Author Topic: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack  (Read 4754 times)

Offline Old Wombat

  • "We'll see when I've finished whether I'm showing off or simply embarrassing myself."
  • "Define 'interesting'?"
US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« on: August 30, 2015, 10:24:26 PM »
It could easily have happened.

What if the US Pacific Fleet carriers had been at Pearl Harbour when the Japanese attacked & had been sunk along with the battlewagons?

The scenario is highly likely as, with the carriers in the harbour, Yamamoto wouldn't have been worried about their whereabouts & would, in all likelihood, have continued the attacks until the US Pacific Fleet was obliterated.

What would this have done to WW2? ???

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

Offline Logan Hartke

  • High priest in the black arts of profiling...
  • Rivet-counting whiffer
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2015, 08:55:00 AM »
Honestly? Not too much difference. I think we'd have seen more assets transferred to the Pacific sooner. Only the USS Lexington and the USS Enterprise were in a position to be targeted by the Japanese on December 7th.

http://bluejacket.com/ww2_12-07-41_carriers.html

Worst case scenario is that they'd be lost at sea. If they'd been at Pearl Harbor, they'd have gotten priority over the battlewagons to be raised, repaired, and put back into service. If they were lost at sea, the US would have completely lost the ships for the duration of the war, as well as the incredibly well-trained aviators from the Lexington and Enterprise.



While it focuses on the US losing Midway, Combined Fleet explored a very similar alternate history and came to the conclusion that the US could absorb an early war loss of 2-3 additional carriers.

Quote
In other words, even if it had lost catastrophically at the Battle of Midway, the United States Navy still would have broken even with Japan in carriers and naval air power by about September 1943. Nine months later, by the middle of 1944, the U.S. Navy would have enjoyed a nearly two-to-one superiority in carrier aircraft capacity! Not only that, but with her newer, better aircraft designs, the U.S. Navy would have enjoyed not only a substantial numeric, but also a critical qualitative advantage as well, starting in late 1943. All this is not to say that losing the Battle of Midway would not have been a serious blow to American fortunes! For instance, the war would almost certainly have been protracted if the U.S. had been unable to mount some sort of a credible counter-stroke in the Solomons during the latter half of 1942. Without carrier-based air power of some sort there would not have been much hope of doing so, meaning that we would most likely have lost the Solomons. However, the long-term implications are clear: the United States could afford to make good losses that the Japanese simply could not. Furthermore, this comparison does not reflect the fact that the United States actually slowed down its carrier building program in late 1944, as it became increasingly evident that there was less need for them. Had the U.S. lost at Midway, it seems likely that those additional carriers (3 Midway-class and 6 more Essex-Class CVs, plus the Saipan-class CVLs) would have been brought on line more quickly. In a macro-economic sense, then, the Battle of Midway was really a non-event. There was no need for the U.S. to seek a single, decisive battle which would 'Doom Japan' -- Japan was doomed by its very decision to make war.


http://www.combinedfleet.com/economic.htm

It might have extended the war by another 6 months, but the outcome of the war was decided the moment the first Japanese bomb was released on December 7th.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline Old Wombat

  • "We'll see when I've finished whether I'm showing off or simply embarrassing myself."
  • "Define 'interesting'?"
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2015, 10:18:11 AM »
Cool, thanks, Logan! :)

From an Australian perspective, though, I'm wondering if the 7th Div might not have been brought back to & kept in Aus, rather than being tasked to Singapore, with PNG & the Dutch East Indies becoming a bigger focus of operations.

More curious contemplation with external input than planning anything. ;)
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Online elmayerle

  • Its about time there was an Avatar shown here...
  • Über Engineer...at least that is what he tells us.
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2015, 10:21:39 AM »
I wonder, though, would a prolonged war have seen an "Operation Olympic" actually executed?  That would have been a bloody mess on both sides.

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2015, 11:42:42 AM »
I could be wrong on this but wasn't the Japanese strategy based on the completely, off the mark, assumption that a demoralised US would sue for a negotiated peace in 42 or 43?  They always knew they couldn't win a drawn out war against US industrial might but made the error of believing US had no stomach for armed conflict and would accept an armistice rather than prosecute a major war.

I put forward the idea of Japans large carriers and more importantly the cream of their naval aviators surviving Midway but another thought I have had is would the US have entered the war if they had not been attacked?

Perhaps those better versed in US military and political history could answer this, would the US have declared war on Japan, let alone the Axis powers, if the attack on Pearl Harbour had not happened?  Lend lease would have continued, US volunteers would have joined Allied forces, assistance would have been provided in every way the executive could manage, but without an actual attack on US territory or a clear and present threat to US interests, would the US public have accepted a call to arms?

Offline mrvr6

  • Accidentally created a Tejas….
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2015, 04:25:04 PM »
where did enola gay fly from?
could they have reached japan without any of the pacific islands?
if the answer is yes then i reckon the us wouldve dropped every nuclear weapon they could make on japan anyway

Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2015, 04:54:42 PM »
I wonder, though, would a prolonged war have seen an "Operation Olympic" actually executed?  That would have been a bloody mess on both sides.

Assuming that the A-Bomb program continues on the same time track, I cannot see Olympic occurring.  I can see perhaps another Japanese city bombed though, while the blockade of Japan tightens.  The Japanese were on a hiding to nothing by August 1945 and were well aware of it but couldn't see a way out of the bind the militarists had forced them into.  The A-Bombs gave them a circuit breaker and brought the Emperor into play.  While I don't doubt he was a great deal more complicit early on, by about 1941 he was on the outside, kept in the dark and had less influence as far as I can tell.  It wasn't until 1945 that he asserted his influence and forced a surrender on the militarists.  Even then, though, it was touch and go with the attempted coup to prevent the broadcast of his message to the Japanese people.

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2015, 05:36:57 PM »
I wonder, though, would a prolonged war have seen an "Operation Olympic" actually executed?  That would have been a bloody mess on both sides.
Even then, though, it was touch and go with the attempted coup to prevent the broadcast of his message to the Japanese people.

Never heard that before, how close did it come to stopping the surrender?

Offline Logan Hartke

  • High priest in the black arts of profiling...
  • Rivet-counting whiffer
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2015, 10:53:14 PM »
Perhaps those better versed in US military and political history could answer this, would the US have declared war on Japan, let alone the Axis powers, if the attack on Pearl Harbour had not happened?  Lend lease would have continued, US volunteers would have joined Allied forces, assistance would have been provided in every way the executive could manage, but without an actual attack on US territory or a clear and present threat to US interests, would the US public have accepted a call to arms?


That's always an interesting question, and not one that's asked often enough! At that time, I think the US needed a serious Pearl Harbor-style casus belli to have gotten involved given US public opinion. Also, the military leaders would take any extra buildup time they could get.

Related (and also one few people ask), what would the US have done if Germany hadn't declared war on the US on December 11th? Could Germany have continued to resist the temptation to get at the US for another year or two? Would Roosevelt have "found" a Lusitania-style excuse to declare war as soon as possible. The next Athenia or Reuben James, perhaps? That's how Brazil declared war on Germany in WWII.



Cheers,

Logan

Offline jcf

  • Global Moderator
  • Turn that Gila-copter down!
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2015, 01:13:17 AM »
It wouldn't have taken much as the 1940 Presidential election was between two candidates who both supported
aid to the Brits, Wilkie stating it as 'everything short of war', a stance that still got him the Republican nomination,
and US public sentiment of support for Britain had been steadily growing through 1940 and 1941.

The US Pacific Fleet had been moved from San Diego to Pearl in the summer of 1940 as part of a 'forward defense'
posture as war with Japan was expected. Truthfully, the US had been involved in an economic war against Japan since
the late '30s, and, sooner or later,  Japan was going to make a move to expand into the European Colonial areas. The
Philippines was considered the most likely place for an attack on US interests as it was placed close enough to potentially
support said European powers against Japanese moves. The PI being supported in turn by the Fleet sailing from
Hawai'i in relief. This is one of the major strategic reasons for the attack on Pearl, destroying the Fleet would have been
great from the Japanese standpoint, but they had no illusions about being able to actually accomplish that task, the main
intent was to cripple the USN enough to delay their ability to intervene in the Western Pacific. However, an attack on the
Philippines, and other Western Pacific US interests - only, no Pearl Harbor, would still have resulted in the US going to war
with Japan. Would it have been as galvanising as the Hawai'i attack?, would the response of a war declaration been as fast?
Probably not, but it would have come because the US Army and Navy forces in the PI are what the Japanese were going
to attack, as a result Americans were going to be dying and it would have been an indisputable casus belli.

"Evil our grandsires were, our fathers worse;
And we, till now unmatched in ill,
Must leave successors more corrupted still."
Horace, 65BC - 8BC. Marsh translation.

Offline GTX_Admin

  • Evil Administrator bent on taking over the Universe!
  • Administrator - Yep, I'm the one to blame for this place.
  • Whiffing Demi-God!
    • Beyond the Sprues
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2015, 03:32:48 AM »

Related (and also one few people ask), what would the US have done if Germany hadn't declared war on the US on December 11th?


That in itself is a very interesting question that offers a complex scenario of its own.  If This had occurred, would the US start diverting more military aid away from the UK given it had its own pacific war to fight.

BTW, please correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't America the only country on which Hitler formally declared war.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 03:36:48 AM by GTX_Admin »
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Logan Hartke

  • High priest in the black arts of profiling...
  • Rivet-counting whiffer
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2015, 03:54:02 AM »
BTW, please correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't America the only country on which Hitler formally declared war.

I've not investigated it myself, but I've heard the same thing.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2015, 09:31:10 AM »
BTW, please correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't America the only country on which Hitler formally declared war.

You mean before they attacked them or just a formal declaration of war?

In the latter case, they declared war on the UK (and Empire), France, the US and other minor nations (Yugoslavia, Greece, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Italy)   In the former case, they declared war on everybody they attacked, just presenting the declaration post ipso facto.   The Germans believed they were civilised and adhered to some quite ridiculous lengths to maintain that facade to the world.  The Nazis believed they were bringing a new civilisation to barbarous nations, so also maintained the legal fictions.

Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2015, 09:36:45 AM »
I wonder, though, would a prolonged war have seen an "Operation Olympic" actually executed?  That would have been a bloody mess on both sides.
Even then, though, it was touch and go with the attempted coup to prevent the broadcast of his message to the Japanese people.

Never heard that before, how close did it come to stopping the surrender?

Well, it was a ramshackle ad hoc affair and never really would have worked.  What they wanted to do was stop the broadcast of the Emperor's message and so raided the offices and homes of the officials involved.  The one with the recording (it was pre-recorded on a gramophone record) had it hidden and managed to divert the attacking officers.  They left and he carried the record to the broadcasting station.   The Emperor was sacrosanct and therefore quite well protected but would have been sidelined again.   All it would have done was ensure the destruction of the Japanese nation and its dismemberment by the Soviets/Americans once the Japanese had surrendered.

Offline tahsin

  • Newly Joined - Welcome me!
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2015, 05:56:21 PM »
The moment America entered the war, with the "sneak" attack removing all restraints on the American political scene, the US industry would have gone into high gear. Now that the British actually opened fire on a Japanese invasion convoy a day before the UK-Us would have been allies and there would be no limit on the supplies to Europe. Germany loses the both ways, but the declaration of war gives a chance to strike at the yet unprepared Americans, a possibility the limited numbers of U-boots used to full. Now that Americans would inevitably join an European war once they secured the Pasific. There was a discernable loss of balance with France out of the game and there was no telling what the Red army might have achieved by 1943-44.

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2015, 10:19:40 PM »
This topic is intriguing, I am enjoying it already but really looking forward to how it progresses.  Basically as I understand it pretty much everyone saw a war between Japan and the US as inevitable, the real question was when rather than if.  The real issue was justifying entering the European conflict, there was political will but not public support.

Offline Logan Hartke

  • High priest in the black arts of profiling...
  • Rivet-counting whiffer
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2015, 01:38:03 AM »
Basically as I understand it pretty much everyone saw a war between Japan and the US as inevitable, the real question was when rather than if.


I think that depends on your perspective. US policy regarding trade sanctions on Japan due to their aggression meant that Japan would need to acquire those resources by other means if they wanted to continue to expand. Since Japan considered the loss of face that would come from ceasing hostilities against China and to be unacceptable, they determined that a global war which they would inevitably lose to be their only option.

As an American, I can see parallels with the nascent US's own war of blatant aggression, the War of 1812. Deciding their honor had been besmirched by the impressment of its sailors and the overt military aid Britain was providing to the Native Americans that the United States was fighting in its own war of territorial expansion. With its own inflated sense of invincibility and self-importance, the US invaded the colonies of its transoceanic imperial rival and it just so happens they didn't want to be "liberated", either. Declaring war on a militarily and economically superior enemy eventually resulted in the invasion of the United States and the burning of Washington. We deserved that. After that, though, many of the parallels start to break down.



Now, obviously, there was another option. The Japanese could have taken the loss of face, stop expanding their empire, and sit out WWII. They'd have come out intact on the other side and been in a good position to exploit the power vacuum that the region would experience during the Chinese Civil War. With hindsight, this certainly seems to be best of the bad options available to Japan in 1941. The UK, France, and Israel were given a similar ultimatum in 1957 after Suez. In that case, they decided to cut their losses and not exacerbate their economic woes by declaring war against an economically superior enemy to maintain their empires or continue a policy of territorial expansion.

Sometimes, even world powers get put in a "no win" situation, but their decisions in those situations can have a major impact on just how much they lose. In the case of Japan in WWII, she lost almost everything. That was her choice. There were other options. Were they good options? No, none of them were. Were any of them better than the one Japan's leaders went with? Most certainly.

Too often, when the Japanese talk about WWII, they act as if the US forced Japan into declaring war on them. I disagree completely with that. By eliminating the peaceful option that would result in a loss of face, Japan's leaders artificially limited the choices available to them. They have to take responsibility for that, not the US.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2015, 08:15:53 AM »
An interesting analysis, Logan.  However, you're assuming that the Japanese (at the time) thought like Westerners and that "face" was a concept they could just forget about, if the situation called for it.  I'm much less willing to accept that.  The Japanese militarists were victims of their own society's unyielding adherence to the issue of "honour" and hence "face".   While I agree it was ludicrous to attack the Western powers, you must also remember the Western powers had set the Japanese on that path through it's own imperialists ambitions and then particularly with it's imposition of an oil blockade against the Japanese economy.

We saw a similar things when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1989 and threatened, not so much the US's supply of oil as Japan's and Europe's, the major trading partners of the US.  The US reacted in a similar manner to the Japanese in 1941 - they created a situation where the outcome was going to be war.  Saddam could have backed down, should have backed down but didn't because of "face".   We know the result of that.

The combination of Militarism, state Shinto and the Japanese character (at the time) all contributed to their decision to go to war against the USA.  You cannot wish all those factors away, Logan.  The Japanese weren't going to change overnight from an expansionist Empire into a non-expansionist one.  They had the Western "way" displayed to them, they were following it.

Offline jcf

  • Global Moderator
  • Turn that Gila-copter down!
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2015, 08:58:36 AM »
"Too often, when the Japanese talk about WWII," ... uh that should be "when some Japanese".


"Evil our grandsires were, our fathers worse;
And we, till now unmatched in ill,
Must leave successors more corrupted still."
Horace, 65BC - 8BC. Marsh translation.

Offline Logan Hartke

  • High priest in the black arts of profiling...
  • Rivet-counting whiffer
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2015, 09:16:50 AM »
An interesting analysis, Logan.  However, you're assuming that the Japanese (at the time) thought like Westerners and that "face" was a concept they could just forget about, if the situation called for it.  I'm much less willing to accept that.  The Japanese militarists were victims of their own society's unyielding adherence to the issue of "honour" and hence "face".   While I agree it was ludicrous to attack the Western powers, you must also remember the Western powers had set the Japanese on that path through it's own imperialists ambitions and then particularly with it's imposition of an oil blockade against the Japanese economy.

Oh, absolutely, and I agree completely. That's what I was trying to say. Even today, many East Asian cultures are still shame-based in a way those of us inculcated in Western culture can never truly appreciate. It wasn't an option that was given any serious consideration by those in power, I'm sure, but it was an option.

"Too often, when the Japanese talk about WWII," ... uh that should be "when some Japanese".

Very true. Mea culpa.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline Alvis 3.1

  • Self acknowledged "Bad Influence"…but probably less attractive than Pink
  • The high priest of whiffing
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2015, 01:02:32 PM »
I don't see the loss of the two carriers themselves to be a huge difference, and if they had been in port that Sunday, many of their aviators may have been ashore, or able to easily escape a ship sunk in the harbor. Where the problem occurs would be if given the whereabouts of the carriers being certain (on fire in Pearl), the Japanese strike force most likely would have done their third wave, which most likely would have targeted the oil tank farms.
That would have been a logistical problem for the US, and likely would have led to some serious setbacks early in the war. Again, in the long run, the US would have prevailed due to their massive industrial capacity, but where would it have left Australia? Would Oz have come under more determined and far reaching attacks, would New Guinea have fallen, would the battle of the Coral Sea have gone decidedly to the Japan?
The oil was of far greater importance to the US, ironically the Japanese didn't seem to realise this, as their view was that the US was awash in it, while they were being starved of fuel for their fleet.

Alvis 3.1

Offline taiidantomcat

  • Plastic Origamist...and not too shabby with the painting either!
  • Global Moderator
  • Stylishly late...because he was reading comics
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2015, 09:28:14 AM »
Basically as I understand it pretty much everyone saw a war between Japan and the US as inevitable, the real question was when rather than if.


I think that depends on your perspective. US policy regarding trade sanctions on Japan due to their aggression meant that Japan would need to acquire those resources by other means if they wanted to continue to expand. Since Japan considered the loss of face that would come from ceasing hostilities against China and to be unacceptable, they determined that a global war which they would inevitably lose to be their only option.

As an American, I can see parallels with the nascent US's own war of blatant aggression, the War of 1812. Deciding their honor had been besmirched by the impressment of its sailors and the overt military aid Britain was providing to the Native Americans that the United States was fighting in its own war of territorial expansion. With its own inflated sense of invincibility and self-importance, the US invaded the colonies of its transoceanic imperial rival and it just so happens they didn't want to be "liberated", either. Declaring war on a militarily and economically superior enemy eventually resulted in the invasion of the United States and the burning of Washington. We deserved that. After that, though, many of the parallels start to break down.



Now, obviously, there was another option. The Japanese could have taken the loss of face, stop expanding their empire, and sit out WWII. They'd have come out intact on the other side and been in a good position to exploit the power vacuum that the region would experience during the Chinese Civil War. With hindsight, this certainly seems to be best of the bad options available to Japan in 1941. The UK, France, and Israel were given a similar ultimatum in 1957 after Suez. In that case, they decided to cut their losses and not exacerbate their economic woes by declaring war against an economically superior enemy to maintain their empires or continue a policy of territorial expansion.

Sometimes, even world powers get put in a "no win" situation, but their decisions in those situations can have a major impact on just how much they lose. In the case of Japan in WWII, she lost almost everything. That was her choice. There were other options. Were they good options? No, none of them were. Were any of them better than the one Japan's leaders went with? Most certainly.

Too often, when the Japanese talk about WWII, they act as if the US forced Japan into declaring war on them. I disagree completely with that. By eliminating the peaceful option that would result in a loss of face, Japan's leaders artificially limited the choices available to them. They have to take responsibility for that, not the US.

Cheers,

Logan


An interesting analysis, Logan.  However, you're assuming that the Japanese (at the time) thought like Westerners and that "face" was a concept they could just forget about, if the situation called for it.  I'm much less willing to accept that.  The Japanese militarists were victims of their own society's unyielding adherence to the issue of "honour" and hence "face".   While I agree it was ludicrous to attack the Western powers, you must also remember the Western powers had set the Japanese on that path through it's own imperialists ambitions and then particularly with it's imposition of an oil blockade against the Japanese economy.

We saw a similar things when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1989 and threatened, not so much the US's supply of oil as Japan's and Europe's, the major trading partners of the US.  The US reacted in a similar manner to the Japanese in 1941 - they created a situation where the outcome was going to be war.  Saddam could have backed down, should have backed down but didn't because of "face".   We know the result of that.

The combination of Militarism, state Shinto and the Japanese character (at the time) all contributed to their decision to go to war against the USA.  You cannot wish all those factors away, Logan.  The Japanese weren't going to change overnight from an expansionist Empire into a non-expansionist one.  They had the Western "way" displayed to them, they were following it.


Just want to add

I was just reading about this in Fire in The Sky The author pointed out that the West was on the ropes in 1941, and Japan saw an opportunity. I think that also plays a part, there was an opportunity there that was wholly new.  The west was losing, Russia was losing, The holdings in the Pacific were there for the taking. and hell the first 6 months went great for Japan.
"They know you can do anything, So the question is, what don't you do?"

-David Fincher

Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2015, 10:23:15 AM »
Just want to add

I was just reading about this in Fire in The Sky The author pointed out that the West was on the ropes in 1941, and Japan saw an opportunity. I think that also plays a part, there was an opportunity there that was wholly new.  The west was losing, Russia was losing, The holdings in the Pacific were there for the taking. and hell the first 6 months went great for Japan.

All very true.  It wasn't that the Japanese were particularly good at warfare, they were just better than the forces that faced them in the first 18 months of the war in the Pacific (exception, the Australian Army AIF and to a lesser extent the Militia).  Once the West became organised and was able to devote sufficient resources to hold them and then defeat them strategically, the Japanese were toast.   Until early 1942, all they faced were understrength, poorly led and all too often colonial troops and they cut through them, easily.  The West's forces were victims of their own propaganda as much as they were victims of the Japanese forces.   Once the resolve of the troops was improved and they were provided with the resources killing Japanese became "fun" and was apparently easily accomplished (at one point, one Australian unit refused to be relieved from operations at the front because they were having too much "fun").  The West's forces believed the Jungle was "impenetrable" and that the Japanese were "invincible".   Once those lies were exposed, the West's forces reacted much better.  The Japanese resorted increasingly to "Banzai!" Attacks and were mown down by much greater Allied firepower.

Offline MaxHeadroom

  • The man has built a jet Stuka, need we say more?
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #23 on: December 16, 2015, 01:46:24 AM »
To Logan Hartge:

Germany and Italy were forced to declare war to the USA because of the axis-treaty between Berlin, Rome and Tokyo.

Norbert
« Last Edit: December 16, 2015, 03:11:47 AM by MaxHeadroom »

Offline Logan Hartke

  • High priest in the black arts of profiling...
  • Rivet-counting whiffer
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2015, 02:50:57 AM »
Not as I understand it, Norbert. If the US attacked Japan, sure, but not if Japan attacked the US. Ribbentrop's interpretation of the Tripartite Pact seems to agree with this.

Quote
According to the terms of their agreements, Germany was obliged to come to the aid of Japan if a third country attacked Japan, but not if Japan attacked a third country. Ribbentrop reminded Hitler of this, and pointed out that to declare war against the US would add to the number of enemies Germany was fighting against, but Hitler dismissed this concern as not being important, and, almost entirely without consultation, chose to and declare war against the US, wanting to do so before, he thought, Roosevelt would declare war on Germany.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_declaration_of_war_against_the_United_States_(1941)#Background

It is for that reason that Japan didn't feel obligated to declare war on the USSR when Germany declared war on it, despite being a member of the Tripartite Pact.

Besides, it's not like being part of a treaty was actually an obligation for Hitler, especially given the precedent Japan had set. I don't think we really need to list all the treaties Hitler broke in his quest for world domination. Germany declared war on the US because Hitler wanted to.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline MaxHeadroom

  • The man has built a jet Stuka, need we say more?
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2015, 03:16:13 AM »
Nazigermany never declared war to the Soviet Union, it was an assault.
Same to Japan, it didn't declare war to the USA, but the day after the USA declares war to Japan... so Nazigermany and faschist Italy were "forced" because of the terms of the treaty.

Norbert

Offline GTX_Admin

  • Evil Administrator bent on taking over the Universe!
  • Administrator - Yep, I'm the one to blame for this place.
  • Whiffing Demi-God!
    • Beyond the Sprues
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #26 on: December 16, 2015, 03:24:09 AM »
I believe the decision of Hitler to declare war on the USA was field by numerous reasons and that the Tripartite Pact was only one aspect.  For the reports/analysis I have read it certainly wasn't the predominant reason.  I also don't think Germany (or more rightly Hitler here) would have felt forced to do so by the terms of the pact.  Other reasons might have
forced' him though.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Logan Hartke

  • High priest in the black arts of profiling...
  • Rivet-counting whiffer
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2015, 03:33:56 AM »
Nazigermany never declared war to the Soviet Union, it was an assault.
Same to Japan, it didn't declare war to the USA, but the day after the USA declares war to Japan... so Nazigermany and faschist Italy were "forced" because of the terms of the treaty.

Those were both actually timed declarations of war. Neither country was given advance warning, but formal declarations of war were still given to them at the time of attack. I don't say that to justify the actions of Germany and Japan—far from it—but they still declared war, so the original statement isn't wrong. Again, though, the fact that it was an offensive action, not a defensive one, meant that Germany and Italy weren't obligated to declare war on the US, just as Japan wasn't obligated to declare war on the USSR five months earlier.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline jcf

  • Global Moderator
  • Turn that Gila-copter down!
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2015, 03:43:04 AM »
Forced? Umm, no, how was Japan going to force Germany to declare war on the US?
Through what mechanism? By declaring war on Germany?
 :-X

Sorry, but none of the various pacts made before either of the World Wars had any ability to force
anyone to do anything, all the 'honoring our agreements' bullshit was just making excuses for doing
what some of those bloody-minded assholes wanted to do all along.
"Evil our grandsires were, our fathers worse;
And we, till now unmatched in ill,
Must leave successors more corrupted still."
Horace, 65BC - 8BC. Marsh translation.

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2015, 02:20:36 PM »
I think there may be another topic somewhere this may fit in but could Japan have offered to go to war against Germany after the fall of western Europe, in exchange for the UK and perhaps the Dutch East Indies, breaking the US embargos?  Could Japan have offered more to the UK than the US?

Back to the original topic, if there were no (or fewer) US carriers in the Pacific in 1942 then the New Guinea campaign could have been quite different.  As I mentioned in another topic, the Australian reaction to the raids on Darwin from 19 February 1942 was to concentrate on the defence of Darwin to the detriment of Port Moresby, the saving grace for new Guinea being the availability of US carrier based aircraft to back up the single RAAF squadron.  No carriers, no help for Port Moresby and possibly a successful sea borne invasion, or at least less support for the defenders fighting along the Kokoda Track. 

The pacific campaign was a close run thing in the early months with Japan proving to have not quite enough resources to fight US and the Commonwealth across multiple fronts.  No US carriers could have seen the fall of New guinea, no ongoing fighting in New guinea would give them a better chance in Guadalcanal, this could have allowed them to better isolate Australia.

Overall effect I don't know but Japans entry into the war did see the withdrawal of Australian land forces from the Middle East and ensured they played no part in Italy or Western Europe, while once US forces were fully mobilised in the Pacific, US policy saw Australia perhaps playing a far less prominent role than they would have say in France.  No US carriers would have perhaps seen a more prominent role for Australia in the Pacific.

Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
Re: US Carriers Sunk in Pearl Harbour Attack
« Reply #30 on: December 16, 2015, 07:00:06 PM »
I think there may be another topic somewhere this may fit in but could Japan have offered to go to war against Germany after the fall of western Europe, in exchange for the UK and perhaps the Dutch East Indies, breaking the US embargos?  Could Japan have offered more to the UK than the US?

Only if you begin when the Anglo-Japanese defence treaty was not renewed in 1921.  You would need a non-militarist Government in Japan to achieve that.  Something which was very doubtful to happen and be sustained in the period before WWII.