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Probably an old question

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe' started by the_diego, Jul 15, 2018.

  1. the_diego

    the_diego Member

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    So what if Japan threw its weight at eastern Russia, forcing the involvement of the 40 Siberian divisions for at least 2 years. How would the eastern front of the European war have fared?
     
  2. OpanaPointer

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

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    The Japanese had two options on the table in 1941, "Northern Advance" and "Southern Advance." Basically, the Northern Advance, into Siberia, would be an expansion of the China Incident. After Nomonhan they weren't excited about taking on the Russians again. The perceived weakness of the Dutch and British made the Southern Advance sound like a better idea. Additionally, the IJN would have little to do in that scenario, something they didn't care for. It gave the Army too much importance.

    What would change in order for the Northern Advance to become the primary course of action?
     
  3. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    One impact would be on Lend-Lease supplies to the USSR, almost half of which was transported via Vladivostok and the Trans-Siberian Railroad. It's an interesting insight into the effectiveness of the Axis that the Japanese allowed material to pass through their waters for use against their partner Germany.

    Striking north would not help the Japanese solve the crucial problem that led them to expand the war, the need for oil and other natural resources which were denied them by the American/Allied embargo. Siberia's vast oil and gas reserves were not known then, nor did the technology to exploit them yet exist.
     
  4. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    If they go north where do they get the oil they needed? In a case like this the US may not enter the war until mid 42 but Japan and the IJN in particular would be close to suffering critical damage due to lack of oil.
     
  5. OpanaPointer

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

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    green slime likes this.
  6. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    An aspect of the situation I have not seen addressed in all the speculation on this topic. Although the US was giving considerable aid to Britain and the Allies, continued non-belligerence would still be of benefit to Hitler. By late 1941, Americans were coming to accept that we would probably get dragged into the war at some point, and that that would be better than allowing German and Japanese aggression to go unchecked, but there was still little support for us taking the step ourselves in the absence of some provocation like Pearl Harbor.

    Hitler was no doubt frustrated by our peculiar concept of neutrality, but he didn't declare war until we were at war with Japan and a substantial share of our combat power was going to be tied down in the Pacific.

    Another aspect of the Japanese striking north is that the British Empire could devote more forces to the Mediterranean/Middle East and the European theater in general.

    While it's an interesting speculation, I still agree with others that the resources the Japanese needed were all in the south. They apparently did not consider that they could continue their war in China without securing the oil, rubber, tin, rice, etc. of the Southern Resource Area; it would be even more challenging to expand the war into Russia.
     
  7. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I wouldn't say that by late 41 there was little support for us taking a direct role in the war and even the polls prior to 1941 show the general acceptance of the fact that a German victory over GB would not be in our interest. I think we've discussed this in a number of threads already so I'll stop here
     
  8. OpanaPointer

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

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    The Gallup Polls disagree with you. Strongly. Index of /pha/Gallup
     
  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Do they?
    Looking at:
    http://ibiblio.org/pha/Gallup/Gallup 1941.htm
    That takes care of the second half pretty well.
    Then there's:
    of course at that point there was also this more direct question:
    but that's in 1940 by August of 41 you have answers like:
    And of course the big reason there is limited support for going to war in Europe:
    Especially when you consider:
    Still even in November there wasn't a push for directly entering the war at that time per:
    But it's clear the mood is shifting and under some circumstances the majority would support going to war. FDR and out military leadership knew we weren't ready yet so there wasn't a real push for it from there either.
     
  10. OpanaPointer

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

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    Ah, cherry-picking. Love it.
     
  11. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Because this is a "what if". we can obviously only speculate, and we don't know how such an action would have changed the war in not just the East, but everywhere. I believe the success of the Japanese offensive would ultimately determine how much the war in the East would change. If a Japanese offensive in the dead of the Russian winter was successful in defeating a majority of the soviet forces, and pushed them back through Siberia, than it maybe could have had a long reaching effect on the rest of the war, potentially knocking the USSR out of the war. If the offensive was a failure, than I don't believe it would have massively changed the outcome in the east.
     
  12. OpanaPointer

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

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    When did Zhukov's Siberians arrive at Moscow?
     
  13. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    I wouldn't place too much faith in the Gallup polls post 1940. The British Security Coordination had actively been manipulating the US press to increase support for Britain and increase opposition to Germany. They also had David Ogilvy and Hadley Cantril, both agents with the BSC worked directly with Gallup (one for Gallup and one as an advisor to Gallup) and they actively crafted questions to show support, manipulated those sampled and suppressed opinion that was negative to the British cause.

    William Stephenson (Intrepid head of the BSC) later admitted: "Great care was taken beforehand to make certain the poll results would turn out as desired. The questions were to steer opinion toward the support of Britain and the war... Public Opinion was manipulated through what seemed an objective poll."
     
  14. OpanaPointer

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

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    If one polling body comes up with numbers at variance to everybody else then there's a problem. Public Opinion Quarterly looked at, IIRC, six polling bodies and reached a conclusion that agreed with Gallup.
     
  15. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Still even in November there wasn't a push for directly entering the war at that time per:
    It has been suggested that Congress pass a resolution declaring that a state of war exists between the United States and Germany. Would you favor or oppose such a resolution at this time?
    Favor.............................. 26%
    Oppose.............................63
    No opinion......................... 11


    Interesting. The wording is milder than an outright declaration of war by us. This was right after the Reuben James was sunk, and a case could be made that Germany had created a state of war whether or not they declared it, but the majority of Americans were not willing to go that far.
     
  16. OpanaPointer

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

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    Still cherry picking.
     
  17. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    A case can be made that the "shoot on sight" order created a state of war between the US and the European Axis powers.

    Cherry picking is only when you restrict your data to that which fully supports your conclusion. Not sure why but I had missed the wording on some of the should we declare war questions in the past and was kind of surprised at how anti war they still were even in November of 41. One reason I posted them.
     
  18. OpanaPointer

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

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    You miss the point. No rational person WANTS to go to war, but the US public was aware that we had to go to war. I admit that reading the major newspapers and news magazines of the day add meat to the poll results, but I don't expect people in a casual conversation to put in that kind of work.
     
  19. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    No. I'm quote aware that very few ever "WANT" to go to war. By late 41 though it was becoming pretty clear to most that it wasn't going to be avoidable at least without unacceptable compromises though. Indeed that was part of the problem with the way at least some of the questions were worded. I have been a bit distracted recently so it may be that I was doing a poor job of making my point.
     
  20. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Did the US stop the Japanese from getting fuel (perhaps due to the Japanese attacking to China) and creating a situation where the Japanese navy would be totally useless in six months without fuel. Did the US top military incl FDR consider this at all that the Japanese attack would be a serious possibility? Or were they thinking that the Japanese will say "sorry we retreat immediately"? I know this has been discussed in books and here that FDR "created a war" but if they did cut the fuel how could they be so "relaxed"? I know there stories in papers that japanese could not shoot because their eyes were not straight etc but was this kinda view what things were based on?

    I read about Japanese military people following Germany´s barbarossa. In August they spoke and probably sent messages to Tokyo that Germany is too slow in attack and will not win the war by late 1941. Not surprised if this would not have an effect to where the Japanese would consider attacking especially also as they thought Hitler had betrayed them by making a non-aggression pact wealier with Stalin which they considered was a massive treason.
     

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