And about those six divisions

If you’re not Chuck or are not interested in WWII, don’t read this:

The Southern Army was established on November 6, 1941 to control all IJA units assigned to the Southern Operations. The command was headquartered in Siagon, Friench Indochina under Gen. Count Terauchi Hisaichi. The plan was certainly ambitious. The seizure of all of Southeast Asia, the NEI, the Philippines, and regions of the South Pacific would be accomplished by only 11 infantry divisions, four brigade-sized forces, and 700 IJA aircraft – 400,000 troops total. This area stretched across five time zones and was larger than the Continential United States. Japan was counting on surprise, and the relatively unprepared and weak forces fielded by the colonial powers. Its own resources would be stretched to the limit with transport shipping pulling double duty to move troops. Almost half of the IJA’s 1,500 combat aircraft would be required….

In December, 1941, Japan possessed 51 divisions supplimented by 59 brigade equivalents, but many of these were non-deployable being garrison and line-of-communications security forces in China. 28 divisions were in China with most engaged in combat or occupation duty. Another 13 were in Manchuria and Korea to protect the Empire’s northern frontier with the USSR. Two of the five divisions remaining in the Home Islands were newly raised and partly trained. The exceptions were the 2d committed to the Southern Operations, the 4th as the IGHQ Reserve and the 7th tied down protecting northern Japan from the USSR.

In other words, there were not six divisions, but five theoretically available for the hypothetical invasion of Hawaii or the West Coast. Two hadn’t finished their training. One was required for defense against the USSR, (which they’d been planning to attack until August, 1941), and the 4th was required as a reserve for the 14th Army invading the Phillipines.

“The 14th Army was designated the Phillippines Attack Force consisting of the 48th Division, 16th Division, 5th Air Group (20 air battalions) and the 4th Division (committed later). The operation was scheduled to take 50 days.”

Since the Japanese knew it would require 50 days to take the Phillipines, 5516 miles from the West Coast and very difficult to reinforce, they would have to have been completely insane to attempt an invasion that would almost precisely reverse the logistical advantage in the USA’s favor. As it turned out, it took them longer than scheduled and they were forced to throw in their reserve division.

There is no way that the Japanese would have been crazy enough to send one solitary division to attempt to take and hold Hawaii. The ease and patience with which American forces went about retaking the Aleutian Islands from the Japanese demonstrates how such an invasion would have been suicidal. The only probable effect on the course of the war would have been to hasten its end.

For details on exactly what units were where in December, 1941, I recommend Osprey Battle Orders #9, which contains copious unit descriptions as well as maps graphically depicting deployments. The deployment of the Japanese Southern Army shown below make it very clear why the US high command was so much more concerned with defending Port Moresby and Australia than Honolulu and Los Angeles.

The Japanese Army in WWII: Conquest of the Pacific 1941-1942, page 11. Osprey Publishing, 2005
Dec 1941 deployment

Note for Chuck: the map shows the Southern Army only. Most of the units you are talking about were in the General Defense Command, distributed as follows:
Eastern District Army: 52d Division, 2d, 3d, 51st and 57 Depot divisions
Central District Army: 53d, 54th Divisions, 4th, 5th and 55th Depot divisions
Western District Army: 6th, 56th Depot divisions
Northern District Army: 7th Division, Karafuto Mixed Brigade

My understanding is that most of the divisions VG includes in the game were not combat-ready divisions, hence the designation Depot Division. But the bigger problem you face is that you have to account for the USA’s ability to reinforce Hawaii once the attack begins. First you have to find your transport and give up the Philippine invasion, then note that your transport capability only allows for two full divisions. For your air, you get the Pearl Harbor force plus two fighter, two light bomber and one heavy bomber regiment.

Remember, the entire Atlantic carrier fleet can be in Hawaii from Norfolk in only 15 days. On December 7, 1941, Wasp, Long Island, Hornet, Ranger and Charger were all available, to say nothing of the land-based aircraft on the West Coast.

The civilized riposte to that damnable Deutschman

I adore P.G. Wodehouse, unabashedly, with much the same vehemence that Umberto Eco reserves for George Schultz and with the same willingness to commit acts of unspeakable violence upon any half-witted fool so despicable as to disagree. The Fraters Libertas, who despite a most convincing disguise to the contrary are truly gentlemen of no small taste and refinement, do us the favor of pointing us to this interesting article on the great English writer.

And write he did, making so much money—from his books, scripts for Hollywood and Broadway, and articles in magazines such as Vanity Fair—that the American tax authorities and the British Inland Revenue united in one of their first joint projects, a trans-Atlantic cooperative effort to dig as much as possible out of Wodehouse’s international royalties. That may have been what finally drove him abroad in 1934, when he and Ethel settled in France.

In retrospect, this proved not to be the ideal time for such a move. Five years later, Hitler’s blitzkrieg swept through the area, picking up the British Wodehouse along the way—or, as he explained, “Young men, starting out in life, have often asked me, ‘How can I become an internee?’ Well, there are several methods. My own was to buy a villa in Le Touquet on the coast of France and stay there until the Germans came along. This is probably the best and simplest system. You buy the villa and the Germans do the rest.”

If you can read that last bit and it doesn’t make the edges of your mouth twitch, I have to seriously question your claim on the human rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Mailvox: the Marxist libertarian

DH takes some exception:

Vox, with this article you remind me of one of the Marx Brothers. Karl, that is. How in the world can you advocate something to increase the already massive tax load on the childless and not mention cutting some of the lard off the gargantuan federal beast, without throwing some of the child bearing welfare sponges off the pork wagon and onto the work place like the rest of us ? Although you identify yourself as a Libertarian,just as liberals are prone to do, I notice that you do not state how high you are willing to raise marginal rates on us childless vermin. 60? 70? 80? 110? At what levels of income ? 30,000 ? 20,000 ? 10,000 ? Have you ever analyzed what the childless pay into keeping up Social Security, Medicare, and the welfare system as opposed to what we take out ? If you have, I do not know how you can claim that we are not helping to perpetuate the bloated federal sow. If you are ever going to take part in a forum with those of us who oppose you, please e-mail me because I want to listen or be part of it.

It never ceases to amaze me how some individuals expect me to directly address all possible ramifications and tangentially related matters in a single 750-word column. And it never ceases to annoy me how these same individuals will, at the same time, completely ignore everything I have ever written before as well as my general political philosophy in indignantly leaping to point out a seeming, but nonexistent contradiction.

There is probably not a single regular here who is under the impression that I favor Social Security, Medicare or the welfare system. Indeed, I have no doubt that even my most vehement critics are well aware that I oppose such things. DH here displays an all-too-typical conflation of tactics and strategy, of specific policy and general philosophy, which I often see exhibited by godless, left-wing evolutionary dead-ends and God-fearing, freedom-loving Constitutional conservatives alike. He should know better.

The point of Monday’s column was not to provide a complete restructuring for the entire federal system of revenues and expenditures from a libertarian perspective, it was to consider ways that governments which already engage in social engineering might do so in a more effective and freedom-enhancing manner. Does DH think he will receive anything from Social Security if the following generations are too few in number to support it? Does he think that in the current American tax model, his taxes will be higher, or lower, if there are significantly fewer taxpayers to shoulder the load with him?

I agree that all parties, childless and parents, are wrongly forced to perpetuate an unjust system. But that is not the matter under discussion here. From a current utilitarian perspective – as opposed to a theoretical libertarian one – the childless have little to contribute except their taxes. Therefore, if society is to perpetuate itself, it should come as no surprise that the financial contributions of the childless will have to be higher, as they contribute less in other ways.

In any case, if one finds the ability of Western society to perpetuate itself to be of no interest or concern, one might as well move to China or Saudi Arabia and get a head start on acculturating oneself to the probable future.

UPDATE: DH considers my response:

Vox, I want to thank you for your graciousness in posting my e-mail to you. First, to put you at ease, I am well aware and appreciate your long term efforts to educate Americans on the unnecessary high taxes we all pay as the result of the government being involved in areas that it should not be. The panic in my e-mail was because I thought that as a result of the Vikings meltdown or some medication that you were taking, that you had suddenly lost it and were drifting over to the other side.While you and I might not agree on the best and most immediate solution to the problem you outlined, your reasoned response lowered my blood pressure to non stroke levels and re-affirmed to me that the real Vox was still there.Also, I enjoyed the posts from your thoughtful readers.

Don’t get me wrong. I may still melt down over Daunte. I like Brad, I have confidence in Brad, I still think that Denny was a cretin for keeping Randall over Brad, but Brad is not Daunte. At this point, I’m still deeply in the denial stage, although it’s not as if the season wasn’t sunk as deeply as… well, let’s just say that one could whip out some unfortunate similes involving Lake Minnetonka.

Okay, what were we talking about?

Mailvox: the spankings, the spankings!

Melissa bends over and wiggles her bottom, metaphorically speaking:

It’s not that yon chest-beating troglodytes are rejecting the smart women, dearies. It’s that none of us has any interest in having sex with you. We don’t care whether you’re looking for a woman who won’t challenge you, because we’re busy trying to find men who are smart, motivated, and sexy enough to keep up with us. And frankly, y’all just don’t rate.

Oh, really? And yet, it’s not the smart men who are complaining that they can’t get dates, haven’t gotten laid in years and are writing seven-part series in the New York Times about how they’ve all but given up on the notion that anyone wants to marry them. This statement is nothing but an echo of the classic Sisterhood dogma meant to provide solace for the rejected career woman.

The truth is that except for the golddigger and the desperate-for-attention, there is no one easier for an alpha male to nail on the first meeting than a self-professed smart, strong, independent woman. Her posturing, which is often done in the same dismissive tone that Melissa thoughtfully provides for us here, is primarily a contrarian invitation to conquer her. She snarls, bites and claws, always in the hope that the man is both capable of making her submit to him and interested in doing so. This is why women always focus on the challenge they offer; they are aroused by superior men capable of meeting that.

The man who understands this never lacks for women, of all levels of intelligence. Sex in the City once offered a good example of this, when Miranda complains how she is helplessly excited by an arrogant man she can’t otherwise stand. There is, after all, a reason that adult women are so much more fond of Gor novels than those telling tales of Cimmeria.

Alpha or otherwise, however, the wise man will avoid such challenging women in the interest of pursuing a harmonious relationship not subject to inherent stress and conflict. We are not all born wise, however, and some of us only come to wisdom after first experiencing a sufficient amount of foolishness.