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MidwayŚ77 Years Ago, Today.


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#21 JasonJ

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 2312 PM

Had the Washington Treaty not been signed, Japan would have had perhaps six more capital ships and the USN ten. The pre war carriers on both sides might have been a few thousand tons larger and there might have been two or three more each.
Japan was going to be destroyed in about the same time as they did in real life no matter what unless the US did nothing- and there was no realistic chance of that.


That is the same kind of over confidence that made some think PH was not vulnerable. Inflexible.
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#22 Nobu

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 2319 PM

Had the Washington Treaty not been signed, Japan would have had perhaps six more capital ships and the USN ten. The pre war carriers on both sides might have been a few thousand tons larger and there might have been two or three more each.

 

True regarding the conference's Five-Power Treaty, but I was referring to Washington's political objective regarding the conference embodied in the Four-Power Treaty, which was the termination of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance.

 

That act of separation, in retrospect, ended up being a death sentence for both the Japanese and British empires in the Pacific.

 

The irony is that without it, Japanese entry into World War 2 would have come on June 11, 1940.

 

When American entry into World War 2 would have come is uncertain, as is what exactly they would be waiting for. A successful Operation Sealion and the subjugation of Great Britain perhaps.


Edited by Nobu, 06 June 2019 - 2321 PM.

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#23 JasonJ

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 2332 PM

If the Japan-Great Britain alliance remained, Japan oil supply would remain secured and maybe Japan wouldn't have warmed up to Nazi Germany. Then maybe CKS would remain as Nazi Germany's asian partner.
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#24 Nobu

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 0011 AM

"Shattered Sword" shows a more nuanced view, where, after bean counting, the Americans had about parity in the relevant asset, aircraft, where assisted by superior intelligence and caught the IJN by surprise.

 

The impact of the intelligence superiority was punishing, as Yamamoto's plan made sense operationally.


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#25 Ken Estes

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 0148 AM

The IJN penchant for dispersed operations was bound to have a failure or two. Coral Sea, Midway and Leyte Gulf all showed the problem of attempting to fight a Koniggratz at sea. It worked well in the S. China Sea early 1942, because of the Allied weaknesses.

 

An important point in Shattered Sword is the utter dependence of IJN carriers on own AA weapons and maneuvers vs. air attack. The so-called escorts had neither weapons nor tactics to support them.


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#26 RETAC21

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 1359 PM

"Shattered Sword" shows a more nuanced view, where, after bean counting, the Americans had about parity in the relevant asset, aircraft, where assisted by superior intelligence and caught the IJN by surprise.

 

The impact of the intelligence superiority was punishing, as Yamamoto's plan made sense operationally.

 

No, it didn't, it needed the USN to act exactly as required by the plan.

 

Any wrench thrown in the mechanism would derail it, because there were no reserves.

 

If Midway didn't fall, the plan falls apart as the fleet sails back once fuel is short.

 

If the Americans don't sortie to defend Midway and it's eventually conquered like Wake, the IJN is now tied to a long, vulnerable supply route

 

If one of the carriers is disabled (say, by a sub torpedo) and Midway reinforced by air, the fleet may lose air superiority over the island.

 

Like the Solomons, the IJN understimated the Americans and didn't have any margin for the unexpected in the plan.


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#27 R011

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 1419 PM

Had the Washington Treaty not been signed, Japan would have had perhaps six more capital ships and the USN ten. The pre war carriers on both sides might have been a few thousand tons larger and there might have been two or three more each.
Japan was going to be destroyed in about the same time as they did in real life no matter what unless the US did nothing- and there was no realistic chance of that.

That is the same kind of over confidence that made some think PH was not vulnerable. Inflexible.

I suppose it was theoretically possible that the US would, for some unfathomable reason, not match or overmatch Japanese peacetime construction or fail to fight Japan when attacked, but that is far from the most likely outcome. Just look at the output of American factories and shipyards compared to Japan. Look at where all this material and the men to use it was deployed. Now tellmehow the Japanese could make any significant changes to the real world outcome save by not going to war.
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#28 Brian Kennedy

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 1446 PM

Japans best option would be to not declare war on the US and just invade the Dutch Indies. They didnt do that because they were gripped by a sense of fatalism and thought war with the US was inevitable anyway, which they were probably wrong about.
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#29 Nobu

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 1531 PM

The Navy faction, certainly. The atmosphere regarding the inevitability of war with the US at the command level of the Imperial Japanese Army was likely less favorable to such naval obsessions.

 

The impact of the intelligence superiority was punishing, as Yamamoto's plan made sense operationally.

 

No, it didn't, it needed the USN to act exactly as required by the plan.

 

Tactically, perhaps, although it should be considered that even though the USN did not do so, the Combined Fleet still had a chance that day.

 

Operationally, point No. 3 on your rather one-dimensional list of what could go wrong for Japan is the only one I'd consider applicable. I'd also agree with it, as not offering battle would have been frustrating for the IJN, to put it mildly.


Edited by Nobu, 07 June 2019 - 1624 PM.

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#30 JasonJ

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 1800 PM

Had the Washington Treaty not been signed, Japan would have had perhaps six more capital ships and the USN ten. The pre war carriers on both sides might have been a few thousand tons larger and there might have been two or three more each.
Japan was going to be destroyed in about the same time as they did in real life no matter what unless the US did nothing- and there was no realistic chance of that.

That is the same kind of over confidence that made some think PH was not vulnerable. Inflexible.

I suppose it was theoretically possible that the US would, for some unfathomable reason, not match or overmatch Japanese peacetime construction or fail to fight Japan when attacked, but that is far from the most likely outcome. Just look at the output of American factories and shipyards compared to Japan. Look at where all this material and the men to use it was deployed. Now tellmehow the Japanese could make any significant changes to the real world outcome save by not going to war.

We were talking about the what-if with a different Midway battle result. That is the significant change.
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#31 R011

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 2003 PM

1. I was repkying to tge claim tgat Japan would have done much better if the Washington Treaty had not been signed.

2. An IJN victory at Midway eould have made little or no difference to the outcome. By 1944, the Allies had such an overwhelming advantage that total defeat in 1945 was inevitable.
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#32 JasonJ

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 0040 AM

1. I was repkying to tge claim tgat Japan would have done much better if the Washington Treaty had not been signed.
2. An IJN victory at Midway eould have made little or no difference to the outcome. By 1944, the Allies had such an overwhelming advantage that total defeat in 1945 was inevitable.


1) But it does highlight the overall trend of long term US foreign policy and setting. If the US was so almighty, why not just settle for 5:5:5?

2) Had all three been knocked out, whats stopping Japan dominating Guadalcanal. What would stop them from getting Ports Moresby? Even with our current history of how Midway played out, the US still didn't conduct a major sea offensive until 1944. A defeat at Midway wouldn't mean the same overwhelming advatange as has happened.

Edited by JasonJ, 08 June 2019 - 0040 AM.

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#33 shep854

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 0754 AM

I was wondering how a defeat would have affected public opinion in the States.  Anger over Pearl Harbor notwithstanding, the subsequent six months had been a steady drumbeat of defeat, and loss of the carriers would have eliminated US offensive power until early '43 at least.  It's not hard to imagine that agitation by the isolationist factions to open negotiations would only increase--by how much?


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#34 JasonJ

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 0803 AM

Negotiate with Japan. Japan leaves axis. Focus on Germany.


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#35 shep854

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 0906 AM

The Red-Blooded American in me says, 'Oh, HELL no!'  But I do know how things turned out.  In the confusion of the day, would the general public have been willing to fight through the added setback??


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#36 Markus Becker

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 1412 PM

Midways defenses were pretty beefed up so I think a successful invasion was by no means a certainty,


The understatement of the decade. Midway was the exact opposite of Wake.

Let's ignore the 7" guns, the 5" guns, the 3" guns, the 37 and 20mm guns, the company of tanks, the mass of machine guns, the entirely mined and barbed wired beaches.

Midway had lot's and lot's of Marines and the Japanese had no idea how to assault a heavily fortified position. Nobody had.
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#37 R011

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 1601 PM

1. I was repkying to tge claim tgat Japan would have done much better if the Washington Treaty had not been signed.
2. An IJN victory at Midway eould have made little or no difference to the outcome. By 1944, the Allies had such an overwhelming advantage that total defeat in 1945 was inevitable.

1) But it does highlight the overall trend of long term US foreign policy and setting. If the US was so almighty, why not just settle for 5:5:5?

2) Had all three been knocked out, whats stopping Japan dominating Guadalcanal. What would stop them from getting Ports Moresby? Even with our current history of how Midway played out, the US still didn't conduct a major sea offensive until 1944. A defeat at Midway wouldn't mean the same overwhelming advatange as has happened.

1. The idea was to limit armaments, save money, and ensure a balance of power. The British Empire was a worldwide power. The US was a two ocean power. Japan was a Pacific power. Hence 5:5:3.

2. And if they did, how long would they keep them? Logistics, not just available land and sea forces were the major limit to Japanese advance. Indeed, they barely had enough fuel for what they had. Four more IJN carriers mean little when by 1944 the USN had a dozen fleet carriers and several dozen CVE plus the RN being mostly freed from all but ASW in the Atlantic.
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#38 R011

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 1634 PM

The Anglo Japanese Alliance no longer made strategic sense for the British anyway. They didn't need to worry about a European power making trouble in the Pacific while they were preoccupied in Europe, the Americans were more important friends than Japan, and Japan was a rival in China.
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#39 Brian Kennedy

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 1644 PM

I'm actually surprised that more alt-history hasn't focused on the US losing the Guadalcanal campaign, which IMHO would have set us back navy-wise more than a defeat at Midway. Losing was totally a possibility as well, especially if Yamamoto hadn't been so focused on committing his forces piecemeal -- both sides were pretty evenly matched and the IJN was still very much l33t (probably slightly better than the USN overall) at that point. 


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#40 Brian Kennedy

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 1650 PM

The Red-Blooded American in me says, 'Oh, HELL no!'  But I do know how things turned out.  In the confusion of the day, would the general public have been willing to fight through the added setback??

 

One on hand, I do think that the whole "Pearl Harbor awoke a unified sleeping giant that would never stop until it had achieved ultimate vengeance!!!!" trope is rather over the top. On the other hand, the civilian morale effect never really seemed to matter among the major participants of WW2; the civilian populations of USSR, Germany, UK and Japan endured vastly worse events than losing some naval battles far from home, and none of them cracked. I guess UK after the fall of France may have come closest.


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