Pre War Japanese Resources



  • Which choice best fits your war aim?


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

    I feel 6 CVE would be better than 2 CV. But i assume the pilots would be good.

    Japan had huge infantry divisions but deployment on islands is not good. They needed to end the Chinese meat grinder and free up those units to make a land grab.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Morning Worsham.
    I can see how two more Carriers would have helped as they did so well early on with the (was it?) 6 they started with, but I think the problem was later and supplying their islands and faraway empire.
    Would more merchant navy have helped? Of course, I believe they had a big problem with fuel too, so not sure how they could have moved these ships.
    Thank you for the poll and the opportunity it gives us to ponder a different Pacific war.
    I am going go look up the “Tony” as I forget what plane it was.


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

    On the condition that I could also change the way Japan used whatever equipment I chose, I’d pick the two million tons of additional shipping.  Shipping tonnage was one of the most critical aspects of the Japanese war effort, yet it was also an element that they seriously mishandled.  The whole point of the war was to secure the resources Japan lacked domestically (such as the oil of the DEI), yet Japan was unbelievably lackadaisical about properly convoying and properly escorting its transport ships to increase the chances that imported materials would actually reach Japan instead of being deep-sixed by American submarines.  Britain, in much the same position as Japan and with the benefit of its WWI experience, took the defense of its merchant fleet much more seriously than Japan right from the start of WWII.  Japan was also inefficient in its use of transports to keep its troops properly supplied across the vast perimeter of its oceanic wartime front – for instance, transports would sometimes travel empty on one leg of their journey because of poor Army-Navy coordination of shipping needs.

    Assuming I couldn’t change how Japan used its equipment, I’d pick the two extra fleet carriers.  At Midway, they would have given the Japanese enough reserve capacity to keep two carriers fully dedicated to the job of: a) providing augmented compat air patrol protection to Nagumo’s carrier group; b) scouting for enemy carriers with reconnaissance planes; and c) attacking enemy carriers – if any were found – immediately with a full complement of planes armed with torpedoes and armour-piercing bombs.  Some of the reasons the Japanese lost four carriers at Midway were that: a) most of the Japanese CAP was pulled down to sea level when they intercepted the American torpedo bombers, which allowed the American dive bombers to get through; b) the Japanese were desultory in their scouting operations, since they didn’t think any US carriers were anywhere near Midway; and c) Nagumo flip-flopped a couple of time on the arming and re-arming and re-re-arming of his reserve planes (from torpedoes to bombs to torpedoes again), which not only wasted time but ultimately resulted in his being caught with flight decks full of planes and bombs and fuel hoses when the American dive-bombers showed up.



  • @Imperious:

    I feel 6 CVE would be better than 2 CV. But i assume the pilots would be good.

    Japan had huge infantry divisions but deployment on islands is not good. They needed to end the Chinese meat grinder and free up those units to make a land grab.

    I once read an comparison to the Japanese-Chinese War to the US’s Vietnam War. Much like the US, the Japanese controlled important area and won standard engagements with the enemy. However both could not win the war under their current strategies. Japan went to war with the West with only 1/3 units available for war. The rest were fighting Chinese and on occupation duties. Some of very best units were protecting Manchuria against an Soviet Invasion.


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

    @ABWorsham:

    Japan went to war with the West with only 1/3 units available for war. The rest were fighting Chinese and on occupation duties. Some of very best units were protecting Manchuria against an Soviet Invasion.

    Yes, the Kwantung Army.  Japan managed to keep it there until around 1944, but gradually started committing its troops and equipment to the war in the Pacific as the American advance put Japan into a more and more dangerous position.



  • I think they had enough men, but was short of trannies, so I voted for more shipping


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