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Did the IJN defeat itself? Options · View
sonofliberty
Posted: Monday, April 14, 2008 9:52:51 PM
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I believe that the IJN was always doomed to defeat. Even if industrial capacity and spy technology had been equal, I believe the IJN would still have been defeated. Why? The Imperial naval staff subscribed to the doctrine of decisive battle as outlined by Mahan. The Mahanian doctrine was great up until the invention of the aircraft carrier and the wide spread use of submarines.

The Mahan doctrine:Mahan believed that control of seaborne commerce was critical to domination in war. If one combatant could manage to deny the use of the sea to the other, the others' economy would inevitably collapse, leading to victory. Ironically, however, a Mahanian fleet was not made up mostly of commerce raiders. This was because commerce raiders could not establish command of the sea, while a fleet of battleships and other heavily armed warships could. The Mahanian objective was to build a fleet capable of destroying the enemy's main force in a single decisive battle. After this victory was won, it would be easy to enforce a blockade against enemy merchants and hunt down their remaining lighter vessels, since with their heavy assets gone, the enemy would be incapable of rebuilding. For the weaker combatant, meanwhile, the goal was to delay such a climactic battle for as long as possible. While their fleet still posed any threat, the enemy could not risk splitting their forces to close off trade routes. This led to the strategy of a fleet in being, a naval force kept deliberately in port to threaten rather than act.

Mahan's views were shaped by the contests between France and England in the 18th century, where British naval superiority had eventually won out over France, consistently preventing a French invasion or a successful blockade (see Napoleonic war, especially Battle of Trafalgar and Continental System). To a modern reader his emphasis on sea-borne commerce may seem commonplace, but the notion was much more radical in Mahan's time, especially in a nation entirely obsessed with landward expansion to the west. On the other hand, Mahan's focus on sea power as the crucial factor behind the rise of Britain neglected the well-documented role of other means (diplomacy and land armies) and Mahan's theories could not explain success of non-maritime empires, such as Bismarck's Germany.[3]

After the Civil War, the United States Navy initially opposed replacing its sailing vessels with more advanced steam-powered engines for ideological reasons. However, Mahan argued that only a fleet of armored battleships may be decisive in a modern war. According to his idea of one decisive battle, he also opposed any attempts to divide a fleet. Mahan's work encouraged a technological upgrade by convincing those opposed that naval knowledge and tactics remained as necessary as ever, but that domination of the seas dictated that the speed and predictability of steam-powered engines could not be sacrificed.

His books were received with great acclaim, and closely studied in Britain and Germany, influencing their buildup of forces in the years prior to World War I. Mahan's influence sowed the seeds for events such as the naval portion of the Spanish-American War and the battles of Tsushima, Jutland and the Atlantic. His work also influenced the doctrines of every major navy in the interwar period. Mahan was translated and extensively read in Japan,[4] and the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) used Influence as a textbook. This strongly affected IJN conduct in the Pacific War, with emphasis on "decisive battle", even at the expense of trade protection. Ironically, Mahan's premise that a reserve force being incapable to recover after initial overwhelming defeat was refuted by the US Navy's own recovery after Pearl Harbor. The IJN pursuit of the "decisive battle" was carried out to such an extent that it contributed to Japan's defeat in 1945.[5][6] And Mahanian doctrine of a decisive battle fought between fleets of battleships became obsolete by the development of submarines and aircraft carriers.[7]

With the exception of Yamamoto, the entire japanese naval staff accepted these theories and would accept no change. Yamamoto tried to change his nations naval outlook, but with his loss of face after midway he lost almost all real influence. He was retained in command for 2 reasons. 1) It would further damage fleet morale to replace him, as he was loved by his men, 2) He was very close to hirohito, so much so that even after tojo came to power tojo was unable to have him relieved.

Nimitz disproved the validity of the mahanian doctrine with his doctrine of naval aviation and unrestricted submarine warfare. As a side note, Nimitz felt it necessary to defend Donitz at his warcrimes trial. They both used submarines according to almost identical doctrine. If donitz was guilty of war crimes, so was nimitz.

IMO, the entire japanese naval staff should have the "old guard" trait, with the exception of yamamoto.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. -- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

There is a new game on the way Project Blitzkrieg
cueball
Posted: Monday, April 14, 2008 10:51:09 PM
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Not entirely on point, but related:

I think that Japanese war aims were predicated on Germany defeating Russia in early 1942. I don't believe they ever felt they could defeat the USA on their own. But defeat of the Soviet Union might very well have changed the political landscape in Whitehall rapidly, and some kind of peace agreement might have been arranged. Under these circumstance, Japan wanted to have ahold of as much stuff as possible before such negotiations were concluded. With Russia out of the war, and Britain talking peace, even the USA was looking at are really titanc struggle, and a very long war, at least lasting into the 50's, so I think after making their point, taking a few Islands and defeating the Japanese Navy, I suspect that some kind of terms would have been arranged where Japan was allowed to hold on to many of their newly aquired holdings.

At least this was their thinking. So, given that their manouver at Pearl Harbour and their subsequent occupation of what were largely undefended territories in the east, and that they really did not actually start to lose territory until 1943 the Japanese basicly won their war on all terms, except for the fact that they overestimated their allies, or possibly underestimated the Russian resolve. And they has some reason to doubt it as well since Stalin was actively seeking peace through the Bulgarian Embassy in early July 1941, of this the Japanese certainly knew.

Of course the common counter-scenario, and the one that gets played out in HOI is that the Japanese goes after Russia itself. This was actually discussed in cabinet and rejected. Aside from the obvious problem of having a hostile and powerful USA on their back, there is the problem that Japan would not get very much out of that other than some Siberian tagia. On the other hand a sharp attack into into Asia opened up a whole world of economic prospects, and when one goes to negotiate, as they imagined they would soon being doing, they would have a lot of valuable property on hand, and would certainly keep most of it. Going the Russian route also created the problem that the undefended territories in Asia, would not be undefended by the time Russia had been defeated, for both the Americans and the British would have spent more time and effort fotifying and reinforcing while Japan was waylaid in Russia.

The problem with the game, and why the alternate scenario appears so often is that basicly Japan and Germany share the same objectives, while in real life Japan was also pursuing its own.

In summary, I don't believe the IJN ever intended to defeat the USN, nor do I think it would be possible regardless of doctrine because they simply did not have the industrial capacity to do so, as Von Bock will surely come along and point out. One surely has to ask why did they settle for limited victory at Pearl Harbour, when they had the opportune moment to land an invasion party, and quite possible knock the USA out of the theater entirely? This in itself makes me think they were planning for a war with very little scope, calculated to be timed to impending German success in early 1942. But I think in the limited scope of their war aims, Japan in fact won the Asian war on their terms, and on their timeline, never expecting to truly be able to defeat the USA Navy.

If there was a doctrine they were following assidiously it was Clauzewitzian. They intended to bring about the victory over the US by defeating its major ally Britain as the immediate "positive object", and then defend with the "negative object" of simply surviving in a defensive posture, until the US was worn down. through attrition, a "negative object."

For a straighforward copy over zip version go here: Goerings Delay -- NZQS -- 1.3b.rar

The Mod can also be set up with the Jones Generic Mod Enabler and has worked fine in that mode in my tests. This version has everything in it, 1.3beta, JSGME and the East is Red patch, and can be installed straight to your Armageddon 1.2 (ZBLV) folder without disrupting vanilla at all. It has the 1.3beta exe update and JGSME Mod system right in it. Just unzip to your main doomsday folder, copy the contents of the folder, then past into the main folder, then enable the mod using the JSGME system. Once you execute the JSGME it is pretty self-explanatory: EIR NZQS --ARMA 1.3beta complete 1.3b

Small patch from XTPS or NZQS 1.2 to NZQS 1.3b: Goering EIR -- Patch 1.3b

It would be a dangerous folly for the British people to underrate the enduring position in world history which Mussolini will hold; or the amazing qualities of courage, comprehension, self-control and perseverance which he exemplifies.

Sir Winston -- 1937
Stalins Elite
Posted: Sunday, July 18, 2010 7:42:56 AM
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An interesting read. Personally I think the biggest axis mistake, and a mistake made by many teams in HOI, is like stated by Cueball I think, the major axis powers all had they're own agenda's instead of focusing on the same goals. I'm not sure exactly what Japan expected from Germany, but I do recall hearing about German plans to take the suez canal and evidently push up through the Casacus into Russia and through Persia into the back door of India as a means to link up with the Japanese. Also on the topic of different agenda's. I beleive it was a Japanese double agent that told the Russians that Japan had no intentions of declaring war, then you had something like 10-15 million troops stationed in and around Siberia loaded into trains and shipped west and hence the Germans were thrown back. Mussolini wanting to prove himself hastily attacked the Balkans which sore large portions of the Italian and German forces get tied down for a period of time which had the attack been co-ordinated it may have been alot more successful with far less casulties, again this was done because Mussolini had his own agenda. Had it not, then there may have been Barbarossa at an earlier date which may have enabled the Axis to bring about a Russia surrender, also it may have meant more forces to blitz through North Africa to the Suez canal and beyond before the allies could start to mass forces for a stiff defense.

Yamamoto told the high command that he could gaurentee success and victories for 6 months, which he did acheive. The only reason that the Americans were so slow to hit back in the Pacific was also largely due to the range of the Japanese Zero fighters which had the Americans convinced that the IJN had more carriers then they did. But like SOL said, the battleship was definately in it's dying days as the queen of the sea due to carrier warfare and more modern advancements in naval doctrines. Also what was hoped to be a major defeat inflicted on America at Pearl Harbour was only partially successful. They failed to get the American carriers based at Pearl as from what I have been taught over the years they were apparently out on manuvre when the attack happened. Also out of all the ships they sunk, the Americans staged one of the largest salvage operations in the history of mankind which sore them raise and restore all but a small handful of ships to full working order. The other biggest downfall for the Japanese was resources and industry. SE.

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sonofliberty
Posted: Sunday, July 18, 2010 2:06:44 PM
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I agree that lack of coordination hurt them, but even if they had worked together it would not have mattered in the end. Consider that the USA out produced the whole world during the war. We also only contributed 90 divisions which was nothing. We could have easily put out many more.
If Japan had not attacked the USA or the Philippines until after the Soviets were defeated, then maybe. That was not possible after the embargo though. So I stand by my assertion that Japan was doomed from the get go.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. -- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

There is a new game on the way Project Blitzkrieg
Ederon
Posted: Sunday, July 18, 2010 2:59:32 PM
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Steve's assumptions seem logical. Japanese might have calculated with rapid conquest of SU, which would indeed change the situation globally. Also, notice the date of Japanese attack. December 6th, 1941. It was the time when German troops were as close as 25km from Moscow. Did Japanese expect timely collapse of SU and wanted to grab as much before negotiations begun? Very likely.

And yes, probably bulk of Japanese naval commanders should have old guard trait. Not that it matter so much though, as it just slows down experience gain. Which I never saw reaching next skill level in any game I played. With only exception being sub commanders, who gain exp from convoy raiding.
Mighty G
Posted: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 5:24:08 AM
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IMO, the entire japanese naval staff should have the "old guard" trait, with the exception of yamamoto.

Except that in HOI OLD GUARD= useless at learning

And in reality OLD GUARD = Veterans who stand and fight to the last man.



I hate what IF scenarios so thats all i got to say, dont fuck with the Red White and Blue.

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confinement
Posted: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 3:35:46 PM
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Not sure where to begin.

It seems that way too much credit is being given to perceived doctrines and principles. The overall Japanese plan had always been to take over as much of Asia, southeast Asia, and the Pacific as they could get their hands on. The ideology behind this began with the Tanaka plan, and continued on through the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. They set these things in motion long before they had any agreements with Germany.

The importance of the "Mahanian Doctrine" may also be skewed. Japan was a naval power for decades, and an early proponent of naval air power. They had developed their strategies based on the assumption that the United States would one day be their enemy. In December 1941 they had 10 aircraft carriers, vs. 7 U.S. carriers, only 3 of which were based in the Pacific. For the first 6 months of their participation in World War II, they wrote the book, and printed the t-shirts, on how to conduct an offensive naval campaign with the use of aircraft carriers.
P3D
Posted: Thursday, July 22, 2010 1:06:39 AM
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Japan got the best out of the naval treaties (Washington, 1st and 2nd London) of the main naval powers. Japan laid down (and finished) more capital ships during WWI than UK, France and Italy combined (Fuso, Yamashiro, Nagao, Mutsu vs. Renown, Repulse, Hood, not counting the Curious, Spurious and Outrageous trio), so they ended up overrepresented, and managed to keep their #3 status until 1945.

Instead of finishing the 8-8 program, the IJN rebuilt each of their capital ships - 7 out of the 10 two or three times(!). Their cruiser program was overambitious, and they spent another four heavy cruisers' worth of money to strengthen the hull of their overloaded cruisers - no wonder they ended up 1000-3000t over the treaty limit of 10,000t standard displacement.

That Japan liked the Mahanian Decisive Battle doctrine, no surprise as it worked for them in 1905. Their main mistake was ignoring the guerre de course, i.e. commerce raiding, which, used against them, was their downfall at the end.
sonofliberty
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 1:12:16 AM
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P3D wrote:
....That Japan liked the Mahanian Decisive Battle doctrine, no surprise as it worked for them in 1905. Their main mistake was ignoring the guerre de course, i.e. commerce raiding, which, used against them, was their downfall at the end.
Thus proving my assertion that they deserve the "Old Guard" Trait.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. -- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

There is a new game on the way Project Blitzkrieg
P3D
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 4:09:11 AM
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sonofliberty wrote:
Thus proving my assertion that they deserve the "Old Guard" Trait.


Did any admiral gained a skill level during the last HoI3 game?
Ederon
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 6:55:58 PM
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P3D wrote:
Did any admiral gained a skill level during the last HoI3 game?

I've participated in three games (2x Japan, 1x Germany - ongoing), no admiral but sea wolves (or better - sub commanders) got skill advance through experience. Naval combats are just too short to grant commanders enough XP to attain next skill level.
teamgene
Posted: Saturday, July 24, 2010 4:02:54 AM
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Mighty G wrote:
IMO, the entire japanese naval staff should have the "old guard" trait, with the exception of yamamoto.

Except that in HOI OLD GUARD= useless at learning

And in reality OLD GUARD = Veterans who stand and fight to the last man.



I hate what IF scenarios so thats all i got to say, dont fuck with the Red White and Blue.


If by HOI OLD GUARD...
I hardly think that OLD GUARD fits Toyoda, his problem was losing out to the army.

And certainly not Ozawa who was one of the pioneers of naval aviation, and others as well.
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