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Japanese weakness in tanks

Discussion in 'Tank Warfare of World War 2' started by Zach gibson, Apr 11, 2018.

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  1. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large Patron  

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    Nickel (Ni) is a critical alloying metal in the production of steel armor. Japan had some domestic production, supplemented with some from Korea, but they were totally inadequate for wartime needs. Part of Japan's war plans were to seize significant nickel production areas in Celebes Island, DEI (Soroaka mines), the Badwin mines in Burma and in New Caledonia (at the time the richest known nickel deposits in the world). Japan also needed nickel to use as filaments in vacuum tubes. They resorted to melting down nickel coins they acquired in Hong Kong. They attempted to use copper in place of nickel for armor production but the resulting armor was not as good.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
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  2. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    I am not saying that Airpower alone is sufficient to eliminate enemy armot, yes troops on the grond, and AT guns did most of the heavy lifting, but the ability to strafe and attack enemy armor, and the supplies they need to be effective, you basically get rid of the need for more tank's or super tanks. And sowing cation and panic is absolutely an effective means of fighting an enemy, it can change the way they fight, and allows the dominant force to in a way dictate the battle, or more accurately predict what the enemy will or will not do.

    Yes Japan embarrassed, and ultimately defeated the Russians, but the Japanese could not make the same kind of gains and successes the Germans had in the beginning stages of the Invasion of the Soviet Union. They could have been a nice thorn in the side of the Russians, but I think it would be impossible for Japan to defeat Russia, or to inflict massive strategic losses to the Soviets, or even cause as much havoc and destruction as the Germans did.



    Sorry about the M-3 Stuart typo, when I see M3, Lee pops up in my mind....:p and very good point that the Japanese simply didn't have the money or resources to develop tanks further.
    That is exactly what I'm alluding too in a sense.....
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
  3. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, but I think you got that backwards... :p
     
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  4. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    A related thought that occurred to me; given the state of Japanese light tanks, why don't we see US forces coming up with some AT rifles? I know that Japanese tanks weren't encountered very often, but you'd think the Marines and Army could scare up some British Boys AT rifles, perhaps in .50 BMG, just in case. Yeah, they could be taken out at close range with an M1 Bazooka, but I'm sure anyone would rather plink away at them from 500 yards rather than 100 yards.


    .
     
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  5. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Well they did tend to have a lot of 50 caliber machine guns. I'd tend to favor that over a rifle.
     
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  6. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Echoing some of JJ & Takao above, It really is all about the Navy in C20th Imperial Japan, isn't it?
    I don't believe they realistically envisioned taking the US or Oz as a particularly sensible objective, but utter domination of their own Pacific/Asian region was entirely within their aims.

    The Navy provides cover for all those Islands, which can then be suppressed by entirely un-armoured troops. (Even Australia might be doable if a solid enough blockade can be upheld. Though given the size of the place who fancies holding that as a peaceful colony.)
    The Asian landmass around India etc., the colonial territories, also likely depends far more on Naval power than tracked things?
    Block it off successfully from the sea and opposition resupply there is incredibly difficult, China or not. China fights her own wars, and has to look North and South at all times...
    Grind up a lot of Jungle-ish territory using your well-proven troops that fight so hard on a bowl of rice a day.
    India, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia etc. a solid base for one day squaring up against the Chinese.

    Navy Navy Navy.
    Tanks nice, but not needed.

    Looking forward to being shot down in flames.
    I am still crap at Pacific stuff. :D
     
  7. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    You couldn't really hump one of those around in Guadalcanal, could you? Not without mounting it on a vehicle which might or might not be able to get into the area where you needed it. I'm thinking of dedicated AT rifles that could be deployed forward as needed.

    .
     
  8. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    A number of the Boys Anti-tank Rifle saw service with the US Marines in the Pacific. First combat use was by the 2nd Raider Battalion on the Makin Island raid. Subsequently "The Marine Raiders employed Boys rifles in other Pacific campaigns in 1942 and 1943, including New Georgia" (Springfield Armory museum, Springfield Armory Museum - Collection Record,)
     
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  9. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Probably because the Boys did not do to well in Malaya, where there were far more Japanese tanks. Also given the nature of the terrain on Guadalcanal and the Pacific islands where are you expecting to have a 500-yard shot?
     
  10. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Add air power into the mix and you pretty much have it.
     
  11. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    You are absolutely right Von Poop that the Japanese relied and needed to rely heavily on the Navy to hope for any kind of success. but ironically enough, the only nation I think Japan had any chance with fully taking and invading successfully, is India. Had the Japanese focused their attention away from Malaya, the Philippines, and other smaller targets, and focused solely on India, with the help of the Imperial Navy, a joint Naval and land invasion could have been very possible with an over extended British Empire. The Royal Navy and what few RAF divisions present would be devastated early, and from there Japan could have appealed to the Indian people by saying, "Hey, if you help fight the Brits, when this war is over, we'll give you sovereignty!". When the Japanese will never actually grant independence, but Indians in the hundreds of thousands accept and fight alongside the Japanese. Ending the British Colonial rule of India, and striking a bigger blow to the Allies than Pearl Harbor, the fall of Singapore, the Philippines, and the Dutch East Indies. Now one of the problems of my theory is that the Imperial Navy, and Army never really got along. So a joint invasion might not have gone smoothly with each faction trying to outsmart and fight better than the other for bragging rights. Another issue is supplying such an invasion force, now the advent of the Navy helps this tremendously. In 1944 when Japan tried to Invade India through Imphal and Kohima, the supply issues essentially defeated the Japanese, rather than the British and Australian Soldiers they fought against. If the Navy was able to supply the Invading forces and maintain control of the Indian ocean, I don't see how it's not possible.......I'm ready to take the heat and criticism :cool:
     
  12. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    In order to launch a major invasion of India the IJN would leave Japan vulnerable to the US fleet. It's also not clear that they had the logistics to accomplish this either. Remember Midway used about half the oil reserve the IJN started the war with. This operation would almost assuredly require more.
     
  13. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    If the Japanese didn't attack the U.S at all, and truly focused solely on India, I think they still could have succeeded. India also has pretty good oil reserves the Japanese desperately needed. From there they could go to other British, Dutch and French colonies, and ignore the U.S settlements, at least for a while.
     
  14. green slime

    green slime Member Patron  

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    They couldn't. The risk to their supply lines posed by the US-held Philippines prevents any delay. They did not believe the US would allow them to expand their war (outside China) further without getting involved. And they needed the rubber and oil supplies of the Dutch East Indies.
     
  15. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Once they took the Dutch East Indies the Japanese actually had a reasonable "oil reserve". The problem they had was getting it to the refineries and Japan. That would be a lot more difficult if it is coming from India and subs and planes are operating out of the PHilipines. The US had offered Britain use of our ports in the event of war with Japan even if we weren't in it initially. And given USN ships shadowing are reporting the position of German ships in the Atlantic region Japan could reasonably expect the same from US ships and planes operating out of the Philippines.
     
  16. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    IIRC, India did not have that much oil.
    there would be the matter of Japan taking over India before the Allies begin reinforcing their territories. Frankly, I don't see Japan doing it in time.
     
  17. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru Patron  

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    Even if they had the resources, did Japan really have the manpower to do such things? Take India or Australia? Both are large countries, India especially has a large population so I would imagine they'd have a large standing Army in lieu of a Japanese attack, or be able to mount a pretty large resistance to occupation.
     
  18. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely, but as I mentioned, they could have easily reminded the Indians of their treatment from the British to say, "Hey come fight with us, and you'll be free" I would imagine that quite a few Indians would do just that. I'm not trying to stray into "what if" territory, but it's food for thought......
     
  19. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The IJA was pretty much fully engaged in China. You think that they could take on the two most heavily populated regions in the world and win while defending themselves in the vast area of the Pacific? All when they didn't have the logistics to really support what they did historically?
     
  20. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Very good points lwd, I believe that China was a lost cause for the Japanese, but as I mentioned they could have swayed the massive population of India towards fighting against their oppressive British Rulers in unison with the Japanese. I know quite a few Indians went to fight with the Japanese to do just that........Indian National Army - Wikipedia
     

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