Did the Japanese waste their resources

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by rank amateur, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. rank amateur

    rank amateur Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Credit Manager
    Location:
    Uithoorn, Holland
    As a kid I was always amazed by the sheer quantity of different designes the Japanese produced. Designs which to me did not seem to share to many commonalities. Take for instance the Nakajima company. At a certain point during the war they where producing the KI43, ki44, ki84 and the A6m. All single radial engined fighter monoplanes. At the same time Mitsubishi, Kawanishi, Kawasaki where also producing single radial engined fighter Monoplanes. This is more or less equaly valid for 2 engined fighters, 2 engined bombers, seaplanes and what ever.

    I can't imagine that some sort of standirisation should have benefitted the Japanese war effort. So I ask you gentlemen. Did the Japanese waist their resources
     
  2. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Messages:
    1,090
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Teacher
    Location:
    Japan
    Perhaps, but the pace of aviation development in the period almost assured that multiple fighters would have been produced.

    Between 1935 and 1941 the Japanese produced the following S/E fighters
    Army:
    Ki-10 (588)
    Ki-27 (3,368)
    Ki-43 (5,919)
    Ki-61 (3,078)
    Ki-84 (3,514)
    Ki-100 (121)
    Navy:
    A4M (221)
    A5M (1094)
    A6M (11,021)
    J2M (621)
    N1K1/2 (1435)

    So, 10 major fighter types, or 11 when you consider the Ki-100, which was really more of an expedient.

    Compare that to the US, which produced 10 major Army S/E fighters and 6 Navy S/E fighters and it might not seem that much.

    The UK produced just five major S/E fighter types in the period.

    The Soviet union had nine major S/E fighter types in the 1935-1945 period.

    Germany was probably the most frugal, with just two major S/E fighter types, although both went through major evolutions, including engine and wing changes.
     
  3. rank amateur

    rank amateur Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Credit Manager
    Location:
    Uithoorn, Holland
    #3 rank amateur, Apr 27, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
    I won't contradict anything you stated BUT I wouldn't compare Japan with the US though. And it is not only s/e fighters. It is valid for bombers, transports, scouts or whatever.

    I think Japan is somewhat comparable with the UK. Both countries (UK and US but especially the US) where producing airplanes for other countries. The US was referred some times as the arsenal for democracy, mostly by themselves but there is truth in there. Japan only sold a couple of planes to Thailand but that's it.

    You stated that the UK only produced 5 major s/e fighter. That just one less than the single Nakajima factories at a certain timeslot. Furthermore, Japan was a lot more pressed for raw materials and was more or less isolated in the world where as the UK could rely on the commonwealth countries and the US for non locally produced items. Japan had to do it on its own.

    I just can't understand that if you're making a twin engined bomber for both the airforce and the IJN why you woud chose to make 2 seperate designs? OK if you have al the time, resources and money in the world but not when you have started a row with a couple of the biggest boys on the block. Standardisation usually means more output.
     
  4. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,674
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW
    There was an inherent innefficiency for all the totalitarian rregimes, but nowhere was that more pronounced than innazi germany. You ar right to question the standardisation issue, but in reality, the japanese did better with their limited resources compared to the german. look at a/c production figures for 1944 and compare the two countries.
     
  5. rank amateur

    rank amateur Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Credit Manager
    Location:
    Uithoorn, Holland
    Nazi Germany would make another nice thread ;) It took 'm years to get up to speed and only under Speer they managed but then they got some unbelievable figures for the output considering the circumstances.

    Don't quiet know if Japan fits the totalitarian discription. Not that I doubt your words i just honestly don't know. Seems that the aircraft industry had a certain amount of freedom to operate.
    For what I know it is amazing Japan could take the stress for so long. They were fighting a losing battle from day one.

    Nevertheless there was a efficiency issue.
     
  6. proton45

    proton45 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #6 proton45, Apr 27, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
    To simplify things, and attempt to answer your question...the reason that Japanese aeroplane company's would produce "2 separate designs", for what appears to be the same thing....was because the IJA the IJN had different requirements and responsibility's. The Japanese aeroplane company's, and by association their designers and engineers, are frequently sighted as being responsible for the deficiency's in Japanese airpower. But in truth, they did their best to meet the requirements set down to them by the Army Navy.
    Japanese airplane company's didn't just build a bunch of aeroplanes, and then try to sell them to the Army Navy...they did not build one aeroplane for the Navy, and then try to make a profit by selling the Army another aeroplane. Its not like the car industry. Just like most country's the IJA or the IJN would send out their requirements for a new fighter (or bomber), and the major Aeroplane company's would submit their designs to the review boards. Japanese aeroplane company's didn't produce any aeroplanes without contracts.

    Early in the war, the Army saw airpower as support for ground troops (similar to Germany)...while the Navy used it for strategic strikes air superiority. An aeroplanes range of operation, was one area where the navy Army disagreed.

    If their is any fault in this issue...it is with the Army and the Navys inability to work together. They had different ideas about warfare, and they where constantly battling each other for the use of resources.

    Anyway...I hope that this helps answer the question. Their are some people here that are more knowledgeable then me, and I hope that they chime in.
     
  7. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,674
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW
    You could describe the Japanese wartime government as an oligarchy, but that is not quite right either. oligarchy suggests lip service to the will of the people and a quasi respect for democratic ideals and the rule of law, none of which were evident in Japan during WWII. It was a police state, with no rule of law and a complete distrust of democracy as a principal. The makeup of the Japanese government had been decided by murder and violence in the 1930s, as the Kwantung Army assassinated any and all the civilian political heads. By 1937 most of the govt infrastructure was directly controlled by the military, with an uneasy stand off between the Army and the Navy

    Perhaps the best way to describe the Japanese government during the war was as a consitutional military junta, with no rule of law

    .

    Yes, to a degree, though the Americans did defeat them rather ahead of the schedule they devised after Pearl Harbour
     
  8. ColesAircraft

    ColesAircraft Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Aviation Artist - Toy Designer
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Home Page:
    Short answer: Yes, but such was true of every nation. It's a matter of degree, but Japan was uniquely wasteful in several ways.

    One problem was with the Army and Navy and how they were so oddly disconnected with each other. They often behaved as a shaky alliance between entirely separate national powers: the Army preparing for a continental war with Russia, and the Navy preparing for another war entirely. Until late in the war their air arms shared nothing. Each procured aircraft for its own separate conflict. During the war they often fell victim to one service not even informing the other regarding its operations. This 'each service for themselves' problem bordered on the ridiculous. When the Navy required service rifles it turned to Italy, for example, and purchased Carcanos while the Army enjoyed a surplus of superior Japanese-made Arisakas and wouldn't share.

    Probably the most ridiculous example of a wasteful lack of foresight was the war-long situation with Japanese Army light arms. They had three primary infantry weapons: their long rifle, light machine gun, and heavy machine gun. While they tried to coordinate the switch from 6.5mm to 7.7mm ammunition their efforts hardly mattered. Each weapon, while firing an identical bullet, required different case types: fully-rimmed, semi-rimmed, and rimless. They were not interchangeable.

    A specific example in the aircraft industry would be cockpit instruments. The Army and Navy went separately to different manufacturers to develop and produce two of everything: two different but functionally identical altimeters, etc. Each went through separate inspection and acceptance procedures. Today you can always tell instantly between Army and Navy aircraft equipment because they shared nothing. Even if the data plate is missing, the radios, everything, were unique to each service. Later in the war a few Army aircraft were operated by the Navy, but that was an exception to the rule.

    Considering the limitations of Japanese industry and supply, both of which they were perfectly aware of in WW2, it's rather puzzling that they went on to create so many problems for themselves.
     
  9. ColesAircraft

    ColesAircraft Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Aviation Artist - Toy Designer
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Home Page:

    That's true! The Army, in all branches, modeled itself after Germany. The Navy modeled itself after England. Culturally and philosophically they could hardly have been more different. They were further divided, generally, by social class: the Army hailing from the farm while the Navy was composed of the educated elite. They had sheer contempt for each other to such a degree that murder and conspiracy was part of Japanese inter-service relations and government at the highest level. But Japan was still an immature nation in the mid-20th century. It was still finding its way and was very unstable. You'd probably have to look to a few 3rd World nations today in order to find anything close to parallel.
     
  10. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,043
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    IF the damn ultranationalists hadn't consolidate power, and Japan had remained aligned with the West, I can imagine how much more flexible with it's military stuff Japan would be.
     
  11. koivis

    koivis New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Most of what you wrote might be true, but this one is not. Two of the weapons you list there (Type 99 rifle and Type 99 LMG) fired the very same, rimless, 7,7x58 Arisaka ammunition. However, the Type 92 HMG (and the Army's Type 89 aircraft MG) fired the semi-rimmed version. AFAIK, no fully rimmed version of the cartridge existed. Also, I think the Type 92 could fire the rimless cartridge if no other ammo was available.
     
  12. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    9,760
    Likes Received:
    791
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    retired Firefighter
    Location:
    Central Florida Highlands
    Some of the Japanese aircraft machine guns (observer?) used a rimmed 7.7mm cartridge. It was identical to the British .303 and absolutely would not interchange with the other two cartridges.

    The Japanese wasted resources by keeping older airplanes in production for too long or by making only modest modifications to existing planes while waiting too long for new ones.
     
  13. Siegfried

    Siegfried Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Messages:
    794
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #13 Siegfried, Apr 28, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
    Total Balonium. 1944 Japanese aircraft production was 28000 versus 35000 for German at a time German factories were within easy range of large numbers of allied bombers and escorts of relatively low sophistication compared to the B29. If anything the Nazis may have out performed the allies given their lower level of resources and inferior strategic situation. The USA simply bankrolled the UK with lend lease even befor US entry into the war allowing the UK to concentrate its resources on specific areas while well developed us engineering and manufacturing system took care of the things the uk ignored like tank and transport production not to mention food production. The US fed Britain. The USA in turn was never vulnerable to bombing or embargo and was autonomous in all raw materials.

    Had Hitler taken Halders advice and taken Moscow and destroyed the Soviet Army when Nazi forces were in a position to do so instead of turning Sth to secure the Ukrain and Caucasian oil field Germany would certainly have defeated the USSR. Instead this timid manuover gave the Soviets time to recover. We might the be discussing how the corrupt and inferior stilted British manufacturing system imploded under its own weight and limitations.
     
  14. 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
    What the heck is balonium?? If it's what I think it is, then your second paragraph certainly fits in that catagory.
     
  15. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,674
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW

    And the Japanese economy was being decimated by Allied submarines losing well over 6 million tons of shipping by wars end. By 1944, US fast carrier strikes were also having a massive effect on Japanese imports.

    If anything, the Japanese were in a worse position viz their import and production than the Germans were. They still managed to almost overtake the Germans in terms of aircraft production. Not because they were particularly efficient at producing things, just that the Germans were hopeless, even with the Speer miracle.

    The German failure was not really the fault of the administrators on hand. Milch and Speer were good at their jobs. But the whole regime was rotten to the core, and this led to constant interference in the supply chain, and constant petty rivalry, corruption and sabotage.

    Make no mistake, the German production system was poor. It was after all, the second most powerful economy prewar.

    Rubbish. The Germans had the second most powerful economy at their disposal, plus they had the French economy, almost as strong as that of Britain prewar, plus all the minor that they occupied and of course italy. They had access to adequate resources, and were certainly no more stretched for raw materials than the british, who were reeling from the effects of the tonnage war like Japan.

    The fact that the germans made no attempt to splice the vast potential of Europe onto their own economy, and managed their own economy so badly it was overshadowed in terms of outputs by even Britain, which had a TWI equal to about half that of Germany prewar, says volumes about the original point .....that the Nazi regie was innefficient....

    Thats called good management...pooling reources and working to your strengths, to say nothing of the British success on the diplometic front compared to the abject german failure in that area.

    Despit your inference that the US did all the heavy lifting in the alliance, the British Empire still managed to out produce the German Reich in most areas, including those that you claim were handed over to the Americans (like vehicles and tanks). oh, and by the way, the British Isles reached self sufficiency in food production by 1942.

    Rubbish. Britain was self sufficient in food production by 1942. But never as efficient as her dominions and empire. We fed them along with the rest of the empire. A relatively small proportion of food imports came fom the US.

    Wrong again. They relied on overseas trade and imports like everyone else. Thats why their rconomy was so strong....they were the worlds greatest trading nation. Why do you think the attacks on US shipping by the U-Boats in 1942 were so devastating in terms of their potential to destroy the US economy. It wasnt just oil either, though that was a big part of it. The US had to maintain the Pan American trade bloc to keep their economy in good shape, and had also to trade with rest of the world for the same reason. For a while, until the U-Boats were finally defeated, their economy was almost as much at risk as that of Britain


    Pure unsubstantiated froth and bubble. In the first instance, after the fighting around Smolensk, the LW and the Infantry were in such bad shape that they had no choice but to curtail operations for an extended period. You would do well to actually read Halder, rather than quote him without knowing what he was actually saying. He advocated a halt to allow a rovery of fighting power. He did not object strongly to the detachment of 2Pz to the southy, because of the development and constant attacks that were developing out of the pripyet at the time, and the fact that these attacks were being supported by supply emanating from the Kiev Front. These attacks were causing great disruption to the german supply system...already shaky and over-extended by thet time, with 40% of trucks in the repair workshops, and the railheads stuck at minsk, and receiving only 2 trains per dsay instead of the 18 being requested by Bock. In the late summer of 1941, the Germans did not have the capability to undetake the coup de main so often advocated. The tanks of guderians 2 Pz did not have the Infantry depth to take on the Russian reserves bivouacked behind Moscow at that time (sorry to burst yet another myth, but yes Stavkha had massive reserves available at that time, albeit badly trained and largely without transport anhd artillery....things they would not need in street fighting in Moscow)

    If the Germans had not undertaken the Kiev encirclement, they would have had have allowed the 968000 Soviet troops to escape, including the majority of their tank armies. The 16 divisions of Guderians 2 Pz, plus the other odds and sods available in September would have been so massively ouytnumbered as to almost gurantee their destruction

    The "if only the Germans took moscowin 1941" argument is a total piedream and ignores the strategic realities facing the germans at that time


    Wll we arent, and we will never have to, fortunately
     
  16. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Occupation:
    professionally retired
    Location:
    High Wycombe, England (home of the Mosquito)
    I hope that you can present evidence of the "corruption" that you allege there was in British industry, otherwise I ask that you show some moral courage in withdrawing that slur.
     
  17. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,674
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW
    with regard to the alleged opportunity lost after smolensk 1941, i would recommend a number of basic studies. though he is known for his pro-german bias, his study is nevertheless pretty accurate and concise. For that reason I would recommend David glantz, BARBAROSSA DERAILED: THE BATTLE FOR SMOLENSK 10 JULY-10 SEPTEMBER 1941 VOLUME 1: The German Advance, The Encirclement Battle, and the First and Second Soviet Counteroffensives, 10 July-24 August 1941.

    The book description in amazon of this book is as follows:

    "At dawn on 10 July 1941, massed tanks and motorized infantry of German Army Group Center's Second and Third Panzer Groups crossed the Dnepr and Western Dvina Rivers, beginning what Adolf Hitler, the Fuhrer of Germany's Third Reich, and most German officers and soldiers believed would be a triumphal march on Moscow, the capital of the Soviet Union. Less than three weeks before, on 22 June Hitler had unleashed his Wehrmacht's [Armed Forces] massive invasion of the Soviet Union code-named Operation Barbarossa, which sought to defeat the Soviet Union's Red Army, conquer the country, and unseat its Communist ruler, Josef Stalin. Between 22 June and 10 July, the Wehrmacht advanced up to 500 kilometers into Soviet territory, killed or captured up to one million Red Army soldiers, and reached the western banks of the Western Dvina and Dnepr Rivers, by doing so satisfying the premier assumption of Plan Barbarossa that the Third Reich would emerge victorious if it could defeat and destroy the bulk of the Red Army before it withdrew to safely behind those two rivers. With the Red Army now shattered, Hitler and most Germans expected total victory in a matter of weeks.

    The ensuing battles in the Smolensk region frustrated German hopes for quick victory. Once across the Dvina and Dnepr Rivers, a surprised Wehrmacht encountered five fresh Soviet armies. Despite destroying two of these armies outright, severely damaging two others, and encircling the remnants of three of these armies in the Smolensk region, quick victory eluded the Germans. Instead, Soviet forces encircled in Mogilev and Smolensk stubbornly refused to surrender, and while they fought on, during July, August, and into early September, first five and then a total of seven newly-mobilized Soviet armies struck back viciously at the advancing Germans, conducting multiple counterattacks and counterstrokes, capped by two major counteroffensives that sapped German strength and will. Despite immense losses in men and materiel, these desperate Soviet actions derailed Operation Barbarossa. Smarting from countless wounds inflicted on his vaunted Wehrmacht, even before the fighting ended in the Smolensk region, Hitler postponed his march on Moscow and instead turned his forces southward to engage "softer targets" in the Kiev region. The 'derailment" of the Wehrmacht at Smolensk ultimately became the crucial turning point in Operation Barbarossa.

    This groundbreaking new study, now significantly expanded, exploits a wealth of Soviet and German archival materials, including the combat orders and operational of the German OKW, OKH, army groups, and armies and of the Soviet Stavka, the Red Army General Staff, the Western Main Direction Command, the Western, Central, Reserve, and Briansk Fronts, and their subordinate armies to present a detailed mosaic and definitive account of what took place, why, and how during the prolonged and complex battles in the Smolensk region from 10 July through 10 September 1941. The structure of the study is designed specifically to appeal to both general readers and specialists by a detailed two-volume chronological narrative of the course of operations, accompanied by a third volume, and perhaps a fourth, containing archival maps and an extensive collection of specific orders and reports translated verbatim from Russian. The maps, archival and archival-based, detail every stage of the battle
    "
     
Loading...

Share This Page