The Japanese take Darwin in World War II.

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

  1. John Roscommon Well-Known Member

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    The way I see it, Darwin will be just another island, surrounded by sand and Australian Murder Varmints instead of water and sharks. The Japanese will be unable to push enough bodies, bullets, beans and POL into Darwin to support a useful forward airbase. It'll be one of those islands bypassed during the South Pacific campaign until the US and Australians muster enough men and materiel to force a surrender or a massive self-extinguishing banzai charge*.

    * Facetious Sidebar: My father served in the Pacific Theater, and his conclusion was that the Japanese persisted in banzai charges because everyone who could tell them that banzai charges didn't work had already been killed in banzai charges.
     
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  2. Johnrankins Well-Known Member

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    I think that the standard "They were looking for an honorable death" works just fine. A suicide charge is less painful than slowly dying of hunger and surrender was unthinkable to most Japanese soldiers until very late in the war. By that time practically only the least fanatical were still alive.
     
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  3. Ian_W Well-Known Member

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    Even if the Japanese have a working forward airbase in Darwin, it's still not very useful - an airbase in Darwin is still puts Brisbane and Perth outside the range of a Zero fighter.

    The best it does is denies the Allies a forward base to support an air campaign against the oilfields of the Dutch East Indies.
     
  4. Aussie Aussie

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    Have been following this thread, and biting my tongue until now, so here's my take.

    1./ I'm not a Territorian, I'm a Victorian, which is the other end of the continent However, the Territory, and it's West Australian equivalent the Kimberly, have been a life long interest, and I've visited these areas several times.

    2./ The biggest defence is distance, and a lethal environment. i.e. Desert, and native killers.
    You don't swim in the sea because of crocs, sharks, jellyfish, and other lethal marine organisms.
    You swim in inland rivers, and rock pools, giving due regard to crocs, and snakes.

    3./ From personal observation, I've seen big saltwater crocs as far inland as Timber Creek, and Katherine, which are both well up the respective river systems.

    4./ The North Australia Observation Unit - aka the " Nackeroos," or "Curtin's Cowboys" (after John Curtin, the then Prime Minister,) a unit of the Australan Light Horse, mostly made up of locally recruit stockmen, supplemented by experienced bushmen from other parts of the country, assisted by the local Aborigines.

    5./ The almost "schizophrenic" decision by the Northern Territory Police, soon after the bombing started, after spending decades, tracking down, and locking up any Aborigine who had speared or attacked a Japanese fisherman / pearler, threw open the gates of the old Fannie Bay Goal, and told them to go home, get their spears, and start "hunting Japs."

    Some of the above is somewhat appochryphal, especially the last point.
    But my point is that any Japanese force trying to move away from very close to Darwin faces a "world of hurt", even before they engage regular troops.

    All of the 200 odd posts,in this thread, about roads, and railways, are all doable, given time, manpower, equipment, and weather.

    However, while waiting for the AIF to get back from the Middle East, the Light Horse have a long history of operating in that type of environment, as evidenced in the Boer War in South Africa, and particularly in Palestine. If you get a chance, or have the interest look up two films "The Lighthorsemen", and "Forty Thousand Horsemen" (the latter has the distinction of being made by the nephew of the Commander of the Light Horse, at the battle of Bersheba, in 1917.)

    They have the capacity to contain the Japanese into a defined area until everything else is ready to push them out.

    If you want another example of of the ability of barely trained Australian Militia to contain the Japanese, until the "Regulars" arrived, have a look at the action of the 39th Battalion, on the Kokoda Track, in New Guinea.

    Apology for the rant, but most of you appear to have missed the point, or underestimated the environment.
     
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  5. sloreck Grunt Bear

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    Everything the Japanese need to maintain themselves in Darwin, let alone advance, has to come from Japan. Good luck making that happen. Even assuming the Japanese have piles of stuff in Darwin, how do they get it to any expanding perimeter - you need lots of trucks going over crap roads or no roads at all, so lots of fuel, spare parts, and mechanics. All of those are in short supply in the IJA so which Peter are you going to rob. As has been pointed out, on top of all that you have a hostile climate and geography, creatures that want to kill you from insects to crocs, natives who live like ghosts in this environment and also want to do you in, and then militia who have mobility and local knowledge who will attack soft targets and screw up logistics and rear area operations.

    Japan taking Darwin will probably mean a death sentence for any Australians who can't get away, but will be a suck for resources they could better use elsewhere and death for every Japanese who gets to Darwin one way or another.
     
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  6. Lord High Executioner Is also the very model of a modern Major-General

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    There is the story - I want to say Shigeru Mizuki's personal experience, but I may misremember - about someone survivinga banzai charge,
    returning to the non-banzai charging part of the unit and being told to have another go at it because they had already reported that there
    were no survivors, so having any would make them lose face.
     
  7. MatthewB Well-Known Member

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    Other than proximity, what's the point in attacking Darwin? If you're the Japanese and want to rattle the Aussies; get your fleet train in order, sort out Replenishment at Sea (RAS) and send the Combined Fleet to bomb Sydney or Canberra.

    If the Japanese could sort out radar and fighter direction along with investments in RAS and ASW, they would have had more success, and saved many of their carriers.

    With RAS and radar the Combined Fleet could have attacked Darwin or Sydney without fear of RAAF strikes or running out of gas.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
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  8. Koprulu Mustafa Pasha Sadrazam of the Roman Empire

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    The 3rd Emu Brigade would be send to liberate Darwin from the IJA. This consists of:
    3 Emu Light Regiment
    5 Emu Infantry Regiment
    2 Emu Airborn Regiment
    1 Emu Suicide Squad
    1 Emu Artillery Regiment

    They can retake Darwin in a period of 1,5 months without supplies and manoeuvre their Machine Guns. The Problem are the Japanese Tanks which the 3rd Emu Brigade has no firepower to stop so the Emu Suicide Squad with TNT has to be used. As it is pointless to fire on a town occupied by bunch of running birds, so the IJN will retreat back the Dutch East Indies.

    Japanese weapons are not strong enough to repell them so Tanks and Planes are necessary which could have been used against the US in the Pacific. The US wins.
     
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  9. Zheng He Well-Known Member

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    You're essentially making this argument which is quite valid:



    The US actually had similar aspirations for the defense of Alaska if it was ever invaded - bush pilots, natives, hunters, and other wilderness survival types were considered a natural commando force.
     
  10. Zheng He Well-Known Member

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    Aug 3, 2013
    Basically it is one of any number of moves they could have made to extend their defense perimeter which is by and large what most of the things they tried to do or talked about doing starting in April 1942 were about - capturing Port Moresby and moving into the Solomons, capturing the Midway and the outer Aleutians, capturing Ceylon (didn't try that one).

    It's also something to do next. In April 1942 the Japanese had by and large accomplished what they set out to do with the exception of some mopping up in the Philippines and Burma. The only problem is, the Allies had no interest in suing for peace. To a large extent they were sitting around saying, "Oh crap, what do we do now?" Either sit behind their established defensive perimeter and hope the Allies get bored/worn out and decide to come to the negotiating table, or extend the defensive perimeter and in the process, goad the Allies into battle they would hopefully cause the Allies to decide that it's all not worth.

    Capturing Darwin helps shield the DEI so in that sense it would extend that portion of the defensive perimeter, at least on paper. I'm not sure it's any better or worse than anything else they tried and it certainly presents its own set of problems. However, this is an alternate history website and it is one thing they did not try so it's probably worth exploring.
     
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  11. Sam R. Well-Known Member

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    What about take, destroy, evacuate?
     
  12. Barry Bull Donor

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    Given that the Japanese did not have sufficient shipping to sustain military operations in SEA and normal civilian logisitics needs, RAS would be nothing but a pipe dream.
     
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  13. MatthewB Well-Known Member

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    Then they had no business in building a navy that needed it.
     
  14. Barry Bull Donor

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    That is why they try to build an economy based on autarky and colonies by conquering the "Southern Resource Zone". They thought they are following European footsteps, the problem was that the Japanese failed to realize that they were 30 years late and colonialism was fading out.
     
  15. Ian_W Well-Known Member

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    For Port Darwin in very early 1942 it's more like take, improve and evacuate.

    There is no airfield worth the name and the port is terrible.
     
  16. Dathi THorfinnsson Da├░i ├×orfinnsson

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    True, very true. But it has been shown time and again that Imperial Japan had paperthin concepts of Strategy and not much better concepts of Logistics.
    The ONLY way they could win is if the Allies followed the Japanese game plan, which, of course, they didn't. Having a 'strategy' that requires your enemy to be stupid in one particular way is criminal idiocy.
     
  17. Zheng He Well-Known Member

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    Speaking of Emus, apparently one is running around loose in North Carolina - https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/e...e-than-three-weeks/ar-AAEAhuK?ocid=spartandhp
     
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  18. Aussie Aussie

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  19. Jellico Well-Known Member

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    Just be glad that It is not a cassowary.
     
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  20. Aussie Aussie

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    https://www.google.com/search?q=old...4.69i57j0l5.9141j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
     
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