What if the Japanese declaration of war (AKA a sneak attack) came three months later, and with an actual attack on Los Angeles?
The Kido Butai could barely carry enough fuel to reach Pearl Harbour, there is no way they can reach LA which is 2500 miles from Hawaii.
Three months later the U.S. is a hair more prepared in general, and the British are probably in better shape for whatever they decide to send as Force Z.
And the Japanese have no chance of attacking Los Angeles, besides maybe submarine shelling.
Submarine attack wouldn't do much physical damage, but it would absolutely rattle the hell out of the locals and their politicians. (Kinda like a low grade Doolittle Raid). Also, IMO, Zheng He is correct about the far worse treatment of Japanese-Americans too.I guess you could launch an attack with submarine based seaplanes (they had a few submarines that carried planes), maybe launch a few more seaplanes covertly from a merchant ship. The most damage that will be done is to Americans of Japanese descent. If you think things were bad for them OTL, this will be worse.
LA had the oil industry so it was definitely hugely important. I believe there are a few oil-related facilities either within distance of the coast (for a submarine to shell it) or have seaplanes easily bomb. The planes could cause further damage by crashing into buildings when they're finished, since they have almost no chance of making it back to Japan alive.The Kido Butai would be sent to attack the San Francisco Bay Area. LA was not the premier city on the West Coast until after WW2. It would also be closer for them, not that makes any difference.
You mean before or after their destroyers and cruisers run out of fuel and they have to ask for a tow? Even the carriers aren't going to make it if they have to put wind over the deck. Shokaku and Zuikaku capped out at around 10,000 miles, the others were all under 11,000 and that is straight at 18 knots, none of this turning into the wind and cranking it up to 30 knots to put wind over the deck to conduct flight operations.
It has been point out to me that saying that the term "Japs" is an ethnic slur it judging the whole world on West Coast U.S. standards, so I will avoid that. I will, however say, quite strongly, that it IS a term that is quite offensive to a number of members here. As such it should, in most circumstances, be avoided.The Japs still invade Indonesia and the European Colonies, but not the Philippines. After securing the more strategic areas they swing east and bomb Pearl Harbour like in OTL, but also shell Los Angeles with Submarine guns and a few detached Destroyers and Planes. To get in range they install fuel tanks on some Aircraft Carriers. A submarine even shells the Golden Gate Bridge.
The coastline in and around San Francisco was filled with coastal defense forts with guns to 16”. They started dismantling forts in 1943
The Japanese had a number of submarines in the fleet that could each carry a small seaplane. Have them decide to start the war with a raid like the one they had planned for September 1945. If they manage to pull this off, well think about how the USA prosecuted its war against Japan OTL and multiply that by several orders of magnitude:
We were on Kodiak with family of friends from 173rd LRRP. The military spent many man years of effort to put in an 8” battery at Cheniak covering Kodiak harbor. By yhe time the concrete was dry and Guns registered, it was realized that Japan did not have ability to raid much less invade so they blew the model 1890 guns in place.If Pearl was not ready the Bay Area was literally told no attack possible, keep up normal peace time activities. Plus not a lot of guns were manned at this time especially on a Sunday. 16” guns mean nothing when you are attacking with aircraft from 4 to 5 times the longest ranged gun. Checking the Coast Defense Study Group website, there is not an exceptional amount of forts and armaments for the Bay Area.
Even using sub launched planes to get a few hits in would cause trouble. Like I said, imagine the headlines if the mint got bombed.