If Japan and the Soviets go to war after Pearl Harbor, when is Japan defeated?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Jiraiyathegallant, Oct 11, 2019 at 10:04 PM.

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If Japan and the Soviets go to war after Pearl Harbor, when is Japan defeated?

  1. 1942

    4 vote(s)
    6.6%
  2. Early 1943

    2 vote(s)
    3.3%
  3. Mid 1943

    1 vote(s)
    1.6%
  4. Late 1943

    2 vote(s)
    3.3%
  5. Early 1944

    1 vote(s)
    1.6%
  6. Mid 1944

    4 vote(s)
    6.6%
  7. Late 1944

    11 vote(s)
    18.0%
  8. Early 1945

    4 vote(s)
    6.6%
  9. Mid 1945

    15 vote(s)
    24.6%
  10. Later than OTL

    11 vote(s)
    18.0%
  11. They actually win

    6 vote(s)
    9.8%
  1. Jiraiyathegallant Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    It would be an irrational move for Japan or the Soviet Union. They both have more important opponents. But it’s not ASB.

    Let’s say some rogue Japanese commander assumes the attack on the US and UK will make war with the Soviets imminent and he attacks. Or the Soviets, either their leadership or a single commander, misinterpret the attacks and assume they are going to be targeted so they strike first. Or Japan’s government believes that the Soviets will attacks them for attacking their ally so they attack. Or someone in Japan believes that with Germany’s declaration of war against America means they are obligated to attack the Soviet Union. Or the Soviets believe the WAllies might not unconditionally support them if they don’t go to war with Japan so they attack.

    Putting aside the “why” and “how” to an extent, how long does Japan last here?

    Does Japan fight on even if they are booted out of Asia, provided Germany is still fighting?
     
  2. CV(N)-6 Member

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    Oct 7, 2019
    Location:
    USA
    If Japan goes all in on a war with the USSR at this point, the USSR is currently fighting to hold Moscow. Stalin doesn't have the troops to spare, so he either weakens the Red Army's current (bad) position, or leaves the fighting to what is there, which has been stripped to reinforce the Eastern Front. Japan will have to expend a number of men and resources to defeat the USSR's defenses, but will probably win. The Soviet Union will be weakened, forcing the Wallies to increase support, and slow down their offensives, though certainly not enough for the Axis to win the war.
     
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  3. Johnrankins Well-Known Member

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    Aug 29, 2007
    Worst comes to worst the Soviets leave it to the militia and resistance and let the Japanese starve in the snow.
     
  4. Snowstalker ...

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    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    This isn't August 1945 or September 1939--the Soviet Union does not have the manpower or resources in the Far East to fight back. Outer Manchuria and Kamchatka are occupied, though incursions too far inland would be worthless. I don't think this would decisively affect the outcome of the war other than slightly bogging down the Soviet and Japanese war efforts (in the latter case it would take resources from China), so maybe add a couple months to the war as a whole.
     
  5. Pelranius Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2018
    The Japanese will probably end up having to devote a couple hundred thousand or so troops to hold the parts of the USSR they invade.

    That's not a very big lift in the overall scheme of things for them, but it won't do them any favors in fighting America, so the overall schedule is likely to be the same as OTL.
     
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  6. TonyA Curmudgeon like, but nastier

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    Location:
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    Would think the most noticeable effect would be the Japanese interference with American Lend Lease to the USSR, so much of which traveled into Russia via Vladivostok OTL
     
  7. wcv215 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    No they haven’t.

    Anyhoo, most likely Japan fails to make significant gains, but the Soviets are too preoccupied in Europe to turn their full military power that way. War proceeds approximately on schedule with Japan giving up a few weeks earlier.
     
  8. Barry Bull Donor

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2008
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Incorrect.

    The Battles of Khalkhyn Gol shown that IJA logistic was completely insufficient to sustain an offensive in Mongolia, let alone deep in Central Asia and Siberia.
     
  9. NK_Tesla Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2015
    Japan was already stretched thin dealing with China. Japan declaring on the USSR gets them Vladivostok and Sakhalin, and they will potentially make some gains down the Trans-Siberian Railroad, but I don't think Stalin redirects any troops; the Nazi's are on the doorstep and he can't spare forces.

    Having said that, per Wikipedia, 50% of all lend-lease goods from the US went through Vladivostok. While it wasn't military goods, it is still a lot of food, raw materials, machine tools, trucks, rolling stock, etc. The article on lend-lease goes into further detail on how crucial it was, most Soviet writers believed that they wouldn't have won without it.

    This leads me to believe that if Japan can take Vladivostok the USSR would slowly get strangled by the Nazis as their ability to replace vehicle and logistics losses mount. Japan doesn't even have to set a single foot in the USSR outside of Vladivostok.
     
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  10. HARRY Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    The Japanese don't even need to take Vladivostok the home islands pretty much create a barrier between it and the Pacific ocean any ships delivering goods there from the USA during WWII were Russian & therefore neutral for the Japanese.
     
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  11. mattep74 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Location:
    Sweden
    If Russia could trade space for time in the European war they could do that in Siberia without trouble. Japan would take heavy casualities and Berlin still falls in 45. I think that Stalin would transfer troops to Siberia in early 1945 though and when USA is fighting on Okinawa Russa would be retaking lost territory
     
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  12. History Learner Well-Known Member

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    Apr 13, 2012
    The Kwantung Army would've mopped the floor with the RKKA forces in late 1941. Our very own @BobTheBarbarian wrote the Kantokuen article on Wikipedia, and I'd suggest giving it a read. In particular:
     
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  13. History Learner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    And this is the decisive element in this whole thing:

    [​IMG]

    It's also not trucks and the like one should be looking at in this equation. Per the terms of the neutrality agreement between the two, the Japanese allowed Soviet shipping to operate over the course of the entire war unmolested in their waters, although they did try to force them to limit it to things like food, which constituted one of the main Lend Lease materials that passed through the Soviet Far East ports. Why is that important? Because the Soviets would've collapsed without it:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Johnrankins Well-Known Member

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    Aug 29, 2007
    I think we would have spent more on infrastructure in Iran and shipped it up that way. It would have been difficult and expensive but it could be done.
     
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  15. NK_Tesla Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2015
    So Russia faces the same issue that Germany did in WWI, they can fight but cannot feed their own people. The Soviet 1941 Winter offensive probably still happens, but every battle after I could see Germany slowly snowball their advance as the Russian civilians start to revolt for food and the army grinds to a halt over a lack of mechanization.

    No wonder Germany and Russia were so focused on autarky as a key platform.
     
  16. wcv215 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    And what you’ve conveniently ignored completely is that the Pacific War is STILL HAPPENING. Japan is doing this while also fighting the Western Allies in the south.
     
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  17. Johnrankins Well-Known Member

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    Aug 29, 2007
    And fighting China as well. They probably can take Vladivostok but not much else.
     
  18. NK_Tesla Well-Known Member

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    Aug 4, 2015
    The Caucus mountains are a huge issue, and the 1942 offensives almost sealed the Caucus off from the rest of Russia in OTL and this won't be a matter of cost, but time. At this point we are in butterfly territory; how bad is the lack of supply for Russia, does Germany have more success in 1942 specifically in securing the Caucus region or at least cutting rail links, does Persia still sign on with the Allies, etc.
     
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  19. Johnrankins Well-Known Member

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    Aug 29, 2007
    Iran "signed on" because she wasn't given a choice . Time is indeed the problem. The US would be forced to probably delay Torch a bit and focus money on improving Persian infrastructure ASAP. Maybe have some more soldiers drafted out of the railroad companies improve the railroads in Iran.
     
  20. NK_Tesla Well-Known Member

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    Aug 4, 2015
    TIL about Operation Countenance. There is another thread on this board about the British attack on Mers-el Kebeir and both are interesting reminders that Britain was a dick to supposedly neutral nations. The ends justify the means indeed.