Author Topic: No Pearl Harbour Attack?  (Read 5060 times)

Online Brian da Basher

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Re: No Pearl Harbour Attack?
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2013, 04:27:53 AM »
I'm afraid you're mistaken regarding the U.S. needing to become a belligerent in W.W. II to ease the depression, Ev. Actually, after 1938, unemployment became less of a problem as the western allies rearmed and looked to U.S. arms manufacturers to fill gaps in their own countries' production.

The Roosevelt administration's focus was on Europe, even to the detriment of U.S. preparedness in the Pacific. Most statements to the contrary have been proven false not only by historians, but by archival sources that have been declassified since 1945. It might be helpful to keep in mind that the U.S. was rated the 15th most powerful military, behind even Portugal, in 1939. Given that, only someone without any grasp of reality would seek war with Nazi Germany.

Brian da Basher


Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: No Pearl Harbour Attack?
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2013, 04:30:08 AM »
Let's leave the personal politics out of the discussion please.  One could argue both sides of this endlessly without ever getting anywhere (except angry and frustrated).  However given we are now some 70+ years down the track without the full facts available or ever likely to be, we are not going to get anywhere.

Continue with the discussion of the scenario by all means and please feel free to develop ideas that contribute to modelling in all its forms, but leave the personal political aspect out of it. C:-)


« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 04:38:55 AM by GTX_Admin »
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: No Pearl Harbour Attack?
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2013, 06:49:26 AM »
Okay, so no Pearl Harbor (the Japanese high command didn't believe Yamamoto could pull it off) but a much stronger attack against the Phillipines and Guam, which the US would likely lose faster.  Given an intact base to work from, would the USN be more able to intervene between the Japanese and the resources they wanted?

Another thought, it was the destruction of the Battle Line at Pearl Harbor that pushed the US to much more reliance on Carriers and Submarines; without that loss of battleships, would the US strategy have focused on the same units?

Offline Alvis 3.1

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Re: No Pearl Harbour Attack?
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2013, 02:11:32 PM »
I think the Battleship Admirals would have fallen back to their old methods, and tried to break the Japanese fleet with their battleship tactics. I imagine a battle off the Phillipines, where the US Task Force is annihilated by Japanese airpower and some skillful battleship tactics as well. This time, the US is a lot slower to recover, as those ships would be at the bottom of the Pacific, along with their crews. This then would leave all of the Pacific open for the Japanese to run free until the US gets it's collective butt in gear and unleash the subs. The loss of the crews would be a much harder load to bear, and would most likely shift the US participation in the war to the Pacific front, as the home front would be screaming for revenge.

Hawaii would have been left vulnerable if enough USN assets were sunk. Yamamoto might have been able to make his case to attack it again, this time to wipe out the fuel and repair facilities. That would have been a critical blow. A feint at the Aleutians and Midway would draw off the USN surface forces, leaving Pearl wide open.

 Australia would most likely be invaded before the US could get into place to prevent that. I can see the US being forced to team up with the British in India/Burma instead of an island hopping campaign. Admiral King just might be forced to resign in the face of losing so much of his resources, opening the door to better cooperation with the RN. Retaking Australia may have been a high priority in this scenario over the Phillipines. If MacArthur was killed or captured before escaping Corregidor the whole idea of returning there would have been less popular.

I can see the whole war dragging on longer due to the massive USN losses caused by open water sinkings by the Japanese. The USN in reality came close to losing their carrier advantage more than once, and some bad luck could wipe out most or all of the carriers as well. A longer war in Europe would be a result of the US diverting more to the Pacific, with the Russians eventually taking even more of Eastern Europe and possibly being in a position to invade Japan itself before the US could.

In the long run, Pearl Harbor likely was a good thing for the allies, in a totally non-conspiracy way. I can see way more problems with the USN trying to take on the Japanese in direct surface actions for the first year of the war

Alvis 3.1

Offline Volkodav

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Re: No Pearl Harbour Attack?
« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2013, 05:34:11 PM »
Interesting the only issue I have with that scenario is the Japanese Army did not believe an invasion of Australia was viable or actually likely of success.  The logistics were daunting and there was the reasonably recent example of what Australian mounted forces had done in the middle east in WWI. 

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: No Pearl Harbour Attack?
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2013, 12:01:39 AM »
My thoughts: ;)

There is, also, the highly likely possibility that not attacking Pearl Harbor would have been part of an over-arching "let's not piss off the Americans" strategy. So, it is unlikely that either the Phillipines or Guam would have been attacked, with the Japanese actually actively avoiding US territories or protectorates, with the Japanese moving more through South East Asia, the East Indies & Papua New Guinea, & focussing on the Gilbert & Ellice Island groups in the Pacific.

Thus the plan to isolate Australia may well have worked & worked much more rapidly, with the Japanese not having to maintain the large forces they did to counter the Americans. So the long-term goal of occupying Australia may have come to fruition, after they had kicked the British back into (&, possibly, through) India. Say in about 1945.

They may have had more success in China, too.

Would the US have become involved? Maybe (but I'm guessing not) because, without the network of mutual support treaties that Europe had, the Roosevelt government would have found it difficult to find sufficient reason/cause/excuse to push an aggressive action against the Japanese through Congress. Perhaps by about 1950, without a war to push them along, the US would have been ready to take on Japan but by then the Japanese may have been too strong for the US to overcome, even on a war footing.

:)

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Offline MaxHeadroom

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Re: No Pearl Harbour Attack?
« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2015, 01:24:18 AM »
I think, without the Pearl-Harbour-raid AND the Phillippinian-assault (Both operation are siamese twins!) F.D.R hadn't a reason to declare war to Japan the day after!
Without Pearl Harbour Hitler (and Mussolini) didn't declare war to the USA at Dec., 11th 1941.

BUT:
Sooner or later, (I think: sooner) the german Kriegsmarine -in special: the german U-Boats- has given to F.D.R. a welcome pretext to declare war at Nazigermany (remember the isolationist feeling of the US-people)!
THEN, Rome and Tokyo were forced by the agreements of the axis-treaty to declare war to the USA!
The result would be the same - nearly.
Maybe the difference would be: the war would be over in late 1945 or mid 1946 and beause of the longer time, not only Nagasaki and Hiroshima would be victims of the A-bomb, Berlin, Frankurt at river Main also.

Norbert

Offline Volkodav

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Re: No Pearl Harbour Attack?
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2016, 01:49:46 AM »
Just watched an interesting doco on the campaign in North Africa during WWII and the extent the British went to in trying to get the US to engage in the war from 1940.  What was particularly interesting is the access to every aspect of British Military operations granted to the US Military Attaché at the embassy in Cairo, in the hope of impressing the US and gaining further support.  From this it is quite clear that the Roosevelt and the General staff were keen on entering the war irrespective of Japan. 

The general staff apparently wanted to invade Europe and saw the Mediterranean as nothing but a distraction, but the Cairo Military Attaché, one Colonel Bonner Fellers was keen to get involved in North Africa and managed to get Roosevelt (who had personal access to Fellers extensive reports and opinions) on side.  I am surprised I had never heard of Fellers before such was his impact on that entire theatre and quite possibly the way as a whole, especially having seen a second, more revealing doco and read further on him.

Fellers would send five or so highly detailed coded reports through the embassy to Washington each day, using the State Departments Code 11 (he apparently queried the security of this system but was ordered to use it).  These reports contained British troop dispositions, strengths, equipment, plans, tactics, logistics as well as his observations (and probably quite biased opinions) on morale, quality of leadership and standard of equipment as well.  He was apparently thought by others in the US army to be an Anglophobe, with his reports highly critical of the British Army and its continual failures in the Western Desert.  He was also apparently intensely disliked by Eisenhower and many other senior officers (Macarthur being the exception). 

The irony is the Italians had acquired Code 11 from the US embassy in Rome so each and every one of Fellows reports landed on Rommels desk within eight hours of transmission, giving him a better understanding of the British deployment than many of the British formation commanders had.  Fellers hyper critical reports on the failures of the British are doubly ironic as would the British have performed so badly, or Rommel so well had Fellers intercepted reports not been so detailed?  Triply ironic is that Fellers belief the British were about to collapse through incompetence, poor leadership and poor moral were actually in accurate and gave Rommel a false sense of superiority that eventually led to him over extending while attempting to give the British that one final, fatal blow that Fellers predicted would do them in.

Could be worth  what if of its own.  What if the British didn't provide access to Fellers, what if Fellers concerns on the security of the code had been listened to, what if the Attaché had been a less anti British individual or one who had been more conservative with the information provided in the reports?  But for this intelligence leak would the British have performed better in the Mediterranean as a whole?  Would Rommel have been as successful, would British losses of men and materiel been less?  Without this fiasco could the British have defeated Rommel on their own, earlier and less expensively?  What effect could these extra, battle hardened troops, not wasted in the desert due to an intelligence failure, have made in Italy or France?  With or without Pearl harbour, with or without US troops etc?

Offline Rickshaw

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Re: No Pearl Harbour Attack?
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2016, 11:18:52 AM »
Straying from the premise of the thread however, the issue of Fellers and his coded reports is quite significant IMHO.  I've long pointed out that it, in combination with the German intercept unit under Rommel's command in North Africa were significant in building the mythos of the "Desert Fox" up.  When the intercept unit was captured (wholus-bolus) at Tel el Eisa (north-west of Alamein) by the Australian 9 Division Rommel was effectively blinded and from then on, he suffered defeats only.  With it, as has been noted, he was as aware of the 8th Army's dispositions as was it's commander.   If the Italians had not stolen the Black Code in Rome or if his intercept unit had been destroyed earlier, then it is likely he would have been defeated earlier IMHO.

Offline Volkodav

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Re: No Pearl Harbour Attack?
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2016, 04:47:13 PM »
Quite ironic that the problem was detected by an Ultra intercept where the question arose, "how did the Germans know the British knew the location of the Luftwaffe's North African headquarters"?  But so sensitive was Ultra that the British had to be very careful how they investigated what was an obvious leak out of Cairo.

Miles off topic but the entire situation of Fellers being given access to the command information in the first place was due to British and American elements at the highest level trying to get the US into the war in Europe.  Had Pearl harbour not occurred, or had Japan remained neutral, it appears the gears of war were already very much in motion and it was a question of when rather than if the US entered the fray in Europe and maybe the Middle East / Africa.

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: No Pearl Harbour Attack?
« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2016, 05:09:44 PM »
Assuming no Pearl Harbour & that Rommel had taken a beating in North Africa, would the US have entered the war at all? ???
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: No Pearl Harbour Attack?
« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2016, 10:31:23 PM »
If they were getting pounded in North Africa would Germany invade the USSR?

Offline taiidantomcat

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Re: No Pearl Harbour Attack?
« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2016, 10:40:09 PM »
Big questions indeed
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: No Pearl Harbour Attack?
« Reply #28 on: October 12, 2016, 04:06:58 AM »
If they were getting pounded in North Africa would Germany invade the USSR?

It probably depends upon when this occurs.  Unless there were significant losses before June 1941 I believe Operation Barbarossa would still have occurred since the USSR was always Hitler's primary enemy/objective.  In fact the entire Mediterranean series of operations by Germany was more of a distraction/sideshow aimed at securing their flank before invading the USSR. 

Moreover, even if the 'pounding' had occurred before June 1941 I still believe Hitler would have gone ahead with Barbarossa as the view was that "the whole structure [USSR] is rotten, just kick the door down and the rest will collapse".  Therefore, even if the Mediterranean theatre wasn't going so well, one might expect Hitler's thinking to be along the lines of "we'll finish of Russia by Christmas and then I will go bale out Mussolini and deal with the British in 1942"  In fact, the argument would probably have been that once Russia is out of the war Britain will sue for peace anyway.
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Offline M.A.D

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Re: No Pearl Harbour Attack?
« Reply #29 on: October 25, 2016, 08:54:26 AM »
Interesting topic!

'In my own appreciation' of the topic, I've read before, that the Imperial Japanese Army favoured invading regions of Russia, while the Army favoured the South Pacific avenue.
Am I correct in saying - didn't the Japanese themselves originally envisage/intend on consolidating its Pacific gain much earlier, instead they expanded too far, too quickly, and paid the ultimate price!

As far as the Japanese plans to invade Australia, I've also read , that the Japanese over estimated Australia's defences, and hence over calculate the number of division's needed to invade Australia?

I'll endeavour to find the sources I'm using!  ;)

M.A.D