Germany vs Japan, Who would have most likely won in warfare between the two?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by yyuusr, Dec 10, 2012.

?

: Germany vs Japan, Who would have most likely won in warfare between the two?

  1. Germany

    80.0%
  2. Japan

    20.0%
  1. yyuusr

    yyuusr New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I've recently started to develop a lot of interest in WW2 and this question keeps pooping up into my head. So I did a google search and mostly everything that pops up usually turns into a dick waving "this country was better than this country" BS that are just dire to read. So I was looking for a good forum page and found this site. Forgive me if this has already been asked beforebut I did a search here and had no luck finding anything. So I decided to just create an account and ask it myself.

    Now I am well aware that the odds of these two countries declaring war on each other was very slim without having won their own wars but still humor me and try to just look at it hypothetically. Now from I know the German army was probably streets ahead of the Japanese one and vice versa with the navy. From what I have heard the German Air Force had the upper hand on the Japanese one. And most importantly the Germans had a better economy during the war if I'm not mistaken. But that's pretty much the limit to my logic on the matter so that's why I'm asking it here.

    Who have really won a war between the two if they had fought each other from the beginning when you consider all things like military, economy, geography etc. How about during their peak, after they had conquered all the land and before they slowly started to lose them. Which side was really the more powerful one?
     
  2. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,483
    Likes Received:
    108
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    auto body repair
    Location:
    pound va
    With about 7000 miles between them, where and how could they fight ??
    Neither country seemed interested in the part of the world occupied by the other, and neither had the ability to project their power that far, even if they did have a reason to do it.
    Germany might have the most powerful ground forces, but no way to transport them to Asia. Japan might have a powerful Navy, but getting Japanese troops to Europe would require co-operation with the IJA. IJA and IJN had by far the worse of any WW2 combatants interservice rivalries.
     
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    I agree.

    However if we move Japan to Poland there's little doubt Germany would win. Both sides had well trained armed forces but Germany had a far better economy for producing weapons.
     
  4. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,768
    Likes Received:
    684
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    #4 DerAdlerIstGelandet, Dec 10, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
    And that has to be answered first.

    German Army in my opinion would be better. The Luftwaffe would have the upper hand as well. The Japanese Navy obviously would have the upper hand. Plus they have Aircraft Carriers, the Germans had none that were operational. The Germans would not have the Navy to take the fight to Japanese waters nor the the landing craft to to launch an amphibious assault.

    Either way, I don't really see much to discuss in the scenario, since what you said in your post makes it not possible, unless one of them comes up with a Star Trek Transporter Device and can transport there troops and supplies. ;)

    Neither would be able to sustain an invasion either over 7000 miles.
     
  5. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,175
    Likes Received:
    227
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Virginia, US of A
    So...let's imagine Germany overcomes the USSR. That would put German forces potentially on the border with China and precisely where Japanese and Soviet forces fought in 1940. Equally, if Japan proved able to take India and Germany took Iraq, it's not hard to see the 2 countries clashing along that geographic fault-line. A stretch of reality, to be sure...but no further than many of the "what-if" questions we discuss on this forum.
     
  6. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,676
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW
    The only scenario I could even conceive this happening would be if the Soviets were defeated, Japan defeats or does not go to war against the west, and China is subdued. That then pits whatever forces the Germans could project across Siberia and what progress the Japanese could make in tank development. It would also revolve around the question of how fragged the germans and Japanese were after their fights with the Soviets the west and the Chinese. Difficult or impossible to predict....though the greatly superior German economic base has to be considered.
     
  7. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,175
    Likes Received:
    227
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Virginia, US of A
    Beat you to it, Parsifal...but I think you and I are on the same page.
     
  8. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,676
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW
    yep, but i forgot the middle east alternative....rommel meets yamashita in the mountains of persia. Both overstretched, who wins i wonder
     
  9. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,175
    Likes Received:
    227
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Virginia, US of A
    Who wins? Probably the mountains of Persia...and/or the Afghans!
     
  10. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,287
    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Plymouth, England
    Ain't that the truth Buff.
     
  11. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,483
    Likes Received:
    108
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    auto body repair
    Location:
    pound va
    I don't see the Japanese able to carry on a war anywhere without oil.

    Either Japan abandons it's China conquests and begins to again receive oil from America . That's a unlikely possibility.

    Or it goes ahead with it's conquest of the Dutch East Indies to get oil , which will mean they'd have to secure the supply route from there, meaning the Phillippines, New Guinea, etc. That would result in a war with the USA, and probably the British too. So that would hardly leave them free to take on Germany either.
     
  12. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,175
    Likes Received:
    227
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Virginia, US of A
    I do wonder if America would have entered the war in December 1941 if Japan had simply gone after the NEI. Britain probably would have sided with the Dutch but the overall outcome, given forces available in Malaya at that time, wouldn't change. If America didn't enter the war, Japan would have access to oil and a much reduced risk of interdiction across the Pacific. Under these conditions, Japan could well have focused on China and, ultimately, gone toe-to-toe with Germany along the border with Siberia. Lots and lots of stretches to get there...but it's a what-if so what the heck!
     
  13. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,923
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Tired and Retired
    Location:
    Northeast North Carolina
    #13 oldcrowcv63, Dec 11, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
    Considering the apparently widespread antiwar feeling in the USA in late 1941, I think it unlikely that the USA would have gone to war in the PTO without a direct attack by Japan. if IJ made an NEI grab prior to late Spring 1942, the US might very well have deferred any aggressive response until after the PI (FEAF, ground and USN) forces build-up had been completed. Even then I suspect there would have been a high political domestic price paid for dragging the US into a war.

    I suspect the suspicions of FDR acting to arrange a casus belli would have a stronger basis in historical events, although I also thing the US focus would have been on Europe, and not on retrieving european colonial outposts. The US was already providing so much support for the North Atlantic lifeline that it would only have been a matter of time before there was an incident in which significant numbers of US lives were lost or Hitler declared war. Events suggest he was pretty much there in December 1941.
     
  14. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,175
    Likes Received:
    227
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Virginia, US of A
    My thinking aligns with yours Oldcrow. Of course attacking NEI without hitting America would have left Japan's lines of commerce open to raiding from the Philippines but it would likely take some time before America decided that war was the only option available. In contrast, both Germany and Japan consistently escalated their conflicts even when paths towards peace were available. That ingrained belief that more fighting was better would, inevitably, have put the two primary Axis powers on a collision course and, had their forces met at some distant point on the globe, I have no doubt that war between them would have resulted. Maybe not a major war, particularly over Siberia, but a conflagration nonetheless.
     
  15. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    I agree.

    FDR could not get Congress to officially declare war. So he would begin an undeclared war against Japan similiar to his undeclared war against Germany during 1941. Eventually one of those nations would strike back and then FDR would get his Congressional declaration of war.
     
  16. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,676
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW
    I thought there were guranteres given by the US and britian that said they would assist the Dutch in the event they were attacked. I think it was the ABD (American - British- Dutch) treaty, which was signed after the fall of Holland.

    The US was already pursuing a policy of containment in the Far East. Japanese aggression into French IndoChina led to the embargo and freezing of Japanese assets. Japanese inroads in Thailand was ruffling US State Department feathers. But overt aggression into the NEI was an act that would have violated treaty arrangements, and almost certainly have led to war.
     
  17. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,923
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Tired and Retired
    Location:
    Northeast North Carolina
    I wonder if a 'lend lease' type buildup of indigenous forces in Australia wouldn't have been the fuse for this eventual eruption. With IJ aggression against commonwealth forces in Southeast asia, the lines of US communication with Oz would have been threatened. While one might argue that US presence in the PI was independent of the OZ transit point, I have to wonder if a threat to the Southern continent wouldn't have been seen as a threat to the defensibility of the PI. Before the PI fell, Big Mac evidently made the connection, so it might have followed even without a PH and PI attack. As you say history shows how FDR was willing to wage undeclared war against axis belligerents. Sooner or later I suspect this activity would bring the US into conflict with one or the other.
     
  18. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,175
    Likes Received:
    227
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Virginia, US of A
    Parsifal,
    It's my understanding that, although there were ABDA agreements, there were no binding treaties that would automatically pull in the other powers. Churchill tried desperately to persuade Roosevelt that a Japanese attack against British colonies in the Far East should be cassus belli for America to enter the war on the side of the Allies. Roosevelt avoided such entanglements - he could not justify bringing America into the war just to preserve the empires of the European powers. If Roosevelt wouldn't go to war for the Brits then I don't see him saying, "Ah, but the Dutch...yes, we must preserve their colonial holdings!" I could be wrong (I prove it almost daily on this forum) but I believe ABDA was more a framework for coordinating activities in the Far East/Pacific theatre rather than a signed treaty.

    I don't doubt that war would have erupted at some point between the Axis powers and America...it was just a matter of time (although I think Roosevelt would have preferred more time to prepare than the events of 7 Dec 41 allowed). However, getting back to the subject of this thread, there was ample time for German and Japanese forces to meet on the Chinese/Siberian border in early 1942 if Germany had rolled up the USSR rapidly in 1941 - let's say instead of turning south they continued on and took Moscow, destroying the bulk of the Soviet Army in the process.

    Would the German and Japanese forces fight? It's entirely possible. As mentioned before, the leaders of both nations consistently elected to escalate conflict rather than consolidate gains. I really don't see the Nazis, with their belief in the superiority of the German people, accepting the Japanese as equal partners on the world's stage. The only downside is that Siberia isn't much of a place to be fighting over and, to be frank, it wasn't high on either nation's "must have" list for their giant game of Risk. So maybe the Middle East option is a more likely fit, with oil being the main causal factor for conflict between Germany and Japan.
     
  19. Mobius

    Mobius Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    8
    In a land war the Germans would win. In a sea war Japan. The decider would be the side that didn't have Hitler at its helm.
     
  20. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,287
    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Plymouth, England
    Interesting points being raised in this thread.

    1) Would have the USA gone to war in the Pacific had not the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour? I'm not convinced that that would have been the case. Maybe in time a conflict would have occurred depending on Japanese aggression and how threaten Americans felt. If the British and Commonwealth could not defend Burma then it was the Jap's. Maybe the USA would stood aside if Australia was invaded too.
    2) The cultural links with the USA and Europe (inc GB) were stronger in the 1930's / 1940's than today. My contention is that the USA was more likely to spring to the Allied cause in Europe, as they did in WW1, than embark on a war against Japan.
    3) If you assume that the Nazi's had dominated Europe North Africa and defeated the allies and the Japanese were victorious in Asia then what set of circumstances would bring these two very different regimes into direct conflict? My thoughts are that the two would hold each other in mutual contempt and co exist for the 1000 years that the Third Reich was supposed to last. America would have gone into isolation mode and not been directly affected by these events.
    4) Hitler's 'inner conviction' may have led him to continue to increase the German empire and acquired Africa maybe, even South America in which case he would be unassailable.The Japanese and German society and hierarchy demanded military success and continued conquering until all that was left was the German and Japanese empires.
    A flight of fantasy I know but, the 'sliding doors' principle could have applied....


    Cheers
    John
     
Loading...

Share This Page