What could deter Japan from attacking Pearl Harbor

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Noscoper, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. Noscoper Well-Known Member

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    What could the United State do to deter Japan from attacking Pearl Harbor along with Britain and the Netherlands
     
  2. GTStinger Well-Known Member

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    Sell the Japanese oil and steel in exchange for some agreement about China.
    Not likely at all because the US would want things that the Japanese army would be dead set against.
     
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  3. Electric Monk Does Your Believing For You

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    Vastly simpler if your POD is France stops Germany either: easily 1938 or so (no or beaten FDR 1940), tougher in 1939-40 and FDR can’t push through the embargo.
     
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  4. Noscoper Well-Known Member

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    Anything military the US could do ?
    Anyway without changing the European war or removing the embargo ?
     
  5. Isonzophilia Member

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    Kill Yamamoto, so he can’t strongarm Nagumo and the rest of IJN command into his “declare war on the entire Pacific” plan, which means they leave the US alone while kicking the shit out of whatever the Brits can scrape up in the Far East.
     
  6. GTStinger Well-Known Member

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    A pre 1940 defeat of the Nazis would lead to the Poland swiping Soviets becoming the new threat.
    The US/UK could come to agreement with Japan as a counterweight to the Soviets.
     
  7. Pelranius Well-Known Member

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    Fly a bunch of B-17s over Kido Butai as it steams across the north Pacific?
     
  8. bernardz Well-Known Member

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    Option1

    If the Japanese had secured Dutch oil before 1941, which they could have done then this resolves the Japanese major fear of running out of oil. So Japan waits longer and soon the Japanese see that Russia is holding so they wait out the war.

    Option 2

    The US builds up her Pacific Fleet long before ww2.
     
  9. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    Specifically this. The orders guiding Nagumos plan for attack, directed a the mission be aborted in the attack force were discovered down to 48 hours of the attack time and date.

    The problem in making this 'discovery' happen is the PBY fleet was to small to carry out the necessary saturation patrols in all directions. The Army tried to supplement those with the B17s, but those available were also few and the crews undertrained for the task. A secondary problem was the storm front that the KB approached under. During the 6th December the route followed was heavily overcast, and rain reduced visibility blew the overcast. It was entirely possible for a aircraft flying under the overcast to pass fifteen km from the Japanese ships in daylight, and not spot them.

    When the War Warning message was received 26th November both the Army and Navy commanders took it seriously and a maximum effort was made to patrol/scout on the likely attack approaches. Unfortunately a maximum effort can't be sustained, particularly when started on a emergency basis. After a week of frantic activity to many aircraft were deadlined, crews were exhausted, and the fleet tied in knots in its effort to both prepare for war, and simultaneously stand to for battle. Keeping up the necessary air and surface patrol effort was breaking down.
     
  10. Dorknought Well-Known Member

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    The US State Department was putting together a plan to offer New Guinea in return for a pull out of China and a new naval limitation treaty. Neither the Dutch or the Australians were consulted about this plan.
     
  11. Dorknought Well-Known Member

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    The US has it's own giants.
    [​IMG]

    They will sneak up on you...

    [​IMG]

    ...and they will come and kick your planes off the deck.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    Securing oil alone won't save Japans economy from severe sanctions. To name a few items:

    Japans imports/exports were dependent of foreign flagged ships. In 1940 between 40 & 50 % of the cargo passing through Japans ports was in Japanese controlled cargo ships, about five million tons annually of the eleven million plus tons of cargo traffic. (Source: John Ellis 'Brute Force') Directly indirectly in 1941 the worlds cargo fleet was controlled by the US and Britain. Japan possessed a little more than sixty oil tank type ships, and perhaps forty of those were modern blue water tankers. To take advantage of Dutch petroleum Japan would have to find tankers elsewhere. OTL Japan tried to offset the embarked cargo shipping by a massive freight ship instruction program. This started to produce results in very late 1942 & would have become important in 1944. However Japan was suffering severe economic damage just months after the embargo started.

    Japans industry was heavily dependent on imports. Timber, alloys, machine tools, chemicals, scrap steel, ect... ect... The bulk of that in 1941 was controlled by the US & Britain.

    Exports were essential for Japans industry and general economy.

    Japan lacked operating capitol and cash reserves. The US and London banking centers were the only viable sources of the short and long term loans that kept Japans war economy afloat. When the US Embargo Act froze Japanese financial accounts and transactions in the US it had about the same effect on Japans economy as firebombing several industrial regions. The Japanese government could keep things running for a while through severe rationing, and implementing a centralized command economy, but in the longer run of a many months or a year this sort of thing aggravated the damage. In a sense Japan had to convert to a quasi communist economy to scrape by. Printing money to create capitol had equally bad effects.

    In simple terms just the loss of cargo shipping & access to foreign banking were enough to destroy Japans economy for 5-10 years. Oil could have been left off the embargo list & it would have hardly mattered.
     
  13. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    As Australia was part of the Commonwealth, and the Dutch government sat in London as a economically important British ally. Trying to implement such a plan has some really big implications. Beyond that I can't see the Zaibatsu thinking New Guinea populated by a few cannibals, no industry, no infrastructure, as a alternative to Chinas potential economic benefit to Japan. Just controlling the banking of China for the next few decades could propel Japan to financial equality with the US or Britain. What would New Guinea have to offer the Zaibatsu financially?
     
  14. Jozon Well-Known Member

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    Keep the fleet based on the West Coast, instead of in Pearl. The Japanese have no real way of hitting it at anchor, which means if they do attack American possessions or the Philippines, the US will start with an intact fleet.
    Of course, this might put a lot of political pressure on the navy to make a stand at the Philippines, which would end in disaster.

    Edit: changed east to west, obviously
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
  15. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    Roosevelt had understood since the 1920s how War Plan Orange worked and why it was the only viable option. He would have protected the Navy from that sort of political pressure. Beyond that it was physically impossible for the Pacific fleet to rush off to the Philippines. Raids and selected preparatory operations and opportunistic ops were what th USN was capable of in the first 12 to 18 months of war with Japan.
     
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  16. Scott Washburn Well-Known Member

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    You mean the west coast, don't you? The Fleet had been based in San Diego before it got sent to Pearl harbor.
     
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  17. Changundramon Well-Known Member

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    The Japanese embassy staff reading up on newspapers and media reports on US politics. If they realize the U.S. can't declare on them first since the Congress is isolationist, then simply reducing the attack plan down to UK/Dutch possessions is a winner for Japan.
     
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  18. docfl dazed and confused

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    What if the navy restricted ships at Pearl to no more than 1/3rd of the fleet at one time. Not counting ships in drydock or overhauls.
     
  19. Jozon Well-Known Member

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    No doubt. I don't think what I wrote is a likely scenario. However, it is a possibility. A completely intact Pacific Fleet would have to resist a lot of pressure when the Army is fighting and dying in the Philippines.
    Anyways, I don't want to derail the thread too much, and I don't really have a bone in this anyways. Just wanted to add it as a side note to the fleet staying at San Diego, which was the main point of my post and probably the easiest way to prevent the IJN from striking it at Pearl, or anywhere for that matter.

    Whoops, I did mean west. Edited.
     
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  20. Cryhavoc101 Well-Known Member

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    Given the heavy sanctions the USA imposed on Japan for occupying French Indochina what makes you think they are going to step back if the Japanese attacks 'just the British and Dutch?'
     
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