Author Topic: No Pearl Harbour Attack?  (Read 5958 times)

Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
Re: No Pearl Harbour Attack?
« Reply #30 on: October 25, 2016, 01:48:54 PM »
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!  ;)


The Japanese "plan" (if it can be called that as it was pretty much a hodge-podge made up as they went along sort of thing) was always intended to be an attack on the fUSSR.   The Japanese had only withdrawn from the fUSSR in 1922 and had advanced a long way from Vladivostok, inland along the Tran-Siberian.  They wanted the potential minerals of Siberia and believed, like Hitler that the fUSSR was rotten to it's core.   However, they lacked the necessary access to oil supplies and when WWII broke out in Europe they perceived correctly that the Dutch in the NEI would be vulnerable to, if not pressure, then intervention.   As Borneo supplied a comparatively large amount of the world's oil it looked ripe for the taking, particularly after the US and the UK imposed an oil embargo on Japan over it's adventures in China.  The result was a sudden change in direction and so they started planning a "southern thrust".

As far as Australia was concerned, the Japanese high command and no real designs on us.   It wasn't until the victories of 1941-2 brought their forces close to the island continent that "Victory Disease" started to infect their thinking.  The result was an Imperial joint planning conference - one of the few the IJN and IJA held - over what to do next and that idea of invading Australia was mooted.  The IJN was in favour of the idea or at least attempting to "isolate" Australia from the UK and the USA.  The IJA was unsure and stated their opposition to the plan.  Most of their forces were tied up in China or were still preparing for the strike north.   They also saw that the IJN was overstretched and could not guarantee the logistics of such an operation.  While China was vast, Australia was immense and the IJA was not confident that they would be able to secure the entire continent, if they attacked it.  The conference apparently ended in some acrimony and the IJN started on it's plan to "isolate" Australia.

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: No Pearl Harbour Attack?
« Reply #31 on: October 25, 2016, 03:06:42 PM »
Jellicoe's review of the Dominions and their defences in 1920 actually predicted Japans move into South East Asia and their annexation of Malaya and the Dutch East Indies.  While no one was willing to pay for the forces Jellicoe believed were required to stem a Japanese move it was seen as a serious threat and considerable planning, both pre and post Washington Treaty, was put into how to delay such an expedition until sufficient forces could be swung from the Mediterranean to drive them back.  The single biggest investment was the new facilities at Singapore, specifically to provide a base outside Japans reach, from which to retake Hong Kong (which they believed they could not defend).

This is where the Large / Super Cruisers (think Curious and Outrageous) came in, with their high speed, big guns, MTBs on davits, and float plane torpedo planes came in (pre Washington), as well as the original thinking behind the heavy cruisers, their rapid firing guns (in fact the RNs desire for high rates of fire at high angles) and ever increasing aviation facilities came from.  Post Washington it was realised they wouldn't have enough carriers or battleships to adequately protect their far east interests so having heavy cruisers with a superior rate of fire and as many cruiser based fighters and torpedo bombers as possible became a priority.  This was to interdict, harass and slow the IJN until the Mediterranean Fleet could redeploy.

This was also the origin of the Ark Royal and her massive aircraft complement, much of which was to be spare aircraft to support extended operations far from home.  It was also the origins of Vanguard, a fast battleship for the Far East, as well as the battle cruisers planned by the Dutch.  Japans answer of course was to wait until all the reserve / swing forces they would normally expect to be deployed against them were tied up in the war against Germany.

Offline M.A.D

  • Also likes a bit of arse...
  • Wrote a great story about a Christmas Air Battle
Re: No Pearl Harbour Attack?
« Reply #32 on: October 26, 2016, 04:58:38 AM »
Yeah, thanks Rickshaw for that clarification!

I think my recollection was along similar lines, as you have portrayed!

I think my recollection was from Fallen Sentinel: Australian Tanks in World War II, by Peter Beale