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Japan invade Hawaii!!!!

Discussion in 'What If - Pacific and CBI' started by mp38, Dec 15, 2002.

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  1. mp38

    mp38 Member

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    We all know the Japanese attacke Pearl Harbor with 2 successfull air attacks, and then held back a third attack.

    What if the Japanese had an invasion force along with the fleet? Battleships, cruisers, and landing crafts. They could lauch thier third wave of attack aircraft an lauch an invasion force of landing troops on Hawaii! Do you think they could have succeeded? If so, how would this have changed the war?

    Matt
     
  2. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

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    It wouldn`t [​IMG]
    The Japanese were not capable of launching a successful invasion against Hawaii.
    The Japanese were already at the end of their logistical capability in the attacks on Pearl Habor.
    They would not have been able to supply or maintain an invasion that far from their own territory
     
  3. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

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    Yes, Yes, and Yes.
    ;)
     
  4. Carl G. E. von Mannerheim

    Carl G. E. von Mannerheim Ace

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    I am not sure. It is possible but not likely, but then again, they were able to invade the Philippines, but they were much closer.

    CvM
     
  5. mp38

    mp38 Member

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    Redcoat and Crazy,

    First off, this is a "what if" scenario. Let's not just dismiss something as "not possible".

    Second off-
    Why not? The Japanese were planning on invading and occupying Midway just 6 months later? They invaded Attu and Kiska, the Phillipenes, China, Tiawan, Java, Guam, Wake, Marshall Is., Gilbert Is., Tinian, Palau, need I say more?????

    Why do you think that they weren't capable of launching an invasion? They definately had the troops, ships, and the ability to do so. They also had more experience in amphibious invasion than any other military in 1941!! Plus they would have had air superiority, and naval control!
    If the US carriers had shown up, they could have been wiped out! The US Pacific fleet could have been gone!
    Plus, don't forget that about half of population of Hawaii was Japanese!

    Matt :cool:
     
  6. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

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    Hmmm, interesting.. you seem to have found evidence that no other historian in 50 years has found. Congradulations!

    Even a "what if" scenario has to be possible! Try suggesting some things that are actually realistic! Have you actually thought about these "what if" scenarios, or do you just throw it out there without a thought??

    Geez, wonder why no one else responds :rolleyes:
     
  7. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    I for one think an invasion would have been successful. The navy was pretty much knocked out and in state of chaos. The army was poorly armed and not really ready. The air support was smashed on the ground. It could have been done. I do not believe it would have altered the course of the war. It would have been a logistical nightmare for the Japanese. So, it was a smart move for them not to have invaded even though it did serve as a major naval base for the US.
     
  8. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

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    Which landing and transport craft would the Japanese have used? The vast majority of such vessels were already deployed...

    And what about the fleet size? Such an invasion force would have at least doubled the size of the Japanese fleet that sailed on Pearl Harbor. So would the Japanese fleet still have been able to remain undetected as long as it did? Doubt it...
    And if the fleet had been discovered earlier, you can no longer count on the attack at Pearl Harbor proceeding the same way.

    In other words, the sheer size of an invasion fleet would have cancelled the suprise advantage the Japanese enjoyed at Pearl Harbor. And no suprise means prepared American defenders. Which would probably mean a horribly unsuccessful attack against Pearl Harbor (ready and waiting battleships plus carriers available), and any invasion ideas the Japanese had go down the toilet.
     
  9. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    I disagree. The Japanese did have surprise on their side regardless of the size of force. The American new the force left Japan but did not know where it was going. They could not defend all of their areas. Using the same sized force as was used in the invasion of the Phillipines would have been sufficient for the job. Question is, could it have been done successfully? I say yes. Could it have been held onto? Not for long. Would it have been a smart move? I say no. That would have left the Phillipines in American hands and having such a force that close would have been disastrous. The choice would have been Hawaii or Phillipines. Not both.
     
  10. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

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    What do you mean? This makes no sense!!
    True, the Americans knew the Japanese fleet left Japan. And they were looking for it, right? So if you add on a hundred ships or so, BY DEFINITION the fleet become larger and thus easier to find. Not to mention the fact that troop transports are far slower than battleships and carriers, so they would have slowed down the whole fleet.

    So how in the world would Japan achieve suprise "regardless of the size of their force"?? With their magic cloaking devices???

    Geez, that what-ifs this week seem to be ignoring the real world...
     
  11. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    There were two different forces that departed Japan. The Carrier force that attacked Hawaii and the invasion force that landed in the Aluetians. With those two forces, the Americans still could not find out where they were. The Americans kept an eye on Alaska, Hawaii, Midway, Guam, the Solomons, The Phillipines and who knows where else. Were the Americans not surprised by the attack on Pearl Harbor? The invasion could have taken place and achieved surprise. Just knowing that a task force left does not mean knowing where it was going to. And in a what if scenario, we do change some of the variables so we can discuss what kind of outcome would have resulted. In this case, what would have resulted had the Japanese invaded Hawaii? Not, was it feasible?
     
  12. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

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    But if one of those forces had been larger AND slower ?

    Again, could you actually provide any evidence or theories as to how this larger, slower fleet would have escaped detection? Or rather, since you seem to be saying that it would not have been possible for the Americans to detect the fleet, could you again elaborate on these cloaking devices?

    An invasion force would also require massive amounts of supplies and provisions, further enlarging the fleet.

    A Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor would have been contrary to the entire point of the operation- the Japanese wanted to eliminate American Naval power, not invade Hawaii.

    The aerial attack on Pearl Harbor tok only a couple hours- an invasion would have taken far longer, at least half a day just to land the first wave of soldiers. Look at D-Day- all the practice and equipment the Allies had, and yet they ran into major resistance. How would the Japanese have overcome this? Or do we take here the same theory that is often used with the British- that the Americans would simply freeze up in terror and surrender? (I love it- here agin, we have NO mention of Americans defending Hawaii- apparently, in what if scenarios, the allies no longer have their ability to fight! Allied)

    Elaborating on the above non-mentioned point, MP and PzJgr, you are both assuming that the Japanese could easily roll up the entire Island without a fight! Hmmm... similar assumptions were made by the germans at Stalingrad and the Battle of Britian... How'd that work out?!

    And, as you note, the Japanese would clearly not have been able to hold Hawaii even if they had invaded- so the premise of your what if is based on the Japanese attempting an operation they knew to be useless.

    Discussing the outcome of a what-if is pointless if the basis for the scenario in the first place is flawed. It is pointless to throw out an impossible scenario and then say "what would have happened"...

    What if the Japanese had enlisted Godzilla to attack Pearl Harbor instead of a carrier fleet? What would that outcome have been then?
    :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: ]

    In conclusion, if I could just quote redcoat, who actually laid out the REAL-WORLD issues surrounding this idea-
    Again, Yes, Yes, and Yes.

    Unless the Japanese had Godzilla.
     
  13. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

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    Some notes on Japanese landing forces...

    from http://www.geocities.com/dutcheastindies/SNLF.html

    http://www.star-games.com/exhibits/snlf/snlf.html
    Another page on the SNLF troops.

    more...
    http://www.uog.edu/faculty/ballendo/japblitz.htm

    One other thing I learned- Japanese troop transport ships were rather large, capable of carrying at least 1000 troops. So the Japanese fleet would have had enough ships to transpost the troops needed to invade Hawaii. Unfortunately, these troop transports were also slow, and they did not have the fule capacity of the larger ships. Thus a trip to Pearl Harbor would have taken at least TWICE as long with transports attached, once one not only considers slow speed but also required refueling.

    Soooo... in light of this EVIDENCE...

    The Japanese had approximately 13,000 Naval Landing troops available at the time of Pearl Harbor. And, these troops were BUSY when Pearl Harbor was attacked. As noted above, and as makes sense, the Japanese Landing troops were used to conquer Midway, Wake, Guam, Luzon, and Malaysia- all of which were targets the Japanese could hope for some success atacking. Even more, these conquests were necessary to ensure Japanese supplies.

    So- for this invasion of Pearl Harbor scenario, even if we ignore the real-world practical difficulties involved in actually transporting the troops over 1000 miles to Pearl Harbor (love those magic cloaking devices!), this "invasion" idea still is confronted by a major flaw. WHat of their other conquests would the Japanese have had to forgoe had they invaded Pearl Harbor? Would they skip Wake Island? Or Guam? You guys (and the Japanese) can't have it both ways- unless of course the Japanese could also magically produce extra invasion troops!

    In addition to this, the Japanese would not have been able to use many of their common tactics for landings. "Aerial and submarine reconaissance"? Well, maybe the Japanese could have snuck a few submarines into Pearl Harbor to do SOME reconaissance (Oh yeah, the cloaking devices again- OF COURSE we would not have caught them!)... BUT- I don't think the Japanese had similar cloaking devices for their air recon forces. So without aerial reconaissance, the Japanese troops would have been landing on beaches they had not even seen, yet alone rehearsed and trained for.
    And the bombardment that always preceeded Japanese landing forces- hmmmm... would the Japanese have still been able to maintain the advantage of suprise while bombarding the beaches at Peark Harbor? Think not... But wait, you say- they are already attacking the ships! They would not need suprise! -- Correct. And if they were using their efforts and munitions to bombard the beaches, what about the American ships? Again, can't have it both ways- either the Japanese air forces fire on the ships in the harbor, OR they bomb the beaches.

    Considering all this, and considering that I have yet to hear any EXPLANATION as to how the Japanese would have remained undetected for 1000 miles moving at half speed, I think clearly any Japanese invasion of Hawaii was logistically and practically impossible.

    Sorry- I know how much evidence can detract from a discussion like this! :rolleyes:

    Although the Godzilla theory still lingers...

    [ 17. December 2002, 09:31 AM: Message edited by: CrazyD ]
     
  14. mp38

    mp38 Member

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    Good research Crazy!

    Ok, we've discussed long enough weather or not the invasion was actually possible. Now lets' get back to the original question proposed.

    what if the Japanese did launch a 3 attack wave, and what if they did invade Hawaii successfully? How would this have changed the war?
    DO you think the US would counter attack with an invasion of Hawaii? or do you think that they would strickly defend the West coast from any future Japanese attacks?

    Matt :cool:
     
  15. AndyW

    AndyW Member

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    See the following essay from a pretty good Pacific War site:

    http://64.124.221.191/pearlops.htm

    OTOH, it would be interesting to know if the U.S. intelligence actually _expected_ a Japanese Invasion on P.H.-Day or later?

    Cheers,

    [ 18. December 2002, 03:43 AM: Message edited by: AndyW ]
     
  16. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I just loved this bit from the site Andy sent...

    :D :D

    I am not going in too deep on this one as I haven´t done research on this any more than just a bit on the Pearl Harbor and Midway. But I do think that the stuff I did on Pearl harbor earlier here had something interesting on it. That is, the Japanese never really got a strategic victory at Pearl Harbor but instead woke the bear from its sleep...

    the question of the third attack wave!

    I think it was agreed that the Japanese wanted to paralyze the US fleet for six months, and they got it. If I understood it right as well they never aimed to make more than one attack wave but made two and thought of a third but because of several dangarous factors decided to leave it undone.

    http://www.ww2forums.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=8;t=000030

    Then as well the actual results were quite poor even if looked great.The SOLID and DESTRUCTIVE results were not reached and thus the Pearl harbor bombing was a failure in that sense.

    "The Japanese failure to destroy the base infrastructure and the American carriers ultimately turned Pearl Harbor into a strategic defeat.
    Had its indispensable support facilities been destroyed too, the fleet would have been forced to retreat to harbours on the American west coast, 2,200 miles further away from Japanese operations"

    Now that would have changed things, I think.As well the logistics for the US troops would have been harder to achieve.

    Anyway, I am happy that the Japs and Nazis lost but I think we were fortunate as well.

    [ 18. December 2002, 05:10 AM: Message edited by: Kai-Petri ]
     
  17. Biggus

    Biggus Member

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    Hi Guys,

    Been lurking for awhile, thought I might as well start posting.

    MP38, I think the point that you're missing is that the intention was NOT to invade Hawaii. It was just to take the USN out of the war.

    I think that taking Hawaii would be pointless. It would mean that the Japanese would have to give up some of their ambitions for the south Pacific, and try to defend what is really an indefensible position at the end of a supply line that would be under constant attack by any remaining US naval forces. And it would probably not delay the USAAF from deploying to Aus and PNG to harrass supply lines in the south.

    Just my 0.02c.
     
  18. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

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    Yeah, let's discuss the possible results of an IMPOSSIBLE scenario.

    Duh...

    Biggus ( :D ), thatis only one of the many points being missed :rolleyes:
    Very true indeed. For this What-If to have ANY validity at all, one also has to consider the areas the Japanese would NOT have been able to take if they had attempted an invasion of Pearl Harbor. Such an invasion would have (obviously to some of us!) required troops and equipment. SO what would the Japanese sacrifice? Probably their position in the Phillipines... and which would be more valuable? The Japanese were actually able to hold the Phillipines. Hawaii??? Not a chance. The Japanese forces would have quickly found themselves with no support, no supplies, and no options.

    Good point, Kai... and agin along these lines... The Japanese did not even entirely succeed in their attack on Pearl Harbor. So not only would an invasion have left them stranded in a bad position, but the US carrier force could have quickly and efficiently moved in and wiped them out.

    Andy, I get the idea that US intelligence was not really worried, at least about the mainland US. I think they clearly recognized the same thing many of us have noted- an invasion over such distances and under such conditions was not really a threat. Now Hawaii- I'm sure there was some minor consideration that the Japanese would attempt an invasion... but if anything, I think the attack on Pearl Harbor probably quieted those suspicions. The Japanese attacked the naval forces and them immediately pulled back. This was probably a relatively clear signal to the US that the Japanese in fact did not have the capability to stage any such invasion, otherwise why would they not have tried it on the battered and beaten Pearl Harbor? I'm sure the American planners could see that the Japanese would not have had any better shot than P.H. So when that danger passed...
    The American people, now that was a different story entirely. From what I have read, I get the idea that the entire West coast was thoroughly paranoid that the Japanese would be showing up on their beaches at any moment!

    [ 18. December 2002, 08:55 AM: Message edited by: CrazyD ]
     
  19. AndyW

    AndyW Member

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    The Japanese must have been really desperate (in a realpolitik and geo-political meaning) to attack P.H. and going on war with the almighty U.S.A.

    I mean, if the Japanese leadership considered THIS (war with the U.S.A.) as a more favorable / successful alternative compared to "appeasing" the U.S.A., I can imagine that they were running out of political and peaceful alternatives.

    Maybe to them it was a question of staying a major power in the Pacific or becoming just another a minor country, living under U.S./CW hegemony in the Pacific area. I guess Japan's urgent need for colonies / imports mixed with the impossibility to get the needed resources in a peaceful way (e.g. by trade relationship with the U.S./CW) didn't left much room for peace.

    Just a thought.

    Cheers,

    [ 18. December 2002, 11:47 AM: Message edited by: AndyW ]
     
  20. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

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    Heh! Funny, Andy, I was sitting here enjoying my afternoon (1/2 personal day when I SHOULD be shopping...) and a somewhat similar idea struck me...

    I was thinking along the lines of combining MP's original What-if scenario with some of the issues that have been raised as problems with said What If...
    Now, from my point of view, as things were, the Japanese could not realitically have attempted and invasion of Pearl Harbor. One of the major reasons for this would seem to be their lack of sufficient troops, equipment, and logistics. As redcoat noted, the Japanese were already at the end of a very long "logistical road" when they attacked Pearl Harbor. And I believe also a major problem with the What-If as it stood was the lack of Japanese troops- where would the invasion force be drawn from?
    As it was, the Japanese were mainly concerned with a war of conquest, and the aquisition of as much territory and "power" as possible.
    But...
    Let's suppose a couple elements here. Let say, the Japanese had changed their entire outlook on entering/persecuting the war. Instead of conquest, the Japanese decide right from the beginning, as early as the mid-30s even that they will be going to war- with the express intent of conquering the US. Instead of their other island conquests (as it was, the main areas where they used their few amphibious invasion troops), the Japanese focused ENTIRELY on defeating the US?

    Now in some areas (proably many actually!) of the Pacific war, I'll be the first to admit that my knowledge is deficient. One question I will need to look into is (here's a suprise ;) ) the resource and logistics situation of the Japanese upon entering the war. The resources and materials that fueled the Japanese war machine- were they mainly indigenous, or were these materials mainly assimilated from conquered tterritories?

    Depending on said resource situation, I think this one could be a very interesting scenario. Let's go with an attack on Pearl Harbor as planned. In addition to this, instead of attacking the Phillipines, Luzon, etc., the Japanese concentrate all of their immediate soldiers and supplies into as big an invasion force as they could. And maybe attempt a multiple-group invasion of the west coast?
    The only real major difficulty I could see off the top of my head for the Japanese would be an issue I already raised- how the invasion fleet would manage to make it any significant distance without detection...

    Any thoughts on this? Does this scenario fall under the same category as the original hawaii invasion idea- an essentially impossible scenario? Or would the Japanese be able to mount anythign significant?

    Or am I just way out on a limb here???

    [ 18. December 2002, 01:42 PM: Message edited by: CrazyD ]
     
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