The Best Offense is a Good Defense: The Japanese Defense of the Mariana Islands


Except if one is going to handwave away historical reality without

TFSmith121 is agin' it. Methinks there must be something to it:D.
Joking aside, let's see where Abe wants to go with this before deciding it is a stretch. Lots of guys above the Guam commander's pay grade dropped the ball Dec7/8 OTL. How many pages would you run to of all the things that happened in WWII that would make Turtledove credible if they were fictional events?

Except if one is going to handwave away historical reality without any explanation - and for my money, it doesn't matter whether its "why is a professional O-6 forgetting the basic responsibility of an officer about to surrender his post" or "why is it (for example) an air arm that did exceedingly well historically (the IJNAF, perhaps) suddenly unable to accomplish what it did in reality."

One is putting one's thumb on the scales, so to speak, and handwavium is handwavium; bring on the dragons and the time travelers with submachine guns - it's really just a matter of degree.

Suspension of disbelief is one thing; making a known real-life individual "do" something atypical is like breaking the fourth wall.

Here's Capt. McMillin's report, by the way; based on this, seems like thorough, professional, and quite humane individual:

3) And yet despite the "close call" of Messervy et al, the 7th Division still held the IJA off ... again, because the Allies controlled the air and could fly in supplies.

Good luck.;)

the book "Soldiers of the Sun" (as complete a history of the Imperial Japanese Army as has been written) discusses the Japanese in Burma at length. Bottom line, the Japanese were criminally negligent in logistical preparations in this theater for most of the war. Of course it was also a distant third when compared to Manchuria and holding off the Americans and Australians in the Pacific.

But non combat losses suffered by the Japanese in Burma are beyond appalling and moving into the horrifying in terms of scale.
an easier justification for a better defense by the Japanese at Guam and Saipan is simply for better convoy protection resulting in fewer sunk troop ships.

Whole divisions were shot to pieces even before they got to the islands by American submarines sinking their transports.