France vs Japan in WWII without outside interferance

Jan 2017
84
North Carolina
#1
Inspired by this thread.

https://www.reddit.com/r/whowouldwin/comments/5xt8lt/world_war_2_but_with_only_france_and_poland_vs/

The basic scenarios are: -France and Japan have their prepared forces as the start of WWII in irl and same problems with politics, ecnomics, geography, social, etc.

1)Same as first one but both countries bloodlusted and throwing everything in a total war without any regard to domestic problems such as social inequality, problems with budget, etc

2)This time with a one year complete prep in which both countries are fanatically analyzing each other

3)Same as first scenario but Japan and France are magically beside each other via landmass

4)As above but with second scenario instead.

5)Again nearby landmass but third scenario instead.

6)Again nearby and first scenario but both countries are separated by waters about the distance of England and Germany

7)Above but with scenario two.

8)Again same as above but scenario three.

The reason I was inspired to ask this thread was because of the assumption made by this specific post in the Japan and Italy vs France and Poland thread.

https://www.reddit.com/r/whowouldwi...=front&utm_source=reddit&utm_name=whowouldwin

Sure France lacked the will to fight Germany........ But how would it have been against a nonwhite nation invading the homeland? Remember the French were pretty aggressive about maintaining their colonies after WWII and while the wars were ultimately lost because of the general populace's waning support, the French military fought much harder than in WWII especially in colonies where they deemed the locals as inferiors and where a racial caste existed such as Algeria. In addition lets not forget when France surrendered, it was the conservative politicians who threw the towel. The same politicians who insisted on fighting wars in Vietnam and Algeria for almost two decades combined and who were not soft about doing war crimes on similar magnitude on the Imperial Japanese army.

And of course the fact Nazi Germany was a white nation who inflicted heavy casualties to the Western nations-while Japan despite being a superpower was scoffed down as a pushover and France hadn't fought Japan before and suffered such casualties..........

How would France do in this scenario? People criticize the French as having a terrible army and lacking the morale to fight. However relative to the rest of Europe at the time and even the world, the French army was still among the finest. With France defeating Italians in a the borders despite the French military in that front facing impossible odds on paper and also the French colonials in Vietnam actually giving such a bloody nose to the Thai military before the Japanese invasion they almost won. Even their handicapped army did a good performance against the invading Japanese all things considered and in the main European front there were cases of French units defeating German ones in the Battle of France.

I am especially curious in how long the battle would last in scenario one with the same general anti militarist and anti patriotic spirit in France during the pre-war period. Would a nonwhite enemy rouse up a different response from those seen in OTL against the Germans?
 
Jan 2017
84
North Carolina
#4
They did fight at least once, for example


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_invasion_of_French_Indochina


No outside interference, just a colonial power struggle battle in essence.


In terms of casualties, I suppose that's a measure of something, France was the victor.
What inspired me to ask this is as one of the linked thread assumes, Japan would win an invasion against France because France as a whole lacked a will to fight.

However I'm extremely skeptical considering not only was France so vicious in post WWII engagements with their colonial subjects in particular Indochina and Algeria but it was conservative politicians who primarily stubbornly kept trying to fight those wars-the same politicians who threw the towel early in WWII.

Not to mention losing to the Germans (who already gave such a reputation as a nightmare WW1 so much that even the Brits were hesistant initially) is one thing. Especially since they were a white colonial power. But to nonwhite Japan? Especially since all the Western power view them as a minor hassle except Russia and the British themselves thought they wouldn't pose any problems in the Pacific until Singaphore?

I think France's pride as a Colonial Power would be too much to hesitate fighting the Japanese and if Japan conquers large swarthes of French territory in a quick initial Bliztkrieg, we would not see a wimpering France but instead an outraged and bloodthirsty France as seen in Algeria. Basically France would fight at a level of elan they should have had when they fought the Germans.

But I see in many vs discussion the assumption that France was so traumatized from WW1 they would always lack the will to fight in a WW2 era setting not just with the Germans but everyone from communists to a theoretical Islamic invasion and of course as this specific thread is debating, Imperial Japan.

Of course thats not even counting that some segments of France's population continue fighting after the capture of Paris and there were army units who refused to surrender, fighting to the last man.
 

Scaeva

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,536
#5
Some of the scenarios would be impossible to speculate on, such as France and Japan being geographically close to another. If Japan was in Europe the entirety of it's history would be different as well as it's geopolitical situation. As such it's military would look very different than it did historically, to the extent that it would be unrecognizable to us.

The only scenario we can speculate on with any degree of accuracy would be France and Japan as they actually existed getting into a conflict with one another in the 1930s or 1940s. Since such a war would almost certainly have been in Asia and fought near both powers' colonial possessions, the outcome would ultimately be determined by naval power. Japan would have defeated France in that scenario as it had a much larger navy and a greater naval aviation arm.
 
Jan 2017
84
North Carolina
#6
Some of the scenarios would be impossible to speculate on, such as France and Japan being geographically close to another. If Japan was in Europe the entirety of it's history would be different as well as it's geopolitical situation. As such it's military would look very different than it did historically, to the extent that it would be unrecognizable to us.

The only scenario we can speculate on with any degree of accuracy would be France and Japan as they actually existed getting into a conflict with one another in the 1930s or 1940s. Since such a war would almost certainly have been in Asia and fought near both powers' colonial possessions, the outcome would ultimately be determined by naval power. Japan would have defeated France in that scenario as it had a much larger navy and a greater naval aviation arm.

In a theoretical land invasion of France, would the French people lack the will to fight the Japanese as they did with Germany due to still being traumatized from the heavy bloodbath of World War 1? Read my previous post above for more details before replying so you can understand what I'm asking (and why I made this discussion).
 
Nov 2017
789
Commune
#7
The basic scenarios are: -France and Japan have their prepared forces as the start of WWII in irl and same problems with politics, ecnomics, geography, social, etc.



The fight would concentrate on the colonies. When Japan attacked, France was very much unprepared and more concentrated on the Nazi enemy as well. However here it is not, knows that Japan will attack, and won't go down easily. I still see it as a stalemate though. Even if France is able to attack Japan while I don't see Japan ever getting to France itself, it simply is too overspread to effectively fight an opponent that has such a powerful military it gave the United States trouble and defeated Holland with little effort while also scoring impressive victories against Britain.



1)Same as first one but both countries bloodlusted and throwing everything in a total war without any regard to domestic problems such as social inequality, problems with budget, etc

Japan will dominate the first part of this war, but once France sends reinforcements and circles Japan from Indochina and from French Polynesia, it's all over for Japan. It would get the same treatment as it did by the end of WWII minus the atomic bombing. Japan is just too far away from mainland France while France has enough colonies to surround Japan, grab conscripts and lead a total war to destroy the Japanese enemy.



2)This time with a one year complete prep in which both countries are fanatically analyzing each other


With one year of preparation? France should win here. Again, the problem with Japan is that it is surrounded by France's colonies, while Japan doesn't have a single colony close to mainland France.


3)Same as first scenario but Japan and France are magically beside each other via landmass


Japan actually wins here. We're talking about a country that was able to occupy a good portion of China and defeat Holland with little effort, occupying the large landmass of Indonesia in the process. France's mainland defences were also terrible as proven by how an economically worse Germany was able to conquer it alongside the Low Countries despite the Maginot Line, and Japan is arguably economically better than Germany. What helps France in the previous scenarios is that Japan is too far away and surrounded by French colonies, whereas here they're right besides each other. Not to mention that Japan has a bigger population than mainland France (73 million vs 41 million).


4)As above but with second scenario instead.



5)Again nearby landmass but third scenario instead.


Again, Japan should win these two scenarios. Even with preparation and engaging in total war, I just can't see the French successfully invading Japan and defending themselves against a Japanese invasion.


6)Again nearby and first scenario but both countries are separated by waters about the distance of England and Germany


7)Above but with scenario two.

8)Again same as above but scenario three.


Same as the landmass scenario. France is not successfully fending off against a Japanese invasion. Like I said, in the scenarios where standard geographical conditions apply, France is aided by being far away from Japan while at the same time having its colonies surrounding the Japanese. But here, France is basically in the same position as China, and while it has a more competent army than the Chinese - who were fighting each other at the time - it still is failing and Japan should be able to achieve the same victory the Nazis had in WWII.
 
Jan 2017
84
North Carolina
#8
The basic scenarios are: -France and Japan have their prepared forces as the start of WWII in irl and same problems with politics, ecnomics, geography, social, etc.



The fight would concentrate on the colonies. When Japan attacked, France was very much unprepared and more concentrated on the Nazi enemy as well. However here it is not, knows that Japan will attack, and won't go down easily. I still see it as a stalemate though. Even if France is able to attack Japan while I don't see Japan ever getting to France itself, it simply is too overspread to effectively fight an opponent that has such a powerful military it gave the United States trouble and defeated Holland with little effort while also scoring impressive victories against Britain.



1)Same as first one but both countries bloodlusted and throwing everything in a total war without any regard to domestic problems such as social inequality, problems with budget, etc

Japan will dominate the first part of this war, but once France sends reinforcements and circles Japan from Indochina and from French Polynesia, it's all over for Japan. It would get the same treatment as it did by the end of WWII minus the atomic bombing. Japan is just too far away from mainland France while France has enough colonies to surround Japan, grab conscripts and lead a total war to destroy the Japanese enemy.



2)This time with a one year complete prep in which both countries are fanatically analyzing each other


With one year of preparation? France should win here. Again, the problem with Japan is that it is surrounded by France's colonies, while Japan doesn't have a single colony close to mainland France.


3)Same as first scenario but Japan and France are magically beside each other via landmass


Japan actually wins here. We're talking about a country that was able to occupy a good portion of China and defeat Holland with little effort, occupying the large landmass of Indonesia in the process. France's mainland defences were also terrible as proven by how an economically worse Germany was able to conquer it alongside the Low Countries despite the Maginot Line, and Japan is arguably economically better than Germany. What helps France in the previous scenarios is that Japan is too far away and surrounded by French colonies, whereas here they're right besides each other. Not to mention that Japan has a bigger population than mainland France (73 million vs 41 million).


4)As above but with second scenario instead.



5)Again nearby landmass but third scenario instead.


Again, Japan should win these two scenarios. Even with preparation and engaging in total war, I just can't see the French successfully invading Japan and defending themselves against a Japanese invasion.


6)Again nearby and first scenario but both countries are separated by waters about the distance of England and Germany


7)Above but with scenario two.

8)Again same as above but scenario three.


Same as the landmass scenario. France is not successfully fending off against a Japanese invasion. Like I said, in the scenarios where standard geographical conditions apply, France is aided by being far away from Japan while at the same time having its colonies surrounding the Japanese. But here, France is basically in the same position as China, and while it has a more competent army than the Chinese - who were fighting each other at the time - it still is failing and Japan should be able to achieve the same victory the Nazis had in WWII.
I disagree about the nearby landmass comments. To start with France has far more tank and artillery than Japan. Also the professional part of the French army at least before Japan starts increasing its war effort in China and against the US, was not a significant gap The 1 million soldier count you see cited as stationed in China is midway in the war after Japan had fully mobilized.

Not to mention the French still managed to put heavy victories even as Germany was pouncing them as seen against the Italians (who arguably have superior tanks than the Japanese) and against the Thais (which was a stalemate with heavier casualties on the Thai side and its only politics that lead to the Thai gaining lands in Indochina). Heck when the French fought the invading Japanese army, the casualties were almost even despite the French being heavily outnumbered, outgunned, and quickly defeated. We're not counting how the French actually defeated the Germans in skirmishes and smaller battles before the Battle of France was doomed.

And you forget the Japanese did not commit "Blitzkrieg" to the way the Germans did. Yes they stroke fast and hard against enemies before they could mobilize but the doctrines of the Wehrmacht and IJA was too different to make a one-on-one comparison. Thats not even counting that the Germans had tanks, airpower, and other things that were equal to the French while the Japanese lagged behind the French in many areas such as anti-tank small arms and such.

Last but not least...... ITS A NONWHITE NATION INVADING FRANCE. THIS IS A BIG ONE.

Its one thing to lose to another nation that was a colonial power and the same race as you are with similar cultures and religion (not to mention they not only gave you a bloody nose in the last war, but more importantly they fended off more than 3 Colonial Superpowers by themselves). Especially since the Germans ahd already gained prestige as a civilized nation for their advances in science, arts, and other non-military stuff.

The Japanese on the other hand were not only seen as small fry in addition to being nonwhite..... This alone is enough to outrage the racist French population to wage Total War and forget their reluctance to fight from WW1's memories.....

But the fact is FRANCE had already proven to be quite vicious in fighting nonwhite colonial subjects as despite all the claims of France lacking spirit as a result of WW1's trauma, they actually fought some brutal wars across North Africa Post WW1 before WW2 started. And thats not counting their behavior after World War 2 in former colonies. Just Algeria alone will show youhow bloodthirsty the French will get.

We're not even counting that the politicians who threw the towels early agains the German were so stubborn in keeping coloniesw after 1946.

Its not going to be a blitz even if we assume France was equal to Japan in basic technology and France still had the same hesitancy to militarize as in OTL against the Germans..... BECAUSE there is now way the French would lower themselves and accept Yellow Monkeys as their masters in 1940 (even those civilized as the Japanese) because they were that racist! Even with equal tech and initial lack of will to militarize, we can pretty much be a stalemate because even repeat of WW1 because the French will be reinvigorated to fight. Enough that this hypothetical war will have its own "Miracle of Marne"

With the actual technology the French had OTL (which was mostly superior to what the Japanese military esp its Army had), I'd expect a victory in a nearby war. Not a quick one if we assume France will try to invade a nearby Japan, but nonetheless eventually France would win just by its technology alone.

We're not counting France's agricultural and economic powers and other non-military matters where it was far superior to Japan at the time.

Oh and a Blitz wouldn't happen because France is a HUGE country the size of Texas. Remember in Indochina the Vietnamese opened their arms to the Japanese and the French forces there was so minuscule compared to what was in mainland France but they still gave even casualties to the Japanese and Vietnam is smaller than France is. Lets not forget it was politicians who threw the towel early even though France still had lots of reserves to fight and in reality it was not so much a German occupation but the Vichy government running things until 1944 and even by 1944 there was areas the Germans had difficulty occupying (Southern France) that by technicality they didn't conquer parts of the country. And the Free French also defeated better equipped German units later in the war (and they were undermanned and lacking equipment compared to what the French had at the Battle of France).

You're also wrong about so many facts. Remember the Japanese never fully conquered China, they just conquered the NorthEastern parts (and even than they had trouble holding onto it), the Dutch and British military forces the Japanese defeated were not only far inferior and much smaller than what they had in Europe (even smaller than the local resistances and partisans) but if you observed the invasions by specific details the Japanese had quite difficult time in the actual battles especially in Singaphore. It was not the Japanese army who was constantly defeating the United States early on, it was the Navy and the American territories lost were quite backwards even by pre-1939 standards (not to mention a large chunk of the stationed military had local troops of poor quality). Once United States began to strike back with its own forces from home, the Japanese suffered epic defeats where their total dead was often 3-5X higher than the total American casualties (which would include American wounded and missing).

And of course while the French economy was generally better than Germany in its modern history, you forget the gap was not so great (in fact some periods the Germans were richer than the French) and that France was suffering a bad economy prior to the war that was getting worse and worse while Germany was recovering and their economy got better and better. Even if the French total was better, it does not provide a huge advantage since France was suffering a big depression with unemployment and what not while the Germans were gradually catching up and were close to surpassing them by the time the war started.

You also fail to understand how Germans stole from Jews and other minorities in 1939 and got a rapid financial boost that put them on the edge against the French and British even if their economy was inferior as well as some initial American aid and the fact even having a superior economy does not grant advantages especially if its not geared towards war. France's economy was geared towards civilian enterprises while German economy was gearing towards war even initially when it was in tatters.

They practically recovered enough to be on equal footing by 1939 and the Germans was actually far better because they geared their economy for war. Having the best economy and most wealth in the world means **** if you lack the means of outproducing your enemy's weapons, training, and other military specific things.
 
Last edited:

Scaeva

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,536
#9
In a theoretical land invasion of France, would the French people lack the will to fight the Japanese as they did with Germany due to still being traumatized from the heavy bloodbath of World War 1? Read my previous post above for more details before replying so you can understand what I'm asking (and why I made this discussion).
I would argue that the basic premise in that scenario is flawed, in that the French people didn't lack a will fight the Germans in the Second World War.

France fell because it was strategically outmaneuvered by the Germans, because air power and armor and had fundamentally changed warfare since the First World War, and because France did not have as anywhere near as much territory as the Soviets from which to weather early losses and continue fighting, or the English Channel to retreat behind.

Nevertheless the French military did fiercely defend the country. Keep in mind that the Germans lost about 27,000 men over the course of 46 days, which is close to half the number of of total KIA suffered by the US in the entirety of the Vietnam War.
 
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Nov 2017
789
Commune
#10
To start with France has far more tank and artillery than Japan.
Not by much if that's the case, while the Japanese have a superior air force as you can see by how it was able to resist the US for close to five years.

Last but not least...... ITS A NONWHITE NATION INVADING FRANCE. THIS IS A BIG ONE.
It's not. Any psychological factor is nullified by better military organisation and technology.