| FORUM | ARCHIVE |                    | TOTAL QUIZ RESULT |


  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Lack of an IJN submarine campaign in the pacific
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login


Welcome stranger, click here to read about some of the great benefits of registering for a free account with us and joining us in our global online community.


Lack of an IJN submarine campaign in the pacific

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Panther View Drop Down
Moderator
Moderator
Avatar
Editorial Staff

Joined: 20 Jan 2006
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Points: 4577
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Lack of an IJN submarine campaign in the pacific
    Posted: 03 Nov 2009 at 04:49
Besides it not being honorable too attack anything other then warships, were the any other reasons that kept the IJN from replicating the damages the Germans had caused in the Atlantic? What would the implications have been if the Imperial Japanese Navy had indeed gone after US logistics in the Pacific during the second world war?

Just a general question i don't often see discussed.
Back to Top
Sponsored Links


Back to Top
Birddog View Drop Down
Consul
Consul
Avatar

Joined: 23 Aug 2009
Location: Australia
Status: Offline
Points: 386
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Birddog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Nov 2009 at 07:28

1. The Alantic is smaller than the Pacific.

2. Most of the action in the Alantic happened in the North Alantic.
3. The ships in the Alantic were going into two directions. North America (USA Canada) to Britain, or Britian to North America.
 
The Pacific is a big Ocean. You have convoys going from USA to Alaska. USA to Pearl Harbor. You got US convoys going from Peral to New Zeland, Australia and other areas. Also supplies were coming to Australia and India via the Indan Ocean. There was just to much ground for the IJN sub fleet to cover. They did have their sub campaigns in the pacific ocean, but it was more spread out. Also the IJN boats hunted by themselves rather than in wolf packs.
 
Back to Top
Guests View Drop Down
Guest Group
Guest Group
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Nov 2009 at 11:50
Another important factor would be the ability of the Japanese to provide safe harbours for their submarine fleets. In the case of the war in Europe, the Germans enjoyed control of the French Atlantic coastline, and so were able to build a series of covered harbours where their U-boat fleet could seek shelter, rest, refit and resupply. In the mid Pacific there just existed vast expanses of sea punctuated by small islands which could be much more easily assaulted and taken than a large chunch of continental France.

As birddog mentioned, the operational range limited the effectiveness of a U-boat strategy in the Pacific, but a reasonably concentrated U-Boat fleet around the British Isles and near important maritime choke points would ensure a much higher percentage of Allied shipping in the Pacific theatre could be threatened than would be the case with the Pacific.
Back to Top
SPQR View Drop Down
General
General
Avatar

Joined: 31 Oct 2007
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 917
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SPQR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Nov 2009 at 14:49
There was the one plan the IJN had and that was to build submarines with landing strips on them so that planes could bomb pacific coast cities, then return to their subs to safety.

Did this plan ever come to fruition I think the only made it to the drawing boards though.
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.

- Albert Einstein
Back to Top
Birddog View Drop Down
Consul
Consul
Avatar

Joined: 23 Aug 2009
Location: Australia
Status: Offline
Points: 386
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Birddog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Nov 2009 at 22:13
Japan fought a small but nasty Sub Campagin down the east coast of Australia during 1942. There was alot of rich picking in those waters due to the US using Australia as a base supporting operations in the Solomons and Papua. Again a choke point. I believe that their were only 6 submarines in that campagin.
Back to Top
Panther View Drop Down
Moderator
Moderator
Avatar
Editorial Staff

Joined: 20 Jan 2006
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Points: 4577
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Nov 2009 at 23:49
Good point. The Pacific is very big but i think it has much more choke points then what was found in the Atlantic during the second war. Also besides the logistics of the merchant ships being a tempting target, the USN had developed the fleet train for their fighting ships on the go. As i understand it, when they were in the middle of resupplying, the fleet was at it's most vulnerable too attack.

I've read that the Germans pressured the Japanese to adopt their submarine tactics with a respectful decline from the Japanese military; But it is the implications of what if they actually followed through in the suggestions in doing so? As pointed out, though i wasn't aware of it, six subs caused a lot of problems on the Australian coast, you know... a perfect example of punching above it's weight.
Back to Top
Birddog View Drop Down
Consul
Consul
Avatar

Joined: 23 Aug 2009
Location: Australia
Status: Offline
Points: 386
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Birddog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov 2009 at 03:40
It wasn't so much punching above it's weight as rolling old drunks in the street. Most of the ships sunk in the campagin were traveling alone. As for the poor old Australian Navy, it was spread from the Alantic to the Pacific and was not ready for a war with Japan. The main escort vessel along the east coast of Australia were the Australian built Corvettes, which were slower than the subs, had trouble getting out of the blast radius of their own depth charges, and if a Japanese sub had surfaced to go toe to toe with a Corvette, but Corvette would find itself out gunned by the sub.
Interesting side note, more Australian Navy Corvettes were sunk by being cut in half by American Liberty ships than to Japanese action! One Aussie sailor claims to have jumped from the deck of his corvette onto the deck of the Liberty ship that was cutting his corvette in half without getting his feet wet!
Back to Top
Panther View Drop Down
Moderator
Moderator
Avatar
Editorial Staff

Joined: 20 Jan 2006
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Points: 4577
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov 2009 at 04:28
Interesting! Sounds like the Japanese really missed a boatload of early  opportunities (pardon the pun) in the Pacific? Primarily due to what you had pointed out:

Quote
Also the IJN boats hunted by themselves rather than in wolf packs.


And thank goodness for that!

On that note and again with my proposed question in the form of a hypothesis, what might have been the implications if the Japanese had ever increased and organized their submarine efforts along the lines of what the German had proposed with their "wolf packs" off of the Eastern Australian coast? Or for that matter in any major chock points scattered all over the Pacific? Surely, the amount of tonnage lost like in the Atlantic had never reached such disastrous proportions in the Pacific surely ought to have opened the eyes of some high ranking  IJN officer somewhere, i have always thought at the very least? I mean, war cannot be fought on empty fuel tanks, tummies & magazine cartridges.



Edited by Panther - 04 Nov 2009 at 04:29
Back to Top
Birddog View Drop Down
Consul
Consul
Avatar

Joined: 23 Aug 2009
Location: Australia
Status: Offline
Points: 386
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Birddog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov 2009 at 09:50
Here is an interesting question Panther. Where did the IJN have facilities to supply their subs? (I don't know). Most of the island north of Australia were pretty thin on navel facilities at the start of WW2. They could have used Singapore, Hong Kong and Phillipines, but it would still have been a long trip down to the Solomons. Also the Japanese bases had to be supplied from home. I think the Sub campagin East Coast Australia was kind of like the German U-Boat fleets 'Happy time' (1942) when the US had just entered the war and were not ready to sub warfare. The Japanese sent a task force into the Indan Ocean at that time! I'm just speculating here and keen to hear other views.
Back to Top
rider View Drop Down
King
King
Avatar

Joined: 09 Aug 2004
Location: Norwich, UK
Status: Offline
Points: 5544
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Nov 2009 at 19:58
What is the Japanese terminology for submarine/submarine warfare?
 
In any case, the Japanese main policy of kantai kessen went directly against what submarine warfare proposed - changing the policy was out of question, and adopting a second doctrine never works.
Back to Top
Birddog View Drop Down
Consul
Consul
Avatar

Joined: 23 Aug 2009
Location: Australia
Status: Offline
Points: 386
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Birddog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2009 at 08:53
OK Panther. Lets say the IJN adopted Germany U-Boat warfare doctrine and started using wolf packs off the Australian East coast.
 
It could have serverly hampered MacArthurs campagin in Papua in 1942. The troops in Papua were supported by sea in any craft that could float and be shoved out to sea. The R.A.N. and the US Navy are the unsung heros of the Papua campagin providing bullets, bully beef and bandages to the men up at the sharp end. But the two Navel forces were already streached. A concontrated campagin against Eastern Australia could have drawn ships away for Guadacanal, (hope I spelt that right). That could have left the US Marines vunerable and increased the chances of the Japansese bring in more troops to help in that battle.
Back to Top
rider View Drop Down
King
King
Avatar

Joined: 09 Aug 2004
Location: Norwich, UK
Status: Offline
Points: 5544
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 2009 at 16:20
Guadalcanal, as far as I know, is the correct spelling.
 
The Pacific is too large to operate in a single submarine fleet - creating a net like system which covers ten or twenty times the area would have been around a hundred or two hundred times more beneficial than a small pack.
Back to Top
Panther View Drop Down
Moderator
Moderator
Avatar
Editorial Staff

Joined: 20 Jan 2006
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Points: 4577
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2009 at 21:06
Sorry gentlemen for the delayed response on my part. I like the thoughts expressed so far, and Birddog... i would like too chew over your generous offerings before replying further. There just might not be anything further too be said about the subject and with nothing further to be gained?

@ Rider

 An interesting thought! I was only thinking much along the lines of operating at a few choke points much like the Strait of Malacca if they had ever gotten a bit more serious about a submarine war and balking at expending the type of resources needed for such a campaign along the lines as you had intelligently  presented.
Back to Top
Cezar View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Location: Romania
Status: Offline
Points: 1352
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Nov 2009 at 14:35
I haven't been here for about five months. Just too much work and while visiting the forum a few times I didn't managed to gather enough strength to post something.
I'm a fan of Teikoku Kaigun (actually I like the ships) so this thread is one that I like. Since there would be a lot to post I think I'd rather go short first and then if the discussion goes on I will elaborate further.
In my opinion, Japan could not have have obtained the same results as the Kriegsmarine but if they would have used their subs offensively against merchant shipping they could have caused a lot of trouble.
We know what their doctrine was so it's no use in talking about it therefore let's imagine that Karl Doenitz twin mind is a friend of Yamamoto. So the strategy is there and Japan attempts to put it into practice. Cant they do it?
The Japanese submarines of WWII where impressive ships but where not the kind of boats needed for the merchant killing job. They would have had to reduce their various designs to something similar to the Type VII or Type IX. But the German designs were too complex for Japanese manufacturing capabilities. So which of the Japanese subs should have been the equivalent of the famous Type VII? Probably the Type B (without the seaplanes and more torpedose in storage instead). The range of over 16000 nm of these boats was enough to threaten the supply lines. Also, japan had the best torpedoes of WWII. The subs were using two torpedos the Type 95 and Type 92. While the latter was almost like the german G7e the former was much more deadly.  While the subs were not quite the best platforms the quality of the weapons they carried could have made them the equals of their German counterparts. But Japan has a major problem. The war theather calls for surface ships to be produced in large numbers too since the Empire is strectched across the largest ocean. The fact is that during the war Japan built only 111 subs. Because the war in the Pacific was the control of the sea. And subs cannot be the main asset in achieving such a goal.
And Pacific is quite a different ocean than the Atlantic.  Bad weather is ussual only in the north eastern area while the vulnerable shipping lines (Australia being the main destination) are in mostly good weather zones. Therefore the chance for the escorts to detect the subs are better. And to keep them suberged. Buecause surface is not the place where the subs are maent to fight. While the Japanese subs have impressive deck guns, they are no match to destroyers. The fact is that starting with late 1941, even merchants carried guns. Sure, no match for the 140 mm guns the japanese subs carried but a sigle lucky shot of a 3" gun can put a sub out of action.  
Therefore if Japan would have used their submarines the way the Germans did they would have got rid of their submarine fleet quite fast and achieved the results similar to their allies.
Back to Top
Sparten View Drop Down
King
King


Joined: 18 Mar 2006
Status: Offline
Points: 5204
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Nov 2009 at 15:32
The Japanese controlled most of the choke points in the Pacific, Maalaca straits were theres.
Back to Top
Cezar View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Location: Romania
Status: Offline
Points: 1352
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2009 at 11:00

Mallaca straight is of no importance regarding the strategy we discuss here. Given the extent of the Japanese conquest in WWII the really important areas to focus on would have been on the south and east.

Maximum damage could have come in the south area and maybe lead to the conquest of New Guinea if the supply route to Port Moresby would have been cut off. Since we know what happened in WWII we might have an idea of how the Doenitz type strategy would have worked for Japan: Australia. This is where the Allies gathered their forces before starting the offensive against the Japanese Empire. So attacking the convoys bound to Australia would have been the best way to use the submarine fleet. From the (main) bases of Rabaul and Truk the boats would have been in range to get on Australia's eastern approaches while from the bases in Java and Sumatra they could reach the western lines of supply.  
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.10
Copyright ©2001-2017 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.078 seconds.