The Philippines: Evacuate and start of war - bypass at end of war?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by gjs238, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    #1 gjs238, Mar 18, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014
    Would a better US strategy have been to evacuate/retreat from the Philippines...
    Then later bypass it later at the end of the war?
     
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    In 1941, it would have been political suicide for FDR and the JCS to retreat without a fight. And by te time it was obvious they were getting their ass's kicked, it was too late.

    In 1944, the same political reasons ensured that FDR supported MacArthurs goal of returning to the PI. Plus it became obvious in 1945, that the PI was needed as a staging base for the projected invasion of Japan.
     
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  3. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    Prior to the war, the PI were seen as a strategic threat to Japan. By early 1942 that had changed - PI was an undefensible resource-sink. However, by that time the US was honour-bound to go back and liberate them.
     
  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Without USAFFE (created 26 July 1941) there is unlikely to be a Japanese attack unless USA places heavy bombers and submarines elsewhere in western Pacific such as Guam.
     
  5. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    Didn't MacArthur have Presidential aspirations?
     
  6. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    No, I think he had more "god" aspirations.
     
  7. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    They weren't aspirations in MacArthur's mind! That was reality...to him!!
     
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  8. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Big Mac arranged to be nominated for Republican Party candidate. After losing the primary by a wide margin he downplayed the event, suggesting he never intended to run for President. The nomination was simply a spontaneous act by one of his many Republican Party fans.

    Anyone believe Big Mac's version of events? :)
     
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  9. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    I never believed any of Big Mac's version(s) of any events!
     
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  10. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Defence of the PI prior to PH was never negotiable. It was always part of the Orange strategy to hold on to the PI, whilst the Pacific fleet fought its way across the pacific in time for the decisive battle. somewhere north of the PI.

    Informal studies as early as 1906 covered a number of possibilities. None of the plans envisaged more than a holding action in the PI, for up to 6 months, and as originally proposed, the plan called for a quick retreat to fortified localities most notably Bataan abd Corregidor. In 1941, Mac deluded himself into believing the filipino army could withstand the rigours of a battle of movement and decided to adopt beachfront defences. At about the same time, the Americans further deluded themselves into beliving that the stationing of B-17s in the PI would be a sufficient deterrant to restrain the Japanese. none of thse added fripperies to the basic plan actually worked. The Japanese were not deterre by the 35 Heavy Bombers, quickly moving to destroy the USAAF in the island, and the untrained filip[in troops quickly fell apart in the face of the thoroughly trained and motivated IJA. The attack into PH was designed to primarily prevent the well known intention of the Pacific Fleet to advance acoss the pacific, so within days of the outbreak of hostilities, all of the US plans were at their feet in ruins, except the original one dating back to 1924. These wwere, retreat to the redoubts and hold out until help arrives. The US and their filipmo allies did this, and held for the 6 months as originally called for, but the relieve effort, albeit in a highly modified form, did not eventuate until 2.5 years later.

    As an aside, the Japanese decision to attack preemptively was probably a mistake. Their submarine arm was specifically designed to attrition the slow US battlewagons as they advanaced across the Pacific, and Yammamotos carriers could have remained in Truk, to venture out and sink the Pacific fllet at sea, rather than in port, where it could be salvaged.

    If the War Plan Orange had been abandoned, as some in the USN advocated in the late 30's, Japan would still have attacked, and then the decisive battle would have been fought somewhere else, like Fiji, or Hawaii. So it was really a necessary sacrifice in my opinion.

    The return to the PI was really unjustified, however, and merely pandying to Macs bruised pride. It made far more sense to occupy formosa in the lead up to Olympic (the invasion of Japan).

    The plan was formally adopted by the Joint Army and Navy Board beginning in 1924.Predating the Rainbow plans, which presumed the assistance of allies, Orange was predicated on the U.S. fighting Japan alone.

    As originally conceived, it anticipated a withholding of supplies from the Philippines and other US outposts in the Western Pacific (they were expected to hold out on their own), while the Pacific Fleet marshaled its strength at bases in California, and guarded against attacks on the Panama Canal (no thought was given to Pearl however) . After mobilization (the ships maintained only half of their crews in peacetime), the Fleet would sail to the Western Pacific to relieve American forces in Guam and the Philippines. Afterwards, the fleet would sail North for a decisive battle against the Imperial Japanese Navy's Combined Fleet, and then blockade the Japanese home islands. This was in keeping with the theory of Alfred Thayer Mahan, a doctrine to which every major navy subscribed before World War II, in which wars would be decided by engagements between opposing surface fleets (as they had been for over 300 years).

    Rodgers' concept was closer to the one ultimately used in the Pacific War: a "leapfrog" campaign to conquer the Marshalls and Carolines (held by Japan before the war); liberation of the Philippines; and blockade.

    American war planners failed to appreciate that technological advances in submarines and naval aviation had made Mahan's doctrine obsolete. In particular, they did not understand that aircraft could effectively sink battleships, nor that Japan might put the US battleship force (the Battle Line) out of action at a strokeā€”as in fact happened during Pearl Harbor.

    American plans changed after this attack, admittedly, but US planning can also be said to have remained remarkably 9and uninspiringly) similar to the original plan orange thinking. However, the US modified the timetabling of thjeir attacks for a more methodical approach., concentrating on a measured advance based on gained territiry. Even after major Japanese defeats like Midway, the US favored a cautious "island-hopping" advance, never going far beyond land-based air cover. Meanwhile, blockade was imposed from the very beginning of the war, with the first American submarine, Joe Grenfell's Gudgeon, arriving off Japan on about 31 December.

    A number of requirements grew out of Orange, including the specification for a fleet submarine with high speed, long range, and heavy torpedo armament. These coalesced in the submarine Dolphin in 1932 (only to be rejected and returned to with the Gato class in around August 1941). The demand for submarines of this size also drove the development of the notorious Mark XIV torpedo (and its equally notorious Mark VI exploder), under the guidance of Commander Ralph W. Christie. The Navy also spent "several hundred thousand dollars" to develop powerful, compact diesel engines, among them the troublesome Hooven-Owens-Rentschler , which apparently proved useful for railroads.
     
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