Tuesday, October 22, 2019


Tam posted this.  Midway battle from the perspective of the Japanese

I had seen it before, and this sort of history stuff is right in both our wheelhouses.

I am expounding on one part, that struck me, upon rewatch

"The only chance Japan had in winning this war, was if the American carrier fleet was destroyed."


That may have been the thinking at the upper echelons of the Japanese leadership, but was it right?

Let's say they did take Midway, and then sank all four carriers that came after them and with minimal Japanese losses.  From this momentum they continued, spreading a bit more of their sphere out, raiding on Hawaii, pushing supply lines to Australia further south or even the east to come via the Indian Ocean.

Bad for us.  But does it just delay the allies eventual victory?  Lots of new ships are still on the ways, more than the Japanese can produce.

I don't think it does.  Victory in the Pacific before 1948 still happens.  The Japanese were deluding themselves.  I don't think we'd quit after such a (devastating, surely) loss.


Jonathan H said...

I think that falls in line with the Japanese belief that One Hard Blow would destroy the US, or at least our will to fight, like what happened to other enemies in previous wars.

But I'm with you that losing Midway, or our entire Pacific fleet carrier force, would only have delayed the end of the war, not stopped it. I read once that due to the 2 Ocean Navy Act of 1940, at the time of Pearl Harbor what the US had under construction was the equivalent of the entire current Japanese Navy.

I also read a claim that the tank farm at Pearl Harbor held as much fuel as all of Japan's reserves in the Home Islands and that the Japanese never got any notable amount of oil from the East Indies and South East Asia for a variety of reasons, so their goals in war there did not end up helping them.

Chris Morton said...

Unless we just rolled over, the Japanese were simply doomed. The only thing they could have done if the war had gone on longer was to lose more population... not as though the leadership of the Imperial Japanese was too averse to pointless losses.

danielbarger said...

Japans entire strategy was predicated on the hope that if they delivered a big enough blow at Pearl Harbor America would seek a peaceful resolution and that Japan could then retain all the territory they had usurped. Admiral Yamamoto, who had spent quite a few years in the USA was not particularly optimistic of this strategy and had openly stated so but was overruled. Even the most hawkish of Japans military strategists were fully aware of Americas industrial capacity but for the most part they felt that if the delivered a big enough blow they could somehow convince the USA to be more amenable to diplomatic efforts that were favorable to Japan. A classic case of being totally wrong because Japan failed to realize that
starting a war with us made it much more palatable for the US to enter the war in Europe which in reality was more important to Washington than the Pacific was. Japan provided the US with the reason for entering WWII 100%. There was no way in hell that we were going to not destroy them once we entered the war....they just refused to accept this reality.

Chris Morton said...

The Japanese were pretty good at self-delusion. After all, the IJA convinced itself that in the spring of '45, they could talk Stalin into switching sides to bail them out.