Pearl Harbor

Jul 2014
13,538
8,190
massachusetts
#61
They attacked the Philippines at exactly the same time, there were more than enough US casualties without Pearl Harbor to overcome any anti-war feelings.
So imagine the scenario where the Japanese obliterated the Pearl Harbor tank farm, and held off on the Philippines. Which would be based on them being sensitive to American politics, and the logistical situation of the American forces in the Pacific.
Then you have no casualties, and a major strategic position downgrade.

As it was, it was Hitler declaring war on the US that brought the US into the European war, the votes to declare war on Germany may not have been there, even after Pearl Harbor.
If Hitler hadn't done that, the US entry may have been delayed a significant time.

It's all what ifs, and changing one thing would probably change everything that came after it.

It's like "The Man in the High Castle", Philip K. Dick imagines a different world history, based on one event, the assassination of Franklin Roosevelt by Guiseppe Zangara. This put a different man in the White House, which then resulted in less preparation taking place and the defeat of the Allies, Germany having time to develop an atomic bomb, a whole different chain of events resulting in the occupation of America by the Germans and Japanese.

Who knows, what if Churchill choked on a sausage, or fell down the stairs after polishing off a fifth of brandy.
Would everything be different?
 
Apr 2013
35,887
24,376
Left coast
#62
So imagine the scenario where the Japanese obliterated the Pearl Harbor tank farm, and held off on the Philippines. Which would be based on them being sensitive to American politics, and the logistical situation of the American forces in the Pacific.
Then you have no casualties, and a major strategic position downgrade.

As it was, it was Hitler declaring war on the US that brought the US into the European war, the votes to declare war on Germany may not have been there, even after Pearl Harbor.
If Hitler hadn't done that, the US entry may have been delayed a significant time.

It's all what ifs, and changing one thing would probably change everything that came after it.

It's like "The Man in the High Castle", Philip K. Dick imagines a different world history, based on one event, the assassination of Franklin Roosevelt by Guiseppe Zangara. This put a different man in the White House, which then resulted in less preparation taking place and the defeat of the Allies, Germany having time to develop an atomic bomb, a whole different chain of events resulting in the occupation of America by the Germans and Japanese.

Who knows, what if Churchill choked on a sausage, or fell down the stairs after polishing off a fifth of brandy.
Would everything be different?
A very plausible alternative history was explored in a book I read a long time ago for which I no longer remember the title or author. But his premise was that Hitler had not made one of the arguably stupidest decisions of his in WWII and the German forces had immediately invaded England upon the fall of France. Most historians are of the opinion at that time an invasion of England would have been successful.

His fictional history then goes on to (and IMO a much less probable) stopping his conquests and not invading Russia. And so a German empire encompassing virtually all of Europe excluding Russia was then a world power.
 
Sep 2015
13,641
4,965
Brown Township, Ohio
#63
Today is the 76th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Just in case anyone is interested.
Thanks HW. Pearl Harbor is 21.335 degrees North Latitude and it was a sunny and warm Sunday morning. Back then Radar was infantile and worthless. The guy who invented Radar went blind for looking at the bright light inside the magnetron which is mesmerizing.
 
Sep 2017
1,593
830
Hell
#64
Thank you.

My point remains, what if the war declaration had been delivered on time?
Nothing would have changed. The US had already intercepted, decoded, and translated the message that were sent to be delivered. It was not a declaration of war but an intent to break off negotiations.

The final two paragraphs of the 14 part Message:

Thus the earnest hope of the Japanese Government to adjust Japanese-American relations and to preserve and promote the peace of the Pacific through cooperation with the American Government has finally been lost.

The Japanese Government regrets to have to notify hereby the American Government that in view of the attitude of the American Government it cannot but consider that it is impossible to reach an agreement through further negotiations
The official Declaration of War was not sent until the next day.

Japan's final proposal was sent on Nov 20, the attack fleet sortied out on Nov 26, before the American response to the proposal was sent on Nov 27.

The Japanese would still have been vilified regardless of whether the message was delivered on time or not.
 
Sep 2017
1,593
830
Hell
#66
No, they are not.
While the British army was at its weakest, the Royal Navy and RAF were fully capable of defeating any attempt to invade the Germans could organise at that time.
Agreed.

They would never have made the beaches in any adequate numbers, and if they did, there was no way to support a beachhead.
 
Likes: 1 person
Apr 2015
1,729
2,011
Stockport. UK
#67
So imagine the scenario where the Japanese obliterated the Pearl Harbor tank farm, and held off on the Philippines. Which would be based on them being sensitive to American politics, and the logistical situation of the American forces in the Pacific.
Then you have no casualties, and a major strategic position downgrade.

As it was, it was Hitler declaring war on the US that brought the US into the European war, the votes to declare war on Germany may not have been there, even after Pearl Harbor.
If Hitler hadn't done that, the US entry may have been delayed a significant time.
Hitler had already promised the Japanese in November 1941 that he would declare war on the USA if Japan attacked the USA and Britain in the Pacific.
 
Sep 2017
1,593
830
Hell
#68
Not a mistake....The Japanese simply did not have the logistics to support a major land force on the Hawaiian Islands.. That is why they were forced to try to take the Midway Islands first as a support base for an invasion of the Hawaiian Islands
Midway is a tiny atoll at the northwest end of the Hawaiian Island chain. It was an American outpost, but incapable of being a support base.

Yamamoto's initial intent was the attack Pearl Harbor again to draw the America fleet out in full force for what was meant to be the final destruction of the US Pacific Fleet (especially the carriers that were not at Pearl) and hopefully peace negotiations.

However, land-based aircraft at had increase substantially since the attack on Pearl, so Midway was chosen because it was dear enough to the Americans to defend it vigorously and out of range of her land-based aircraft.

The Japanese decision to go ahead with this plan was due to the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo that showed how exposed to Japanese home islands were to American carriers.
 
Likes: 1 person
Sep 2015
9,283
5,182
Lehigh Valley Pa.,USA
#69
Midway is a tiny atoll at the northwest end of the Hawaiian Island chain. It was an American outpost, but incapable of being a support base.

Yamamoto's initial intent was the attack Pearl Harbor again to draw the America fleet out in full force for what was meant to be the final destruction of the US Pacific Fleet (especially the carriers that were not at Pearl) and hopefully peace negotiations.

However, land-based aircraft at had increase substantially since the attack on Pearl, so Midway was chosen because it was dear enough to the Americans to defend it vigorously and out of range of her land-based aircraft.

The Japanese decision to go ahead with this plan was due to the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo that showed how exposed to Japanese home islands were to American carriers.
Although baiting the American Navy, especially the aircraft carriers into a trap was part of the plan....Why did Yamamoto have an invasion force with him if he did not plan on taking and holding the Midway Islands.....And remember there was a second force that landed and held the Aleutian Island Attu and Kiska at the same time.....
 
Sep 2017
1,593
830
Hell
#70
Although baiting the American Navy, especially the aircraft carriers into a trap was part of the plan....Why did Yamamoto have an invasion force with him if he did not plan on taking and holding the Midway Islands.....And remember there was a second force that landed and held the Aleutian Island Attu and Kiska at the same time.....
I didn't say Yamamoto did not want to seize Midway, I said Midway was not capable of being a support base. The invasion force and follow-up occupation force was to eliminate Midway as seaplane/flying-boat base and take away the forward airstrip for the bomber attacks against Wake Island.

The Aleutian invasion was a compromise to the IJA in exchange for the Army support for Midway.
 
Last edited: