December 7, 1939

The Discussion Board For The True Queen Of The Seas
Joined: July 8th, 2007, 8:30 pm

July 11th, 2018, 5:10 pm #11

Wow.  Hadn't even thought about what a wrench this throws into the European war.  Historically the US sold a lot of planes and other materials to the French and British during the 39-41 time frame.  I would expect some of this to be curtailed a bit.

Back on the Pacific side of things Japan had used part of 40 and 41 to build up her oil reserves.  That goes away with this.  The material sent to the Philippines in 41 wouldn't be lost there but they would be weaker than historical not sure how it would play out.

With the base at PH not being as advanced it's going to take the US longer to build up to the point where they can cross the Pacific. 
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Joined: October 3rd, 2014, 2:39 am

July 11th, 2018, 6:30 pm #12

Well gents duh it slipped my mind that the main fleet was not yet at Pearl, so the question should have been simply "Japan attacks Dec 10, 1939 (thanks also for the tip re the Calendar, Duh #2?)
not "Japan attacks Pearl Harbor."    
It ain't THAT far to Tipperary....
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Joined: July 8th, 2007, 8:30 pm

July 11th, 2018, 7:00 pm #13

At that point just taking the Philipines was probably the best thing they could do.  Problem is it doesn't get them any significant amount of oil.  Do they go on and hit the French, British, and Dutch?  If they want oil they pretty much have to.  Won't be nearly as many arguments of what year the war started on in this case.
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Joined: July 11th, 2018, 9:01 pm

July 11th, 2018, 10:10 pm #14

The US Fleet (now PacFlt) was forwarded deployed to Pearl, they didn't move their main base there. Adm. J. O. Richardson complained continuously about the lack of "everything" to Stark. He did not, however, say anything about any danger of a raid by enemy forces. He recapitulated this under oath during the Congressional Hearings, then told a different story in "The Treadmill to Pearl Harbor", when he wasn't required to tell the truth. 

As for an attack on that day, the ~35,000 Army troops and the air support they had, wouldn't have been fully in place yet. 
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Joined: August 26th, 2007, 2:17 am

July 12th, 2018, 12:53 am #15

 Perusing through the other IJN assets, it looks like BB Hiei, CAs Tone, Myoko, and Haguro would not be available for operations due to construction/reconstruction but a huge slew of others had finished in mid-'39. Haven't looked at the CLs yet but for the DDs the first Kagero had just entered service while all of the older Minekaze, Kamikaze, Wakatake, and Momi classes were still in active service.
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Joined: November 11th, 2014, 11:51 pm

July 12th, 2018, 5:21 am #16

Maciej Chodnicki wrote: Shohaku and Zuikaku were just launched
Hiryu was just commisioned in the middle of 1939, so would be in similar state as historically Shokaku and Zuikaku

What about Akagi, was fully operational after big modernization?

I'm affraid Japan strike would be much, much smaller 2 years before.
Don't even touch planes types.
No Kageros in 1939 and IIRC the Asashio were in reserve until they debugged the propeller issues, so it looks like the IJN is stuck with the older classes for destroyers that had practically no light AA weapons. Would be interesting to now if the historical oilers were available.

And we are forgetting the French and Dutch motherlands are not axis occupied in 1939, expect more reinforcements to Indochina and NEI than historically. With Italy still neutral we might see Dunquerque and Strasbourg joining a strong British fleet (5 x QE + R&R ?) at Singapore,  that puts a significant wrench in any Japanese plans.
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Joined: August 26th, 2007, 2:17 am

July 12th, 2018, 5:43 am #17

TOS1956 wrote:
Maciej Chodnicki wrote: Shohaku and Zuikaku were just launched
Hiryu was just commisioned in the middle of 1939, so would be in similar state as historically Shokaku and Zuikaku

What about Akagi, was fully operational after big modernization?

I'm affraid Japan strike would be much, much smaller 2 years before.
Don't even touch planes types.
No Kageros in 1939 and IIRC the Asashio were in reserve until they debugged the propeller issues, so it looks like the IJN is stuck with the older classes for destroyers that had practically no light AA weapons. Would be interesting to now if the historical oilers were available.

And we are forgetting the French and Dutch motherlands are not axis occupied in 1939, expect more reinforcements to Indochina and NEI than historically. With Italy still neutral we might see Dunquerque and Strasbourg joining a strong British fleet (5 x QE + R&R ?) at Singapore,  that puts a significant wrench in any Japanese plans.
 Given what the British, French, and Dutch could muster, it would certainly seem like you would want the bulk of the IJN's forces to go into invading the D.E.I., with secondary forces dispatched against the East Asiatic Squadron at the Philippines, perhaps something along the lines of this?:

Philippines Attack Force -
CVLs Ryujo, Hosho
BBs Fuso, Yamashiro
CAs Aoba, Kako, Kinugasa, Furutuka
CLs Yubari, Tenryu, Tatsuta
8xFubuki DD
6xWakatake DD
10xMomi DD
 

Malaya/Singapore Attack Force -

"Carrier Covering Force"
CVs Akagi, Kaga, Soryu
BBs Kongo, Kirishima, Haruna
CA Chikuma
CL Abukuma
6xHatsuharu DD
8xMutsuki DD
 
"First Striking Force"
BBs Nagato, Mutsu, Ise, Hyuga
CAs Takao, Atago, Maya, Chokai, Nachi, Ashigara
CLs Naka, Sendai, Jintsu
10xShiratsuyu DD
4xAkatsuki DD
10xFubuki DD
 
"Invasion Force Covering Group(s)"
CAs Mogami, Mikuma, Suzuya, Kumano
CLs Kuma, Tama, Kiso, Nagara, Yura, Kinu
4xMutsuki DD
8xKamikaze DD
10xMinekaze DD
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Joined: August 24th, 2007, 11:14 pm

July 12th, 2018, 11:14 am #18

  Guys

  I agree that if the Japanese attack in Dec 39 their main effort has to be in support of the southern push.  However how well can they support this with their nearest bases at Taiwan or Hainan Is?  Carrier forces especially can only stay in a region for a few days while fighting, even without any enemy threat because they consume their fuel and weapons. 

  Do they try and do it incrementally, taking FIC 1st then pushing on from there, possibly trying to intimidate/bribe Thailand as OTL or can they try everything at once?  One thing in their favour is that with the war having started in Europe I doubt the European powers have massive amounts in SEA.  Although the British subs will be in Malaya rather than diverted to the Med and troops being recruited in India and Australia could fairly quickly be switched to support the theatre, as might some French colonial forces while the Phony war is on.  The allies still have to guard against what Italy might do and of course are likely to be taken by surprise by the German OTL attacks in the north and then the west.

  Its also going to be important what happens with the Netherlands.  The Japanese are going to have to go to war with them for the DEI and its resources but will Germany also attack them, possibly triggering Belgium coming out of neutrality and American merging the two conflicts early in 1940 or do they wait until May 40?

  If there is a big war in the Pacific and the US isn't active in the European conflict what are the chances that a large proportion of the Pacific fleet gets sent to say Malaya or Java, i.e. where the fighting is?  Hopefully not an attempt to 'relieve' the Philippines as that could be disastrous, although it could also pose a problem for the IJN with the bulk of its forces further south.  If so how well could USN ships be supported in SEA?

  How well defended was FIC at this point and would the allies, possibly being thinly stretched and in the short term at least being heavily outnumbered at sea, seek to reinforce it?  Or do they fight a delaying action there while strengthening the territories to the south?  A lot might depend on what the Japanese attack and when.

  One other possible butterfly.  Does this have the same political effect in Britain as Norway, i.e. leading to Chamberlain's resignation as PM and if so does Churchill replace him or Halifax or someone else?  Ditto come to think of it with the US 1940 Presidential elections?  Does FDR still stand for an unprecedented 3rd term and is he seen as weak or strong -which likely depends on what happens in the 1st half of 1940.

  Basically such a Japanese action, which is likely to end badly for them earlier than OTL, opens up multiple cans of worms all over the place. 

PS  How much planning do we assume the Japanese do for this in terms of seeking to moblise units/reserves and accumulate oil and other vital import stocks?

  Steve
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Joined: July 6th, 2006, 1:43 pm

July 12th, 2018, 12:53 pm #19

On the other hand, 2 less years of Japanese aggression in China and little to no sanctions at the time poison the atmosphere.  A strong Japanese diplomatic and military push to access (and protect) NEI oil and mineral resources against 'threatening' British and French discussions to force Dutch compliance both in Europe and NEI?
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Joined: September 23rd, 2014, 7:26 pm

July 12th, 2018, 1:24 pm #20

I think that the Dutch would go all-out for defense of the DEI, assuming that Germany would leave the Netherlands neutral in WW2 as it did in WW1.  Attacking the Netherlands was not in the best interests of Germany.
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