The early Phillipine ground campaign Redux, could armor have played a bigger role?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by oldcrowcv63, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    Mac received about 100 new M3 tanks and about 50 new tank-destroyer half-tracks equipped with 75 mm artllery pieces (albeit without their crews) months prior to the start of hostilties on December 8, 1941. AP rounds were apparently absent or in short supply, but not HE. Were Mac armored assets effectively employed? It appears they had little influence on the course of the campaign. Could they have had a greater impact on the outcome if employed differently?
     
  2. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps, given the Japanese relative lack of armor the absence of AP ammo isn't quite as important as it might be. But a few months isn't enough to train armor crews let alone figure out how to use them in the Jungle.
     
  3. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    I expect the antiquated USA armor doctrine didn't help. The tank crews were nominally trained, at least as much as was any army unit from that period. They were in the PI for at least of couple of months. There was one armor to armor confrontation that occurred between a tank platoon of the 192nd tank Battalion and type 95 light tanks of the IJA. The USA got a bloody nose. losing one tank outright and damage to the other 4. Do you (or anyone?) know of any records describing how Mac's armor was employed, if at all, prior to the withdrawal to Bataan?
     
  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    IMO with the exception of coast defense batteries none of the USAFFE assets were effectively employed.

    Big Mac had everything necessary to win except military competence.
     
  5. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #5 oldcrowcv63, Jul 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
    Aside from the artillery on Corregidor and the other fortified islands, what coast defense assets did Mac have in the PI?

    Mac apparently had an (admittedly somewhat understrength) regiment of about 1,500-2,000 marines in the PI in 1941: The 4rth regiment of the 3rd. Marine Division. Where did they spend the campaign? Guarding Mac and company on Corregidor. Of course they bled excessively resisting the final IJA landing on the rock. At the start of the campaign, the main IJA attack was launched with 90 Type 95 tanks, less than the approximately 150 M3 Stuarts and mobile antitank artillery half tracks MAC had available. Add this to the fighter direction cluster f*&k over air defense of Manilla (near where Mac was evidently located) and I get the impression, survival was the brass' primary objective on December 8-10, 1941.
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Big Mac had a bunch of 155mm GPF guns which were supposed to be installed on coast defense mounts in places like Davao. However he disregarded plans and hoarded these weapons for use on Luzon. Just as he stripped the central and southern Philippines of the best infantry regiments for use on Luzon. The end result was more men on Bataan then he could use (or feed) and Japan seized the strategic seaport of Davao with a single infantry regiment after a battle lasting only a couple hours.
     
  7. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    USAFFE as of 8 December 1941. LTG MacArthur commanding.
    …..A bunch of very strong fortifications.
    …..11 x infantry divisions.
    …..A cavalry regiment.
    …..A marine regiment.
    …..2 x light armored battalions.
    ….. 6 years to train the army (Big Mac arrived in Philippines at end of 1935)
    …..Modern infantry weapons.
    …..Artillery as good as their Japanese opponents.
    …..More and better tanks then their Japanese opponents.

    With this force Big Mac was able to defend Luzon for less then 1 month (Bataan excepted). Within 5 months USAFFE was completely destroyed by an invading enemy force half their size.



    Ost Afrika as of 4 August 1914. LTC Lettow-Vorbeck commanding.
    …..No fortifications of any kind. No artillery worthy of the name either. Consequently enemy naval forces could and did steam right into harbors in places like Dar es Salaam and Tanga.
    …..2,742 soldiers (260 German cadre plus 2,472 native askaris) in all.
    …..14 infantry companies.
    …..About one third had modern weapons.
    …..The rest had black powder rifles dating to the 1870s.
    …..The entire force was short on ammunition.
    …..4 months to train the force. (LTC Lettow-Vorbeck assumed command 13 Apr 1914).
    …..It would be reasonable to say LTC Lettow-Vorbeck was disadvantaged in every way except military competence.

    With this tiny force LTC Vorbeck defeated all invasion attempts for 18 months.
    …..Tanga (2nd most important port) held out until 7 July 1916.
    …..Dar es Salaam (capital and most important port) held out until 4 Sep 1916.
    …..After Ost Afrika was over run LTC Vorbeck conducted a significant guerilla warfare campaign for another two years. Schultztruppen invaded (British) Northern Rhodesia during November 1918. LTC Lettow-Vorbeck fought (and won) a final battle at Kasama on 12 November 1918. He did not surrender until ordered to do so 25 November 1918.

    Give LTC Lettow-Vorbeck 11 infantry divisions and 6 years to train his army. I’d hazard a guess Germany would control all of Africa a few months after WWI started.
     
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