us and japan.

Discussion in 'General' started by raf, Dec 26, 2007.

  1. raf

    raf Senior Member

    can any one tell me please after just watching the world at war why did the US need to invade most of the pacific islands and risk alot of men when there was little defenses other than thousands of men in caves willing die hidden in caves

    wouldnt they have been better just to fly carpet bomb missions
     
  2. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    can any one tell me please after just watching the world at war why did the US need to invade most of the pacific islands and risk alot of men when there was little defenses other than thousands of men in caves willing die hidden in caves

    wouldnt they have been better just to fly carpet bomb missions

    We were only at war with the Japanese, not the innocent Islanders. Most of these islands were very small. On some, the islanders were congregated on smaller islands in the chain by the Japanese which made this possible eg Tarawa.

    On those "enemy only" islands, this did occur however moving closer to Japan they were mostly entrenched in underground caves which negated saturation bombing.
     
  3. jacobtowne

    jacobtowne Senior Member

    wouldnt they have been better just to fly carpet bomb missions


    Missions against what targets?

    JT
     
  4. kfz

    kfz Very Senior Member

    can any one tell me please after just watching the world at war why did the US need to invade most of the pacific islands and risk alot of men when there was little defenses other than thousands of men in caves willing die hidden in caves

    wouldnt they have been better just to fly carpet bomb missions


    Tried it Raf, didnt work. Carpet Bombing is not effective on small pinpoint hardend targets, they miss. Trying to use strategic bombers in a tactical role is often not effective either . Look at Cassino or Caan. The Japanese where well well dug in there was no way to root them out exept hand to hand, even today, there would be no other way. The same thing is happening in Afganastan now.

    As of the stragic importantance of Island hopping it seems a bit mad when you considor the material sq mile gain, but if you think of them as unsinkable aircraft carriers then it makes more sense.

    Kev
     
  5. A Potts

    A Potts Member

    can any one tell me please after just watching the world at war why did the US need to invade most of the pacific islands and risk alot of men when there was little defenses other than thousands of men in caves willing die hidden in caves

    wouldnt they have been better just to fly carpet bomb missions


    The answer is that the Allies did not invade most of the Pacific Islands. The strategic concept was called 'Island Hopping/Leap Frogging'.

    The islands that were invaded were usually of some strategic importance (usually as supply station, airbase or the japanese forces remained a threat) on the march to their final destination - Japan.

    A good example of 'Island Hopping/Leap Frogging' the enemy is Operation Cartwheel where 110,000 heavily fortified Japanese soldiers at Rabaul were left idle for the remainder of the war.

    So for another example Iwo Jima was important for the US for use as an airbase for launching attacks on Japan and supporting further Allied operations.

    For such a strategy to work you must have air and naval superiority, which thankfully was gained largely to the excellent efforts of the US Navy.
     
  6. freebird

    freebird Senior Member

    Tried it Raf, didnt work. Carpet Bombing is not effective on small pinpoint hardend targets, they miss. Trying to use strategic bombers in a tactical role is often not effective either . Look at Cassino or Caan. The Japanese where well well dug in there was no way to root them out exept hand to hand, even today, there would be no other way. The same thing is happening in Afganastan now.

    As of the stragic importantance of Island hopping it seems a bit mad when you considor the material sq mile gain, but if you think of them as unsinkable aircraft carriers then it makes more sense.

    Kev
    Right you are Kfz, the defenders often hid deep in the caves, (Iwo Jima, Okinawa) then came up after the boming stopped to shoot up the attacking infantry. Even the % of heavy guns knocked out was far less than expected
     
  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Quite a number of these islands were outposts in an a supply chain which were there to provide the means of the overall plan of the Japanese Imperial Forces to overrun South East Asia to remove the presence of Western influence.Had the Japanese plans succeeded then Australia would have been threatened.Moreover these outposts were necessary in Japanese eyes in order to safeguard the Japanese presence so remote from their homeland and also to provide raw materials for their war economy.While Japan had adequate coal available internally, it depended on sources abroad for its oil.So successful was the Allied plan to deny her oil that in the latter stages of the war the Japanes Navy were so short of fuel oil that it could not mount serious naval operations.

    To destroy the means of the Japanese to wage war, it meant that the Japanese mainland had to be bombed.Before the entry of the B29 Superfortress, the USAAF demonstrated that they had the advantage over the Japanese by being able to bomb Tokio, abeit by a token raid by B25 Michells from the carrier Hornet.However these raids would have been costly and unable to deliver the bomb loads sufficient to adversely affect the Japanese war economy.The B29 was designed as a longe range bomber and Japanese held islands were identified as suitable bases for the new aircraft to mount prolonged operations against the Japanese homeland without the risk of the bases themselves being subject to Japanese interference.Tinian was one such USAAF base for the firestorming of Japanese industry.Eventually it was the base for the delivery of the atomic bombs but when the airfield was laid down, it had four gaint parallel runways designed to maximise the delivery of conventional bombing of the Japanese homeland.

    Where a Japanese held island was considered not to be capable of interferring with the Allied plan of rolling back the Japanese forces, it was bypassed and left to "wither on the vine" With the assurance of Allied naval and air supremacy,the island would be left with the knowledge that the Japanese forces on the island would be isolated and not be able to be supplied and maintained.
     
  8. SouthWestPacificVet

    SouthWestPacificVet Confirmed Liar

    Hello raf,

    A lot of things could have been done differently in hind sight, but the jap was fought and killed one at a time or by the dozen, hand to hand when necessary.
     
  9. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Hello raf,

    A lot of things could have been done differently in hind sight, but the jap was fought and killed one at a time or by the dozen, hand to hand when necessary.

    Absolutely true.As the Allied forces became more experienced in fighting the Japanese, the myth of the superior jungle fighter was broken.Aided by a good supply structure and medical supplies, Allied units were able to outfight the Japanese.In the end motivation,propaganda and blind loyalty to the Emperor were no match against an enemy that was not overstretched and was equipped with superior weapons, the result of superior engineering skills.

    As it was said "the jungle is neutral".As soon as this was accepted, jungle training together with the qualitative superiority weapons and supply equipment put the Japanese on the defensive from the spring of 1943.The Japanese motivation was to fight and extend their empire for supposed economic gain whereas the Allies fought a strategic war of vengeance against the Japanese soldier in the field.
     
  10. A Potts

    A Potts Member

    Absolutely true.As the Allied forces became more experienced in fighting the Japanese, the myth of the superior jungle fighter was broken.Aided by a good supply structure and medical supplies, Allied units were able to outfight the Japanese.In the end motivation,propaganda and blind loyalty to the Emperor were no match against an enemy that was not overstretched and was equipped with superior weapons, the result of superior engineering skills.

    As it was said "the jungle is neutral".As soon as this was accepted, jungle training together with the qualitative superiority weapons and supply equipment put the Japanese on the defensive from the spring of 1943.The Japanese motivation was to fight and extend their empire for supposed economic gain whereas the Allies fought a strategic war of vengeance against the Japanese soldier in the field.

    I will say that I believe that Americans had man for man better equipment and supplies than the Commonwealth.

    However, the allied armies had to learn from bitter experiences how to fight and become familiar with the Japanese style of warfare. Something they were not trained for, at least at the start of the war. The point I make is that weapons and supplies were only one factor.

    However, I agree that the Australians and Americans (in particular) were driven by an absolute hatred of the Japanese for their atrocities and abuse of how civilised countries conduct warfare.
     
  11. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    The answer is that the Allies did not invade most of the Pacific Islands. The strategic concept was called 'Island Hopping/Leap Frogging'.


    With the exception of Rabaul which is in Melanesia (New Guinea) I am not aware of any Japanese "strongholds" in Micronesia that were leap frogged. Islands like Nauru or Ocean Island were very small contingents.

    Formosa was bombed relentlessly instead of invasion (Okinawa was invaded instead).
     
  12. raf

    raf Senior Member

    thanks for the replies guys.

    ive just finished reading the threads regards to the invasionof japan and very interesting to...

    maybe like the sealion it would have been a blood bath for the invaders ???

    if japan hadnt surrenderd after the 2nd atomic bomb how many did the US have left to drop and if the invasion had gone ahead how would the atomic/nuclear threat have effected the us troops

    thanks
     
  13. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Further to my point regarding the root cause of Japanese failure in the field.Japanese officers and men failed to understand the new dimensions of warfare.The Japanese fought from the Japanese book of the conduct of waging war which was written down in "tablets of stone".The Japanese Imperial Army were inferior to the armies of the Allies, not in the sense of courage but in the sense of the intelligent use of courage.Japanese culture in terms of education,ancestor worship and the Japanese caste system predicted the orthodox manner in which they would face adversity.The obsession with personal honour always determined their dynamic decision making at the expense of ingenuity.

    As regards technology, Japan was left far behind and could not produce a four engined bomber such as the B24 and B29 and what they represented, stategic air power.The Zero was left behind in the technology stakes as the US produced more and more high quality fighters.Compare this statistic with the Japanese fighters in 1945.Half were the same model of Zero, untouched in design from the happy days of 1941/1942.
     
  14. A Potts

    A Potts Member

    With the exception of Rabaul which is in Melanesia (New Guinea) I am not aware of any Japanese "strongholds" in Micronesia that were leap frogged. Islands like Nauru or Ocean Island were very small contingents.

    Formosa was bombed relentlessly instead of invasion (Okinawa was invaded instead).

    I don't want invest myself in the theory of leap 'Island Hopping'.

    Other than Mironesia, wasn't there islands in the Phillipines and many from there towards Japan.

    Hey, I will be happy to admit I am wrong!

    Cheers,
    Aaron
     
  15. raf

    raf Senior Member

    sorry harry but why would the japs need bombers who were they planning to invade and wouldnt they have just been blown out of the sky by the US fighters or AA guns on deck.


    they lost alot of key battles but had alot of ships/ fighters in reserve for the invasion maybe they should have used them rather than leaving it to late.


    Operation Downfall - The Invasion of Japan, November, 1945


    i got this from the theatre of war thread

    thanks
     
  16. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    The Japanese did not possess a bomber force capable of sustaining a heavy offensive against remote targets or capable of creating havoc against the home bases of the Allies such as India, Australia,the Hawalian Islands and the mainland of the US itself.This was the reality that the thinking Japanese military leadership should and some did envisage.But the mainstream opinion of the Japanese High Command was related to "impregnable", "unsinkable" and "invunerable" and the conception of war as "attack" and they could not envisage a situation where they did not have the advantage over their enemies.Without long range air and sea power,the Japanese could not supply and maintain their conquests.Consequently there was a limit to the range of Japanese expansion and once the US war economy had been mobilised,the rising sun expansion line began to recede as the Japanese Imperial Forces suffered by cutting its supply lines and destroying its shipping.Eventually Japan was virtually a four island enemy with a skeleton of an empire, its capability to wage war at sea seriously impaired and its cities unprotected against destruction from the air.

    Whatever shipping, both transports and battle were available to the Japanese, the Allies had air supremacy and there would a huge problem for the Japanese Navy to operate at sea in that there was no fuel oil to put to sea for serious endeavour.

    Certainly there would have been heavy Allied casulties on an invasion of the the Japanese home islands, it was envisaged in the invasion plan. However, the overwhelming advantage in all dimensions of waging war lie with the Allies and would have resulted in no other outcome than the destruction of Japan and its inhabitants in a continuation of a vendetta against what was a military dictatorship and its military structures.
     
  17. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    I don't want invest myself in the theory of leap 'Island Hopping'.

    Other than Mironesia, wasn't there islands in the Phillipines and many from there towards Japan.

    Hey, I will be happy to admit I am wrong!

    Cheers,
    Aaron

    Aaron, you are correct that not all strongpoints of Japanese held islands were physically invaded by ground troops such as Jaluit, Wotje, Mili and Maloelap (Marshall Islands) as the US Navy struck at Kwajelein in the centre of the Marshall Islands group instead and there wasn't then any need to invade those outer islands however they were bombed and harassed without chances of re supply.

    Truk in the Caroline Islands was bombed relentlessly and virtually made useless after the US Navy virtually destroyed the Japanese 4th fleet in Truk lagoon in February 1944 (over 220,000 tonnes)

    Here to, the other defended islands did not require invasion because they had nowhere to go as the majority of their planes were shot down or destroyed on the ground.

    With respect to the Philippines, although Macarthur called it secure in June 1945, General Yamashita still had 65,000? troops that he had moved to the hills and there was fighting there until the Japanese surrender in August.
     

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