The Japanese take Darwin in World War II.

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Ricardolindo, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. Zheng He Well-Known Member

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    Now there is an interesting thought, the US doesn't retake Attu and Kiska in the summer of 43 as a way of demonstrating to the Australians that these campaigns are not worth the effort. If nothing else that butterflies away the friendly fire casualties from the operation to retake Kiska after the Japanese had evacuated.
     
  2. Zheng He Well-Known Member

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    And to their credit, Japanese leadership seemed to grasp the basics facts of that.
     
  3. Zheng He Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  4. Riain Well-Known Member

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    I doubt Australia would consider a large part of the continent including the Territorial capital (however small), port and railway network, expendable much like the US wouldn't consider Alaska expendable.
     
  5. Chris Triangle Triangulator

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    Well, it's not unreasonable to assume this scenario might come off the back of greater Japanese success in earlier carrier battles, since they would be more likely to take risks and continue underestimate their enemy. The navy, and thus Yamamoto, would also have that much more clout. (On the other hand, the likely defeat of any attempted Midway landings, if that hasn't been butterflies, might scare the Army). At any rate, if they are on a major roll, the Japanese might have made a second series of landings on Adak and attacked Dutch harbor or other towns again from the air. With that in mind and with the US carrier strength probably too weak to take big risks for the rest of 1942, it would be hard to ignore the Aleutians when the rest of the country is itchhing for some kind of show of revenge.
     
  6. Riain Well-Known Member

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    Interesting that so much of the thread is about what the US will or won't do, as if Australia and Britain were of little or no consequence.

    Australia certainly had enough divisions to defeat any sort of lodgement that IJA could sustain and could divert national resources to constructing the mean to sustain them in the field over the continental distances. I doubt the British or Americans would attempt to deny Australia the resources to make this happen, given Australia was somewhat low on the list for getting the newest and best stuff.
     
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  7. Johnrankins Well-Known Member

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    A large part of the continent? What are they going to take ? Desert? There is nothing there and no where to go.
     
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  8. Johnrankins Well-Known Member

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    True enough, it is just US resources make it much easier.
     
  9. Riain Well-Known Member

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    The Japanese aren't going to not take the entire railway system, so their forward positions are going to be hundreds of km south of Darwin. The desert doesn't start until further south of that, the Top End did have things to attract people, which is why there was a town with a port and railway system.

    It does, and the US will provide them, IIRC the US supplied some 600 tanks to Australia in 1942. But if Mac decides that the Top End is to be left alone and not liberated this isn't what's going to happen , Australia will do it themselves and perhaps ask Mac to leave.
     
  10. Sam R. Well-Known Member

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    Birdum
    Northern Territory 0852
    https://goo.gl/maps/TdodQNDiiXR2

    That’s how far south they get by rail, mate.
     
  11. Riain Well-Known Member

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    Yep, 500km. The patrol/occupation line would extend from Joseph Boneparte gulf to the gulf of Carpentaria some 500km south of Darwin, maybe 250,000km2 of territory. Incidentally thats pretty much where the land turns to bleak desert.
     
  12. b0ned0me Well-Known Member

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    So going with the three divisions / 45,000 troops figure I have in my head from somewhere, that’s about 5.5km2 per Japanese soldier. Would probably turn out to be a bit of a bizarre fight with everyone having every flank open.

    Edited to add: 1 soldier per 1,235 acres. LOL, the idea just does my head in and I live in a pretty sparsely populated area myself.
     
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  13. Draconis Emperor of the North Pole.

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    Was it Napoleon who said, "he who tries to guard everything guards nothing"?
     
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  14. Riain Well-Known Member

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    Dunno if it was Napoleon but I thought the saying was 'he who is strong everywhere is strong nowhere'.

    Of course they won't put one troop on his own 1250 acre plot of land, they'll garrison and patrol likely infiltration areas and invasion routes and visit the rest from time to time.
     
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  15. SwampTiger Well-Known Member

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    Japan had cavalry units. Seems like a good fit for patrolling a large area with minimal resources.
     
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  16. Johnrankins Well-Known Member

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    That would assume the soldiers are spread evenly throughout the area instead of the perimeter. If we assume it is a half circle 500 KM in diameter than the perimeter is only 785KM. or 57 soldiers per KM or when every 17M.5 which is still pretty spread out and some would have to be in reserves and occupation which would spread them out some more. However, even that would assume that they would guard the entire perimeter instead of just key points which is more likely. Even with that, I think they wouldn't go that far as it invites being flanked and it would be hard to supply with Japanese/local logistical support.

    The farther they are out the more likely they aren't ignored. If it is just 50 KM around Darwin the Wallies might not bother. At 200 it looks more worrying on the map. One thing that increases the chances of US support for getting rid of it right away is MacArthur as that would help his "Southern Route" .
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
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  17. sloreck Grunt Bear

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    A number of posters have commented how an effort to retake Darwin helps Mac's "southern route". I beg to differ. Until the Japanese are ejected from Darwin there won't be anything going on in New Guinea other than making sure Port Moresby doesn't fall. Resources that might have gone in to the New Guinea/Solomons campaigns will be diverted to some extent to the Darwin effort. The Darwin effort is certainly going to need far less naval commitment than leapfrogging along the New Guinea coast, taking the Solomons etc. Additionally the Darwin effort is going to take time, and during this time the Central Pacific effort will be proceeding more or less on schedule as whatever extra resources might go to "Darwin" over what went to Mac anyways are things that will have little effect on the Navy approach. Armor, trucks, rails and railway equipment and much else is simply not used going from atoll to atoll.

    IMHO this mean when Darwin is retaken and Mac begins his southern approach in earnest the Central Pacific drive will be far ahead in terms of closing the ring on Japan. If the Australians really want to clear the Japanese out of Darwin and other northern bits there is no way Mac will get resources for a separate drive he runs except for whatever the Australians don't want/need. The USA is NOT going to piss off the Australians, and possibly the British, by shorting their drive to liberate Darwin to favor Mac's requests.
     
  18. Johnrankins Well-Known Member

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    No. it is more the Central Route will be short shifted in favor of Australia so there will be more logistical support in the area and the islands in the South Pacific will protect Australia more than the Central Route. So the Central Route will go slower, not faster unless the area under Japanese control around Darwin is small enough to ignorel
     
  19. Zheng He Well-Known Member

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    Yes and no - I think MacArthur pushes for the southern route and band wagons on liberating Darwin as a way of pushing for that. He might as well since resources are getting diverted in that direction anyhow. He may be forced to accept Australian command and Australian troops doing the heavy lifting and he will be probably happy to let them do that while he organizes and equips his forces to then take over once Darwin is recaptured and is now the jumping off point for Timor and then up through the DEI to the Philippines. Just my thoughts and it would make an interesting TL. Probably butterflies away a lot of the New Guinea and Solomons campaign once Port Moresby and the lower Solomons are secure.
     
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  20. sloreck Grunt Bear

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    What MacArthur and the Australians need for a campaign against Darwin is not what the Central pacific campaign needs. There will be little if any need for amphibious lift for MacArthur until Darwin is taken. The Central Pacific campaign has little use for land based fighters and USAAF medium bomber, trucks, railroad equipment, etc which is what the Darwin campaign needs. Of course there some overlap in things like munitions and fuel, but I do not see how the overlap material going to Australia is going to slow the Central Pacific campaign overmuch.
     
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