Pre-war Japanese options



  • What choice would best help Japan’s doomed War with the West?


  • '10

    I voted other.

    I don’t think it was ever plausible for Japan to win a conventional war and most in Japan knew that. Even with many of the options you listed, I think it would have mattered little against the production capabilities of the US.

    I think the only way of Japan being able to keep the gains they had acquired was if they had used they defensive tactics they went to later in the war, from the very beginning of it. Had they defended Guadalcanal the same way they did Iwo or Peleliu (causing as many American deaths as possible from hidden defenses and abandoning the banzai charges) they may have been able to cause enough American deaths to force peace talks.

    Even that was probably unlikely, though.


  • '12

    I would vote “The understanding of psychology and human nature”.

    Japan should never have had as their goal war with the US.  In fact, that was not really their goal at all.  Access to oil was after the US cut them off.  That single premise led them to war with the US.  Had they used marketing/advertising in the US and explained/spun their actions and attacked everyone BUT the US they probably could have achieved their goals, carved out a sphere of influence and could to this day be running a brutal empire.



  • Saburo Sakai said that had the Japanese kept even 50% of the recruits in their Navy Airmen training program, instead of the 10-15% they accepted, the results of the 1943 Solomon Island graveyard of the IJN Airmen could have been atleast prolonged. The barrel would not have ran empty as soon.

    Sakai stated in his book that most of the recuits that didn’t pass training could have made very decent pilots. The samarai code work againist the Japanese.



  • I voted for the pilot training program, but could have easily voted “other.”  I voted pilot training because it was symptomatic/symbolic of the myopia of Japanese stratetic planning.  The strategic miscalculation that Japan made was in not preparing for a prolonged war.  Their early successes were phenomenal and made excellent use of weapons they had developed for this purpose, but they did not have replacement generations of men and new weapons coming.  They did not anticipate or adapt to the next phase.  This was most obvious in the naval air war, which was the key to regional supremacy.

    They had fleet carriers available later in the war…but no effective remaining fleet air arm (highly trained naval aviators) to fly from them.  Their flattops were used as decoys.  They also had converted some heavy ships into 1/2 deck seaplane carriers for scouting–this was a strategic difference in the way scouting was done compared to the U.S. carrier fleets.

    For the most part the Japanese stalled at 1942 state-of-the-art tech.  They didn’t have the tanks, or bombers, or fighters needed for the final years of the war.  They needed good radar and radar targeting for their ships, but lacked it (losing the night to the U.S…and while the IJN owned the night early in the war.)  They didn’t have viable anti-tank weapons for infantry.  They lacked the kind of tanks, and tank tactics required for a prolonged land war although this wasn’t really a factor for blitz style island hopping.  Their machine guns were greatly inferior.  They had lousy radios.  In short, they failed to anticipate or adapt rapidly enough to the counterstroke phase of the war.  By the 2nd half of 1943 they were fighting with what was then obsolete equipment…evolution is fast during war.

    They understood their own weapons well and what their enemies had in 1941.  Their use of light long range tactical bombing, carrier forces, naval night fighting prep, torpedo attack development, etc. were far beyond what their enemies thought was possible at the time.  But the second generation wasn’t in the wings ready to deploy.  Meanwhile their enemies recognized their own shortcomings and adapted.

    As Saburo Sakai and others have pointed out, the Japanese approach to retaining highly trained crews (and irreplaceable equipment) was inferior.  Their naval damage control was poor, costing them carriers, cruisers, and battleships that in U.S. hands would have lived to fight another day.  Their fighters were light and maneuverable, great for a “knife fight” but lacked the speed, self-sealing tanks, and cockpit armour needed to keep the plane flying and crew alive.  They emphasized individual prowess over teamwork (as in "watch my back, and I’ll watch yours).  The U.S. didn’t have to produce the best pilots, just an overwhelming number of adequately trained ones.  Our guys got shot down often enough…and many of them flew again (such as George H. W. Bush), unlike the Japanese.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Japan could probably never train as many pilots as USA. It just took about a year for USA to overwhelm the quality pilots that Japan had built up.

    Military options should have been to gain a oil trade agreement with the Soviets, even if it meant they demilitarize of the border in Manchukuo.

    With oil they should have just attacked all the European colonial assets and avoided USA. It would have taken FDR at least a year to get any DOW and frankly, they would have gotten a DOW against Germany and NOT Japan.

    Japan could have taken out Australia, India, and the dutch et all and had a better time of it.

    It was most stupid for them to not finish off China before getting into other things. After taking out China and UK/Dutch they should have just sit around for 10 years consolidating and building up her economic muscle.



  • When you have the best quality pilots, your emphasis must be on keeping them alive should they get shot down.  The Japanese were rather callous about the loss of their own men in every arm (in the air, on land, at sea.)

    It is hard to fathom from my U.S.-centric mindset the losses the Japanese high command accepted.  We obsess about battles like Goliad, the Alamo, and the Little Big Horn where we lost a few hundred who were overwhelmed, while the Japanese condemned tens of thousands to death at a time in hopeless, to-the-last-man defenses of outposts that they knew they could not hold.  Can you imagine what it must have been like for family to know their husbands/sons/brothers/cousins were stationed at Guadalcanal, Saipan, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, etc?


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Red:

    When you have the best quality pilots, your emphasis must be on keeping them alive should they get shot down.  The Japanese were rather callous about the loss of their own men in every arm (in the air, on land, at sea.)Â

    Yes, the U.S. had a much better understanding of the fact that a trained and experienced pilot was a valuable resource.  The U.S. Navy put a lot of effort into searching for downed pilots, using submarines and Catalina flying boats.  This was good for the morale of the pilots (who went into battle knowing that, if they were shot down, the Navy would come looking for them) and of their buddies back aboard their carriers.  It was also a good investment: rescued pilots could be put back on flying duty if they were uninjured, or sent back to the States as flight instructors if they were no longer able to fly combat missions but were otherwise okay.  Even if they weren’t shot down, U.S. pilots were periodically rotated out of combat duty to give them a break and to give them a chance to download their combat experience into the brains of trainee pilots back home.

    The Japanese, by contrast, gave little attention to rescuing downed pilots, and tended to keep their pilots in combat until they were killed.  The pilots themselves sometimes got carried away by the offensive spirit: there were apparently cases of fighter pilots ramming enemy planes after they had run out of ammunition.  Japanese naval aviation was top-notch at the start of the war, but it gradually eroded in skill as the years went by.



  • I voted for “other.” “Other” in this case means “delay”–and especially delay war against the U.S.!

    In December of 1941, Japan had one-tenth the industrial capacity of the U.S.

    During WWII, military aircraft production was a reasonably good proxy for overall military production. In 1942, Japan produced 9,000 military aircraft, compared to 48,000 military aircraft for the U.S. By '44, Japan had tripled its aircraft production to 28,000 per year; whereas the U.S. had doubled its production to 96,000. The U.S.'s margin of military production superiority had been reduced from 5:1 in '42 to “only” 3:1 in '44.

    It could be pointed out that, when Japan attacked, the U.S. was in the midst of a program to dramatically strengthen and modernize its military. Japan’s ability to “run wild”–which it had in late '41 and early '42–would have been lost by '43 or '44.

    But in real terms, what did Japan gain from “running wild” against the U.S.? The conquest of the Philippines is the most significant achievement. The sinking of a few obsolete battleships at Pearl Harbor had no strategic impact, except insofar as it encouraged the U.S. Navy to focus on aircraft carriers instead of battleships. (Which it should have been doing anyway.)

    Running wild against the British and Dutch was of course another kettle of fish! After the U.S. imposed its oil embargo, Japan desperately required the oil of the Dutch East Indies. Japanese military planners assumed that if they attacked the British and Dutch, the U.S. would declare war against them. That being the case, why not start things off with a sneak attack against the U.S.? The attack would (it was hoped) temporarily render the U.S. Pacific Fleet impotent, and buy Japan some time.

    Another way Japan could have obtained its needed oil was via a treaty with the Soviet Union. As was mentioned, this might have involved Japan demilitarizing the Manchurian border, so as to free up Soviet troops for use against Germany. The problem with this (from Japan’s perspective) is that it would have helped the Soviets in their war against Germany. An Allied victory would imply victory for Britain; and consequent British ability to focus on retaking whichever territories it may have lost while it was distracted by Germany. American sentiments were also pro-British, pro-Chinese, and anti-Japanese. A strong Germany would have been useful to Japan as a counterweight to the Western Democracies.

    Therefore, obtaining the necessary oil by conquering the Dutch East Indies would have been preferable to doing so via treaty with the Soviet Union. Of course, this assumes that British and Dutch territories could be attacked without bringing the U.S. into the war. Anything which would bring the U.S. into the war would virtually guarantee defeat for Japan.

    Edit: a third option for Japan would have been to obtain the needed oil from the Soviet Union, but not necessarily through peaceful tactics. Suppose Japan had launched a surprise attack against the eastern Soviet Union in the summer of '41. (To coincide with Operation Barbarossa.) Japan’s ability to push inland would have been very limited. But its coastal operations could have created a significant distraction for the Red Army at the one point it wished to avoid distraction. Also, the loss of Soviet Pacific harbors would have hindered American Lend-Lease shipments. After the Soviets had experienced significant losses to the Japanese Army, they would be told, “if you want us off your land, give us oil. Lots and lots of oil.” In this way Japan could have obtained the oil it needed without risking war against the U.S., while also making a meaningful contribution to a German win over the Allies.



  • @KurtGodel7:

    Edit: a third option for Japan would have been to obtain the needed oil from the Soviet Union, but not necessarily through peaceful tactics. Suppose Japan had launched a surprise attack against the eastern Soviet Union in the summer of '41. (To coincide with Operation Barbarossa.) Japan’s ability to push inland would have been very limited. But its coastal operations could have created a significant distraction for the Red Army at the one point it wished to avoid distraction. Also, the loss of Soviet Pacific harbors would have hindered American Lend-Lease shipments. After the Soviets had experienced significant losses to the Japanese Army, they would be told, “if you want us off your land, give us oil. Lots and lots of oil.” In this way Japan could have obtained the oil it needed without risking war against the U.S., while also making a meaningful contribution to a German win over the Allies.

    This option seems even dicier than what Japan did.  Getting involved in a land war against Russia would be inadvisable.  The terrain would appear to be the opposite of what Japan was best equipped for, and Russia had the right weapons for it.  A Japanese army had already been crushed by Russia a few years earlier.

    But the bigger problem is that even if the attack on Russia was entirely successful in its aim, the objective is of questionable value.  Would Russia really be able to supply Japan after losing men and material in such a campaign?  Or would it be more likely to provide so much less than agreed that Japan would still end up oil starved?  If Germany finishes off Russia in some fashion I doubt it would open the oil spigot to Japan.  (Remember each ally is still looking out for its own interests first.)


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    This was most obvious in the naval air war, which was the key to regional supremacy.

    I voted for 2 extra aircraft carriers, with manned and trained crews, readily available.  If the Japanese in december 41, had engaged in an absolutely ruthless campaign, to destroy as MUCH American military equipment in the pacific, as quickly as possible, I think they could have stuffed them off of the map, and raided all American pacific harbours.

    A blitz of Hawaii, shortly after the phillipines, and the fall of midway, would have the American public in terror.  The destruction of the Panama canal would also be pertinent.  The Japanese would then have a free hand to deal with the colonial european powers.

    I also agree with IL’s sentiment about China.  The moral of the story for the axis in WW2 seemed to be, destroy your first enemy, before engaging your second.

    Why give just your pilots combat breaks? When you should be forcing alternate nations through terror to submit to peace settlements.

    In short, a bigger slap in the face, and a campaign of terror, might have been enough to bluff a negotiated settlement.



  • @Red:

    This option seems even dicier than what Japan did.� Getting involved in a land war against Russia would be inadvisable.� The terrain would appear to be the opposite of what Japan was best equipped for, and Russia had the right weapons for it.� A Japanese army had already been crushed by Russia a few years earlier.�

    But the bigger problem is that even if the attack on Russia was entirely successful in its aim, the objective is of questionable value.� Would Russia really be able to supply Japan after losing men and material in such a campaign?� Or would it be more likely to provide so much less than agreed that Japan would still end up oil starved?� If Germany finishes off Russia in some fashion I doubt it would open the oil spigot to Japan.� (Remember each ally is still looking out for its own interests first.)

    I’ve been thinking about this, and have decided that as dicey as the above may seem, Japan’s best possible option may have been even dicier! This plan would have involved a four prong strategy.

    1. Make peace in China. Chiang Kai-shek once said that the Japanese are a disease of the skin, and the communists a disease of the heart. Those sound like the words of a man prepared to sit down and do business–at least with the Japanese! Especially if doing so would free up his forces to fight the communists. Which a peace treaty would have. Japan would have gotten Manchuria and perhaps a few coastal cities; the Chinese Nationalists everything else. Communist forces within Japan’s share of China would have been ruthlessly repressed. Communists outside that share would have been the Nationalists’ problem.

    2. Engage in extensive lobbying efforts within the U.S., especially among Congressmen and Senators. These lobbying efforts would have been necessary to prepare the way for

    3. The invasion of the Dutch East Indies and British Pacific territory, while praying that the United States didn’t respond with a declaration of war. These conquests would have obtained for Japan the oil it needed.

    4. Invade the Soviet Union in June of '41. During WWII, Japan’s army in China had about 4 million men. Assuming a force of 1.5 million men was left behind to defend Manchuria and a few coastal cities, this would have freed up 2.5 million men for use against the Soviet Union. Japan appears to have obtained a roughly 1:1 exchange ratio against the Soviet Union in some battles in the late '30s.

    Suppose Japan had made war against the Soviet Union its primary military objective. The above-described 2.5 million men could have been combined with the bulk of Japan’s air power. Near coastal targets, such as the ports the Soviets absolutely had to have to continue receiving Lend-Lease Aid via the Pacific, Japan’s battleships would have proved devastating. Imagine that, in '41, Japan had killed or captured 1 million Soviet soldiers in exchange for a roughly equal number of Japanese soldiers. Going into '42, Japan would sill have 1.5 million soldiers left on that front, plus whatever replacements it had added.

    After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and Singapore in December of '41, Stalin realized that Japan would be too busy elsewhere to launch a major war against the Soviet Union. He therefore sent 100 divisions west across the Trans-Siberian railway; away from the Japanese front and toward the German front. Those divisions proved devastating to the Germans. (To put this into perspective, the entire German Army consisted of 150 divisions in the spring of '41. By the fall of '41 the Red Army consisted of 600 divisions.)

    Had the Japanese launched the kind of attack I described, the Soviets would not have been able to send those divisions west. On the contrary, their eastern front would have required a steady stream of reinforcements over the coming years. Reinforcements which would have had to have been taken away from its western front.

    The Japanese would have had air supremacy in '41, and (at very least) air superiority in '42. There are two reasons for this. 1) The Germans had destroyed the Red Air Force in '41. 2) The Japanese had some of the best pilots and the best aircraft in the world–at least by the standards of late '41/early '42. Japan’s superiority in the air would have allowed them to compensate for their lack of tanks and artillery pieces on the ground–at least for the first two years of this war.

    Japan was obviously in no position to go for the Soviets’ jugular–or even anything remotely resembling a jugular. The Germans were. The Japanese attack would have diverted Soviet strength away from its all-important western front. German attacks would have been more likely to succeed, and Soviet counter-punches would have been weaker. Compared to what actually happened, this hypothetical scenario would have seriously diverged in the winter of '41 - ‘42, with the degree of divergence increasing in the spring and summer of ‘42. That summer was, as German military leaders recognized, the key moment of opportunity to win the war. Germany needed to strike a major blow against the Soviet Union that year, either by taking Moscow or the Caucasus oilfields. Whichever option it chose, the effects of the Japanese invasion would have made Germany’s strategy less costly, and more likely to succeed, than it otherwise would have been. (As an aside, the conquest of the Caucasus oilfields would have gained for Germany not just the vast majority of the Soviets’ oil supply. It would also have involved the conquest of a significant portion of the Soviets’ industry, population, and natural resources.)

    Another advantage for Germany under this strategy is that the United States would presumably not declare war on anyone in '42 or '43. This would mean that Germany wouldn’t have to worry about the U.S. Army on its western front, and so could allocate a greater portion of its strength eastwards. The battles the U.S. and Britain fought in Algeria in late '42, and in Italy in '43, served to divert a portion of German military strength badly needed elsewhere.

    The above-described strategy would probably have resulted in a German victory over the Soviet Union. Or, if not outright conquest, a peace treaty between the two nations very favorable to Germany. Germany would then have been faced with an unwanted air war against Britain. Germany would have to deal not just with British aircraft production; but also with the tens of thousands of military aircraft Britain was obtaining from the United States. To deal with these problems, it would build large numbers of airplanes of its own, using the industrial capacity, natural resources, and manpower it had obtained from its conquest of the Soviet Union.

    With the world’s major superpowers locked into a seemingly endless war against each other, Japan would then be free to do more or less whatever it wanted. (Except that re-launching the war against China would not have been a good idea due to the weakened state of Japan’s army and the strength of Chinese resistance.) From a strategic perspective, Japan’s options would have been much better under this scenario than they would have been with an Allied victory over Germany. What did Japanese leaders imagine the Red Army would do after it had completed its conquest of Germany? Did they imagine Manchuria would be left alone, free from the threat of Soviet invasion? Did they imagine that Britain, freed from its war with Germany, would passively accept the loss of much of its Pacific empire? Japanese plans for the Asian mainland and for Pacific islands therefore required a strong Germany to succeed.


  • '12

    I tend to think no matter how much extra military equipment you start Japan off with, if the war follows the same historical prelude to Dec 7 it ends the same way but a matter of months later.  Let’s extrapolatea worst case for the US.  Japan starts out with a navy 25% larger, the Pearl Harbor attack was even more successful.  The Panama canal was attacked and put out of action for 1 year.  The battle of the Coral Sea did not check the Japanese advance towards Australia, though I suspect the fall of Australia is a bit of a stretch, so lets say it occurs.  Midway went as the Japanese had hoped and the US either loses the carriers or beats a hasty retreat and gives up Midway.  Yeah, nothing went the US or allied way.

    So, does the US sue for peace?  I don’t think so and none of those setbacks stops the US from having long range bombers and nuclear weapons pretty much to the day they get them.  By 1945 the US military output put the US fleet in a position that it can project power and do island hoping like a lance towards Japan, all you need is one airfield to get you heavy bombers to Japan to start the nuclear payback.

    KurtGodel’s scenario seems to echo my sentiments.  Had the Japanese commited  a war involving smart military moves designed to tie up Soviet troops while trying to keep the peace with the US then I do believe the Soviets fall.

    Had both Japan and Germany done their best to keep the US out of the war then I doubt the US declares war on Germany for at least another year.  After Japan’s attack and the Germany idiotic declaration of war on the US it freed the US fully to support the allied cause.  I doubt the US goes on war rationing after a huge political slug fest to declare war on Germany if there was no Pearl Harbor.



  • There is no way the U.S. would have sued for peace no matter how successful Japan might have been in the Pacific.  Being attacked without prior declaration of war in our own territory precluded that possibility.  Japan would not ever be trusted in negotiations again until they had surrendered.  That is one of the factors people forget about when discussing the A-bomb decision–no U.S. leader could risk many thousands of lives to a negotiated end to the war in the face of what had happened.

    In short, a bigger slap in the face, and a campaign of terror, might have been enough to bluff a negotiated settlement.

    This almost always produces the exact opposite effect, hardening resolve to resist.  See Britain during the Blitz.  See Nazi Germany.  See Rome during the 2nd Punic War (Hannibal relied on forcing Rome to negotiate–his strategic blunder.)  Even Japan…capitulation only occurred when no defense was even possible.

    The few times it does work is when the govt. is unpopular/or becomes unpopular because of events and is toppled (see the Madrid bombings in Spain or Mussolini’s fall in Italy.)

    I agree with others about Japan fighting a limited war against the Dutch East Indies and consolidating.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    But look what happend in Poland, France, Greece.  The option to fight exists, for sure.  But surrender seems suddenly, the better option.

    I am also a firm believer that if you’re going to war, you should send in all of your best assassins to cut the head off of the snake.  This is an old bolshevik tactic, that has led to the end of many a monarch.

    If you manage to kill everyone… strategically it can works.

    The Japanese were willing to employ suicide strategies… if they had managed to stike at FDR or all of congress/the senate at once… who knows 😛



  • @Gargantua:

    But look what happend in Poland, France, Greece.  The option to fight exists, for sure.  But surrender seems suddenly, the better option.

    None of those three really had any option for effective nationwide defense when they capitulated.  They had already been beaten in the field in their home country and could do nothing to stop further conquest and slaughter/destruction of civilian centers.  It proves my point.  Contrast that with the most wildly successful Japanese pacific campaign scenario:  the United States is still untouched (only a few territories and initial forces lost.)  Furthermore, it is ginning up to strike back, outproducing Japan and soon re-establishing control of the seas.  What is there to fear that would lead one to sue for peace?  Nothing!

    Vengeance is a very strong motivator and the U.S. had that working in spades after Dec. 7.  My midwestern grandfather and great uncles (rural kids) were joining the marines as soon as they came of age wanting to get some payback.  (Grandpa, due to Depression era diet was short enough and small enough that he had to threaten to become a conscientious objector to get in…and became a master sergeant.)  Some of their grandfathers had hunted down Quantrill’s minions and other southern guerrillas who waged a war of terror on the civilian population of their states…the bloody border state experience.  They weren’t taking prisoners by the 2nd half of either war.  Sue for peace?  Not something any of them would have tolerated.

    The Japanese were willing to employ suicide strategies… if they had managed to stike at FDR or all of congress/the senate at once….

    Like any Japanese assassin had any chance of doing this.  :roll:  Talk about sticking out like a sore thumb in WWII.  The Japanese populace in America who were outstandingly loyal to the U.S. were interred as if they were enemy aliens (one of the most shameful reactions to Dec. 7.)


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Red:

    Like any Japanese assassin had any chance of doing this.�  � :roll:�  � Talk about sticking out like a sore thumb in WWII.�  The Japanese populace in America who were outstandingly loyal to the U.S. were interred as if they were enemy aliens (one of the most shameful reactions to Dec. 7.) Â

    Assuming for the sake of argument that Japan had managed to assassinate the President and a few members of Congress – which as R.H. points out is pretty unlikely scenario – let’s consider what the result would have been.  Gargantua suggests (if I understand him correctly) that the U.S. government might have surrendered, or at least been crippled.  I think the more likely results would have been:

    • First, that the government vacancies created by the assassinations would simply have been filled according to the mechanisms defined by the U.S. Constitution (for instance the succession of the V.-P. to the Presidency).

    • Second, that the U.S. government and the U.S. public would have been even more outraged against Japan for these assassinations than they already were by Pearl Harbor, and would have been doubly motivated to pursue their war efforts against Japan.


  • '12

    I don’t think command and control nor public sentiment would have negatively affected the US capacity to wage war, in fact, I agree that an assassination of FDR and a few congressmen/senators (of the 100s and 100s) would only piss of the US more.  Replacing FDR with the man who ordered the only nuclear attack in history of war I suspect would have also done no harm.  In fact, had FDR lived, I wonder if he would have ordered the nuclear attack?


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Well now, it appears we’ve struck a nerve then! 😛

    I’ll remind you all that we’re talking about fairy-tale scenario’s the Japanese could have considered, to see if their options would have changed the outcome of the war.

    Your comments are all mostly valid and noted, but all lead to the next question.

    Would the U.S. have ever surrendered, or sued for peace?  And what conditions would have had to exist for this to be an considered?

    No matter what you think, at some point, given the right conditions (as insane as they may be), America would have had to surrender.  What would have been the catalyst?


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    America would never have surrendered under any conditions. The only question is how long Japan doing other things could have delayed the entry of the Americans. If perhaps Japan had limited goals in Asia, they could have been completed before American entry and stopped the influence toward war.

    America would have had to surrender.  What would have been the catalyst?

    Another planet striking the earth and destroying it. That is the only exception.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    America would never have surrendered under any conditions.

    I agree that the threshold may have been higher than in most counties, but I really beg to differ that they would have continued the fight.  Everyone has a breaking point.

    If the oh so fabled pride of the Japanese wasn’t enough to stay them from giving up.  The Yankee-Doodle isn’t going to keep the US going either.

    Famine at home or a plague would have likely beaten the US.  A few hundred to a thousand Americans in body bags is enough by modern standards.

    As soon as there was a loss in the will to fight, it would have been over.

    Boredom has also defeated Americans.  Just look at Vietnam.  When the war becomes old news, so does the effort.

    I think that if the Japanese had complete control of the US western sea-board, a blocked panama canal,  a conquered Hawaii/Midway/Wake/Johnston, in a fairy tale scenario.  The US would be considering sue for peace options - in order to buy time.

    A continental invasion - Fortress America Style would be the only way for Americans to consider an unconditional surrender.

    And lets not forget -  “Major General Edward P. King Jr. surrenders at Bataan April 9th 1942, Philippines–against General Douglas MacArthur’s orders–”

    The USA also sued for peace with my country whilst it was still under a British flag.  In the War of 1812.  Your Grandfathers Grandfathers didn’t seem interested in “getting payback” after we burned the not yet white-house to the ground.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    America also Sued for peace in Korea.  They didn’t have the political gut to continue the conflict.  Disgusting.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    I agree that the threshold may have been higher than in most counties, but I really beg to differ that they would have continued the fight.  Everyone has a breaking point.

    That threshold would never be the … Japanese.

    Only another planet striking the earth could meet the threshold.

    Also, US negotiated a cease fire. Korean war was never settled, NOBODY SURRENDERED NOBODY ‘SUED’ FOR PEACE. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT.



  • @Gargantua:

    Boredom has also defeated Americans.  Just look at Vietnam.  When the war becomes old news, so does the effort.

    Oh jeez, what a load of hooey.  Vietnam was a fight against an insurgency with one arm tied behind our back.  And the govt. of the nation we were fighting it for (South Vietnam) was itself fatally flawed.  We weren’t ready to fight a World War over Vietnam.

    I think that if the Japanese had complete control of the US western sea-board, a blocked panama canal,  a conquered Hawaii/Midway/Wake/Johnston, in a fairy tale scenario.  The US would be considering sue for peace options - in order to buy time.

    In this fantasy scenario there is no motivation to surrender or sue for peace.  To have “had complete control of the US western sea-board” would have been an enormous undertaking for Japan, bleeding her white much more rapidly.  The logistics of it were well beyond Japan’s capacity at the time.  Our subs would have had a field day sinking the Japanese convoys.  Continental based bombers and fighters would easily pound any ships trying to control the coast.  The Japanese forces trying to hold any coastline would be chewed to pieces in short order.

    And lets not forget -  “Major General Edward P. King Jr. surrenders at Bataan April 9th 1942, Philippines–against General Douglas MacArthur’s orders–”

    I’m pretty sure he didn’t surrender the United States.  :roll:  As it was there was no way to continue the fight.  Again, thanks for proving my point.

    The USA also sued for peace with my country whilst it was still under a British flag.  In the War of 1812.  Your Grandfathers Grandfathers didn’t seem interested in “getting payback” after we burned the not yet white-house to the ground.

    Both nations had achieved their war goals when peace was concluded and neither wanted to continue.  As far as wars go this was more of a squabble about sovereignty and trade issues rather than a fight for existence for either party.  War was already ongoing when the capitol was burned.

    At least one of my distant grandfathers was in the Continental army at Valley Forge…so I don’t think you have any point with respect to “payback.”  And our bloody Civil War showed just how unwilling the nation is to sue for peace until unable to continue militarily.

    At any rate, I was hoping you would bring up the War of 1812 because it also disproves your assertion.  One of the fundamental aspects of wars across vast expanses of water is that naval dominance factors into whether nations are inclined to sue for peace.  Nations win wars against distant enemies by establishing and maintaining naval dominance.  It has been that way since ancient times.  While the U.S. Navy had done better than expected in the War of 1812, it was no match for Britain’s sole attention after the defeat of Napoleon.  Contrast that with WWII.  The U.S. had no reason to expect it wouldn’t establish naval superiority in the Pacific in the long haul.



  • @Gargantua:

    America also Sued for peace in Korea.  They didn’t have the political gut to continue the conflict.  Disgusting.

    What is disgusting is the way you make stuff up.  😛  There was never a peace agreement, only an armistice.  The conflict as it were continues…we have 28,000 plus military personnel there at this time.  South Korea is still there.

    The United States was not willing to take the war to China.  In fact, it was expressly intended that not happen.  The objective of repelling the North Koreans had already succeeded.  Attempting to conquer North Korea itself was a miscalculation because it brought China into the war.

    Subduing North Korea after the Chinese entered the war would have required waging war on/in China.  That was an escalation that the U.S. and its UN allies did not want to make.


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