Japanese Threat To Oceania

SpitfireV

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Continued from a previous thread.

Now, in that thread there were assertions that the USA guaranteed an Australian's freedom of speech because of the US actions in the Pacific.

I have a particular thought that this isn't strictly true- the Pacific war from the US side was dependant on Australian (and to a lesser extend New Zealand) bases of operation for repairs, training, R&R etc. So the benefit was mutual. In fact the US government was so thankful to the NZ government that they offered to build an eight lane highway right down the middle of the country- an offer the government stupidly turned down.

I've heard that the Japanese didn't have the capacity to invade Australia by the time they got there but personally I don't know anything about this.

Let's roll.
 

Manolito

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Mara has restricted commenting on wars we didn't fight in. My Dad was in the Pacific. I have posted an article and highlighted some of the article in red.
It appears the Mother country could not help New Zealand so the US stepped in and helped. Mara not my comment the articles comment.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_New_Zealand_during_World_War_II

The RNZAF in the Pacific
The presence of German raiders led to the formation of New Zealand based air-combat units — initially using re-armed types like the Vildebeest, and hurriedly converting impressed airliners such as the DH86 to carry bombs. RNZAF obtained Lockheed Hudsons early in 1941 to take over this role. 5 Squadron with Vickers Vincents and Short Singapores was sent to Fiji to protect that colony.




Flying boats of 5 Squadron RNZAF
In December 1941 Japan attacked and rapidly conquered much of the area to the north of New Zealand. New Zealand had perforce to look to her own defence as well as help the "mother country". Trainers in New Zealand such as the North American Harvard, Hawker Hind and even the de Havilland Tiger Moth were camouflaged and armed. Hudsons moved forward, while 5 Squadron in Fiji, commenced operations against the Japanese despite its obsolete equipment.
The Imperial Japanese Navy demonstrated the vulnerability of New Zealand when submarine-launched Japanese float-planes overflew Wellington and Auckland (where a Tiger Moth gave chase ineffectually[citation needed]) in March and May, 1942. As few combat-capable aircraft were available at home, and Britain was unable to help, so New Zealand turned to the United States and signed a lend-lease agreement. Gradually at first, America was able to supply New Zealand with aircraft for use in the Pacific Theatre.
The early lend-lease aircraft, obsolescent models, had difficulty holding their own against the skilled and well-equipped Japanese pilots, but as soon as pilots had mastered the lend-lease aircraft, they went into action.



Restored RNZAF Corsair
From mid-1943 at Guadalcanal, starting with No 15 and No 14 squadrons, several Kittyhawks units fought with distinction. Several RNZAF pilots became aces against the Japanese, including Geoff Fisken, the Commonwealth's leading ace in the Pacific war. Other squadrons flew the elderly but effective Douglas Dauntless and later the big, modern Grumman Avenger torpedo-bomber.
The RNZAF took on a major part of the maritime reconnaissance task too, with Catalina (and later Sunderland) flying-boats and Hudson bombers.
The role of the RNZAF changed as the allies moved off the defensive. The Americans, prominent amongst the Allied nations in the Pacific, planned to bypass major Japanese strongholds, but instead to capture a handful of island bases to provide a supply-chain for an eventual attack on Japan itself (see island hopping). The Allied advance started from the South Pacific. The RNZAF became part of the force tasked with securing the line of advance by incapacitating the bypassed Japanese strongholds.
As the war progressed, more powerful modern aircraft replaced the older types; Kittyhawks gave way to Corsairs and Hudsons to Venturas. At its peak in the Pacific, the RNZAF had 13 squadrons of Corsair fighters, six of Venturas, two each of Catalinas and Avengers, two of C-47 Dakotas, one using Dauntless dive bombers, mixed transport and communications squadrons, a flight of Short Sunderlands and nearly 1,000 training machines. By 1945 the RNZAF had over 41,000 personnel, including just over 10,000 aircrew who served with the RAF in Europe and Africa.
 

AWP

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I think both arguments have merit. The Japanese xpansion across the Pacific was as much to combat the Americans (and our navy) as to deny access to Australian bases. If Midway goes in the opposite direction the American navy has some serious problems, Guadalcanal doesn't happen and the Japanese have months to consolidate gains around PNG. They can isolate or severely restrict Austalia's and New Zealand's involvement in the war. Now, those nations played a critical role in the South Pacific, one that mainstream historians fail to point out, but it isn't unreasonable to think that if the American navy is defeated or destroyed in '42 then Australian/ New Zealand can be left to die on the vine.

We needed them as much as they needed us.
 

Mac_NZ

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From memory the mother country would not let us pull troops back from the desert to defend NZ, the Aussies gave the UK the big fuck you and pulled theirs back anyway.

Hence why we (NZ) didn't have much of an effect in the Pacfic, pity as quite a few Vietnamese found out the hard way 30 years later you do not fuck with Kiwis in the J.
 

SpitfireV

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That's right and it didn't do our stock a whole lot of good with the Aussies, either.

RN even got attached to the USN for a few years after the Oriental ports fell.

Free, your point about Midway is an interesting one. Thinking about it, the whole Pacific war seemed to be very delicate for the first two years or so, any one of a number of battles could have turned the favour the Japanese way very easy. Much more so than Europe anyway.
 

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Consider that the Japanese lost 40% of her mechanics, flight deck crews, and technicians along with 25% of her carrier-qualified pilots. The loss of 4 fleet carriers left only 2 to undertake offensive actions with a smaller carrier to accompany them. Japan's remaining carriers weren't as effective for offensive operations and of a limited value. When the battle was over the US was down to one undamaged fleet carrier (Enterprise). The subsequent battles in and around the Solomons broke the back of Japan's naval aviators.

I don't think it unreasonable to conclude if things go the other way that the US campaign in the Solomons and subsequent PNG campaign either end very differently or don't happen at all. As is, the US Navy left the Marines on Guadalcanal without the bulk of their provisions or equipment and were mauled at Savo Island. Without US carriers to help the Navy return and with the 3-4 Japanese fleet carriers to survive Midway, the Marines are probably overrun if they can even land in the first place. Australia's northern flank is now owned by the Japanese and suddenly shiat gets very real in WWII.
 

pardus

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From memory the mother country would not let us pull troops back from the desert to defend NZ, the Aussies gave the UK the big fuck you and pulled theirs back anyway.

Hence why we (NZ) didn't have much of an effect in the Pacfic, pity as quite a few Vietnamese found out the hard way 30 years later you do not fuck with Kiwis in the J.

It was actually a NZ govt decision to stay in Europe and leave ourselves undefended IIRC.

And yes, during the Vietnam war, no one could touch the Kiwis in the J.

Though I will say that one of my instructors during my Lead Scouts course who was a lead scout in VN (fucker was still sharp as a scalpel blade in the bush). Told me that after a one year build up in Singas, then one year in VN, they exercised with the Gurkha's back in Malaya, they were put through an observation lane, told there was X number of objects and one person on the lane.
The Kiwis all went through and named all of the objects. When asked about the person on the lane, the Kiwis said "there was none there"

The Gurkha instructor told them to look at their boots, every Kiwi Grunt had a red paint mark on their boot from a Gurkha that was lying on the lane.
 

JBS

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Continued from a previous thread.

Now, in that thread there were assertions that the USA guaranteed an Australian's freedom of speech because of the US actions in the Pacific.

Here are the assertions:

Assange is an idiot who might quite possibly not even speak any English, let alone enjoy any of his "freedom of speech" if it weren't for the American blood spilled all over the Pacific Theater in WWII.

I just find it ironic that Assange is releasing information- the principle beneficiaries of which are Iran and Al-qaeda respectively- while hiding behind this facade of being a whistle blower and claiming "freedom of speech."

Oh that oppressive USA.

2. The fact is I don't know how much clearer I could be with my comment about Assange attacking the wrong side. Gratitude, or "we saved your ass" is not where I intended to go with that comment. The irony of him attacking the nation that guaranteed his "freedom of speech" is the point.

Barring an intervention by the Allies (and principally the US carrier groups), there would likely be a Japanese flag flying over Australia. Japanese post-war testimony is very clear on what the long term strategy was, and although invasions were ruled out by the Emperor, demanding the submission of Australia was always on the agenda after a consolidation of the other gains. I suppose one can make the point that overlooking Australian military forces is a mistake, but in terms of numbers, resources, and firepower, I interpret this intervention in history (by the US forces Assange is attacking) to be a fundamental reason why 26 years after the end of WW2, Julian Assange was born into a completely free and independent Australia.

I stand 100% behind my comments, as the testimony of Japanese officers after the war, plus the extensive amount of planning on the part of the Japanese support my position. Some critical background data:


in March 1942 the Japanese military adopted a strategy of isolating Australia from the United States by capturing Port Moresby in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Samoa and New Caledonia.[96] This plan was frustrated by the Japanese defeat in the Battle of the Coral Sea and was postponed indefinitely after the Battle of Midway.[97] While these battles ended the threat to Australia, the Australian government continued to warn that an invasion was possible until mid-1943.[95]

In February 1942, Japanese Admiral Yamamoto, who had planned the successful attack on Pearl Harbor, proposed an immediate invasion of Australia. He had just implemented his bombing raids on Darwin in the Northern Territory. He pleaded with the Japanese General Staff, to land two Japanese Army Divisions on the northern coastline of Australia which was very poorly defended. They were to follow the north-south railway line to Adelaide, thus dividing Australia into two fronts. Once Adelaide had been taken, a second force would land on the south east coast of Australia and drive northwards to Sydney and southwards to Melbourne.


Yamamoto's plan appeared to be a diversionary invasion plan rather than a plan to occupy Australia. He wanted to draw large American forces away from launching attacks on the Japanese Island chain far to the north of Australia.


General Yamashita agreed with Yamamoto's Invasion Plan and even volunteered to lead the invasion. However, the plan was opposed by Japanese Prime Minister, General Tojo, as he believed that there were no contingency plans considered for Yamamoto's Invasion Plan. General Tojo was concerned that the Japanese merchant fleet was extended to its limit and the Americans could readily divert their B-17 Flying Fortresses to Sydney to destroy the invading forces.


Emperor Hirohito decided to postpone the Invasion Plan until Japanese forces had taken Burma and joined forces with the rebel Indian Nationalists. The outcomes of the Battles of the Coral Sea and Midway ensured the Invasion Plan for Australia was never revisited.
"Toku Tai - Japanese Submarine Operations in Australian Waters"
By Lew Lind




SpitfireV said:
I have a particular thought that this isn't strictly true- the Pacific war from the US side was dependant on Australian (and to a lesser extend New Zealand) bases of operation for repairs, training, R&R etc. So the benefit was mutual.

While Australia and New Zealand were without a doubt vital both to the US Navy and the outcome of the rest of the war, the testimony of Japanese officers are very clear that the reason the Japanese Navy did not invade prior to Coral Sea conflict was because of the reach of the B-17 bombers- which could potentially complicate the desired invasion or even cripple it, and the greater urgency for the Japanese command to consolidate and defensively fortify the islands they had already taken. Thus the invasion of Australia was not viable, and the plans were shelved. Attention was shifted to fortification of the previously gained territory against a rapidly advancing American carrier force, which their intelligence suggested posed a grave threat. Extensive construction of pillboxes and bunkers continued 24 hours a day on those islands. Here's a real interesting website that chronicles many of the Japanese Navy's preparations for an eventual invasion of Australia. Much of the reconnaissance was done ahead of time, and formal plans were drafted. Japanese deep reconaissance were on the ground in Australia at several points on multiple occasions.

http://www.ozatwar.com/japsland/japsland.htm


In summary, it seems plainly clear, both through circumstantial evidence vis-à-vis the extensive preparation and groundwork, and also through testimonial evidence after the war, that what prevented the invasion from coming to fruition was the offensive threat of the American carrier forces. Further, it seems likely that if the Allies had chosen an alternate path- such as choosing to tolerate Japanese consolidation of previous conquests, or deferring to some other regional strategy, it is evident that the Japanese may have opted to fortify those positions and then moved onward to forcefully demand the submission of Australia, or even revived the shelved invasion. All the Allied intelligence pointed to a lingering threat from Japan until 1943.

Later, I'll post some of the Japanese testimony. Makes for interesting reading.
 

JBS

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Here is a nice "reconstructed" map of their battle plan for the Battle of The Coral Sea:

bhmv0k.gif
 

AWP

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The Japanese vastly overstated the ability of the B-17 to stop an invasion.

Our light and medium bombers (A-20, B-25) are a different story. :)
 

SpitfireV

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The A-20 is one of my favourite ac of all time.

JBS, that's a hell of a post. Let me work my way through it and get back to you.
 

SpitfireV

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JBS, I would say that the fact that the PM vetoed the plan would have been more of a factor than the US carriers, no?
 

JBS

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JBS, I would say that the fact that the PM vetoed the plan would have been more of a factor than the US carriers, no?
Surely, except there'd have been no veto without a very real and clear threat from the US carriers. The dissent amongst Japanese leadership came from their differing assessment of the gathering Allied threats- principally the carriers and the air power- not from any lack of desire to own Australia.
 

pardus

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Surely, except there'd have been no veto without a very real and clear threat from the US carriers. The dissent amongst Japanese leadership came from their differing assessment of the gathering Allied threats- principally the carriers and the air power- not from any lack of desire to own Australia.

That was my thinking as well.
 

SpitfireV

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That's fair.

Please don't think I'm trying to be a dick about these things; I just find all this really interesting and like to explore the different options.
 

JBS

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I don't think that at all. A dick- no. A homo, yes.

:D

If it weren't for the ability to debate, and try to substantiate a viewpoint, threads like this would be boring. I like when I have to dig for the answer to something. That's good stuff.
 

Marauder06

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That's fair.

Please don't think I'm trying to be a dick about these things; I just find all this really interesting and like to explore the different options.

No one thinks you're a dick. Well, not because of this thread, anyway. :D
 
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