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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    No disagreement here. Central Pacific route goes as planned, maybe even a little faster if the campaigns in the northern Solomons are butterflied away because once the southern Solomons and Port Moresby are secure and the Japanese are cutoff from getting to Australia from that direction, there is not need to go further. MacArthur's campaign is attached to the liberation of Darwin and he goes for the liberation of the Philippines from the south instead across the top of New Guinea.
     
  2. Zheng He Well-Known Member

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    That gets back to my earlier point about the two brigades from the 6th Division going straight to Australia instead of to Ceylon. That may cause the British to send other forces to Ceylon, maybe the brigades that were used to get Madagascar. Maybe OPERATION IRONCLAD is butterflied away, at least in the near term.
     
  3. Errolwi Well-Known Member

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  4. Coulsdon Eagle Well-Known Member

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    Like fodder?
     
  5. b0ned0me Well-Known Member

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    I’m sorry, but that seems daft to me. It’s a 600km land perimeter as the crow flies and what, 1500km of coastline. There’s no way you can “garrison and patrol” that much distance with such small forces without spreading forces in penny packets, and if you concentrate forces so they have some hope of mutual support there will be enormous gaps everywhere.
     
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  6. SwampTiger Well-Known Member

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  7. Riain Well-Known Member

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    Most of that land and coastline will have little to no military value and will require only the most cursory patrolling; perhaps the odd overflight and routing patrols through areas to ensure that infiltration doesn't turn into something more. Further the Japanese will have a reasonable, broad-strokes idea of that threat that they are facing, that it would take X amount of effort for the Australians to sustain a brigade from Alice Springs and Y effort to land a battalion from RAN ships, and Z for the US/British or whatever to do some other activity.

    Therefore they would be able to keep decent sized forces concentrated and ready for deployment to meet whatever threat does eventuate; likely a Division or even more at Darwin, Brigades and other smaller towns and battalions at various settlements, mines and livestock stations.
     
  8. Johnrankins Well-Known Member

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    However there will be landing craft sunk, which needs to be rebuilt. This is going to be something of a problem if some of the landing craft production is slowed down because the men and material to make landing craft is making tanks and artillery for MacArthur which seems likely.
     
  9. Riain Well-Known Member

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    I could see that too, a serious waste of a couple of carriers when the sea flank of the Top End needs attention.
     
  10. Chris Triangle Triangulator

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    For which this little thing would have come in quite a bit of handy:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumida_M.2593

    Makes it a lot easier to patrol the lines in the face of armed infiltrators and can drive around sabotaged tracks.

    Alternatively, they could use those Harley Davidson copies they built.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
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  11. Coulsdon Eagle Well-Known Member

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  12. SwampTiger Well-Known Member

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    Of course not. It will give you time to train enough brumbies to remount your force. Plus, we are not bringing any force larger than a regiment, if that much.
     
  13. Cockroach Lagrangian Particle Tracking... Now in the Arctic.

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    Actually, there's likely to be a fair number of stock horses within the NT. And a fair chunk of the Brumby population up that way, nowdays at least, is derived from Whaler stock (the 'breed' of choice for Australia's Light Horse in WW1). So, kitting out a battalion/regiment strength force to act as mounted rifles using local horse-flesh probably is possible. Equipping them as actual cavalry is probably a step too far.

    Of cause,w hen it comes to cavalry to patrol or raid, two can play that game... and certainly at least at the start of the war Australia had more than a few CMF mounted Light horse units (total of 25 Light Horse regiments in 1939 with 17 still horse mounted, four converted to motorized infantry and two to armoured car units). And once the logistics get into play to get motorized infantry and armour into action... well, then any Japanese cavalry become irrelevant.
     
  14. sloreck Grunt Bear

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    Japanese cavalry patrolling this conquered territory is going to look like the worst aspects of the US Cavalry vs Native Americans. The Australians know the territory intimately (or hopefully have aborigine scouts/guides). Where to hide out, where water is, and so forth. They don't usually want to engage the Japanese unless they are setting an ambush, and they will be out to sabotage whatever they think helps the Japanese. Unless the Japanese bring in Mongolian auxiliaries who have "desert life" experience, this is an environment new and hostile to most of them. Think of the US forces spending years chasing Apaches. The US forces had essentially unlimited resources compared to the tribes both materiel and manpower (including settlers) as well as time and technology on their side. Not so the Japanese here.

    The Japanese will have to use their limited resources to protecting vital points, and hopefully being able to patrol by air or on the ground well enough to prevent a large force fro sneaking in.
     
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  15. b0ned0me Well-Known Member

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    And this sounds exactly like the “let’s be strong absolutely nowhere” that you were criticising earlier, unless the IJA are going to deploy an entire army. The small towns are typically 100km or more apart from each other which isn’t exactly convenient for mutual support, never mind that some are 600+km from Darwin.

    I’m still struggling with the idea of just exactly why they would ‘occupy’ an area roughly twice the size of England, with a land perimeter longer than the distance between Berlin and Amsterdam, if it is of ‘little to no military value”. I know it’s trendy on this board to assume the IJA are complete gibbering loons but how exactly is this supposed to be justifiable? Concentrate one division at Darwin to defend the port and airfield, perfectly reasonable. That still leaves two Englands (or one Honshu-equivalent) for them to “prevent infiltration” of which sounds kind of daunting. Likewise deploying hundreds of kilometres to tackle an emerging threat. How many brigades exactly are they going to invest in this adventure?

    Unless of course the whole “gulf to gulf” line is just propaganda and they instead scatter a brigade up the railway line to Katherine, send a couple of battalions out looking for aborigines to murder, and call it good.
     
  16. Johnrankins Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I don't see them being able to control that large of an area with a mere corps. I also want to know what is valuable enough in the area to deploy that many troops. Most likely they drop a brigade into the Darwin area, build an airstrip or two and call it a day.
     
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  17. Zheng He Well-Known Member

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    That's how I see it, an expansion of the defensive perimeter, nothing more...
     
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  18. Johnrankins Well-Known Member

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    I looked on one of Calbear old threads Pacific War Redux and he has the seabees put up a fighter base on an island in 8 days, able to serve as an emergency landing strip in 4. Since he is a good source figure on the Allies on being able to put up fighter bases in a week or so. That means Japan is screwed quickly even if they want to make it a major push for some bizarre reason.
     
  19. Zheng He Well-Known Member

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    One book I have has a section on the Seabees and claims in the South Pacific on the jungle islands they could go from starting to clear trees to the first plane landing on the strip in three weeks so if they could build a strip under those conditions in three weeks, they could probably do something like that in 8 days or so in the desert.

    The thing to remember about this is that nobody is claiming it is a war winning move for the Japanese. It's just something they could to make life difficult on the Allies for awhile. There is no question that eventually they will get pushed out.
     
  20. Johnrankins Well-Known Member

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    The point is he was arguing it would take many months before the Allies could push them out. With airbases going up in little over a week they aren't going to last long if the Allies want them out. Not unless they are willing to let their other fronts fall faster than OTL.
     
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