History UsefulNotes / KatanasOfTheRisingSun

2nd May '18 8:20:11 PM SSJMagus
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** In the 1920s Japan, Britain, and America (and France and Italy to some degree) signed 2 treaties limiting naval construction, especially of the very expensive battleships, because otherwise they would all try to outbuild the others and mutually drive themselves nearly bankrupt. The difficulty of such a treaty was how much to limit which sides to. In the end, it was known as "5:5:3" because the USA and Britain, having multiple oceans to patrol (and more economic capacity than Japan), got to retain 5 tons of ships for every 3 that Japan retained. This was actually an excellent deal for Japan because it held back the American shipyards - who could have outbuilt Japan much worse than 5:3. On top of that, Japan lacked the industrial capacity to even match the ''treaty-restricted'' outputs of the USA and Britain; the amount they were allowed to built wasn't that much less than the maximum they were ''capable'' of building. However, many Japanese felt it was a national insult to get a lower ratio; they considered it a temporary concession and a necessary evil that should be repudiated. As usual Yamamoto was the voice of reason, saying "The agreement is excellent for us - it is a treaty to restrict the other parties", but he was overruled because anything short of an equal ratio was dishonorable. On December 29, 1934, Japan gave the requisite two-years notice that it would withdraw from the treaties - freeing the United States up to outbuild Japan by insane margins. Had the Japanese not repudiated the treaties, the United States would have only started on its massive shipbuilding campaign after Pearl Harbor was attacked, meaning they wouldn't have been churning out unbeatable numbers of carriers and battleships until 1945-1946. As it was, the early start allowed them to, from 1942-1944, outproduce Japan 5:1 in carriers and battleships, 4:1 in aircraft, 15:1 in destroyers and escorts, and 8:1 in cargo ships.

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** In the 1920s Japan, Britain, and America (and France and Italy to some degree) signed 2 treaties limiting naval construction, especially of the very expensive battleships, because otherwise they would all try to outbuild the others and mutually drive themselves nearly bankrupt. The difficulty of such a treaty was how much to limit which sides to. In the end, it was known as "5:5:3" because the USA and Britain, having multiple oceans to patrol (and more economic capacity than Japan), got to retain 5 tons of ships for every 3 that Japan retained. This was actually an excellent deal for Japan because it held back the American shipyards - who could have outbuilt Japan much worse than 5:3. And since as mentioned the US Navy had to patrol two oceans, roughly half of the fleet would normally be in the Atlantic and thus at the start of any conflict this would be a de facto 3:2.5 ratio in Japan's favor.[[note]]Britain's global empire at the time meant the Royal Navy was even further divided, between the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific. With the Pacific containing at the time the smallest portion of their ships.[[/note]] On top of that, Japan lacked the industrial capacity to even match the ''treaty-restricted'' outputs of the USA and Britain; the amount they were allowed to built wasn't that much less than the maximum they were ''capable'' of building. However, many Japanese felt it was a national insult to get a lower ratio; they considered it a temporary concession and a necessary evil that should be repudiated. As usual Yamamoto was the voice of reason, saying "The agreement is excellent for us - it is a treaty to restrict the other parties", but he was overruled because anything short of an equal ratio was dishonorable. On December 29, 1934, Japan gave the requisite two-years notice that it would withdraw from the treaties - freeing the United States up to outbuild Japan by insane margins. Had the Japanese not repudiated the treaties, the United States would have only started on its massive shipbuilding campaign after Pearl Harbor was attacked, meaning they wouldn't have been churning out unbeatable numbers of carriers and battleships until 1945-1946. As it was, the early start allowed them to, from 1942-1944, outproduce Japan 5:1 in carriers and battleships, 4:1 in aircraft, 15:1 in destroyers and escorts, and 8:1 in cargo ships.



** The I-400 class submarines. Submersible aircraft carriers that actually worked... but they took nearly three years to build and could only carry three planes each. Enough to attract an enemies' attention, but not enough to inflict significant damage.

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** The I-400 class submarines. Submersible aircraft carriers that actually worked... but they took nearly three years to build and could only carry three planes each. Enough to attract an enemies' attention, but not enough to inflict significant damage. An impressive technical achievement, but militarily near-useless.
30th Apr '18 11:15:08 PM blerg223
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[[caption-width-right:300: Pearl Harbor: this propaganda puts the Rising Sun flag put in front of the Nazi flag. ''++Niitaka-yama nobore++''[[labelnote:*]]"Climb Mount Niitaka", the Wabun code (a form of Morse code) message signalling the go-ahead for the attack on Pearl Harbor[[/labelnote]] ]]

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[[caption-width-right:300: Pearl Harbor: this propaganda puts the Rising Sun flag put in front of the Nazi flag. ''++Niitaka-yama [[caption-width-right:300:''++Niitaka-yama nobore++''[[labelnote:*]]"Climb Mount Niitaka", the Wabun code (a form of Morse code) message signalling the go-ahead for the attack on Pearl Harbor[[/labelnote]] ]]
18th Apr '18 5:47:06 PM Rmpdc
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* DefiantToTheEnd: ''Many, many'' times. So much, that it could pretty much be the standard MO of almost the entire Japanese military. When given a choice between surrender or death, many simply elected for the latter, either by SuicideAttack or ritual suicide.


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* DefiantToTheEnd: ''Many, many'' times. So much, that it could pretty much be the standard MO of almost the entire Japanese military. When given a choice between surrender or death, many simply elected for the latter, either by SuicideAttack or ritual suicide. There's a reason far fewer Japanese prisoners were taken compared to German ones.
18th Apr '18 5:42:48 PM Rmpdc
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* DavidVersusGoliath: In all of its major campaigns, Japan (and later, their small empire of Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and Manchuria) was out of its weight classification. This was modified by the fact that the Manchu and Russian Empires were [[VestigialEmpire highly vestigial]] at the time, wracked with financial problems and having to fight Japan at the limits of their ability. The situation for the Chinese wasn't any better in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, being a poor and low tech nation in the middle of a civil war. But the last time around was a very different matter; Japan could never have mustered the economic and logistical power to defeat the United States, the richest nation on the planet, and one of the most high tech. The best it could have hoped for ''(and indeed, it was the grand strategy for the war)'' was to press the U.S. and inflict such damage that they would deem it not worth the trouble and expense to rebuild and recapture their conquered territories. At their most mouth-frothingly optimistic, there were plans to capture Hawaii, perhaps after a CurbStompBattle at Midway wiped away most of the surviving American forces, but those never made it off the drawing board. Unfortunately, Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor infuriated their enemy so much that, apart from having to divide its efforts with the European Theatre of the war, was prepared to stomp Japan at nearly whatever price. The Dutch East Indies were in disarray following the Netherland's defeat in Europe and taken by surprise, as were British Malaysia and Hong Kong, French Indochina, and the American Philippines, but after that [[CurbStompBattle All bets were off.]]
* DeathFromAbove: A very valuable strategy they often employed on all fronts. The Americans proved to be far better at it, however. The FragileSpeedster nature of Japanese aircraft and their lack of decent radios made them ill suited for close air support.
* DefeatMeansFriendship: After defeating Japan, the U.S. occupied it with some real intelligence to allow it to rebuild a healthy and prosperous industrial economy. As a result, Japan has been largely a close ally of the USA ever since.



* DefiantToTheEnd: ''Many, many'' times. So much, that it could pretty much be the standard MO of almost the entire Japanese military. When given a choice between surrender or death, many simply elected for the latter, either by SuicideAttack or ritual suicide.



* DavidVersusGoliath: In all of its major campaigns, Japan (and later, their small empire of Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and Manchuria) was out of its weight classification. This was modified by the fact that the Manchu and Russian Empires were [[VestigialEmpire highly vestigial]] at the time, wracked with financial problems and having to fight Japan at the limits of their ability. The situation for the Chinese wasn't any better in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, being a poor and low tech nation in the middle of a civil war. But the last time around was a very different matter; Japan could never have mustered the economic and logistical power to defeat the United States, the richest nation on the planet, and one of the most high tech. The best it could have hoped for ''(and indeed, it was the grand strategy for the war)'' was to press the U.S. and inflict such damage that they would deem it not worth the trouble and expense to rebuild and recapture their conquered territories. At their most mouth-frothingly optimistic, there were plans to capture Hawaii, perhaps after a CurbStompBattle at Midway wiped away most of the surviving American forces, but those never made it off the drawing board. Unfortunately, Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor infuriated their enemy so much that, apart from having to divide its efforts with the European Theatre of the war, was prepared to stomp Japan at nearly whatever price. The Dutch East Indies were in disarray following the Netherland's defeat in Europe and taken by surprise, as were British Malaysia and Hong Kong, French Indochina, and the American Philippines, but after that [[CurbStompBattle All bets were off.]]
* DeathFromAbove: A very valuable strategy they often employed on all fronts. The Americans proved to be far better at it, however. The FragileSpeedster nature of Japanese aircraft and their lack of decent radios made them ill suited for close air support.
* DefeatMeansFriendship: After defeating Japan, the U.S. occupied it with some real intelligence to allow it to rebuild a healthy and prosperous industrial economy. As a result, Japan has been largely a close ally of the USA ever since.
2nd Apr '18 9:44:31 PM Caps-luna
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** Thought it can be argued that battleships didn't become truly obsolete until the development of long range surface missiles, its unquestionable the Yamatos had a lot of World War I and Russo-Japanese war ideas going on. They only moved at a speed of 27.5 knots, the same as their initial rivals the ''North Carolina'' class. They failed to realize that the ''North Carolina'' and ''South Dakota'' only moved that slow because the former was designed during treaty limitations and the navy wanted the later to be similar to the former. Or that both designs were stop-gaps. The ''Hood'', ''Dunkerque'', and especially ''Scharnhorst'' had shown that heavily armed and armored battleships at speeds of 30 knots and above were possible. It should have been clear that everyone was cooking up faster and faster designs and that the US world too. However Japan effectively used a WWI approach and built their trump cards only as fast as was required and prioritized armament and, for once, armor. This weakness meant that if they were only capable of hunting other slower battleships, where the new breed of battleships could effectively hunt cruisers and act as escorts themselves. When the US rolled out the ''Iowa'' class Japan lost the ability to kill all of the US capital ships even in a gun duel.

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** *** Thought it can be argued that battleships didn't become truly obsolete until the development of long range surface missiles, its unquestionable the Yamatos had a lot of World War I and Russo-Japanese war ideas going on. They only moved at a speed of 27.5 knots, the same as their initial rivals the ''North Carolina'' class. They failed to realize that the ''North Carolina'' and ''South Dakota'' only moved that slow because the former was designed during treaty limitations and the navy wanted the later to be similar to the former. Or that both designs were stop-gaps.stop-gaps and not their opponents ultimate goal. The ''Hood'', ''Dunkerque'', and especially ''Scharnhorst'' had shown that heavily armed and armored battleships at speeds of 30 knots and above were possible. It should have been clear that everyone was cooking up faster and faster designs and that the US world would too. However Japan effectively used a WWI approach and built their trump cards only as fast as was required and prioritized armament and, for once, armor. This weakness meant that if they were only capable of hunting other slower battleships, where the new breed of battleships could effectively hunt cruisers and act as escorts themselves. When the US rolled out the ''Iowa'' class Japan lost the ability to kill all of the US capital ships even in a gun duel.
2nd Apr '18 9:42:29 PM Caps-luna
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Added DiffLines:

** Thought it can be argued that battleships didn't become truly obsolete until the development of long range surface missiles, its unquestionable the Yamatos had a lot of World War I and Russo-Japanese war ideas going on. They only moved at a speed of 27.5 knots, the same as their initial rivals the ''North Carolina'' class. They failed to realize that the ''North Carolina'' and ''South Dakota'' only moved that slow because the former was designed during treaty limitations and the navy wanted the later to be similar to the former. Or that both designs were stop-gaps. The ''Hood'', ''Dunkerque'', and especially ''Scharnhorst'' had shown that heavily armed and armored battleships at speeds of 30 knots and above were possible. It should have been clear that everyone was cooking up faster and faster designs and that the US world too. However Japan effectively used a WWI approach and built their trump cards only as fast as was required and prioritized armament and, for once, armor. This weakness meant that if they were only capable of hunting other slower battleships, where the new breed of battleships could effectively hunt cruisers and act as escorts themselves. When the US rolled out the ''Iowa'' class Japan lost the ability to kill all of the US capital ships even in a gun duel.
2nd Apr '18 9:04:42 PM Caps-luna
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Added DiffLines:

*** The IJA eventually adapted and came up with excellent guerilla tactics which lead to a successful delaying strategy (although it should be stated the hoped to wear out the US war machine entirely, which was unrealistic to say the least). However they utterly squandered the time they bought by building bunkers hoping to stop a land invasion. [[WhatAnIdiot Even when dozens of the their bases that got island hopped reported that the USA was amassing and training with hundreds of heavy bombers]]. Even without this information, or reports from Germany with similar tidings, it should have been painfully obvious that the Americans were going to attempt to bomb them ''hard''. They also should have known from their own experience with bombers that ground based AA was not nearly as effective as air based interceptors. But rather the build and develop interceptors and escort fighters for those interceptors, they spent three years building targets.
2nd Apr '18 4:35:07 PM Caps-luna
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Added DiffLines:

** The Imperial Army planed to use its numerous island airfields and artillery to defeat the USN while its infantry held back US army and Marine invaders. However they hoped to take out enemy ships by bombing them from high altitude rater than torpedo bombing or using dive bombers. They sorely miscalculated even slow moving transports ability to dodge this sort of attack. They also were unaware that shore based batteries were no longer considered superior to ships in a gun duel and underestimated the amount of combat vessels that would be bombarding them. While their infantry was able to put up a good fight, all of their carefully prepared fortifications were typically reduced to dust in hours without producing nearly the casualties they hoped.
22nd Mar '18 3:59:34 PM costanton11
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** Also [[KatanasAreJustBetter katanas]], though perhaps "impossible" in the other direction. The Japanese soldiers were [[KnifeNut kind of obsessed with blade weapons]], going so far as to stick bayonets on ''machine guns''. They were also among the last to abandon the "sword bayonet" (actually a knife blade, just a ridiculously long one) in favor of the more practical knife bayonets that every other major power in WWII was using.

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** Also [[KatanasAreJustBetter katanas]], though perhaps "impossible" in the other direction. The Japanese soldiers were [[KnifeNut kind of obsessed with blade weapons]], going so far as to stick bayonets on ''machine guns''. They were also among the last to abandon the "sword bayonet" (actually a knife blade, just a ridiculously long one) in favor of the more practical knife bayonets that every other major power in WWII World War II was using.



His successful conduct of the operation helped him build his legend and glittering career to the level where he couldn't be purged without consequences. There are rumors that him being the old cavalry hand,[[note]]Zhukov has become [[FormerRegimePersonnel a cavalry ensign while still in the old Tsarist army]] during the UsefulNotes/{{WWI}}.[[/note]] he had friends in the high places (such as long-time Stalin supporter, the First Cavalry Army chief Marshal Semyon Budenny) who recommended him to ask for a transfer, and the Japanese attacks made an ideal pretext for that. Hadn't he left the Moscow for the Far East, he would've most probably suffered the same fate as Konstantin Rokossovsky, who ''was'' purged and had to be hastily returned from prison when the Germans attacked. All thanks to the Japanese.

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His successful conduct of the operation helped him build his legend and glittering career to the level where he couldn't be purged without consequences. There are rumors that him being the old cavalry hand,[[note]]Zhukov has become [[FormerRegimePersonnel a cavalry ensign while still in the old Tsarist army]] during the UsefulNotes/{{WWI}}.UsefulNotes/WorldWarI.[[/note]] he had friends in the high places (such as long-time Stalin supporter, the First Cavalry Army chief Marshal Semyon Budenny) who recommended him to ask for a transfer, and the Japanese attacks made an ideal pretext for that. Hadn't he left the Moscow for the Far East, he would've most probably suffered the same fate as Konstantin Rokossovsky, who ''was'' purged and had to be hastily returned from prison when the Germans attacked. All thanks to the Japanese.



* ReliablyUnreliableGuns: Other than the generally excellent Arisaka rifles, most of the small arms the IJN and IJA were saddled with were mediocre at best.[[note]]The "Baby Nambu" pistol, a standard officer's sidearm, probably takes the cake, as not only was it unreliable and expensive to produce (despite being designed to the contrary), but also some features that were intended to make it cheaper actually meant that if assembled wrong way (which was ridiculously easy to do) it tended to violently disassemble itself during shooting. "Papa Nambu", its WWI predecessor, was more reliable, but even more expensive and still could've been accidentally assembled in such a way that it would irreparably jam after the first discharge. The successor, the Type 14 Nambu, was in most respects an improvement, but like the other Nambu pistols suffered from firing an underpowered round and excessive bulk, and also had a flawed firing pin design that was prone to breakage. Rather than bothering to implement any of the suggested improvements to fix that problem, the IJA merely ''issued spare firing pins''; apparently officers and [=NCOs=] were supposed to disassemble their pistol and replace the firing pin in mid-battle if necessary. No wonder so many of them preferred using their swords. And then there was the Type 94 Nambu, an attempt to design a cheaper and smaller pistol that would be suitable for pilots, tank crews and other personnel who operated in cramped spaces. It succeeded in those goals, but also "succeeded" in being one of the worst military handguns ever issued. Particularly infamous was the exposed sear, which made it possible for the pistol to fire without the trigger being pulled. If a soldier was careless and forgot to engage the safety, falling on his side could result in being shot in the leg by his own holstered gun.[[/note]] Not only did the army and navy use different machine guns, they often used different cartridges, unnecessarily complicating supply and manufacture. Though with the prevailing athmosphere of [[WeAreStrugglingTogether militaristic anarchy]] that reigned in Japan at the time, they probably considered that as an ''advantage'', because incompatible cartridges couldn't be pilfered by one branch to the detriment of the other.

to:

* ReliablyUnreliableGuns: Other than the generally excellent Arisaka rifles, most of the small arms the IJN and IJA were saddled with were mediocre at best.[[note]]The "Baby Nambu" pistol, a standard officer's sidearm, probably takes the cake, as not only was it unreliable and expensive to produce (despite being designed to the contrary), but also some features that were intended to make it cheaper actually meant that if assembled wrong way (which was ridiculously easy to do) it tended to violently disassemble itself during shooting. "Papa Nambu", its WWI [=WWI=] predecessor, was more reliable, but even more expensive and still could've been accidentally assembled in such a way that it would irreparably jam after the first discharge. The successor, the Type 14 Nambu, was in most respects an improvement, but like the other Nambu pistols suffered from firing an underpowered round and excessive bulk, and also had a flawed firing pin design that was prone to breakage. Rather than bothering to implement any of the suggested improvements to fix that problem, the IJA merely ''issued spare firing pins''; apparently officers and [=NCOs=] were supposed to disassemble their pistol and replace the firing pin in mid-battle if necessary. No wonder so many of them preferred using their swords. And then there was the Type 94 Nambu, an attempt to design a cheaper and smaller pistol that would be suitable for pilots, tank crews and other personnel who operated in cramped spaces. It succeeded in those goals, but also "succeeded" in being one of the worst military handguns ever issued. Particularly infamous was the exposed sear, which made it possible for the pistol to fire without the trigger being pulled. If a soldier was careless and forgot to engage the safety, falling on his side could result in being shot in the leg by his own holstered gun.[[/note]] Not only did the army and navy use different machine guns, they often used different cartridges, unnecessarily complicating supply and manufacture. Though with the prevailing athmosphere of [[WeAreStrugglingTogether militaristic anarchy]] that reigned in Japan at the time, they probably considered that as an ''advantage'', because incompatible cartridges couldn't be pilfered by one branch to the detriment of the other.
17th Mar '18 1:11:29 AM YoshimitsuMaster
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* AwesomeButImpractical: Partly in anticipation of being outnumbered in any major war right from the start, the Imperial Japanese Navy had a tendency towards wanting to have the ''individually'' biggest and baddest of something, regardless of its actual use. Case in point ''Yamato''-class battleships: when ''Yamato'' was launched it was the most powerful example of a ship type that had just been rendered obsolete. ''Yamato'' and ''Musashi'' went on to borderline-embarrassing careers of being held back from fighting because they guzzled large amounts of oil, the very resource Japan was critically low on and had gone to war to seize. When they finally were committed to battle ''Yamato'' scored no confirmed kills before turning away to dodge torpedoes from a handful of tiny American destroyers and destroyer escorts that each weighed less than one of her gun turrets. Her sister ship ''Musashi'' never even got this far, having been sunk by carrier aircraft before even seeing an enemy vessel. ''Yamato's'' final mission saw her and 5 of her escorts at the bottom of the Pacific, managing to down a piddling 10 American planes in the process. The best that can be said about them is that their massive bulk and incredibly thick armor did result in the ability to absorb a very large number of hits before going under (and since the Americans weren't exactly running out of explosives, this is a very small accomplishment indeed).

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* AwesomeButImpractical: Partly in anticipation of being outnumbered in any major war right from the start, the Imperial Japanese Navy had a tendency towards wanting to have the ''individually'' biggest and baddest of something, regardless of its actual use. use.
**
Case in point ''Yamato''-class battleships: when ''Yamato'' was launched it was the most powerful example of a ship type that had just been rendered obsolete. ''Yamato'' and ''Musashi'' went on to borderline-embarrassing careers of being held back from fighting because they guzzled large amounts of oil, the very resource Japan was critically low on and had gone to war to seize. When they finally were committed to battle ''Yamato'' scored no confirmed kills before turning away to dodge torpedoes from a handful of tiny American destroyers and destroyer escorts that each weighed less than one of her gun turrets. Her sister ship ''Musashi'' never even got this far, having been sunk by carrier aircraft before even seeing an enemy vessel. ''Yamato's'' final mission saw her and 5 of her escorts at the bottom of the Pacific, managing to down a piddling 10 American planes in the process. The best that can be said about them is that their massive bulk and incredibly thick armor did result in the ability to absorb a very large number of hits before going under (and since the Americans weren't exactly running out of explosives, this is a very small accomplishment indeed).
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