plus our backing of the Nationalist chinese (which had sided with the triads) while japan sided with the remnant of the imperial dynasty (qing?) we were giving a LOT of weapons to one side in that civil war. plus japans eyes on the Philippines were due to concerns over their routes to the Indonesian oil
strategy wise, the japanese in commiting to an attack at pearl, probably should've sent an explosives laden transport to the panama canal (like the Halifax explosion) at the outset (the whole raison detre of the yamato class was to give america a threat so big, our response would be too big to transit the canal, which just didn't work) a good hit on the locks would've put the canal out of commission for years.
wether or not that was done, they still could've done more to defeat pearl harbor.
scenario: after 2 waves leave the base in flames, yamamoto broadcasts a call for the garrison to surrender, if surrender is refused, the cruisers in the task force will begin shelling the coastal cities, while the battlecruisers shell the base, aiming for the fuel dumps (the single most crucial resource at the base), wether the surrender happens or not, a couple thousand naval infantry (a few hundred carried on each warship, the german cruiser blucher had over 800 troops on board during the oslo invasion) are landed to set up demolitions of the dry docks and machine shops, on the way back home, the task force razes midway rather than leave it for later.
the biggest postpearl mistake japan made was constantly dispersing their carrier forces, like at coral sea, and their ground forces (all the dozens of garrisons with as much as a couple thousand men, which were either easily bypased, or crushed in rehersal landings)
that, and their appalingly bad small arms (which i'll address in the gun thread)
in reference to the idea of Patton going to moscow ;) Eisenhower prefered the Morgenthau Plan (keeping millions of pows, err, Disarmed Enemy Combatants
, in open fields with no protection from the elements (Rhine Meadow Camps
), no visits from the Red Cross, and rations of 1000 calories a day or less... 70,000 are confirmed to have died, some claim over a million) plus the civilians also had the rations, as well as us actually refusing to allow neighboring countries to sell their food to the germans, and ORDERING OR TROOPS TO CONFISCATE AND BURN "SURPLUS" FOOD (leading to millions of deutschefraulines prostituting themselves to avoid starving, americans paid in cigarettes and chocolate, the russians in bullets and bayonets) ironically, the reason so many supported hitler was due to the millions of volkdeutsche how were cut off from their homeland. (south tyrol and Sudentenland were over 90% austrian but were cruelly stripped away after ww1 and made minorities to their new owners, and eventually ethnically cleansed)
tldr, most sources gloss over that, (this site does somewhat as well, while lavishing detail on the Nazis cruelties) although in the past year, more books are being published on the matter. of course, poland had a considerable amount of land stolen by the soviets, so we probably could've gotten them to fight for us, maybe a couple hundred thousand soviet troops would switch sides
edited 22nd Jan '13 10:39:12 PM by Byakuko