What if instead of bombing Pearl Harbor, Japan instead went for Russia?

May 2019
20
Utah
And both Japan and Germany can crush Russia and form a railway line where they can then import/export what they need?

And then Japan wouldn't have to rely on its vulnerable source of materials, it can just get it from Russia and use it against China and everyone in Asia?

Doesn't Russia have plenty of oil?
 

At Each Kilometer

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
4,004
Bulgaria
You should need different outcome of Khalkhin Gol battle. Before this battle the army had always been the dominant branch over the navy and the navy's plan for attacking USA called nanshin-ron had no chance due to army being more important. It's basically internal fight/competition after money, invading the USSR would shift the budget to the Army, but attacking the United States would shift the budget to the navy. After Khalkhin Gol fiasco the hokushin-ron was literally destroyed and money went to the navy and their plan.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,627
But how much of that oil was somehwere the Japanese could get to.. Thye Ability of the Japanses to project their milioatry power deep into Russia is quite limited.
 
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At Each Kilometer

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
4,004
Bulgaria
But how much of that oil was somehwere the Japanese could get to.. Thye Ability of the Japanses to project their milioatry power deep into Russia is quite limited.
They were there after the great war during the allied intervention along the Americans. They stayed in the Far East and northern Sakhalin several years after other Entente powers withdrawal, so i suppose conquering the Far East would be their first objective in this speculative scenario.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,627
They were there after the great war during the allied intervention along the Americans. They stayed in the Far East and northern Sakhalin several years after other Entente powers withdrawal, so i suppose conquering the Far East would be their first objective in this speculative scenario.
How many men though., The Civil war had borken down the contorl of teh far east and the Japanses could use the siberian railway pretty much unimpedned and could mainatin a significnat expeditionary force. Teh Red Amry in 1941 is much bigger thing, better orgnaised and more committed. The Amount of men Japen needs to prject deep into Russia is many times what it did in the civil war, Differnet scale, and the effetcive capture of the sierian railway enabled that.

Jaoan deployed 70,000 men in the civil war. How many were at the pionty end and how many were part of logistical chain woudl be intresting. And how much fighting (supply need in heavy combat) and how heavily equiped were they. To be effetcive agianst the Red Army in 1941 the amount of heavily equipment and supplies I think would be much larger than 1917-21.
 
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May 2017
278
China
And both Japan and Germany can crush Russia and form a railway line where they can then import/export what they need?

And then Japan wouldn't have to rely on its vulnerable source of materials, it can just get it from Russia and use it against China and everyone in Asia?

Doesn't Russia have plenty of oil?
you should learn timeline of history properly first.

japan wish to win fight against china fastly, because long lasting war will make japan have more and more chance to lose the war.

but the war turn out sour to japan, chinese did not surrender and keep continue fighting to the bitter end.

japan can not exploit resources in occupied area, so they try to invade siberia, but japanese loser the khalkhin gol war badly.

so the only option was to expand southward to southeast asia and southern pacific. this time japan already know soon or later they will face america so they plan to do crippling blow to american fleet in pearl harbor, which their assumetion will set american back 2-3 years before american can recovered. ttheir assumetion 2-3 year would be enough to gather vast ammount of southeast asia resources and built powerful fleets and armies, but they were wrong.

so japan losing the war are something sure, there is no other way in alternated history or even parallel universe that japan can win.
 
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Apr 2018
741
India
The IJA was never good at armored warfare. Their tanks, both in terms of quality and quantity, were pathetic. From what I understand, the Eurasian steppes, Siberian planes and Mongolian pleatue are all cavalry/tank countries.

Khalkhin Gol and Lake Khasan were probably the only battlefields where men and tanks met head on. The results were disasterous as usual. Another thing the Japs probably understood that it was impossible for them to inflict damage severe enough to deter the Russians. In both battles the Russians lost more men and materiel. But a number that might have given the Japs heart attack would have been shrugged off by the Russians.

The japs understood this and hence stayed away from the Russians for the duration.
 
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Edratman

Forum Staff
Feb 2009
6,708
Eastern PA
And both Japan and Germany can crush Russia and form a railway line where they can then import/export what they need?

And then Japan wouldn't have to rely on its vulnerable source of materials, it can just get it from Russia and use it against China and everyone in Asia?

Doesn't Russia have plenty of oil?
This conjecture about Japan attacking Russia in coordination with Germany in 1941 has been extensively discussed.

The plan does have much merit. First and foremost, WW2 turned out badly for the two nations, so almost any major strategic change has to offer the possibility of a better result. Second, forcing the Russians to battle on two fronts while the Germans are pushing on Moscow would have had to substantially alter the equation.

But, as At Each Kilometer posted, the Japanese were soundly and decisively defeated by the Russians in a short lived, little known war in Mongolia in the battle of Khalkhin Gol. (Battles of Khalkhin Gol - Wikipedia ) Subsequently, the Japanese army did not implement any changes that would have improved their chances in a rematch, so there was no interest in the Japanese army for a reprise.

Another huge factor was that the Japanese and their European allies had near zero cooperation and coordination concerning war plans. This hurdle makes a war against the Russians near impossible considering the reluctance of the Japanese military to engage.
 
Apr 2018
741
India
The penultimate goal (in daydreams) of Japan's northern strike plan was to occupy Eastern Siberia. It went no further than Irkutsk or at max the eastern border of Krasnoyarsk Krai. Even if they had been able to do that it still doesn't make any linkup between them and the Germans possible. The Germans had no plan to wade through thousands of miles of snow and mud to shake hands with their buddies.

Another thing, although Japan's war, or Japan's involvement in WW2 was primarily due to oil, but it is also true that elements within the Army was dying to start a war with someone. Among all such bastards, none was as much of an absolute human garbage as Col. Masanobu Tsuji (Then Major). Read about the a-hole here - Colonel Masanobu Tsuji of Malaya if you like to.

The Kwantung Army was already so out of control that Tokyo never got to know half the things they did. With this chap (Post doctoral fellowship in the art of Gekokujo) in it, the force became a loose cannon. Hence the Battle of Khalkhin Gol which the Imperial General Staff actually so much wanted to avoid. Even before the main battle the Japanese government made it clear to the Russians that the didn't intend to escalate the situation any further and it is actually this 'indicated' assurance that enabled Zhukov to take full initiative and finish off the 23rd like lambs to a slaughter.

And guess what, at the first sign of defeat this joker abandoned the whole idea outright and went on to plan the invasion of Malaya and instigate Pearl Harbor bombing. So you see, the prime instigator and Warmongerous Rex of Imperial Japan himself abandoned the plans to go North. Hence the scenario asked by the OP was beyond impossible.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,354
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Tsuji was a mid-ranking intelligence officer. He was a nasty piece of work, but he was not responsible for the Japanese war plan.