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Subject: ww2 jap infantry- did they suck or what?
AchtungLagg    8/24/2004 1:37:15 AM
im having a hard time understanding why the japanese infantry performed so badly (casualty wise) to us infantry during wwii. how were abilities (mis)matched in the PTO?
 
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beersheba    RE:ww2 jap infantry- did they suck or what?   8/24/2004 1:41:31 AM
They certainly didn't suck! They were stubbon defenders, which meant they'd rather be burnt out rather than surrender. American and Australian troops had to go and dig them out and kill them most of the time. Some of their offensive tactics could be dodgy though. Plus the Allied troops were pretty top shelf themselves.
 
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joe6pack    RE:ww2 jap infantry- did they suck or what?   8/24/2004 10:38:17 AM
"im having a hard time understanding why the japanese infantry performed so badly (casualty wise) to us infantry during wwii." Some quick examples: Part of it was their beleif system. They would not retreat or surrender when their positions were no longer defendable. The "Banzai" charge while frightening wasn't alway a good idea against machineguns. So their code of Bushido which worked to keep moral up, often had poor tactical outcomes for them. I beleive the average US infantry platoon packed a lot more fire power than their Japanese equivalent. While on the other side of the world, the Germans usually had more fire power per platoon. Other factors.. US Marines were really pioneering combined arms action. They were developing CAS and usually could bring a lot of fire power to bear on a targert between naval gunfire, armor and aircraft. And probably one of the most overlooked factors.. We were pissed off. I've spoken with my grandfather who served in the pacific and spoken with other WWII veterans and even 50 years after the war they still harbor a lot anger for Japan. But to say the Japanese infantry "sucked" would be wrong.
 
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Ehran    RE:ww2 jap infantry- did they suck or what?   8/24/2004 4:48:01 PM
one of the things about the jappanese soldier was that he was entirely too willing to die in his foxhole or bunker. really good infantry makes you pay dearly for ground then falls back and makes you pay dearly for the next bit of ground. the world war 2 german soldier was a master of this trick for instance.
 
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wagner95696    RE:ww2 jap infantry- did they suck or what?   8/25/2004 12:05:29 AM
They were brave enough but they were simply outgunned. Hundreds of thousands of Japanese died, not in combat but from hunger and disease.
 
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scholar    RE:ww2 jap infantry- did they suck or what?   8/25/2004 12:45:19 PM
I never really understood the Japanese strategy. They really seemed content to settle into a defensive action. From what I've read, being in the Japanese infantry on those islands was hell. The US poured on massive firepower. I'm surprised any survived.
 
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joe6pack    RE:ww2 jap infantry- did they suck or what?   8/25/2004 2:45:05 PM
"I never really understood the Japanese strategy. They really seemed content to settle into a defensive action." As the war progressed, their navy didn't have the capacity to move them. They were literally stuck in place in a lot of cases and could not be evacuated. Instead of surrendering after their support was cut, with no hope of resupply.. They either kept fighting or would head for the hills to avoid capture.. I think there was the occasional story of Japanese soldiers finally coming out of hiding up until the late 70's..
 
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scholar    RE:ww2 jap infantry- did they suck or what?   8/25/2004 3:37:15 PM
I remember those stories. Amazing. Any other army would have surrendered en masse or maybe even mutineed.
 
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beersheba    RE:ww2 jap infantry- did they suck or what?   8/25/2004 10:53:52 PM
There were reports that a junior officer was found as late as the early 80s. I'll try and get the link for the yarn.
 
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ambush    RE:ww2 jap infantry- did they suck or what?   8/25/2004 11:07:54 PM
They did not suck. They lacked flexibility (No withdrawl or retreat and what type of offensive genuis thought up the Banzi charge) and had mediocre to poor equipment. Lacked really good artillery support. Part of the blame belongs to the high command which believed racial superiority and the Bushido spirit would make up for short comings in equipment and tactics. Do not sell them too short; after all this is the same Infantry that took Singapore, Burma and the Phillipines.
 
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doggtag    RE:ww2 jap infantry- did they suck or what?   8/25/2004 11:23:28 PM
I think joe6pack brought up a good point: as the war progressed, the Allies effectively reduced Imp Jap logistics to zero, so basically the guys ran out of food, ammo, and medicine. And coupled to a mentality that encouraged them to die for their cause (emperor) rather than live for it, naturally the best men of the Imp Jap military we didn't kill killed themselves. Their skills as soldiers were indeed impressive, at the early years of the war. But lack of logistics later on, coupled to their brainwashed "die so you do not shame the emperor" mentality, gave them a poor stereotype overall..
 
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