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Does OZ owe it's freedom to the US?

Discussion in 'War in the Pacific' started by Ken The Kanuck, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Aussiegoat

    Aussiegoat Member

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    For every reliable, accurate article, you can bet there were at least the same amount of unreliable, inaccurate articles. How can you class the media, especially in 1941 as a reliable source upon which to craft a foreign policy? Do you believe every newspaper article you read?
     
  2. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    http://ibiblio.org/pha/monos/

    He did order a small vessel to be armed and manned by USN personnel and that vessel would be going into harm's way. I've seen the text of the order.
     
  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The polls show that the US public was much readier to deal with Japan as opposed to Germany. I thought that invading Indo-china was a part of the operation to secure the Dutch East Indian oil fields. Cutting aid to China being a secondary objective. No expert though.
     
  4. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    If they were going after the Dutch oil given the US position on things then they were going to have to take the Phillippines. They realized that well before the embargo (even the first one). Japan needed more oil and it was pretty clear they weren't going to get it from the US or Britain. Once the Dutch turned down their request taking it was pretty much their only option other than pulling out of China.
     
  5. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Those of you who take the time to read the Monos I posted above will have a better grasp of Japanese thought for this period.
     
  6. lwd

    lwd Ace

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  7. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The formal decision was made after, but not because of, the embargo. Tojo made the decision, because the Philippines could not be left sitting astride the sea lanes between Japan and the Southern Resources Area. It would be too easy for the US to cut the sea lanes once the war was begun.

    The Japanese had plans to invade the Philippines since the 1920's, should the need ever arise, and they kept those plans updated. See the book Kaigun by Evans & Peattie.


    The USS Isabel was sent straight into the intended path of the invasion fleet.

    Why send three small surface vessels of little military value to recon French Indochina...When PBYs were so much better at reconnaissance and were already performing the recon task assigned to said three small vessels?


    Of course they knew...The PBY reconnaiance was what detected the Japanese shipping build up in the first place. Daily air recon was keeping Admiral Hart well informed of Japanese ship movements in Indochina, and he was diligently passing this info up the chain of command. There was no need to put these three ships where they were ordered to patrol, as aircraft were quite successfully accomplishing that task.

    Here is the order...
    Why charter 3 small vessels instead of actual USN vessels?
    Why use minimum US identification?
    Why the minimal defensive armament?
    Why the use of Filipino crew with minimal US rating?
    Why place them directly in the path the Japanese invasion fleet is expected to take?
    Why use, specifically, the ISABEL, an old, slow, mechanically unreliable, expendable ship?
    Why not other more capable USN warships?

    There is only one reason to use small slow vessels which are under armed, poorly marked, and incapable of running away from harm...
     
  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Just as today, you need to read an amalgam of articles on the same subject, pro and con, not just those that support one side to have a good understanding of the subject matter. Most folks do not do that today.

    There were many many articles back then, both for and against the embargo...Some saw the sale of petroleum as appeasement of the Japanese, allowing them to continue with the military aggression. While others saw the embargo as leading to war. As with most cases, both sides have valid points.

    Do I believe everything I read. No. But by reading several articles on the same subject, I can make a reasonably informed decision.
     
  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

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  10. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I have about a hundred books regarding the socio-political/military events of 1941 and I'm still learning things. It's the fun of history, you never get done with it.
     
  11. Aussiegoat

    Aussiegoat Member

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    Thanks - although I would have just preferred an answer to my question ;) Now I actually have to find the time to read through all of this!

    I haven't done my homework (see above), but why did Tojo make this decision at this time and not before the embargo? Surely this strategic reality was already obvious when they were planning (pre-embargo) the invasion of DEI and Malaya. Do you a link to the primary source showing Tojo's rationale? The timing seems too convenient for the embargo not to have affected his decision.

    Wow...that is an incredible order to give. I'd never heard about that - blew me away! What happened to the other two ships? Did they run into the Japanese fleet as well? This approach seems like an infinitely smarter (albeit ruthless towards the crew) way to provoke your enemy rather than allow them the freedom to attack you wherever they want (aka Pearl).

    Also, am I misinterpreting it, or are they suggesting the use of Filipino crews because they were considered more expendable?

    "...Japanese forces entered southern French Indo-China on 31 July (1941). This move was made in order to strengthen Japan's strategical position and to enable her to threaten force against the Netherlands East Indies, to compel that country to come to terms in regard to oil. To the complete surprise of both Imperial General Headquarters and the Japanese Government, this led to a general United States embargo against Japan. Japan had hoped to adjust the situation by diplomatic negotiations but the United States and Great Britain applied drastic economic pressure by freezing Japanese assets overseas and placing an embargo on oil to Japan. This, together with the Netherlands East Indies' refusal to supply Japan with oil, virtually forced Japan to study plans for war against the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands East Indies..."

    This seems to suggest that the Japanese weren't set on attacking US, GB and DEI until the embargo.
     
  12. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    With my memory you're lucky the link works. :oops:

    And yes, they would have preferred to not add active enemies, but as they were stuck with the war in China and that required resources they didn't have and weren't likely to get from people who didn't want to support their war of aggression...
     
  13. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    And
    I know you have not done your homework...I posted the link in my post #118 on the previous page. You obviously did not read it.

    Japan, in October-November 1940 was looking to conclude a non-aggression pact with the US. Japan would guarantee the security of Guam and the Philippines in return for recognition of the Co-Prosperity Sphere. Failing in this, an attack on the Guam and the Philippines was to be considered an option.

    This is many months before the embargo.

    Please do your homework this time.
     
  14. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    What it suggest is that since the Dutch weren't going to sell them the oil they needed they were going to take it. Without an increase in the oil they were importing they were in a deficit or near deficit situation. When the Dutch refused their demands the die was cast the only question was time. The US and GB were clearly not going to be sources of additional oil and indeed the US had already embargoed av gas as well as certain other resources. The Soviets needed all they could produce and there simply weren't other sources. The embargo did impact the time line because if put the Japanese in a deficit situation not only with regards to oil but other commodities as well. The fact that it wasn't just an embargo but a total freeze on Japanese assets made it difficult for them to access international markets as well. When Japan refused to reign in the officers responsible for the Marco Polo Bridge Incident they set the course for WWII neither the US nor GB were going to abandon China and Japanese atrocities just acerbated the situation.
     
  15. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    And gekokujo ruled the land.
     
  16. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The first, the schooner Lanikai was taken over and commissioned as a US naval vessel, however, she was preparing to leave Manila, when the Japanese attacked. She had her own incredible story to tell as she spent 82 days at sea during her escape from the Philippines to Australia.
    USS Lanikai - Wikipedia

    The other was the schooner Molly Moore, which was never taken over before Japan attacked. I have been unable to find anything else about the vessel following the start of the war.
     
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  17. Aussiegoat

    Aussiegoat Member

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    From my homework, it seems referring to "Japan's intentions" is a bit of a murky affair. Some parties (such as the War and Finance Ministries) wanted war with the US asap, but others were keen to do all they could to avoid it. Importantly, however, it seems that it was consistent government policy to avoid war with the US until after the full embargo/financial freeze was effected. Despite the extensive preparations made to attack the US, these were a case of last resort, not the government's preference. I don't see any evidence that Japan would have attacked the US in or around Dec 1941 had the embargo not been put in place.

    Determining whether the embargo/freeze was the straw that broke the camel's is difficult to determine, however. It forced Japan's hand but it was enacted in August and the final decision for war wasn't made until Oct/Nov. Either way, it certainly added significant weight to that Dromedary, and as such I stick to my contention that it was a mistake. If it hadn't been undertaken, the US entry into the war would have been delayed (determining how long is speculation), giving it more time to prepare for war. The American economy was a spooling behemoth and every day worked in its favour and made it stronger. Yes, Malaya, Singapore, and DEI would have fallen...but they did regardless of the embargo and other allied policies. And the benefits Japan got from its new possessions took time to achieve anyway (e.g. they were unable to bring the DEI refineries on line as quickly as hoped), and in the meantime its military resources would have suffered losses fighting in Malaya and DEI and been ever further extended.

    Ultimately, am I glad the US joined the war when it did? Yes, absolutely. Was it to America's advantage? No, I don't believe so.
     
  18. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Side question: Did the Dutch carry through with their threat to blow up the wellheads?
     
  19. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    To an extent, they did. The oil fields at Tarakan were almost completely destroyed. However, the destruction of the Balikpapan oil fields was much less complete, with most of the destruction being to the harbor/port oil terminal.

    Japanese matters were not helped when the USS Grenadier(SS-210) sank the Taiyo Maru, which was carrying a group of oil technicians, on May 8, 1942. The loss of many of these technicians hindered Japanese efforts to get the oil fields back in production in a timely fashion.
    Japanese Army Auxiliary Transports

    If you are next going to ask about the British, they destroyed their oil fields shortly after the Japanese started their attacks on December 7/8, 1941. The orders going out immediately following the opening of the war.
     
  20. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Yes, I was going to ask next. ;)
     

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