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Old 08-08-2017, 11:06 PM   #176
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Losing WW II

Hi Everyone:

How about the following scenario:

1. At Pearl Harbor, Japan takes out the three US cariers.

2. Germany does not declare war on the US.

3. Without the carriers, Hawaii can't be defended and thus the US leaves and it becomes a base for Japan.

4. Japan then moves quickly to attack the West Coast of the US.

5. The US now puts defeating Japan first instead of defeating Germany first and the Soviet Union does not get supplied to the level that it was.

6. The Soviet Union without the supplies collapses.

7. And so on.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 08-09-2017, 12:16 PM   #177
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Re: Losing WW II

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Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
Hi Everyone:

How about the following scenario:

1. At Pearl Harbor, Japan takes out the three US cariers.
How often were all the carriers and all the battleships docked at Pearl Harbor all at the same time in October - December 1941? As I understand it, the battleships were in port because they were mistakenly thought to be safer there. The carriers were at sea because they were not considered so important to protect, and because they were busy performing tasks to prepare for the inevitable war with Japan: they were ferrying combat aircraft to various points in the Pacific. If the US were not using the carriers to prepare for war, then why would they have all the BBs in port to prepare for being attacked?

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2. Germany does not declare war on the US.
We'll never know for sure, but I expect that once the US is in a war, adding Germany to the list is only a matter of weeks.

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3. Without the carriers, Hawaii can't be defended and thus the US leaves and it becomes a base for Japan.
Would never happen. The US didn't abandon their smaller, less defendable Pacific possessions. What sort of attack could the Japanese realistically deliver that would provoke evacuation?

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4. Japan then moves quickly to attack the West Coast of the US.
With what? Japan never had the capability to invade the continental US, much less keep such an invasion force in supply.

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5. The US now puts defeating Japan first instead of defeating Germany first and the Soviet Union does not get supplied to the level that it was.
If the US loses its carriers as well as its Pacific BBs, then making Japan top priority becomes less likely, because they have no capital ships available for any offensive action. They have to wait for new carriers and battleships to be built. It would accelerate the transfer of heavy naval forces from the Atlantic, but such were not needed in the fight against Germany. The US was already undertaking a massive naval construction program, building a large number of carriers and several new faster battleships for the expected war with Japan. These will not come online any earlier, so there is no practical way for Japan to be made a higher priority. The reasoning for prioritizing Germany over Japan doesn't change if the three old carriers are also lost, and the means for prioritizing Japan are reduced.

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6. The Soviet Union without the supplies collapses.
Unlikely. The supplies were helpful, but not decisive.

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7. And so on.
indeed
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Old 09-05-2017, 01:47 AM   #178
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Re: Losing WW II

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Originally Posted by DoTheMath View Post
How often were all the carriers and all the battleships docked at Pearl Harbor all at the same time in October - December 1941? As I understand it, the battleships were in port because they were mistakenly thought to be safer there. The carriers were at sea because they were not considered so important to protect, and because they were busy performing tasks to prepare for the inevitable war with Japan: they were ferrying combat aircraft to various points in the Pacific. If the US were not using the carriers to prepare for war, then why would they have all the BBs in port to prepare for being attacked?

We'll never know for sure, but I expect that once the US is in a war, adding Germany to the list is only a matter of weeks.

Would never happen. The US didn't abandon their smaller, less defendable Pacific possessions. What sort of attack could the Japanese realistically deliver that would provoke evacuation?

With what? Japan never had the capability to invade the continental US, much less keep such an invasion force in supply.

If the US loses its carriers as well as its Pacific BBs, then making Japan top priority becomes less likely, because they have no capital ships available for any offensive action. They have to wait for new carriers and battleships to be built. It would accelerate the transfer of heavy naval forces from the Atlantic, but such were not needed in the fight against Germany. The US was already undertaking a massive naval construction program, building a large number of carriers and several new faster battleships for the expected war with Japan. These will not come online any earlier, so there is no practical way for Japan to be made a higher priority. The reasoning for prioritizing Germany over Japan doesn't change if the three old carriers are also lost, and the means for prioritizing Japan are reduced.

Unlikely. The supplies were helpful, but not decisive.

indeed
Hi DoTheMath:

I still question this a little bit. If the three US carriers are lost at Pearl Harbor, why couldn't the force that Japan put together for Midway just go straight to Hawaii and perhaps be put together sooner than the Midway force. Then it seems to me that Hawaii is defenseless and is quickly occupied by Japan. Then once this happens, the West Coast of the US is at risk and/or perhaps Austrailia goes down. What so you think?

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 09-05-2017, 03:19 AM   #179
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Re: Losing WW II

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Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
Hi DoTheMath:

I still question this a little bit. If the three US carriers are lost at Pearl Harbor, why couldn't the force that Japan put together for Midway just go straight to Hawaii and perhaps be put together sooner than the Midway force. Then it seems to me that Hawaii is defenseless and is quickly occupied by Japan. Then once this happens, the West Coast of the US is at risk and/or perhaps Austrailia goes down. What so you think?

Best wishes,
Mason
The Japanese had assigned about 5,000 troops for the occupation of Midway. There were over 50,000 American troops in Hawaii four months earlier than Midway. A successful invasion usually requires a numerical advantage of at least 3:1. The Japanese couldn't come up with, let alone transport and supply, 30 times as many troops as they actually deployed for Midway.

Yamamoto had considered a second attack on Hawaii in spring 1942, but decided that the land-based air forces on Hawaii had been built up too much for a second attack to succeed. The attack on Midway was intended by him as a way to make the US Fleet expose itself without significant land-based air support.
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:02 AM   #180
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Re: Losing WW II

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Originally Posted by DoTheMath View Post
The Japanese had assigned about 5,000 troops for the occupation of Midway. There were over 50,000 American troops in Hawaii four months earlier than Midway. A successful invasion usually requires a numerical advantage of at least 3:1. The Japanese couldn't come up with, let alone transport and supply, 30 times as many troops as they actually deployed for Midway.
Hi DoTheMath:

What about a naval blockade/seige? Remember, the assumption here is that the US carriers were destroyed in the initial Pearl Harbor attack.

Quote:
Yamamoto had considered a second attack on Hawaii in spring 1942, but decided that the land-based air forces on Hawaii had been built up too much for a second attack to succeed. The attack on Midway was intended by him as a way to make the US Fleet expose itself without significant land-based air support.
Again, the assumption here is that the US carriers had been destroyed at Pearl Harbor. If this was the case, what fleet could the US expose.

By the way, this also brings up another interesting question. What if the US carriers had been present at Pearl Harbor.? Could the US had fought back sucessfully?

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 09-14-2017, 04:12 PM   #181
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Re: Losing WW II

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Hi DoTheMath:
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoTheMath View Post
The Japanese had assigned about 5,000 troops for the occupation of Midway. There were over 50,000 American troops in Hawaii four months earlier than Midway. A successful invasion usually requires a numerical advantage of at least 3:1. The Japanese couldn't come up with, let alone transport and supply, 30 times as many troops as they actually deployed for Midway.
What about a naval blockade/seige? Remember, the assumption here is that the US carriers were destroyed in the initial Pearl Harbor attack.
As I said in my previous post "Yamamoto ... decided that the land-based air forces on Hawaii had been built up too much for a second attack to succeed." A siege/blockade puts his fleet at greater risk from land-based aircraft than another hit and run attack.

The Japanese didn't have enough forces to enforce an effective blockade outside of the range of land-based aircraft.

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Yamamoto had considered a second attack on Hawaii in spring 1942, but decided that the land-based air forces on Hawaii had been built up too much for a second attack to succeed. The attack on Midway was intended by him as a way to make the US Fleet expose itself without significant land-based air support.
Again, the assumption here is that the US carriers had been destroyed at Pearl Harbor. If this was the case, what fleet could the US expose.
All the ships that hadn't been destroyed at Pearl. It is not as if the whole US Navy had been at Pearl Harbor, and even if the carriers had been there there would have still been many units in California and in the Atlantic, etc. Also, not every ship at Pearl Harbor was sunk, and if there had been carriers present, the Japanese would have probably attacked them instead of some other targets, so some ships that were damaged or sunk in the historical attack would not have been damaged or sunk if the carriers were present.

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Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
By the way, this also brings up another interesting question. What if the US carriers had been present at Pearl Harbor.? Could the US had fought back sucessfully?
I don't think carriers tied up in harbor are very effective at launching aircraft. They normally have to be steaming into the wind at speed.
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Old 09-16-2017, 03:17 AM   #182
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Re: Losing WW II

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As I said in my previous post "Yamamoto ... decided that the land-based air forces on Hawaii had been built up too much for a second attack to succeed." A siege/blockade puts his fleet at greater risk from land-based aircraft than another hit and run attack.

The Japanese didn't have enough forces to enforce an effective blockade outside of the range of land-based aircraft.

All the ships that hadn't been destroyed at Pearl. It is not as if the whole US Navy had been at Pearl Harbor, and even if the carriers had been there there would have still been many units in California and in the Atlantic, etc. Also, not every ship at Pearl Harbor was sunk, and if there had been carriers present, the Japanese would have probably attacked them instead of some other targets, so some ships that were damaged or sunk in the historical attack would not have been damaged or sunk if the carriers were present.

I don't think carriers tied up in harbor are very effective at launching aircraft. They normally have to be steaming into the wind at speed.
Hi DoTheMath:

Thanks. Case closed.

Best wishes,
Mason
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