- Mar 31, 2003
- Reaction score
Japanese naval superiority was largely a function of (a) surprise and (b) the Germans forcing part of the US fleet to stay in the Atlantic. At the beginning of the war, the US and Japanese had rough parity in naval forces (the Japs had more carriers, but only a few of them were comparable to the American bird farms), and if the Americans had been paying attention at Pearl, Yamomoto's forces would have gotten pretty beat up. As soon as the Americans started to respond, the Japanese started to lose at sea.JamesR said:On a somewhat related note, I think that many folks underestimate just how tough the Japanese were in World War II. They would literally fight until the death of the last man and then would have their women, children and old folks fight too until their whole population was decimated. Man for man they were superior to any army in the world at the time. Most veterans I've talked to have all said that fighting in the Pacific was ten times worse than in Europe. And if it weren't for the atomic bomb and the United States's manufacturing power, I think that they could have taken on any world power at the time individually; even Germany, due to Japan's naval superiority.
On land, the Japanese advantage basically consisted of being in dug in defensive positions on a series of volcanic islands. You can call it "tough", or you can call it stupidity. They were never a significant offensive force against a well-equipped enemy.