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Mantanikau River

Mantanikau Guadalcanal

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The_Chieftain #1 Posted Oct 24 2012 - 12:39

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It's not intentional, but this does seem to be Ken Estes month on the Hatch. The keyboard again gets handed over for his description of the tank fight at the Mantanikau River.

Japanese Tanks against the Guadalcanal Perimeter: Action on the Matanikau River (23 October 1942)

The 1st Marine Division had sailed from North Carolina to New Zealand, less the 7th Marines, already tapped for the Samoa Defense Forces. The division began to unload at Wellington from transports in July, 1942 and made an administrative camp at Petone Beach, NZ. Maj. Gen. A. Archer Vandergrift, the 1st Marine Division commander, anticipated a training period of several months to bring the division into fighting trim, after which it and the 2d Marine Division of the new I Marine Amphibious Corps would likely see action in the various Allied offensives projected for 1943. Now, however, a limited offensive was already in the planning stage as the division crossed the Pacific in various convoys. The alarming spread of Japanese detachments south and east of Rabaul threatened the vital sea lanes supporting Australia and the bases from which the Southwest Pacific Command wished to launch its campaign to recover the Philippines. Pacific Fleet forces would land units of the 1st Marine Division in the Guadalcanal-Tulagi area to take the nearest Japanese advance air and seaplane bases and block any further advance. The islands thus seized would later serve as jumping-off bases for the planned reduction of Japanese positions at Rabaul and the northern coast of New Guinea.

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Allied Lines of Communication, Southwest Pacific 1942



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Kankou #2 Posted Oct 24 2012 - 12:46

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Interesting. I always found Guadalcanal to be interesting both in how the logistics were daunting for both sides and the application of tanks in the Pacific. Also, it showed how inadequate Japanese tank designs of the time (Chi-Ha and Ha-Go in this case) were, thus contributing to the development of the latter tanks that never saw battle.


Hoping for some Japanese tanks in the near future. Until then.....

*Gets cracking on data*

Yankee #3 Posted Oct 24 2012 - 13:00

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Looks to me like the Japanese 1st Independent Tank Company was a bunch of noobs.

Joisey #4 Posted Oct 24 2012 - 19:53

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Ha Go will be a pathetic Tier II, maybe you can make it the Tier I entry.  Historical Jap tanks will litter the Tier II and III levels with crappy lights.  I'm aware of two Jap meds that might qualify for tier IV or V.  Of course, I know WOT is not above raiding archives of design studies to fill in gaps.  Maybe for Tier IX and X you can give us those tanks from the Godzilla movies, LOL!  The Japanese tank line is going to end up as largely a work of fiction anyway.

Razven #5 Posted Oct 24 2012 - 20:00

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How well did the M3s and the 75mm gun they mounted perform throughout the war?

In WoT related aspects, is the 75mm in anyway similar or different to the 75mm we find on US Lee and Sherman tanks?

redplauge #6 Posted Oct 25 2012 - 00:11

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this is of more than passing interest to me.
my grandfather was an officer with the pbi there.

Cl4nkCl4nk #7 Posted Oct 25 2012 - 01:15

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I'm loving these snippets of history, especially the ones on battles that are otherwise relegated to footnotes or forgotten entirely.

Thank you for a great job, keep it up  :Smile_Default:

Kankou #8 Posted Oct 25 2012 - 01:57

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View PostYankee, on Oct 24 2012 - 13:00, said:

Looks to me like the Japanese 1st Independent Tank Company was a bunch of noobs.
Well, if you think about, the Japanese acted like noobs because:

1) They were rushing things. They had over 11,000 USMCs on an island group that they had thought secure and thus lightly defended, and thus had to get the enemy evicted ASAP. Combined this with an infantry-centered doctrine focusing on mind over matter, and you're bound to rush into trouble.
2) Japan had fallen behind on tank development because of the Sino-Japanese War (no real need for tanks against the Chinese or the terrain), the lack of industrial capacity (too busy getting other stuff built, and initial capacity was small anyway), and doctrine (infantry-centered, spiritual mobilization).
3) The Japanese thought the Americans were the noobs, and thus believed a rush will get the Americans to panic and retreat. The ideology of the Anglo-Americans being hedonistic liberals who would crack under pressure made the Japanese do tactics they wouldn't have done otherwise.


View PostJoisey, on Oct 24 2012 - 19:53, said:

Ha Go will be a pathetic Tier II, maybe you can make it the Tier I entry.  Historical Jap tanks will litter the Tier II and III levels with crappy lights.  I'm aware of two Jap meds that might qualify for tier IV or V.  Of course, I know WOT is not above raiding archives of design studies to fill in gaps.  Maybe for Tier IX and X you can give us those tanks from the Godzilla movies, LOL!  The Japanese tank line is going to end up as largely a work of fiction anyway.
You obviously don't know Japanese tanks.

thandiflight #9 Posted Oct 25 2012 - 05:38

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View PostKankou, on Oct 25 2012 - 01:57, said:

Well, if you think about, the Japanese acted like noobs because:

1) They were rushing things. They had over 11,000 USMCs on an island group that they had thought secure and thus lightly defended, and thus had to get the enemy evicted ASAP. Combined this with an infantry-centered doctrine focusing on mind over matter, and you're bound to rush into trouble.
2) Japan had fallen behind on tank development because of the Sino-Japanese War (no real need for tanks against the Chinese or the terrain), the lack of industrial capacity (too busy getting other stuff built, and initial capacity was small anyway), and doctrine (infantry-centered, spiritual mobilization).
3) The Japanese thought the Americans were the noobs, and thus believed a rush will get the Americans to panic and retreat. The ideology of the Anglo-Americans being hedonistic liberals who would crack under pressure made the Japanese do tactics they wouldn't have done otherwise.

You obviously don't know Japanese tanks.

The Japanese encountered Soviet tanks at Khalkin Gol in 1939 - more than 3 years before they encountered any American tanks. At this stage they discovered the inadequacy of their tanks even compared to the Soviet tanks of the time. Clearly they weren't that good on picking up on the lessons. Nor did they learn anything about flanking maneuvres on the battle field. Frontal assault remained the stipend until tactics became defensive.

Kankou #10 Posted Oct 25 2012 - 06:58

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View Postthandiflight, on Oct 25 2012 - 05:38, said:

The Japanese encountered Soviet tanks at Khalkin Gol in 1939 - more than 3 years before they encountered any American tanks. At this stage they discovered the inadequacy of their tanks even compared to the Soviet tanks of the time. Clearly they weren't that good on picking up on the lessons. Nor did they learn anything about flanking maneuvres on the battle field. Frontal assault remained the stipend until tactics became defensive.
They DID pick up the lessons, and there were plans to get more artillery, tanks, TDs, etc. However, due to Point 2, they never got around to building what was necessary, and that fed into the idea of spiritual over material. Japan was not simply being blind to changes, but was stuck in a dilemma because the initial inability to produce the necessary weapons for a modernized force. There's also the issue on army size (conflict between square and triangle divisions, reserves, etc), but those are secondary to the main issue of basic industrial capacity.

thandiflight #11 Posted Oct 25 2012 - 07:31

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View PostKankou, on Oct 25 2012 - 06:58, said:

They DID pick up the lessons, and there were plans to get more artillery, tanks, TDs, etc. However, due to Point 2, they never got around to building what was necessary, and that fed into the idea of spiritual over material. Japan was not simply being blind to changes, but was stuck in a dilemma because the initial inability to produce the necessary weapons for a modernized force. There's also the issue on army size (conflict between square and triangle divisions, reserves, etc), but those are secondary to the main issue of basic industrial capacity.

Then how do you explain "Yamato" and "Musashi"? I don't buy the argument. Japan was more than capable of producing these things. The problem was dogma and doctrine.

Kankou #12 Posted Oct 25 2012 - 07:44

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View Postthandiflight, on Oct 25 2012 - 07:31, said:

Then how do you explain "Yamato" and "Musashi"? I don't buy the argument. Japan was more than capable of producing these things. The problem was dogma and doctrine.
What do you think Japan could have produced if it didn't spend all that time, money, labor, materials on the two battleships? There's your answer.

HowlmistPanzer #13 Posted Oct 25 2012 - 08:15

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Awesome like always ...Chieftain, can u write someting abt the Battle of Assal Uttar , Indo Pak war of 1965 ? :)

thandiflight #14 Posted Oct 25 2012 - 09:06

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View PostKankou, on Oct 25 2012 - 07:44, said:

What do you think Japan could have produced if it didn't spend all that time, money, labor, materials on the two battleships? There's your answer.

Ah, so now the argument is that the IJN deprived the IJA of resources? The IJN was well-equipped with modern ships and demonstrated an ability to observe and implement strategies as well as develop and adapt its own. The Army held most of the political clout and yet was wedded to a formal doctrine that did not adapt well. It didn't have because it didn't ask for. It didn't ask for because it believed in its own "rightness" and hence believed it didn't need. When a need became apparent, the response was slow. That is an institutional problem, not a material problem.

Kankou #15 Posted Oct 25 2012 - 09:36

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Not sure at this point if you're just set in your mold. The IJA never had the budget it wanted because what it required easily outstripped what Japan as a whole was capable of, even if the navy was completely derived of resources. It had to reduce its army to modernize during the Ugaki era, and with the constant buildup of forces on the continent to deal with China, there was no room for Japan to be able to get the necessary resources to build up the kind of firepower that European armies had. The resource problems led to the institutional problem, by the virtue of forcing the importance of spiritual as compared to the material. That in turn started the vicious cycle of stagnation.

You're basically ignoring why the institution was formed in the first place.

thandiflight #16 Posted Oct 25 2012 - 10:50

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View PostKankou, on Oct 25 2012 - 09:36, said:

Not sure at this point if you're just set in your mold. The IJA never had the budget it wanted because what it required easily outstripped what Japan as a whole was capable of, even if the navy was completely derived of resources. It had to reduce its army to modernize during the Ugaki era, and with the constant buildup of forces on the continent to deal with China, there was no room for Japan to be able to get the necessary resources to build up the kind of firepower that European armies had. The resource problems led to the institutional problem, by the virtue of forcing the importance of spiritual as compared to the material. That in turn started the vicious cycle of stagnation.

You're basically ignoring why the institution was formed in the first place.

IJA tactical doctrine did not change from China to the end of the War although the posture changed. It went from offense to defense. Armour did not fit with the tactical doctrine.

You cannot blame stretching your resources beyond what they are capable of as the source of the problem, you have to look at the ambition that exceeded capability. This meant that the resources were over-stretched. Every Country has to achieve a balance between what it would like and what it can afford.

At no point did Japan have an established "armoured warfare doctrine". No doctrine = no appropriate equipment (whether or not they could be afforded). So you cannot lay the blame for a lack of an armoured warfare doctrine at the feet of the IJN. IJA did not have a doctrine. The only thing they responded to was that their tanks were clearly incapable of fulfilling the limited "infantry support role" that they had and hence they did some development to address those short-comings. Whether these new vehicles would even have been adequate for the roll is conjecture as they were never really fully tested against an opponent. Your argument appears to be that they did not develop an armoured doctrine because they could not afford one. A doctrine costs very little, its the equipment that costs money. No doctrine = no need for equipment. IJA never saw the tank as anything more than armoured cavalry and infantry support - essentially a WW1 approach. Others moved on, IJA never did.

Kankou #17 Posted Oct 25 2012 - 11:24

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Doctrines were formulated, particularly during the Ugaki consolidation and after Nomonhan. In fact, the recommendations made by a special committee studying the Nomonhan Incident came up with a comprehensive plan featuring what kind of weapons (artillery, tanks, TDs) and division formations (such as how many tanks per battalion, etc) were needed to be able to defeat the Soviet Army. The doctrine was there, and if there were the weapons, most likely the Kantogun would have been trained in the new tactics.

Basically, the doctrine existed, something most people outside a few serious researchers take into consideration when looking at the development of the IJA throughout the 1930's and 1940's. However, reality contributed to the continuous use of infantry-centered tactics, and this led to the false belief that the IJA had no developments at all. It had the developments, but industry could not catch up at any point.

stevezaxx #18 Posted Oct 25 2012 - 15:01

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So.... Japan never had tanks because Japan never had tanks, right?

Crunchy_Buster #19 Posted Oct 25 2012 - 17:47

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The fact that a committee studied an incident and developed a comprehensive plan does not mean the IJA had a new tank doctrine.  The doctrine comes about when those in charge adopt the recommendations contained in the committee report and declare it to be the new paradigm with which the army will now operate.

Thant never happened, for whatever the reason, and hence, the IJA was infantry-centric and their tanks sucked during WW2.

Yankee #20 Posted Oct 25 2012 - 18:01

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Well, you can't over motivate a tank by telling it a demigod asked it to do something, or that it will have to self destruct if it preforms poorly.





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