A Devastating Alternate Second World War

July 31, 2007

New map of Pacific...

This map shows the Asia/Pacific region as of July 15th 1949



78 comments:

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Good map Bobby - really shows just little the Japanese have left - and shows the new battleground that may allow them to stay in the few areas of China they still possess - i.e. the ChiComm controlled area - does offer some interesting possibilities still for the Japanese if they get creative in Northern China - i.e. possibly doing some ops to try to assist driving the ChiComms out of northern China in exchange for the Nationalists doing a cease fire against the coastal enclaves they are beseiging to the south

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

Well, as long as Nationalist China is in the AfD they won't cut any deals with the Japanese.
But the brewing conflict in China certainly aids the Japanese position, no doubt. They can pretty much focus on their Pacific flank without worrying much about the Chinese/Soviet flank

Anonymous said...

DanielJM here:

I thought the Japanese were down to just a few cities on the mainland. Part 51 described it as "In China the Japanese have been pressed almost entirely out of the country as they now hold only small pockets in and around the larger coastal cities."

I am certain that Palau was captured in part 50.

Anonymous said...

You are right about Palau Daniel - it was described as an easy victory as compared to what happened in OTL

as for the few coastal cities I count four enclaves plus Hainan Island - at least two of the enclaves are Hong Kong/Macau and Shanghai - that should fit the bill vis a vis Bobby's description

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

You are correct about Peleliu, I'll adjust the map.

As for China, they do only control a few enclaves. Just some of the major coastal cities and immediate surrounding area

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

It looks like they hold an enclave around

Shanghai

Fuzhou

Qingdao and possibly Yantai

Zhanjiang

Hainan island

I am actually surprised to see the Japanese driven out of Darien - you would have figured they would have held there no matter what just to protect Korea.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here - looked at your old maps - they got driven out of Darien a long time ago - my mistake

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

Yes, the cities you listed are correct Olefin, but also Macau and Hong Kong are enclaves as well.

As for Darien, the Japanese withdrawal into Korea was quite rushed and they just couldn't hold it.

Anonymous said...

I recall putting tiny, tiny dots for Hong Kong and Macau on the maps I made some time ago.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Whoops - thanks Bobby - got so wrapped up trying to make sure I had the modern place names right for the other areas I forgot Macau, Hong Kong and Canton

good catch

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

I made the enclaves look a little bigger than they actually are, so they show up on the map easily. However, they do control some of the areas immediately around the coastal cities

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

looks like the Indonesians are still in control of Sumatra and Java - are the Dutch beginning to gather forces to try to retake those islands from Sukarno's forces?

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

The situation in Indonesia is...confused. Nationalist elements there want independence and are in control of much of the country(the Japanese armed them before they pulled out), but there are Alliance troops here and there in the countryside as well as pro-Alliance elements in the population.
There are even some communist rebels spread around.
And there are _two_ Dutch governments claiming control as well - the Dutch government in-exile in London as well as the German-controlled fascist Dutch government(essentially a province of the Reich really)
So, to simply things I'm just leaving Indonesia as neutral on the map.

Anonymous said...

im very much looking forward to next segment. have to restrain myself not to keep checking for it every half hour.. thanks for the maps bobby.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Indonesia sounds like a real mess -between pro-Japanese independence forces, communist rebels and most likely at least some stay behind Japanese forces (or left behind Japanese forces that missed the boats out) it looks like the Alliance wont be getting much in the way of minerals and resources out of Indonesia for quite a while.

Any idea Bobby just how much is left of the Japanese fleet - I know that CJ and I put togetehr some estimates but are we talking a token force or do they have at least a Leyte Gulf size force left - i.e. 6-8 BB, 4 CV or CVL and a dozen or so cruisers of various types?

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

One thing you can tell if you look at the maps of Nov 48 versus July 49 is how little territory the Japanese have lost since then - basically some in China but they still hold the same coastal cities from last year plus the loss of the Marianas - otherwise they have really managed to hold their own even thru months of devastating bombing of their home islands

Given that fact that could explain why they are still fighting on - the US and Brits seem unwilling or unable to really finish the job and go after the Home Islands or Korea or Sakhalin with a land attack - and I have a feeling with the Emperor safely under wraps that unless the US really makes Operation Olympic a reality that the Japanese wont surrender as long as Germany is still in the fight

lordroel said...

Nice map bobby
And about two Dutch claiming the Dutch indies explains a lot but is the claim all of the Dutch possessions ore only the Dutch indies.

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

Regarding Japanese losses - note that their coastal enclaves in China have shrunk considerably. Also, the U.S. campaign to take the Marianas took several months. Then after that there was a pause by the U.S. as they're building up in preparations for moving on Iwo and Okinawa. An actual invasion of the Home Islands isn't really feasible until Okinawa is taken.
Japan's best defense has been the sheer size of the Pacific Ocean plus Alliance unwillingness to really go after the big coastal cities.(taking those cities will be a major meat grinder, and there are lots of western civilians still in Hong Kong and some of the other big coastal cities, plus Singapore. So, going into them house to house just hasn't been viewed as cost effective)

Lastly, keep in mind the Home Islands are being pummeled by huge B-31 and B-34 raids starting from after the Marianas were secured, and even before that from out of the Philippines.(plus the atomic attacks of course)

So, Japan hasn't exactly been doing that great really.

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

Well, of course both Dutch governments claim all formerly Dutch possessions. The Dutch government-in-exile in London has a stronger claim since it has the Alliance backing it. However, enforcing their claims will be difficult as there are native nationalists rejecting their claims and the Alliance is rather occupied with the Axis Powers at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Don’t get me wrong Bobby - I am not saying they are doing great. But they are still managing to hold on in China almost a year after taking major defeats there, Korea is safe as is Sakhalin meaning they still have iron ore, manganese, oil and coal coming in from those two areas and most importantly while the Home Islands have been devastated by bombing the US hasn’t yet made any serious moves toward invading them.

Plus they would be getting a trickle of aluminum ore from the Carolines and rubber and tin from the resources they still hold in the defence perimeter around Singapore.

Its not enough to ever rebuild the war machine they had in 1946 - but its enough to keep alive what they have and keep it effective - and that is all they need, in their minds, to hold out and win.

One thing to keep in mind Bobby for any last fleet battle - any ships left afloat but heavily damaged after the a-bomb strikes of Dec 2 would most likely be usable by now - it was an air blast so the radiation would have died down to acceptable levels by May or so -

so while they wouldn’t be fully effective (most likely all the damage couldn’t be repaired) they could have gotten some of those ships ready to go - possible as decoys to draw the American fleet to them while the really effective ships try to close and engage - i.e. the SW version of the decoy carrier fleet the Japanese used at Leyte Gulf in OTL.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Ok will ask the inevitable question - how is the next update coming - and are you going to wait to put it up till the board is back up or will that not matter as to your timing?

lordroel said...

Please no update so soon as much if I want to there to many information that I need to absorb write now.

Bobby would a map of the south America not be a great idea ore is the situation so much stable for now that it has not change.

Thanks for the information about the Dutch government in exile bobby and am I correct that the Dutch wile not firmly in control of the free Dutch indies do have a tight control over the Dutch Suriname and Caribbean islands.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Well you can tell Roel that the Free Dutch are in control of some of the Dutch East Indies - the western half of New Guinea was never invaded by the Japanese as were several other islands. So in those places the Free Dutch govt remains firmly in control. With the loss of Java they most likely shifted the capital and adminstration to a city somewhere in the area that was never invaded.

You have to wonder if the AfD has had second thoughts about letting Indonesia become a free nation like they did with Vietnam. For one the nationalists are pro-Japanese and were collaborators with the Japanese. For another letting Vietnam go free cost the AfD the French.

While the Dutch arent as big a component as the French they have important resources that the AfD definitely doesn’t want to lose - let alone the small but still significant Dutch fleet which is part of the blockade force at Singapore.

lordroel said...

Thanks olefin for answering this as you now that the free Dutch are my favorite SW nation.

Now whey wait until the forum is back online as my list of question regarding the SW is beginning to build up and I really need to post them.

Anonymous said...

*Chuckles* Ctwaterman

Ok - any ships damaged by the atomic blast on December 2nd might just be repaired if they had fully intact crews. Given that those crews are probably clogging up the Japanese hospitals in very large numbers.

As for getting resosurces from the Carolina's and Singapore. Just how do you think the Japanese are doing that. Both area's require any Japanese sub to manuver past US Naval and Airblocade of those locations and still make all the way back to Japanese ports. They are not getting any meaningful amounts of anything from those locations. Any aluminimum they got would be ore not refined metal. So you are sending out a Submarine with maybe 1 chance in 4 of making a trip there and back for a few hundred tons of Aluminum ore. Which you then need huge amounts of electricity to smelt????

As for Sakhalin and Korea being safe.... why is that both are casually in range of US Aircraft operating from China and US Carrier raids particulairly the Northern Island. Same with getting oil from Sakhalin Island it has to be pumped from the ground moved to a port loaded moved across waters interdicted by US Submarine, Airpower, and Mines, unload at a port and then moved to a refinery. Then it has to survive to be moved to somewhere it can be used.

As an example in 1945 the US B-29's were destroying roughly 4 Japanese Cities per month. Just how much Industry do you think Japan has left...????????

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

According to a letter Bobby sent me which I will post here a lot - most of it has been moved underground or into hardened facilities. As for Sakhalin - sending in submarines there with no air cover when that oil is all that is keeping Japan alive - sounds like a great prescription for very high US submarine losses.

And while the subs taking materials into and out of Singapore and the Carolines will take high losses - when they are the only sources of those materials the Japanese will pay the price as long as they have subs.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here - A letter sent to me by Bobby today - asked him what benefit the ChiCom/Nationalist war will be to Japan and what their strategic direction was:

His answer:

The big benefit for the Japanese is that they'll be getting very little pressure from their western flank.

The Japanese strategic thinking is basically...

* Hold onto Singapore and Chinese enclaves for as long as possible, as they represent major bargaining chips for any future negotiations, plus denying them to the Alliance means they can't be used as staging areas for operations against the Home Islands. The enclaves, and Singapore to a lesser extent, are being provided with a trickle of supplies via transport submarines and air transport.

* Hold onto Korea for the resources and industry based there, and for its commanding position in the Sea of Japan. Also, their atomic effort is based there which the Japanese view as their wild card option, a "last chance" possibility if they can hold out long enough but every other strategy fails. Korea is in fairly good communications with Japan although Alliance submarines and mine laying efforts are starting to become a major problem. Some of Japan's best remaining army units are based in northern Korea, but an actual invasion of Manchuria isn't likely as the Japanese just can't afford the expenditure of resources it would take. Possibly if the Chinese Civil war spreads into Mancuria and the Soviets withdraw then the Japanese could attempt something there, but thats only a maybe.

* Use Okinowa and Iwo Jima as large floating aircraft carriers to defend the Pacific approaches to the Home Islands. The Japanese have hardened both of these islands with extensive buried tunnel systems, underground concrete fortifications, etc - these systems are designed to withstand air burst atomic explosions. They are still very vulnerable to ground bursts, but ground burts have obvious negative side effects so the Japanese aren't expecting them. The Japanese have an elaborate plan in place to rapidly assemble their dispersed combined fleet and sorty for one last great battle at either Iwo Jima or Okinowa, and this plan involves the first use of the human guided rockets they've been churning out. Okinowa and Iwo Jima are to be cauldrons of death, inflicting enough casualties to deter the U.S. from invading the Home Islands themselves.

* On the Home Islands themselves, as much industry as possible is being moved into hardened underground facilities. Military facilities are being hardened for atomic attacks as much as possible, civil defense shelters and whatnot are rapidly spreading throughout Japanese cities. The Japanese have just enough(barely) oil to run their industry on a pure war footing while also supporting one last major naval operation. They're also rushing some simple but new weapons into production, such as rocket interceptors to counter U.S. high level and atomic bombers, anti-tank weaponry, the suicide rocket bombs, etc - weapons designed to be cheap but effective against known Alliance threats.

The grand vision of the Japanese military regime is to hold out until Germany achieves victory in the west or until the U.S. simply becomes exhausted and agrees to an armistice - at that point they believe that Singapore and the Chinese coastal enclaves can be traded in exchange for being allowed to keep Korea and some of their Pacific islands. They believe that the atomic threat will be mitigated by improved air defenses and also by the fact that the U.S. needs to use at least half of their atomic bombs against the Germans, if not more. They also believe that if they can hold out into 1951 then they might be able to wield their own atomic bomb. That is their rationale for continuing despite the odds against them.
Of course, their plan makes some large assumptions that may or may not work out.

Anonymous said...

*Chuckles* ctwaterman again

I agree with Bobby letter totally- the japanese have very little hope and they are trying to hold out. But like he said they are making assumption ASS-U-ME.... get it... :)

Anyway they have very little oil left and the US has to go after the only remaining strategic targets left. The Japanese Synthetic Oil Refineries and their few Refineries. Well that and any Oil tanks they can find as well as the Transport system to move supplies and oil.

As for burring Japanese Industry - Suprisingly this is easier for the Japanese then anyone else as there manufacturing is a whole bunch of small independet contractors making parts to be assembled at large central locations. The problem is once you spread it out you still have to assemble it and get it to the assembly point. Thats hard to do when the US is burning down 1 Major Japanese city per week by conventional attack. Its also destroying the Japanese Railroad network by bombing the Tunnels and Railroad switching yards.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Where did Bobby say they are burning down one city per week? Dont remember that - they are under heavy attack but as far as I remember not that heavy.

Anonymous said...

*chuckles* ctwaterman again

Oelfin I am going with OTL History here the US with under 800 B-29 began the Bombing of Japan from the Marriana's Island Group. Once they had those Islands up and running the US was devestating Japan litteraly as fast as they could fly there and back to the Islands and rearm the bombers.

So given a larger number of Bombers with attacks possible from Alaska, Marriana's, and China, and the PI just how long do you think the Japanese cities are going to last????

As it was Hiroshima and Nagasaki were on a list of cities the US designated as off limits to US bombers to give the US an undamaged city or two on which to test the Atomic Bombs. In Bobby's ATL I dont think there is a list of targets off limits to US bombers. In addition a huge ammount of Japanese Heavy Industry was located in Osaka and Tokyo. The first US strikes at Japan removed the two largest Japanese Industrial cities from the Map. And what the explosions didnt destroy the fire storms afterwords did. People who live in wooden and paper houses should not play with fire. :(

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

1) The US Army Air Force has other targets on their mind other than Japan now - a lot of their strength is going to moving to the Middle East and Europe as opposed to 1945 OTL where the bombing war began to wind down over Germany and they could focus on Japan. So I don’t see the huge campaign you are talking about CT - they have more than enough on their hands in Europe and Africa.

2) The Japanese had quite a while to disperse industry after the US started to use a-bombs on them - they had to know that one day they were coming to say hi to Tokyo. And Japan has lots of very nice caves and mines that are ready made shelters for factories - which was found in 1945 OTL when the US took over Japan and found facilities for making suicide weapons, jets, etc. that they knew nothing about that were ready to come on line when the war ended.

3) The US destroyed Tokyo eight months ago - that pretty much was the final straw to Japan as to keeping industries concentrated and where they are - have a feeling that they have moved vital ones to cover by now as much as possible - much like Stalin did in OTL where he moved industry to the Urals.

4) The Japanese are still more than capable of heavily damaging raids over Honshu, Hokkaido and Salkhalin which currently are out of range of land based fighter cover. In 1945 OTL they had very few planes that could make intercepts of B-29's. Here they have jets and prop planes that have intercepted those raids and caused a lot of damage - that alone will slow down the pace - especially when the new rocket interceptors come on line. And considering what the US is facing in Europe I don’t think many Eagle interceptors are coming to the Pacific front anytime soon.

Its not OTL CT - and Japan has a long way to go before its beaten. And they may yet put a US fleet or division under atomic attack before its all done.

P.S. Bobby confirmed about what I said about the subs going into Singapore and the Carolines bringing out war materials to Japan - small amounts but enough to keep their war production going.

Oh by the way - those crews you mentioned yesterday for the ships salvaged after the atomic attack - you don’t need full crews if you are using them for decoys - all you need is engineering and some AA crews to make it look like they are fully operational so the US wastes bombs and torpedoes on them.

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

Its safe to assume that the strategic bombing of Japan as of part 53 is at least as intense as early and mid 1945 of OTL, actually somewhat worse due to the larger number of B-31's available in the ATL 1949.
U.S. B-31 losses will be fairly heavy, given Japan's greater air defense capability as compared to OTL 1945. Also, Japan has done more to disperse and harden their industry - but the rate of 1 large city hit by a large raid(high explosives and fire bombing) per week is about right. Plus the strategic atomic bombings that have been mentioned in the timeline.
Lastly, as of segment 53.1 the Japanese have no effective defense for the B-34, but there aren't that many B-34's operating yet so aside from the atomic bombings they haven't had a huge impact.

Also, the Japanese submarine and air transports to their isolated holdings are only a small trickle and Singapore especially is almost entirely cut off.

CJ said...

For anyone who’s looking for some solid data about what the US is doing to Japan, go get your hands on a copy of “Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire” by Richard B. Frank. Suffice to say that the situation in the Home Islands isn’t pretty and it’s going to get a lot worse.

Thoughts on Japan’s “Plan” - As with OTL, Japanese plans are a triumph of optimism & self-delusion over reality.
1)Hold onto Singapore & Coastal China: Bargaining chips sound good, but they won’t be worth much when the Home Islands are facing mass starvation. The idea that the US needs the enclaves in coastal China in order to conduct operations against the Home Islands is a prime example of self-delusion. Here the US never lost control of the Philippines. Manila Bay has likely taken the role that Ulithi held in OTL as PACFLT’s forward anchorage and its facilities will have been built up well in excess of OTL. Northern Luzon will be one giant airbase easily the equal of the OTL bomber fields in the Marianas. Then there is something the US never had in OTL – Formosa and probably the Sakishima Islands. If/when the US goes after Okinawa, they are going to have land-based fighter cover that they lacked in OTL. The point here is that the US didn’t need bases in coastal China to carry out OLYMPIC in OTL, no reason they would in ATL. 2) Korea: Holding Korea is all fine and good, making use of it is another thing entirely. The aerial mining and submarine blockade is only going to get worse. It’s worth poiting out that Japan was a net food importer. Sometime during the Spring of 1945, the Japanese confiscated 20-25% of Korea’s rice crop, placing Korea’s population in great danger. By August 1945, the amount of food reaching Japan reached what are described as “insignificant levels.” Don’t forget that Japan’s food distribution system had completely broken down by August 1945 OTL. Sooner rather than later the US will finish burning the Home Islands to the ground and will turn to targets in Korea, that’s if they haven’t already of course. 3) Okinawa/Iwo Jima as “aircraft carriers”: This will work in Okinawa, not so much on Iwo Jima due to differences in size. The airfield on Iwo Jima won’t be worth much after B-31s carpet bomb the place and you can only stick so many “Okhas” in caves. Okinawa is a different story, but some of it is going to depend on how many Okha-carrying bombers the Japanese lose trying to support Iwo Jima. 4)Nukes: Ground bursts are fair game on Okinawa. 5) IJN’s Death Ride: Note that they have an “elaborate” plan to assemble & sortie the Combined Fleet. I think we all know what generaly happened to the IJN’s “elaborate” plans when they tried to execute them. I think there is a good chance that the B-34s will pay further visists on the IJN’s anchorages before the US goes after Iwo Jima, and it’s a near certainty they will if anyhting survives the Death Ride.
6)Hardening Industry: Given how fragile the transportation system is in the Home Islands is and how close it was to collapse in OTL, this really doesn’t matter if they can’t move raw materials and finished goods around. Now even though they’ve had a while to do this, there ability to do this is limited compared to what say Germany or the UK can do. 7)Oil: The US was hitting oil refineries in northern Hokkaido in OTL from bases in the Marianas. Here the B-34s can easily reach Sakhalin from bases in the Philippines or in Alaska. So Sakhalin is not safe from attack. I wouldn’t be surprised if they haven’t already hit Sakhalin. 8)Holding out for a Miracle: Considering what the US was able to do to Japan in OTL with a fraction of its resources under the Germany First policy and how battered Japan already is in ATL, this is self-delusion of the highest order. As for lasting into 1951 and getting a nuke, the Home Islands will be largely devoid of life by then.
OTHER POINTS 1)USAAF: Olefin, give me a break. In OTL 20th Air force was operating against Japan at the same time 8th Air Force was raiding Germany from England and 15th Air Force was doing the same from Italy. In OTL, 20th Air Force with around 800-900 B-29s virtually leveled Japan in about ten months and had plans to keep going. The USAAF/SBC have been going at it for nine months in OTL and have B-34s that can range over the Home Islands, Korea, and Sakhalin at will. The USAAF can easily maintain a bombardment of Japan equal to OTL and still have the resources to attack the European Axis. 2)Industrial Dispersal/Hardening: As I mentioned above, that won’t matter much when the Japanese can’t move raw materials or finished goods around the Home Islands. Their ability to do so will continue to diminish as time goes on. It’s also worth mentioning that bomber accuracy in OTL was greatly improved from November to August, and that wasn’t just because of lower operating altitudes. The number of bombers needed to take out a target was greatly reduced as well. 3)IJAAF/IJNAF: Um, so what? Last time Bobby mentioned it the B-31s were taking acceptable losses. Now nobody is disputing that the Japanese have more capable aircraft in ATL 1949, but how many do they really have and how are they doing for AVGAS? How many of them are night-fighters? How well will the rocket interceptors work at night? 4)Japanese A-bomb: Sorry folks, but if you spend some time researching this with sources other than Google & Wikipedia, you know a)just how much of a fantasy this really is, & b) just how unlikely it is for the Japanese Empire to last to 1951, let alone have the resources to build and deliver an A-bomb in 1951. And nothing in ATL changes the equation that much. 5)Damaged IJN Ships: For starters, there is an assumption there that the IJN has the resources and facilities to make meaningful repairs to these ships. You can’t bury a shipyard or a drydock capable of working on large surface combatants. Now in OTL the Swedes did some interesting work on bases that could hold a small destroyer, but that took them years. Anyhow, it’s not like the USN has a shortage of torpedoes or bombs.
Oh, Japan is beaten, the generals just haven’t accepted that fact yet and prefer to lead Japan on a course to national suicide. Any semblance of central control and authority isn’t going to last much longer. Before long, ATL Japan is going to look like a Kurosawa movie nightmare.

Seriously folks, get your hands on these two books:
"Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire" by Richard B. Frank
&
"Secret Weapons & World War II: Japan in the Shadow of Big Science: by Walter E. Grunden

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

1) This isnt OTL guys - and by 1945 OTL the Luftwaffe was basically non-existent - they were reduced to forming ramming squadrons to still be effective against the bombers in any way (except for a few jet squadrons). Here the Luftwaffe has planes that are as good or better than the American ones, with a lot of fuel and a lot of pilots and planes to go around. The USAAF in 1945 didn’t have to face that threat - so it had resources to put into destroying Japan.

Here they are going to need every plane they can get - so the effort in the Pacific is going to suffer - just like it did in OTL. Will they still have a lot of planes - sure - but the B-34's will be heading out soon most likely and a lot of the trained B-31 crews will be heading to Europe.

2) As Bobby said their fighter defence is still effective - they are losing a lot of bombers over Japan with each raid. As the European and African fronts demand more and more planes and as they continue to lose planes here the raids are going to be affected. The US has a lot of resources - but they are facing a German Axis along the 1942 model on steroids - and that means concentrating on them and not Japan.

3) The Japanese have moved their industry around as much as possible - meaning most likely they have moved it closer to resources. That is why Korea is the industrial center that it is - because the minerals are there. As for Japan becoming devoid of life - unless the US invents the H-bomb in the next few months that statement is categorically wrong. Japan was a mass importer of food - but they have taken huge civilian casualties in their cities - and most likely they have dispersed the population as much as possible into the countryside. They will use them to farm and to try to grow as much food as possible. And to say it simply - Japan is a very small place - even if you have to use human transport for the food it can be distributed - unlike the Soviets where you are talking vast distances between where the food is grown and industrial centers in the Urals for instance.

4) The ships damaged in the raid most likely cant be repaired to make them effective - but as was shown at Rabaul they can be repaired and crewed to be sortied. Thus they can make excellent decoy ships - all they need is a few AA crews and a skeleton engineering crew and enough fuel for a one way trip - and let the effective ships, hopefully, get in an make a hit.

Remember guys - the only reason that the US landing at Leyte Gulf didn’t read like this

"Nimitz and Halsey both resigned today after the full facts of the disaster at Leyte Gulf became apparent. Halsey admitted he fell for a decoy fleet, letting Kurita's fleet, after he had brushed off the Taffy's at the entrance, attack and destroy the supply and landing ships gathered off the invasion beaches, resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of sailors and soldiers during the bombardment and in the resulting massacre of the troops on shore after their supplies ran out" is because Kurita lost his nerve after he pulled out of the fight with the Taffy's. He wouldn’t have gotten out alive - but he could have wrecked the invasion and killed a lot of men.

Japan isnt dead yet - they still have enough men and resources to hurt the US badly - and the Germans may end up more of a challenge than people think.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Germany will get the a-bomb. I predict their long range rocket program, as Bobby has pointed out, has proceeded nicely. While a nuclear bombing of the US, or even the UK is out of the question, the once feared terror-bombing on New York City is a real possibility, even if it's only a few half-ton conventional warheads.

This of course will cause the US to recus even more strongly on Germany. Hehehehe...

David

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Germany will definitely get the bomb - Bobby has made that very clear - the only question is when, how many, how big and delivered how

CJ said...

1) USAAF: Oh please. The 15th AF began operations from bases in southern Italy in November 1943. They operated over southern and Eastern Europe and may dispute the notion that they only faced a broken Luftwaffe.
Let's be clear here, the USAAF operated the bomber-centric 8th AF, 15th AF, and 20th AF at the same time. During that same time the USAAF also managed to provide heavy bomb groups to other theaters as well. I think you are also forgetting that the USAAF won't be going after Germany alone - RAF Bomber Command is still in this and is not an insignificant force.
But since you bring up the Luftwaffe, I'd point out that we don't know exactly how the RAF & USAAF will proceed to fight the Luftwaffe and the other Axis air forces. They may very well choose not to send the B-31s on penetration missions over Germany itself. I think there is also a good chance that a number of the medium bomb groups are equipped with B-45s by this time. My overall point being, a lot is going to depend on what the RAF & USAAF decide to go after.

You still seem to be missing the point that what the US did to Japan in OTL was done with a fraction of its resources due to the Germany first policy. In ATL, the US has been able to devote nearly its full resources for the past three years to defeating Japan. Beyond having better technology and still having a fleet, Japan is as bad if not worse off than they were in the OTL Summer 1945. So to presume that the US cannot continue the level of pain in ATL with even reduced forces is absurd. The "this in ATL, not OTL" argument only goes so far and you have gone beyond that point.

2) Your point #3: This really just shows that you don't get what is going on here. Spare me the "this is ATL" line. I'll explain the situation.
*About 75% of the Japanese population lived on Honshu, half of them in the southwestern part of the island.
*The bulk of the food was grown on Hokkaido, parts of Kyushu, and northern Honshu.
* The mining campaign in OTL caused a steep decline in the seafood catch. Seafood supplied about 10% of human caloric intake and the bulk of animal food.
* By August 1945 the food distribution system had completely broken down.
* In 1941 the average citizen consumed about 2,000 calories/day (6.4% above subsistence levels). In 1944 this fell to a daily average of 1,900 calories. In 1945 it was down to 1,680 calories. Projections for November 1945 saw this drop to 1,325 calories. In the May of 1946 the official ration in Tokyo was 1,042 calories, but only 800 calories were actually issued. By comparison, 1941 Americans had a diet of about 3,400 calories.
* A food redistribution plan during fall 1945 pushed back the major crisis to mid-1946. Had the bombing continued, this redistribution would not have been possible.
* On November 1, 1945 Japan only had enough rice in government hands for four days of consumption.
* The only thing that saved the country from mass starvation was the imports of food stuffs by the US occupation authorities.
* Incidence of tuberculosis, beriberi, and digestive, skin, and vitamin related diseases soared.
* By war's end, 20-25% of the urban population suffered from serious nutritional deficiencies.
* Had the war not ended when it did and the rate of destruction of Japan's merchant marine continued, their merchant marine would have been theoretically annihilated within weeks. Sea transport constituted the great bulk of Japan's internal transportation.
* 97% of Japan's roads are unpaved.
* The USSBS estimated post-war that targeting the Kanmon Tunnel between Kyushu & Honshu, the Honshu-Hokkaido rail ferries, and six well-selected line cuts would have "disposed effectively of the Japanese rail system as an economic asset. An August 11th targeting directive listed fifty-four railroad yards/facilities and thirteen bridges and is described as "overkill." The only reason these targets were not attacked earlier was because US intelligence overestimated the food situation and underestimated the importance of the rail system.
* The USSBS further concluded that had the strategic bombing campaign aimed to force a Japanese surrender instead of facilitating invasion, "there is very good reason to believe that an effective railroad attack may have brought about a very rapid capitulation."
So ATL Japan has been under bombardment for nine months and the railroad system seems to have been on the list for months ten/eleven in OTL.
Another consideration is that one of the big reasons for not using anti-crop agents in OTL was the concern over how the occupation force would feed the population. So if enough pressure builds up to knock Japan out of the war and reopen the Soviet Pacific ports, who knows what the next few months could bring.

3) Your little 'news blurb' is funny. It's worth pointing out that at Iwo Jima there is no Surigao Strait for the 'Standards' & company to go guard - so they'll stick with the phibs off the beach.

The above bullets are from "Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire" by Richard b. Frank.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Yes the geography is different - but the strategy of using some ships as decoys (i.e. bomb absorbers) while the rest of the fleet/attack force gets in close is sound - all it takes is having a Bull Halsey in charge instead of Spruance -

I know a lot about Japan - used to work for Honda - and had friends and coworkers who lived thru the bombings as kids and teens - and none of them, when asked, said that they were well fed - but also none of them said that anyone had any feelings to give up until they heard the speech by the Emperor on the radio

Anonymous said...

Glad you liked that blurb - the question is will Bobby have something like that happen here? Losing the Leyte Gulf invasion force wouldnt have cost them the war - but it definitely would have prolonged it - and may have cost Roosevelt the election in 44.

49 isnt an election year - but a big defeat could have the American Congress saying its time to go to blockade only - and that could give Japan time to get the bomb.

Anonymous said...

*ROTFL* ctwaterman again

Ok Ok.... What CJ Said but even more so.....

Oelfin- What makes you think the Japanese are going to keep the one Hydro-Electric Power Project in Korea they need for another 2 Years.

1) The US has enough Destroyers by now to guard the Invasion forces of Okinawa with Destroyers alone. The Battle Ships, Cruisers, Light Cruisers there just over kill. I think you need to look at the Size of the Invasion forces in OTL and then Add the Ships Bobby has in ATL.

As an Example the Slow Battle Ship Line will include at least 2 Montana Class Battle Ships.

I will work on the Post I am working on and put it up once the page is back up and running but it concerns what it takes to lauch on of those Piloted V-1 Flying Bombs. Which bye the way the British developed in this ATL not the Germans so where did the Japanese get them from...??????

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

You have a huge US committment in the Atlantic Ocean that will be draining off those DD - especially with the fact that they have to deal with German subs that are much more capable than they were in OTL. They are going to be having their own needs close to home now that German subs are starting to sink ships right off the American coast.

Always love how everyone loves to write the Japanese off - but they still have fight left in them - remember the kamikaze hasnt even really been seen here - and with 1949 tech its going to be even harder to stop them. As for the hydro facility in Korea - you have to get to it and hit it - and the Japanese are masters of camouflage - pointed out once before how they built an airfield in the Solomons that no one knew was there, including planes that basically buzzed it - until the day the Japanese removed the construction camouflage and bingo -new airfield.

Or put it this way - so far they have held up under an atomic attack that makes what they went thru in OTL look like a fireworks display. And they havent surrended yet - if anything they are digging in harder and piling up more weapons. In 1945 OTL the US had a hard time stopping a kamikaze attack that consisted of a lot of primary trainers and old bombers - a lot of ships and men died.

This time they will have to stop jet and rocket powered kamikaze weapons that they have had time to be built in large numbers - the seas around Iwo are going to have a lot of sunken ships around them.

My grandfather's DD went down off Okinawa and he told me stories of the attack that put her down.

And the USN doesnt need to be losing a bunch of ships with a brand new war to fight against Germany and Italy - especially ships full of veteran sailors.

Anonymous said...

*shakes head very sadly* Ctwaterman again

Anyway Oelfin I just spent an hour putting together a list of the Named US Air Forces in OTL. I think you keep assuming something and that is wrong.

You assume the Japanese are doing damage that is significant. In OTL the USAAC had a huge number of casualties like 150,000 KIA and WIA with over 15,000 Killed in training. But is that trickle of Aluminim you are getting by sub enough to replace Combat losses?????? And the Answer is HE double Hockey sticks no. Every time a Japanese fighter engages a Bomber over Southern Japan it does so under long range US Escort. There are probably fighter bases in China by now...????? How is Japan replacing its lost pilots...????? Reality is here and alot of people are ignoring it.

CJ - posted a very good post and with what Bobby said that Japan is at least as bad off as OTL then Japan is begining to seriously starve. And what is worse they are sending a few airplanes with inexperienced pilots up against USAAC Heavy Bombers and Fighters.
Do they shoot a few planes down yes will it stop what is happening to them no. As an example by January 1945 the Germans had over 1000+ Me-262 Fighters in Germany but USAAC bomber losses were actually down. Why- because the ME-262 in the hand of a novice pilot just isnt a good enough edge when outnumbered 8 to 1 by US P-51 fighters. Especially not when you have to take off under fire, and land under fire and if you stop to dog fight with the P-51's your dead. That and you let the bomber through. I will note that the Me-262 has some serious flaws that killed as many Novice Pilots as US fighters did.

I think you need to look at the length of the ramps needed to launch those Rocket Kamakazi Planes and how easily they are spoted from the Air. Then you need to look at the top speed of the V-1 Piloted Rockets and then the Top Speed of USN Navy Fighters the F8F Bear Cat and the F4U-4 Corsair and tell me what is going to happen to the slow target drones in the hands of novice less then 10 hours flight time Japanese Pilots against Regular/Green US Pilots with over 500+ hours in there planes. They are not going to do anymore damage then they did historically over 600 Ships damaged and 60 or so sunk. And historically the US just kept on getting stronger.

I also think you are missing the point about this no longer being 1945 but 1949. The USN has a 3" rapid fire gun that can fire Radar Proximity Shells nearly as fast as a 40MM Cannon and at much further range. It has better radar and more importantly better fighters both Jet Powered and Prop-Driven. The Hellcat was not quite fast enough to catch all the Rocket Bombs in OTL the Bear Cat was a modification for just that pupose and the F4U-4 Corsair was in the pipeline its a Corsair with an Engine upgrade.

Anyway- I will be posting a few things once the Page is back up it will be detailing the Japanese Suicide weapons and what they could do and what the US fighters and AAA of 1949 could do back.

As for Production just how many of these Japanese Suicide weapons do you think the Japanese are going to have considering the ongoing bombing campaign????

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

The Japanese kamikaze rocket-bombs and rocket interceptors are not related to the V1 at all. In fact the closest thing to the V1 of OTL is the "buzz bomb" built by the British but even that was of only superficial resemblance to OTL's V1

The Japanese rocket craft are true rockets, developed during 1948 and 1949 based around a German rocket engine design. These are cheap beasts designed for a single use - but they are very fast, pushing past 500mph probably, maybe up past 550mph

The Germans have been pushing rocket technology for their own purposes, used in anti-aircraft missiles and TV guided rocket bombs and such - the Japanese are basically making cheap variants of these designs with human brains as the guidance system. Necessity is the mother of invention, and the Japanese are _desperate_

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

One thing to keep in mind is how little strategic bombing can impact production sometimes. Many of the Japanese cities that get hammered will go right on producing stuff, at least until a couple nukes hit them anyway.
What hurts more is using strategic bombing to go after transportation and vital choke point resources.

It always amazes me to read that German production actually peaked in early 1945 in OTL and didn't really collapse until late February and March when allied forces were driving well into Germany itself.

Anonymous said...

ctwaterman again
"In March 1945, XXI Bomber Command employed the new incendiary tactics in five massive fire raids against some of the largest Japanese cities, including Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, and Kobe. During the Tokyo raid on the night of March 9/10, 279 B–29s flew in at altitudes of 4,900 to 9,200 feet. Three streams of bombers from three wings dropped almost 2,000 tons of firebombs while pathfinder aircraft illuminated the heart of the city.

In thirty minutes, the fires were out of control. Even if the Japanese had had more and better fire-fighting equipment, they would have been hard-pressed to combat the raging firestorms that boiled water in canals and melted the glass of store windows. Flames leaped waterways and fire-breaks and raced through a three-by-five-mile area. Updrafts even shook the bombers flying above the fires. The raiders could see the glow in the sky 150 miles away. This time the incendiaries burned out sixteen square miles of Tokyo, killing more than 83,000 people, injuring more than 40,000, and leaving up to one million homeless. No other single air raid in history had killed so many people. More than 267,000 buildings, as much as one-fourth of the city, burned down. The proper combination of factors, including weather, quantities of bombers, types of bombs, and formation patterns resulted in the annihilation of 18 percent of Tokyo’s industrial area and 63 percent of its commercial area. In contrast, the XXI Bomber Command lost only fourteen B–29s on the mission and forty-two other airplanes suffered damage."

"The Twentieth Air Force raided Nagoya the night of March 11/12, 1945, with 285 B–29s; Osaka before dawn on March 14 with 274 B–29s; Kobe just after midnight on March 17 with 307 B–29s; and Nagoya again the night of March 18/19 with 290 B–29s. The five raids in ten days incinerated more than thirty-one square miles of densely populated urban area in four of Japan’s largest cities. Later in March, LeMay also directed the firebombing of Tachiarai, Oita, and Omura. By the end of the month, the XXI Bomber Command was running out of incendiary bombs."

"The XXI Bomber Command devoted 75 percent of its sorties and tonnage to urban area incendiary attacks. Just as advocates had predicted, the fire raids destroyed many strategic targets that precision bombing had failed to hit: an estimated twenty-three major aircraft factories; six major arsenals; and a host of steel, petroleum, and gas plants. The Twentieth Air Force launched almost 7,000 B–29 sorties or flights on seventeen incendiary raids, dropping a total of 41,500 tons of firebombs. Only about 136 B–29s were lost to all causes during the incendiary campaign—a mission loss rate of less than 2 percent."

http://www.usaaf.net/ww2/hittinghome/hittinghomepg9.htm

All the quotes are from the above link. Go to the link and read what the 20th Airforce with less than 800 B-29 did in less then 10 Months. Now amplify that by more bombers, more time, and more atomic weapons.

Japanese Production did peak in September 1944 shortly after that they simply ran out of the ability to produce anything because they ran out of steel, food, oil, aluminum, basically there stock piles of everything were exhausted. This didnt happen to Germany until the US took the Ruhr under direct attack. But Japan is much more vulnerable. Especially to submarine interdiction. Loose access to foreign supply points or the shipping to move stuff around and Japan ceases to be a modern economy.

CJ said...

1)The USN: Here we go again. In ATL the US began what for all intensive purposes was a 'protective mobilization' around 1940 - the Iowas, Montanas, Alaskas, 'Emergency' carriers, etc. A further program would have been triggered in the Summer of 1945 by the Fall of France and the heavy losses the RN took. Then a truely massive program would have been triggered in the Summer of 1946 following Pearl Harbor. It's August 1949 right now in ATL - that flood of construction that you like to ignore is already in the water. What we're looking at right now is the OTL Summer 1945 USN, only the yards are still churning out even more ships.

The USN committed at least six fleet carriers and four battleships to the operations in Madeira and the Canary Islands. Remember that Bobby described Strike Fleet Atlantic as also having an "immensely powerful surface element." So we're looking at six fleet carriers, several fast BB/CB, 6-10 CA/CL, 20-30 DD. Then we need to add whatever came out with the phibs - CVEs, maybe a CVS or two, possibly some old battleships, more CA/CL, more DD/DE. Then we know they are already escorting coastal convoys. And that's just LANTFLT! Oh, don't forget that the RN/RCN were already turning the tide against the U-boats on there own.

In the Pacific, the Combined Fleet isn't dead yet though they likely will be within a month. The USN still has at least one, possibly two major invasions left to cover. So there strength is as yet pretty much undiluted. Now of course we'll eventually see escorts shift to the Atlantic - but to presume that that Japanese will inflict such crippling losses that PACFLT will be unable to continue its own operations and still send ships to LANTFLT is absurd.

2)IJN: I fully expect the IJN to try some kind of decoy scheme - it would be contrary to their nature not to try some overly complicated plan. For the Combined Fleet we're looking at at best: 5 BB, 4 BC, 4-5 CV/CVL, plus escorts. Since we don't have details of the raid on Kure, we can likely cut that number down some. Now we need to look at how many of these ships are combat effective. And I think it likely that at least one more IJN anchorage will be visited by the B-34s very soon. Anyhow, let's figure that PACFLT has five old BB, , at least 11 new BB, say 3-4 CB, and at least twelve fleet carriers. Now of course an IJN decoy force could draw off much of this force, but the slow BBs are going to be left behind to cover the beaches & phibs and I think it unlikely that the USN commander will take all of the new battleships off to chase the decoy force.

3)The Japanese in General: Olefin, Olefin, Olefin. Nobody is writing the Japanese off and nobody is disputing that they can still cause a great deal of damage on their way down. We're just being realistic about what they can really accomplish and how long they can really last.

They can dig in and stockpile all they want to. It doesn't change the fact that inter-island transportation will soon grind to a halt and the rail system isn't far behind. It also doesn't change the fact that mass famine is going to occur - a fact that you loudly trumpet with regards to the USSR but seem to ignore here.

They haven't surrendered because some generals want to lead Japan to national suicide rather than surrender. The Emperor wanted to surrender. Remember the comparison of the timeline between OTL-ATL - things are a lot worse than you want to admit.

4)Camouflage: The airfield example again? Please explain to me how the Japanese are going to hide a large hydro-electric plant that is already known to exist. And please explain to me why the bombers will have trouble getting to it and hitting it.

5)Kamikazes: You do realize that Iwo Jima is well within range of land-based aircover from the Marianas, and there is a good chance Eagles will be part of it? And that ARPs will be covering the fleet? And that the US carriers will have a lot of jet fighters of their own?

Will the Kamikazes do damage? Without a doubt they will, and significant damage. But they are not some wonder weapon that will cripple the USN.

6) Japanese Air Defenses: Do you know what happened in OTL when the B-29s finally got fighter escorts out of Iwo Jima? Japanese fighters were shot down in droves and stopped coming up to play. They were ordered to largely stop challenging the bombers and were held in reserve for anti-invasion operations.

7) Strategic Bombing: An interesting little lesson that the USSBS uncovered in OTL - it's far more effective to pick one target set (oil, transportation, engines, etc.) and hammer it continuously without mercy that to bomb a little bit of everything.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

1) Lets say the US does go after the hydroelectric facility.

a) first off they have to find the right one - Korea had more than one hydroelectric facility after all

b) you have to hit it - which can be a problem if the dam is in a deep canyon - they arent all wide open and easy to hit.

c) Whats to stop them hitting the dam - hmmm - well lets see - as Bobby said that facility is the most heavily defended area left in Japan - outside of the Sakhalin oil fields - so most likely a whole bunch of jets, a lot of rocket powered interceptors and lots of AA guns - and the Eagles have yet to be deployed yet

d) They have to find out about the operation to hit that big facility - and so far they havent. Let me point out the multiple underground aircraft and rocket production facilities the Japanese had that were found after the surrender that NOBODY in the Allied command knew about.

So whats to say they even know about this nuclear facility?

2) Starvation in Russia vs starvation in Japan

Japan is the size of California, Russia is bigger than the US by quite a bit. As small as Japan is you can transport food by animal or by human transport if you have to in Japan.

You cant do that in Russia - not over distances that are the same as trying to ship food from Maine to CA. And a lot of the food production areas in Russia are a long long way from the factory production centers. That is not the case in Japan.

Plus let me point out that Japan is on the ocean and one option will be to heavily overfish the coastal grounds - it will do long term harm for sure but they can get food that way as well.

3) Japanese production isnt going to be enough to feed a full scale war machine - but they dont have one left - what production they do have left is being put into the rocket program and the kamikazes.

4) As for the kamikazes -
lets see at Okinawa the US lost a total of 13 destroyers and one destroyer escort were sunk, 13 aircraft carriers, 10 battleships and five cruisers were heavily damaged. Nearly 50 additional destroyers and destroyer escorts were damaged.

Sounds pretty serious to me - and that was against kamikazes that were a mix of primary trainers, old bombers and old fighters flown my mostly green pilots - not against 550mph rocket powered bombs that can be ground launched.

lordroel said...

a question do the US still have two bomber commands operating in Asia namely the XX Bomber Command based out of mainland china where the no have more room and probably is large ere then it was in OTL and the XXI Bomber Command which in OTL operetta from the Marianas and Okinawa islands but here probably if the ranch of the B-34 can be reach from different places as in my timeline the two are the largest and I was thinking if the USAAF has similar bomber commands in the SW timeline.

CJ said...

US Bomber Commands in the Pacific.

While there will be bomb groups throughout the Asia-Pacific theatre, I think there will be two primary bomber commands - one operating out of bases in the Philipines/Formosa, and another operating out of bases in the Marianas.

Early in the war there seems to have been one operating out of Australia and later another operating out of India/Burma. I think the bombers in Australia moved forward to the Philippines as soon as that was possible, while the one in India/Burma probably moved to the Philippines/Formosa following the general Japanese collapase in mainland China.

Anonymous said...

Ctwaterman again


USAAC The Numbered Air forces: Below is a list of the US Air forces of OTL World War II. To get an idea of just how large and how dangerous these forces were will be essential for understanding what the US can or cant do to Japan.

Europe:

8th Air Force - http://usaaf.com/8thaf/index.htm
22 Fighter Groups
48 Bomber Groups
4 Troops Transport groups

9th Air Force - http://usaaf.com/8thaf/index.htm
20 Fighter Groups
15 Bomber Groups
14 Troop Transport Groups

Mediterranean:

12th Air Force
15th Air Force

Far East/India:

5th Air Force - Mostly Destroyed in the PI in 1941 - But reactivated in Australia in this ATL still in PI!!!

7th Air Force - http://armyaircorps.us/wwii_7th_Air_Force.cfm

10th Air Force - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenth_Air_Force#World_War_II

13th Air Force - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirteenth_Air_Force#World_War_II

14th Air Force - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourteenth_Air_Force#World_War_II

20th Air Force - http://www.warren.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=4697



Alaska:

11th Air Force - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleventh_Air_Force



United States/Carribean:

1st Air Force - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Air_Force

2nd Air Force - http://armyaircorps.us/wwii_2nd_Air_Force.cfm

3rd Air Force - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Air_Force#World_War_II

4th Air Force - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Air_Force

6th Air Force - http://armyaircorps.us/wwii_6th_Air_Force.cfm

Anonymous said...

ctwaterman again
Oelfin-

The US Minning and Submarine effort prevents the Japanese from fishing at all. The fact that US Subs are ranging up and down Japans coast looking for anything worth of Torpedo and then using a submarine launched FIDO varriant on every fishing trawler and patrol boat they could find due to the lack of any other targets.

Basically Japan gets nothing from the Sea. If you think that will work Russia can over hunt caribou.... :) *Heavy Sarcasm*

The SAD part is that being cut off from Hemp from the PI means Japan has had a really hard time even repairing its fishing nets. In OTL Japan held off stravation and epidemic level disease outbreaks by surrendering. Here they are not doing that. Realistically the outcome is going to be horrible for the Japanese people particularily the working classes and the poor.

Anonymous said...

Althist Fanatic here

I don't think that the submarine situation is much worse than it was in OTL, and it wasn't that bad anyway. The Japanese can get a reasonable harvest from the sea, but enough Japanese are too poor to buy food. Overall they're still starving, but it's still not too much worse than what happened in OTL. The IJN still has some kick in it, suicidal or otherwise. Bobby has strongly hinted that the Japanese are going to take heavy tolls on the Americans at ATL Iwo Jima. Now double those losses at ATL Okinawa, and triple them considering an invasion of the Home Islands. Throw in the Japanese Nuke for consideration and it's easy to realize how much it's going to cost the Americans to get Japan out of the war.

PS
As an interesting side note, Richard B. Frank actually lives across the street from my. I haven't spoken to him in a while, though.

Archangel said...

Great map Bobby

*The Japanese can hurt the Americans a lot (in Okinawa and Iwo Jima) and delay any Home Islands invasion for several months, but I believe it will be at the expense of any Japanese Navy left on the Home Islands (with the kamikaze factor already included).

Still, Nukes and conventional heavy bombing will start taking its toll on the food and transportation system.
Starvation will occur if they don't surrender soon.

They can still operate in a North Korean style mode with a barely operational defense industry and a functional army, but most civilians will suffer a lot, and a significant number will certainly die.

Epidemic outbreaks are very likely to occur too, as soon as the health infraestrucures are gone.
And lets not forget casualties by Nuclear and conventional bombing.

All this affects a country's capacity to fight.

Japan still controls Sakhalin and Korea, but if they lose the ability to move things in and out those places, they won't do much good for Japan.
So, Japan in order to last a little longer, will have to be very lucky with its navy and Kamikazes.

They would still have any navy left on enclaves (China, Singapore, Carloine Islands), which could be used to patrol Japan and assure a minimum of transportation between Japan's Islands and Korea and Sakhalin, for a litle longer. This asssuming they escape Allied blockade and persecution.

*China: I doubt that Patton, who I think it´s still in China, will accept the ChiComms invading and defeating the Nationalists.

The AFD can continue reducing and supressing the Japanese enclaves in the mean time, even if Japan scores a few naval pirrhic victories (I know the enclaves are bargaining chips, but they will lose them given enough time, apart from some sort of "St. Nazaire exception").

The Nationalist are totally hostile to the Japanese empire. Remember what Japan did to them during the 30's and 40's.

About Manchuria.
The USSR wants to keep it , even being in such bad condition because they will need its people, agricultural products, industry and mineral resources, plus their warm sea ports (the Siberian ports are blockaded by Japan-controlled territory). It will alow them to still be a medium sized power in the Future (like France or Britain in OTL).But some reforms will have to be made.

If they lose Manchuria, Beria's successors will be the "Assistant US Embassador in USSR" and USSR's policies will be dictated line by line from the White House, for the USSR will be too weak to do more than just maintain themselves (with western help).

*About Indonesia:
Bobby, could you please tell who controls Bali, Flores, the western part of Timor and the small islands nearby?
They are painted white on the map, but I thought they had remained in Dutch hands. Besides they have religious minorities that would be more pro AFD and are easier to liberate from hostile hands.

Thanks in advance, Bobby,
for the answer to this and the other post

Anonymous said...

Althist Fanatic here

Manchuria's a wild card. The Soviets, ChiComms, Nationalist Chinese, and Japanese all want this territory and its resources. The Soviet claim to Manchuria won't really matter once a stronger competer for the country invades. What's left of the Japanese army could take Manchuria, but only if they time it right. If that happens, there's going to be a three-way battle in China, between the warring ChiComms and the Nationalists and their greater enemy, Japan. Whatever happens in Manchuria, I don't think the SOviets are going to win.

CJ said...

RE: Japanese Nuke Program
Let’s start with laying out some facts and clearing up some myths.
For starters, there was NO Japanese heavy water plant in northern Korea. What the Japanese did have were chemical plants that produced small quantities of heavy water as an industrial byproduct.
As for “the dam”, well, that’s a little more complicated. There wasn’t one big dam. Prior to the partition of the Korean Peninsula at the end of WWII, what became North Korea supplied around 90% of the peninsula’s electricity. Most of that came from six hydro-electric complexes. One was on the Yalu River right on the Chinese border. Another is described as being close to the Soviet Border. Three were near Hungnam. I’m not sure where exactly the sixth was located, but it’s somewhere near the current DMZ.
*The Sui-ho complex on the Chinese border was actually the fourth largest dam in the world at onetime. It also supplied electricity to Manchuria and Darian. Given that the Yalu River is the front line between Korea and Soviet-occupied Manchuria, I think it’s a safe bet that this plant is not currently aiding the Japanese war effort.
* The other three complexes I mentioned along with the Sui-ho were actually raided during the Korean War in OTL by tactical aircraft. The USAF/USN/USMC strikes heavily damaged the transmission lines and facilities. After poking around with Google Earth and a Korean War era map of Korea, I found that most of these dams are not at the end of deep gorges of canyons. Point being, these facilities are vulnerable to air strikes as was proven in OTL. The raid on these four complexes basically blacked out North Korea for two weeks and they never were fully restored prior to the armistice. Now in ATL we sure won’t be seeing raids on these complexes by tactical aircraft anytime soon, but they are certainly vulnerable to strategic bombers. Now one thing that the orientation of the dams does seem to preclude is Operation CHASTISE style raid with Upkeep-type bombs. But here’s where it’s worth mentioning that one of the big reasons the Upkeep bomb was developed at all was because a)the RAF thought Barnes Wallis’s idea for an Earthquake Bomb was crazy, & b)none of the bombers available to the RAF at the time could lift the proposed Earthquake Bomb. In ATL, these large bombs like the Tallboy are already around . They can be carried by B-31s & B-34s. There is a very good chance that an equivalent to the VB-13 Tarzon guided bomb is around by this time. So these complexes are far from invulnerable.
As to the US finding out about the program, who says they wont. Due you have any idea how much the US knew about the Japanese war plans from SIGINT. Who’s to say the Silent Star recon planes haven’t been flying over Korea? And don’t toss out your underground factory argument – what we’re talking about here is far larger than some underground aircraft plants. Pretty soon the Home Islands will be devoid of major industrial targets and the bombers will turn their attention to factories, ports, and power plants in Korea. Do you honestly believe that nobody is going to wonder why the air defenses are so heavy around certain parts of Korea while the USAAF was busy burning the Home Islands to the ground against diminishing opposition? And even if they don’t find the Korean Los Alamos, they’ll probably still take out the power and transportation network.

RE: US Losses to Kamikazes
Try placing data in a proper context. Those losses at Okinawa were over a five month period. So they were bad, but it’s not like that happened to the USN in just a few days. As for total USN losses to Kamaikazes, those go back to October 1944 IIRC. I’d also remind everyone to review just what the USN’s size is at this time – with the building program never haviing slowed down let alone stopped, they can absorb these losses.
Since you bring up types of Kamikazes, let’s look close at that as well. Now right now we’re looking at Kamikaze oppositon to the upcoming US invasion of Iwo Jima. The vast majority of those trainers you like to mention lack the range to reach Iwo Jima, so they won’t be an issue until Okinawa. The Okhas will be an issue, but they aren’t all going to be ground-launched. A lot of them are going to be air-launched and the OTL record shows how vulnerable they are prior to launch.
I’m not saying that Kamikazes won’t get through or that the USN won’t lose ships, that would be crazy. What I am saying is that Iwo Jima isn’t Okinawa and the USN already has a few tools that it didn’t have in OTL.

Anonymous said...

Althist Fanatic here

I see your point considering Iwo Jima. Okinawa will probably be a bloodbath, however. Iwo Jima will most likely have its share of US casualties. As for the nuke, I guess it'll take Japan a little longer to develop one, if at all. However, it's all up to Bobby, and he's strongly hinted Japan will have nuclear capabilities. But all odds point to the fact that nuclear weapons may not be developed in Japan until after the war. Once again, this all develops on other factors, such as the German nuclear program.

Anonymous said...

Althist Fanatic here

Hey Bobby, could you put these two maps on the Second World War page?

CJ said...

Iwo Jima will be very bloody for the Marines, especially since the Japanese should have their nerve gas (formula courtesy of Germany) ready and in militarily useful quantities by now.

The Okhas will also have some advantage over OTL in that, as per Bobby, they've got the advantage of Fogaku bombers as launch platforms - higher launch altitude will increase range. The only catch is that the Japanese aren't exactly swimming in Fogakus and their older bombers are going to be even more vulnerable than in OTL to interception. What I'm really curious about is if the IJN is going to try to adapt the seaplane facilities on some of their cruisers to launch Okhas. They'll still have to close the range to use them, but it could put them closer to a true missile cruiser than the earlier German attempts.

Okinawa will be bad, if the US goes after Okinawa. I used to think that was a near sure thing, not I'm not so sure. In OTL one of the big drivers behind taking Okinawa was to use it as a springboard for OLYMPIC. I very much doubt that the US will commit the resources that would be needed to invade Japan now that they are at war with Germany. Even in OTL the consensus among military leaders was starting to shift away from invasion and toward continued bombardment & blockade. Heck, in OTL Nimitz was preparing to withdraw his support for DOWNFALL/OLYMPIC based on new intelligence when the nukes were used. IMO, clearing coastal China is a better use of resources than trying to invade the Home Islands. Invading Okinawa is more than likely as far as the US is going to go in so far as that it will enable them to tighten the noose and bring more medium bombers & tactical aircraft to bear.

Invading Manchuria sounds like a great idea, until you consider that the IJA forces in Korea are the only thing keeping the nuke program safe. Once they come out of the fortifications along the Yalu River and start moving, they are going to burn through supplies & equipment that they can't really replace. If things go south, Korea is wide open to invasion by whomever. There is also the question of who is going to keep the Koreans in line if the bulk of the IJA heads north.

As for the situation in the Home Islands, it may not be too much worse than it was during the Summer of 1945 OTL, but in ATL it's going to keep getting worse for the foreseeable future with no real end in sight. Additionally, the US may reach the point very soon where anti-crop agents start looking more and more attractive.

As for Japanese nukes, Bobby's hinted that it's a slight possibility by sometime in 1951. Does anyone really see the Japanese lasting another 18 months - 18 months where their situation continues to deteriorate?

lordroel said...

Wow many things your discussing also are happening in my timeline only the SW is ten time better but i have one question if the Japanese have still full control of Korea where is the Korean Liberation Army ore is there no Korean Liberation Army in the SW timeline.

CJ said...

Excellent question lordroel. It seems silly to consider a rebellion that could extend from Morocco to India, yet ignore the possibility that the people of Korea may see this as a good time to stop being good little Japanese subjects.

We know that in OTL Kim Il Sung received training and aid from the Soviets. I really see no reason why Soviet-trained operatives won't have infiltrated Korea to start organizing guerrilla operations. At the very least all those slave laborers may be sabotaging equipment in factories or causing "accidents" at construction sites. I mean, let's think about this folks, does anyone really think that the Soviets at least don't have some clue from their 'men on the ground' about all these massive construction projects the Japanese are carrying out in Korea?

lordroel said...

Thanks CJ as I was wondering why whey now so much about the situation in china and the soviet union and now so litter about the situation in Koreas but that brings up another question on the pacific map it now states that Formosa is in US hands but who will get it I presume it is to be under the control of the Nationalist Chinese forces.

And do whey now when the board is back online.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

First off CT - the Japanese are going to get a lot out of the ocean no matter what the US bombs - you arent talking about huge fishing boats here - you can get a lot of fish in Japan by the use of rowboats and sailboats - and even the US cant sink every rowboat and sailboat in Japan.

Second off - as I said before - Japan is small enough that you can transport food by human and animal power and still be able to supply a good part of the country. Try using human or animal power to take food from Kazahkstan and deliver it to Leningrad - dont see much getting there in usable shape.

As for the a-bomb in 51 - Japan may make it there - it all comes down to whether the US lets them stew in their own juices and thus lets them get enough time to get a bomb.

And how could that happen - the answer is right in Bobby's last update - i.e. a ChiComm/Nationalist war in China getting out of hand and getting the US so dragged into it that they have to use the resources that could kick Japan to death instead on mainland China to keep the Communists from winning.

Somehow I dont see George Patton sitting there and letting the ChiComms winning. And if it comes down to kicking the corpse into the hole or saving China from Communism - have a feeling the US will let Japan rot - and give them enough time to make it to 51 and their own bomb.

In the meantime they will basically survive by eating anything they can get their hands on, by overfishing and by using every animal and bird in Japan that can be used for food - except for transport animals and maybe a few producers like chickens.

They wont be well fed - but they will survive.

As for a Korean uprising - considering Japan had spent 40 years weeding out and killing any Korean who even showed the least ability to rebel agains them - I wouldnt bet the farm on that - especially not when the Soviets will be hard pressed just to keep the ChiComms in supply, let alone any Korean resistance group.

lordroel said...

Question did some Manchukuo army units retreat to Japanese Korea and do the have a government in exile there ore did the cease to exist when thee soviet took Manchukuo.

How is everybody feeling with the board still down as I only hear from four people here on the blog and two on my on board I am begin to wonder a lot of us are waiting to post again and raise our ranks.

CJ said...

1)Food in Japan: Olefin, you can go on about rowboats and eating birds all you like, it still does not change the reality of what is going on and will continue to go in the Home Islands. We have factual, historic data about what the food and nutritional situation was like in the Home Islands under circumstances that are very similar to what is currently happening in ATL. In fact, Bobby has said that the situation is slightly worse than in OTL. You are ignoring the fact that we have official Japanese government numbers on this and that the situation in OTL continued to worsen for some time even after the surrender and occupation.

2)Korea & Nukes: You need large quantities of electricity to carry out such a program, quantities the Japanese may not have for the amount of time their "maybe" program will take.

3)Korea: So you discount the possibility of industrial sabotage by Korean workers? Sorry, but if Jews in German factories could sabotage German production, I'm not seeing why Koreans couldn't do the same to the Japanese.

Then there is the fact that in OTL the IJA conscripted over 200,000 Koreans from 1944. Now maybe it's just me, but I wonder how much of the IJA in Korea is actually Korean conscripts. Hmm, I wonder what would happen if they turned their guns on their masters? The Manchurian & Chinese puppet armies did it, so it's not without ATL precedent. It's not a certainly mind you, but it's worth thinking about.

CJ said...

Lordroel,

I went back to read some old chapters and it seems like the Manchukuo & puppet Chinese units were either destroyed, melted away, or turned on the Japanese.

As far as the board, it would be nice if it were back up. But this isn't the only board I frequent, so I'm managing.

lordroel said...

Thanks as I was wondering how a large army disappeared.

And the food question on the Japanese home island I alsa think about but that raise one question if the situation is bad on the Japanese home island how would it be on the Japanese pockets the still control on the Chinese mainland with food as the are surrounded and I think being pounded bu allied forces day and night.

About the board yes you are correct and lucky for me my on board gives me time to spend until the SW board is back online witch I hope will be soon.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Those Korean transcripts were never trusted by the Japanese. Where they were used for combat troops it was more in the bullet absorber role - i.e. with Japanese MG at their backs that would be more than ready to take down any Koreans that tried to turn around and fight them.

Considering how much labor is needed for things like building fortifications, fixing railroads, working in nuclear contaminated areas those Koreans who were conscripted are probably being used as unarmed labor troops - and if they do get armed they wont get much more than a rifle and a few cartridges.

In answer to your question Roel - a few Manchurian divisions retreated into Korea - however they are not much more than rabble - the Japanese basically turned them into labor and security troops after their performance in Manchuria.

lordroel said...

thanks as always Olefin but that still leave the question dos the Manchuria government have a government in exile in Korea ore are all things concerning them no longer in effect.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here - I asked Bobby about the Manchurians and he mentioned that a few units had escaped into Korea - but that they were basically combat ineffective - so those that got away arent of much use.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

They do have a govt in exile - Bobby specifically mentioned that the Manchu emperor got out ahead of the Russians and was moved to Japanese territory. Not sure if he is Korea or in Japan itself.

Basically the strongest remaining Japanese puppet forces are the pro-independence forces in Indonesia - who are now being left on their own basically with the Japanese withdrawal - and the Chinese forces left in the enclaves which probably still number 50,000 to 100,000 men spread thru all the various enclaves.

lordroel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lordroel said...

Yes but how are those Japanese forces in those enclaves get their food ore did the turn to cannibalisms and about the Manchu emperor I think he is in Korea whit the US dropping bombs on the Japanese home island Korea is for now a safe place to be.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

The enclaves are bigger than just the port cities themselves - the Japanese are still holding agricultural areas in the enclaves. However the food situation is going to probably get worse - especially for the civilians as the Japanese Army takes more and more of the available food for themselves.

However some of the enclaves are pretty large - one for instance is the entirety of Hainan Island - so depending on where the AfD got stopped the food situation may not be bad for quite some time.

Anonymous said...

Golladay Here.

Can we get an updated North Africa Map soon please.

I appreciate it Bobby.

Anonymous said...

Althist Fanatic here

The handful of units left over in Korea is probably enough to recapture Manchuria, which looks like a good idea considering Japan's current state. However, this would leave Korea (and the bomb project) very vulnerable. But if the civil war in China is distracting enough for the Americans, don't count on them to do anything huge in Japan/Korea.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here - I have a feeling that China is about to become a real mess - and that Manchuria may eventually become a four way battle to the deat - with the ChiComms and the Nationalists fighting each other, the Soviets trying to dig and come away with something to help them rebuild after its all over and the Japanese trying to take any chance they can to grab some of the mineral resource areas, even if only for a few months to be able to get some very badly needed resources.

Anonymous said...

ctwaterman again

Lets see sink every row boat NO but the US doesnt have to do that. Every row boat can feed a single family at best. The small 3-8 Man fishing boats operating with nets are large enough to trigger mines and are prefect targets for Deck Guns and Qutie Torpedoes while the Sub is waiting for a real target like an Oil Tanker out of Sakhalin Island. The Problem is Japan has Millions of People to feed and no real way of feeding those people. In addition there war production is spiraling way down past the point where they are not replacing their losses. And they have no way of replacing there losses.

Japan itself doesnt have enough Coal to run even a limited amount of its industry and a few small Sytnthetic Gasoline Plants. For that they Needed Manchuria.

If you think you Can move sufficent food about by hand power then I think you need to look at the Logistics of say a Roman Legion or any of the Man Power era armies. You can move food by Mule back for roughly 100 Miles after that the Mule is eating more of the grain he is moving then arrives at your destination. And Japans main food production centers are not even on the same Island as the Main Population centers.

Dispersing the people into the country side might stave off stravation for awhile but not for 18 months. Japan cannot feed its population without food imports and that includes over fishing wich Japan still does to this day.

Besides which scattering your workers to the four winds means even more losses in production. Which I think the Japanese might begin to do anyway because there simply isnt anything left for most of those workers to work with.

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