Milne Bay

Discussion in 'War Against Japan' started by Warlord, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. spidge


  2. BuffaloChuck

    BuffaloChuck Junior Member

    Spidge, thanks for linking to this older note. I'm just starting out and wading thru hundreds of interesting threads means I miss or gloss over most of them. Drat. So thanks for helping me discover more good ones.

    There's a good argument to be made that all of the surface battles aganist the Japanese were 'wasted' because Japanese shipping resources were always near starvation levels.

    Richard Franks in DOWNFALL and HP Willmott's THE GREAT CRUSADE argue that Japan needed 9 million tons of annual shipping, but they only had 6 million native hulls. They rented the other 3 million from USA, Britain and the Dutch. All of whom were suddenly cut off by Japan's attacks. Du-uh. Japan would claim about a million and a half during the first year of conquest - captured hulls. But still they were at a deficit for total needs.

    But long before Dec 7, 1941, the Japanese Army dictated that they needed 3 million annual tons for JUST themselves. No civilian tonnage, no steel, no coal, no food stuffs except for THEIR needs. The Imperial Navy said, "If they get it, we insist on getting it too!" So that was most of Japan's native tonnage GONE - POOF! Allocated to "only" the Army's needs, and "only" the Navy's needs.

    Before Day 1, the Japanese had castrated themselves! (They of course would needfully renege on some of the "only" clauses and allow returning empty hulls to carry occasional product back, but most war-zones weren't the market-trade zones - so ships always had to increase a return-voyage's length, oil consumption, maintenance issues and ultimately sub danger.)

    Fortunately, the American Brass Idiocy often rivaled Japanese Brass Idiocy, or else the Sub Service's HQ would have paid immediate attention to the "claims" of firing pin defects in Month 1 instead of Year 2.

    I still think airbases were needed and those required infantry conquest, so "land battles" were completely necessary. Even today, the laughingstock of "drone warfare" and lack of on-the-ground intelligence still haunts leadership hallways and so many echo-filled peabrains, and when I hear "land battles were wasted resources", I realize I'm hearing from yet another of those echo-filled peabrains.

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