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Author Topic: Japanese capture theories  (Read 84537 times)

John Balderston

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Re: Japanese capture theories
« Reply #60 on: July 31, 2012, 08:06:54 AM »

". . . I wonder how much of these Japanese spy rumors could have come from the planning that lead up to the Battle of Pearl Harbor."

Stephen, I think many would agree with you that the interwar period (between WWI and WWII) in the Pacific doesn't receive enough attention.  For scholarship as a start you might try Edward S. Miller's "War Plan Orange", or for sort of a "lite" version containing many of the key themes see if you can lay your hands on a copy of Ronald W. Jackson's "China Clipper" from 1980.  Cheers,
John
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« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 08:08:34 AM by John Balderston »
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Japanese capture theories
« Reply #61 on: July 31, 2012, 10:47:49 AM »

While I beleive that the Nikumaroro Hypthoesis as the most probable, I wonder how much of these Japanese spy rumors could have come from the planning that lead up to the Battle of Pearl Harbor.   It wonder how many of these islands were used along the path.   See this link:   http://marshall.csu.edu.au/Marshalls/html/WWII/SeaPlaneOps.html
Let's see. From July 2, 1937 to December 7, 1941 is 1,461 days. To put this in perspective, 1,461 days ago the economy was doing fine, the unemployment rate was just 4.9% and the housing bubble had not yet burst. We were not at war with Japan and, if fact, Earhart originally planned to land in Tokyo.

gl
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 04:12:48 PM by Gary LaPook »
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Re: Japanese capture theories
« Reply #62 on: August 01, 2012, 03:45:11 AM »





Well, in 1937 USA were not at war with Japan, but the Japanese were in China, and I'm sure, the goverment wasn't amused. I'm sure many felt there COULD be hostilities soon. I think, if we speak about the Earhart-mystery, we must think about that the Japanese were very busy in their Mandates, and E.A. and F.N. were rather close.
Sometimes it seems to me, TIGHAR wants to forget that in 1937 Japanese even did exist... ;)

« Last Edit: August 01, 2012, 03:47:00 AM by Oskar Erich Heinrich Haberlandt »
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Stephen Hinkle

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Re: Japanese capture theories
« Reply #63 on: August 01, 2012, 12:59:11 PM »

I was thinking perhaps the technologies, torpedoes, and other equipment used for the battle of pearl harbor was being  in the design phases and was being tested back in 1937.    I wonder about the Japanese mapping the south pacific routes at that time that could be used for battle, and noting and mapping potential refueling locations, supply lines, emergency escape routes for their troops, etc.   Perhaps the Marshall Islands and other islands in the south pacific were used for testing prototypes and military equipment at the time.     It would seem like the islands would make perfect test sites being small and a lot of water in between, and a lot of open ocean around in which damage to occupied land could be minimized.
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Chris Johnson

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Re: Japanese capture theories
« Reply #64 on: August 01, 2012, 02:04:36 PM »

Should immagine a lot of the testing was going up north on the China mainland.

If I was testing 'secret' stuff then i'd try and keep it close as the further away you are the more eyes have a chance to see.
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C.W. Herndon

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Re: Japanese capture theories
« Reply #65 on: August 01, 2012, 02:33:26 PM »

Good points Chris. I agree.
Woody (former 3316R)
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Tom Swearengen

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Re: Japanese capture theories
« Reply #66 on: August 01, 2012, 07:00:35 PM »

IMHO----I personally think the Japaneese were fortifying the Mandated Islands. Alot of work was going on at Truk, as we have seen. I also think that is someone were to have gone there, and was captured, there would not be any record of their demise.
With that in mind, IF AE did somehow manage to find herself at Kwajalein, or Truk, or even Saipan, I dont think we would know about it. Even as famous as she was, Japan cerainly would not tell the world that they captured her. Even in 1937, when our military wasnt ready for war.
I dont think she overflew the Marshalls. She was on course, and on schedule as she passed over the Gilberts. To have made a 90* left turn NORTH to fly over the Marshalls, a LONG WAY AWAY, then try to make it back to Howland, stretches even my vivid imagination. NOT to say that she didnt end up at Kwajalein, Truk, or even Saipan, because evena s far fetched as it sounds, anything can be possible, until proven otherwise.
Stephen does bring up and interesting theory on Japaneese testing things. Yes they could have sent ships out, testing the waters so to speak. (Not sure when Truk actually became operational, but I dont think it was in 1937). But, that doesnt mean that Japan wasnt out there. It is possible that AE DID land at Niku, but wasnt there when the search overflight took place. But, I think that IF she were to have been removed from the island, (unless it was on a submarine) a ship would have been noticed by the searchers.

I'm not supposed to speculate---so I wont. But you get the idea--
Tom
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Malcolm McKay

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Re: Japanese capture theories
« Reply #67 on: August 01, 2012, 08:27:24 PM »

The Japanese were fortifying the mandated territories, but the League of Nations Mandate was purely for administration, it was not the granting of a colony to another country. That is why the militarization of the islands was so sensitive. Technically the L of N could have revoked the mandate and ordered the Japanese out - it wouldn't have happened in reality but is was an illegal act, that's why the cover up.
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Japanese capture theories
« Reply #68 on: August 01, 2012, 09:49:49 PM »

IMHO----I personally think the Japaneese were fortifying the Mandated Islands. Alot of work was going on at Truk, as we have seen. I also think that is someone were to have gone there, and was captured, there would not be any record of their demise.
With that in mind, IF AE did somehow manage to find herself at Kwajalein, or Truk, or even Saipan, I dont think we would know about it. Even as famous as she was, Japan cerainly would not tell the world that they captured her. Even in 1937, when our military wasnt ready for war.
I dont think she overflew the Marshalls. She was on course, and on schedule as she passed over the Gilberts. To have made a 90* left turn NORTH to fly over the Marshalls, a LONG WAY AWAY, then try to make it back to Howland, stretches even my vivid imagination. NOT to say that she didnt end up at Kwajalein, Truk, or even Saipan, because evena s far fetched as it sounds, anything can be possible, until proven otherwise.
Stephen does bring up and interesting theory on Japaneese testing things. Yes they could have sent ships out, testing the waters so to speak. (Not sure when Truk actually became operational, but I dont think it was in 1937). But, that doesnt mean that Japan wasnt out there. It is possible that AE DID land at Niku, but wasnt there when the search overflight took place. But, I think that IF she were to have been removed from the island, (unless it was on a submarine) a ship would have been noticed by the searchers.

I'm not supposed to speculate---so I wont. But you get the idea--
Tom
Also see:

https://sites.google.com/site/fredienoonan/discussions/flight-planning-aspects-relating-to-a-possible-earhart-s-spy-flight

https://sites.google.com/site/fredienoonan/discussions/was-earhart-a-spy

gl
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John Balderston

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Re: Japanese capture theories
« Reply #69 on: August 01, 2012, 11:26:52 PM »

Fellows, regarding fortification of Truk, former IJN Cdr. and Gordon Prange research assistant Masataka Chihaya's essay "Importance of Japanese Naval Bases Overseas" (The Pacific War Papers: Japanse Documents of WWII, Goldstein, Donald and Katherine Dillon, Potomac Books, Wash DC, 2006, pg. 63) and IJN Chief of Staff Adm. Jisaburo Ozawa's essay "Development of the Japanese Navy's Operational Concept Against America" (ibid, pg. 73) definitively state that IJN did not begin fortifying Truk until after the U.S. attacked Guadalcanal in the summer of 1942.   

". . .At the outbreak of this war there was only one-half of a completed airstrip in Takeshima, a small island less than 1,000 meters long.  There was no underground oil storage, no repair facilities on land.  There was no naval establishment worthy of the name of land except a half-completed small airstrip." (Chihaya).

In the 1930's Japan was guarding sea lines of communication to SE Asia; their fear was U.S. fortification of Guam, and to a lesser extent the Philippines.  In the event of movement into hostilities the strategy was to quickly take Guam and the Philippines, and suck the USN into an all-out massive naval battle in the Marianas region.   
John Balderston TIGHAR #3451R
 
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John Balderston

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Re: Japanese capture theories
« Reply #70 on: August 02, 2012, 12:05:44 AM »

Should immagine a lot of the testing was going up north on the China mainland.

If I was testing 'secret' stuff then i'd try and keep it close as the further away you are the more eyes have a chance to see.

Strong points, Chris!  From the 1920's on, the Japanese navy's center for both naval aviation requirements and air tactics development was the Naval Air Arsenal in Yokosuka, and Japanese aviation industry was centered in Nagoya.   Real-world operational test and evaluation "laboratory" was China.  The Mandates were at the end of a long logistics chain - not the ideal environment for development, or minimizing the potential for prying eyes. . .

A great resource is Mark A. Peattie's "Sunburst: The Rise of Japanese Naval Air Power, 1909-1941" (Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD, 2001).  On a related note, chief engineer Jiro Horikoshi's "The Eagles of Mitsubishi: The Story of the Zero Fighter" (University of Washington Press, 1992) is a great read - weaves together the significant design challenges and the environment of the 1930's and 40's in Japan. 
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Chris Johnson

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Re: Japanese capture theories
« Reply #71 on: August 02, 2012, 08:46:13 AM »

Some good reading for later, I could almost suggest the mods call a day on the supposed military build up in the mandates but lets not 'stifle' debate  :D

I'm sure the Japanese were at least looking towards building up there forces but can anyone shed some light on their overall strategic aim in 37?

Quick internet scan and in no way a suggestion of academic fact but it was only after the annex of Indo-China in 1940/41 that the US in fact embargoed Japan and thus forced the Japanese to look elsewhere such as Dutch East Indies and Burma for sources of raw materials.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2012, 10:52:04 AM by Bob Lanz »
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Japanese capture theories
« Reply #72 on: August 02, 2012, 11:08:10 AM »

It would have been a bit of a publicity coup for the Japanese to capture the Americans pretending to be on a world record flight around the world, Amelia Earhart and Freddie Noonan (1937)

It would have been a bit of a publicity coup for the Soviet Union to capture the American pretending to be on a weather gathering flight, Francis Gary Powers (1960)

The amount of positive publicity and sympathy that the Soviet Union gained from the U2 incident was an excellent example of how to play the undercover war. I am sure the Japanese wouldn't pass up an opportunity to get a little sympathy from the rest of the world either by displaying their capture of 'American spies'.

IMHO

This must be the place
 
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Re: Japanese capture theories
« Reply #73 on: August 02, 2012, 12:56:24 PM »

It would have been a bit of a publicity coup for the Japanese to capture the Americans pretending to be on a world record flight around the world, Amelia Earhart and Freddie Noonan (1937)

It would have been a bit of a publicity coup for the Soviet Union to capture the American pretending to be on a weather gathering flight, Francis Gary Powers (1960)

The amount of positive publicity and sympathy that the Soviet Union gained from the U2 incident was an excellent example of how to play the undercover war. I am sure the Japanese wouldn't pass up an opportunity to get a little sympathy from the rest of the world either by displaying their capture of 'American spies'.

IMHO

Jeff,
I don't agree. The Cold War lasted for 15 years when the U2 was shot down. There wasn't a Cold War between USA and Japan in 1937, and the Japanese aren't Soviets. If the Japanese got A.E., they would have had more reasons to cover it than to make it public.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2012, 10:37:12 AM by Bob Lanz »
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Bill Roe

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Re: Japanese capture theories
« Reply #74 on: August 02, 2012, 01:31:35 PM »

It would have been a bit of a publicity coup for the Japanese to capture the Americans pretending to be on a world record flight around the world, Amelia Earhart and Freddie Noonan (1937)

It would have been a bit of a publicity coup for the Soviet Union to capture the American pretending to be on a weather gathering flight, Francis Gary Powers (1960)

The amount of positive publicity and sympathy that the Soviet Union gained from the U2 incident was an excellent example of how to play the undercover war. I am sure the Japanese wouldn't pass up an opportunity to get a little sympathy from the rest of the world either by displaying their capture of 'American spies'.

IMHO

Jeff,
I don't agree. The Cold War lasted for 15 years when the U2 was shot down. There wasn't a Cold War between USA and Japan in 1937, and the Japanese aren't Soviets. If the Japs got A.E., they would have had more reasons to cover it than to make it public.

I agree with this.  For another thing the U-2 was clearly on an aerial photographic spy sortie.  And was clearly a military airplane.  Earhart and her Electra......well, let's say it would probably have been an embarrassing situation to have "captured" the most well known female aviatrix in the world.
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