Why Japan had NO Chance in WW2

Why Japan had NO Chance in WW2

Although, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) started the war with a stronger force than the US Navy (USN) in the Pacific, it had virtually no Chance in winning the War in the long run. This becomes very apparent, if you watch the numbers evolving over the course of this video. I put together a chronologically ordered list of ships from the size of “destroyer escorts” upwards that were produced by the United States and the Japanese from December 1941 to September 1945, to give you an idea on how the situation progressed.

Thank you to VonKickass for improvements on the Thumbnail Design!

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H.P. Willmott, The Barrier and the Javelin: Japanese and Allied Pacific Strategies, February to June 1942. Naval Institute Press: Annapolis, 2008

Evans, David C.; Peattie, Mark R.: Kaigun – Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the IMPERIAL JAPANESE NAVY 1887-1941. US Naval Institute Press: United States, 2012.

Parshall, Jonathan B.; Tully, Anthony P.: Shattered Sword. The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway. Potomac Books: United States, 2007.

Chesneau, Roger; Gardiner; Robert: Conway’s All the World’s Fighting Ships 1922-1946. Naval Institute Press: Annapolis, 1980

Stille, Mark: Imperial Japanese Navy Antisubmarine Escorts 1941-45. Osprey Publishing: 2017.

Overy, Richard: Why the Allies Won. Pimlico: London, UK (2006).

Spector, Ronald H.: Eagle against the Sun. The American War with Japan. Cassell & Co: Cornwall, UK, 2000.

Symonds, Craig L.: World War II at Sea. A Global History. Oxford University Press: New York, 2018

Important source, which I used to validate various numbers – note that I think there IJN submarine numbers early on are wrong: http://www.combinedfleet.com/economic.htm





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  1. Admiral Yamamoto was a real smart dude, he knew that going to war with the US was stupid, if I recall correctly he even threatened to resign if they didn’t put him in charge of the war, basically what it meant from him was “if you absolutely insist on being an idiot, you’ll be the most effective idiot I can make you”

    He was an experienced and decorated Admiral and a successful strategist and tactician, it’s one reason we put so much effort into finding and killing him

  2. Japans best scenario for winning WW2 was to ignore the USA for at least another year. While it maybe hindsight now it would have been better to take out the British common wealth first. The Royal Navy had few assets in the Pacific due to its war with Germany. The common wealth had shipped its active forces almost entirely to the North African front, maintaining units still being trained. At no point are any of the southern common wealth nation/territories shown be set up as an arms supplier for the UK meaning that they were all reliant on the UK for major military equipment and unable to provide for themselves. A tank factory in India or Australia would have eliminated the need to ship tanks through the Mediterranean and doubled supplies. A Japanese tourist could have easily figured this out. The SE Asian region’s biggest contribution to the British war effort was raw material and men. So taking Singapore, Australia and New Zealand in quick succession as was almost done could have potentially crippled the UK in the area, as well as threatening its ability to fight the Germans in North Africa. Japan would have gained all these resources and the USA would likely still not under stood the true threat of the Aircraft career because the Japanese defeat over the Royal Navy in the Pacific would not require the same show of force as presented at Pearl Harbor. Now of course Japan could not be 100% sure the USA would give them another year and they could not have expected to have rolled up Singapore so quickly but they knew the British Navy was not deployed enforce to the area, and the I infrastructure of the commonwealth was insufficient to stand if cut off as Japan was more then capable of doing. Such a victory would have made it difficult to later defeat Japan even with their other material shortages.

  3. Biggest military blunder in all of human history
    The Japanese should have supported their allies in the Soviet Union and left us out of the war
    The US did not start lend lease to the Soviet Union until after the Japanese attacked us

  4. MHV: The real reason Japan couldnt win WWII [proceeds to show enough ships to cure insomnia]

    Me: Woah! I though it was because [Japan] didnt have natural resources. But this works too!

  5. Very interesting especially with the fact Japan built mostly destroyer escorts which I never would have thought.

    The only thing I would improve about this video I can think of is to make a legend that labels the bars accordingly as well as the flags.

  6. Logistics, RADAR and industrial capacity…Logistics; Japan never established a competent ASW force or convoy system until late in the war and this hampered their ability to re-supply, The Japanese lagged precipitously in RADAR technology and deployment, Industrial capacity of Japan was dwarfed by the United States and virtually impossible to match.

  7. Your music you post on your website is unpleasant to listen to if not forewarned or late at night when a person is tired and about to retire to bed. I might find it fine if I were running or working out, but since today I'm doing neither you might think about music that won't make Marty McFly's dad freakout as it is thrust upon him with no warning from Earth, nor Volcan.

  8. When you finally have enough support in congress to take "Two Ocean Navy Act" so you can proceed to "Maritime Commission", "Bureau of Ships" and "Escort Effort".

    Build destroyers until you run out of names – and then build some more. I WANT MY DESTROYER ESCORTS TO HAVE ESCORTS!!!

  9. Was this war winnable for the Japanese? Sure, by avoiding it. Or at least avoiding armed conflict with the Allied Powers. At the time of the attacks on Pearl Harbor and the South Pacific America was overwhelmingly isolationist. If Japan would not have attacked Guam, the Philippines, Pearl Harbor, or any other American holdings, and confined their expansionism to Singapore, Malaya and the Dutch East Indies it is unlikely that Roosevelt would have been able to rally support to go to war on behalf of China or any other foreign country.

    But Roosevelt was no dummy and immediately set forth a plan of provocation designed at introducing the US to the world's hostilities via the South Pacific and Japan.

    In realistic terms, no, Japan had no chance of victory against the US in WWII, and the Japanese knew it. Americas industrial might could never be overcome and(short of invasion) there was no answer for this. So it begs the question: Why did they attack if they knew they could not win? The short answer is that they thought they could contain the war, force a draw, and negotiate from a position of strength. In Japans long historical culture they had never lost a war, after all, wasn't their country created by the Gods, and wasn't their leader(Hirohito)a direct descendant of the Gods? They believed they could not lose. That a draw was pre-ordained, and when the opponents where not so inclined to embrace this concept, the inadequate IJN with no plan B proved to inflexible and ineptly commanded to respond in any effective manner.

  10. Japan actually had a chance, the tactic of attacking in pear harbour was good, but no carriers were stationated there, just imagine how devastating the attack would have been if there were carriers too, i mean Japan would have had a chance if they knocked out the U.S fleet in the first attacks sinking a large number of ships, including the carriers. If that happened Japan would have probably won at least the war on the pacific due to the carrier's important strategical advantage.