Author Topic: Japan invades Australia  (Read 5859 times)

Offline raafif

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Re: Japan invades Australia
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2013, 08:24:06 AM »
Re: the SdKfz 222 copy - I have no trouble with manufacturing a simplified version using what was to hand, it just gives us something ground-based & moderately successful to hang the Oerlikon 20mm on.

:icon_music:

Guy

Our Rover & Dingo could handle a 20mm turret tho designers were locked into the British "open or closed recon vehicle" mind-set - apparently never considered even a rudementary turret.
Cross-country ability of the Rover was "only just ok", while the Dingo was good but major problems was the heat build-up inside & a slightly delicate front axle.

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Japan invades Australia
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2013, 09:41:28 PM »
Didn't know about either of those, raafif. Thanks for the heads-up! :)

Personally, they scare the bejeezus out of me, 'coz I'm pretty sure the only way you'd find me in either of them is dead!! :o

How about just putting a bigger radial on the Boomerang, adding a bit of tail length & (possibly) a few inches of wingspan? ???

:))

Guy
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline raafif

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Re: Japan invades Australia
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2013, 01:30:44 PM »
Don't think the Boomerang had ANY real potential for development - they added the turbo-charger but that was basically a bust which added very little hp.  Certainly a slightly longer tail would help but the weight of the wood fuselage-sleeve would negate any gains - maybe going back to a fabric-over-tube fuselage until sheet-metal was plentiful enough to do a proper monocoque fuselage.  Apart from pointy or square extended-tips, the wing would require a total redesign.

How about a triple-row "corn-cob" radial ... a P&W R-2745 Triple-Wasp ?


Obsolete ex-Canadian Bolingbrokes partially gutted, fitted with P&W R-1830's & belly gunpack as a ground attack aircraft.

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Japan invades Australia
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2013, 12:03:39 AM »
Really like the look of the Boomerang III! :D

And the Bolingbroke is a fair contender for the ground attack role, although I would be more likely to go with a modified Beaufort, which Australia was already producing & which was faster than than the Bolingbroke (Australian produced aircraft were, apparently, even faster than the British version).

It still comes down to what a country of 7,000,000 people can do against a country of 73,000,000.

As an Australian, I'd like to say "Kick their @rse$!" but, unless the Japanese were hampered by active, aggressive resistance in the occupied territories of SE Asia I have a horrible suspicion it would not go quite like that.

 :icon_crap:

Firstly, the Japanese were well aware of the benefits of a strong navy to a nation relying of the sea for bringing in supplies for its people & industries. They were aware of what they had done to the Russians in the early years of the 20th century & of what the British had done to the Germans during WW1, &, somewhere along the line, they obviously picked up an understanding of the need for naval airpower. All of that would have to go. (Remember: the Japanese were not afraid of US battleships, the whole idea of Pearl Harbour was to take out the USN's aircraft carriers. Question: If they had done that, would the US have done what the Japanese hoped for - pull back to the Eastern Pacific & maintain a defensive stance, at least for long enough for the Japanese to gain a firm hold on SE Asia & the Western Pacific?)

Secondly, you'd have to take Yamamoto out of the picture completely, he was a skilled proponent of a strong navy, with influence in political circles, in the pre-war era (& not just because of America) & one of the architects of Japanese naval power.

Thirdly, even in the SE Asia /Indochina route you have given, there is still a lot of island-hopping to do to get to Aus, so, once again, naval power is important.

Sorry, I guess I just can't see the Japanese not having a serious navy.

I suppose you could have them being as lax as Australia was (more-so "is") in the understanding of the need to defend its ocean life-lines without a major ally to assist. Actually, during WW2, Australia had the navy it could man, by the end of the war the RAN was larger than Australia could cope with & many of our ships had cadres of British sailors & officers to flesh out the numbers required to crew them.

 ???

Where would you expect the Japanese to land? With the GBR protecting much of the Queensland coast from unrestricted access I would expect them to land either in the SW of the Gulf of Carpentaria, near Karumba/Normanton, or (more likely) south of Rockhampton (say Bundaberg). Darwin is also an option, with the idea of moving south to Adelaide & cutting the country in two, with a possible follow up landing to take Perth (thus effectively "capturing" the entire western half of the country) before heading east.

 ::)

Guy

"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline raafif

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Re: Japan invades Australia
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2013, 08:42:31 AM »
Really like the look of the Boomerang III! :D

And the Bolingbroke is a fair contender for the ground attack role, although I would be more likely to go with a modified Beaufort, which Australia was already producing & which was faster than than the Bolingbroke (Australian produced aircraft were, apparently, even faster than the British version).


I don't like my Boomerang III much ... a bit too Fw-190-ish but it is what would happen for a triple-Wasp version.

Which version of the British Beaufort was slower than ours ?? the Taurus powered one ?  If so, no wonder the crews mutinied & refused to fly it.  But then the Beaufort was only supposed to survive 8 combat hrs (one or two flights) before being shot down !!
The DAP Beaufort shouldn't have been any faster than the UK MK.II as both had P&W R-1830s tho the DAP one was every-so-slightly lighter.

A cut-down Beaufort as a strafer makes sense if you can spare it from light-bomber / torpedo duties but there isn't much you can do to cut the structure down --
having worked on 3 Beaufort restorations I've had a good look at it ;)
Blenheim / Bolingbrokes are very similar in construction but are much lighter.
Main failure of the Beaufort is the weak rear fuselage - "squareish" cross-section rather than oval like the Blenheim & many bent them with a minor ground-loop on landing as the main longeron ends at the aft turret bulkhead.  Easy to repair, but damage to the u/c is harder & takes much longer.


Offline raafif

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Re: Japan invades Australia
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2013, 09:37:04 AM »
I was thinking that Japan's navy had less (large) battleships & carriers and more "coastal" types in keeping with a land / island campaign than a trans-ocean battle-fleet - with no USA to contend with, Japanese naval forces could do the same damage to Brit ships in SEA with less major assets than in the real world.

This is how I saw the battle progressing .......

After driving out the enemy, Japanese forces consolidate on the New Guinea south coast.  Totally unprepared, Australia's north is empty of troops other than those that escaped NG & the small military presence normally in Darwin.  Authorities decide to leave them there & replace by ship the equipment they lost.  Australian authorities dither about sending more troops north as they expect their cities of Melbourne & Sydney to be the main targets of any invasion and traditionally have held all tanks in these areas.  Aerial recon of  the enemy coast is usually shot down by Japanese fighters.

While consolidating, Japan sends recon groups onto Australian soil -- west of Darwin, into the Gulf of Carpentaria & onto Cape York.  These groups include geologists who realise that an area called Weipa on Cape York has lots of bauxite ore deposits for aluminium & they tag it as a "must have" for mining of needed minerals.  Most areas reconnoitred had no value.

Japan attacks Darwin by air & shore bombardment, sinking so much shipping that the harbour becomes quite useless for landing invasion troops as planned - Australian casualties are heavy.  The Japanese land troops in (otherwise of no value) staging areas previously identified west & east of Darwin with no scares of recon by RAAF aircraft - they advance, cutting the whole area off from the only road south & occupy the town.  They also land troops on Cape York to secure that area.  The Japanese pioneers immediately start carving rough airfields out of the bush around Darwin & the IJAF fly in their fighters & bombers and set up a maintenance base.

What help / harassment, if any, by Aboriginal tribes would the Japanese experience ?

Authorities in Melbourne are dumb-founded at the swift movement of the enemy forces in the North & only now start proper planning to send troops up to Brisbane to defend the endangered country. This is complicated by the need to change every man, rifle, bullet, truck & tank etc across the railway platform at both NSW borders due to the change of rail gauges.  It is only now that it's realised that a railway from Adelaide to Darwin would have been indispensable -- as it is, the road north thru the Northern Territory is so poor that all traffic is slow & constantly held up by lack of adequate petrol supplies.  Attacks on these road convoys by Japanese aircraft is expected as they get further up, but again they are unprepared to protect against such action on soft-skin vehicles ....

Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
Re: Japan invades Australia
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2013, 11:39:19 AM »
There is a problem with this scenario.  American isolationism was about preventing the US becoming involved in other peoples' wars, particularly in Europe.  The US had retreated into Isolationism because of the way WWI had ended - the Imperial powers had essentially simply "carried on as usual", dismembering the German and Ottoman empires to their gain (although there is a good counter-argument that this resulted in "strategic over-reach" and spelt their eventual deaths).  The US had been hoping to forge new democratic institutions and nations but felt it had been robbed.

A Japanese attack on US Possessions though, is a whole different kettle of fish.  It is a direct attack on the US and therefore the US would not feel it was bound by what it regarded the rules of Isolationism.  It would be responding to an "unprovoked" attack.  Therefore, there was no way it could be prevented from declaring war on Japan.   During the real war, there was a strong feeling in the US that the "Germany First" policy was mistaken and that the US should be devoted all it's resources to defeating the Japanese.

The other point is that Japan was, in real life, always intending to attack the USSR.  It's entire strategic orientation was towards that right up until mid-1941 when the combined UK-NEI-US oil blockade kicked in.  It wasn't until then that the decision was made that Japan needed to secure its own oil reserves to enable it to attack the USSR.   At that point, the decision was made to go South.  It was only though, seen as a temporary redirection.

With the bulk of it's forces tied down in China, the Japanese ran their southern thrust on a shoestring.  By the time it had taken SE Asia, Indonesia and Burma, it had little in the way of troops who weren't committed.  Any invasion of Australia would have been no more than 2 divisions.  Such a force would in turn be faced by twice that many of Militia forces and another 2 divisions of battle-hardened, AIF Middle-East veterans who reached Australia in April 1942.   Whereas the southern thrust had been faced primarily by under strength, colonial forces, they'd have found the Australian forces a very different type of nut to crack.

Then there would be the problems of moving and supplying such a force.   Which is why the IJA was against the IJN idea of even touching the Australian continent as "madness" brought on by "victory disease".   The IJA believed the the IJN only had sufficient forces to supply a division sized invasion force.  The IJN claimed otherwise but were clearly lying.

The effort of supplying an invasion force over the distances involved would have been enormous and one which was extremely vulnerably to the interdiction by Allied naval and submarine forces.   Any supplies would have had to sail either down the west coast and 'round the bottom or down the east coast.   That's a long way and lots of places where the submarines could strike.

Then there is the problem of where to attack.  Australia is, as we all know a very big place.  Most of the population and industry was (and still is) in the SE corner of the continent, then furthest from any Japanese bases.   The places closest to the Japanese bases are the least population, least developed.  Little real value could be gained from attacking them and then attempting to advance overland.

The only place where a decision could be forced, is the SE corner.  That would mean sailing long distances.  Even if you landed near the major population and industrial centre around Sydney, it's a long way to march to Newcastle or Wollongong.  Then you have Melbourne to get to as well.

It is nearly impossible to isolate Australia either.   Convoys could approach from the deep Southern Ocean and still reach Australian harbours and have their cargoes carried overland by railway (even allowing for the "break of gauge" problem) to the industrial centres.

So, any Japanese attack is frought with difficulties and would have, IMO been nearly suicidal without much hope of real success.  I could see Darwin being occupied for a short period.  Perhaps even Perth but beyond that, there isn't much hope for the Japanese.

For the Australians there is the problem that they have a vast continent and only limited forces.  They can't defend it all.  Therefore there would have had to be some hard decisions made.  While the "Brisbane Line" strategy proved to be a furphy - as far as a formally written strategy went - reality shows that such a strategy is the only sensible one.   You pull back and defend your core regions - in this case the SE corner.   You either write off or evacuate Darwin, Perth and perhaps even North Queensland and Brisbane.   They can be retaken later.  That leaves your forces concentrated where they are needed most.

In all likelihood, where the Japanese land can't be known immediately and more than likely only local defenders will be available to either observe what's happening (the sensible approach) or attack the invading forces (the foolhardy approach).  Your forces will need to move to the invasion point but that will take take and the bridgehead will be established and prepared for your advance.  The Miiitia are untried and perhaps initially unreliable.   Therefore it would be down to the AIF and the RAAF and RAN.

The RAAF is poorly equipped and understrength.  It's main orientation was towards traing aircrew and pilots for deployment overseas, as part of the RAF.   Therefore it had a large number of obsolete aircraft.  As has been noted, we would need modern fighters but they aren't necessarily available.  Therefore it would be a case of both "do or die" and "do and die".  As Josef Stalin once remarked, "numbers have a quality of their own".   The Japanese aircraft defending the bridgehead are limited in number.   Eventually they would be overwhelmed by wave after wave of Fairey Battles and Wirraways, as well as a few other types.

The RAN would find itself sadly outclassed and lacking submarines would be best to just keep out of the way, unless some reinforcement from the USN or RN was available.

I'd think we would see something like the "Battle of the Bridgeheads" enacted on the NSW coast, with considerably heavier losses for the Australians but the Japanese would be defeated and ejected from the mainland.

Offline kitnut617

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Re: Japan invades Australia
« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2013, 08:45:35 PM »
Just a technical point, a Bolingbroke was actually a Canadian built Blenhiem Mk.IV, with the long nose --

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Japan invades Australia
« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2013, 09:50:27 PM »
Just a technical point, a Bolingbroke was actually a Canadian built Blenhiem Mk.IV, with the long nose --

Plus a few other minor mod's, yes, it was.

I don't like my Boomerang III much ... a bit too Fw-190-ish but it is what would happen for a triple-Wasp version.

Lucky it takes all sorts, 'ey! ;)

Which version of the British Beaufort was slower than ours ?? the Taurus powered one ?  If so, no wonder the crews mutinied & refused to fly it.  But then the Beaufort was only supposed to survive 8 combat hrs (one or two flights) before being shot down !!
The DAP Beaufort shouldn't have been any faster than the UK MK.II as both had P&W R-1830s tho the DAP one was every-so-slightly lighter.

Not sure, just going from memory late at night, but it quite possibly was the Taurus version.

As for the rest; I'll take your word for it. My only restoration work was while I was posted to the FAA Museum at Nowra in the early 80's, where we did what we could (not much) with what we had (even less) but I did get to play with a C-47, a Vampire, a Sea Venom, a Firefly & a Sea Fury, as well as, eventually, one of my precious Trackers.  :D

:icon_fsm:

Guy
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline raafif

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Re: Japan invades Australia
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2013, 04:01:37 AM »
Just a technical point, a Bolingbroke was actually a Canadian built Blenhiem Mk.IV, with the long nose --

Yep, .... the Beaufort structure can't be "cut-down" (or lightened) much & is why the Beaufighter got a totally new fuselage.  I see ex-Canadian Bolingbrokes having the nav's part of the nose cut off & an armour plate installed behind a blunt nose that ends up looking similar to a MK.1 Blenheim, second crewman is moved aft as in the real-world Beaufighter.  Belly gunpack built into the former bombay, beefed up wing to take the P&W R-1830s with Beaufort cowlings.

Offline raafif

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Re: Japan invades Australia
« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2013, 02:25:20 AM »
Having secured the Top End, Japan now looks south - they are aware of the "Brisbane Line" & presume that the Australian government will sacrifice all north of that & not make an attempt to attack north of there due to material shortages & the deception that an invasion of Sydney would be attempted (aerial recon & midget-sub attack of Sydney harbour) keeping a majority of troops & equipment in south-eastern Australia.

Japan sees two main routes of advance -- south-east from Darwin to Mt. Isa and a landing on the east coast at Townsville.

((Japan has no expectation of subjugating the whole of Australia, simply wanting the minerals of the northern half for their military industry.))

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Japan invades Australia
« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2013, 03:52:03 AM »
Folks, just be careful to not go too far in this thread in the Scenarios area - a full story should be posted in the Stories area of Current Builds.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline apophenia

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Re: Japan invades Australia
« Reply #27 on: May 19, 2013, 06:37:37 AM »
An alternative attack bomber type: The Commonwealth CA-4 Woomera was intended to produce a multi-purpose bomber with advanced features and a performance superior to the DAP Beaufort it was to replace. But an Air Board review concludes that the CA-4 design is wasted on an airframe powered by the same engines as the aircraft it is to replace. Instead, Sir Lawrence Wackett's design team is instructed to sketch out a concept for a future bomber with higher powered engines.

At the same time, CAC is to revise and simplify the CA-4 design as a 2-seat attack bomber. The result is the CA-5 Woomera Attack with raised wing position, reduced span, 'wobble-mount' guns (and a flexible rear gun position) replacing the advanced barbettes, ventral gun position eliminated, and heavier forward firing armament.

[BTW: The RAAF Blenheim torpedo bomber from Rickshaw's 'Remember Eureka' story might be of interest: http://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=351.msg19641#msg19641 ]
« Last Edit: May 19, 2013, 06:42:36 AM by apophenia »
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Japan invades Australia
« Reply #28 on: May 19, 2013, 06:50:35 AM »
Potentially interesting map in light of this discussion:

All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Japan invades Australia
« Reply #29 on: May 19, 2013, 02:13:03 PM »

* ca-5-woomera-attack.jpg (75.44 kB, 800x427 - viewed 4 times.)


Now, this I like! :D

:)

Guy
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."