Bombing of the Japanese islands from the Soviet Far East

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Jenisch, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,043
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    The Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact included that Stalin would not allow Allied bombers to attack Japan from Soviet territory. I was wondering if this was not a political manuver from Stalin to obtain a large part of territory after Hitler's defeat, like he did in August '45. After the war in the Pacific started, it was very clear the Kwantung Army didn't have an offensive capability against the USSR, and the Japanese industry was focused in ship and aircraft production. Had Stalin broken with Japan and allowed US bombers to attack the Japanese islands since the start of the war, the Japanese defeat could have been defeated much quicker, while American naval and industrial power could have been focused all against Hitler likely sooner.
     
  2. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,989
    Likes Received:
    434
    Trophy Points:
    83
    My 2 cents:

    That way USA has to provide logistical support for their bomber offensive, the one that would have to battle it out both with Japanese adverse weather. In the same time, the Vladivostok LL route is in jeopardy, so Soviets are likely to receive less stuff. The timing: early in the war it is dubious if the USA can pull it in a major scale (to make it worthwhile), and later the war is almost come to the Japanese door step anyway. Without the early movements in such a direction, it's questionable that war in Pacific is to be ended that quickly. And the 'Germany first' was anyway the Anglo-American attitude.
     
  3. renrich

    renrich Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,542
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    real estate
    Location:
    Montrose, Colorado
    Stalin always wanted to get his paw into the pie when it came time to divide up the spoils whether it was Germany, Italy or Japan. If he could do it without any expenditures, more the better.
     
  4. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,480
    Likes Received:
    108
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    auto body repair
    Location:
    pound va
    50% of Russia's lend/lease supplies came thru the Pacific route, some of that was flown overland from Alaska, but the majority was thru the port of Vladivostok. That would come to a halt. I don't think Russia would see any gain in this for them.
    Plus the Russians showed every sign that they wanted no allied forces using their country for bases to strike at Germany, with the poor co-operation they gave when the shuttle bombing missions were tried.

    I don't know if it was the fear of the long range implications of allowing a foreign power to have troops in their country, or they didn't want the corrupting influence of western soldiers among Russian forces or people.
     
  5. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,043
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    #5 Jenisch, Feb 1, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
    Yeah, but on the other hand there are benefits as well:

    * The Japanese would need a considerable air and power to treat the Americans deliveries, therefore reducing their power elsewere in the Pacific. If they tried to intervene with naval vessels in the port, they would be treated from the very strong Soviet costal defense, and by American and Soviet aircraft any place in the route

    * Attacks against Vladivostok, now well defended by the VVS and the USAAF, together with modern radar systems would be very costly for the Japanese

    * US cargo aircraft flying from Alaska would reach the Soviet Far East in large numbers

    * The very relevant destruction that would occur in the Japanese wood and paper cities would drastically affect the Japanese ability to continue the war

    Viable or not, cooperation between the Soviets and the Anglo-Americans was not good. In fact, there was a proposal for an American bomber force to operate in the Caucasus that Stalin rejected and choose LL aircraft instead.
     
  6. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,883
    Likes Received:
    581
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Toronto
    #6 michaelmaltby, Feb 1, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
    "...Viable or not, cooperation between the Soviets and the Anglo-Americans was not good."

    Once again you draw an extreme conclusion. Stalin permitted shuttle raids by both the USAAF and the RAF into Soviet territory on several occasions and may have benefitted by retaining damaged B-17s that couldn't by flown out by USAAF crews.

    But as for Japan, at Yalta Stalin committed to a timeframe to open hostilities with Japan. He kept stringing the Japanese along about his intentions to renew their mutual non-agression agreement right up until minutes before August Storm was launched (August 1945). Stalin kept the promise he made at Yalta and managed to blindside the Japanese with a surprise attack at the same time.. I would say that Stalin as a master gamesman but nonetheless knew the importance of keeping his "promises". It's complex, but you keep seeking simplified answers to the questions you pose, Jenisch.

    MM
     
  7. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,480
    Likes Received:
    108
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    auto body repair
    Location:
    pound va
    Look at a map Jenisch, Japan wouldn't have to attack Vladivostok, ever approach to it is blocked by Japan, i'd be child's play to isolate it.
    Even the USA wouldn't have the air transport capacity to supply Russia by air with the Vladivostok port out of the equation.
     
  8. JoeB

    JoeB Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2006
    Messages:
    809
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    #8 JoeB, Feb 2, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012
    1. As tyrodtom said, look at a map, and consider how the Pacific lend lease deliveries were actually made: by Soviet merchant ships passing right through Japanese controlled waters, no escorts, no protection of any kind. The Japanese had to choose whether to respect Soviet neutrality and leave them alone, or very easily intercept them and end up in a two front war. They left them alone, including ones delivering supplies for the Soviet offensive of August 1945, up to only weeks or days before it. US subs sank a few Soviet merchant ships in these waters, by mistake, but the Japanese completely left them alone.

    2. Relates to 1. The basic failure of the initial US B-29 campaign from China against Japan was due to too long and difficult a logistical supply chain. Japan was vulnerable to air attack, more so than Germany, but it took a while in WWII to get past the fantasy that it could be done by a few planes; no reason to repeat that misperception now. The B-29 effort from the Marianas was quite large before it began to have any real effect on Japan, and grew to very large size before the war was through. Trying to supply such an effort over the Trans-Siberian railroad, and also competing for port space on the other two lend lease routes (to Abadan in Iran, and Murmansk) would have had the same problem as the China B-29 idea. And besides robbing the Soviets of the eastern LL route, it would have cut down capacity for them on the other two routes of supplies to help defeat Germany.

    There's no logical reason the Soviets would have agreed to such a plan, and also emotional/nationalistic reasons (recalling occupation of the Soviet Far East by the Entente armies after WWI) they wouldn't have agreed to it.

    Joe
     
Loading...

Share This Page