Discussion:
ASBs make Japan decide to move north instead of south in 1941
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Rob
2017-06-08 00:41:32 UTC
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ASBs are being invoked to avoid any debate over the premise of the OP, and get right to the follow on question of what happens if.

ASB mind control brings Japanese leaders around to the view in June 1941 that they should strike at the Soviet Union that year, and not expand any further southward in Indochina or Southeast Asia or eastward into the Pacific.

The ASBs do not compel any other changes except for altering Japanese strategy in this way, and keeping it Japan’s preferred strategy over the year ahead (defeat Soviets first). They also intervene no further and permit no further magic.

The Japanese need to attack the USSR in 1941, but can do so as early or as late as they feel best in 1941, so they can attack in July or August or September or October or November or December, weighing their own ability to prepare and concentrate their own forces versus the Soviets against seasonal weather concerns.

The U.S. will not be imposing oil sanctions or freezing dollar assets on Japan at the same time as OTL in July 1941, because the immediate occasion for that move, the Japanese occupation of southern Indochina, does not happen. Of course, the U.S. could embargo the Japanese in July if the Japanese invade the USSR in July and the US uses that as the occasion for starting the embargo.

Supposing this PoD takes effect, what happens from there?

Poll: If Japanese strike north versus Soviet Union in 1941?

A) 6-12 months after Japanese attack Soviets, they occupy Soviet Far East up to Lake Baikal

B) 6-12 months after attack, Japanese occupy Soviet maritime province and Kamchatka

C) 6-12 months after attack, Japanese occupy northern Sakhalin

D) Japanese forces get repulsed at the border by Sovs, Sovs don’t pursue (to conserve resources)

E) 6-12 months after attack, Soviets repulsed Japanese and occupy Manchuria

F) 6-24 months after attacks, Soviets occupy Korea

G) 6-24 months after attacks, Soviets & Chinese have ousted Japanese from all mainland China

H) Japanese attack weakens Soviet defenses against Barbarossa

I) Japanese attack weakens Soviet winter 41-42 counteroffensive

J) 6-24 months later Soviets are still unable to receive aid via Pacific ports

K) 6-24 months later Soviets *can* import US aid through Pacific ports

L) US embargoes Japan as soon as it attacks USSR

M) US does not embargo Japan even after it attacks USSR

N) Once Japan attacks UK’s ally USSR, UK DoWs Japan & launches air & naval attacks

O) Even after Japan attacks UK’s ally USSR, UK does not DoW or attack Japan, just does embargo
Alex Milman
2017-06-08 19:32:40 UTC
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Post by Rob
ASBs are being invoked to avoid any debate over the premise of the OP, and get right to the follow on question of what happens if.
Invoking ASBs does not change the fact that in the economic terms Japan
would gain pretty much nothing from occupying Soviet territory all the way
to Baikal (how would they proceed with the occupation of the huge uninhabited
area that starts almost immediately to the North from TransSib railroad
and stretches all the way to Arctic Ocean probably only ASBs can tell).
The main known by 1941 resource of value in all that area was Sakhalin
oil which Japanese had been getting anyway by concession.

So please start with an attempt to explain in a coherent way what would be
a motivation for <whoever> for such a monumental stupidity. With your
well-developed imagination you can surely come with something more intelligent.
Post by Rob
ASB mind control brings Japanese leaders around to the view in June 1941 that they should strike at the Soviet Union that year, and not expand any further southward in Indochina or Southeast Asia or eastward into the Pacific.
The ASBs do not compel any other changes except for altering Japanese strategy in this way, and keeping it Japan’s preferred strategy over the year ahead (defeat Soviets first). They also intervene no further and permit no further magic.
The Japanese need to attack the USSR in 1941, but can do so as early or as late as they feel best in 1941, so they can attack in July or August or September or October or November or December, weighing their own ability to prepare and concentrate their own forces versus the Soviets against seasonal weather concerns.
The U.S. will not be imposing oil sanctions or freezing dollar assets on Japan at the same time as OTL in July 1941, because the immediate occasion for that move, the Japanese occupation of southern Indochina, does not happen. Of course, the U.S. could embargo the Japanese in July if the Japanese invade the USSR in July and the US uses that as the occasion for starting the embargo.
Supposing this PoD takes effect, what happens from there?
Japan is not going to get the resources it got in OTL from the Dutch & British
colonies AND potentially may loose Sakhalin oil if the Soviets have time to
sabotage the oil wells. As a result, Japan's capacity to continue the
military effort is lower than in OTL.

Also, because its under-armed (in the terms of armor) troops are being stuck
in the middle of nowhere, they are not occupying the islands on the Pacific
and when the US enters a war there is no need to spend huge effort and time
to getting close to the Japanese main islands. As a result, Japan is in a
deep <youknowwhat> much earlier than in OTL.

At which point the ASBs are happily departing to their native planet leaving
Japanese to deal with the results.
Post by Rob
Poll: If Japanese strike north versus Soviet Union in 1941?
A) 6-12 months after Japanese attack Soviets, they occupy Soviet Far East up to Lake Baikal
To which purpose? The only resource available around is wood.
Post by Rob
B) 6-12 months after attack, Japanese occupy Soviet maritime province and Kamchatka
Even better: why do you think Kamchatka is still underpopulated and its main
industries are fishing and forestry?
Post by Rob
C) 6-12 months after attack, Japanese occupy northern Sakhalin
Great idea. The only valuable thing there is oil which is .... already
going to Japan. If the Soviets have at least few days warning, the Japanese
would have to spend some time putting the wells back to production because
they are almost definitely being dynamited (perhaps not as thoroughly as
those near Grozny).

By that time idiocy of the whole exercise becomes obvious not only to the
speedily departing ASBs but even to the Japanese military.
Post by Rob
D) Japanese forces get repulsed at the border by Sovs, Sovs don’t pursue (to conserve resources)
Depends on the size of the invasion force. In 1941 Soviet Far East Front
had 500,000 (5 field armies, separate "army group" and 2 air armies).
Post by Rob
E) 6-12 months after attack, Soviets repulsed Japanese and occupy Manchuria
Unlikely: they did not have enough troops and, AFAIK, not too much armor.
Post by Rob
F) 6-24 months after attacks, Soviets occupy Korea
G) 6-24 months after attacks, Soviets & Chinese have ousted Japanese from all mainland China
H) Japanese attack weakens Soviet defenses against Barbarossa
To a very small degree. Only a fraction of the initial numbers had been sent
to the West during the war.
Post by Rob
I) Japanese attack weakens Soviet winter 41-42 counteroffensive
The legend of the "Siberian divisions" is, well, mostly a legend.
Post by Rob
J) 6-24 months later Soviets are still unable to receive aid via Pacific ports
A valid consideration but keep in mind that the aid received via the Pacific
ports contained only non-military materials.
Post by Rob
K) 6-24 months later Soviets *can* import US aid through Pacific ports
Well, keeping in mind that most of the JIN is stuck in its bases due to the
shortage of oil and the US Navy is not busy fighting in the Southern Pacific,
it can allocate enough resources for such a task.
Post by Rob
L) US embargoes Japan as soon as it attacks USSR
M) US does not embargo Japan even after it attacks USSR
N) Once Japan attacks UK’s ally USSR, UK DoWs Japan & launches air & naval attacks
Wait a minute. The main goal of your ASBs was to achieve a speedy defeat of
Japan by going against the SU vs. the Brits and Dutch. So how in Earth the
Brits end up being attacked?
Post by Rob
O) Even after Japan attacks UK’s ally USSR, UK does not DoW or attack Japan, just does embargo
Rob
2017-06-10 01:13:51 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
So please start with an attempt to explain in a coherent way what would be
a motivation for <whoever> for such a monumental stupidity. With your
well-developed imagination you can surely come with something more intelligent.
Sorry, the imagination is being lazy on that question.


snip
...but I thank you for playing along
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Rob
Poll: If Japanese strike north versus Soviet Union in 1941?
A) 6-12 months after Japanese attack Soviets, they occupy Soviet Far East up to Lake Baikal
To which purpose? The only resource available around is wood.
Don't get so fixated on the territory and its inherent value or lack of value. In describing military operations I admit I have a territorial/cartographic bias in evaluating success. But to a great extent, territory lost or gained is simply a register of how battlefield annihilation or attrition are going.

In other words, to the reverse the cliche "it comes with the territory", one can say "territory comes with battlefield victories, and goes with defeats"
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Rob
B) 6-12 months after attack, Japanese occupy Soviet maritime province and Kamchatka
Even better: why do you think Kamchatka is still underpopulated and its main
industries are fishing and forestry?
Post by Rob
C) 6-12 months after attack, Japanese occupy northern Sakhalin
Great idea. The only valuable thing there is oil which is .... already
going to Japan. If the Soviets have at least few days warning, the Japanese
would have to spend some time putting the wells back to production because
they are almost definitely being dynamited (perhaps not as thoroughly as
those near Grozny).
By that time idiocy of the whole exercise becomes obvious not only to the
speedily departing ASBs but even to the Japanese military.
Post by Rob
D) Japanese forces get repulsed at the border by Sovs, Sovs don’t pursue (to conserve resources)
Depends on the size of the invasion force. In 1941 Soviet Far East Front
had 500,000 (5 field armies, separate "army group" and 2 air armies).
What if the invasion force is about this size, what wiki said the Japanese had in Manchuria and Korea at their peak (which in OTL as 2nd half of '42):


"Nevertheless, it was during this time that the Kwantung Army reached the absolute peak of its power, attaining a strength of 1,100,000 men and 1,500 aircraft[159] in 16 divisions, two brigades, and 23 garrison units; Korea Army added another 120,000 personnel to this figure."
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Rob
E) 6-12 months after attack, Soviets repulsed Japanese and occupy Manchuria
Unlikely: they did not have enough troops and, AFAIK, not too much armor.
If I can summarize your whole response it is that the Soviets repulse the Japanese or yield a little territory, but do not pursue.

So Soviet war aims for the moment in 41 or 42 would be fending off the Japanese, and then keeping the front quiet, with revenge only being a consideration later.
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Rob
F) 6-24 months after attacks, Soviets occupy Korea
G) 6-24 months after attacks, Soviets & Chinese have ousted Japanese from all mainland China
H) Japanese attack weakens Soviet defenses against Barbarossa
To a very small degree. Only a fraction of the initial numbers had been sent
to the West during the war.
Post by Rob
I) Japanese attack weakens Soviet winter 41-42 counteroffensive
The legend of the "Siberian divisions" is, well, mostly a legend.
Post by Rob
J) 6-24 months later Soviets are still unable to receive aid via Pacific ports
A valid consideration but keep in mind that the aid received via the Pacific
ports contained only non-military materials.
oooh- really - would love to see a cite.

I think there was an air bridge of sorts too that did not use ports but involved movement of combat aircraft.
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Rob
K) 6-24 months later Soviets *can* import US aid through Pacific ports
Well, keeping in mind that most of the JIN is stuck in its bases due to the
shortage of oil and the US Navy is not busy fighting in the Southern Pacific,
it can allocate enough resources for such a task.
Post by Rob
L) US embargoes Japan as soon as it attacks USSR
M) US does not embargo Japan even after it attacks USSR
N) Once Japan attacks UK’s ally USSR, UK DoWs Japan & launches air & naval attacks
Wait a minute. The main goal of your ASBs was to achieve a speedy defeat of
Japan by going against the SU vs. the Brits and Dutch. So how in Earth the
Brits end up being attacked?
You misunderstood, I was saying the British attack the Japanese (because Japan is attacking the Allied coalition, and simultaneously as you point out making themselves more vulnerable) *not* that the Japanese attack the British.
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Rob
O) Even after Japan attacks UK’s ally USSR, UK does not DoW or attack Japan, just does embargo
kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
2017-06-10 09:13:00 UTC
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Post by Rob
You misunderstood, I was saying the British attack the Japanese
(because Japan is attacking the Allied coalition, and
simultaneously as you point out making themselves more vulnerable)
*not* that the Japanese attack the British
What do you think the British are going to use for such attack? And what
Allied coalition. The USSR only became a British ally well after
Barberossa? The priorities in Britain were Europe and Egypt with the Far
East well down the list.
Alex Milman
2017-06-10 13:12:56 UTC
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Post by Rob
Post by Alex Milman
So please start with an attempt to explain in a coherent way what would be
a motivation for <whoever> for such a monumental stupidity. With your
well-developed imagination you can surely come with something more intelligent.
Sorry, the imagination is being lazy on that question.
I don't believe that it became THAT lazy.

How about ASBs were suffering from a shortage of iron and decided to
disassemble and take with them a portion of Trans Sib? :-)

[AFAIK, there was a military faction arguing war against the SU. The Army,
especially Kwantung Army wanted its share of a military glory. Not sure if
it was killed before or after Khalkin Gol.]
Post by Rob
snip
...but I thank you for playing along
How could I resist?
Post by Rob
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Rob
Poll: If Japanese strike north versus Soviet Union in 1941?
A) 6-12 months after Japanese attack Soviets, they occupy Soviet Far East up to Lake Baikal
To which purpose? The only resource available around is wood.
Don't get so fixated on the territory and its inherent value or lack of value. In describing military operations I admit I have a territorial/cartographic bias in evaluating success. But to a great extent, territory lost or gained is simply a register of how battlefield annihilation or attrition are going.
In other words, to the reverse the cliche "it comes with the territory", one can say "territory comes with battlefield victories, and goes with defeats"
Well, this leaves "glory" as the main argument and of course when the military
are running the show this motivation can not be rejected. However, this
scenario would leave Navy pretty much idle while one of OTL had BOTH horses
running AND producing some additional benefits besides a pure glory.
Post by Rob
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Rob
B) 6-12 months after attack, Japanese occupy Soviet maritime province and Kamchatka
Even better: why do you think Kamchatka is still underpopulated and its main
industries are fishing and forestry?
Post by Rob
C) 6-12 months after attack, Japanese occupy northern Sakhalin
Great idea. The only valuable thing there is oil which is .... already
going to Japan. If the Soviets have at least few days warning, the Japanese
would have to spend some time putting the wells back to production because
they are almost definitely being dynamited (perhaps not as thoroughly as
those near Grozny).
By that time idiocy of the whole exercise becomes obvious not only to the
speedily departing ASBs but even to the Japanese military.
Post by Rob
D) Japanese forces get repulsed at the border by Sovs, Sovs don’t pursue (to conserve resources)
Depends on the size of the invasion force. In 1941 Soviet Far East Front
had 500,000 (5 field armies, separate "army group" and 2 air armies).
"Nevertheless, it was during this time that the Kwantung Army reached the absolute peak of its power, attaining a strength of 1,100,000 men and 1,500 aircraft[159] in 16 divisions, two brigades, and 23 garrison units; Korea Army added another 120,000 personnel to this figure."
Well, IIRC, the main forces of the Kwantung Army had been few hundred kilometers
away from the border (Japan capitulated before the Soviets reached the main
defensive perimeter) and was seriously short on transport and tanks. By 1945
they did not have too much in the terms of anti-aircraft artillery either and
the troops had a high proportion of the marginally-trained reservists.

Of course, with the advantage of 2:1 they potentially could advance for a while.
Post by Rob
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Rob
E) 6-12 months after attack, Soviets repulsed Japanese and occupy Manchuria
Unlikely: they did not have enough troops and, AFAIK, not too much armor.
If I can summarize your whole response it is that the Soviets repulse the Japanese or yield a little territory, but do not pursue.
They would be lucky to repulse an enemy who has twice as much numbers but,
again, the hell is in the details (tanks, aviation and artillery), which
I simply does not have.
Post by Rob
So Soviet war aims for the moment in 41 or 42 would be fending off the Japanese, and then keeping the front quiet, with revenge only being a consideration later.
Sounds reasonable.
Post by Rob
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Rob
F) 6-24 months after attacks, Soviets occupy Korea
G) 6-24 months after attacks, Soviets & Chinese have ousted Japanese from all mainland China
H) Japanese attack weakens Soviet defenses against Barbarossa
To a very small degree. Only a fraction of the initial numbers had been sent
to the West during the war.
Post by Rob
I) Japanese attack weakens Soviet winter 41-42 counteroffensive
The legend of the "Siberian divisions" is, well, mostly a legend.
Post by Rob
J) 6-24 months later Soviets are still unable to receive aid via Pacific ports
A valid consideration but keep in mind that the aid received via the Pacific
ports contained only non-military materials.
oooh- really - would love to see a cite.
You can find it in one of the LL-related sites.
Post by Rob
I think there was an air bridge of sorts too that did not use ports but involved movement of combat aircraft.
The cargo had been carried by the Soviet ships. Not sure if transporting big
volumes by air was technically possible at that time.

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