Japanese invasion of Kurils in summer of 1991

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Khanzeer, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. Khanzeer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2019
    With the USSR in state of collapse and pre-occupied with events in eastern europe, the japanese leadership decides to take a very strong pro-nationalist line and demand return of kuril islands.
    The soviets refuse politely but do not show any hostility given they have their hands full with events at home.With isolation of china in 1989, the japanese feel they are dominant pacific power which USA will not anatagonize by refusing to back their invasion of kurils.
    This japanese demand however is not supported by USA and NATO, despite this the JASDF and JSDF units attack and occupy the southern four kuril islands.

    NATO and US condemn this act but warn USSR not to use any nuclear weapons at any cost

    Can the USSR defend /reclaim the kurils from japanese using conventional weapons alone in 1991 ?

    please ignore the political rammifications for the moment and concentrate on the military capability comparison of USSR eastern command and Japan , thanks
     
    Zagan likes this.
  2. MatthewB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2019
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Fat chance brother, you’ve just triggered half of our resident contrarians.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
  3. Analytical Engine Monarchist Collectivist Federalist

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    UK, EU (for the moment), Earth
    I'm pretty sure that Japan's own constitution means that this is illegal. They'd have to do away with Article 9 first.

    Also, the Japanese aren't going to risk WWIII over some small islands - and if they are, the US is probably going to have words to say about it, given the massive American military presence in the region.

    Unless the USSR is completely imploding, and the Japanese are performing peacekeeping activity for humanitarian reasons, what would be the point?
     
  4. Khanzeer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2019
    Ww3 would not happen as NATO and US would not back either side
    Japanese nationalism will be at an all time high and the government will be immensely popular
     
  5. Omar04 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2018
    M79, AceFrehley101 and trurle like this.
  6. CalBear Your Ursus arctos californicus Moderator Moderator Donor

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2005
    Nationalism at an all time high?

    1939 is on the line and would like a word.
     
  7. Scerus Stanley Baldwin's neatly polished shoes

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Location:
    That place next to Australia
    The big part of alternate history is plausibility actually.
     
  8. Onkel Willie Kaiser

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Netherlands
    If Japan manages to get around Article 9 of its own constitution, the Soviets can always use nukes if all else fails. Besides that, the Soviet Navy has carriers and a superior submarine force, so I don't actually see it getting to the nuclear stage.
     
    Ciniad, Chris S, Remitonov and 3 others like this.
  9. BMN Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2014
    Actually, this might prevent or mitigate the collapse of the Soviet Union, due to "rally to the flag" effect of being attacked by a foreign power. Most citizens in the non-russian republics, even in Ukraine, did mildly prefer the Union to continue existing, and this event could re-ignite passionate feelings of unity and solidarity.
     
  10. Khanzeer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2019
    Right and I wonder why we have so many sea lion threads
     
  11. Khanzeer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2019
    Thanks
    That' is what I wanted to discuss specifically
    Pacific fleet vs Japanese navy

    Pros for Japan
    High end ASW planes .over 100
    14 high tech DE subs
    30 harpoon equipped DDG , FF
    over 100 F15 for air cover

    Soviet pros
    30 + DE and SSN
    2 Oscar's SSGN
    2 Kiev and 5 echo II have SSN12
    60 maritime strike bombers with ASM
    200 MIG25/31 in transbaikal and far eastern command
    40 su27

    Approx numbers from MB 1990-91

    Personally I feel Japanese can easily blockade the soviet Pacific fleet but if they try to make any advances towards vladivostok or in sea of okhost then they in trouble due to

    Soviet ASM outraging their harpoons and will be useful in defence
    Soviet land based airpower has more attrition reserves and can overwhelm the pre-AEGIS era AAW defences of Japanese ships
    Japanese aircraft lack PGM

    In short Japanese can occupy and retain kuril but would be at the receiving end of air and submarine attacks on their naval units and may lose as much as 1/3 of their navy in the process

    Any corrections are welcome
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
  12. Khanzeer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2019
    War with japan was not unthinkable at that time for political strategists
    See " coming war with japan" by Friedman

    Why is 1939 on the line ? Why not 1941 ?
    The peak of Japanese imperialism was 41 -42 not 1939
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
  13. Khanzeer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2019
    Yes just like iron laws of logistics would prevent sea lion and perhaps 80% of all KM threads even then they are never classified as "ASB"
     
  14. Onkel Willie Kaiser

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Assuming Japan initially manages to curbstomp the Soviets, the Soviet Navy will bring its other fleets into play like the Tsar did in the Russo-Japanese War. I don't expect the same outcome as in 1905 though. As for a specific trigger to keep things plause, who says the Japanese need to fire the first shot? An incident with Japanese F-15s shooting down a Tu-95 behaving overly aggressively could spiral out of control. Weirder things have happened.
     
    Khanzeer likes this.
  15. rfmcdonald Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2012
    Location:
    Toronto
    A Japanese invasion in 1991 is simply a non-starter.
     
  16. Khanzeer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2019
    Or Soviet trigger happy SAM unit downing a Japanese airliner mistakenly for a surveillance plane

    Regarding other fleets , the northern fleet is the easiest to transfer units from and fortunately for Soviets most of their SSGN SSN , missile cruisers ( except one slava in black sea) are in northern and Pacific fleet
    Also it probably would not be too problematic to transfer AVMF units

    Problem for Soviets would be operational readiness of their larger units and poor training of their crews in prolonged offensive operations.

    Acutely aware Soviets probably would not risk their larger surface units and prefer naval guerrilla attacks by land based su24/su17 and SS/SSN
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
    jsb likes this.
  17. Alanith Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2013
    All the Soviets need to do is sortie some subs to the area, and make an announcement to the UN that the Home Islands are now under military blockade, any vessels approaching within 200 nm are warned that they may be sunk without warning. Your average shipping line will NOT risk a warzone, particularly if an Oscar is likely to put a missile into their oil tanker without warning, meaning the JSDF is going to have to start running convoys, and that's only a scenario the Soviet navy trained for... how long again?

    While you're at it, put the backfires to work as well.

    Sure, you can handwave crazy high nationalism, but when the heater starts sputtering out since no oil tankers are willing to risk destruction and winter is coming...

    Alternatively, have the Soviet Ambassador deliver a note to the Japanese Prime Minister, informing them that the Strategic Rocket Forces are fueling their missiles, and failing an imminent withdrawal, the Kremlin has decided that the use of a half dozen ICBM's is a cheaper solution then a drawn out military campaign. Are the islands worth a dozen cities in the Home Islands?
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
    jsb likes this.
  18. Khanzeer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2019
    Japanese have sophisticated ASW platforms and have long range F15 to counter backfires
    It will not be that easy to bluff them
     
  19. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    This right here, and both the Soviets and the Japanese know the answer. Unless, something really weird happens, like Yuko Tojo and some ultra-right extremists staging a successful coup and deciding to rebuild the Empire the way Grandpa Hideki would have wanted, or let Japan be destroyed in a blaze of glory.
     
    Chris S likes this.
  20. Alanith Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2013
    You literally cannot take the chance that they are not bluffing. Especially if the Kremlin actually makes a theatrical production of it so that US assets pick up that they are indeed fueling missiles, and presumably lets Japan know "No, we think they're actually going to do it."

    Throw in the ongoing instability and such in the USSR and the gradual collapse of Communism and you've got a scarily plausible scenario...
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019