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Old March 14th, 2018, 05:32 AM   #1
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Japanese vs German soldier and Army


Which of these was the better soldier, who was more dangerous as in cunning like a fox? Also how did the Wehrmacht of 1940 compare to the IJA of 1941 to 1942? If the Germans were defending Malaya and Singapore led by say, Rommel, Kesselring, or von Manstein, would they do better than Percival? Or let us just say that Kesselring was teleported to Singapore in 1941 and took control of the entire British and Empire forces in Malaya, would he do substantially better than Percival?

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Old March 14th, 2018, 05:43 AM   #2

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Well, what do you mean by by "better" soldiers?
By physical characteristics alone, the average German soldier in 1940 was taller, stronger (I mean heavier), more well-fed and healthy than the average IJA soldier in Southeast Asia in 1941.
The German soldier was probably better trained and far more well-equipped than the Japanese soldier as well.

On the other hand, the Japanese soldier was more prepared for jungle warfare and could cope up with the tropical heat than a soldier coming from continental Europe in general. Japan during their long summers experience very hot-humid tropical kind of weather.

Last edited by robto; March 14th, 2018 at 07:42 AM.
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Old March 14th, 2018, 05:53 AM   #3
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Japanese suffered pretty horribly in jungle warfare, their resilience due primarily to harsh discipline, a do or die attitude in terms of executing orders (like moving artillery across muddy mountains), plus an existing institutional fondness for patrolling and nighttime operations, which the British partly, but especially the US, did not practice at that time. This "tricked" many of Allied forces into thinking the Japanese were better at it then they were.
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Old March 14th, 2018, 06:37 AM   #4

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well said.

The poor Japanese infantryman... and on top of all that they relied heavily on pointless charges when they ran out of ideas.
And while a Japanese from Fukuoka might be adapted to tropical heat a Tohoku or Hokkaido one would not. And coming from the hot and humid Osaka, and the milder Tokyo is still not going to prepare you for malaria, dysentery, typhus, yellow fever, beriberi, dengue fever, jungle rot let alone prepare you jungle warfare.
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Old March 14th, 2018, 06:39 AM   #5

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So I’d say the German. Better equipment.
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Old March 14th, 2018, 06:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edric Streona View Post
well said.

The poor Japanese infantryman... and on top of all that they relied heavily on pointless charges when they ran out of ideas.
And while a Japanese from Fukuoka might be adapted to tropical heat a Tohoku or Hokkaido one would not. And coming from the hot and humid Osaka, and the milder Tokyo is still not going to prepare you for malaria, dysentery, typhus, yellow fever, beriberi, dengue fever, jungle rot let alone prepare you jungle warfare.
Agreed. They had no preparation for it, no jungle warfare training schools or the like. They had no real doctrine for it. And its not like the Japanese had much experience with jungle warfare prior to invading the South Pacific in '41. Even reading about the Philippines campaign and invasion of Luzon, once that battle took to the jungles both sides, Filipino/US and the Japanese suffered rather badly. New Guinnea and the Solomons was even worse. The only difference is Americans from the temperate US, many from cities, had zero clue how to survive in jungles, didn't practice the level of field craft the IJA did, so they assumed the Japanese were skilled jungle fighters (maybe in comparison they could be, which is saying something).

Not surprising at all, conventional armies in jungles don't stand a chance even with massive training unless they completely design the force, to include equipment strictly for jungle use. Otherwise, its a matter of how long it takes for the jungle itself to destroy the unit, which usually happens before the enemy does it.

Youtube video below is a podcast with various US special operations veterans with ample time spent doing jungle warfare training. Its modern but its worth listening to in terms of the struggles of jungle warfare for those who've never done it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJWJwg4lBo0
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Old March 14th, 2018, 07:11 AM   #7

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edric Streona View Post
well said.

The poor Japanese infantryman... and on top of all that they relied heavily on pointless charges when they ran out of ideas.
And while a Japanese from Fukuoka might be adapted to tropical heat a Tohoku or Hokkaido one would not. And coming from the hot and humid Osaka, and the milder Tokyo is still not going to prepare you for malaria, dysentery, typhus, yellow fever, beriberi, dengue fever, jungle rot let alone prepare you jungle warfare.
Germans were better equipped during the time period noted.
I'd proffer the Japanese were more disciplined and through that could survive in harsh conditions better, or more correctly persevered despite it.
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Old March 14th, 2018, 07:20 AM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ren0312 View Post
Which of these was the better soldier, who was more dangerous as in cunning like a fox? Also how did the Wehrmacht of 1940 compare to the IJA of 1941 to 1942? If the Germans were defending Malaya and Singapore led by say, Rommel, Kesselring, or von Manstein, would they do better than Percival? Or let us just say that Kesselring was teleported to Singapore in 1941 and took control of the entire British and Empire forces in Malaya, would he do substantially better than Percival?
No, because the problems in Singapore were lack of aircraft, lack of competent trained units and lack of competent junior officers.

One decent commander isnt going to make any difference to that level of handicap.
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Old March 14th, 2018, 05:09 PM   #9
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The idea often touted -and one which was the basis of original African slaves being trnsported to work in the hot cotton fields and the sugar cane fields was that Afro-coloured people were better at working in hot temperatures than Caucasian /European people is a myth.
It was exposed in June 1952 when Afro-American boxer 'Sugar' Ray Robinson challenged Italian -American Joey Maxim for Maxim's world lightli -heavyweight title.
New York was in the grip of excessive heat fuelled humidity in June 1952 but it was the Afro-American Robinson ,after 13 rounds who had to be rescued whilestaggering crazily around the ring suffering fromsevere heat exhaustion (it was 120 Fahrnheit in the ring) and dehydration.Meanwhile, while Caucasian Maxim was bouncing around cheerfully on the balls od his feet ready to carry on when the referee rescued the delirious and heat exhausted Afro-American Robinson who could not cope with the heat.-so one in the eye fro the racial theorists who-naievly thought that Afro-Americans were better adapted than Caucasians to working in the heat.
Similarly Scotland's lightweight world championm Ken Buchanan won his world title by outpointing a Panamania whislt fighting in exactly the same 120 farenheit ring temparature that had melted Afro-American 'ugar Ray Robinson in 1952.
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Old March 14th, 2018, 06:34 PM   #10

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I mean the Japanese didn't even use the Corps so...
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