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> Japan neutrality vs USSR
dragos
Posted: September 02, 2003 01:16 pm
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It is a fact that Wehrmacht was defeated on the Eastern Front. The role of the western allies was to accelerate the destruction of the Third Reich.
I want to bring in attention the events following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. After this attack, Hitler declared war to USA, expecting Japan to follow his example and declare war to Soviet Union. This didn't happen, Japan respecting the non-agression treaty that existed between the two states. It is too hazardous to say that an implication of Japan on the Eastern Front would have turned the outcome of the war, but regarding the fact that Russians brought from the east Siberian divisions and extensively used them to stop the German advance, I can say that the events on this theatre of war would have been very different. Having attracted United States into an war (a lost cause from the begining), why Japan did not dare to attack Soviet Union in a moment when the Red Army was severely weakened ?
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C-2
Posted: September 05, 2003 07:49 pm
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I see no sens in Japan attaking the Soviets.
All their agressions were on teritories with hugh resurcec which were easy to put a hand on and to transport to Japan to help the war efort.
There were long distances ,bad weather,no comunications,and almost no way to use the navy in Siberia.
To think that Japan couldn't take China.And Mao and Chek made and armistice in order to fight the Invaders.
Not many people know that at the last days of WW2 The Soviets declared war on Japan and started a briliant campain in Manchuria,with experienced troops well trained oficers and good logistics and menneged to defeat the Japanease army on the continent with very few casualties.
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inahurry
Posted: September 06, 2003 01:51 am
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What has to do the Russian aggression in 1945 against an already nuked Japan with the 1941 moment ? Russian attack in 1945 was just a predatory move. Too bad Roosvelt didn't live to see it and, maybe, understand his responsibility for unleashing and nurturing a far more terrible foe. Or, who knows, maybe to rejoyce.

Japanese military leaders knew well enough they can't win a war against US. They were given no choice though as the Roosvelt-British connection had pushed Japan with back against the wall.

All Japan hoped was to inflict heavy losses and capture a lot in order to have a bargaining position. They were wrong as Roosvelt and his ilk had other plans and that well before Pearl Harbor.

Japan had not much to gain attacking USSR but from a strictly, overall strategic point of view if they could just pin down the Russians in the far east they could help the Germans considerably. And they did that, no need to start a war, suffice to make believe the other side you could. Amass enough forces and the other would/could do the same. Enters now Sorge and possibly other intelligence sources. But I suppose, Sorge or no Sorge, Stalin was forced to gamble and throw in the Siberian divisions where they were needed most.

Japanese situation was really scary, a country literaly left with no winning options. Peace was not an option either. The Roosvelt group strategy to force Japan into attacking US was quite succesful and considering how badly needed was US alongside Britain and how once US stepped in the outcome of the war was almost certain Pearl Harbor episode could well be the nexus from where Japan's dilemma turned into the Axis dilemma. If WW2 could be compared with a dramatical play, Japan's role was a predestined tragedy.

What Roosvelt & co didn't figure though was that you can never tell what future has in store - see uncle Joe's bear hug. But probably you can't ask any politician to understand a few simple and never changing truths, they wouldn't be politicians if they could.
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Victor
Posted: September 06, 2003 07:44 am
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IIRC, the Japanese had oil reserves for only 6 months of war when they attacked Pearl Harbor. So I guess they did not have too much in early 1941, especially since they were under embargo. So here are their choices:

1. attack the SU, waste their resources without achieving much else than tying down Soviet forces and hope that the Germans defeat the Russians in Europe. It was clear in autumn 1941 that they would not and that the war would last much longer. So the Japanese would eventually crumble since they would run out of gas or they would have to retreat from China and sign a peace treaty with the SU.

2. retreat from China and beg the US to lift the embargo, renounce at any militaristic activities and commit mass seppuku! :lol:

3. take their chance at striking the US Pacific Fleet hard enough and grab as much land as possible (including the oil rich East-Indies) and establish a defensive perimeter in the Pacific and hope that the US will sue for peace.

I doubt the forces the Stavka retreated from the Far East were that decisive. Here is a list:
2 tank divisions in July
1 tank division in August
3 rifle divisions in September
3 rifle division, 1 motorized rifle division and 1 tank division in October
1 tank division in November
Total: 6 rifle divisions, 1 motorized infantry division and 5 tank divisions
I really do not think that this is what stopped the Wehrmacht before Moscow.
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dragos
Posted: September 06, 2003 08:46 am
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Victor, I do believe that these forces were decisive in stopping the Germans, mostly beacuse of their quality. Beside them were fighting remnants of units gathered during the long retreat of 1941, untrained students rushed from the military schools, local militia and units made of convicts brought from the Gulag. Especially the last were under-equipped (1 rifle per 6 men). They were slaughtered at Bryansk and Vyazma, slowing the Germans long enough to deploy the Siberian troops that constituted the deadlock of the German offensive.
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inahurry
Posted: September 07, 2003 10:38 pm
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QUOTE

Total: 6 rifle divisions, 1 motorized infantry division and 5 tank divisions
I really do not think that this is what stopped the Wehrmacht before Moscow.


At first sight it isn't too much, though 5 tank divisions could make a difference. Do you know how they're equipped? It is assumed the Siberian forces were better trained. Was it indeed so? The experience from the previous clash with Japan aside, were the men selected more carefully or simply the fact they were already used with harsh conditions made them better suited for the 1941/42 Moscow winter battle?
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inahurry
Posted: September 08, 2003 12:00 am
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QUOTE
IIRC, the Japanese had oil reserves for only 6 months of war when they attacked Pearl Harbor.


I believe the situation was even more dramatic. I think the quantity of fuel needed for the navy to carry full scale operations was estimated to drop below operational levels in a month or so (= begining of 1942). Also, the strategic supplies needed to keep Japan's industry running were in the red.

---

While in certain far east areas terrain doesn't favor tank units wherever Japanese tank units were to meet Russian tanks I doubt the overall performance of Japanese armor could allow them any hope. All through the war, Japan's tank production was in the vicinity of 1500 units, mostly light tanks. I don't think they ever envisioned a large scale attack against USSR.

---

Japan as a regional power wished to replace UK and Holland but the anti-colonialist card it played at start was soon useless as the arrogance, brutality and a certain inbred rigidity hurried the inevitable rejection process. See the Vietnam case - the French were "accepted" a bit before the Japanese occupation but after experiencing with Japan, the Vietnamese furiously fought both the French and then the Americans. Surely they were helped by the communist block but I believe the Japanese occupation triggered what eventually will become an unstoppable desire to get rid of any occupation. No matter how much equipment was poured into the country the millions who fought must have been terribly motivated.
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Victor
Posted: September 08, 2003 03:15 pm
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QUOTE
At first sight it isn't too much, though 5 tank divisions could make a difference. Do you know how they're equipped? It is assumed the Siberian forces were better trained. Was it indeed so? The experience from the previous clash with Japan aside, were the men selected more carefully or simply the fact they were already used with harsh conditions made them better suited for the 1941/42 Moscow winter battle?


I do not know how they were trained or equipped.
The fact is that the Wehrmacht had reached its operational limit before Moscow. The men were absolutely exhausted and many units were under strength. Luftwaffe was not in a better shape than the Heer, as it had to operate from crude airfields and many aircraft were made unserviceable by the extreme cold. The supply lines were overstretched and there were few reserves.

On the other side, the Red Army had much fresher troops (some had not even seen combat), they were better equipped for the weather conditions. They also had superiority, especially in the air, where the VVS operated from concrete runaways and had more serviceable aircraft. Their supply lines were much shorter, as the main communications hub, Moscow, was only a few km away.

Seeing these, I do not think that the divisions brought from the Soviet Far East were that decisive. Especially since I am not that sure that they had been raised there initially (see the extreme cold resistance idea).
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johnny_bi
Posted: September 09, 2003 01:24 am
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"SPACE - THE FINAL FRONTIER" :D
I think that the Japanese really imagined the danger of attacking Soviet Union. Not because they were beaten by the Sovients but about the logistical nightmare that should be brought by such attack... What should they do: attack Siberia? Their interest was in South-Eastern Asia, especially oil. The Japanese became more pragmatic ... They had few resources and they focused on Asia... They knew that war meant also economy escpecially when you do not have too much resources. South-Eastern Asia was an easier prey.
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Paulus
Posted: September 10, 2003 03:30 pm
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Remember that the two Nomohan incidents between USSR and Japan that occured in 1939 convinced Imperial forces to avoid any fights with their communist neighbour ...
They were both times humiliated by the soviet army, losing almost all of their expedition corps in the arid plains of Nomohan ...
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Florin
Posted: September 27, 2003 02:46 am
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QUOTE
Remember that the two Nomohan incidents between USSR and Japan that occured in 1939 convinced Imperial forces to avoid any fights with their communist neighbour ...
They were both times humiliated by the soviet army, losing almost all of their expedition corps in the arid plains of Nomohan ...


Yes, I agree with Paulus. Those fights in August 1939 were decisive for the Japanese-Russian relations of the following years.
It was a test: early Japanese fighters against Polikarpov I-16, Japanese artilery against the Russian one etc. The Russians used also cavarly and tanks. I know for sure the Japanese used tanks in the 30's in their war with the Chinese, so I guess there were also some Japanese tanks in that clash.
But, as you may know, the Japanese never made a tank with a frontal armor thicker than 1 inch (25mm), in WWII or before.

Also the Japanese were annoyed to see that while their troops were defeated, their reliable ally Germany signed the non-agression pact with the Soviets, on August 23rd, 1939. This last thing is very often neglected in the long discussions about why Japan did not attack Russia, even though Hitler declared war to the US.

Also, something for all of you... The Japanese used their paratroops in March 1942 in Sumatra, to be sure they will seize the oil fields before the Dutch may blow them up.

Florin
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Chandernagore
Posted: September 30, 2003 10:55 pm
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QUOTE
Remember that the two Nomohan incidents between USSR and Japan that occured in 1939 convinced Imperial forces to avoid any fights with their communist neighbour ...
They were both times humiliated by the soviet army, losing almost all of their expedition corps in the arid plains of Nomohan ...


Indeed. The drubbing they took at the hand of Joukov mechanized forces where not lost on the Japanese. Joukov really shined at the Nomhonan and showed an early taste of what he could do with well equiped and motivated forces. It looks like everybody noticed but Herr Adolf whose eyes where exclusively focused on the red army poor showing against the Finns. The Japanese realized they where simply not ready for that kind of warfare as their strength lied in other fields. They wisely (for once) declined the invitation. Can't really blame them.

Besides, if the Japanese leadership had many targets, none of them was in Russia.
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Florin
Posted: December 13, 2004 12:27 am
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An idea about how the Japanese tanks looked...

From the website of the American Memorial Park from Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands:

(IMG:http://www.nps.gov/amme/wwii_museum/battle_for_saipan/japanese_burned_tank_lg.jpg)

(IMG:http://www.nps.gov/amme/wwii_museum/battle_for_saipan/japanese_burned_tank_front_lg.jpg)


(IMG:http://www.nps.gov/amme/wwii_museum/battle_for_saipan/japanese_tank1_lg.jpg)

This post has been edited by Florin on December 13, 2004 12:27 am
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Iamandi
Posted: December 24, 2004 01:22 pm
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Florin, the last tank produced by the japanesse in ww2 was more better than other (produced by Japan). And had more armour, a gun with some efficiency against Shermans - i think was a 75 m.m.. I do not find sites where i read and see the pictures, but was something like the last italian tank. A good one, but good for 1-2 years earlier needs.

Dragos, japan attack against Soviet Union i think was apreciated too high in loose of mans. BT 5, 7, ... tanks good enough yet in Europe front against what Axis has - Pz 38, P III, etc. against japan army was to be like T-34 in eyes of german army...

I ask mysself if Zero had chances against russian fighters like La-5 and 7, or Iak's, like Iak 9 for example.

I think japanese dont had antitank guns heavier than 37 m.m. ... What was their advantages in technicall stuff? Zero and some of the airplanes, light machinegun 6.5 m.m., a SMG not used in large scale, maybe a heavy AAA gun....
You know more?
Of course in a combined raid against Vladivostock in place of Pearl Harbour may be a success. After that, i dont think US Navy had the same faith like we know (at Pearl).

Iama
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maiortitulescu
Posted: October 15, 2008 05:58 pm
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