Monday, January 17, 2022

Saw this Meme


But is it true?

Say Pearl Harbor was EXACTLY like it was, except, magically, Enterprise and Lexington were anchored alongside battleship row, too.  Same damage to the rest of the harbor as in the real December 7th, except the carriers got two or more lucky hits as well, and exploded, a total loss.

No other CVs could conceivably have been present.  There were really only 3 carriers in the Pacific.  In less than four years there would be 20.  

The war would be longer, but Japan had no real endgame that went it's way.  They relied on us getting sick of fighting in both timelines.  

What does get Japan a W?  Apart from us just giving us.  The USA, with the strongest economy on the planet.

(I can only conceive of this possible negative outcome, and can visualize no other.  And I only visualize that because I saw us quit in South and South East Asia in my lifetime.  From fatigue.  Also it was the only outcome Japan coceived)

Britain and the USSR could lose to the Nazis, somehow, and all join with Japan.  Somehow.  But that's less likely than war fatigue by the US public.  

The "big wins early then resist til they quit" strategy worked well for Japan in the fight against China then, more importantly, Russia 35 years earlier.  

I don't see Japan getting the bomb before us, if we set our mind to as we did in our timeline.  So, eventually B-29s were going to make the trip for a few in the alternate timeline.  


Mike V said...

While I don't consider myself an expert on WWII, I have read and believe that the events at Pearl Harbor, as bad as they were, were pretty much a best case scenario.

Consider - the carriers were gone, and even had they been in port, they'd have sunk in shallow water. As with Tennessee, West Virginia and most of the other battleships, they'd have been refloated and repaired.

The crews were mostly ashore. The real disaster would have been for 24 - 48hrs warning with a good plot of the Japanese course. Had the fleet sortied to meet them, the battleships would have gone down not to be refloated and repaired; but the loss in experienced crews would have been the real disaster. It was those sailors of "The Old Navy" that made up the backbone of the Navy that fought it's way across the Pacific and into Tokyo Bay.

Borepatch said...

The only thing that gets Japan a W is if the Nazis take Moscow in 1941.

LCB said...

The Essex class carriers were ordered in 1940, USS Essex's keel laid in 1941 with her being launched in July 1942. By Dec 1942 she was commissioned. So 1 year after Pearl Harbor the new carriers were coming off of the slipways. So in a hardware sense, you are correct. The war might have taken longer but we'd have still gotten there. I guess the big question was how quickly we would have taken Tinian, giving the Enola Gay an airfield close enough to use the A-bomb.

Public sentiment is another thing though. With the war in Europe over, the American public was getting restless for an end to the Pacific war. The casualties on Iwo Jima and Okinawa were horrible for both sides. Would the American public have put up with 250,000-500,000 casualties on the main islands.

And if we'd decided to starve Japan instead of invading, would how many millions of Japanese would have starved to death. Everyone criticizing us for using the bomb would now be criticizing us for allowing so many Japanese to die from hunger.

And if we hadn't dropped the bomb or invaded, do you think the Russians would have stopped with a handful of small islands at the north end of Japan. Our lack of doing "something" would be seen as a sign of weakness and Stalin would have been happy to send 1 or 2 million Soviet troops to invade the big islands. Well...I think so, anyway. LOL

Jonathan H said...

A harder hit at Pearl, for example taking out the tank farm, drydocks, and HQ would have taken longer to come back from, but I think the end result would have been similar - with the possible wild card mentioned above of war weariness in the US.
On the other hand, if the US had taken a few islands and continued the submarine blockade, the end result would have been pretty similar with fewer casualties but would have taken longer.

McChuck said...

And if we'd had working torpedoes, the war would have ended sooner.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

...thanks, Arlandia!

ASM826 said...

What gets Japan the W? Not attacking Pearl Harbor. They could have taken the Philippines, expanded into Indochina, and consolidated their hold on that. If we had been drawn into the war in Europe without a war in the Pacific, Japan could have been the dominant power in the region without having to face us at all.

Will said...

Yeah, hanging the entire torpedo engineering dept would have been a huge improvement in the winning of the war.

As far as war weariness, the potential disaster of the Japan Invasion would have done it. That was really working up to being a truly awesome screwup. The head army general wanted to use all the a-bombs built by invasion time to prep the invasion sites. Imagine the radiation casualties. We thought Japan had run out of gasoline stocks and aircraft. Nope. HUGE amount of fuel held back to fight the invasion. Many thousands of aircraft to make kamikazes. Large percentage of them were wood training aircraft that the Japanese accidentally discovered couldn't be seen by Navy radar. Huge stocks of weapons for the army and civilians to use. BTW, the High Command was okay with loosing HALF their civilians to repulse the invasion. That would be 22M deaths. They had accurately guessed every Allied planned invasion site, and had prep it for action. REALLY good odds the invasion would have failed. The body count on both sides would have been inconceivable to the Allied nations.