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Post WW2 with no German wonder weapons

Orionblamblam

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I've tried to return this thread to some form of sanity.
Good luck, we're all counting on you.

My feeling is that the changes might have prolonged the war a bit, but not altered anything materially.
Seems to me that most of the wackier wunderwaffen came at the end of the war. Other than the atomic and rocket programs, most seem to have been half assed last ditch nuttiness.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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There's no way they could ever match the USA, UK (Commonwealth) and Russia even if they'd put all the effort into producing more conventional weaponry.
 
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zen

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The core of this is that any truly competent German government is not going to start WWII.....and not against the western allies.
It takes the Nazi regime to deliberately skew the German state and economy towards this outcome.
 

Orionblamblam

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With the exception of the Berlin crater:confused:
I am of course world known for being loath to being argumentative, but I have to fire up Pedantry Mode here. As with the bombs dropped on Japan, nukes dropped on Germany would be air bursts:
1) Setting off a multi-kiloton nuke a thousand or two feet up maximizes the area of destruction. the bomb "sees" more territory that it can set fire to and smash with a shock wave. Setting it off on or under the ground does vastly more damage in the immediate vicinity, but you can really only bounce the rubble just so high before it seems to become perhaps a bit unnecessary.
2) Laydown weapons that used chutes to slow descent enough so that the bombs could survive impact with the surface were years off. The first such were, I believe, introduced int he early 1960's. Actual penetrator nukes were further off still.

And being air bursts... no craters.

I have some vague and possibly apocryphal recollection that one of the hare-brained plans on how the US could use nukes on Japan if the Japanese didn't surrender involved setting them off on Mt. Fuji in order to wake up the volcano. That would involve *landing* on the mountain with a team of engineers who would have to dig the bomb in some distance, a process that the local Japanese might be expected to oppose somewhat.

Now back to your regularly scheduled, controversy-free discussion.
 

Justo Miranda

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With the exception of the Berlin crater:confused:
I am of course world known for being loath to being argumentative, but I have to fire up Pedantry Mode here. As with the bombs dropped on Japan, nukes dropped on Germany would be air bursts:
1) Setting off a multi-kiloton nuke a thousand or two feet up maximizes the area of destruction. the bomb "sees" more territory that it can set fire to and smash with a shock wave. Setting it off on or under the ground does vastly more damage in the immediate vicinity, but you can really only bounce the rubble just so high before it seems to become perhaps a bit unnecessary.
2) Laydown weapons that used chutes to slow descent enough so that the bombs could survive impact with the surface were years off. The first such were, I believe, introduced int he early 1960's. Actual penetrator nukes were further off still.

And being air bursts... no craters.

I have some vague and possibly apocryphal recollection that one of the hare-brained plans on how the US could use nukes on Japan if the Japanese didn't surrender involved setting them off on Mt. Fuji in order to wake up the volcano. That would involve *landing* on the mountain with a team of engineers who would have to dig the bomb in some distance, a process that the local Japanese might be expected to oppose somewhat.

Now back to your regularly scheduled, controversy-free discussion.
O.K. Berlin Planitia:confused:
 

Orionblamblam

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O.K. Berlin Planitia:confused:
I'm at best vague on the topology and geology of Berlin... but isn't it *really* flat and basically swampland? A nuke going of in Berlin'46 would spread the damage far and wide, but not deep. I suppose it'd be mostly reheating the ashes by that point, unless - somehow - Berlin had been spared firebombing in that timeline, as Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been. Were Berlin nuked and my understanding of the place is more or less correct... it would probably turn into a *really* verdant garden really fast. Flowers popped up overnight in Hiroshima, IIRC.

If the main difference in the timelines is the Germans spent less on the V-2 and more on FW-190's, the outcome might be some slight extension of the war. If they held on long enough to catch a nuke, I'm not sure that Berlin would be an effective target since it was already pretty well bombed, but doubtless some site could be found. So *that* might be one of the biggest post-war differences wrought by a lack of wunderwaffe... the atom bomb going off over some German military sites rather than Japanese. This would *probably* give the destruction more publicity as what happened to Europeans seemed to get more press than what happened to Asians.

Lack of wunderwaffen *might* have led to one of those utopian visions of a-bombs being banned, or handed over to some alternate version of the United Nations, or the Soviets getting the bomb faster/slower or the anti-nuclear movement coming on stronger. Conversely, nuking the bejeebers out of the people who brought about the Holocaust might actually make a-bombs look *better.*

Extra conversely: if the war lasted long enough that nuking Germany was an option, the argument about using the A-bomb on cities might have gone differently. Since, this being the 40's, American military leaders might have been slightly less sanguine about wiping out Europeans than Japanese. And if that had happened, and the war ended without nukes being used, or used in some non-city-destroying demonstration... World War III might well have occured by the end of the 50's. What seemed to change after WWII was that the world saw just how horrific an atomic attack was and that spooked the various leaders just enough to keep world wars at bay. Without the examples of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, though, some idiot might have concluded that an atomic war wouldn't be so bad.
 

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O.K. Berlin Planitia:confused:
I'm at best vague on the topology and geology of Berlin... but isn't it *really* flat and basically swampland? A nuke going of in Berlin'46 would spread the damage far and wide, but not deep. I suppose it'd be mostly reheating the ashes by that point, unless - somehow - Berlin had been spared firebombing in that timeline, as Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been. Were Berlin nuked and my understanding of the place is more or less correct... it would probably turn into a *really* verdant garden really fast. Flowers popped up overnight in Hiroshima, IIRC.

If the main difference in the timelines is the Germans spent less on the V-2 and more on FW-190's, the outcome might be some slight extension of the war. If they held on long enough to catch a nuke, I'm not sure that Berlin would be an effective target since it was already pretty well bombed, but doubtless some site could be found. So *that* might be one of the biggest post-war differences wrought by a lack of wunderwaffe... the atom bomb going off over some German military sites rather than Japanese. This would *probably* give the destruction more publicity as what happened to Europeans seemed to get more press than what happened to Asians.

Lack of wunderwaffen *might* have led to one of those utopian visions of a-bombs being banned, or handed over to some alternate version of the United Nations, or the Soviets getting the bomb faster/slower or the anti-nuclear movement coming on stronger. Conversely, nuking the bejeebers out of the people who brought about the Holocaust might actually make a-bombs look *better.*

Extra conversely: if the war lasted long enough that nuking Germany was an option, the argument about using the A-bomb on cities might have gone differently. Since, this being the 40's, American military leaders might have been slightly less sanguine about wiping out Europeans than Japanese. And if that had happened, and the war ended without nukes being used, or used in some non-city-destroying demonstration... World War III might well have occured by the end of the 50's. What seemed to change after WWII was that the world saw just how horrific an atomic attack was and that spooked the various leaders just enough to keep world wars at bay. Without the examples of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, though, some idiot might have concluded that an atomic war wouldn't be so bad.
Would Japan have not surrendered after the atomic attacks over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, the Allies would have been forced to land on the Japanese home islands.

There were plans to carry out the invasion in two phases. The first step, known as ‘Operation Olympic’, aimed to occupy the south of Kyushu Island and should start on November 1st. The second one, ‘Operation Coronet’, would have consisted of landings on Honshu Island, to control the Tokyo plain, and it was planned for March 1946. The whole plan, ‘Operation Downfall’, required 5,000,000 men, 3,000 ships, 66 aircraft carriers, loaded with 2,649 aircraft, and all the airplanes in the 7th, 8th and 10th Army Air Forces. Casualties were expected to be extremely heavy. A study requested by U.S. Navy Secretary estimated that conquering Japan would cost between 1.7 and 4 million casualties including 400,000 to 800,000 fatalities and the destruction of 800 Allied ships.

The Japanese High Command understood that human losses were the Achilles’ heel of democracies and decided that, after the failure of the kamikaze tactics to stop the invasion of Okinawa, the number of casualties infringed to the enemy in Kyushu was high enough. They could still negotiate a peace by exhaustion and avoid the cost of a final battle at Honshu. Therefore, they forgot the idea of sinking aircraft carriers and battleships and turned their attention to the humble Landing Craft Vehicles (LCV).

At this point of time the Japanese were no more interested in sinking the big heavily armoured warships. The political circumstances were more favourable to the kind of war that caused a high number of casualties to the Allies. It was better to try and destroy the little protected troop transports with a warhead of just 250 kg.

During the most critical moments of the amphibious assault, dozens of slow and unstable boats, cramped with troops, vehicles, explosives and fuel, desperately tried to reach the beach under the enemy fire. Some were reached by the artillery but most of them survived. The Japanese thought that this pattern could be altered and devised all kind of defensive strategies to convert Kyushu in a swamp of blood. They took advantage of the three-to-two local numeric superiority of the Japanese army and mobilized the civil population to perform banzai charges.

The ‘Operation Olympic’ never happened thanks to the use of the nuclear bombs that put an end to the war saving a considerable amount of lives to both sides.

On 9 October 1945, the typhoon Louise passed over the Okinawa Island, with winds of 150-220 kph and heavy seas with 9-11 m waves, causing serious damage to the Allies occupation forces based in Nakagusuku Wan, Amami Oshima, Nagasaki and Wakayama. A total of 12 ships, including six LST, were sunk, 222 grounded and 32 damaged beyond economical repair, and over 60 airplanes were damaged. In Okinawa almost all the food, medical supplies and 80 per cent of all buildings were destroyed with 183 personal casualties.

Would the war have not ended by early September, the tremendous storm would have caused serious damage to the Invasion Force, forcing the cancellation of the ‘Operation Olympic’.

The War against Japan could have become an early Vietnam.
 

Orionblamblam

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The War against Japan could have become an early Vietnam.
Complete with a Communist North Japan, since the Soviets would have doubtless joined in and snagged their share. Of course, China might have been a new battleground for the Soviets since a full-on extended war between Japan and the Soviets would have involved long-term combat in Manchuria, and the Soviets would have been unlikely to just up and leave after having goen to so much bother. So you might end up with the Red Chinese at war with the Red Soviets for control of northern China, while the US and USSR fought over Japan.

Nukes are better.
 

Dilandu

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Would Japan have not surrendered after the atomic attacks over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, the Allies would have been forced to land on the Japanese home islands.
And USSR would probably invade Hokkaido from Sakhalin. Which was, of course, much easier to do - Japanese did put the defense of Hokkaido in relatively low priority, and generally considered that the damage from potential loss of this island did not warrant moving troops here from more valuable Southern Islands. Since we have Sakhalin as starting point, it would be more like island-hopping operation: troops and supplies could be concentrated in direct proximity, and then moved for relatively small distance.

Of course, "easier" did not means "easy"; it would not be easy to capture the bridgehead, considering the lack of efficient naval gunfire support. The Pacific Fleet have only two cruisers at this time, and command was reluctant to put even them into action, since crews weren't well-trained (most of the war Pacific Fleet did essentially nothing). So unless USN would send some heavy ships to provide gunfire support for the landing - and in hypothetical situation of Japanese invasion, United States have actually a lot of reasons to want USSR to took out at least some Japanese forces - it would be tough. The landing forces would probably be forced to rely on massive aerial bombing, "Katusha's" launchers on landing crafts, and Il-2 with cassettes of PTAB bombs loitering over landing zone.

On the other hands, after beachead is established, it would be essentially a question of moving enough armored troops from continent to steamroll defenders of Hokkaido. On land, they quite literally stand no chances against what Red Army could send. Since Japanese probably understood that too, they would likely move what troops they have on Hokkaido to the south, trying to defend the southern edge (not that it would help them much...) In short, the occupation of Hokkaido would be mostly a question of getting enough our troops here, than actual strategy.
 

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Soviets wouldn't have been able to invade Hokkaido as they did not have the amphibious capacity. Most of the amphibious capacity was Lend-Lease, and they lost a large proportion of that invading the Kuril Islands.
 
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Dilandu

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Soviets wouldn't have been able to invade Hokkaido as they did not have the amphibious capacity. Most of the amphibious capacity was Lend-Lease, and they lost a large proportion of that invading the Kuril Islands.
No matter, there were much more coming. USA trained Soviet crews on Alaska specifically to this purpose, after all.
 

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Soviets wouldn't have been able to invade Hokkaido as they did not have the amphibious capacity. Most of the amphibious capacity was Lend-Lease, and they lost a large proportion of that invading the Kuril Islands.
No matter, there were much more coming. USA trained Soviet crews on Alaska specifically to this purpose, after all.
The only landing ships the Soviets were going to receive were 60 LCI(L)s. They were never going to have enough amphibious capacity to invade Hokkaido especially if the landings were in any opposed. They didn't have the right training, equipment or doctrine.
 

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The only landing ships the Soviets were going to receive were 60 LCI(L)s. They were never going to have enough amphibious capacity to invade Hokkaido especially if the landings were in any opposed. They didn't have the right training, equipment or doctrine.
And? LCI(L) have 200-men carrying capacity. Assuming 40 ships in action by H-day (Hokkaido landing) - 5 were lost during Kuril landing, assume that further 15 would be technically unavailable - it would gave 8000 men strong first wave. More than enough to establish a beachhead, that would then be supported & enlarged.

You seems to overestimate the Japanese defenses seriously. If I recall correctly, they have only two more-or-less combat-capable division for all Hokkaido, and only one of them was anywhere near the planned landing area. While landing would clearly be hard, Kuril campaign clearly demonstrated, that it could be done (should I remind you, that at Kuril, our troopers were subjected to armor attack against beachead, and beat it off?)
 

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We are once more wandering off-topic.

What happened in Vietnam was a combination of political meddling in military operations and a fifth column at home which in 1946, in the context of an active shooting war, would have been locked up without a second thought and arguably tried and shot for treason. US society would not have stood for the shenanigans the anti-war protesters 20 years later were able to get away with. Vietnam was never viewed by the vast majority of Americans as an existential war; WW2 was.

What both had in common is that the West was fighting an enemy that did not have to take public opinion into account, and whose leadership cared nothing for the lives of its warriors.
 

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The only landing ships the Soviets were going to receive were 60 LCI(L)s. They were never going to have enough amphibious capacity to invade Hokkaido especially if the landings were in any opposed. They didn't have the right training, equipment or doctrine.
And? LCI(L) have 200-men carrying capacity. Assuming 40 ships in action by H-day (Hokkaido landing) - 5 were lost during Kuril landing, assume that further 15 would be technically unavailable - it would gave 8000 men strong first wave. More than enough to establish a beachhead, that would then be supported & enlarged.

You seems to overestimate the Japanese defenses seriously. If I recall correctly, they have only two more-or-less combat-capable division for all Hokkaido, and only one of them was anywhere near the planned landing area. While landing would clearly be hard, Kuril campaign clearly demonstrated, that it could be done (should I remind you, that at Kuril, our troopers were subjected to armor attack against beachead, and beat it off?)
I doubt that they would have able to reinforce. Significant casualties were inflicted by garrison during the Invasion of the Kuril islands, only part which decided to resist the landings. Against the garrison of Hokkaido, which was considerably larger, and the entirety of which would be willing to fight? I doubt the Soviets would have done nearly as well. If the Japanese were expected to inflict severe casualties on the forces for Operation Olympic what hope could the Soviet Pacific Fleet have with its considerably fewer resources.

As opposed to reinforcing a beachhead, with what? The Soviets cannot land armour with LCI(L)s and they will suffer increasing casualties both in the initial landing and in any attempts at reinforcement. Without specialist landing ships and craft they cannot reinforce the beach, and the beachhead will have to capture a port (and hope the facilities are undamaged) before that run out of supplies.
 

Dilandu

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What happened in Vietnam was a combination of political meddling in military operations and a fifth column at home which in 1946, in the context of an active shooting war, would have been locked up without a second thought and arguably tried and shot for treason. US society would not have stood for the shenanigans the anti-war protesters 20 years later were able to get away with. Vietnam was never viewed by the vast majority of Americans as an existential war; WW2 was.
And maybe also because the absolute majority of Vietnamese detested the corrupt & incompetent governments that USA tried to held in power? Seriously, what was US leadership thinking when they firstly supported the zealous Christian president in mostly non-Christian country, then military junta, then puppet civilian president, set by junta? This was literally the worst handling of the civil war ever; utter lack of any positive motivation for Southern Vietnamese, and negative motivation ("aren't you afraid of evil communists?") simply lost its appeal after Vietnamese essentially found that they are afraid of Americans just as much as of communists.

The Vietnam war was handled pretty bad from the very beginning. The civil war could not be won just by power of weapons; it's always a war of ideas, too. And on ideological front, Southern Vietnam could not suggest much. Its fast collapse under renewed Northern offensive just demonstrated, that this state did not have much of internal support.
 

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We are once more wandering off-topic.

What happened in Vietnam was a combination of political meddling in military operations and a fifth column at home which in 1946, in the context of an active shooting war, would have been locked up without a second thought and arguably tried and shot for treason. US society would not have stood for the shenanigans the anti-war protesters 20 years later were able to get away with. Vietnam was never viewed by the vast majority of Americans as an existential war; WW2 was.

What both had in common is that the West was fighting an enemy that did not have to take public opinion into account, and whose leadership cared nothing for the lives of its warriors.
I wouldn't describe domestic opposition to the war in Vietnam as a fifth column.

Casualties also rapidly increased as the Allies fought their way into Germany prior March 1945. I imagine public reaction to casualties in Japan would be similar to the response to that. Unlike Vietnam, there was at least an end to the Pacific War in sight, along with a clear plan to achieve a conclusion to the war.
 

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I doubt that they would have able to reinforce. Significant casualties were inflicted by garrison during the Invasion of the Kuril islands, only part which decided to resist the landings. Against the garrison of Hokkaido, which was considerably larger, and the entirety of which would be willing to fight? I doubt the Soviets would have done nearly as well. If the Japanese were expected to inflict severe casualties on the forces for Operation Olympic what hope could the Soviet Pacific Fleet have with its considerably fewer resources.
The garrison of Hokkaido was larger, true. But Hokkaido was also MUCH larger, and the actual concentration of Japanese troops was extremely low. While Kurils was quite a fortress, Hokkaido was mostly empty space in military therms. Also, the distance therms; while Kurils were quite far from continent, the Hokkaido was very close to Sakhalin, which was an excellent forward supply base. Troops could be quickly moved to Sakhalin through Sovetskaya Gavan (which was connected with Baikal-Amur railroad), and from here to south.

Most importantly, Japanese just never planned to fight the possible invasion on Hokkaido as hard as possible American invasion on southern islands. Hokkaido was just of little importance for Japan. It was mostly agricultural and mining area, with small population and little industry. Any large-scale defense of Hokkaido would require just to many troops. Essentially, Japanese military were more ready to lose Hokkaido, than to spare much efforts fighting for it. Oh, they would undoubtedly gave SOME fight - they were Japanese militarists, after all! - but only using available resources.

Also important point; before 1945 war, the Japanese military very seriously underestimated Soviet capabilities. They knew about war in Europe, but mostly through the German point of view (and Nazi were notorious liars). They never expected the unstoppable juggernaut, that devastated their largest continental army with such ease, just like it never existed. All their Hokkaido defense planning was based on seriously underestimated assumptions of Soviet capabilities, and they just did not have time, resources or desire to try to change something.
 

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As opposed to reinforcing a beachhead, with what? The Soviets cannot land armour with LCI(L)s and they will suffer increasing casualties both in the initial landing and in any attempts at reinforcement. Without specialist landing ships and craft they cannot reinforce the beach, and the beachhead will have to capture a port (and hope the facilities are undamaged) before that run out of supplies.
Should I remind you that Soviet Army was Number One in therms of amphibious operation in Europe? :) Of course, most of them were small-scale tactical landings, but we done quite a lot of them.

While tanks could not be landed on LCI(L)'s, they could be moved on beachhead repurposed barges and lighters. A temporarily landing facilities could be established. Again, I'm not saying such landing would be a walk in park, but I think it was doable.
 

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What happened in Vietnam was a combination of political meddling in military operations and a fifth column at home which in 1946, in the context of an active shooting war, would have been locked up without a second thought and arguably tried and shot for treason. US society would not have stood for the shenanigans the anti-war protesters 20 years later were able to get away with. Vietnam was never viewed by the vast majority of Americans as an existential war; WW2 was.
And maybe also because the absolute majority of Vietnamese detested the corrupt & incompetent governments that USA tried to held in power? Seriously, what was US leadership thinking when they firstly supported the zealous Christian president in mostly non-Christian country, then military junta, then puppet civilian president, set by junta? This was literally the worst handling of the civil war ever; utter lack of any positive motivation for Southern Vietnamese, and negative motivation ("aren't you afraid of evil communists?") simply lost its appeal after Vietnamese essentially found that they are afraid of Americans just as much as of communists.

The Vietnam war was handled pretty bad from the very beginning. The civil war could not be won just by power of weapons; it's always a war of ideas, too. And on ideological front, Southern Vietnam could not suggest much. Its fast collapse under renewed Northern offensive just demonstrated, that this state did not have much of internal support.
No offence, but I know the perspective you're speaking from and it's hard to accept your opinion as entirely objective.
 

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No offence, but I know the perspective you're speaking from and it's hard to accept your opinion as entirely objective.
Of course. :) Through I think it is fairly objective compared to what many other Russian may say at this matter) But I provide the other point of view, so the truth may be found in the middle.

And frankly, could you deny that Southern Vietnam government was highly corrupt and dysfunctional, or that US could not provide most of Southern Vietnamese with any positive motivation to be on their side? Giving tons of money to corrupt government is not a good way to won the hearts of peasants.
 

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I doubt that they would have able to reinforce. Significant casualties were inflicted by garrison during the Invasion of the Kuril islands, only part which decided to resist the landings. Against the garrison of Hokkaido, which was considerably larger, and the entirety of which would be willing to fight? I doubt the Soviets would have done nearly as well. If the Japanese were expected to inflict severe casualties on the forces for Operation Olympic what hope could the Soviet Pacific Fleet have with its considerably fewer resources.
The garrison of Hokkaido was larger, true. But Hokkaido was also MUCH larger, and the actual concentration of Japanese troops was extremely low. While Kurils was quite a fortress, Hokkaido was mostly empty space in military therms. Also, the distance therms; while Kurils were quite far from continent, the Hokkaido was very close to Sakhalin, which was an excellent forward supply base. Troops could be quickly moved to Sakhalin through Sovetskaya Gavan (which was connected with Baikal-Amur railroad), and from here to south.

Most importantly, Japanese just never planned to fight the possible invasion on Hokkaido as hard as possible American invasion on southern islands. Hokkaido was just of little importance for Japan. It was mostly agricultural and mining area, with small population and little industry. Any large-scale defense of Hokkaido would require just to many troops. Essentially, Japanese military were more ready to lose Hokkaido, than to spare much efforts fighting for it. Oh, they would undoubtedly gave SOME fight - they were Japanese militarists, after all! - but only using available resources.

Also important point; before 1945 war, the Japanese military very seriously underestimated Soviet capabilities. They knew about war in Europe, but mostly through the German point of view (and Nazi were notorious liars). They never expected the unstoppable juggernaut, that devastated their largest continental army with such ease, just like it never existed. All their Hokkaido defense planning was based on seriously underestimated assumptions of Soviet capabilities, and they just did not have time, resources or desire to try to change something.
There is a considerable difference between a land operation and a combined-arms amphibious operation. The Soviets were possibly the best when it came to the use of land forces on an operational level, as can be attested by Operation Bagration, the Vistula Oder Offensive and the Manchurian Offensive. But this skill was the result of developing doctrine in the interwar period, and numerous lessons learned in failed offensives during the war. For amphibious operations however, the institutional knowledge was not there. It took America and Britain decades of experimentation in the interwar period (and in Britain's case the experience of planned and actual amphibious operations in the First World War) and they did made a considerable number of mistakes in their initial operations By 1945 both had vast fleets of the specialist shipping required for such operations, ranging form the Headquarters ships, APAs, AKAs, LSI(L)s etc to the specialist landing and fire support craft. The Soviets did not have even a fraction of this, be it the equipment, the doctrine or the institutional knowledge.
 

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As opposed to reinforcing a beachhead, with what? The Soviets cannot land armour with LCI(L)s and they will suffer increasing casualties both in the initial landing and in any attempts at reinforcement. Without specialist landing ships and craft they cannot reinforce the beach, and the beachhead will have to capture a port (and hope the facilities are undamaged) before that run out of supplies.
Should I remind you that Soviet Army was Number One in therms of amphibious operation in Europe? :) Of course, most of them were small-scale tactical landings, but we done quite a lot of them.

While tanks could not be landed on LCI(L)'s, they could be moved on beachhead repurposed barges and lighters. A temporarily landing facilities could be established. Again, I'm not saying such landing would be a walk in park, but I think it was doable.
There is a considerable difference between crossing a river, and crossing an ocean. Lighters and Barges do not have the seakeeping (as the Germans would have found out if they had attempted Operation Sea Lion) to cross oceans, especially if they are any rougher than a millpond, without being swamped.
 

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There is a considerable difference between a land operation and a combined-arms amphibious operation. The Soviets were possibly the best when it came to the use of land forces on an operational level, as can be attested by Operation Bagration, the Vistula Oder Offensive and the Manchurian Offensive. But this skill was the result of developing doctrine in the interwar period, and numerous lessons learned in failed offensives during the war. For amphibious operations however, the institutional knowledge was not there. It took America and Britain decades of experimentation in the interwar period (and in Britain's case the experience of planned and actual amphibious operations in the First World War) and they did made a considerable number of mistakes in their initial operations By 1945 both had vast fleets of the specialist shipping required for such operations, ranging form the Headquarters ships, APAs, AKAs, LSI(L)s etc to the specialist landing and fire support craft. The Soviets did not have even a fraction of this, be it the equipment, the doctrine or the institutional knowledge.
Yes, of course I agree with that. And if there were actually serious opposition on Hokkaido, I wouldn't even think about the possibility of such attack. But my point is, that Hokkaido was not well defended; there were little troops, little coast defenses, and most of small ports were just undefended at all (no exactly numerous "militia" forces would mostly be able to perform one type of military action, named "run away screaming").

There is a considerable difference between crossing a river, and crossing an ocean. Lighters and Barges do not have the seakeeping (as the Germans would have found out if they had attempted Operation Sea Lion) to cross oceans, especially if they are any rougher than a millpond, without being swamped.
Yeah, but we have Sakhalin) It's only 55 km from Aniva Bay on Sakhalin to the Japanese coast. Japanese were so nice to left us Korsakov port facilities in perfectly good conditions (or, to be exact, our tactical amphibious landing collapsed Japanese defenses so fast, that they didn't actually have time to do anything here). We could send tanks on ships to Korsakov, put them on barges, and then tow barges to Japan coast. Yes, some of them probably would be lost, but what's the problem? We have so many tanks, that we could allow lose a lot of them (as long as they would be lost without crews, of course)
 

Orionblamblam

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What happened in Vietnam was a combination of political meddling in military operations and a fifth column at home which in 1946, in the context of an active shooting war, would have been locked up without a second thought and arguably tried and shot for treason. US society would not have stood for the shenanigans the anti-war protesters 20 years later were able to get away with. Vietnam was never viewed by the vast majority of Americans as an existential war; WW2 was.
The war in the Pacific ended rather suddenly because the God-Emperor finally grew a pair, stood up to the military and said "enough." The military was as embedded within the nonsensical bushido bullcrap as the Nazi leadership was within, well, Nazi ideology... and perhaps rather more so. So without Hirohito, how would an invasion of Japan gone?

In the context of this discussion, one possibility previously mentioned is that Germany hangs on slightly longer, long enough that the Germans get nuked, not Japan. So Japn instead gets invaded. But even though Japan doesn't get nuked, the bombing raids continue. it's always *possible* that during these raids, Hirohito get pasted, or perhaps some family member of his. Result: either no Hirohito, or a Hirohito now cheesed off enough to decide to continue. So, the US invades the main islands of Japan. The Soviets swarm the Japanese forces in Manchuria. If Hirohito doesn't call off the war, there's every reason to believe that the Japanese will fight to the last man, woman and child for every inch of territory with a religious fervor.

In that case, the war should drag on for *years.* Instead of island hopping where weeks can see advances of hundreds or thousands of miles, it's now a war where months go by with maybe a hill or two of progress. After a few years it's no longer an existential crisis for the American population. the Japanese aren't going to show up in San Francisco with an invasion fleet, any more than the VC would have. With Germany a smouldering, surrendered ruin now on the way to being rebuilt, how long are the American public going to want to keep throwing lives away in Japan?

Now throw in the Soviets in the North. Are the US and USSR still allies working to defeat the Japanese, or are they now competitors looking to claw out a few more square yards of territory in the face of the other guy?
 

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What happened in Vietnam was a combination of political meddling in military operations and a fifth column at home which in 1946, in the context of an active shooting war, would have been locked up without a second thought and arguably tried and shot for treason. US society would not have stood for the shenanigans the anti-war protesters 20 years later were able to get away with. Vietnam was never viewed by the vast majority of Americans as an existential war; WW2 was.
The war in the Pacific ended rather suddenly because the God-Emperor finally grew a pair, stood up to the military and said "enough." The military was as embedded within the nonsensical bushido bullcrap as the Nazi leadership was within, well, Nazi ideology... and perhaps rather more so. So without Hirohito, how would an invasion of Japan gone?

In the context of this discussion, one possibility previously mentioned is that Germany hangs on slightly longer, long enough that the Germans get nuked, not Japan. So Japn instead gets invaded. But even though Japan doesn't get nuked, the bombing raids continue. it's always *possible* that during these raids, Hirohito get pasted, or perhaps some family member of his. Result: either no Hirohito, or a Hirohito now cheesed off enough to decide to continue. So, the US invades the main islands of Japan. The Soviets swarm the Japanese forces in Manchuria. If Hirohito doesn't call off the war, there's every reason to believe that the Japanese will fight to the last man, woman and child for every inch of territory with a religious fervor.

In that case, the war should drag on for *years.* Instead of island hopping where weeks can see advances of hundreds or thousands of miles, it's now a war where months go by with maybe a hill or two of progress. After a few years it's no longer an existential crisis for the American population. the Japanese aren't going to show up in San Francisco with an invasion fleet, any more than the VC would have. With Germany a smouldering, surrendered ruin now on the way to being rebuilt, how long are the American public going to want to keep throwing lives away in Japan?

Now throw in the Soviets in the North. Are the US and USSR still allies working to defeat the Japanese, or are they now competitors looking to claw out a few more square yards of territory in the face of the other guy?
You don't even need to avoid the use of nuclear weapons. Elements of the IJA attempted a coup to prevent the broadcast if the Emperor's speech informing the Japanese public of the surrender.
 
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Orionblamblam

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You don't even need to avoid the use of nuclear weapons. Elements of the IJA attempted a coup to prevent the broadcast if the Emperor's speech informing the Japanese public of the surrender.
Indeed so. But imagine the same coup attempt *without* the nukes. Gotta imagine it'd be more successful, especially if Dirty Gaijin were swarming all over the Home Islands at the time.

Alternatively: instead of Hiroshima, the USAAF nukes a previously largely unbombed Tokyo, taking out not just Hirohito but the rest of the royal family. I imagine chances are fair we'd *still* be fighting there today.
 

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a previously largely unbombed Tokyo
I seem to recall the Tokyo firebombing raid being the most destructive non-nuclear bombing raid in history. I vaguely recall reading an anecdote that the B-29 crews could hear the screaming from the ground.

Eventually the USAAF would have had air supremacy and would have bombed Japan into the stone age. If the USAAF had lost the nerve and the Americans had gone home, the Soviets would have done whatever was necessary to pacify Japan, including things no American could bring themselves to do. We would not still be fighting there today, and if the US and USSR had come to blows over such things, the Japanese would have welcomed the Americans as liberators.
 
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