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    Reading the US Liberation of Hawaii article on the Turrtledove wiki it does mention the escort carrier USS Copahee, also it is mention in the article about the United States Navy that the Task force that liberated the islands in 1943 was made up of seven carriers (four Essex class CVs, and three Independence class CVLs) and in addition, there were a number of escort carriers, as well. Escorts for this task force included battleships, cruisers, and destroyers, their numbers in the dozens.